BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1998 Proposal

Section 1. Summary
Section 2. Goals
Section 3. Background
Section 4. Purpose and methods
Section 5. Planned activities
Section 6. Outcomes, monitoring and evaluation
Section 7. Relationships
Section 8. Costs and FTE

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Summary

Title of project
WDFW - Washington Wildlife Mitigation Agreement

BPA project number   9305800

Short description
Enhance 100,609 acres of land owned by WDFW (these are generally existing WDFW wildlife areas) and acquire and enhance approximately 15,485 acres at multiple sites in central Washington and in Clark County in western Washington. These projects involve varying combinations of site-specific activities (habitat improvement, operation and maintenance, monitoring and evaluation, access and recreation management, and cultural resource management).

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameJenene Ratassepp, Manager, Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation Program
 Mailing address600 Capitol Way N
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
 Phone360/753-1690
 Email
   

Section 2. Goals

General
Supports a healthy Columbia basin; maintains biological diversity; increases run sizes or populations; provides needed habitat protection

Target stockLife stageMgmt code (see below)
Sharp-tailed Grouse (P), Mule DeerGrassland, Grassland-Native likeGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
Sharp-tailed Grouse (P), Mule DeerShrub-Grass, Shrub-LandGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
Sharp-tailed Grouse (P), Mule Deer, MinkEmergent WetlandGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
Downy WoodpeckerRiparian Forest, Forested Wetland, Deciduous ForestGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
Yellow WarblerRiparian ShrubGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
White-tailed DeerConifer Forest, Dense Conifer Forest, Mixed ForestGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
Lewis WoodpeckerConifer WoodlandGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
Sharp-tailed Grouse (P)AgricultureGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Scotch Creek Project
Pygmy Rabbit (L), Mule Deer, Sage Grouse (P)Shrub-land, AgricultureGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Douglas Co, Pygmy Rabbit Project
Sharp-tailed Grouse (P), Mule Deer, Sage Grouse (P)Shrub-Grass, Grassland, AgricultureGrand Coulee, Chief Jo , Swanson Lakes Project
Mink, Meadowlark, Warbler, B.C. Chickadee, Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard, Dabbling DuckAgriculture, Ag Pasture, Riparian Forest, Riparian Shrub, Emergent Wetland, Forested Wetland, Grassland, Shrubland, Dense DeciduousJohn Day, The Dalles, Bonneville Vancouver Lowlands Project
Mink, Downy WoodpeckerRiparian TreeMcNary, John Day , Sunnyside Project
MallardEmergent Wetland, Riparian HerbMcNary, John Day , Sunnyside Project
California QuailRiparian HerbMcNary, John Day , Sunnyside Project
Yellow Warbler, California Quail, MinkRiparian ShrubMcNary, John Day , Sunnyside Project
Meadowlark, California QuailShrub-steppe/GrassMcNary, John Day , Sunnyside Project
Mallard, California Quail, Canada GooseAgricultureMcNary, John Day , Sunnyside Project
B.C. ChickadeeDeciduous ForestMcNary, John Day , Sunnyside Project
Mule DeerShrub-land, Shrub-grassGrand Coulee , Wenas Project
Sage Grouse (P)GrasslandGrand Coulee , Wenas Project
Mourning DoveAgricultureGrand Coulee , Wenas Project
Yellow WarblerRiparian ShrubGrand Coulee , Wenas Project
White-tailed DeerConifer ForestGrand Coulee , Wenas Project
Mule Deer, Sage Grouse (P)Shrub-landGrand Coulee , Shrub, steppe and Sage Grouse Projects
Mallard, MinkEmergent WetlandsMcNary , Desert, Gloyd Seeps Projects
MeadowlarkShrub-landMcNary , Col, Basin Acquisition Project

