FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

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

Proposal 200200800: Reconnect Kootenai River with the historic floodplain

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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 Jason Scott

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 200200800
Proposal Name: Reconnect Kootenai River with the historic floodplain
BPA Project Manager: Virgil Watts III
Agency, Institution or Organization: Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Short Description: Investigate and implement actions to reconnect the Kootenai River with its historic floodplain. Project objectives are based on ecosystem restoration principles consistent with the subbasin plan, Biological opinion, and White Sturgeon recovery plan.
Information Transfer: Reports, design plans, technical documents, environmental permits, presentations
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Jason Scott GeoEngineers, Inc. 523 East Second Avenue
Spokane WA 99202
Ph: 509.363.3125
Fax: 509.363.3126
Email: jscott@geoengineers.com
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Kym Cooper Kootenai Tribe of Idaho County Rd. 38A P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry ID 83805
Ph: 208.267.3519
Fax: 208.267.2960
Email: kym@kootenai.org
Supervisor
Jason Scott GeoEngineers, Inc. 523 East Second Avenue
Spokane WA 99202
Ph: 509.363.3125
Fax: 509.363.3126
Email: jscott@geoengineers.com
Form Submitter
Scott Soults Kootenai Tribe of Idaho County Rd. 38A P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry ID 83805
Ph: 208.267.3620
Fax: 208.267.1131
Email: soults@kootenai.org
Contract Manager

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Mountain Columbia ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Kootenai ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
048 48' 37.88" N 116 23' 29.86" W Kootenai River/Ball Creek TNC's Ball Creek Ranch. Approximately located between Kootenai RM 135.5 and 141 Boundary, Idaho Kootenai Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Burbot
Kokanee
White Sturgeon Kootenai River DPS
All Wildlife
waterfowl shorebirds grizzly bear caribou rainbow trout westlope cutthroat bull trout invertebrates

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 SOW for this FY complete in April, Complete feasibility analysis, Evaluate 4 project alternatives via modeling using River 2D and HEC-RAS, collected and analyze floodplain productivity and trophic data comparable with other projects in the subbasin.
2004 Locate TNC's Ball Creek Ranch site for reconnection, coordinate with property owners, Complete LiDAR and aerial survey analysis of site, Complete nutrient and trophic data collection/analysis for lentic floodplain habitats
2003 Kootenai River hydraulic data analysis, Thorman Property/Smith Creek reconnection feasibility analysis, Reconnection alternative analysis (Thorman site), Kootenai River Floodplain productivity analysis

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
BPA 198806400 Kootenai R White Sturgeon See narrative section
BPA 198806500 Kootenai R White Sturgeon Inve See narrative section
BPA 199404900 Kootenai River Resident Fish A See Narrative section
BPA 199608702 Focus Watershed Coordination I See narrative section
BPA 200200200 Enhance White Sturgeon Habitat see narrative section
BPA 200201100 L. Kootenai Floodplain Assess. see narrative section

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Improve habitat connectivity Connect floodplain habitats with mainstem habitats and provide a migration corridor linking the Selkirk econsystem with the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem Kootenai •T8 (SBP page 37) •WB2 (SBP page 75) •RP1 (SBP page 77) •RP3 (SBP page 79) 37,75,77,79
Increase habitat diversity to reference levels Floodplain habitat is diverse and this project is intended to maximize habitat areas that support different species and guilds. Kootenai •M5 (SBP page 27) •T6 (SBP page 35) •WB2 (SBP page 75) •RP1 (SBP page 77) •RP4 (SBP page 80) 27,35,75,77,80
Project reporting and administration Efforts associated with this objective are supporting the other 10 objectives. Actions might consist of scheduling, project management, and project reporting. Kootenai NA NA
Protect and revegetate riparian areas restore riparian habitats associated with Ball Creek and the Kootenai River Kootenai •RP1 (SBP page 77) •RP4 (SBP page 80) 77,80
Rehabilitate native community composition The project focus' on native species and associated communities. Habitats exhibiting natural form and function support native species and assemblages Kootenai •KOK2 (SBP page 58) •BUR2 (SBP page 67) 58,67
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen Provide habitat area supported by physical and biological function. Increased and enhanced habitat area combined with increased productivitiy is assumed to result in increased natural recruitment of native species Kootenai •M5 (SBP page 27) •WB2 (SBP page 75) •RP1 (SBP page 77) •T1 (SBP page 29) •T5 (SBP page 33) •T6b (SBP page 35) 27,75,77,29,33,35
Restore natural recruitment Provide habitat area supported by physical and biological function. Increased and enhanced habitat area combined with increased productivitiy is assumed to result in increased natural recruitment of native species Kootenai •WST2 (SBP page 62) •BUR3a (SBP page 68) •KOK3 (SBP page 58) 62,68,58
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv Restore historic floodplain conditions and reconnect the mainstem and tributary systems to allow systemwide benefits associated with increased productivity and habitat connectivity Kootenai BT5 (SBP Page 47) •KOK1 (SBP Page 56) •WST1 (SBP Page 60) •BUR1 (SBP Page 65) •WB1 (SBP Page 73) •RP2 (SBP Page 78) 47,56,60,65,73,78
Restore riparian habitat to reference condition Restore riparian conditions associated with Ball Creek Kootenai •T2 (SBP page 30) •RP1 (SBP page 77) 30,77
Restore tributary hydrographs Increased water storage in floodplain habitats will be available at low flow times of the year and come at relatively low temperatures, thereby increasing flow volume Kootenai •T7a (SBP page 36) 36
Restore/maintain population size required for popu Increased populations combined with increased habitat connectivity support local populations and metapopulation dynamics which enable populations to persist Kootenai •RBT2 (SBP page 49) •WCT2 (SBP page 53) •KOK3 (SBP page 58) •BUR4 (SBP page 70) 49,53,58,70

