FY 2003 Lower Columbia proposal 31012

Additional documents

Maryland Easement Program Response Attachment
Oregon ESA Letter of Support Response Attachment
Cascade Pacific Letter of Support Response Attachment
Maryland CREP Easement Option Response Attachment
Maryland CREP Deed of Conservation Easement Response Attachment
31012 Narrative Narrative
31012 Sponsor Response to the ISRP Response

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleLeveraging Conservation Easements for Fish and Wildlife in the Willamette Basin
Proposal ID31012
OrganizationCascade Pacific Resource Conservation and Development, Inc. (CPRC&D)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameKaren Strohmeyer
Mailing address305 SW "C" St., Suite 5 Corvallis, Oregon 97333-4400
Phone / email5417574807 / Karen.Strohmeyer@or.usda.gov
Manager authorizing this projectCascade Pacific RC&D Board of Directors
Review cycleLower Columbia
Province / SubbasinLower Columbia / Willamette
Short descriptionLeveraging conservation easements for fish and wildlife protection in the Willamette Basin
Target speciesFall and Spring Chinook, steelhead, Oregon Chub, Bald Eagle
Project location
44.39 -123.22 Willamette River Reach from Corvallis to Harrisburg
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)


Action 150
Action 153:

Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1994-2000 EPA Willamette Initiative Program: CPRC&D administered $312,000 for 23 watershed restoration projects including application and award process, evaluation criteria, contracting, project management and fiscal administration.
2000 Willamette Floodpain Restoration Project: Adminsitered a $450,000 and implemented four landowner projects that restored water quality, fish and wildlife habitat and floodplain function along the Willamette River.
2000 McKenzie Watershed Council: Administered $500,000 for council support, education/outreach, project mangement, BPA Sub-basin Assessment and OWEB Habitat Evaluation, stream and riparian projects.
2000 Coastal Initiative: Administered $197,000 USFS funding for watershed restoration projects

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
Willamette River Reach analysis Will be funded by OWEB to prioritize high value habitat, look at alternatives to dredging, address erosion to roads and other infrastructure
Willamette River Monitoring Program National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for $150,000 to develop monitoring protocols for restoration work on the Willamette River. Primary investigator, Stan Gregory
Pacific NW Ecosystem Research Consortium* Willamette Basin Summary, p. 128

Section 4. Budget for Planning and Design phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2003 costSubcontractor
Develop a conservation easement and acquisition program that will be used by landowners along the Willamette River.- a. Facilitate a DRAFT conservation easement document 1 $10,300
b. Implement a reach analysis to identify minimum criteria for mainstem restoration and prioritization . 2 $0
c. Set up committee of scientist/agencies/ landowners/funders to establish program criteria, sliding scale for funding and prioritization. 3 $12,000
d. Set up and hold landowner meetings 1 $10,000
e. Identify and secure at least four landowners to participate in the program. 2 $10,210
f. Determine costs and seek funding 5 $25,580
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Set up a fully functional landowner-driven conservation easement and acquisition program to protect floodplain function and ripariam buffers along the Willamette River. 2004 2007 $136,320
Outyear budgets for Planning and Design phase
FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006FY 2007

Section 5. Budget for Construction and Implementation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2003 costSubcontractor
Implement Easement Program Set up easements with at least four landowners 4 $0
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Implement Easement Program 2004 2007 $170,040
Outyear budgets for Construction and Implementation phase
FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006FY 2007

Section 6. Budget for Operations and Maintenance phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2003 costSubcontractor
n/a O&M is landowner responsibility 5 $0
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
2004 2007 $0
Outyear budgets for Operations and Maintenance phase

Section 7. Budget for Monitoring and Evaluation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2003 costSubcontractor
Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Pacific NW Ecosystem Research Consortium in collaboration with OSU Fish and Wildlife will conduct monitoring and evaluation(See National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant) 3 $0
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
2004 2007 $0
Outyear budgets for Monitoring and Evaluation phase

