FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 200201500: Provide Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon

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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 Joli Munkers

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 200201500
Proposal Name: Provide Coordination and Technical Assistance to Watershed Councils and Individuals in Sherman County, Oregon
BPA Project Manager: Jamie Swan
Agency, Institution or Organization: Sherman County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Short Description: One watershed council coordinator and three planner/designers will provide support to four watershed councils in Sherman County. All future conservation projects will be based on watershed plans and individual ranch plans developed by these positions.
Information Transfer: Conservation plans developed by the technical staff form the basis of future conservation efforts on private rangelands in Sherman County, Oregon. These plans are available to the landowner/operator. Information concerning the project will be transfered to BPA in the form of metrics, such as acres enrolled in CREP or stream miles protected. Metrics will be reported on a 5th field watershed scale.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Joli Munkers Sherman County SWCD P.O. Box 405
Moro, OR, 97039
Ph: 541-565-3216
Fax: 541-565-3430
Email: joli.munkers@oacd.org
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Krista Coelsch Sherman County SWCD P.O. Box 405
Moro, OR 97039
Ph: (541) 565-3551
Fax: (541) 565-3430
Email: krista.coelsch@oacd.org
Administrative Contact
Jason Faucera Sherman County SWCD P.O. Box 405
Moro, OR 97039
Ph: (541) 565-3551
Fax: (541) 565-3430
Email: jason.faucera@oacd.org
Project Lead
Technical Contact
Joli Munkers Sherman County SWCD P.O. Box 405
Moro, OR, 97039
Ph: 541-565-3216
Fax: 541-565-3430
Email: joli.munkers@oacd.org
Form Submitter

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Columbia Plateau ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: John Day ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
45.6 120.9 Sherman County, defined approximately by the following 4 points: Mouth of Deschutes River Sherman, Oregon Deschutes No
45.7 120.6 Mouth of John Day River Sherman, Oregon John Day No
45.25 121.0 Mouth of Buck Hollow on Deschutes River Sherman, Oregon Deschutes No
45.1 120.5 John Day River, River Mile 94 Sherman, Oregon John Day No

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
All Wildlife
Interior Redband Trout
Big Horn Sheep, Ferruginous Hawk, Grasshopper Sparrow, Sage Sparrow, American Beaver, Great Blue Heron, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Upland Game Birds, Migratory Species

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Coordination, Planning, Implementation, and Maintenance. Implemented 50 WASCBs, several thousand feet of terrace, numerous spring developments, fencing, 5 CREP contracts. $53,079 BPA funding to implement $260,000 of watershed improvements and CREP.
2004 Coordination, Planning, Implementation, and Maintenance. Implemented 50 WASCBs, several thousand feet of terrace, numerous spring developments, fencing, 7 CREP contracts. $59,110 BPA funding spent to implement $325,000 of watershed improvements and CREP.
2003 Coordination, Planning, Implementation, and Maintenance. Implemented 50 Water and Sediment Control Basins, several thousand feet of terrace, two CREP contracts. $73,343 BPA funding spent to implement $170,000 of watershed improvements and CREP.

