FY 2002 Mountain Snake proposal 200205900

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleRestoration of the Yankee Fork Salmon River
Proposal ID200205900
OrganizationCuster Soil & Water Conservation District, Idaho Governor's Office of Species Conservation (Custer SWCD / OSC)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameKarma Bragg
Mailing addressCuster Soil & Water Conservation District, PO Box 305 Challis, ID 83226
Phone / email2088794428 / CSWCD@Salmoncountry.net
Manager authorizing this projectTed O'Neal
Review cycleMountain Snake
Province / SubbasinMountain Snake / Salmon
Short descriptionRestore the natural river channel characteristics, floodplain function, sediment regime, and aquatic habitat within the dredged reach of the Yankee Fork. Reconnect the remaining quality habitat, thereby increasing the biological integrity of the basin.
Target speciesSnake River Chinook Salmon, Snake River steelhead trout, bull trout, Westslope cutthroat trout
Project location
44.4 -114.66 Yankee Fork Salmon River
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)


Habitat RPA Action 149
Habitat RPA Action 150

Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription
NMFS Action 154 NMFS BPA shall work with the NWPPC to ensure development and updating of subbasin assessments and plans; match state and local funding for coordinated development of watershed assessments and plans; and help fund technical support for subbasin and watershed plan implementation from 2001 to 2006. Planning for priority subbasins should be completed by the 2003 check-in. The action agencies will work with other Federal agencies to ensure that subbasin and watershed assessments and plans are coordinated across non-Federal and Federal land ownerships and programs.

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1999 Overton, C. K., M. A. Radko, and R. Brannon. Watershed analysis approaches using chinook salmon, Yankee Fork of the Salmon River: An example. General Technical Report RMRS-XXX. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO.
1999 Secured partial funding for project through Forest Service Abandoned Mine Lands Appropriations.
1999 Completed preliminary aerial photograph analysis and preliminary GIS analysis.
2000 Secured an understanding with landowner on conservation agreement.
2000 Presented conceptual design and methodologies to local stakeholders.
2000 Contracted with Ed Calame (N.F. John Day Project Manager; BPA Proj. no. 9605300) to review restoration feasibility.
2000 Partnership with University of Idaho Ecohydraulics Research Group to design restoration plan through graduate program.
2001 Completion of watershed analysis by USFS.
2001 USGS analysis of heavy metal impacts within the Yankee Fork watershed
2001 Established study of geomorphology, hydraulics, and sediment transport through University of Idaho Ecohydraulics Research Group.

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
199405000 Salmon River Habitat Enhancement M&E Samples mainstem and Yankee Fork annually to determine juvenile abundance, and adult escapement. Will provide baseline and monitoring data for our proposed work, and off-channel ponds will be integrated into our project. (RPA #150, 152)
198909803 Salmon supplementation study in Idaho Rivers Sampling of the control reach within the study area. Will provide baseline and monitoring data for our proposed work. (RPA #150, 152).
199202603 Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Project (USBWP) Administration/Implementation Support Administrative and public outreach functions associated with habitat restoration planning and work (RPA #149, 150, 152, and 154) as described in this proposal.

Section 4. Budget for Planning and Design phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2002 costSubcontractor
1. Quantify existing and historic conditions a. Develop spatial coverages (GIS) of existing and historic stream riparian area, channel condition and floodplain. 7 $31,500 Yes
b. Conduct geomorphic watershed analysis and sediment budget 1 $42,000 Yes
c. Develop basin-wide hydraulic geometry relationship and define reference reaches. 1 $10,500 Yes
d. Complete aerial photography analysis 1 $42,000 Yes
2. Develop restoration design options a. Model channel hydraulics, sediment transport, and stream temperature. 7 years. Task performed for each restoration phase $65,100 Yes
b. Conduct laboratory experiments to examine interactions between proposed channel morphology, surface and intergravel flow, and aquatic habitat 3 $52,500 Yes
c. Design channel and floodplain restoration plans based on existing data and 1a-d and 2a-b above. 7 $13,650 Yes
3. Provide for longterm benefits for water quality, fish, and wildlife a. Secure conservation easement with private landowners. 1 $10,500 Yes
4. Complete NEPA, Permitting, SHIPO Compliance and ESA Consultation a. Same as Objective on going as needed $100,800
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
1a. Continue GIS support of physical and biological conditions and project activities. 2003 2006 $126,000
2a. Continue modeling of design options for phased restoration 2003 2006 $260,400
2b. Complete laboratory experiments for design options 2003 2004 $105,000
2c. Continue development of channel and floodplain restoration plans for phased restoration. 2003 2006 $54,600
4. Complete NEPA, Permitting, SHIPO Compliance and ESA Consultation 2003 2006 $84,000
Outyear budgets for Planning and Design phase
FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006

