FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 200207200: Protect & Restore Red River Watershed

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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
January 9, 2006 Finalized Stephanie Bransford

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 200207200
Proposal Name: Protect & Restore Red River Watershed
BPA Project Manager: David Kaplowe
Agency, Institution or Organization: Nez Perce Tribe
Short Description: Protect and restore the Red River Watershed for the benefit of both anadromous and resident fish using an overall watershed approach. This project is a cooperative effort between the Nez Perce Tribe and the Nez Perce National Forest.
Information Transfer: Any information gathered or produced by this project will be available for use by other agencies, etc. Infomation will be stored in Forest Service databases.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Stephanie Bransford Nez Perce Tribe P.O. Box 365
Lapwai, ID 83540
Ph: 208-842-2113
Fax: 209-842-2150
Email: sbransford@fs.fed.us
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Stephanie Bransford Nez Perce Tribe P.O. Box 365
Lapwai, ID 83540
Ph: 208-842-2113
Fax: 209-842-2150
Email: sbransford@fs.fed.us
Project Lead

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Mountain Snake ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Clearwater ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
45 50' 00"/45 37' 30" 115 30' 00"/115 10' 00" Red River Red River Watershed, a tributary to the South Fork Clearwater River. Idaho, Idaho Clearwater Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Chinook Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Pacific Lamprey
Steelhead Snake River ESU
Bull Trout
Interior Redband Trout
Mountain Whitefish
Pacific Lamprey
Rainbow Trout
Resident Fish
Westslope Cutthroat
Moose, elk, deer, Forest Service Sensitive Species

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Design and construct contract awarded for 1709 culvert replacement. Bridge Creek Campground improvements implemented. 12 miles of road obliteration contract awarded.
2004 NEPA completed for Upper Red River Project. Sensitive plant and archeaology surveys completed for project. Road improvement and obliteration engineering surveys completed for contract prep.
2003 NEPA initiated for the Upper Red River Watershed Restoration Project; Draft EA and BA out for review and consultation.
2002 Approximately 100 miles of roads surveyed, 264 out of 300 high priority stream crossings surveyed.

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
Other: State - ID Fish & Game [no entry] Red River Satellite Fish Hatchery Satellite Hatchery in Red River
Other: USFS [no entry] Red Pines Watershed restoration work within the Red River Watershed. NEPA completed for several years worth of watershed restoration work.
BPA 198335000 Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery O&M Utilizes hatchery supplementation to restore Snake River Basin Salmon Stocks.
BPA 199303501 Red River Restoration Red River mainstem restoration. Channel morphology reconstruction and intense riparian restoration on 4 mile reach in prime meadow/spawning habitat.
BPA 199607705 Restore Mccomas Meadows Cumulative effects for South Fork Clearwater River Subbasin
BPA 199608600 Clearwater Focus Program-IDSCC Coordinate all projects within the Clearwater River Subbasin
BPA 199608702 Focus Watershed Coordination I Coordinate efforts between NPT and other agencies (Forest Service, etc.)
BPA 199706000 Clearwater Focus Watershed Np Through this project the Clearwater River Subbasin Policy Advisory Group was formed, these committees also gave direction toward the development of the Clearwater River Subbasin Assessment.
BPA 200003500 Rehabilitate Newsome Creek - S Cumulative effects for South Fork Clearwater River Subbasin
BPA 200003600 Protect And Restore Mill Creek Cumulative effects for South Fork Clearwater River Subbasin
BPA 200206800 Evaluate Nez Pt Stream Habitat Project/program effectiveness monitoring for Watershed Program projects