 
Affected stockBenefit or detriment
Any species using shoreline and adjacent shallow water habitatsBeneficial
Any species representing wildlife dependent on sagebrush communities and rockland habitats.Beneficial
Any species representing wildlife using browse, forbs and grasses.Beneficial
Any species representing wildlife using agriculture communities.Beneficial
Any species requiring trees large enough for cavity nests.Beneficial
Species sensitive to island nesting habitat and associated brooding areas including riparian herb, emergent wetlands.Beneficial
Any species using riparian shrub habitat to reproduce and makes extensive use of adjacent wetlands.Beneficial
Any species using riparian and agricultural land, particularly orchards and open ground.Beneficial
Species dependent upon seral forest habitat with abundant shrubs and openings.Beneficial
Species which depend on sand/gravel/cobble/mud shorelines as foraging areas.Beneficial
Species utilizing mature forest canopiesBeneficial
Species dependent upon trees environments, particularly riparian tree cover types.Beneficial
Any species using native grasses and shrub-steppe communitiesBeneficial

Section 3. Background

Stream area affected

Hydro project   Grand Coulee, Chief Joseph, McNary, John Day, The Dalles and Bonneville
Land ownership   100,609 acres public; 15,485 acres acquisition of private land
Acres affected   116,094

Biological results achieved
Enhancement efforts will result in 32,940 habitat units (an estimated minimum number based on Target Year 10).

Project reports and papers
-Washington Wildlife Mitigation Projects - Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA-1096 dated August 1996)
-Final HEP Report for the Vancouver Lowlands Project, January 1995
-Vanc. Lowlands Prelim. Environ. Assess. and Mgmt. Plan (DOE/EA-0964 dated March 1995)
-Tracy Rock Sharp-tailed Grouse (now called the Swanson Lakes Project) and Douglas County Pygmy Rabbit site Specific Management Plan, October 1992
-Recommendations for Gaining Land Management Changes in the Swanson Lakes Management Area to Benefit Sharp-Tailed Grouse and Sage Grouse in Lincoln County, Washington, October 1994
-Swanson Lakes Enhancement Plan, revised July 1995
-Washington Wildlife Mitigation Trust Projects - Programmatic Environmental Assessment - Preliminary Draft, December 1995
-Scotch Creek Wildlife Area Mitigation Management Plan, 1997
-Sunnyside Wildlife Area Mitigation Management Plan (in draft)
-Wenas Wildlife Area Mitigation Management Plan (in draft)
-Vancouver Lowlands Wildlife Area Mitigation Management Plan (in draft)
-Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area Mitigation Management Plan - Operation and Maintenance Phase (in draft)

Adaptive management implications
The focus of WDFW wildlife mitigation projects is enhancing key pieces of habitat for species which were impacted by hydropower construction and avoid the invocation of the Endangered Species Act. Adaptive management is a principle that will be used for project monitoring and evaluation to ensure appropriate habitat and species response.
Project mitigation management plans must be monitored and evaluated to determine if the desired result is being accomplished. The management plans also incorporate a five-year review and revision process. The word, "monitoring" refers to periodic data collection, while use of the word, "evaluation", refers to the drawing of inferences from the monitoring data.
The Wildlife Working Group is developing monitoring and evaluation protocols to be use through out the Columbia Basin on all wildlife mitigation projects. These monitoring and evaluation procedures will be used for program performance reporting. Until monitoring and evaluation procedures established by the Wildlife Working Group are in place, the WDFW Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation Senior Wildlife Biologist will use the following protocol:
HEP derived enhancement and maintenance activities will be monitored, in some cases on an annual basis, using photo plots and HEP Baseline habitat evaluation survey techniques; i.e. Visual Obstruction Readings (VOR) for grassland seedings and line intercepts for shrub canopy closure measurements.
Photo plots and vegetation transects will be established on a permanent basis to facilitate future replications. Plot/transect methods and results will be recorded and maintained as a "stand alone" document and, if possible, on computer disks.
In addition, the HEP team leader and Wildlife Area staff will replicate the Baseline HEP transects in areas not directly effected by enhancements or maintenance activities every five years for habitat trend analysis purposes. Reconciliation of enhancement/maintenance monitoring and habitat trend analysis reports should provide the Wildlife Area manager with enough information to determine if habitat/mitigation objectives are being met.
The Citizens' Advisory Group (CAG) (each WDFW wildlife mitigation project has a CAG) will be invited to participate during monitoring activities as a means to incorporate continued public input. Records will be kept showing management treatments applied and the associated result compared to expectations. This data will be used in the evaluation process (see below).
Progress towards the desired future condition will be assessed every five years using field visits and the annual monitoring data. HEP Team leaders will be assisted by Wildlife Area Program Staff, the Cross-Divisional Task Team (comprised of WDFW technical fish, wildlife, and range experts etc.) and the Citizens' Advisory Group in determining whether the evaluation results provide a basis for change in management emphasis.
Amendments necessary to reflect changes in law, policy, mitigation objectives or other immediate needs may be made at any time following review by the Cross-Divisional Task Team, by Habitat Division (for a State Environmental Policy Act declaration), approval by the WDFW Director, and review by BPA for NEPA compliance.