Section 8. Estimated budget summary

Itemized budget
ItemNoteFY 2003 cost
Personnel FTE: 1.0 $46,000
Fringe (15%) $6,900
Supplies Mailings, printing $3,000
Travel Meetings, field visits $1,000
Indirect Administrative overhead $6,190
Subcontractor Lawyer $5,000
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2003 cost$68,090
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2003 budget request$68,090
FY 2003 forecast from 2002$0
% change from forecast0.0%
Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
OWEB Reach Analysis $200,000 cash
National Fish and Wildlife Fdn Monitoring and Evaluation $15,000 cash
USDA-NRCS Office, telephone, computer $10,000 cash
Benton, Linn, Polk, Marion, Lane Counties Title 2 and 3 funds for easement purchase $1,000,000 cash
Fundraising:Congress, foundations, capital campaign Purchase easements $1,000,000 cash
NRCS staff-RC&D Coordinator 1/4 time Oversight and management $17,000 in-kind

Reviews and recommendations

This information was not provided on the original proposals, but was generated during the review process.

Fundable only if response is adequate
Mar 1, 2002


A response is needed. The proposal cites a lack of adequate state and federal programs to provide options and incentives for landowners to enroll in conservation easement programs. It proposes to develop a conservation easement program along the Willamette River from Corvallis to Harrisburg, an area of large-scale farms with low enrollment in USDA CREP and WRP. This proposal is to have a landowner-developed easement program that protects long-term farming interests while meeting riparian protection objectives.

The program proposed would differ from USDA programs in several ways: it would operate under a sliding scale of value according the uses allowed of the land. The land closest to the river would be placed into permanent native vegetation, with land away form the river allowed to be used for some farming. The gradient of uses would vary from farm to farm. A variety of funding sources is identified. The rationale for the Corvallis to Harrisburg target area is that this area has been identified as the most important for biodiversity given historical river patterns.

The main objective of the proposal is to develop an easement and acquisition program that will be used by landowners in the identified reach to enhance and protect riparian buffers. Once an easement program is developed, the project will implement the program with at least four landowners. Monitoring and evaluation of the project will be funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The proposal should better explain why this program is necessary given that the opportunity exists for landowners to participate in incentive programs such as CREP. The major reason given in the proposal is landowner distrust of government, but a more thorough justification should be provided. Many landowners across the state participate in state and federal programs. What attributes of the USDA riparian protection programs are deemed inadequate for this area? How would the proposed approach address those inadequacies? How will this program differ from CREP and other state and federal landowner incentive programs? How will the proposed program meet conservation objectives? What are the oversight and easement requirements?

What are the benefits to fish and wildlife? Will the standards for participation in the program be comparable to those of federal and state programs? Will the program be more flexible than state and federal programs? What sort of oversight will occur? The sponsors also need to provide a general statement of the guiding principles and standards for the landowner-developed program.

Recommended Action
May 17, 2002


Jun 7, 2002


Fundable as a pilot project, although the investigators should still provide more detail about program operation. The initial proposal and presentation emphasized the lack of trust in government as creating the need for the easement and acquisition program. The response has shifted its emphasis to focus on the benefits of perpetual easements over the 15-year leases. One benefit is the potential to protect larger areas along the riparian corridor than the 150 ft. limit of CREP. The response describes the project as a pilot that will demonstrate benefits to landowners, based on purchase of conservation easements on riparian land at full market value. It also hopes to demonstrate benefits that will lead to changes in CREP.

The response does not detail the type of oversight that will occur - citing only that it will be modeled after the Maryland program described in an attached document. Monitoring is not described. Similarly, the response to guiding principles and standards presents a general goal/guiding principle, but does not provide detail on program standards.

Letters of support for the proposal are provided. The USDA letter suggests that should conservation easements on riparian land be purchased, the producer could still qualify for CREP rental payments for the same land under riparian management for 15 years. Is this correct? This is the type of question that the program standards should explicitly address.

The budget for this project is small, and the potential benefits to fish of Willamette riparian corridor restoration are large. If it leads to effective changes in CREP the potential benefits extend beyond the Willamette to other areas of Oregon needing riparian restoration.

Jul 19, 2002


Statement of Potential Biological Benefit to ESU
Project intends to enroll willing landowners in riparian easements which could improve habitat and increase survival

The duration, composition, and characteristics of easements are unclear. Project intends to work outside of USDA programs like CREP.

Already ESA Req? No

Biop? No

Jul 23, 2002


Recommend deferring consideration of new anadromous fish mitigation proposals in the Willamette subbasin until issuance of the NMFS/USFWS BiOp for the Willamette Basin federal hydroprojects.
Do Not Fund
Oct 30, 2002