Section 5. Budget for Construction and Implementation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2002 costSubcontractor
1. Restore natural channel characteristics and floodplain function a. Complete final engineering documents ($15,750/yr) 7 $0 Yes
b. Provide on-site construction planning, layout and staking, engineering support, and field direction ($31,500/yr) 7 $0 Yes
c. Procure construction materials and supplies ($21,000/yr) 7 $0 Yes
d. Grade, redistribute, and/or remove dredge spoils ($183,750/yr) 7 $0 Yes
e. Construct new channel(s) and cross-section alignment ($131,250/yr) 7 $0 Yes
f. Install restoration features, including bioengineered bank treatments and wood debris ($84,000/yr) 7 $0 Yes
g. Provide on-site construction communications ($7,875/yr) 7 $0 Yes
h. Supervise and manage restoration activities (construction engineer) ($33,600/yr) 7 $0 Yes
2. Restore riparian plant communities a. Plant seedlings and transplanted mature trees/shrubs ($52,500k/yr) 7 $0 Yes
b. Install erosion control fabric and seed ($29,400k/yr) 7 $0 Yes
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
1a. (as above) 2003 2006 $63,000
1b. (as above) 2003 2006 $126,000
1c. (as above) 2003 2006 $84,000
1d. (as above) 2003 2006 $735,000
1e. (as above) 2003 2006 $525,000
1f. (as above) 2003 2006 $336,000
1g. (as above) 2003 2006 $31,500
1h. (as above) 2003 2006 $134,400
2a. (as above) 2003 2006 $210,000
2b. (as above) 2003 2006 $117,600
Outyear budgets for Construction and Implementation phase
FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006

Section 6. Budget for Operations and Maintenance phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2002 costSubcontractor
1. Hire Project Manager & support his/her activities a. Project manager to implement project, coordinate meetings, produce reports, and continue relevant permitting, SHIPO compliance and ESA consultation 7 $81,585
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
1. Continue support for Project Manager 2003 2006 $326,340
Outyear budgets for Operations and Maintenance phase
FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006

Section 7. Budget for Monitoring and Evaluation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2002 costSubcontractor
1. Monitor channel restoration and update methods a. Collect physical monitoring data, including surveys of channel planform & topography; surface and subsurface sediment; hydraulic discharge; stream temperature; sediment transport; riparian vegetation; hyporheic zone 15+ years $81,900 Yes
b. Conduct bio-accumulation monitoring for heavy metals 7 $157,500 Yes
c. Conduct fish habitat surveys 7 $26,250 Yes
d. Compile, analyze, and report data 15+ years $19,425 Yes
e. Use monitoring data to update and improve restoration design and implementation 7 $5,250 Yes
2. Evaluate restoration performance a. Conduct statistical analyses of changes in physical and biological conditions 15+ years $15,750 Yes
3. Compare restoration techniques a. Compare different techniques for restoration implementation in terms of their success, cost, and time involved in implementation 7 $15,750 Yes
4. Develop 2 foot contour map of study reach at completion of project a. LIDAR and aerial photography 1 $0 Yes
5. Knowledge transfer a. Author and present study results at scientific conferences and in peer-review publications 7 $6,300 Yes
b. Develop agency reports 7 $12,600
c. Participate in community and stakeholder meetings 7 $3,675
d. Involve local high schools (Shoshone-Bannock High School Streamside Incubator Project; Challis High School Living Stream Classroom Project) 7 $5,250
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
1a. (as above) 2003 2006 $327,600
1b. (as above) 2003 2006 $630,000
1c. (as above) 2003 2006 $105,000
1d. (as above) 2003 2006 $77,700
1e. (as above) 2003 2006 $21,000
2a. (as above) 2003 2006 $63,000
3a. (as above) 2003 2006 $63,000
4a. (as above) 2006 2006 $315,000
5a. (as above) 2003 2006 $25,200
5b. (as above) 2003 2006 $50,400
5c. (as above) 2003 2006 $14,700
5d (as above) 2003 2006 $21,000
Outyear budgets for Monitoring and Evaluation phase
FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006

Section 8. Estimated budget summary

Itemized budget
ItemNoteFY 2002 cost
Personnel FTE: 1 Project Manager $50,000
Fringe 36.9% of salary $18,450
Supplies computer, office supplies, field equipment, etc. for Project Manager $5,250
Travel vehicle lease, insurance, per diem, etc. for Project Manager $4,000
Indirect 5% (applied to all cost elements) $38,085
NEPA $96,000
PIT tags # of tags: 0 $0
Subcontractor University of Idaho, Ecohydraulics Research Group $312,500
Subcontractor USFS, Yankee Fork Ranger District & Rocky Mountain Research Station $255,000
Other Report publication, community meetings, and outreach $20,500
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2002 cost$799,785
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2002 budget request$799,785
FY 2002 forecast from 2001$0
% change from forecast0.0%
Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
USFS Funding UI graduate student and USGS studies for design modeling, preliminary NEPA, survey, and monitoring $500,000 cash
SBT Fisheries monitoring $15,000 in-kind
IDFG Fisheries monitoring $15,000 in-kind
Private landowner (Simplot Company) Forfeiture of mineral and development rights through the conservation easement $650,000 cash

