FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 200203500: Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers

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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 Bill Ewing

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 200203500
Proposal Name: Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers
BPA Project Manager: Jamie Swan
Agency, Institution or Organization: Gilliam Soil & Water Conservation District
Short Description: We seek BPA funding to continue our riparian buffer position. This job entails making 10-15 year contracts with private landowners to establish riparian areas. Non-BPA monies are then leveraged to develop, maintain and enhance fish and wildlife resourc
Information Transfer: The proposal's information will be transferred and available for review on the BPA publication web site and the Pisces reporting web site.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Bill Ewing Gilliam Soil & Water Conservation District P.O. Box 106 333 South Main Street
Condon, OR 987823
Ph: 541-384-2281
Fax: 541-384-2671
Email: bill.ewing@or.nacdnet.net
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Bill Ewing Gilliam Soil & Water Conservation District P.O. Box 106 333 South Main Street
Condon, OR 987823
Ph: 541-384-2281
Fax: 541-384-2671
Email: bill.ewing@or.nacdnet.net
Project Lead
Thirza Kilgore Gilliam Soil & Water Conservation District P.O. Box 106 333 South Main Street
Condon, OR 97823
Ph: 541-384-2281 x 108
Fax: 541-384-2571
Email: peliacres@yahoo.com
Administrative Contact

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: None Selected ARG Province: Columbia Plateau
Sponsor Subbasin: None Selected ARG Subbasin: John Day
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
John Day Gilliam County Gilliam, Oregon John Day Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Chinook Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
American beaver, Columbia spotted frog, great blue heron and yellow warbler

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Gilliam SWCD/BPA partial contract year 7/1/05 to 10/5/05 established 11.9 miles of riparian buffers on 281 acres and signed 5 contracts in Gilliam County. Input to the John Day Subbasin Revised Draft Plan and Lower John Day Agricultural Water Quality Plan
2004 Gilliam SWCD/BPA contract year May 1, 04 to June 30, 05 (14 months)established 20.2 miles of CREP/Continuous CRP riparian buffers on 476 acres and signed 14 landowner contracts in Gilliam County. We provided input to the John Day Subbasin Draft Plan.
2003 Gilliam SWCD/BPA contract year May 1, 03 to April 30, 04 established 29.6 miles of Continuous CRP/CREP riparian buffers on 764 acres along designated steelhead habitat streams and/or SB 1010 streams in our County. Twenty landowner contracts were signed.
2002 Gilliam SWCD/BPA contract year May 1, 02 to April 30, 03 established 10.0 miles of CREP/Continuous CRP riparian buffers on 131 acres along designated steelhead habitat streams and/or SB 1010 streams. Six landowner contracts were signed.

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
[Funding Source left blank] [no entry] [Related Project Title left blank] [Relationship field left blank]
OWEB - State 15-04-006 Underhill Range Revitalization Planning and coordinating the revitalization with a riparian project on this landowners property
OWEB - State 16-04-007 Eightmile Canyon Improvement P Planning and coordinating this improvement with a riparian project on this landowners property
OWEB - State 16-04-016 Ferry Canyon Direct Seeding Planning and coordinating the direct seeding with four Riparian Buffers established on this stream
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service- use their computer services, office,resource guides, and programs to enhance areas adjacent to the buffer through their programs: EQIP,CSP,WHIP,provide technical supervision and training
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers Oregon Department of Fish &Wildlife- consultation on habitat conditions, specie requirements, and fence planning. Tours to review how our closely related goals can be meshed together to accomplish more than our individual efforts might
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers Oregon Water Resources Department- assist in making arrangements for water withdrawals on lands being placed in riparian buffers
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers USDI Fish and Wildlife Service- consultation on threatened and endangered species
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers USDA Farm Services Agency- Coordinate Conservation Plans and leverage 50% cost share. Signing bonus and incentive payments. They have programatic reponsibility for spot-checking riparian contracts to ensure compliance
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers USDI Bureau of Land Management-Coordinate complementary natural resource goals when our riparian projects are adjacent to their public lands
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers Warm Springs Confederated Tribes- Coordinate complementary natural resource projects when our riparian projects are adjacent to their lands
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board-Coordinate Conservation Plans and leverage 25% cost share
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers Gilliam County Weed Officier- Coordinate, obtain advice on the extent of weed activity in and adjacent to riparian projects
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers Gilliam County Soil &Water Conservation Service- technical assistance, vehicle insurance, tort and liability insurance
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers Private Landowner- Provides 25% cost share for developing the 10 to 15 year riparian buffer, maintaining the buffer and associated development
PCSRF - OWEB 204-042A Gilliam-East John Day WSC Supp Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council (Work Groups: Thirtymile, Ferry Canyon, Rock Creek, Hay Creek/Scott Canyon,Lonerock/Lost Valley) coordinate our riparian buffer planning and development with their efforts to improve watersheds i.e. Lonerock/Thirtymile Weed Grant, Patill Canyon Weed Grant, Hay Creek/Scott Canyon Watershed Action Plan (pending),Rock Creek Watershed Assessment(pending)
PCSRF - OWEB 204-298 Thirtymile Cr Watershed Assess Office coordination, we will be using data from this report to prioritize riparian work on this stream
PCSRF - OWEB 206-042 Gilliam-East John Day Council We work with our office Watership Coordinator to support and coordinate their efforts. Submit quarterly written input for their newsletter
OWEB - State 206-114 Rock Cr Diversion/Irrigation P This project will replace a large diversion barrier to fish passage with a rock weir diversion. We are developing riparian buffer projects upstream and downstream from this site to accomodate the increased fish populations that we expect