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Anadromous Fish Species Problem 2 Objective B Increase anadromous fish productivity and production, and life stage specific survival through habitat improvement. Clearwater Strategies 1-5, & 7 18
Environmental, Problem 10, Objective BB Protect and restore an additional 300 miles of riparian habitats by 2017. Clearwater 1, 2, 4-5 42-43
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective CC Protect the existing quality, quanitity, and diversity of native plant communities providing habitat to native wildlife species by preventing the introduction, reproduction, and spread of noxious weeds. Clearwater 1-7 44
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective DD Reduce the extent and density of established noxious weeds. Clearwater 1-4 45
Environmental, Problem 16, Objective JJ Reduce the impact of the transportation system on wildlife and fish populations and habitats. Clearwater 1-4 50
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective O Complete adequate flow designations for all anadromous fish bearing waterways by 2010. Clearwater 4, 7 31
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective P Reduce number of artificially blocked streams by 2017. Clearwater 1-5 32
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective Q Reduce water temps to levels meeting applicable water quality standards for life stage specific needs of anadromous and native resident fish, with an established upward trend in the number of stream miles meeting standards by 2017. Clearwater 1-3, 5, 6 33
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S Reduce instream sedimentation to levels meeting applicable water quality standards and measures, with an established upward trend in the number of stream miles meeting such criterion by 2017. Clearwater 1, 3-5 35
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective U Improve aquatic habitat diversity and complexity to levels consistent with other objectives outlined in this document, with particular emphasis on recovery of anadromous and fluvial stocks. Clearwater 1-7 37
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective E Evaluate needs and opportunites to increase native resident populations of westslope cutthroat and bull trout throughout the subbasin by 2005. Clearwater 1-3 22
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective F Increase populations of westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout where they are extirpated or low by 2017. Clearwater 2-4 22-23

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
1a: Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Provide NEPA information to BPA NEPA compliance must be obtained before implementing projects. Project personnel will conduct NEPA sufficient to meet BPA and Forest Service Standards. BPA NEPA checklists must be completed for all projects. NEPA will also need to be conducted for new road decommissioning projects not covered under previous efforts. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $36,535
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

1b: Manage and Administer Projects Project management, coordination, and communication. Communications will include e-mail, telephone, compressed video conferences, and face-to-face meetings. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $111,539
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

1c: Coordination General Project Coordination Activities include meetings, phone calls, grant writing, creating MOUs/MOAs and other communication tasks with partners and cooperators. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $69,601
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

1d: Produce Design and/or Specifications Design Red River Culvert Replacements Culvert will be designed using natural stream simulation protocol and will be able to handle bankfull flows. 9/1/2007 8/31/2009 $53,615
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

1e: Produce Inventory or Assessment Survey known/suspected areas of exotic plant infestations Exotic plant infestations need to be surveyed for location and extent. Some general locations are known but comprehensive surveys need to be conducted watershed wide, mainly focusing on road corridors, landings, and recreation locations. 9/1/2007 8/31/2008 $26,419
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

1f: Produce Plan Develop a treatment plan for areas of weed infestation A comprehensive plan needs to be developed for treating areas of weed infestations in the Red River Watershed. The plan will include locations of infestations, species, size of infestation, potential of infestation to grow, and recommended treatments. 9/1/2007 8/31/2008 $37,588
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

1g: Remove vegetation Red River Weed Eradication Weed infestations within the Red River Watershed will be treated in accordance with the recommendations of the plan and within the scope of NEPA. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $40,194
Biological Objectives Metrics
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective CC
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective DD
* # of acres treated: 100

1h: Remove/Modify Dam Replace Culverts This work element will return fish passage to 8 miles of stream by removing and replacing existing culverts that are juvenile steelhead, spring Chinook, and resident fish migration barriers. The NPNF will offer and manage contract installations. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $370,194
Biological Objectives Metrics
Environmental, Problem 16, Objective JJ
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective O
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective P
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective E
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective F
* # of miles of habitat accessed: 8

1i: Improve/Relocate Road Improve 10 miles of road in the Red River Watershed. Improve 10 miles of road to reduce chronic sediment input into streams. These roads are identified as being needed for access and therefore cannot be decommissioned. Improvements may include the following; adding additional drainage structures, repairing failing drainage structures, limited re-grading and re-surfacing (with gravel on steeper sections of road), stabilizing and re-vegetating erosive cutslopes and fillslopes (may use bioengineering methods). 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $100,194
Biological Objectives Metrics
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective DD
Environmental, Problem 16, Objective JJ
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective O
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective P
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S
* # of road miles improved, upgraded, or restored: 10