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 Complete environmental compliance documentation 19a Complete NEPA, USACOE 404 permit, ESA Section 7 documentation, Cultural documentation along with local and state permit requirements for project construction. Note: some or all of the environmental compliance documentation might be completed by BPA and/or a designated contractor. 19b Report post construction environmental compliance to appropriate regulatory agency 6/1/2007 12/31/2008 $15,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Produce environmental compliance documentation to get regulatory approval for construction 9a Complete NEPA, USACOE 404 permit, ESA Section 7 documentation, Cultural documentation along with local and state permit requirements for project construction. Note: some or all of the environmental compliance documentation might be completed by BPA and/or a designated contractor. 9b Report post construction environmental compliance to appropriate regulatory agency-Might be completed by BPA 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $15,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
No Metrics for this Work Element

Create, Restore, and/or Enhance Wetland Create connected floodplain wetland cells 17a Create wetlands throughout the floodplain area and utilize existing wetland habitats. Link these habitats so flooding creates a relatively large area of lentic-littoral conditions and subsequent nutrient and associated biological production are entrained to Ball Creek and the Kootenai River as water levels recede (diversion structures may need to be managed to achieve desired condition). 1/1/2008 12/31/2008 $55,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen
* # of acres treated: 50

Enhance Floodplain Construct approximately 50 acres of floodplain wetlands and slough habitat 3a Perform construction staking of floodplain wetlands, sloughs, and diversion points per project plans 3b Mobilize construction crews and equipment 3c Proceed with project construction per design plans and permit requirements. 3/1/2008 11/15/2008 $148,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
* # of acres treated: 50

Enhance Nutrients Instream Hydraulically connect lentic and lotic habitats in the Ball Creek Ranch floodplain Enhance nutrients in Ball Creek by connecting lentic and lotic habitats existing in the floodplain 1/1/2008 12/31/2008 $25,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
No Metrics for this Work Element

Increase Instream Habitat Complexity Construct Ball Creek channel with appropriate alignment to facilitate natural form and function 15a Perform construction staking for stream alignment, and structure placement. 15b Establish station benchmarks throughout project alignment. 15b Mobilize construction crews and equipment 15c Proceed with project construction of re-aligning Ball Creek through the floodplain and linking fluvial habitats with wetlands and other lentic floodplain habitats. 1/1/2009 12/31/2009 $172,500
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen
* # of stream miles treated: 1.3-1.7

Plant Vegetation Revegetate the project site with native vegetation 16a Re-vegetate the project area per project design plans and specifications 6/15/2007 12/31/2009 $50,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen
* # of riparian miles treated: 1.3-1.7

Realign, Connect, and/or Create Channel Re-align Ball Creek to increase stream length from approximately 2400 feet to approximately 9000 feet 18a Perform construction staking for stream alignment, and structure placement. 18b Establish station benchmarks throughout project alignment. 18b Mobilize construction crews and equipment 18c Proceed with project construction of re-aligning Ball Creek through the floodplain and linking fluvial habitats with wetlands and other lentic floodplain habitats. 1/1/2009 12/31/2009 $172,500
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen
* # of stream miles before treatment: 1.3-1.7

Install Fish Passage Structure Connect floodplain with the Kootenai River mainstem 14a Perform construction staking for reconnection sites 14b Mobilize construction crews and equipment 14c Proceed with project construction of reconnection/passage structure per design plans and permit requirements. 6/15/2008 8/15/2008 $40,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen
* Does the structure remove or replace a fish passage barrier?: yes
* Was barrier Full or Partial?: full