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
OWEB - State 15-04-003A Macnab WASCB Rehabilitation Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-004 McDermid WASCBs Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-051 Martin Fencing Project Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-052 Moore Bros Upland Structure Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-053 Sherman Co Conservation Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-056 Martin Cattle Pasture Project Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-057 Sharp Watering Facility & Terr Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-058 Olsen Upland Structure Project Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 15-04-059 Wilson - Conservation Work Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the Deschutes Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 16-04-005 Weedman Brush Control Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the John Day Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 16-04-051 Baker Place Spring Development Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the John Day Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 16-04-052 Mobley Spring Development Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the John Day Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 16-04-053 Justesen Armstrong/JackKnife F Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the John Day Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 16-04-054 Moore Bros Upland Structure Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the John Day Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 16-04-055 Thompson Upland Structure Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the John Day Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 16-04-058 Weedman Brothers Spring Develo Ongoing progress with the OWEB Small Grants for the John Day Basin will require coordination and technical assistance from SWCD staff that are partially funded by BPA. Small grant funds are used to implement conservation structures throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
BPA 199901000 Pine Hollow/Jackknife Habitat Using BPA funds, this project has implemented 24 rangeland WASCBs to reduce peak flows from over 1,500 acres of crop/rangeland, 10 Spring Developments to reduce riparian grazing, 5 pasture cross fences, and 2 wells pumped to livestock/wildlife watering system to reduce grazing pressure on 1.7 miles of riparian habitat.
OWEB - State 204-142 Sherman Co Conservation Work 2 Using OWEB and BPA funds combined, this grant implements 6,498 feet of terrace, 22 cropland WASCBs, 10 rangeland WASCBs, 6,800 feet of cross fencing, and 2 spring developments throughout the Sherman County Watersheds.
OWEB - State 204-227 Sherman Co SWCD Watershed Enha This project is targeted to help reduce erosion on cropland by implementing 22,072 feet of terrace, 23 cropland WASCBs, and 3.64 acres of grassed waterways. This project also targets rangeland and riparian zone health by implementing 6 rangeland WASCBs and 3 spring developments for off-channel livestock watering. Without technical assistance and coordination through staff supported by BPA funds, this project would not be accomplished.
PCSRF - OWEB 204-300 Grass Valley Watershed Assessm Detailed watershed assessment using OWEB protocol will be completed in June 2006. Assessment results will be used to guide projects designed and implemented by BPA funded staff.
PCSRF - OWEB 204-472 CREP Tech Assistance (05-28-04 The CREP/CRP technician will provide outreach and technical assistance to landowners for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and other related Conservation Reserve Programs.
OWEB - State 205-056 N Sherman Conservation Work This project is targeted to help reduce erosion on cropland by implementing 25,437 feet of terrace, 66 cropland WASCBs, and 3.6 acres of grassed waterways. Without technical assistance and coordination through staff supported by BPA funds, this project would not be accomplished.
OWEB - State 206-123 Grass Valley, Pine Hollow/Jack This project is targeted to help reduce erosion on cropland by implementing 85,162 feet of terrace and 18 cropland WASCBs. This project also targets rangeland and riparian zone health by implementing 1 rangeland WASCB and 1 spring development for off-channel livestock watering. Without technical assistance and coordination through staff supported by BPA funds, this project would not be accomplished.

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Increase coordination and restoration efforts Increase coordination and restoration efforts among the four watershed councils in Sherman County in order to address the watersheds' limiting factors affecting steelhead and redband trout populations and returns in the John Day and Deschutes Subbasins. John Day Increase the use of sustainable natural resource practices in the subbasins by improved coordination and strategic management between watershed councils. 238-279
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs Within five years, increase adult returns and long-term average annual runs in the Deschutes and John Day Subbasins within Sherman County. Deschutes Improve hydrological connectivity between springs and streams, riparian vegetation management, erosion and runoff control in agricultrual areas. Initiate collaborative conservation, restoration and enhancement projects that improve native fish habitat. MP22-26
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs Within five years, increase adult returns and long-term average annual runs in the Deschutes and John Day Subbasins within Sherman County. John Day Improve hydrological connectivity between springs and streams, riparian vegetation management, erosion and runoff control in agricultrual areas. Initiate collaborative conservation, restoration and enhancement projects that improve native fish habitat. 238-274

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
01: Provide Technical Review Provide Technical Review on Implementation of Conservation Plans After the agreement with the landowner has been approved, Sherman County SWCD will provide additional technical assistance and coordination as necessary to implement the approved plan. Sherman County SWCD will provide technical assistance for CREP implementation with FSA and landowners especially as to timing and location of riparian tree, shrub and grass plantings. Sherman County SWCD will also provide technical assistance to landowners for habitat/water quality improvement practices. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $125,104
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

02: Coordination Produce Conservation Plan For Landowners Complete inventories and assessments, and develop designs and specifications for implementation of conservation plan. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $48,651
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

03: Manage and Administer Projects Manage and Administer Project Develop FY 07 - FY 09 Statement of Work, Budget, Spending Plan and Inventory List. Sponsor may be requested to attend BPA, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority conferences and workshops. Maintain work plans, workforce, and cost records. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $34,751
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

