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
Wallowa Basin Project Planning - G. R. Model Watershed

BPA project number   9403900

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Nez Perce Tribe

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameDon Bryson
 Mailing addressNez Perce Tribe, 201 W. North St., Rm. 113, Enterprise, OR 97828
 Phone503/426-0119

BPA technical contact   Mark Shaw, EWP 503/230-5239

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   7.7B.1

Short description
Project planning and implementation of Grande Ronde Model Watershed Plan in Wallowa subbasin. Specific plans for Bear Creek, Lostine River, and Big and Little Sheep Creeks. Instream flow study specific to Lostine River.

Project start year   1994    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Project #9202601 - Grande Ronde Model Watershed (GRMW) planning and project implementation.

2. Project # 9402700 - Planning and imlementation for Union County portion of the GRMW Program.

Project history
Provide any background relevant to prioritization (e.g. historic costs if the activity was previously funded under other project numbers, cost shares, received from other agencies, major non-biological products or conclusions.) There are separate spaces below for biological products, reports, and need for the project.

This project was initiated in 1994 to implement on-the-ground planning, coordination, and communication in Wallowa County in reference to Grande Ronde Model Watershed program presently being funded by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and to implement the Wallowa County/Nez Perce Tribe Salmon Habitat Recovery Plan. This project is being cost-shared 50:50 by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). Since the inception of this project, numerous watershed restoration projects have been implemented under BPA, BOR, and Oregon Watershed Health funding; a small minority have been instream hard structures and most that have been are irrigation diversions with fish bypass capabilities built in (climinating the annual need for push-up dams.) Watershed Action Plans are being written salmon streams in the county. To date, these include an Action Plan for the Bear Creek watershed (tributary to the Wallowa River) and a Comprehensive Resource Management Plan for Big Sheep Creek (tributary to the Imnaha River). A flow study has been initiated on the Lostine River to determine the water volume needs of different species of salmon for different life stages. This will facilitate working with irrigators to determine how much additional water is needed in-stream during low flow periods. A study has been initiated on Bear Creek to look at the feasibility of developing a low-flow channel in the lower few miles to facilitate passage of adult spring chinook upstream from late July to mid-September. All of the irrigation diversions in Bear Creek, the Lostine River, and the Wallowa from Cross Country Canal to Dry Creek have gaged plus gages have also been installed in the mainstreams of each stream. Private landowner meetings have been initiated in the Lostine, Bear Creek, and Big Sheep watersheds. Coordination meetings between County Court, Nez Perce Tribe, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Wallowa County Soil and Water Conservation Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon Department of Forestry have been initiated to minimize duplication of effort in the various on-going activities. The County is presently investigating th possibility of developing a Habitat Conservation Plan that would cover both private and public lands.

Biological results achieved
1. None of the above projects have been in place long enough to have measureable results.

2. The expected results are better instream habitat and water quality and quanitity for fish and better riparian and upland habitat for wildlife.

3. The landowner meetings will result in increased awareness of the needs of fish and wildlife as well as providing the landowners with some ownership in the solutions.

Annual reports and technical papers
1. Quarterly Project Reports

2. Bear Creek Action Plan


3. Lostine River Habitat Assessment


4. Big Sheep Creek Habitat Assessment

Management implications
The project is designed to provide local landowners with sufficient knowledge to make land use decisions that benefit fish and wildlife while not impairing the landowner's ability to earn a living. This is the basic premise of the Wallowa County/Nez Perce Tribe Salmon Habitat Recovery Plan. Landowners are changing some of their land use practices because of this project.

Specific measureable objectives
1. Number of new watershed restoration projects implemented.

2. Number of new landowners involved.

3. Monitoring results for water and quality and quantity.

4. Number of new grazing and timber management plans developed.

5. All of these are expected to result in more salmon returning to watersheds.

Testable hypothesis
Not applicable

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
This question is not really applicable to this project, however, the big underlying assumption is that local landowners, when provided with sufficent information, can make land management decisions that will allow them to continue to earn a living while providing habitat fish and wildlife. The critical constraint is that the local residents do not control what happens downstream from Wallowa County. In other words, Wallowa County residents can not save chinook salmon in the Snake River basin nor can they insure that any salmon will survive to return to the County.

Methods
1) brief experimental design including a description of equipment, techniques, and materials;

2) statistical analysis

3) type and number of fish to be used.

This question is not applicable

Brief schedule of activities
1. Complete either a Lostine River Action Plan or Comprehensive Resource Management Plan. The type of plan will depend on the level of participation desired by local landowners.

2. Complete either a Joseph Creek Action Plan or Comprehensive Resource Management Plan. The type of plan will depend on the level of participation desired by local landowners.

3. Develop individual watershed monitoring plans and Wallowa River monitoring plan to determine the effectiveness of watershed restoration projects.

4. Work with local landowners to develop watershed restoration projects.

5. Continue as a board member of the Grande Ronde Model Watershed.

6. Continue coordination meetings in Wallowa County.

7. Continue involvement on the Grande Ronde Watershed Technical Committee and the Wallowa County Technical Committee.

8. No significant changes are expected in the format or expectations of this project in 1998 or beyond.

Biological need
Quality habitat is essential for continued existence of Snake River Salmon. It is imperative that local landowners be involved in hte decision making process so that they will have ownership in the solutions. The Wallowa County/Nez Perce Tribe Salmon Habitat Recovery Plan emphasizes the need to work in the entire watershed (ridge top to ridge top), not just stream bottoms and that political boundaries should not dictate what can be accomplished.

Critical uncertainties
The critical uncertainty is that the local residents do not control what happens downstream from Wallowa County. In other words, Wallowa County residents can not save chinook salmon in the Snake River basin nor can they insure that any salmon will survive to return to the county.

Summary of expected outcome
1. Instream habitat and water quality and quantity will be improved in Wallowa County.

2. Riparian habitat and upland habitat will be improved.

3. Local landowners will have a stake in restoration activities.

4. Local education projects will teach new ways of coexisting with natural systems while continuing to earn a decent living.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
1. In the past, unscheduled projects opportunities have appeared that required additional monies out of BPA. These opportunities cannot be rescheduled.

Risks
1. A lack of success in returning salmon to the watersheds could discourage people from continuing to participate.

2. Some projects may not perform as expected.

Monitoring activity
1. All of the irrigation diversions in Bear Creek, the Lostine River and the Wallowa River from Cross Country Canal to Dry Creek have been gaged plus have also been installed in the mainstems of each stream.

2. Wallowa Highschool is monitoring water quality at various locations in the lower Wallowa Valley.

3. All watershed restoration projects have monitoring associated with them.

4. There will be watershed level monitoring plans and subbasin level monitoring plans developed.

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
1994: 64,000
1995: 48,282
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 50,000
Planned: 50,000
1997: 50,494
1998: 53,152
1999: 55,950
2000: 58,894
2001: 61,994

* 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   Snake River

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $50,494

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $50,500