FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 200201900: Wasco Riparian Buffers

Download this document in MS Word format
Open this document in PDF format

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 10, 2006 Finalized Ron Graves

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 200201900
Proposal Name: Wasco Riparian Buffers
BPA Project Manager: Jamie Swan
Agency, Institution or Organization: Wasco County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Short Description: This proposal develops riparian buffer systems in southern Wasco County in the lower Deschutes and lower John Day subbasins of the Columbia Plateau Province. Implementation of buffer plans developed under this proposal is fully funded by USDA.
Information Transfer: Riparian Buffer plans are used to guide implementation of riparian protection practices including predominantly fencing, off stream water developments, tree, shrub, and ground cover planting prescriptions. They are the basis for long term (up to 15 year) buffer contracts between participating landowners and USDA. A copy of an approved plan is retained in landowner files in the USDA Service Center with one copy provided to the landowner.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Ron Graves Wasco County SWCD 2325 River Rd
The Dalles, Oregon, 97058
Ph: 541 296-6178
Fax: 541 296-7868
Email: ron.graves@or.nacdnet.net
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Ron Graves Wasco County SWCD 2325 River Rd
The Dalles, Oregon, 97058
Ph: 541 296-6178
Fax: 541 296-7868
Email: ron.graves@or.nacdnet.net
Form Submitter

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Columbia Plateau ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Deschutes ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
44.9913 -120.5837 lower John Day and Tributaries lower John Day and tributaries in Wasco County, including Pine Hollow, Muddy Creek and Clarno drainages Wasco, Oregon John Day No
45.0615 -120.9605 lower Dechutes, Bakeoven, Buck Hollow, White River lower Deschutes River and tributaries Wasco, Oregon Deschutes Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
Resident Fish

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 4 buffer contracts approved and 4 pending approval in Jan 2006. These buffers cover 322.9 acres protecting 9.6 miles of stream with an average buffer width of 139 ft. on each side. Values/costs will be determined at end of project year 4/30/06.
2004 17 buffer contracts were established on 978.6 acres protecting 27.4 stream miles. Average buffer width was 147.5 ft on each side. Value of riparian buffer contracts was $1,600,344 compared with $63,348 in BPA contract costs.
2003 17 riparian buffer contracts were established on 891.6 acres protecting 25.9 miles of stream. Average buffer width was 112 ft. on each side of stream. Value of buffer contracts established was $1,421,268 compared with $55,504 in BPA contract costs.
2002 9 buffer contracts established on 392 acres protecting 10.7 miles of stream. Average buffer width was 151 ft. on each side of the stream. Total value of buffer contracts established was $498,183 compared with $47,825 in BPA contract costs.

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
BPA 200202600 Morrow County Riparian Buffers This is a similar project for a separate geographic area in the Columbia Plateau Province. While each SWCD is an independent local government with different geographic areas of responsibility, they do share technical, procedural, and programmatic information and training.
BPA 200203400 Wheeler Co Riparian Buffers This is a similar project for a separate geographic area in the Columbia Plateau Province. While each SWCD is an independent local government with different geographic areas of responsibility, they do share technical, procedural, and programmatic information and training.
BPA 200203500 Gilliam Co Riparian Buffers This is a similar project for a separate geographic area in the Columbia Plateau Province. While each SWCD is an independent local government with different geographic areas of responsibility, they do share technical, procedural, and programmatic information and training.
OWEB - State 205-050 Hood-Deschutes Basin Direct Se This proposal is a complementary project, assisting landowners convert their operation from conventional tillage systems to no-till. No-till methods reduce runoff and erosion from upland wheat farms. The Hood-Deschutes Direct Seed project (currently in progress) includes conversion of tillage systems in both Fifteenmile and the lower Deschutes subbasins. This project has virtually eliminated sheet and rill erosion, a primary sedimentation source, from wheat cropland converted to direct seed/no-till. As of June 30, 2005 fully 68% of Wasco County's wheat cropland had been converted from conventional tillage systems to no-till.

