FY07-09 proposal 200719400

Jump to Reviews and Recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleOak Flats Acquisition and Habitat Enhancement
Proposal ID200719400
OrganizationWashington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Short descriptionAcquire a 300 acre multi-parcel site on the Naches River to protect from rural development and enhance 3.0 miles of streamside riparian habitat. Site supports Chinook salmon and Federally threatened mid-Columbia summer steelhead and bull trout.
Information transferBaseline inventory data will be compiled and available in project status and summary reports, and on-line at http://www.dfw.wa.gov.
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
Form submitter
John McGowan Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife mcgowjgm@dfw.wa.gov
All assigned contacts
John McGowan Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife mcgowjgm@dfw.wa.gov
John McGowan Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife mcgowjgm@dfw.wa.gov
John McGowan Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife mcgowjgm@dfw.wa.gov

Section 2. Locations

Province / subbasin: Columbia Plateau / Yakima

46 deg 44' 57.234 -120 deg 48' 37.112 Naches River 18 miles west of Yakima, WA on Hwy 410.

Section 3. Focal species

primary: Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
secondary: Bull Trout

Section 4. Past accomplishments


Section 5. Relationships to other projects

Funding sourceRelated IDRelated titleRelationship
BPA 199603327 Coho Supp Yakima R Constructio Coho supplementation hatchery constructed on mainstem Yakima R. to increase coho stocks in sub-basin. Coho will benefit from off-channel rearing habitat proposed in this project.
BPA 199705000 Little Naches Riparian Channel Placement of LWD and boulders in groupings within some of the most heavily disciplined reaches. This project will complement the biological objectives of the Little Naches project, which is upstream from Oak Flats.
BPA 200107100 Wapatox Water Rights Purchase Oak Flats project may have ability to re-direct additional Wapatox water rights purchased by BOR through increased diversion efficiencies, increasing in-stream flow in the Naches River.
BPA 200102500 Rattlesnake Cr Salmonid Prod Salmonid enhancement project 9 miles upstream from Oak Flats project site.
BPA 199705100 Yakima Basin Side Channels Protects the most productive side channel habitats within five reaches of the Yakima watershed.
BPA 199705200 Yakima R Rearing Habitat Enhan Study of Naches R. alluvial reaches, in concert with the BOR reaches study.
PCSRF - WSRFB 01-1256 Cowiche Creek Barrier Removal Barrier removal on Cowiche Creek is designed to expand Yakima River tributary habitat for ESA listed stocks. Oak Flats project will provide off-channel Naches River rearing habitat in the vicinity of Cowiche Creek.
Other: Private HPA# G1738-01 Oak Flats: Deliver Two Large Habitat Trees for Off-channel Attraction Off-site compensatory habitat mitigation required as part of HPA violation. HPA-Provision (4).
Other: WSDOT IP 94-4-00800 SR-12 Naches River Mitigation Site Buffer creation. Buffer enhancement. Long-term monitoring and management. Provided passable, quasi-natural passage channel from Naches River into open-water wetland.
Other: USFWS CA# 134102-J-01 Yakima Basin Bull Trout Radio Telemetry Ongoing study of bull trout movement, habitat use, and distribution into and outside the project area. Currently in 3rd year of data collection.

