BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Clearwater Subbasin Focus Watershed

BPA project number   9608600

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ID Soil Conservation Commission

Sponsor type   ID-Model Watershed

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameBiff Burleigh
 Mailing addressP.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0083

BPA technical contact   , EWP

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   7.7A.4

Short description
Project will utilize the processes developed in the Idaho model watershed to identify and treat critical fisheries habitat in the Clearwater subbasin, and to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment measures.

Project start year   1996    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1998

Project development phase   Planning/Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
BPA Projects

#9202603 Idaho Model Watershed, Administration/Implementation Support

#9401700 Idaho Model Watershed Habitat Projects
Developed processes to be used in Clearwater Focus Watershed. The Idaho Soil Conservation Commission has been designated by the Governor to be the lead State coordinating agency for both Northwest Power Planning Council programs.

#939501 Red River
Sponsored by the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation District, Grangeville, Idaho

The following are water quality and fisheries habitat-related projects ongoing in the Clearwater subbasin which would complement the proposed processes and treatment:

Idaho State Agricultural Water Quality Program projects
- Cottonwood Creek
- Mission Creek
- Lapwai Creek
- Pine Creek
- Bedrock Creek
- Little Potlatch Creek
- Little Canyon Creek
- Big Canyon Creek
- Lolo/Ford's Creek
- Hatwai Creek

USDA Cooperative River Basin Projects
- Potlatch River Basin

Natural Resource Conservation Service's PL-566 Program
- Mission/Lapwai Creek
- Bedrock Creek

Coordinated Resource Management Plans
- Jim Brown Creek
- Lolo Creek
- Three Bear
- Mason Butte

EPA 314 Projects
- Mud Springs
- Winchester Lake

EPA 319 Projects
- Hatwai Creek
- Confined Feeding Operation Inventory
Lapwai Creek
Potlatch River Basin
Cottonwood Creek

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
- Criteria developed for prioritization of critical fisheries habitat watersheds for anadromous and resident species

- Streams selected from prioritization criteria by soil conservation districts

- Streams prioritized by Clearwater Basin Advisory Group

- Watershed advisory groups formed

- Fisheries habitat enhancement plans developed

- All parameters will be met for support of applicable beneficial uses as per Idaho water quality standards

Testable hypothesis
We hypothesize that the protection, enhancement and restoration of anadromous and resident fisheries habitat will result after the planning and implementation of appropriate Best Management Practices. Our testable or null hypothesis is that the protection, enhancement and restoration of anadromous and resident fisheries habitat will not result after the planning and implementation of appropriate Best Management Practices

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
- Cooperation and communication among all entities: Soil conservation districts, Nez Perce Tribe, state, federal agencies, local governments, private land owners and operators

- At the project level, funding to plan and implement fisheries habitat enhancement plans will be contingent upon traditional state and federal sources and local volunteerism

- Improvements in applicable beneficial uses from land treatment will not immediately be realized

METHODS: Response must include 1) brief experimental design including a description of equipment, techniques and materials; 2) statistical analysis; 3) type and number of fish to be used.

In order to measure results for this project, we will:

1. Quantify land treatment activities and implementation of Best Management Practices through water quality contracts and status reviews. This will be done in order to ensure land treatment addresses habitat concerns and that sufficient land has been treated to improve local fisheries habitat.

2. Habitat conditions and trends will be monitored using appropriate Idaho Department of Health and Welfare-Division of Environmental Quality (IDHW-DEQ) monitoring protocols. Paired analysis with either untreated watersheds or reference sites will be used where appropriate. In the absence of an appropriate paired site, treated sites will be analyzed in reference to a desired future condition index.

Due to the status and impacts to anadromous fisheries outside of the drainage, monitoring of fisheries will use non-invasive techniques and/or use resident fisheries as a surrogate for measuring improvement in overall fisheries population.

Brief schedule of activities
- Hire focus watershed coordinator and an information specialist
- Identify and prioritize subwatersheds within the Clearwater subbasin for the protection, enhancement and restoration of anadromous and resident fisheries habitat and overall watershed health.

a. With assistance from IDHW-DEQ and other technical sources, develop criteria for determining critical fisheries habitat.

b. Soil conservation districts will assemble technical teams to review existing fisheries habitat status and water quality restoration activities ongoing in the Clearwater River subbasin and identify additional information needs. Districts will recommend priority watersheds to focus watershed coordinator for habitat enhancement activities.

- Select high priority subwatersheds in the Clearwater subbasin to implement watershed enhancement activities.

- Implement treatment of critical subwatersheds
a. Secure local, state, federal and private funding to provide technical and financial assistance for implementation and evaluation processes.

b. Watershed advisory groups, in cooperation with land managers, will develop actions needed to protect, restore and enhance fisheries habitat.

- Continue with treatment of critical watersheds
- Evaluate effectiveness of treatment practices in meeting fisheries habitat goals
a. Determine monitoring priorities
b. Develop monitoring plans to evaluate effectiveness of treatment
c. Implement monitoring plans
d. Interpret monitoring results

Biological need
The Clearwater River, from its confluence with the Snake River, upstream to the mouth of Lolo Creek has been designated as critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act for Fall Chinook Salmon. The Clearwater subbasin contains a significant portion of remaining habitat in Idaho for Steelhead and Bull Trout. Several waterbodies in the subbasin have been listed as water quality limited by the State under the federal Clean Water Act.

Critical uncertainties
- Acceptance of project by watershed stakeholders
- Impacts outside of drainage may limit fish populations
- Changes in regional economics can have a dramatic impact on land use practices and priorities for natural resource management
- Changes in Endangered Species Act during its reauthorization may alter public perception of the need for species protection

Summary of expected outcome
- Increased understanding of fisheries habitat concerns and potential for improvement
- Development of trust and coordination of goals among subbasin and watershed stakeholders, Nez Perce Tribe, and appropriate public agencies
- Development of prioritization criteria for identification of critical fisheries habitat
- Implementation of action plans to protect, enhance, and restore fisheries habitat on high priority watersheds
- Through monitoring, identification of effectiveness of project actions related to fisheries habitat

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
The State of Idaho is concentrating much of its efforts and resources on addressing water quality limited waters in response to the federal Clean Water Act. Consequently, State monitoring resources will largely be focused on waterbodies on the State's Clean Water Act 303(d) list. Streams in the Clearwater subbasin which have been prioritized and selected for treatment because of critical fisheries habitat may or may not be included on this list. Therefore, the evaluation component of this proposal will rely on:

a. The ability of the State to balance fisheries habitat and water quality needs
b. Cooperation from other agencies and entities to provide monitoring resources

It takes time to build coalitions, commitment, and trust among watershed and subbasin stakeholders. Once this has been accomplished, it is important to maintain progress in achieving project objectives. With annually-funded projects, there is the risk that funding may not be renewed for subsequent years. This interruption in project continuity can have a negative effect on stakeholders' enthusiasm and support for project actions.

Monitoring activity
Monitoring of fisheries habitat will occur throughout the project on selected watersheds using IDHW-DEQ monitoring protocols. Land treatment will be quantified through review of participant contracts.

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
(none) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 133,650
1998: 137,500
1999: 137,500
2000: 137,500
2001: 137,500

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   Snake River

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $133,650