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd Within 25 years: 1.Restore the freshwater productivity of steelhead and chinook populations to the levels identified in Table 68 page 238. 2. Restore adult returns of steelhead and chinook populations to those listed in Table 67, page 237. 3. Allow limited fisheries on the strongest populations John Day To accomplish these objectives our position will use these strategies: flow restoration, riparian habitat improvement, pollution control, protect existing habitat, upland improvements, and education and outreach 237-239,245,246
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd Within 50 years: 1. Achieve the freshwater productivity of steelhead and chinook populations to the levels listed in Table 68, page 238. 2. Achieve adult returns of steelhead and chinook populations to those listed in Table 67, page 237. 3. All populations should be able to support annual fisheries. 4. Reestablish connected environments between existing populations to allow metapopulation interactions 5.Some populations should be expanding beyond their baseline distributions. John Day To accomplish these objectives our position will use these strategies: flow restoration, riparian habitat improvement,pollution control,protect existing habitat,education/outreach,and upland improvements, 237-239,245-246
Improve channel stability The effect of stream channel stability ( within reach) on the relative survival or performance of the focal species; channel stability is considered with respect to streambed, banks and channel shape and location John Day To accomplish these objectives our position will use these strategies: flow restoration,riparian habitat improvement, protect existing habitat, education/outreach, and upland improvements 242,245,246
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions The effect of the concentration of dissolved oxgyen within the stream reaches on the relative survival or performance on the focal species. John Day To accomplish these objectives our position will use these strategies: flow restoration, riparian habitat improvement, pollution control, protect existing habitat, education/outreach, and upland improvements 243,245,246
Improve flows The effect of the amount of streamflow, or the pattern and extent of flow fluctuations, within the stream reach on the relative survival or performance of the focal species. Effects of flow reductions or dewatering due to water withdrawals are included John Day To accomplish this objective our position will use these strategies: flow restoration, riparian habitat improvement, protect existing habitat, education outreach, and upland improvements 242,245,246
Improve sediment load The effect of the amount of fine sediment present in, or passing through, the stream reach on the relative survival or performance of the focal species John Day To accomplish these objectives our position will use these strategies: flow restoration, riparian habitat improvement, pollution control, protect existing habitat, education/outreach, and upland improvements 243,245,246
Improve water temperature The effect of water temperature within the stream reach on the relative survival or performance of the focal species John Day To accomplish these objectives our position will use these strategies: flow restoration, riparian habitat improvement, pollution control, protect existing habitat, education/outreach, and upland improvements 242,245,246
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity The effect of the extent of habitat complexity within a stream reach on the relative survival or performance of the focal species: the relative quantity of the primary habitat type(S) utilized by the focal species during a life stage: quantity is expressed as percent of wetted surface area of the stream channnel. John Day To accomplish these objectives our position will use these strategies: flow restoration, pollution control, riparian habitat improvement, protect existing habitat, education/outreach, and upland improvements 242,245,246

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 Prepare and submit NRCS environmental checklist so buffer will be developed and biological objectives satisfied in accordance with environmental safeguards Prepare NRCS environmental checklist for conservation plan. BPA and NEPA clearance are not needed for the projects because BPA does not pay for groundwork. Gilliam SWCD staff will comply with USDA and NRCS policies concerning Endangered Species Act (ESA) and cultural resources requirements on all lands being considered for CCRP/CREP. In accordance with NRCS procedures, cultural resource specialists review proposed buffer sites and biological assessments before each buffer is developed. Landowner permissions, resource inventory and environmental checklists are completed early in the 9 step planning process. Planting prescriptions, fencing design, off stream water design, and other practice elements will be completed as necessary according to NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG) 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $3,403
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
No Metrics for this Work Element