Section 6. Biological objectives

Biological objectivesFull descriptionAssociated subbasin planStrategy
Accelerate recovery rate in Wapatox Consolidate remaining Wapatox water right deliveries upstream with Naches-Selah I.D. canal and reduce conveyance loss, to provide additional in-stream flow in Naches. Additional head pressure will provide downstream users with increased irrigation efficiencies. Yakima Consolidation will allow removal of the Wapatox Dam, releasing bedload sediments that will enhance habitat restoration in this reach. It will not require supplemental pumping (energy efficiency) and will increase diversion efficiencies (Phase II). .
Improve fish passage at diversion dams Remove/relocate diversion dams or provide year-round fish bypass channels. Yakima Eliminate high-maintenance Naches-Selah Irrigation District diversion dam and construct in-channel natural structure. Channel incision has created difficulty in efficient stream diversion and problematic fish passage facilitation (Phase II).
Provide adequate fish screens at all structures Screen all in-stream structures with appropriate sized screening to protect against fish entry and stranding loss. Yakima Remove unscreened headgate structures and pipelines from abandoned City of Yakima water works located on the project area. Recent fish losses from these structures has been observed.
Restore bedload sediments Allow natural movement of sediments to restore functioning riparian habitats. Yakima Reconfigure Oak Flats project area to return floodplain functionality and natural mining of sediments. Reduce constrictions and remove infrastructure, including an old concretre dam, to release accumulated bedload.
Restore physical access to natural side channels Restore river use of channels and ditches off-stream within natural Channel Migration Zone. Yakima Remove infrastructure impeding natural CMZ and regrade/remove river dikes and concrete dam. Construct fish-friendly river grade control (Phase 2) to restore floodplain functionality. Reconnect pipeline channel to river to reduce stranding loss.
Restore riparian zone to 80% of previous extent Restore functionality to 80% of pre-settlement extent in Tieton and Lower Naches. Yakima Purchase floodplain properties, especially in areas where floodplain restoration and infrastructure reconfiguration can occur, such as the Oak Flats project area.
Restore viable P. Pine and Cottonwood populations Establish stands of Ponderosa Pine and Black Cottonwood within riparian corridors to recruit LWD and restore natural habitat structure. Yakima Facilitate long-term natural recruitment of LWD along reach and provide off-channel shade by introductions of native riparian plantings within appropriate zonal locations.

Section 7. Work elements (coming back to this)

Work element nameWork element titleDescriptionStart dateEnd dateEst budget
Land Purchase Oak Flats Acquisition Purchase four parcels of land from City of Yakima and one small parcel from private landowner. 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $550,000
Biological objectives
Improve fish passage at diversion dams
Restore bedload sediments
Restore physical access to natural side channels
Restore riparian zone to 80% of previous extent
Enhance Floodplain Remove river dikes and side channel blockages Remove / regrade 750 feet of containment dikes and lower / remove blockages to natural side channels at four (4) locations. 6/15/2007 6/30/2007 $2,500
Biological objectives
Restore physical access to natural side channels
Restore riparian zone to 80% of previous extent
Restore viable P. Pine and Cottonwood populations
* # of acres treated: 40 acres
Plant Vegetation Plant trees in riparian zones Plant P. pine and black cottonwood stock within appropriate site parameters throughout the project area. 9/1/2008 9/30/2008 $4,000
Biological objectives
Restore viable P. Pine and Cottonwood populations
* # of riparian miles treated: 3.0 miles
Remove Debris Remove non-functional infrastructure & invasive weeds Clean up project site and treat invvasive weed species. 4/1/2007 4/30/2008 $2,500
Biological objectives
Remove/Modify Dam Modify concrete diversion dam Remove/relocate multiple sections of in-stream remnant concrete diversion dam to reduce channel constriction and distribute sediments and water velocity. 7/1/2007 7/31/2007 $23,000
Biological objectives
Restore bedload sediments
* # of miles of habitat accessed: 1.0 mile
Conduct Pre-Acquisition Activities Oak Flats Pre-acquisition Activities Conduct appraisal, cultural resource surveys, and environmental analysis of proposed acquisitions. 1/1/2007 5/30/2007 $18,000
Biological objectives
Restore riparian zone to 80% of previous extent
Other Administrative overhead Agency overhead and administration of contrracts, etc. 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $25,570
Biological objectives
Outreach and Education Provide project information and control Install boundary, parking, and project description signs. Install entry gate. 5/1/2007 10/31/2007 $2,500
Biological objectives
* # of general public reached: est. 75,000
Produce Design and/or Specifications Design and Spec construction work Provide engineering and specifications and a design plan for project construction objectives. 1/1/2007 3/31/2007 $18,000
Biological objectives
Restore riparian zone to 80% of previous extent
Produce Inventory or Assessment Monitor / assess salmonid populations Establish initial baseline inventory / assessment of salmonid populations within project area. Using consistent methodology, assess changes in populations during and at the conclusion of the project. 1/1/2007 12/31/2009 $6,000
Biological objectives
Improve fish passage at diversion dams
Restore physical access to natural side channels
Restore riparian zone to 80% of previous extent
Acquire Water Instream Consolidate Wapatox and Naches-Selah I.D.(NSID) diversions Consolidate Wapatox water right deliveries with upstream NSID diversion to reduce conveyance loss and increase flow in bypass reach. 4/1/2007 10/31/2009 $0
Biological objectives
Accelerate recovery rate in Wapatox
* # of miles of primary stream reach improvement: 7.5 miles