04: Produce Design and/or Specifications Provide Design Specifications and Budgets for the Construction of Conservation Structures Funded staff will prepare engineering drawings, specifications, and budgets for the construction and installation of conservation structures within the Sherman County Watersheds. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $41,701
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

05: Coordination Sign Project Agreements For Planned Practices & CREP With Landowners, NRCS, SWCD & FSA CREP agreements will be signed by landowners, committing desired property to CREP rules, i.e. shrub/tree/grass planting, weed control, livestock exclusion. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $13,901
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

06: Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Prepare and Submit NRCS Environmental Checklist Prepare NRCS environmental checklist for conservation practices. BPA National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) clearance is not needed for this contract because BPA does not pay for groundwork. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $13,901
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

07: Coordination Coordinate with Private Landowners and Partner Agencies through Watershed Councils Coordinate with four watershed councils in Sherman County to assess eligibility of CREP riparian buffer agreements and develop habitat/water quality improvement projects. Habitat/water quality improvement projects include coordination for erosion and sediment control, alternative watering systems for wildlife and livestock, riparian exclusionary fencing, and many other conservation practices. NRCS programmatic checklists are used for making the assessment for environmental compliance of installed practices. Sherman County SWCD and the watershed councils will continue to develop landowner interest in available programs and practices through outreach. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $13,901
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

08: Outreach and Education Outreach and Education to the Private Landowners Sherman County SWCD and the Sherman County Watershed Council Coordinator will develop outreach materials to promote CREP and habitat/water quality improvement projects. Outreach materials will include quarterly newsletters, various presentations, project tours, and annual watershed council meetings informing landowners of program availability. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $34,751
Biological Objectives Metrics
Increase coordination and restoration efforts
* # of general public reached: 450
* # of students reached: 100
* # of teachers reached: 10

09: Produce Status Report Prepare Quarterly Status Reports Prepare quarterly status reports. Status reports will include a summary of outreach efforts, potential and contracted CREP projects, and habitat/water quality improvement projects. This effort will be tracked on Pisces on-line. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $6,950
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

10: Produce Annual Report Prepare FY 07 - FY 09 Annual Reports The annual report will include outreach efforts and summary of potential contracts. Annual reports will also address significant issues regarding project implementation. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $6,950
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element

11: Produce Pisces Status Report Pisces Status Reports - Red/Yellow/Green [Work Element Description Not Entered] 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $6,950
Biological Objectives Metrics
Steelhead/Redband Trout Returns and Annual Runs
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel Technician 1 $15,038 $15,468 $15,976
Personnel Technician 2 $19,850 $20,914 $21,960
Personnel Technician 3 $35,385 $37,154 $37,154
Personnel Watershed Coordinator $2,901 $3,000 $3,150
Fringe Benefits Technician 1 $4,511 $4,640 $4,793
Fringe Benefits Technician 2 $5,955 $6,274 $6,589
Fringe Benefits Technician 3 $10,615 $11,146 $11,146
Fringe Benefits Watershed Coordinator $870 $900 $945
Supplies Office Supplies $160 $160 $160
Supplies Telephone and Web Service $560 $560 $560
Supplies Vehicle Maintenance $1,532 $1,532 $1,532
Supplies Computer Software, Hardware, and Maintenance $325 $325 $325
Supplies Postage $400 $400 $400
Travel Technician 1 $983 $983 $983
Travel Technician 2 $983 $983 $983
Travel Technician 3 $983 $983 $983
Supplies Cell Phone (field use only) $460 $360 $360
Supplies Field Equipment (transit, tripod, measuring rod) $627 $ 0 $ 0
Overhead Fiscal management and project coordination $10,214 $10,578 $10,800
Totals $112,352 $116,360 $118,799

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$347,511
Total Work Element budget$347,511

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
Natural Resources Conservation Service Personnel $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 Cash Confirmed
Oregon Department of Agriculture Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Supplies, Travel $28,711 $30,375 $31,256 Cash Confirmed
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Supplies, Travel $50,403 $52,658 $50,421 Cash Under Development
Sherman County Soil and Water Conservation Distric Travel/workshops $4,400 $4,400 $4,400 Cash Confirmed
Totals $93,514 $97,433 $96,077

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$120,250 $121,899 [Outyear comment field left blank]
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
Actual operation and maintenance costs are either the responsibility of the landowners/operator or are funded in CREP by USDA.
 