1j: Decommission Road Red River Road Removal (45 miles) 45 miles of roads are being removed to reduce chronic sediment input into streams, these roads have been identified as not being needed for the transportation system. Roads will be fully recontoured, all stream crossings will be pulled and shaped to natural grade. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $312,694
Biological Objectives Metrics
Environmental, Problem 10, Objective BB
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective CC
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective DD
Environmental, Problem 16, Objective JJ
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective O
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective P
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S
* # of road miles decommissioned : 45

1k: Upland Erosion and Sedimentation Control Erosion control on Decommissioned Road Certified weed free straw will be placed on all stream crossings and wet seepy spots. Brush and trees removed from the road template will be used to cover up the road to reduce surface erosion as well as provide organic matter for soil enrichment. A game trail is usually left (since brush placement can be rather thick and hard for animals to walk through). 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $46,369
Biological Objectives Metrics
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective CC
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective DD
Environmental, Problem 16, Objective JJ
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S
* # of acres treated: 90

1l: Plant Vegetation Seed Decommissioned Road Decommissioned roads are seeded and fertilized upon completion of recontouring. Time of application is between June 1 and October 30. Typically annual rye is used and is applied at 30 pounds per acre. Fertilizer is also applied concurrently with a chemical composition of 25% Nitrogen, 10% Phosphorus, and 7% Sulpher. Fertilizer is applied at 200 pounds per acre. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $113,869
Biological Objectives Metrics
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective CC
Environmental, Problem 11, Objective DD
Environmental, Problem 16, Objective JJ
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S
* # of acres of planted: 90

1m: Increase Instream Habitat Complexity Red River Narrows Stream Restoration In-stream restoration may include the placement of boulders and/or root wads within the channel for flow diversion, working to stabilize stream banks and create pools for fish habitat, to actual relocation of altered stream channels to their historic flow location and regime/pattern. 9/1/2007 8/31/2009 $123,221
Biological Objectives Metrics
Anadromous Fish Species Problem 2 Objective B
Environmental, Problem 10, Objective BB
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective O
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective Q
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective U
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective E
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective F
* # of stream miles treated: 2

1n: Realign, Connect, and/or Create Channel Red River Narrows Stream Restoration Segments of this 2 mile reach will be relocated to their historic flow location and regime/pattern. 9/1/2007 8/31/2009 $123,221
Biological Objectives Metrics
Anadromous Fish Species Problem 2 Objective B
Environmental, Problem 10, Objective BB
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective O
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective Q
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective S
Environmental, Problem 7, Objective U
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective E
Resident Fish Species Problem 4 Objective F
* # of stream miles treated, including off-channels, after realignment: 2

1o: Conduct Pre-Acquisition Activities Red River Meadows Land Aquisition/Conservation Easements The Red River Watershed contains some of the best chinook salmon and steelhead spawning and rearing habitat. Most of this habitat is located in privately owned meadow systems. There is a high potential to either purchase these inholdings or pursue conservation easements with the landowners. 9/1/2007 8/31/2009 $32,419
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

1p: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Culvert Replacement Data Collection Data to be collected for the replaced culvert includes: redd counts, profile measurements, fish presence/absence and abundance (collected by snorkeling), in-culvert substrate, and gradient measurements. Monitoring stations will be set up at this site in order to record data for several seasons to monitor for effectiveness and proper construction. The purpose is to determine whether the new culvert is successful. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $22,102
Biological Objectives Metrics
Primary R, M, and E Type: Project Implementation / Compliance Monitoring

1q: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Removed roads data collection Monitoring stations will be set up by our Tribal road obliteration monitoring expert. Methodology has already been established for this type of monitoring, please see below milestone description for more specifics. The purpose is to determine the success of the road obliteration. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $22,552
Biological Objectives Metrics
Primary R, M, and E Type: Project Implementation / Compliance Monitoring

1r: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Stream Habitat Data Collection Data is needed to monitor and evaluate biological, chemical and physical habitat parameters that affect salmonid production the Red River watershed. Information will be collected on macro-invertebrates, periphyton, flow, temperature, sediment composition, and habitat parameters to include channel morphology, valley width index, Wolman Pebble counts, cobble embeddedness, large woody debris, bank stability, and riparian condition and density. The monitoring will occur between the start and end dates above, but the exact timing for the locations will be determined and adjusted during field season. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $28,447
Biological Objectives Metrics
Primary R, M, and E Type: Status and Trend Monitoring

