Not fundable; inadequate proposal. This is a brief proposal for property and/or water right acquisitions in the Yakima River floodplain that leaves many unanswered questions about satisfying the solicitation criteria. The Stanford upwelling rationale for habitat value is given in the abstract but not discussed in the text. Species affected are mentioned (chinook, coho, steelhead, bull trout), but not identified as ESA listed or how they might be affected. Neither the justification nor rationale sections of the proposal even refer to the solicitation criteria. The purchases could be one-time funding but whether purchase alone will affect fish soon is not clear. Although a map was provided, the properties were not adequately described in the material reviewed. The distribution of land purchase versus water right purchase (both together?) was not adequately described. Water right purchase might add tributary flow (thus satisfying one of the four functional criteria), but this is not stated. The references consist mostly of personal communications. Resumes are not provided for staff (only names and jobs). Although the purchases might be worthwhile, the proposal is not an adequate justification for funding them under this solicitation.
Not fundable, inadequate proposal and response. This proposal does not tightly meet the Action Plan criteria, as the primary objective of the proposal is for land acquisition. Unlike the other land acquisition proposals reviewed for this memo, this proposal does offer immediate flow increases as requested in the Action Plan solicitation. However, the proposal and response are brief and lacking in sufficient detail for the technical review that the ISRP usually conducts. Specifically, although flow increases would be provided (600 acre-feet), that increase is not stated within the context of present discharge levels. Will 600 acre-feet produce a significant increase in existing flow? What are current summer low flows and what will the 600 acre-feet add?
Moreover, the brief response leaves the ISRP to take brief statements on face value. For example, "Willing sellers have been identified for a fee simple purchase." The monitoring plan is to "Monitor: Stream surveys, redd counts, measure restoration success." If funded, Council should review results of final negotiations carefully before release of funds and should require detailed operation and management and monitoring and evaluation plans that are consistent and at a finer scale than monitoring projects funded through the Columbia Plateau Province review. This proposal would have been more appropriate for the Columbia Plateau review, but it was not submitted under that solicitation.
In Bonneville's letter of July 12, Robert Austin informed the Council that Bonneville
determined that land acquisition proposals do not fit the Action Plan solicitation and should be
reviewed in the appropriate provincial review. With that position taken, the Council did not
review these proposals further. The Council did review a similar proposal; 23084, Acquisition of
Lower Desolation Creek, John Day Basin. The Council recommended the proposal for funding.
The distinction found by the Council is that the proposal carries water quantity benefits that were
sought by the Action Plan solicitation.