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity Increase summer steelhead to 10,800-16,300 returning adults. This objective can best be met by increasing egg to smolt survival which requires habitat improvements in tributary systems where spawning and rearing take place. To effect those habitat improvements, this project will establish 36 riparian buffer systems on 800 riparian acres, improving habitat on 40 miles of stream. (This objective is combined buffer numbers for both Deschutes and John Day tributaries) Deschutes Restore riparian ecosystem habitat complexity and species diversity. S-12
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity Increase summer steelhead to 29,400 returning adults at the mouth in 25 years. This objective can best be met by increasing egg to smolt survival which requires habitat improvements in tributary systems where spawning and rearing take place. To effect those habitat improvements, this project will establish 36 riparian buffer systems on 800 riparian acres, improving habitat on 40 miles of stream. (This objective is combined buffer numbers for both Deschutes and John Day tributaries) John Day E. Riparian Habitat Improvements G. Protect Existing Habitat 263-266, 270-272

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
1: Outreach and Education Outreach & Education To The Private Landowners Conduct at least one outreach activity Quarterly: news articles, presentations, neighborhood meetings informing landowners about the buffer program and how to sign up. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $10,600
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
* # of general public reached: 100 landowners reached

2: Coordination Coordinate With Private Landowners & Partner Agencies Meet at least quarterly with partner agencies to assess progress, coordinate on-going activities and to avoid duplication of effort. Planners, technicans will coordinate on a continuing basis with other agency counterparts during the field season. Coordination with participating landowners will be done as necessary before and during the planning process and during implementation. Approximately 100 landowner contacts will be made annually. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $7,975
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element

3: Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Prepare & Submit NRCS Environmental Checklist Prepare and submit environmental checklist for each to ensure all NEPA requirments are met.. Obtain site specific list of T/E and sensitive species. Request cultural resource specialist review of proposed buffer sites. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $7,932
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element

4: Coordination Produce Conservation Plan For Landowners Develop site specific inventories, assessments, alternatives for implementation. Review with landowner to ensure resource needs and landowner objectives met. Document selected alternative. Develop designs, specifications necessary for practices to be implemented as part of the plan. Move plan through review and approval steps. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $178,200
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element

5: Coordination Sign CCRP/CREP Agreements With Landowners, NRCS, SWCD & FSA SWCD technical staff will track conservation plans through the approval process culminating with USDA buffer contracts to ensure a smooth process between landowners and partner agencies. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $2,750
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element

6: Provide Technical Review Provide Technical Review On Implementation Of Conservation Plan Provide technical review and coordination as necessary, assisting landowners prepare to implement approved CCRP/CREP buffer plans. Coordinate with landowners on plantings, fencing, off-stream water developments and other conservation practices associated with the riparian buffer. Inspect buffers and associated conservation practices, verifying planned practices were installed in accordance with USDA NRCS Field Office Technical Guide standards. Repeat Stream Visual Assessment Protocol after buffer has been in place for a minimum of 3-5 years. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $26,440
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element

7: Manage and Administer Projects Manage & Administer Project Develop Contract Statements of Work, Budgets, spending plan and inventory list. Maintain workplans, workforce and cost records. Attend BPA, NWPCC, CBFWA conferences and workshops as required. Manage project resources, maintaining accountability and efficiency. Provide leadership and supervision to project personnel. Integrate contract work elements and budget into SWCD Annual Work Plan and public budgeting process to ensure contract requirements are met in a timely manner and within budget. This work element also includes bookkeeping and accounting functions. 5/1/2007 4/30/2010 $26,525
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element

8: Produce Status Report Prepare Quarterly Status Reports Prepare 4 quarterly status reports each project year and submit them to to BPA COTR. Status reports will include a summary of outreach efforts, summary of potential buffer contracts, and summary of plans completed. 7/1/2007 5/1/2010 $1,274
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element

9: Produce Annual Report Prepare Annual Report Prepare an annual report for each project year's (performance period) beginning with the FY07 project year 5/1/07-4/30/08. 5/1/2008 6/15/2010 $2,700
Biological Objectives Metrics
Deschutes Summer Steelhead Productivity
John Day Summer Steelhead Productivity
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel Conservation Planner/Technician 0.9 FTE $33,210 $34,206 $35,232
Personnel Technician Asst. 0.2 FTE $4,100 $4,200 $4,500
Personnel District Manager 0.2 FTE $11,810 $12,164 $12,921
Personnel Clerical Asst. 0.08 FTE $2,949 $3,038 $3,227
Fringe Benefits Other Personnel Expenses $15,621 $16,082 $16,764
Supplies Field & Office Equipment / Supplies $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Travel 3 days / year at $120 $360 $360 $360
Other Vehicle annual op. costs 15,000 mi. @$0.44 $6,600 $6,600 $6,600
Other Space Rental $538/Qtr $2,152 $2,152 $2,152
Overhead 10% $7,780 $7,980 $8,276
Totals $85,582 $87,782 $91,032

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$264,396
Total Work Element budget$264,396

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
OWEB/ODA Technician 0.4 FTE $16,229 $17,273 $18,365 Cash Under Development
USDA Farm Services Agency CRP/CREP Buffer Implementation and contract payments based on past 3 year annual average $1,173,265 $1,173,265 $1,173,265 Cash Under Development
USDA NRCS Technical Review of Completed Plans $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 In-Kind Confirmed
Totals $1,193,494 $1,194,538 $1,195,630

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$93,300 $95,600 Assumes continuation of same level of effort with 2-3% annual increases
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
No cost to BPA. O&M costs are funded by USDA through annual maintenance payments to landowners with Buffer Contracts.
 