Section 4. Purpose and methods

Specific measureable objectives
BPA will receive 32,940 Habitat Units (estimated minimum number based on Target Year 10) as a result of full implementation of WDFW's share of the Washington Wildlife Mitigation Agreement and subsequent MOA.

Critical uncertainties
Finding willing sellers for the land acquisition elements of the projects. Also, as a result of the MOA with BPA, WDFW identified the minimum number of Habitat Units expected as a result of enhancement efforts. These estimates were based on Target Year 10 (ten years after enhancements began). BPA also asked WDFW to identify in each mitigation management plan the potential Habitat Units when all critical habitat components reached maturity. This was identified as Target Year 20 (TY20). TY20 projections assume ideal growing conditions, successful plantings, growth at estimated rates, and adequate operation and maintenance funding during the 20 year period. Actual post enhancement (TY20) habitat gains will likely be between the minimum number credited to BPA and the amount project as potential in Target Year 20.

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. This Act authorizes the Administrator of the BPA to use the BPA fund to carry out the provisions of the Act. The development and operation of hydropower system in the Columbia River Basin 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 expose wildlife to increased predation. Activities associated with hydroelectric development have altered land and stream areas in ways that adversely affect wildlife. The impacts of dam construction and reservoir inundation have been documented and the wildlife losses are included in the NPPC's program.

Hypothesis to be tested
N/A

Alternative approaches
Please see: Washington Wildlife Mitigation Projects - Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA-1096), Wildlife Mitigation Program Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EA-0246) and individual site-specific mitigation management plans.

Justification for planning
N/A

Methods
For applicable information pertaining planning and implementation of this wildlife mitigation project PLEASE SEE: Washington Wildlife Mitigation Projects - Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA-1096), Wildlife Mitigation Program Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EA-0246) and individual site-specific mitigation management plans.

Section 5. Planned activities

Phase PlanningStart 1993 End 1996Subcontractor
Phase ImplementationStart 2001 End 2001Subcontractor
Obtain: Operation and maintenance funding for all projects. Also submit new mitigation project proposals.
Phase ImplementationStart 2000 End 2000Subcontractor
Complete: all implementation aspects of WDFW's portion of the Washington Wildlife Mitigation Program and obtain: operation and maintenance funding for projects completed during FY97-99.
Phase ImplementationStart 1999 End 1999Subcontractor
Continue FY98 project implementation, begin: Desert, complete: Scotch Creek, Desert and Sage Grouse acquisitions, obtain: operation and maintenance funding for FY97 and FY98 completed projects.
Phase ImplementationStart 1998 End 1998Subcontractor
Continue FY97 project implementation and begin acquisitions for Sage Grouse, Complete: Gloyd Seeps and obtain: operation and maintenance funding for FY97 completed projects.
Phase ImplementationStart 1997 End 1997Subcontractor
Continue development of individual mitigation management plans and implementation on: Vancouver Lowlands, Swanson Lakes, Scotch Creek and begin: Pygmy Rabbit Coordinated Resource Management Plan, Wenas, Sunnyside I-82, Gloyd Seeps, and shrub-steppe acquisitions and complete: Peregrine Reintroduction project, Douglas County Pygmy Rabbit and CRMP.
Phase O&MStart 1998 End Subcontractor
FY 98 - Swanson Lakes $200,000 FY 99 - Swanson Lakes $200,000, Scotch Creek $221,000 FY 00 - Swanson Lakes $210,000, Scotch Creek $221,000, Sunnyside $250,000 FY 01 - All projects $2,300,000
Project completion date   2003