1s: Analyze/Interpret Data Condition/Health of Red River. Densities and abundance of fish will be estimated using snorkeling data. Temperature, flow data, and physical habitat parameters such as macroinvertebrates, cobble embeddedness and stream morphological measurements will be summarized and used to document success for stream restoration activities. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $45,409
Biological Objectives Metrics
Primary R, M, and E Type: Status & Trend, Project Compliance Data Analysis

1t: Outreach and Education Upper South Fork Clearwater River Watershed Restoration Education Outreach The education and outreach component will focus on informing the public about the watershed restoration activities that are happening in the Upper South Fork Clearwater River Subbasin and how they can participate or support restoration efforts. This information will be relayed through several different formats, examples being informational brochures, public meetings, meetings with Framing Our Community, and educational workshops with the local schools. 9/1/2007 8/31/2010 $59,263
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of general public reached: 350


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel 2 FTE $67,600 $70,980 $74,529
Fringe Benefits 30% $58,240 $61,152 $64,210
Supplies Field, non-expendable property $9,398 $9,868 $10,361
Travel Vehicles, meetings, field per diem, etc. $13,532 $13,532 $13,532
Other Training / conferences $2,600 $2,600 $2,600
Overhead 29.64% $44,866 $46,870 $48,975
Other Herbicide/sprayer $6,000 $7,000 $7,000
Other Subcontracted Items $390,000 $421,000 $329,000
Totals $592,236 $633,002 $550,207

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$1,775,445
Total Work Element budget$1,775,445

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
Nez Perce National Forest Project design, contract prep & admin, monitoring $25,000 $15,000 $10,000 In-Kind Under Review
Nez Perce NF, PCSRF, Central Idaho RAC Portion of Contract Award Funding $150,000 $150,000 $150,000 Cash Under Development
Totals $175,000 $165,000 $160,000

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$557,796 $585,686 Additional Watershed Restoration covered under the Red Pines EIS and Red River Watershed Assessment.
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
 
Termination Date Comments
2030 Work in the Red River Watershed must be phased over several years in order to keep restoration impacts (short-term) at a minimum. The project leader has secured several years worth of work under one NEPA EIS, however to continue work in other subwatersheds of the Red River Watershed will require another NEPA effort(s), but most likely at a smaller scale. A complete watershed assessment has been completed for Red River and the project will be on-going until all recommendations have either been implemented or other direction is given.
 
Final Deliverables
The Red River Watershed will be an intact, healthy, functioning watershed that is able to sustain all species at historical or near-historical levels. The watershed will meet South Fork Clearwater River TMDL recommendations as well as Nez Perce National Forest Plan standards.

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date

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 Budget
$393,118
FY 2008 Budget
$393,118
FY 2009 Budget
$393,118
Total NPCC Rec
$1,179,354
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
Comments: Address ISRP concerns about streambank stabilization during contracting. 2007 Revised Budget: Weed program cut back to road decommissioning/improvement only, education component significantly reduced, road decomm/improvements significantly reduced or eliminated, culvert replacement postponed until 2008, # of culvert designs reduced.


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

FY 2007 Budget
$393,118
FY 2008 Budget
$393,118
FY 2009 Budget
$393,118
Total NPCC Rec
$1,179,354
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Comments:
NPCC Staff Comments: Address ISRP concerns about streambank stabilization during contracting.

Local or MSRT Comments: 2007 Revised Budget: Weed program cut back to road decommissioning/improvement only, education component significantly reduced, road decomm/improvements significantly reduced or eliminated, culvert replacement postponed until 2008, # of culvert designs re


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

Recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)
NPCC Comments: The funding qualifications are (1) that actions to stabilize stream banks are fundable only if the bank reinforcements are done by planting vegetation, installing simulations of naturally lodged wood debris, or bioengineering methods that will eventually allow natural rates of channel migration, i.e., funding for hard-engineered structures, such as ones built primarily of rock is not justified, and (2) preparation of an appropriate, clearly organized and well-designed monitoring and evaluation plan must be done for this project.

