FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding (Revised Summer 2006)

Proposal 199401805: Continued Implementation of Prioritized Asotin Creek Watershed Habitat Projects

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Table of Contents
Part 1. Administration and Budgeting
Section 1: General Administrative
Section 2: Project Location
Section 3: Project Species
Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Section 5: Relationship to Other Projects
Section 6: Biological Objectives
Section 7: Work Elements
Section 8: Budget
Section 9: Project Future
Section 10: Documents
Part 2. Reviews
Part 1 of 2. Administration and Budgeting
Section 1: General Administrative Information
Process Information:
Date Proposal Submitted & Finalized Status Form Generator
Finalized Brad Johnson

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 199401805
Proposal Name: Continued Implementation of Prioritized Asotin Creek Watershed Habitat Projects
BPA Project Manager: Sarah Branum
Agency, Institution or Organization: Asotin County Conservation District (ACCD)
Short Description: On-going project for prioritizing & implementing on-the-ground habitat projects for wild steelhead & Chinook salmon in Asotin watershed. Bull trout also benefit from this ridge-top-to-ridge-top approach with match from private landowners & other grants.
Information Transfer: Prioritized habitat protection and restoration projects will be entered into EKO Project Database for information transfer and reporting purposes. Project locations will be recorded on maps with previous and on-going projects. Local techincal agencies who gather spawning and rearing data for steelhead, Chinook and bull trout will be able to report based on previous, on-going and future habitat projects within the Asotin Subbasin. Information transfer has resulted in priortized projects being completed within upland, riparian and instream areas throughout the subbasin and supported with recent EDT priority analysis during Subbasin Planning. Project reports will be housed on BPA webpages and also on the ACCD website.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Brad Johnson Asotin County Conservation District 720 Sixth St., Suite B
Clarkston WA 99403
Ph: 509.758.8012
Fax: 509.758.7533
Email: bradaccd@cableone.net
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Sarah Branum
Ph:
Fax:
Email: stbranum@bpa.gov
BPA Project Manager
Brad Johnson Asotin County Conservation District 720 Sixth St., Suite B
Clarkston WA 99403
Ph: 509.758.8012
Fax: 509.758.7533
Email: bradaccd@cableone.net
Contract Manager

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Blue Mountain ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Asotin ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
Stream Upper Asotin Asotin, Washington Asotin Yes
Stream Chalery Creek Asotin, Washington Asotin Yes
Stream Lower George Creek Asotin, Washington Asotin Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Chinook Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Steelhead Snake River ESU
Bull Trout
Chinook Snake River Fall ESU
Interior Redband Trout

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 CREP 4,344 ft of streambank, 5,115 ft of natural channel design, Continue prioritized riparian, upland and instream projects identified in Subbasin Plan. EKO data management of habitat & monitoring projects. Fall Chinook redds in lower Asotin
2004 CREP 26,006 ft of streambank, 3,957 ft fence, continued riparian, upland and mapping projects. Envirothon competition. ISCO and HOBO monitoring, WDFW habitat and juvenile density surveys, and Asotin Subbasin Plan completed.
2003 CREP 23,900 ft of streambank, 9,700 ft riparian fencing, 15,950 riparian plantings, 2,400 ac 6-Yr Direct Seed. Continued ISCO and HOBO monitoring and WDFW habitat and juvenile density surveys. Continue Salmon in the Classroom program for local schools.
2002 CREP 26,305 ft of streambank, continued riparian, upland and map proj. Macro sampling shows healthy invertebrate community. Salmonid Habitat Limiting Factors completed - supports Model Watershed Plan and on-going and future habitat restoration project.
2001 19,200 riparian plantings, 3,110 ft riparian fencing, 2,400 ac in 5-Yr Direct Seed. 2nd year of Macro-Invertebrate Sampling and GIS Mapping Proj continued ISCO and HOBO monitoring. Riparian and Upland Project implementation based off priorities from Plan
2000 60,000 riparian plantings associated with projects. WSU Water Quality Report shows Asotin Cr. is making a measureable recovery since the 1993 Study. Holistic Resource Mgmt workshops for citizens, landowners and agencies. 2,400 ac in 5-Yr Direct Seed.
1999 Spring and Fall tree planting w/mechanical equipment (36,000 trees). Monitor sediment, temperature and instream structures. Tours for locals, agencies and citizens, released first trout from Salmon in the Classroom. 5-Year Direct Seed Program begins.
1998 25,000 ft of fence, 50,000 trees and 283 pools installed over 3 years. Continued monitoring for sediment, temperature and pool utilization and effectiveness. Intensive tree planting efforts with mechanical means to plant native trees w/high success rate.
1997 Completed pre- & post-instream habitat monitoring. Initiated meander reconstruction project and monitoring. Salmon in the Classroom program in 4 schools. Initiated BPA funding for prioritized upland projects and continued riparian and instream proj.
1996 Continued ISCO and HOBO monitoring, intitiated in-stream habitat projects to address factors limiting salmonid production. Evaluated pre-habitat conditions and effectiveness and benefits of instream structures. Prioritized and funded riparian projects.
1995 Asotin Creek Model Watershed Plan completed. BPA Early Action Projects for riparian projects initiated. ISCO Sediment Samplers and HOBO Temperature meters deployed. Matching funds secured from WA St. Cons. Commission. Begin Plan Implementation.