Other Produce Pisces Report so that funding will continue for buffer development and biological objectives satisfied On line quarterly Pisces reports will be made so all interesed parties can view the progress of our proposal 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $1,134
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
No Metrics for this Work Element

Coordination Plan/coordinate with private landowners & public agencies to generate the Conservation Plan that developes the buffer that will satisfy the biological objectives Plan and coordinate with landowner, NRCS, SWCD, FSA, ODFW, and County Weed Board, to produce the Conservation Plan. Coordinate with partner agencies through informal monthly meetings to avoid dupication of efforts. Meet with 80 interested landowners over the 3 year proposal period, on site and assess eligibility of stream reach for implementation of CCRP/CREP riparian buffer agreements. Oregon CREP eligibility includes streams on tribal trust lands, streams with threatened and endangered (TE) fish habitat and streams with approved Agricultural Water Quality Mangement Area Plans. Specific sites are eligible depending on the condition of the resources on site. Programmatic checklists are used for making the assessment. Gilliam SWCD will obtain landowner sign-up for program. Once the site is determined to be eligible and the landowner signs a CRP2 plan and CRP1 contract, development begins. The CRP2 and CRP1 are signed and filed in Farm Service Agency (FSA). The Conservation Plan is developed with landowner and signed by Natural Resouces Conservation Service (NRCS), SWCD, FSA, partnership. Forty CRP1 contracts and forty CRP2 plans will be produced over the 3 year proposal period. The budget for this work element includes $300/year for landowner incentives. 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $12,243
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
No Metrics for this Work Element

Coordination Produce Conservation Plan for Landowners to establish the buffer that will satisfy the biological objectives Inventories and assessments are prepared. This encompasses the first 4 steps of the 9 step NRCS planning process. Site specific problems and opportunitues are identified, the landowner objectives are determined, resources are inventoried, and then analyzed to set the stage for formulating alternatives. Inventory includes identifying off steam water sources, power availability, soils present, cultural resources, T&E species, and information relative to the landowner's operation. Site assessments are done to determine adequacy of riparian plant community including ground cover, shrub, and tree components. Designs and specifications are prepared for planting prescriptions, fencing , off stream water development or other conservation practice elements. The USDA NRCS Stream Visual Assessment Protocol is also completed as part of the process. Following this inventory and assessment process, alternatives are formulated and evaluated in terms of costs, benefits, and effectiveness in solving problems and meeting landowner objectives. An alternative is then selected and documented as the Conservation Plan. Forty Conservation Plans will be developed over the course of the proposal. This work element includes $5,500/year for landowner incentives 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $163,964
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
No Metrics for this Work Element

Manage and Administer Projects Manage & administer projects so that training, project meetings, budgets, and inventories are established so the buffers will be developed and biological objectives satisfied Management and administration of the program must be done successfully to achieve the protective, enhancing riparian buffer. Develop FY Statements of Work (SOW), budget, spending plan and inventory list. Maintain work plans, workforce and cost records. Attend BPA, Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council), Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority (CBFWA) conferences and workshops as requested. The budget for this work element includes a $2000/year landowner incentive 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $30,955
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
No Metrics for this Work Element

Outreach and Education Outreach & education to private landowners, schools and community groups to educate them on the importance of buffers that will satisfy the biological objectives In many cases, landowners and community members must be given the information and the opportunity for dialogue that will allow them to understand the environmental, economic and social benefits of riparian buffers. This local support will enable us to establish the buffers that will satisfy our biological objectives. To accomplish this work element, we will continue our efforts to write newsletters and meet with community groups, schools, and commercial groups. The budget for this work element includes $200/year for landowner incentives 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $11,943
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
* # of students reached: 200 students
* # of teachers reached: 25 teachers
* # of general public reached: 100 people