Termination Date Comments
none
 
Final Deliverables
Third Year Deliverables: 1. Approximately 250 total stream miles in Sherman County enrolled in CREP. 2. Annual Reports for FY '07 - FY '09

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date

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 Budget
$ 0
FY 2008 Budget
$ 0
FY 2009 Budget
$ 0
Total NPCC Rec
$ 0
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Do Not Fund
Comments:


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

FY 2007 Budget
$ 0
FY 2008 Budget
$ 0
FY 2009 Budget
$ 0
Total NPCC Rec
$ 0
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Comments:

Local or MSRT Comments: OSPIT notes the importance of the CREP projects to DEQ and their ability to draw matching funds. However, budgeting restrictions will not permit us to fund these projects.


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

Recommendation: Response requested
NPCC Comments: The SWCD projects as a group continue to be cost-effective approaches to leveraging a large amount of USDA money in CCRP/CREP contracts that would probably not be implemented without the funding of these development positions. The riparian buffer contracts have the potential for strong benefits to aquatic habitat, and so aquatic species, as well as to non-aquatic riparian species. This project will directly benefit focal species of the Deschutes and John Day Subbasin Plans. Benefits will persist for at least as long as the riparian buffer contracts, and maybe longer if contracts are renewed or if landowners discover additional benefits of riparian buffers that encourage them to maintain them.

The proposal provides a good description of riparian habitat problems in the Deschutes and John Day Subbasins and their linkage to problems of aquatic habitat (stream flows, water quality) and upland conditions. The proposed work is clearly linked to regional programs and to the priority rankings and associated restoration strategies for particular watersheds in the John Day and Deschutes Subbasin Plans. It is also linked to the Sherman County SWCD work plan. However, the proposal would be improved by also demonstrating the relation to other SWCD riparian projects and to the range of riparian projects in the John Day and Deschutes subbasins.

The proposal makes the point that there is a growing demand for conservation projects and an associated need for coordination and implementation. It lists work tasks accomplished since 2002, but without evaluation of the impact of these actions. Evaluation of what has happened in the buffers implemented in 2002 and the key factors affecting enrollment would be informative and helpful. NRCS protocols require that CREP contracts be given three annual reviews post-enrollment. What are the outcomes of these reviews?

Enrollment objectives are measured by number of stream miles. An explanation of the source and derivation of these enrollment objectives would provide useful explanatory information. Methods described are reasonable to accomplish the objectives of implementing riparian buffer contracts and coordinating watershed councils. Monitoring and evaluation includes indicators and performance standards, which is a step toward more thorough evaluation of the process. Monitoring and evaluation will be conducted through the application of NRCS protocols, in which a baseline visual stream assessment is followed by subsequent periodic assessments to assess terrestrial change within the riparian buffer. The ISRP recommends that to more completely assess post-project results and effectiveness, a cooperative effort be implemented with ODFW to also monitor fisheries and stream habitat response to the implementation of riparian buffers.

Information transfer is built into the outreach and education objectives. The proposal also describes the transfer of project results (metrics) to the BPA Pisces system. However, the sponsors should clarify whether the conservation plans developed as part of CREP enrollment are kept confidential or are reported as part of the project results. If conservation plans are not reported, can they be synthesized in a way that will allow monitoring of progress toward meeting their objectives? The issue of project data provision vs. USDA confidentiality requirements should be addressed.

Given the growing body of experience in the implementation of these USDA contracts, it would be timely and useful to assess what works, what doesn't work, and nature of the constraints facing voluntary habitat improvement programs. The ISRP recommends that SWCDs collaborate in developing a report assessing the determinants of successful implementation processes for these USDA programs.

The ISRP requests a response clarifying the following issues identified in the review:

1. The relation of this project to other SWCD riparian projects and to the range of riparian projects in the John Day and Deschutes subbasins.