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
PCSRF - WSRFB 01-1233 Asotin Creek Six-Year Direct Seed Upland sediment reduction project on prioritized acres.
BPA 200205000 Riparian Buffer Couse/Tenmile Habitat Protection Project that was a spin-off from the Asotin Model Watershed Program for all streams in County with ESA listed species.
BPA 200205300 Assess Salmonids Asotin Cr Ws Local RM&E for population status of salmonids in Asotin Creek (juveniles and adults).
Other: WCC CREP WA St. Portion of CREP Cost-Share Cost-Share and Maintenance funding for riparian fences, alternative water developments and tree planting within CREP buffers.
Other: DOE State Funds Metering Agreement Install flow meters on surface water diversions from County streams with ESA listed species.
Other: DOE State Funds Livestock Cost-Share Cost-Share program for dealing with feeding and calving areas where cattle are confined.
Other: DOE State Funds Riparian Restoration Cost-Share program for water quality improvements including riparian fence, alternative water developments and native vegetation plantings.
Other: DOE State Funds Water Quality Water Quality Monitoring and Riparian Protection Projects
Other: WDFW State Funds HB 2496 Lead Entity Program SRFB Habitat Subcommittee scoring and ranking group for projects in Snake River Region.

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Charley Creek: Reduce embeddedness to 10% Reduction in sediment (turbidity and percent fine) will increase survival of steelhead in all freshwater life stages Asotin UA1.1.1-Improve the extent structure and function of riparian buffers. UA1.1.2-Decrease sediment delivery from uplands. UA1.1.3-Restore perennial vegetation in upland cultivated and non-cultivated areas with native species. 145 & 132
Lower George: Exceed 50% Riparian Function Increase in riparian function will increase steelhead survival at freshwater life stages Asotin UA4.1.3-Improve the extent, structure, and function of riparian buffers through planting and managed grazing. UA4.1.6-I&E program on importance of riparian habitat. UA4.1.10-Seek additional funding sources. UA4.1.11-Seeking funding to develop programs 135 & 138
Lower George: Reduce embeddedness to 20% Reduction in sediment (turbidity and percent fine) will increase survival of steelhead in all freshwater life stages Asotin UA1.1.1-Improve the extent structure and function of riparian buffers. UA1.1.2-Decrease sediment delivery from uplands. UA1.1.3-Restore perennial vegetation in upland cultivated and non-cultivated areas with native species. 132 & 137
Lower George:Decrease summer daily maximum temps. Decrease in summer temperatures will increase steelhead freshwater life stages. Asotin UA5.1.1-Improve the extent, structure and function of riparian buffers. UA5.1.6-Protect riparian vegetation through BMP implementation. UA5.1.7-Restore perennial vegetation in uplands with native species. UA5.1.9-Improve upland water infiltration 136 & 139
Lower George:Initiate riparian recovery efforts Re-establish riparian function in George Creek and Tributaries Asotin UA4.1.9-Increase landowner participation in riparian programs. UA4.1.10-Seek additional funding sources. UA4.1.11-Seek new funding sources to develop new programs to protect riparian areas not eligible for federal and state programs. 135 & 138
Upper Asotin: Decrease summer maximum temperatures Decreases in summer temperatures will increase salmonid survival in all freshwater life stages Asotin UA5.1.1-Improve the extent, structure and function of riparian buffer. UA5.1.6-Protect riparian vegetation through BMP implementation. UA5.1.7-Restore perennial vegetation in uplands with native vegetation. UA5.1.9-Improve upland water infiltration. 136