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
Sep 28, 2001


A response is needed. The proponents should clarify the need for an upper watershed assessment and whether the dredged reach is a bottleneck for reaching good upstream habitat. Project history states that a contract was developed to determine the feasibility of the project. What was the result of this analysis? Did the analysis conclude that significant gains in productive salmonid habitat could be gained from this project? This proposal needs to include a convincing case that it is feasible, and that significant benefits to fish populations will result from this rather expensive project. Further clarification is needed of the role of Simplot Corp. Will they forego future development rights in the conservation easement?

The project might be fundable in stages as the conservation easement is obtained and concrete plans for restoration construction are available. Plans for construction should be reviewed by an independent engineering group before final funding.

The proponents have accomplished impressive preliminary planning, cooperation with state, federal, and university personnel, completion of watershed analysis by USFS, and other pilot work in 1999-2001. The ISRP is sympathetic to the fact that detailed designs for restoration cannot be given at this time, however, if funded, much of the proposal must be taken on faith that technically sound procedures will be implemented to provide biological benefits.

The plans for monitoring and evaluation are well done.

High Priority
Nov 30, 2001


Although IDFG identified the Yankee Fork as a major source of sedimentation to the mainstem Salmon River, reviewers question the benefit/cost issue. The reviewers suggest that the proposed work appears expensive and are concerned about the ability to achieve proposed goals in a timely manner. The work proposed is high priority, there are some concerns about the cost of implementation.
Dec 21, 2001


Fundable at low priority subject to existence of a conservation easement that limits future development of lands associated with the stream channel restoration and completion of a watershed analysis that continues to support the feasibility of the project. The ISRP appreciates the detailed and straightforward responses to our questions and concerns. The fishery benefits on this project may be relatively low. The impacted area is a relatively short stretch of moderately high gradient. The primary chinook salmon rearing area is upstream, and passage doesn't seem to be impeded. This is an expensive project and the ISRP questions whether BPA funding is appropriate.

To assist in establishing a sound basinwide monitoring program, the proponents are referred to the programmatic section of this report on Monitoring, the specific comments on Aquatic Monitoring and Evaluation, and the specific comments on Terrestrial Monitoring and Evaluation.

Feb 1, 2002


Statement of Potential Biological Benefit to ESU
Benefits are indirect. This is an assessment with a large data collection component. The intent is ultimately to guide restoration of an historically productive subbasin that is severely degraded. It is not clear that this habitat improvement will result in significant gains in productive salmon habitat or how that habitat improvement would translate into increased survival.

This was once prime spawning and rearing habitat, but a 6 mile stretch has been severely altered by dredge mining. This project will acquire an easement for the property and restore it, but it does not meet RPA 150 because it is not currently productive non-Federal habitat. In outyears, the project may partially implement RPA 153 if permanent or long term easements (i.e., > 15 years) with willing landowners are initiated. Easements should be consistent with Oregon CREP. Chinook do continue to spawn in this reach, however. There is also an active mine in the area and another one which, while inactive, will discharge once the details are worked out with NMFS through Section 7. Given these concerns, and the proposed budget of $800K in FY02 , and even more in the coming years, we would question whether this project gives the "most bang for the buck" at this time.

Already ESA Req? No

Biop? Yes

Feb 11, 2002


Do not recommend. This project should wait until Subbasin Planning is completed and the need for this project can be properly assessed. The bio-accumulation monitoring of heavy metals should be conducted prior to consideration of planning and design of this project. Potential heavy metal problems would have to be addressed before any further actions could take place on this project.



Apr 19, 2002


Council recommendation: This is a proposal to evaluate and remediate impacts to a historically productive section of the Yankee Fork that has been severely impacted by dredge mining. The proposal was comprehensive in providing for design and evaluation, multi-year phased protection and active restoration, and long-term monitoring and evaluation.

The ISRP rated the project as fundable in part, with support for those restoration and protection activities that could be included within a conservation easement. The NMFS comments noted that this area was historically productive, and that a conservation easement could be responsive to RPA 153 if it is long-term and meets certain standards. The Bonneville comments did not support funding at this time. The regional prioritization group included this as a management priority for the area.

The Council recommends that this project be funded, but at a level substantially reduced from as proposed, and to focus only on the conservation easement element and bioaccumulation monitoring. The proposed funding levels are presented in Table 1.

Jun 13, 2002


Sep 20, 2003


should be SBT as sponsor. Check with SBT. John Buffington (UofI) Check with Jeff Allen, placeholder 04, 05
Sep 20, 2003