2. How enrollment objectives are determined.

3. The potential to develop a cooperative effort with ODFW to monitor fisheries and stream habitat response to the implementation of riparian buffers.

4. Whether the conservation plans developed as part of CREP enrollment are kept confidential or are reported as part of the project results. If conservation plans are not reported, can they be synthesized in a way that will allow monitoring of progress toward meeting their objectives?

5. The potential for SWCD collaborative development of a report assessing the determinants of successful implementation processes for riparian buffer contracts and other USDA voluntary conservation programs.


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

Recommendation: Response requested
NPCC Comments: The SWCD projects as a group continue to be cost-effective approaches to leveraging a large amount of USDA money in CCRP/CREP contracts that would probably not be implemented without the funding of these development positions. The riparian buffer contracts have the potential for strong benefits to aquatic habitat, and so aquatic species, as well as to non-aquatic riparian species. This project will directly benefit focal species of the Deschutes and John Day Subbasin Plans. Benefits will persist for at least as long as the riparian buffer contracts, and maybe longer if contracts are renewed or if landowners discover additional benefits of riparian buffers that encourage them to maintain them.

The proposal provides a good description of riparian habitat problems in the Deschutes and John Day Subbasins and their linkage to problems of aquatic habitat (stream flows, water quality) and upland conditions. The proposed work is clearly linked to regional programs and to the priority rankings and associated restoration strategies for particular watersheds in the John Day and Deschutes Subbasin Plans. It is also linked to the Sherman County SWCD work plan. However, the proposal would be improved by also demonstrating the relation to other SWCD riparian projects and to the range of riparian projects in the John Day and Deschutes subbasins.

The proposal makes the point that there is a growing demand for conservation projects and an associated need for coordination and implementation. It lists work tasks accomplished since 2002, but without evaluation of the impact of these actions. Evaluation of what has happened in the buffers implemented in 2002 and the key factors affecting enrollment would be informative and helpful. NRCS protocols require that CREP contracts be given three annual reviews post-enrollment. What are the outcomes of these reviews?

Enrollment objectives are measured by number of stream miles. An explanation of the source and derivation of these enrollment objectives would provide useful explanatory information. Methods described are reasonable to accomplish the objectives of implementing riparian buffer contracts and coordinating watershed councils. Monitoring and evaluation includes indicators and performance standards, which is a step toward more thorough evaluation of the process. Monitoring and evaluation will be conducted through the application of NRCS protocols, in which a baseline visual stream assessment is followed by subsequent periodic assessments to assess terrestrial change within the riparian buffer. The ISRP recommends that to more completely assess post-project results and effectiveness, a cooperative effort be implemented with ODFW to also monitor fisheries and stream habitat response to the implementation of riparian buffers.

Information transfer is built into the outreach and education objectives. The proposal also describes the transfer of project results (metrics) to the BPA Pisces system. However, the sponsors should clarify whether the conservation plans developed as part of CREP enrollment are kept confidential or are reported as part of the project results. If conservation plans are not reported, can they be synthesized in a way that will allow monitoring of progress toward meeting their objectives? The issue of project data provision vs. USDA confidentiality requirements should be addressed.

Given the growing body of experience in the implementation of these USDA contracts, it would be timely and useful to assess what works, what doesn't work, and nature of the constraints facing voluntary habitat improvement programs. The ISRP recommends that SWCDs collaborate in developing a report assessing the determinants of successful implementation processes for these USDA programs.

The ISRP requests a response clarifying the following issues identified in the review:

1. The relation of this project to other SWCD riparian projects and to the range of riparian projects in the John Day and Deschutes subbasins.

2. How enrollment objectives are determined.

3. The potential to develop a cooperative effort with ODFW to monitor fisheries and stream habitat response to the implementation of riparian buffers.

4. Whether the conservation plans developed as part of CREP enrollment are kept confidential or are reported as part of the project results. If conservation plans are not reported, can they be synthesized in a way that will allow monitoring of progress toward meeting their objectives?

5. The potential for SWCD collaborative development of a report assessing the determinants of successful implementation processes for riparian buffer contracts and other USDA voluntary conservation programs.

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