Upper Asotin: Exceed 75% Riparian Function Increase in riparian function will increase salmonid survival at freshwater life stages Asotin UA4.1.3-Improve the extent, structure, and function of riparian buffers through planting and managed grazing. UA4.1.6-I&E program on importance of riparian habitat. UA4.1.10-Seek additional funding sources. UA4.1.11-Seeking funding to develop new programs 135
Upper Asotin:Reduce embeddedness to 10% Reduction in sediment (turbidity and percent fine) will increase survival of all salmonids in freshwater life stages Asotin UA1.1.1-Improve extent structure and function of riparian buffers. UA1.1.2-Decrease sediment deliver from uplands. UA1.1.3-Restore perennial vegetation in upland cultivated and non-cultivated areas with native species. 132

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Obtain environmental compliance for upland, riparian, and instream habitat enhancement projects NEPA Checklists for upland and riparian projects and HIP BO for any instream restoration projects. Work with local juristictions to get HPA and Shoreline Permits when appropriate. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $15,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Develop Alternative Water Source Install off-site watering facilities Cost-share program with landowners for better grazing distribution or eliminate water quality impacts by having water distribution in pasture or feeding areas. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $82,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Charley Creek: Reduce embeddedness to 10%
Lower George: Exceed 50% Riparian Function
Lower George: Reduce embeddedness to 20%
Lower George:Initiate riparian recovery efforts
Upper Asotin: Exceed 75% Riparian Function
Upper Asotin:Reduce embeddedness to 10%
No Metrics for this Work Element

Install Fence Fence installation Cost-share program with landowners for riparian exclusion fencing or cross fencing associated with exclusion fencing to eliminate water quality issues with better grazing practices. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $72,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Lower George: Exceed 50% Riparian Function
Lower George:Initiate riparian recovery efforts
Upper Asotin: Exceed 75% Riparian Function
* # of miles of fence: 3 miles per year of exclusion fencing

Plant Vegetation Plant native trees and shrubs in riparian areas Cost-share program with landowners for revegetation of riparian areas associated with riparian exclusion fencing projects for sediment and long-term temperature reduction. 11/1/2007 5/15/2009 $66,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Lower George: Exceed 50% Riparian Function
Lower George:Decrease summer daily maximum temps.
Lower George:Initiate riparian recovery efforts
Upper Asotin: Decrease summer maximum temperatures
Upper Asotin: Exceed 75% Riparian Function
* # of riparian miles treated: 3 miles per year

Practice No-till and Conservation Tillage Systems Provide cost-share for no-till and direct seeding Cost-share program with landowners for cropland erosion reduction by eliminating agressive tilling methods on private property. This practice is documented to reduce erosion by 95% (on average from 4 tons per acre per year to .4 tons). Seeking 30% funding from BPA with 70% of funds coming from landowners for the first five years with the sixth year being landowners responsibility. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $174,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Charley Creek: Reduce embeddedness to 10%
Lower George: Reduce embeddedness to 20%
Upper Asotin:Reduce embeddedness to 10%
* # of acres treated: 2,600 Acres of Direct Seed per year

Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage George Creek - Inspect Instream Structures and Floodplain Function with possible O&M 5,115 ft of Natural Channel completed in Fall of 2005, adaptive management to ensure floodplain connections and structures are functioning according to design. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $39,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Coordination Coordinate activities to involve the Landowners with the Model Watershed Program Develop cost-share agreement with landowners for habitat protection and restoration projects (direct seed, fencing, alternative water developments, riparian planting, etc). 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $36,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of general public reached: 25 - 30 landowner cost-share contracts per year

Identify and Select Projects Assess progress of Plan and use to identify and select proposed projects Continue working with co-managers to identify adaptive management during this project to ensure projects are identified in priority areas and completed with cost-share and ensuring consistency. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $49,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Manage and Administer Projects Manage and administer habitat protection and restoration projects Work with co-managers and local citizens to keep them informed of progress and resource issues important to help implement Plan. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $111,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Manage and Administer Projects Model Watershed Program Management Point of contact for the ACCD, office space, equipment and good and services for providing voluntary cost-share program to complete actions identified in the Plan. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $35,500
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Outreach and Education Coordinate activities to involve students and teachers in conservation efforts Continue education efforts with local schools, teachers, and students. Involve students in tree planting activities. Provide Salmon in the Classroom through fish rearing aquariums. Provied Envirothon Competion for high school students. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $12,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of general public reached: 3 - 4 newsletter per year
* # of students reached: Salmon In Classroom and Envirothon Completion
* # of teachers reached: Salmon In Classroom and Envirothon Completion

Outreach and Education Coordinate outreach to notify public of conservation activities Newsletter and tours for local landowners to familarize them with previous and on-going habitat restoration projects and newest technology to protect and restore priority habitat. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $12,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of general public reached: 3 - 4 newsletter per year
* # of general public reached: 250 people per mailing
* # of general public reached: 1 - 2 tours per year

Outreach and Education Landowner coordination on habitat enhancement projects for the Model Watershed program Continue working with landowners after we receive priorities from co-managers on complex habitat protection and restoration projects. Inform and educate landowners on resource needs and available funding for voluntary habitat projects to help implement the Asotin Subbasin Plan. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $12,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Annual Report Annual Report Yearly reports of accomplishments with BPA and matching funds with before, during and after project photos. 11/1/2007 9/30/2009 $12,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Status Report Quarterly Milestone Reports Utilize Pisces to complete quarterly accomplishments and milestone report for habitat projects completed within each quarter. 12/31/2007 9/30/2009 $3,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Collect turbidity, conductivity, and total suspended solids data at three locations Water Quality monitoring at 3 sites on Asotin Creek with three samples taken each day. Joint project with USFS doing the work and analyzing samples at their lab. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $19,500
Biological Objectives Metrics
Charley Creek: Reduce embeddedness to 10%
Lower George: Reduce embeddedness to 20%
Upper Asotin:Reduce embeddedness to 10%
Primary R, M, and E Type: 3 sites on Asotin Cr are sampled 3 times per day

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data George Creek watershed: Monitor water temperatures, steelhead habitat usage and juvenile abundance Determine habitat utlization by spawning steelhead in George Creek, get habitat and temperature information while doing spawning ground and juvenile density surveys. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $60,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Lower George:Decrease summer daily maximum temps.
Upper Asotin: Decrease summer maximum temperatures
Primary R, M, and E Type: Temperature, Adult, and Juvenile Densitites

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Project completion inspection with photo points for reporting and on-going project compliance monitoring Ensure that projects are completed according to design plans and report project costs of funding source and matching funds. Photo documentation for reporting and project success. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $15,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel 1 FTE including salary and benfits $70,000 $74,000 $74,000
Travel Mileage, Registration, Lodging and Subsistence $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Supplies Day-to-Day needs and Postage $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Other Equipment including cell phone, copier and computer maintenance $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Other Office Lease (25% of total lease) $4,500 $4,500 $4,500
Other WDFW Fish Habitat Monitoring $20,000 $20,000 $20,000
Other USFS ISCO Sediment Sampling $6,500 $6,500 $6,500
Other Meander Reconstruction O&M $24,000 $10,000 $5,000
Other I&E Projects (Newsletters, Envirothon and Salmon in the Classroom) $6,000 $6,000 $6,000
Other Direct Seed Projects $54,000 $60,000 $60,000
Other Riparian / Exclusion Fencing $22,000 $24,000 $26,000
Other Riparian Native Tree and Shrub Plantings $22,000 $22,000 $22,000
Other Alternative Water Developments $25,000 $27,000 $30,000
Other Project Data Management $12,000 $12,000 $12,000
Totals $275,000 $275,000 $275,000

