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
Burlington Bottoms Wildlife Mitigation Project

BPA project number   9107800

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ODFW

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameJoe Pesek
 Mailing addressOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
17330 SE Evelyn Street
Clackamas, OR 97015
 Phone503/657-2000

BPA technical contact   Charlie Craig, EWP 503/230-3430

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   11.3F.1

Short description
The objective of this project is to 1) conduct operations and maintenance for the site; and 2) continue maintenance and enhancement activities for wildlife habitat as necessary, in order to meet the goals of the management plan.

Project start year   1991    End year   1996

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Implementation/Maintenance

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
1) Willow Creek Mitigation Project, #92-059, similiar to Burlington Bottoms, this is also a wildlife mitigation project and involves maintenance and enhancement activities to improve the existing wildlife habitat; 2) Conforth Ranch, # unknown, similiar to Burlington Bottoms, this is a wildlife mitigation project that involves maintenance and enhancement activities to improve the existing wildlife habitat; 3) Willamette Valley Mitigation Phase II, #9665, these are proposed future mitigation sites and will include maintenance and enhancement activities to improve the value of the wildlife habitat; 4) Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project, #9565, this project involves the ranking of potential mitigation sites in Oregon, according to biological importance, etc.

Project history
This site was purchased in 1991 by BPA as mitigation for habitat lost along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, and as such was one of the first sites in Oregon under the Northwest Power Planning Council Agreement. No cost shares have been received from other agencies for this project.

Biological results achieved
In 1993, a Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was conducted to analyze and assign a value to the existing habitat at Burlington Bottoms. Results of the HEP were used to design management activities related to the maintenance and enhancement of the wildlife habitat. Surveys to gather baseline data for fish, wildlife, and plant populations were conducted in 1993, 1994, and 1995.

Annual reports and technical papers
1) Burlington Bottoms Habitat Evaluation; 2) Results of 1995 Neotropical Migratory Landbird Surveys at Burlington Bottoms; and 3) Burlington Bottoms Annual Report, 10/01/94 - 12/31/95.

Management implications
An adaptive management approach affords the opportunity to alter management activities over time, in response to the success or failure of management actions. The information obtained from monitoring and evalulation will be used to develop and analyze management activities including 1) effectiveness of habitat maintenance and restoration activities, and 2) species occurrence and response to management actions. (Since major restoration activities will occur in 1996, it is not possible at this time to describe implications from this approach until 1997 or later.)

Specific measureable objectives
One of the main objectives of this project is to maintain and enhance the wildlife habitat at Burlington Bottoms. Using the HEP process, we were able to estimate long-term effects on the habitat with and without management activities (e.g. estimated prey availability in upland habitat if non-native invasive plant species such as reed canary grass were not controlled), and we will continue to use this process for maintenance and enhancement activites for the life of the project.

Testable hypothesis

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
One of the main underlying assumptions is that the maintenance and enhancement of the habitat may be an on-going process for the life of the project; controlling or eliminating non-native invasive plant populations is a difficult and complex process, and success can vary from year to year due to water levels, soil conditions, etc. In addition, it is assumed that in some cases, meeting the desired objectives for this project may be constrained due to limitations in funding and manpower.

Methods
Maintenance and enhancement activities to improve wildlife habitat will occur in various types of habitat, including wetland, riparian forest, and uplands. Methods to control non-native invasive plant populations will include the maintenance and operation of a water control structure on the outlet channel to Horseshoe Lake, mechanical equipment such as a mower to control plant species in the upland habitat, and volunteer manpower to assist in the hand removal of plants in areas not accessible in any other way. The analysis of the results of these activities will be done by performing a modified HEP in the areas where activities occurred, in order to measure habitat changes.

Brief schedule of activities
Major project tasks for 1997 include 1) the operation and maintenance of the water control structure installed in 1996, 2) routine operations and maintenance of the site, including weekly custodial visits, maintaining access into the site, removal of debris, vegetation control (including the control/removal of non-native invasive plant species), and maintaining wildlife viewing blinds and informational signs. At the current time, it is not anticipated that there will be significant changes in project activities between 1998 - 2001.

Biological need
The Burlington Bottoms project site provides habitat for many species of fish and wildlife, and is a remnant of a once more prevalent wetland habitat along the lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Past human disturbances and the invasion of exotic non-native plant and animal species require maintenance and enhancement activities to control and/or eliminate non-native plant species and restore native plant populations, in order to improve both the quality and quantity of fish and wildlife habitat.

Critical uncertainties
Critical uncertainies include unknown outcomes of manipulating water levels for controlling plant populations, and how certain wildlife species may be affected by these actions. A second critical uncertainty concerns the amount of funding available for long-term funding and personnel for the lifetime of the project.

Summary of expected outcome
1) It is expected that maintenance and enhancement activities will improve habitat conditions for native fish and wildlife species, including those analyzed under the HEP process. 2) Routine operations and maintenance procedures will ensure that the site is maintained according to direction from the management plan.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Opportunities for cooperation include the use of volunteers from various local groups such as The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, etc., to assist with maintenance and enhancement activities on the site.

Risks
Risks due to routine operation and maintenance of the site should be minimal.

Monitoring activity
Monitoring of activities will occur in order to measure the success/failure of management actions. The results/outcomes will be measured in several ways, including 1) performing a modified HEP, and 2) measuring changes in plant species composition and distribution and comparing results to the original surveys conducted in 1995 and 1996.

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
1983: 64,394
1993: 88,844
1994: 20,000
1996: 0
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 75,000
Planned: 75,000
1997: 52,000
1998: 55,000
1999: 58,000
2000: 62,000
2001: 65,000

* 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   $52,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $64,488