Constraints or factors that may cause schedule or budget changes
NEPA analysis for the Vancouver Lowlands Project and the ability to find willing sellers for the acquisition elements of the projects.

Section 6. Outcomes, monitoring and evaluation

SUMMARY OF EXPECTED OUTCOMES

Expected performance of target population or quality change in land area affected
BPA will receive credit for a minimum of 32,940 Habitat Units when full implementation is achieved. This assumes adequate funding for operation, maintenance, monitoring and project evaluation to sustain these Habitat Units.

Present utilization and convservation potential of target population or area
Recreational management components of WDFW's wildlife mitigation projects may vary for individual projects and will be limited only to those activities that do not conflict with the protection and/or benefit of target species and habitats. WDFW manages its wildlife areas and other department lands with primary emphases on maintaining habitat for wildlife and on maximizing wildlife-oriented recreation. Consistent with sound biological management (WDFW, 1992). WDFW policies and corresponding authorizing legislation are designed to ensure that wildlife remains a public resource available for the enjoyment of all citizens. Wildlife areas can be managed to variously provide quality and diversity of hunting and fishing opportunities or opportunities for wildlife interpretation, education and observation. The statewide network of wildlife areas currently provides more than 2 million recreation visitor days of use per year in these and other recreation activities.

Assumed historic status of utilization and conservation potential
In general, past and present uses of lands in central Washington (and elsewhere in the Northwest) for intensive agriculture, grazing, timber harvest, recreation, urbanized (residential, commercial, and industrial) development, and multipurpose dam construction have had significant effects on native vegetation and wildlife. These public and private actions have resulted in a negative long-term trend of loss and degradation of wildlife habitat, increased stress on wildlife populations, and displacement of wildlife species. Native vegetation and wildlife associated with wetland and riparian areas have experienced the greatest effect over time.

Long term expected utilization and conservation potential for target population or habitat
Current and future efforts of Federal and state agencies and tribal governments are intended to reverse the trend of native vegetation and wildlife habitat loss by taking advantage of various protection and improvement opportunities. The WDFW wildlife mitigation projects funded by BPA would help to counter the adverse cumulative effects of past, present, and future actions by protecting, increasing, and/or improving wildlife habitat in Clark county and the central Washington region.

Contribution toward long-term goal
This project completes BPA's fulfillment of the Washington Wildlife Mitigation Agreement. The project protect, mitigate, and improve wildlife and/or wildlife habitat within the State of Washington that has been affected by the construction of Federal dams along the Columbia River.

Indirect biological or environmental changes
The project is expected to have minimal or no adverse impact on resources other than the positive effects on vegetation, fish, and wildlife.

Physical products
Once completed, the project will have acquired approximately 15,485 acres and enhanced a total of 116,094 acres. Other physical products will reported semi-annually to BPA and have been identified in site-specific mitigation management plans.

Environmental attributes affected by the project
Access and recreation management on mitigation project lands may involve access regulation and the development and maintenance of recreational facilities, interpretive programs, and education programs. Access regulation is necessary when all or parts of a project area must be closed to public access on an hourly, daily, seasonal, annual, or long-term basis. Access is typically controlled by means of signs indicating permitted access times and conditions, road and entryway closures (via gates), and staff patrolling to enforce applicable access limits. (Also see response to Utilization question above.)