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$825,000
Total Work Element budget$825,000

Cost sharing
Funding Source or Organization Item or Service Provided FY 2007 Est Value ($) FY 2008 Est Value ($) FY 2009 Est Value ($) Cash or in-kind? Status
DOE Cost-Share $44,000 $40,000 $ 0 Cash Confirmed
DOE Monitoring $50,000 $64,000 $ 0 Cash Confirmed
Landowners In-Kind $210,000 $215,000 $220,000 In-Kind Confirmed
Salmon Recovery Funding Board Cost-Share $24,000 $20,000 $ 0 Cash Confirmed
WCC CREP $58,000 $50,000 $ 0 Cash Confirmed
Totals $386,000 $389,000 $220,000

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$275,000 $275,000 Maintain on-going funding and match cost-share from other funding sources
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
We are only identifying potential O&M on George Creek Meander project, we are not requesting any O&M Costs for upland or riparian projects, it has and will continue to be responsiblity of private landowners after project completion.
 
Termination Date Comments
2030 The Asotin Creek Model Watershed Plan was printed in 1995 and this project has been implementing the goals and objectives identified by locals and agency representatives. Currently we are implementing the Asotin Subbasin Plan with similar limiting factors and biological objectives. We have found that previous projects were identifed and implemented in high priority areas, the new planning process has identifed Major Spawning Areas (MSA's) for steelhead and Chinook salmon with hypotheses, objectives and strategies. Locals were on-board with this planning process, but implementation will take time and adaptive management will continue to be used for protecting and restoring prioritized ESA habitat within the Asotin.
 
Final Deliverables
We envision achieving the objectives identified for aquatic habitat conditions in the Asotin Subbasin Plan for wild steelhead and Chinook salmon by implementing the measures outlined in this project. We hope to realize the vision identified in the Asotin Subbasin Plan for a healthy ecosystem with abundant, productive, and diverse populations of aquatic and terrestrial species that supports the social, cultural and economic well-being of the communities within the Subbasin and Pacific Northwest.

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date
Fix-it Loop Documents
Documents Originally Submitted with this Proposal

Part 2 of 2. Reviews of Proposal
Administrative Review Group (ARG) Results
Account Type:
Expense
No changes were made to this proposal


NPCC Final Funding Recommendations (October 23, 2006) [Full NPCC Council Recs]

FY 2007 NPCC Rec
$267,000
FY 2008 NPCC Rec
$267,000
FY 2009 NPCC Rec
$267,000
Total NPCC Rec
$801,000
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
NPCC Comments: ISRP fundable qualified: Programmatic Issue: habitat m&e. Sponsors should address ISRP concern next time they report to Bonnevilles (copy to Council)


NPCC Draft Funding Recommendations (September 15, 2006) [Full NPCC Council Recs]

FY 2007 NPCC Rec
$267,000
FY 2008 NPCC Rec
$267,000
FY 2009 NPCC Rec
$267,000
Total NPCC Rec
$801,000
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
NPCC Comments:
NPCC Staff Comments: ISRP fundable qualified: programmatic habitat m&e issue. Sponsors should address ISRP concern next time they report to Bonnevilles (copy to Council)

Local or MSRT Comments: See Washington guidance


Independent Scientific Review Panel Final Review (August 31, 2006) [Download full document]

Recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)
Comments: The ISRP recommends the project as fundable with the qualifications that geomorphological watershed analysis and monitoring and assessment results from previous projects be incorporated into the proposal. This qualification applies to both Asotin SWCD projects.