Section 8. Budgets

Itemized estimated budget
Supplies O&M supplies $1,800 $500 $200
Personnel WDFW certified appraiser $12,000 $0 $0
Personnel DAHP survey $3,000 $0 $0
Other Acquisition $550,000 $0 $0
Personnel AmeriCorp contract / planting $0 $3,000 $0
Personnel Excavation contractor $2,500 $0 $0
Supplies Planting supplies $0 $1,000 $0
Personnel AmeriCorp contract / cleanup $1,000 $1,500 $0
Personnel Dam removal / contractor $23,000 $0 $0
Personnel environmental survey $3,000 $0 $0
Overhead WDFW indirect / overhead $10,000 $10,000 $5,570
Personnel Population monitoring $2,500 $1,500 $2,000
Personnel Engineering & design $12,000 $6,000 $0
Totals $620,800 $23,500 $7,770
Total estimated FY 2007-2009 budgets
Total itemized budget: $652,070
Total work element budget: $652,070
Cost sharing
Funding source/orgItem or service providedFY 07 est value ($)FY 08 est value ($)FY 09 est value ($)Cash or in-kind?Status
City of Yakima appraisal $12,000 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
Naches-Selah ID Phase II feasibility study $0 $0 $25,000 Cash Under Development
WDFW construction $3,000 $1,000 $500 In-Kind Confirmed
WDFW Management / O&M $1,500 $1,000 $500 In-Kind Confirmed
WDFW acquisition $50,000 $0 $0 Cash Confirmed
WSDOT Technical assistance / hydrology assessment $5,000 $2,500 $2,500 In-Kind Confirmed
Yakama Indian Nation Data / technical assistance $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 In-Kind Under Review
Totals $72,500 $5,500 $29,500

Section 9. Project future

FY 2010 estimated budget: $250
FY 2011 estimated budget: $250
Comments: Estimated annual maintenance expenditures

Future O&M costs: Future O&M obligations will be assumed by staff at the WDFW's Oak Creek Wildlife Area.

Termination date: none
Comments: Termination of the project acquisition and initial habitat recovery activities is estimated to be 12/2007, but additional cooperative partnerships and habitat enhancements on the site are planned for the future.

Final deliverables: Final project report Phase II feasibility study On-line webpage Project data / salmonid surveys

Section 10. Narrative and other documents

[Attached Document] Jul 2006
[Attached Document] Jul 2006

Reviews and recommendations

FY07 budget FY08 budget FY09 budget Total budget Type Category Recommendation
NPCC FINAL FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS (Oct 23, 2006) [full Council recs]
$550,000 $0 $0 $550,000 Expense ProvinceExpense Fund
NPCC DRAFT FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS (Sep 15, 2006) [full Council recs]
$550,000 $0 $0 $0 ProvinceExpense
Comments: Fund just the aquisition as per ISRP comments.


