BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Black Canyon / Bruneau Wildlife Mitigation

BPA project number   5501400

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
IDFG

Sponsor type   ID-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameJerome Hansen
 Mailing addressIdaho Department of Fish and Game
600 South Walnut Street
Boise, ID 83707
 Phone208/334-3098

BPA technical contact   , EWP

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   11.3D.7

Short description
Implementation planning and advance design activities for Black Canyon Reservoir wildlife mitigation. Begin implementation of the high priority Bruneau River Valley project. Mitigation measures involve protecting habitats through acquisition of conservation easements or land in fee-title, and enhancing wildlife habitats on acquired and existing public lands.

Project start year   1996    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1998

Project development phase   Planning/Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history
Construction of Black Canyon Dam on the Payette River was completed in 1924 impacting 1,100 acres of wildlife habitat. The Black Canyon Wildlife Loss Assessment, completed in 1986, estimated 2,238 Habitat Units were lost. The Black Canyon Wildlife Mitigation Plan was completed in 1987, with the Bruneau River Valley project ranked as the highest priority by the interagency work group.

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers
Wildlife Impact Assessment, Anderson Ranch, Black Canyon, and Boise Diversion Projects, Idaho. May 1986. Wildlife Protection, Mitigation and Enhancement Plans, Anderson Ranch and Black Canyon Facilities. June 1987.

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
Full implementation of the Black Canyon Wildlife Mitigation Plan is estimated to produce 2,195 Habitat Units (HUs). The Bruneau Valley project, as initially proposed, is anticipated to produce 1,300 HUs. The Bruneau Valley project proposes to protect and enhance wetland and riparian habitats similar to what was flooded by Black Canyon Reservoir. Other Black Canyon mitigation projects address the upland wildlife habitat losses.

Testable hypothesis
This is not a research project. Long-term monitoring of protection and enhancement projects will allow wildlife and land managers to gain a better understanding of wildlife-habitat relationships.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
* Principles of adaptive management would be used throughout the project.
* We are assuming there will be willing sellers and landowners interested in participating in this project
* We are assuming local public and governmental support of this project would be developed..
* We are assuming funds will be available to implement this project in a reasonable timeframe, and that funds committed to this project would not be jeopardized by other wildlife mitigation projects in the Columbia Basin.
* Funding availability and funding certainty are critical constraints for this project.

Methods
This is a wildlife habitat protection and enhancement project, not a research project.

The interagency work group would be re-activated to complete implementation planning. The Implementation Plan would be tiered to BPA’s Programmatic Wildlife Mitigation EIS. We would work with landowners interested in participating in the mitigation projects to develop conservation easements or acquire wildlife habitat parcels in fee-title. Habitat Evaluation Procedures will be used to determine HU benefits of each site-specific project. Local county commissioners and other interested publics will be coordinated with and kept informed of the status of the mitigation projects. We will explore opportunities for partnerships.

We would coordinate with other agencies and local groups to implement wildlife habitat enhancement projects on existing public lands. Typical habitat enhancement activities include developing conservation plans compatible with wildlife habitat objectives for farming and grazing uses, noxious weed control, fencing, plantings, thinning, and erosion control projects.

Brief schedule of activities
Advance design activities and the implementation plan could be completed by early 1997, with implementation following immediately thereafter. We would continue to work with Bruneau Valley landowners who have already contacted us with an interest in participating in the mitigation project.

Biological need
Population growth is extending into the Bruneau River Valley. In addition, the nearby Mountain Home Airforce Base is expected to grow, leading to many more people seeking recreational experiences in the valley.

Riparian habitats along the lower Bruneau River and nearby streams provide important wildlife habitats. Much of the adjacent land base is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Bruneau River empties into the Snake River at C.J. Strike Wildlife Management Area. Protecting additional areas of the Bruneau River Valley would enhance the ability of IDFG to manage this area for wildlife.

The Bruneau hot springs snail, listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species, is present in the valley. The area is rich in other wildlife resources. Wintering bald eagles are common . Waterfowl, valley quail, pheasant, deer, and a multitude of nongame species abound.

Critical uncertainties
Funding. Cooperating agencies, local interest groups, and landowners quickly lose interest in participating in the mitigation projects when we cannot assure them funding is available to implement the project. This also applies to long-term operation, maintenance, and monitoring.

Summary of expected outcome
Implementation of the Bruneau Valley project would provide an estimated 1,300 HUs to BPA and a variety of benefits to wildlife and the public. Several landowners in the Bruneau area have already expressed an interest in either conservation easements or selling land outright. Funding estimates are based in part on a proposal by a consortium of four landowners to sell 856 acres of riparian/upland areas along 2.8 miles of year round tributaries to the Bruneau River.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
We are working with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes on mitigation projects across southern Idaho. We are currently working out a wildlife mitigation agreement between Idaho Fish and Game and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

We will explore opportunities for partnerships with Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Idaho Power and other entities as funding becomes more certain.

As we are planning to tier the Black Canyon implementation plan to BPA’s Programmatic Wildlife EIS, timely completion of that EIS in 1996 will be important

Risks
The credibility of BPA, Idaho Fish and Game, and the NPPC Columbia Basin Wildlife Program would be at risk if funding does not allow us to follow through with implementation and long-term maintenance of mitigation projects.

Monitoring activity
A monitoring plan would be developed for each mitigation project as part of the site-specific management plan. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) will be used to determine the HU benefits of each project. The HEP methodology will also be used for long-term monitoring and to determine benefits of habitat enhancements.

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
(none) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 850,000
1998: 850,000
1999: 500,000
2000: 100,000
2001: 100,000

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   Wildlife

Recommendation    No recommendation