Provide Technical Review Provide technical review on implementation of Conservation Plan that will lead to developing the buffers to satisfy the biological objectives After the agreement with the landowner has been approved, we will provide additional technical assistance and coordination as necessary to implement the approved plan. At least four visits to each project area must be made to judge the sites eligibility and complete the technical assistance required for its development. Assistance to FSA and landowner includes timing and location of riparian tree, shrub and grass plantings and other planned conservation practices. State, Federal and private programs are reviewed to see if programs such as WHIP, EQIP, and CSP could be added to improve the connectivity of adjacent habitiat. We inspect riparian protective measures as necessary for proper installation and functionality. Collect and validate how effectively the implemented conservation plans are working. Verification that buffer systems and practices are installed as planned and in accordance with NRCS FOTG standards. Repeat Visual Assessment protocol once after system has been in place for minimum of 3-5 years. This work element budget contains a $2000/year landowner incentive. 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $30,955
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Annual Report Produce Annual Report so that funding will continue for buffer development and biological objectives will be satisfied Produce annual reports for each of the three contract years.The reports will be delivered to BPA COTR and they will include outreach efforts and summaries of potential contracts. Annual reports will also address significant issues regarding project implementation. 7/1/2007 6/30/2010 $2,269
Biological Objectives Metrics
25 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
50 yr Quantitative performance for chinook/steelhd
Improve channel stability
Improve dissolved oxygen conditions
Improve flows
Improve sediment load
Improve water temperature
Provide key habitat and habitat diversity
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel one FTE $32,708 $34,016 $35,377
Fringe Benefits OPE, Medical $16,276 $18,870 $21,948
Supplies fuel, field equip, office supply $7,520 $8,909 $10,638
Capital Equipment vehicle maint/upkeep $1,191 $1,250 $1,313
Overhead office rent + administration $9,684 $10,347 $11,063
Travel +training+perdiem+lodge $2,842 $1,414 $1,500
Other Landowner Incentive Payment $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Totals $80,221 $84,806 $91,839

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$256,866
Total Work Element budget$256,866

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
FSA Dollars $300,000 $270,000 $240,000 Cash Confirmed
Gilliam SWCD vehicle,tort and liability insurance $404 $445 $489 In-Kind Confirmed
landowners dollars $100,000 $90,000 $80,000 Cash Confirmed
NRCS training and technical supervision, computer support and telephone $8,200 $6,200 $6,696 In-Kind Confirmed
OWEB dollars $100,000 $90,000 $80,000 Cash Confirmed
Totals $508,604 $456,645 $407,185

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$100,220 $109,997 Gilliam SWCD/BPA contract year July1,2010 to June 30,2011and July 1, 2011 to June 30,2012
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
FSA pays the landowner a set fee to operate and maintain the buffer development for the 10 to 15 year term of the contract. Our BPA contract proposal involves no operation and maintenance fees.
 
Termination Date Comments
June 30, 2010 Future Federal and State legislative bodies will determine future funding. Although the personnel position is funded by BPA, and supported to a lessor extent by Gilliam SWCD and NRCS, the buffer costs are provided by FSA,50%,OWEB,25% and the private landowner 25%. Financial incentives and O&M costs are provided by FSA.
 
Final Deliverables
Since the beginning of BPA funding for this position, we have signed 45 landowner contracts, protected 72 miles of stream with 1653 acres of riparian buffers in Gilliam County. Due to a limited number of private landowners and qualifying habitat, we will assume that our progress will diminish over time. We will be able to make 40 additional landowner contracts and establish 50 miles of stream buffer and 1000 acres of buffer over the new three year proposal period

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date

Part 2 of 2. Reviews of Proposal
Administrative Review Group (ARG) Results
Account Type:
Expense
Location:
Province: Columbia Plateau
Subbasin: John Day
Primary Focal Species
No Change
ARG Comments:


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.

Gilliam County has a high proportion of private landownership, and so needs landowner cooperation in riparian restoration. A good description is provided of the causes of riparian degradation, the relation of degradation to the decline of aquatic species, and link between riparian condition and stream flows. The Subbasin Plan is cited, as is the Thirtymile watershed assessment that will identify strategies for riparian buffers on this priority stream.

The project is well connected to the priority drainage areas identified in the John Day Subbasin Plan. The restoration of these systems is linked to the strategies listed in the Subbasin Plan that in turn relate to the long-term recovery goals for summer steelhead, redband trout, and spring Chinook. The project is also linked to a range of other projects in the subbasin and to regional programs. There is information exchange with SWCDs in other subbasins. A good description of the project’s history includes assessment of the potential for further leveraging. There is also some evaluation of off-site stock watering and the cost-effectiveness of mulching options.

Quantitative objectives for riparian buffer contracts enrollment are provided, as with the other SWCD proposals. The biological and habitat objectives are taken from the Subbasin Plan, with an emphasis on restoring riparian habitat in order to support recovery of focal species on private land. This project will focus enrollment efforts on Subbasin Plan priority areas but will assist in other areas as well. However, as with other riparian buffer projects it would be helpful to know the basis for these numbers, to understand how the SWCDs develop their enrollment targets or how these targeted enrollments relate to the total need.