Identify and Select Projects continue pursueing other opportunities to expand floodplain reconnection throughout the lower Kootenai River floodplain 8a. Locate floodplain reconnection site(s) along river frontage of the Ball Creek Ranch (approximately four miles) with the Kootenai River. 8b Locate floodplain wetlands and sloughs that can be rehabilitated or created using Kootenai River floodwater. 8c Contact and work with floodplain landowners to discuss floodplain reconnection and secure authorization to implement mutually beneficial reconnection projects on their property. 8d Regularly attend and participate with the KVRI and KVWRS to discuss and implement restoration alternatives and to ensure strategies are being implemented in a focused manner outlined in the Kootenai River Subbasin Plan and the Kootenai River Valley Wetlands and Riparian Conservation Strategy (KTOI 2005). 8e Identify abandoned and or impaired stream channels in the Kootenai River floodplain using LiDAR data, aerial photography, and site-surveys. 8f Design and construct creative solutions for increasing habitat diversity by creating and reconnecting side-channels, sloughs, and other backwater habitats to restore historic habitat types and floodplain ecosystem functions. 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $30,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
No Metrics for this Work Element

Manage and Administer Projects Manage project implementation 21a Project oversight and coordination with BPA, NWPCC, CBFWA and other regional groups 21b Oversee daily project activities, scheduling, etc. 21c Manage and monitor project budgets to maximize per cost benefits 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $75,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Project reporting and administration
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Design and/or Specifications Produce design and spec. report for Ball Creek site floodplain restoration 1a Locate wetland sites to be created within the Ball Creek Ranch project site. 1b Establish a wetland hydrology plan that uses floodwater from Ball Creek and the Kootenai River. 1c Design appropriate linkages and connection points to Ball Creek and the Kootenai River mainstem. 1d Design slough and side-channel habitats within the floodplain that creates low-velocity, off-channel conditions. 1e Complete construction sequencing plans and diagrams. 1f Create project specific BMP list. 1g Complete construction safety plan 1/1/2007 12/31/2007 $35,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Design and/or Specifications Produce design and specs for re-alignment of Ball Creek channel 13a Establish a new alignment for Ball Creek through the Ball Creek Ranch 13b Complete channel design so features such as cross-sections, sinuosity and slope, throughout the proposed alignment, are appropriate for transmitting watershed energy. 13c Study the hydrology and hydraulics of Ball Creek by collecting available data from the abandoned USGS gauge and creating a new monitoring site. The deliverable will be an estimate of bankfull discharge, base flow, 100 year flood event and a stage versus discharge relationship for model incorporation. 13d Complete project design for stream structures that provide secure habitat, stabilize stream-banks, sort gravels, and attenuate flood flow energy. 13e Locate and design stream diversion points that divert portions of high flows for wetlands filling. 13f Design a riparian restoration plan for the appropriate channel alignment that fits into other floodplain habitats as well including plant species, sizes, proposed location, planting density, survival criteria, and monitoring plan. 2g Design a connection point between Ball Creek Ranch floodplain habitats and the Kootenai River mainstem that allow bi-directional flow and fish passage. 13h Complete construction sequencing plans and diagrams. 13i Create project specific BMP list. 13j Complete construction safety plan 1/1/2007 6/15/2008 $75,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore habitat conditions required for recruitmen
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce/Submit Scientific Findings Report Annual reports, Pisces reports, and scientific findings report 22a Report project progress, restoration completed, as built reports, data analysis, and scientific findings in the form of annual project reports. 24a Prepare and submit manuscripts for peer review and subsequent publishing in primary literature journals. 23a Report quarterly progress relative to established work elements to track project progress 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $80,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Project reporting and administration
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Analyze and compare project results with other findings and statistically evaluate findings 7a Statistically analyze nutrient and productivity data collected in floodplain habitats and compare/contrast results of research ongoing in mainstem locations 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $10,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Monitor and evaluate the presence of focus species on the Ball Creek Ranch restoration site Restoration of natural recruitment will be the result of individual species and populations utilizing habitats created and benefiting from increased productivity. Creating these habitats and functions are work elements associated with other measurable objectives. However, achieving increased recruitment into fish and wildlife populations will be the ultimate factor by which project success is measured 1/1/2008 12/31/2009 $30,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore natural recruitment
Focal Area: Ball Creek Ranch site