Our qualification to the fundable recommendation is to point to the self-acknowledged "snapshot" nature of the Subbasin Plan, and the lack of geomorphic process analysis that is a crucial part of understanding what should be done where and when to rehabilitate streams in Asotin County. The next review of the Subbasin Plan should include a review of the fluvial geomorphology, as context for proposed actions in the revised plan.

Our second qualification is that evaluation of monitoring and assessment of previous projects ought to be submitted prior to the second year of funding. The sponsors need to more fully describe how the efforts to manage and improve the uplands and riparian areas tie into the stream work. It is essential to rehabilitate riparian buffer zones to complement conservation measures in the agricultural areas and in an attempt to stabilize the over-widened creek.

The proposers' response indicates clearly that they are relying on the Asotin Subbasin Plan for identification of their proposed projects, as they should be. They mention changes in agricultural practices etc that are in response to the passage in the Subbasin Plan: “Historic and current land use practices have altered the hydrologic cycle of Asotin Creek. Farming, timber harvesting, and urbanization have changed the water cycle, reducing water infiltration and accelerating runoff. To a lesser extent, modifications of the riparian zone, including tree removal, road building, grazing, soil compaction, and flood control projects also altered Asotin Creek hydrology… Asotin Creek is now wider and shallower than it was historically. Changes in the hydrologic cycle are demonstrated by excessive runoff, altered peak flow regimes, lack of ground water recharge, reduction in soil moisture storage, and low late-season flow (Figure 2-3). Stream channel straightening, an increase in slope, and flow velocity have caused a loss of instream fish habitat, especially pools.”

However, the problem faced in this subbasin is one of recovery from severe degradation, as is clearly stated on p.12 of the Subbasin Plan: “Asotin Creek historically had a less severe gradient, a meandering flow pattern with point bars that formed pools and riffles, and well developed floodplain connections. The point bars provided habitat for an entire aquatic community of plants and animals. The stream channel had long, deep pools and a well-developed thalweg. Today, much of Asotin Creek and its tributaries have been straightened, diked, or relocated. The straight, wide and shallow channel continuously adjusts in order to compensate for alterations to channel shape and location, floodplain disconnections, and modifications to runoff patterns. Flood events in conjunction with these channel modifications have resulted in a braided channel lacking instream structure, pools, and woody riparian vegetation (NRCS 2001). The loss of well developed thalwegs with naturally functioning point bars is responsible for much of the loss of fish habitat.”

In this situation, rehabilitating existing riparian zones may be necessary while re-establishing the dynamic equilibrium of the channel. This will eventually require redefinition of the riparian zone and the existing work will need to be extended accordingly.

Unfortunately, the proposers' belief that riparian zone recovery will lead to channel recovery is unlikely to be borne out, although a dense riparian stand will act to filter sediment leaving the land, or being carried downstream in a flood occupying the floodplain - where it is still connected hydrologically.


Independent Scientific Review Panel Preliminary Review (June 2, 2006) [Download full document]

Recommendation: Response requested
Comments: This is a good proposal showing progress toward overall goals and is tied into the subbasin plan. A response needs to provide more detail on M&E, provide basic results on fish response to habitat improvements to date, and describe the need to introduce greater sinuosity back into the stream system as a vehicle for reconnecting with the flood plain.

The proposal describes a project designed to implement procedures without adequately describing the problems to be solved. The causative problems have probably been analyzed to greater extent than the proposal indicates, and the proposal should be revised to show this -- and to show where genuine watershed analysis is still needed. Adequate watershed analysis should precede application of techniques.

Technical and scientific background: This is an ongoing project for prioritizing and implementing on-the-ground habitat projects for wild steelhead and Chinook salmon in Asotin watershed. Bull trout also benefit from this ridge-top-to-ridge-top approach with match from private landowners and other grants.

Channel degradation, due in part to one hundred years of livestock impacts on riparian vegetation in combination with damaging flood events, has resulted in the current habitat problems in Asotin County. Wide, shallow channels, shortage of pools, and lack of healthy riparian plant communities, particularly the shortage of wood components all contribute to water quality and quantity problems. Most of these problems can be solved with long-term riparian buffer systems.