Termination Date Comments
2014 Termination date to be determined. There is potential for approximately 1,000 stream miles of Riparian Buffers in Wasco County, although realistically 500 miles is the maximum we should expect to enroll for a variety of reasons. As of December 2005, 223.88 miles of buffer had been contracted for about 22% of the total. Assuming progress continues at the current rate, half the potential buffers (about 500 miles) will be under contract by the time the first contracts begin to expire in 2014. Therefore a 2014 tentative termination date seems reasonable.
 
Final Deliverables
Final Reports

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
$70,160
FY 2008 Budget
$70,160
FY 2009 Budget
$70,160
Total NPCC Rec
$210,480
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
Comments:


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

FY 2007 Budget
$70,160
FY 2008 Budget
$70,160
FY 2009 Budget
$70,160
Total NPCC Rec
$210,480
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: M&E comment pending. See M&E decision memo discussion.

Local or MSRT Comments: OSPIT recommends reducing the budget to FY06 levels. Sponsors had indicated they could make do with partial funding. OSPIT recognizes the importance of CREP project and ability to leverage other funds.


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

Recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)
NPCC Comments: This is a combined response from the group of SWCD projects. The response letter raises concerns that ISRP reviewers are unaware of the nature of leveraged funding (with OWEB and USDA) that these projects allow. However, reviewers found that proposals make that relationship clear. ISRP review comments are directed at extending the benefits generated through these cost-effective proposals by developing monitoring collaborations and expanding evaluative assessment of the SWCD work. Review comments are also directed at encouraging the SWCDs to prioritize projects not only on the basis of opportunity but also on the basis of priority areas for conservation; i.e., to actively target areas prioritized in subbasin plans.

The response addresses five areas identified by the ISRP. In the response, the SWCDs indicate that they will initiate a cooperative buffer effectiveness monitoring effort with ODFW, describe how enrollment is targeted, provide a plan to resolve the buffer contract data confidentiality issue, agree to collaboratively document SWCD experience with riparian buffer contracts, and identify the relation of SWCD projects to other riparian projects.

However, the issue of the effectiveness of these riparian buffer contracts in improving physical status of habitats and the biological status of fish populations remains. Fish and physical habitat response need to be evaluated. The number of acres under contract is impressive, but sites at different areas should be monitored for factors such as parr utilization. At present, the tie to the ODFW biological monitoring is inadequate and should be more actively coordinated.

In developing the collaborative document assessing SWCD experience with riparian buffer contracts, the ISRP urges the SWCDs to include information on "what hasn't worked" as well as "what has worked" and reasons why. The document should be as analytical as possible about effective and ineffective approaches, opportunities and constraints. If written as an analytical assessment the document could be an important educational tool providing information transfer to other districts and entities as they implement similar types of incentive programs.

The recommended qualification to funding is that the project should develop: 1. a collaboration plan (with ODFW) for buffer effectiveness monitoring; and 2. a work element to assess SWCD experience with buffer contract development and implementation.


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 a strong potential to benefit aquatic habitat and species (summer steelhead and resident fish), as well as non-aquatic riparian species.

The proposal shows a clear connection to the limiting factors identified in the John Day and Deschutes Subbasin Plans, many of which can be addressed by riparian buffers, and to subbasin restoration priorities. It has excellent collaboration and complementarity with other projects. A brief history of the project to date is described in terms of the number, area and amount of USDA contracts leveraged, but without analysis of the determinants (plus or minus) of enrollment rates or locations. The SWCD projects would benefit from an analytical assessment of what works and what doesn't.

Specific objectives are stated in terms of the # buffer acres, # riparian acres, and # miles to be implemented in riparian buffers. It is good to have these objectives quantified, but as with other riparian buffer projects there is no discussion of the basis for these numbers. How do the SWCDs develop their enrollment targets? How do these targeted enrollments relate to the total need?

Tasks are appropriate to the objectives. 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.

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 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.

Maintained by the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Authority. Please direct comments or questions to the webmaster.