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Collect and analyze floodplain productivity data throughout the Lower Kootenai River floodplain 5a. Sample nutrient concentrations (4 forms of nitrogen and 3 forms of phosphorous) in existing aquatic habitats on a weekly basis to help evaluate site-specific nutrient cycles 5b Assess nutrient assimilation by sampling chlorophyll a concentrations that accumulate weekly. Suspend a series of five polyethylene tiles, evenly spaced from the surface to one meter depth in the water column. Once per week the top side of each tile is scraped into a stainless steel beaker and washed with distilled water. Next, the contents of the beaker are transferred to a one liter bottle. The remainder of the bottle is filled with distilled water and placed in a cooler so it is not exposed to light. Samples are delivered to the lab and analyzed the same day to determine the concentration of chlorophyll a that has accumulated over a one week period. By scraping the tiles we assume the chlorophyll a source to be a form of algae and further assume that to represent primary productivity of the sample site for a one week period of time. 5c. Sample the zooplankton population at each site once per week. Vertical tows are conducted using a Wisconsin type sampling net with a minimum of 60 micron net openings. Zooplankton samples are assumed to represent the population of primary consumers. 5d. Sample macro invertebrates at each site once per week. The method used for sampling will vary based on the type of water body being sampled. For example, our sample gear might include a Hess Sampler in Ball Creek and a Ponar dredge in lentic wetlands. Sample composition will be evaluated for species composition and density. It is well documented that invertebrate populations are good indicators of habitat. We assume that invertebrate samples represent the secondary consumer community and shed light on habitat conditions created. 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $135,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
Focal Area: Ball Creek Ranch site
Focal Area: 2400 acre Ball Creek Ranch site

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Design and implement productivity experiments, using terrocosms in created wetlands 4a. Design an experiment, using a series of terrocosms to estimate primary and secondary production out of various landscapes flooded to various depths for various periods. Since the experiment will require replication, specific design will be finalized after the final design and construction plans are completed. Generally, a series of terracosms that are approximately 5m x 5m should be constructed and flooded to various depths and times, i.e. some for 1 week, some for 2 weeks, some for 3 weeks, some for 4 weeks to capture the seasonal inundation pattern that used to exist on the Kootenai flood plain. 4b. To estimate secondary production design and construct a large emergent insect trap on top of the entire 5 m x 5m terrocosm enclosure, with an alcohol bottle trap. Visit the site a minimum of once per week to collect data on species composition and weekly density estimates. 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $75,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
Focal Area: Restored lentic habitats

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Quantify groundwater conditions in the Ball Creek Ranch floodplain and monitor changes after project implementation 20a Define hydrological parameters, project boundaries, and recharge areas for shallow groundwater. 20e Monitor and evaluate the formation of monitoring wells using pumping and surging, water quality and related characteristics. 20f Charaterize moisture, grain-size, porosity of stream channel and floodplain soils through laboratory analysis. 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $45,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore tributary hydrographs
Focal Area: Ball Creek Ranch floodplain area

Create/Manage/Maintain Database Integrate data into master database managed at U of I 12a Integrate project data with Kootenai River Database managed at the University of Idaho 1/1/2009 12/31/2009 $5,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

Create/Manage/Maintain Database Integrate project data with database at U of I for other Kootenai River studies Integrate project data with Kootenai River Database managed at the University of Idaho 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $7,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore primary, secondary, and tertiary productiv
No Metrics for this Work Element

Develop RM&E Methods and Designs Develop methods and study plans to quantify species use of created floodplain habitats 11a Develop methods and design studies to monitor populations of focus species identified in the Kootenai Subbasin Plan. 11b Develop methods and design studies to monitor instream, slough, wetland, and terrestrial habitats 11c Establish performance standards for species use of habitats created. 1/1/2007 5/1/2009 $10,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel [blank] $48,300 $ 0 $ 0
Other design and buiding contractor $193,200 $ 0 $ 0
Other Design and build contractors $ 0 $460,800 $ 0
Personnel [blank] $ 0 $51,200 $ 0
Personnel [blank] $ 0 $ 0 $53,500
Other design build contractors $ 0 $ 0 $498,000
Totals $241,500 $512,000 $551,500

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$1,305,000
Total Work Element budget$1,305,000

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

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$550,000 $550,000 2010 will basically design and determine feasibility of the next restoration site and implementation will occur in 2011
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
minimal
 
Termination Date Comments
NA Restoring 50,000 acres of impacted floodplain will be ongoing for many years to come.
 
Final Deliverables
Restored floodplain habitats that function synergistically with biological communities

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
Location:
Province: No Change
Subbasin: No Change
Primary Focal Species
No Change
ARG Comments:


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

FY 2007 NPCC Rec
$241,000
FY 2008 NPCC Rec
$460,800
FY 2009 NPCC Rec
$496,350
Total NPCC Rec
$1,198,150
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
NPCC Comments: ISRP Fundable in part. Fund completion of planning and design per ISRP comments. Out year funds dependent on favorable review by ISRP and Council.