The project’s purpose is to protect and restore Red River habitat for fish. The sponsors take a watershed approach. It includes work to treat upland, riparian, and instream problems. In particular, actions will protect existing productive riparian habitats from human disturbance and development. Protection and restoration are needed with respect to damage caused by such human activities as urbanization, livestock grazing, mining, road building, logging, channelization, agricultural activities, and even recreation. Much of the proposed actions involve road improvement and decommissioning to reduce stream sedimentation and culvert replacement to remove fish migration barriers. The focal species are Chinook salmon, steelhead, and Pacific lamprey. The secondary species include four other salmonids and mountain whitefish. Other animals expected to benefit include moose, elk, and deer.

Upon receiving ISRP review comments, the sponsors discovered they had mistakenly included the 2002 Provincial Review Narrative in their proposal submission instead of the 2007 version. This complication resulted in various ISRP comments that are no longer applicable. We have tried to disentangle them from the extensive re-review that was needed.

The ISRP called for Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale (EAWS). The response clarifies that this analysis was done in 2002, and how the project plan relates to it. The project’s emphasis is on roads and road rehabilitation, but the value of improved aquatic habitat is clearly recognized in the proposal.

The sponsors also noted that this proposal is tied to other important initiatives within the subbasin and the Columbia Basin. Significance to the subbasin plan is adequately shown, as are relationships to other projects.

The ISRP commented that, because funding actually began in 2002, a response was needed which includes a more thorough and quantitative summary of results produced to date. The correct narrative and the response document provide a more quantitative summary of the project’s accomplishments to date. These are mainly statements of actions performed, and, of course, many physical and most biological results may not be detectable until more years have passed.

The long list of work elements and methods in Section F was not organized in hierarchical fashion to show how the elements related. Organization of work elements by objective exists in that section’s table. The table is a useful supplement but does not substitute for narrative text, which would be more informative. This proposal, like several others did not bother to incorporate much narrative into Section F (objectives, work elements and methods). This made it hard to know in many respects what is actually planned for the methods.

The ISRP is concerned that the project’s plans for in-channel restructuring may focus too much on rock work (boulders). Emphasis on “softer” forms of soil bioengineering using live, flexible woody vegetation in combination with root wads and other wood “debris” is recommended. The proposal’s statement, “working to stabilize stream banks and create pools,” conveys good intent but is much too vague. Inappropriate techniques of bank stabilization would harm fish habitat. The use of such hard-engineered structures as rock riprap and rock “vanes” or “J-hooks” (not specified in this proposal but implied or at least not ruled out) would not be justifiable, given the evidence provided. Qualification is placed on the funding recommendation partly for this reason.

The ISRP suggests that choice of technique depends greatly upon the quality of the fluvial geomorphologic analysis, which should address whether the stream is stable, incising, or aggrading. Only when the dynamic state of the stream is known can structural work be confidently proposed with the understanding that it is unlikely to become scoured out or buried in sediment.

The project’s M&E plan still needs to be organized as such and presented in detail. In the present (“correct” 2007) narrative, the probable M&E elements are still scattered among the unorganized list of work elements. This is a major deficiency, which accounts for another part of the recommended funding qualification.

The ISRP recommended that, in the response loop, the Nez Perce Tribe prioritize and rank the numerous proposals submitted under “protect and restore” titles. This was covered in response attachments. For full comments on "restore and protect" type projects, please see heading “General comments concerning Nez Perce Tribe proposals to protect and restore various watersheds” at the beginning of the ISRP comments on project # 199607702, Protect & Restore Lolo Creek Watershed.


