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
Securing Mitigation Sites for Wildlife in the Columbia Basin of Oregon

BPA project number   5519400

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ODFW

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameGreg Sieglitz
 Mailing addressOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
7118 NE Vandenberg Ave.
Corvallis, OR 97330-9446
 Phone541/757-4186

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
The purpose of this project is to draw on the conclusions and analyses conducted for the Assessing Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project Priorities Using GAP Analysis, Project No. 95-65 and the Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project. The former project is evaluating and prioritizing a list of potential mitigation projects identified through the Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project through 1): determining prioritization criteria; 2) incorporating datasets for the potential mitigation areas as well as other regional and state-wide information into a geographic information system (GIS); 3) assessing the proposed mitigation areas in context with a state-wide coarse filter approach. A short-list will be produced indicating which of the mitigation sites would provide the most benefit to wildlife habitat needs. The proposed project would take this short-list to the local level through in-depth investigation and implementation of the “high priority” sites. Outlines for fee-title acquisition, conservation easements, and other management and enhancement activities would be one product of the project. Perhaps more importantly, activities will focus on securing lands for wildlife through cooperative arrangements with local parties.

Project start year   1997    End year   2001

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1999

Project development phase   Planning/Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project (92-84)
Assessing Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project Priorities Using GAP Analysis (95-65)

Project history
In 1993, the Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project was initiated to develop a draft list of potential mitigation sites for the construction of the Willamette and Columbia river’s mainstem hyrdoelecteric facilities. A subsequent on-going project, mentioned above, will analyze each of the sites individually and in aggregate to determine the suitability of each meeting wildlife habitat mitigation units in the context of regional and statewide biodiversity planning. From this effort a short-list will be produced which indicates the “superior” sites. The funding for this project totals $69,484. What is lacking is on-the-ground work to lay a path towards securing these areas for wildlife. This is the role of the proposed project. The major non-biological products include quarterly and final reports as well as agreements associated with securing the mitigation sites. Preliminary HEP estimates of habitat gained through each parcel will be tallied and reported also.

Biological results achieved
These will be accomplished through the proposed project which will move the current planning to the implementation phase.

Annual reports and technical papers
Quarterly reports and one final report will be produced for each year of the project.

Management implications
The information gained from this project will help move from the planning stage to the implementation stage. It will be necessary to have local involvement and data collection to become informed about the specifics of the properties. This will include gathering wildlife and habitat data from local experts as well as economic and other information from a myriad of sources. This data will be crucial to the implementation of various alternatives for securing the areas for wildlife. Adaptive management is a principle that will be used for the monitoring and evaluation of sites and the subsequent projects, to ensure appropriate species and their habitat respond.

Specific measureable objectives
Develop outlines and framework for the implementation of securing some portion of the potential mitigation sites through the most feasible alternative developed.

Testable hypothesis

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
1) The development of a short-list through the Assessing Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project Priorities Using GAP Analysis is possible and completed prior to the beginning of the proposed project.

2) The sites are still in a condition which is conducive to providing wildlife habitat or that this condition is still achievable through enhancement or restoration.

3) Various datasets including GIS maps, at the minimum, meet National Map Accuracy Standards.

4) It is necessary to reach some level of wildlife habitat mitigation units.

Methods
Experimental design and analysis will involve the use of the GIS which was developed during the previously funded and on-going project. The emphasis will shift to larger scale (small area or local) analysis with respect to individual parcels. Local experts of wildlife and habitat, real estate, county government and procedures, and others will be consulted in a cooperative fashion to gather critical data. Data gathered through this task will include aspects of the properties such as land ownership and land owner disposition, historic use of the site, present and potential land uses, zoning and legal limitations, boundary issues, wildlife and habitat surveys, detailed mapping of geophysical features, water rights, and others. These data will be used to develop a feasibility rating of alternatives for securing the potential mitigation sites through the means of conservation easements, acquisition, enhancements, and cooperative management plans. A group of recommendations will be put together for each of the parcels explored. This process will describe appropriate steps to take with the local groups to secure the land to satisfy the need for wildlife habitat mitigation. Future phases of the project will include three things: 1) Facilitate solidification of the necessary contracts, agreements, titles or deeds for sites which will have been examined through the above mentioned process; 2) Begin HEP analysis procedures on secured sites; and 3) Take the subsequent group of sites, identified through the Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project, through the local scale review (mentioned above).

Brief schedule of activities
FY 1997 Develop feasibility rating of alternatives for the top 10-15 sites identified during the Assessing Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project Priorities Using GAP Analysis project. Gather local data for these sites and local scale analysis with the GIS system developed through the previous related projects.

FYs 1998-2001 Develop feasibility rating of alternatives for the next 10-20 sites per year. Gather local data and analyze with a GIS for these parcels. Solidify contractual agreements for securing sites for wildlife. Begin HEP analysis on selected parcels.

Biological need
The Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act includes provisions for the protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife affected by the development and operation of hydroelectric facilities of the Columbia River Basin. The development of the region’s hydropower system has affected many species of wildlife. Some floodplain and riparian habitats important to wildlife were inundated when reservoirs were filled. Fluctuating water levels caused by dam operations have created barren vegetation zones, which exposed various species to threats such as increase in predation and loss of suitable habitats. The impacts of dam construction and reservoir inundation have been documented and the wildlife losses are included in the NPPC’s program. The proposed project is necessary to facilitate reaching the mitigation implementation phase to address the above mentioned losses. The project would take the information generated and compiled through the previous projects and develop frame-works, work-plans, and work-items for securing the mitigation areas for wildlife.

Critical uncertainties
Adequate funding for wildlife mitigation in the Columbia River Basin.

Summary of expected outcome
Currently, there is an need to mitigate for an estimated 165,000 habitat units in the Willamette and Columbia river basins in Oregon. This project would attempt to reach a significant portion of this total through each year’s efforts. The emphasis throughout the project is one of securing habitat for wildlife in a timely and effective manner. It will be necessary to receive adequate funding in order to accomplish this task.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Opportunities for cooperation are abundant and imperative to the success of this project. Major cooperators identified to date include the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Burns Paiute Tribe, and the Oregon Natural Heritage Program. Others will be important in future years of the project; especially those when the on-the-ground scoping and securing of individual sites and enhancement occurs. Important dependencies include finding willing sellers and adequate funding to address the losses of wildlife habitat.

Risks

Monitoring activity
Monitoring and evaluation of the successes and failures with approaches taken for the individual sites will occur during each year of the project. This procedure will occur at a level which addresses the overall objective of the project as well as a scale which is appropriate to address tasks and objectives generated for each parcel. This includes a review of the feasibility rating system and in particular the success of different techniques used to secure lands. Cost effectiveness and timeliness will be the litmus test. Monitoring of projects such as enhancing habitats will occur in later years of the project once the areas have been secured. Monitoring of this nature will emphasize success in terms of wildlife use and improving habitat condition. It will be possible for BPA to monitor this project and associated tasks through the periodic and final reports.

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: 275,000
1998: 500,000
1999: 4,000,000
2000: 5,000,000
2001: 6,000,000

* 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    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $275,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $275,000