Changes assumed or expected for affected environmental attributes
The project is expected to have beneficial impacts on habitat, fish and wildife.

Measure of attribute changes
As a result of the Memorandum of Agreement between BPA and WDFW, BPA will receive 32,940 Habitat Units at a minimum.

Information products
(See response to Adaptive Management Implications)

MONITORING APPROACH
(See response to Adaptive Management Implications)

Provisions to monitor population status or habitat quality
Habitat Quality can be measured by use of HEP. See response to Uncertainties question, and response to Adaptive Management Implications.

Increasing public awareness of F&W activities
The WDFW has developed a list of stakeholders having interest in a particular wildlife area. WDFW also uses a Citizen's Advisory Group for development of every wildlife area management plan. Since many of the wildlife mitigation projects will occur on existing wildlife areas, stakeholders and Citizen's Advisory Groups were already in place and have been included in the mitigation management plan development process. These groups also receive copies of the final plan. Additionally, WDFW holds open houses to discuss the draft plans and encourages local media to attend.

Section 7. Relationships

Opportunities for cooperation
Wildlife managers in the Basin work cooperatively with each other i.e., participate on Habitat Evaluation Procedure surveys, jointly prepare findings, participate on advisory groups for development of project mitigation management plans, review/comment on project mitigation management plans, develop operation and maintenance standards, and monitoring and evaluation protocols for standardized project reporting. Equipment is shared when possible between ongoing WDFW mitigation projects. BPA has done an excellent job of searching for and obtaining used equipment for WDFW projects ranging from office equipment to heavy equipment. WDFW is currently exploring using other WDFW employees with the expertise and specialized equipment to preform many of the enhancement activities on mitigation projects, eliminating the need for equipment purchase and additional staffing. WDFW is also exploring using the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) as a way of minimizing staffing costs during the enhancement and operation and maintenance phases of each project. WCC is a training program which hires under-privileged youth normally from communities near the project areas.

Section 8. Costs and FTE

1997 Planned  $7,600,000
1996 Unobligated  $486,670

Future funding needs   Past obligations (incl. 1997 if done)
FY$ Need% Plan % Implement% O and M
19985,507,565  97% 3%
($200K O&M)
19993,330,100  94% 6%
($200K O&M)
20002,593,335  65% 35%
($681K O&M)
20015,000,200 4%50% 46%
20025,000,200 4%50% 46%
 
FYObligated
19933,138,330
1994307,408
Total3,445,738
Longer term costs   As specified in the Washington Wildlife Mitigation Agreement (Agreement) and subsequent Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between BPA and WDFW, BPA shall provide funds for the continued operation and maintenance that is determined to be necessary to maintain or provide wildlife and/or wildlife habitat benefits. For those projects implemented as a result of the Agreement and MOA, annual operation and maintenance is estimated at $2,300,200.


Estimated costs identified in FY 2001 and FY2002 for planning and implementation are for new wildlife mitigation projects.

FY97 overhead percent   19%

How does percentage apply to direct costs
WDFW's overhead rate applies to total direct project costs. Overhead is not applied to equipment purchases or land acquisition.

Contractor FTE   Sunnyside, 3.50; Scotch Creek, 4.75; Swanson Lakes, 2.75; Wenas, 3.00; Ag. Specialist, .25; Monitor/Eval, .17; Proj. Admin., 3.00; Vanc. Lowlands, 2.00; Pygmy,Sage Grouse,Col.Basin, 1.50;
WCC/Temps*, 10.00
Est. Total FTE/YR: 30.92
*Swanson Lakes and Scotch Creek are the only projects with final management plans. The FTE's identified for the other projects are estimates. The WDFW is exploring options (staffing and equipment) to accomplish the restoration, enhancement, operation and maintenance activities. WDFW is currently considering hiring 2 WCC crews full time to provide assistance during the enhancement phase of the program.