Buffers filter sediment and nutrients, stabilize streambanks, improve fish habitat and provide food sources, nesting cover and shelter for wildlife. Buffers provide shade, reducing summer water temperatures, and over time are expected to help narrow degraded stream channels. More details on buffers and their effects can be found at the Washington State Conservation Commission website: http://www.scc.wa.gov/ or at the NRCS website: http://www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov/.

The problem the proposal attempts to address is not really defined. The Technical and Scientific background is focused on the target fish populations (good information) and on some generalities about limiting factors in terms of instream habitat. However, no background information is provided which defines the problems in terms of their causes, which are human activities throughout the watershed(s), although the project's title bears the word, watershed. This sections' inattention to watershed processes could indicate flawed approach (or flawed problem analysis leading to project approach). It is also ironic because, elsewhere in the proposal, the watershed concept is alluded to, as is the idea of working with landowners. Indeed, the project personnel bear primary responsibility to a watershed-focused agency. Exactly what are the human or human-generated activities that have damaged the streams, and what will be the approaches for eliminating or reducing these causative processes? Logging, grazing, land tillage, road building/operation, and whatever other watershed-disrupting processes are not described. Watershed analysis should have shown where and to what extent such processes are problems.

Later, the proposal mentions that the project will follow subbasin plan strategies involving protecting riparian vegetation by livestock fencing and by promoting livestock BMP’s such as alternative grazing rotations and alternative watering facilities; restoring native vegetation in upland areas; improving upland water infiltration by direct seeding; and developing and implementing TMDL’s and other watershed scale assessments to remedy local factors negatively influencing temperature regimes. The justification for doing all this should be described in the technical and scientific background section, in other words, the causative, human-generated causes that exist -- the underlying problems -- as well as the instream limiting factors.

This proposal is directly related directly to Asotin Subbasin Plan. Relationships to other projects are described in detail.

Project history: The proposal is over-generalized, vague, and lacking in specifics on physical and biological results from the project's 11 years of existence. For example, a series of results statements is as follow: "Expected benefits of instream projects were met in the short-term with immediate pool habitat and expectation of long-term results such as increased smolt-to-adult survival and instream structures continuing to function as designed for increased complex pool habitat for all life stages of salmonids is also being realized. Riparian planting and fencing projects with alternative water developments for domestic stock have also seen measurable gains in riparian function, diversity and recovery." The statistical evidence for all this should appear in the project history section. It does not.

Objectives: The proposal provides a full set of objectives; however, restoration of sinuosity (+ width:depth ration, + stream:floodplain connectivity) is missing as a means to reduce embeddedness.

Tasks (work elements) and methods: There are a full set of elements to complement objectives. Methods are stated, usually in general terms and look appropriate in intent. The underpinning information to support their selection was not provided in the Technical and Scientific section. Sponsors need to provide more detail on this.

Monitoring and evaluation is inadequately described. For example, Objective 1 and subtask listing do not provide adequate detail for review. (Under Monitoring and Evaluation Phase), Planning, coordinating and implementing project assessments and monitoring:

Task a. Fund priority monitoring projects outside Asotin Creek.

Task b. Expand WDFW pre- and post-habitat assessments on half the instream structures outside Asotin Creek.

Task c. Continue WDFW steelhead spawner utilization and summer-time juvenile densities on Couse and Tenmile Creeks.

Task d. Complete and submit reports describing assessments and monitoring results.

Facilities, equipment, and personnel appear adequate. The ACCD works in concert with NRCS State Office and Field Staff. The local NRCS Field Office provides the District with in-kind services including technical assistance, office space, office equipment, field equipment, phone and fax lines. Having the partnership with the NRCS allows ACCD to focus 75% of funding for prioritize on the ground protection and restoration projects.

Information transfer is adequate and has resulted in prioritized projects being completed within upland, riparian and instream areas throughout the subbasin and supported with recent EDT priority analysis during Subbasin Planning.

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