Recommendation: Response requested

NPCC comments: This is both a simple acquisition of land on the middle reaches of the Naches River, plus a riparian habitat restoration effort (3.0 miles of riparian and floodplain habitat) to remove containment dikes, open side channels, plant vegetation (ponderosa pine and black cotttonwood), and modify an unused diversion dam. The administrative form has far more pertinent data regarding the objectives, work elements, and methods than the narrative, which is very weak in describing these key elements of the proposal. A response is requested to include the information from the administration portion of the form in the narrative portion of the proposal. The acquisition appears justified, but the restoration work is not adequately described. A response should also better describe the justification for the benefits of restoration work to fish and wildlife and the methods to be used. Also, a response is needed to better define project monitoring and evaluation. This may be done outside this project by others, but links to those other projects, conducting the monitoring, are needed. Other comments: Technical and scientific background: The technical background does an adequate job of describing habitat conditions at the Oak Flats site (the photographs were appreciated). Focal species using this area were mentioned but their current population status could have been better summarized. The proposal states that this is the last best chance to protect one of the last unprotected reaches of the Naches River system, and it would have been helpful to display on the map where other protected reaches were located so the spatial context of the project would have been clearer. A good case is also made for several habitat restoration actions (i.e. restore access to side channels, restore viable ponderosa pine and cottonwood populations, remove parts of old diversion dam, and increase instream flow). The current habitat problems are clearly described. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The Yakima Subbasin Plan and an Oak Creeks Management Plan are referred to, but the relationship of this project to the priorities in these plans is poorly described. The subbasin plan does indicate that protection of riparian habitat is an important objective and that some reaches on the Naches River fall into a high priority category for restoration/protection based on the EDT analysis. However, it cannot be determined from the proposal whether or not this project falls into one of the high priority reaches on the Naches. Relationships to other projects: A list of projects occurring in the vicinity of this project (and some not so close to the project location) is provided. The connection between these other projects and this project is not described in the narrative but is well done on the administrative form. A useful comment is made that this site would link WDFW wildlife areas north and south of the Naches River. This is an important consideration for wildlife habitat connectivity. Objectives: In the narrative, the proposal has just a short list of objectives, but the administrative form has good detail regarding each specific objective giving clearly defined habitat improvements. Tasks (work elements) and methods: There are one-sentence statements of work elements in Section 7 on the administrative form, but no details about habitat improvement methods were provided in the project narrative. The feasibility and biological potential of these efforts cannot be judged without considerably more information. Monitoring and evaluation: The budget request in the administrative form actually includes "environmental survey" and "population monitoring" items, but no details are given in the narrative, and monitoring is not mentioned. Facilities, equipment, and personnel appear to be adequate. Information transfer: There is a brief mention of project data being available on the WDFW website. However, it is not clear what type of data will be collected at the project site. Interpretive signs will be installed at the site. No indication of other mechanisms of public education or transfer of scientific information through more traditional channels. Benefits to focal and non-focal species: The project may provide some significant long-term benefits to spring chinook, steelhead, and bull trout by protection from development and several habitat restoration activities. However, the extent of this benefit cannot be determined from the information included in the proposal. There should be no negative effect on non-focal species and riparian wildlife species should benefit.

ISRP FINAL REVIEW (Aug 31, 2006)

Recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

NPCC comments: The sponsors of this proposal have provided adequate responses to most ISRP review comments and recommendations. The response contains useful information about target species abundance. From the EDT analyses it does appear that Oak Flats ranks as a high priority area for salmonid restoration. Additionally, the response (as well as the revised narrative) makes a good case for acquiring the Oak Flats area to help fill in a gap -- and remove an elk fence -- that will improve wildlife connectivity between existing wildlife strongholds. It was gratifying to see a proposal address fish and wildlife issues in an integrated way. Some details of the restoration work are provided, although there are other undescribed details that could be potentially important (e.g., when will the old water diversion structures be demolished?). Heavy equipment activity in the river could cause sediment and other water quality issues for spawning, egg incubation, and early rearing life stages, so timing of instream activity will be critical. The ISRP rated this proposal as Fundable with a qualification because of the lack of details described for the monitoring and evaluation of project effects benefiting focal species (steelhead and bull trout) and their habitats. They name the groups doing fisheries monitoring in this area of the Naches River (the Yakima Nation, WDFW, and the USFS), but need to include the methods used, variables to be measured, and the links to those agencies' monitoring projects.