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

FY 2007 NPCC Rec
$241,000
FY 2008 NPCC Rec
$460,800
FY 2009 NPCC Rec
$496,350
Total NPCC Rec
$1,198,150
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 in part. Fund completion of planning and design of step submittal.


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

Recommendation: Fundable in part
Comments: This is a project to restore ecosystem function to a floodplain reach of a stream tributary to the Kootenai River. The natural floodplain has been obliterated by straight-line ditching of the stream, diking of the Kootenai River, and conversion of floodplain vegetation to agricultural land. There is an initial goal of designing improvements to the stream channel, riparian zone, and floodplain to increase productivity for fish and wildlife. Past ISRP comments were that this is a high priority effort, in principle at least, but there were lots of weaknesses and evidence of areas of concern. Progress to date includes a conclusion that what they propose is feasible, but they have not made a convincing case that the cost-effectiveness component of their hypothesis is feasible or reasonable. The arrangements for one creek fell through, and they won't be using the same location for proposed work. But the planning experience will be used at another site. Use of the new site is assumed for the proposal, although much arranging still needs to be done.

The ISRP finds the proposal Fundable in Part consistent with the sponsor’s response for a phased approach to complete the design phase, conduct thorough cost-benefit analyses, ISRP review of the design, and implementation contingent on a sound and cost-effective design.

The sponsors plan to use published EPA guidelines for ecosystem restoration, including the recommended cost-benefit approach. They clarified that the water they would need is available, just that it is now ditched and drained (they would make "landscape adjustments" and a new stream channel to hold back the creek water). The land drainage has higher phosphorus content than the mainstem river; thus, productivity of the restored floodplain should be greater. The response outlined the various staff and their roles quite convincingly. The budget allocation is still slim, but logically depends on how they do their planning and how the plan develops (the response provided an example). The ISRP question about compromising the stream channel was clarified by noting that the original stream channel has not existed since before 1928 and a wholly new one will be developed. This active restoration plus active planting of key vegetation would be followed by much passive restoration as "fill-in." The response makes a logical argument that wholly passive restoration wouldn't work in this system that has been so radically altered for agriculture. The response outlined M&E tasks that are both good and demonstrate collaboration with projects 200201100 and 199404900, including a joint database. The sponsors plan close cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and others for local community “buy-in.”


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

Recommendation: Fundable in part
Comments: Past ISRP comments were that this is a high priority effort, in principle at least, but there were lots of weaknesses and evidence of areas of concern in the earlier proposal. All that seems to hold true now and the red flags are still waving.

The proposal provides a fair write-up of the general aspects of the current feasibility study, but it raises more questions than it answers. The hypothesis guiding this effort is a belief that they can take what is available in the target reach and increase its productivity for fish and wildlife (in a cost effective manner and with the limitations imposed by no new water, adjacent private land ownership, and existing/past management). Progress to date includes a conclusion that what they propose is feasible, but they have not made a convincing case that the cost-effectiveness component of their hypothesis is feasible or reasonable. The arrangements for one creek fell through, and they won't be using the same location for proposed work. But the planning experience will be used at another site. Use of the new site is assumed for the proposal, although much arranging still needs to be done.

This is not fully supportable at this point. The narrative is incomplete and contains many redundancies. There is only sketchy budget itemization and individual personnel responsibilities are unclear. Credentials of the sponsors are impressive, but several fluvial geomorphologists should review a completed proposal before it is approved.

Sponsors assume that the preferred alternative will be constructed, but it is clear that this would be a compromise on channel length, with restoration of the original not being feasible. Are there any suitable alternatives?

Sponsors should provide an assessment of ecosystem "productivity" that presently exists and provide estimates of the benefits expected from their proposal along with the projected cost. Sponsors cite references that passive restoration may take decades or centuries once a change is in place, but an explanation of basis for their conclusion that it can be accomplished in less time should be included.

A complete proposal will show clear evidence of real community buy-in. The Nature Conservancy is always deeply involved with anything on its property but they are hardly mentioned here. Is there any cost-share with the Nature Conservancy or others? An M&E section needs to be developed and included in the proposal.

This project may have some potential for producing desired benefits, but a cautious approach is needed. The proposal is really not much farther along toward implementation than was the previous one. The implementation objectives are not justified at this time. There is no water to restore the historical floodplain, suggesting they should focus on areas where they can get water.

The project is fundable to complete the design.

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