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

Recommendation: Response requested
NPCC Comments: The overall objective of the work proposed here is to protect and restore the Red River watershed for the benefit of both anadromous and resident fish using an overall watershed approach. The admirable goal is perhaps distorted by the misconception that “the ability of aquatic species in the watershed to persist has been reduced mostly through man’s impacts on the land and stream.” The subbasin plan emphasizes out-of-basin impacts, but also documents the impact of high road density, as noted here. It is well accepted that most of the variation in returns, particularly to this portion of the Columbia Basin, is due to out-of-subbasin migration and ocean conditions. A thorough Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale (EAWS) would further demonstrate this fact. Nevertheless, habitat protection and improvement may be justified following completion of the EAWS proposed, and the setting of priorities for rehabilitation prescriptions. The emphasis here is almost entirely on roads and road rehabilitation, but the value of improved aquatic habitat is clearly recognized in the proposal.

The sponsors also noted that this proposal is tied to other important initiatives within the subbasin and the Columbia Basin. Significance to the subbasin plan is adequately shown, as are relationships to other projects.

The proposal lacks a project history presentation. In view of the project’s history, (funding began in 2003), a response is needed including a quantitative summary of biological and physical results produced to date.

Accomplishments were listed as:

2005 - Design and construct contract awarded for 1709 culvert replacement. Bridge Creek Campground improvements implemented. 12 miles of road obliteration contract awarded.

2004 - NEPA completed for Upper Red River Project. Sensitive plant and archaeology surveys completed for project. Road improvement and obliteration engineering surveys completed for contract prep.

2003 - NEPA initiated for the Upper Red River Watershed Restoration Project; Draft EA and BA out for review and consultation.

2002 - Approximately 100 miles of roads surveyed, 264 out of 300 high priority stream crossings surveyed.

There is need for a report and response on the methods and results of the evaluation of the completion and success of the 2005 road obliteration (12 miles), campground improvements, and culvert replacements. Was sediment significantly reduced? Were culverts made passable?

Study of previous reviews by ISRP indicated little evidence of benefits or progress. The proposal indicated that an EAWS for the Red River watershed will be developed during the 2007 funding period, yet the 2002 ISRP review recommended the proposal for funding under the condition that EAWS be done during the 2002 funding period. The sponsor’s response to ISRP questions in the 2002 review laid out a timetable for completion of the EAWS in 2002. Please explain why this was not completed or reported.

The ISRP 2002 Review notes: "In response to ISRP comment, the watershed assessment process will be accelerated for completion in 2002. The construction/treatment phase is to begin in 2004 (restricted at first to obvious needs for road rehabilitation and culvert replacement) and last at least through 2006. It is not clear how the out-year budget can be set before watershed assessment and planning are completed, so the construction proposal should be deferred to the next funding cycle.” Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) was proposed for 2005 and 2006. The reviewers previously recommended, however, that monitoring start before construction, to facilitate the comparison of pre- and post-project conditions (sponsor did not respond on this issue) and be coordinated with Project 28045 as the sponsor's previous response indicated will be done. Please explain why this was not done?

The narrative’s section on technical and scientific background (and the abstract) launches into description of the watershed and other matters without stating the purpose of the project. Apparently the project’s specific purpose is not explicitly stated anywhere in the narrative. The section does, however, present an overview of envisaged watershed problems (oriented toward those caused by timber harvest), even though the EAWS has not yet been done.

The proposal has clearly stated objectives. However, please explain how all of these can be considered valid if the EAWS has not yet been done. The methods are simple (as stated) and are tied well to the objectives.

Objective 3 covers M&E for part of the proposed project, but M&E is needed to cover culvert replacements. Biological M&E (measurement of fish population responses) is also needed for each of the management activities. A process for future M&E was presented, but no information on M&E of past accomplishments that may use the same techniques (Stonesifer 1999) was provided. Once again, we refer the proponents to the programmatic section of this report, particularly in relation to comments on watershed assessment procedures, monitoring and evaluation.

A history of accomplishments and positive response to previous recommendations is lacking. Personnel may lack the expertise and experience required for successful completion. Funding should be either denied or limited to the watershed assessments only, as recommended in the past. A response to questions above regarding comments on past reviews, recommendations for pre-project condition monitoring, and reporting of results may assist the final funding recommendation.

Finally, in the response loop, the ISRP recommends that the Nez Perce Tribe suggest a priority and rank of the numerous proposals submitted under the titles “protect” and “restore.” Where do habitat actions and protection in the Clearwater offer the most potential benefit?

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