The narrative does a good job of showing how enrollment activities relate to the "improve stream flow" objective. It also is convincing as to why the NRCS cannot do the expanded enrollment alone, and how the activities to enroll landowners in the CRP/CREP programs are related to the subbasin goals. The work elements are reasonable and follow NRCS protocols. The project will monitor riparian buffer implementation and the effectiveness of livestock exclusion. Monitoring and evaluation will also 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. Does the existing information sharing with ODFW extend to collaborative monitoring?

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.

The sponsors don't give themselves enough credit for the information transfer built into the proposal. They indicate that the proposal's information will be transferred and available for review on the BPA publication web site and the PISCES reporting web site. But elsewhere in the proposal they describe the joint tour of ODFW/SWCD of the riparian projects, to share information on flow requirements, passage issues, and riparian planting methods. There is also noted information sharing among projects, and among SWCDs (software, processes, USDA and SWCD personnel). They also mention teaching stream bank restoration techniques in Morrow and Umatilla counties. This project does an excellent job at information transfer.

As with other riparian buffer projects the evaluation aspect could be enhanced by evaluating factors influencing enrollment and lessons learned from the development and implementation of these contracts. The ISRP recommends that the Oregon SWCDs work together to identify general findings as well as outcomes that vary by SWCD. The evaluation could identify ways to tie in outreach and education with landowner incentives and constraints. Additional thinking might be developed on how to target new audiences.

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

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

2. How enrollment objectives are determined.

3. 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?

4. 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.

Gilliam County has a high proportion of private landownership, and so needs landowner cooperation in riparian restoration. A good description is provided of the causes of riparian degradation, the relation of degradation to the decline of aquatic species, and link between riparian condition and stream flows. The Subbasin Plan is cited, as is the Thirtymile watershed assessment that will identify strategies for riparian buffers on this priority stream.

The project is well connected to the priority drainage areas identified in the John Day Subbasin Plan. The restoration of these systems is linked to the strategies listed in the Subbasin Plan that in turn relate to the long-term recovery goals for summer steelhead, redband trout, and spring Chinook. The project is also linked to a range of other projects in the subbasin and to regional programs. There is information exchange with SWCDs in other subbasins. A good description of the project’s history includes assessment of the potential for further leveraging. There is also some evaluation of off-site stock watering and the cost-effectiveness of mulching options.

Quantitative objectives for riparian buffer contracts enrollment are provided, as with the other SWCD proposals. The biological and habitat objectives are taken from the Subbasin Plan, with an emphasis on restoring riparian habitat in order to support recovery of focal species on private land. This project will focus enrollment efforts on Subbasin Plan priority areas but will assist in other areas as well. However, as with other riparian buffer projects it would be helpful to know the basis for these numbers, to understand how the SWCDs develop their enrollment targets or how these targeted enrollments relate to the total need.

The narrative does a good job of showing how enrollment activities relate to the "improve stream flow" objective. It also is convincing as to why the NRCS cannot do the expanded enrollment alone, and how the activities to enroll landowners in the CRP/CREP programs are related to the subbasin goals. The work elements are reasonable and follow NRCS protocols. The project will monitor riparian buffer implementation and the effectiveness of livestock exclusion. Monitoring and evaluation will also 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. Does the existing information sharing with ODFW extend to collaborative monitoring?

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.

The sponsors don't give themselves enough credit for the information transfer built into the proposal. They indicate that the proposal's information will be transferred and available for review on the BPA publication web site and the PISCES reporting web site. But elsewhere in the proposal they describe the joint tour of ODFW/SWCD of the riparian projects, to share information on flow requirements, passage issues, and riparian planting methods. There is also noted information sharing among projects, and among SWCDs (software, processes, USDA and SWCD personnel). They also mention teaching stream bank restoration techniques in Morrow and Umatilla counties. This project does an excellent job at information transfer.

As with other riparian buffer projects the evaluation aspect could be enhanced by evaluating factors influencing enrollment and lessons learned from the development and implementation of these contracts. The ISRP recommends that the Oregon SWCDs work together to identify general findings as well as outcomes that vary by SWCD. The evaluation could identify ways to tie in outreach and education with landowner incentives and constraints. Additional thinking might be developed on how to target new audiences.

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

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

2. How enrollment objectives are determined.

3. 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?

4. 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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