The proposed FY06 budget for this project ($0) is not consistent with the BPA FY06 budget planning for this project ($288,000). The $0 budget for FY06 is in error, and has been since the project was approved for funding beginning in FY04. The NWPPC funding recommendation (dated 11 June 2003) noted that for FY06, “…correct budgets are needed.” I have communicated this error to Council staff in the past, but it has never been corrected. The reason for the error stems from the delay in the review process for the mainstem/systemwide province. The original timeframe for funding mainstem/systemwide projects was FY03-05, which was delayed to FY04-06. It appears that in the Council’s budgeting workbook, the budgets for the original 3 years (2003-2005) were compressed into 2 years (2004-2005), resulting in incorrect fiscal year budget estimates. The correct budget estimates for each fiscal year should have remained the same as in the original proposal, but shifted forward one fiscal year. That is, FY04:$315,000.00, FY05:$406,700.00, FY06:$423,300.00. Instead of shifting the budgets forward in time one fiscal year, Council staff prorated the budget for the months remaining at the time in FY03 and added that number to the FY04 budget, resulting in a total for FY04 of $564,200; the FY05 budget remained as in the original proposal, $423,300; and $0.00 was indicated for FY06. These errors made it look as though the project was intended to be only 2 years in duration, which is incorrect, and completely disregards the project scope and timing of objectives and tasks. Evidently someone at the Council recognized this and indicated that, "Correct budgets are needed," but the corrections were never made. In accordance with the latest scope of the project, the correct budget numbers should be FY04: $152,000, FY05: $360,000, FY06: $288,000. These budgets are consistent with BPA’s budget planning as of 18 March 2005.
|Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data||2004: collected physical habitat data at the reference site spanning 10 river kilometers and 2000+ fall chinook salmon redds|
|Submit/Acquire Data||2005: collected physical habitat data (bathymetry, substrate, channel morphology) at the lower Snake River study sites, covering 30 river kilometers|
|Analyze/Interpret Data||2004 and 2005: completed hydrodynamic modeling for a wide range of flow regimes at the reference site, covering over 10 river kilometers; initiated hydrodynamic modeling at the Snake River study sites, covering 30 river kilometers|
|Produce Status Report||2006: compare results from other work elements to determine the presence and extent of similar characteristics at the reference site and study sites|
|Produce/Submit Scientific Findings Report||2006: Summarize results describing the restoration potential of mainstem habitats for fall chinook salmon, and recommendations for potential hydrosystem operational changes.|
|Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data||2006: collect physical habitat data at the lower Snake River study sites, covering 30 river kilometers|
|Analyze/Interpret Data||2006: complete hydrodynamic modeling for a wide range of flow regimes and water year types at the the Snake River study sites, covering 30 river kilometers|
While this project focuses on fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the mainstem lower Snake River, the project is not related to the Lower Snake Subbasin Plan. The authors of the Lower Snake Subbasin Plan determined that, “Planning strategies to address mainstem issues are considered beyond the scope of this subbasin plan, and will be addressed through other forums, e.g. mainstem amendment process” (Lower Snake Subbasin Plan Executive Summary, pg. 2). This project is consistent with the mainstem habitat biological objectives and priorities set forth in the Council’s 2003 Mainstem Amendments to the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. This project is evaluating the restoration potential of Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat, which directly aligns with the Mainstem Amendments Plan that “…emphasizes protecting and restoring mainstem spawning and rearing habitats…” (pg. 11) and contains an objective to, “Increase the amount of spawning habitat for fall Chinook core populations in the lower and mid-Columbia area and in the lower Snake area” (pg. 12). This project addressed NOAA’s 2000 FCRPS BiOp RPA 155, and would continue to contribute to the ESA commitments made by BPA and the FCRPS Action Agencies under NOAA’s revised 2004 BiOp. This project is identified in the Crosswalk of Draft UPA (August 2004, page 30) as the project that is implementing RPA 155. The objectives of this project are consistent with and are integral components for implementing the 2005-2007 Final Implementation Plan for the FCRPS Updated Proposed Action (May 2005). This project is specifically identified in the Implementation Plan (page 41, Table 22) as one of the hydrosystem RM&E projects that the Action Agencies will implement in the 2005-2007 timeframe to address their UPA commitments. Continuation of this project would help reduce critical hydrosystem uncertainties and provide status monitoring for restoring Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat.
The objectives of this project are well aligned with the mainstem habitat biological objectives and priorities set forth in the Council’s 2003 Mainstem Amendments to the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program (pgs. 11-12). Similarly, the Council’s 2003 Mainstem Amendments adopts the actions of this project as one of the specific strategies for mainstem habitat improvements (page 17). This project accomplishes high priority work under the Action Agencies Final Updated Proposed Action for the FCRPS BiOp Remand (24 November 2004). The Final UPA identifies “Restoration potential of Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat” as one of the priorities that the Action Agencies will continue to fund as part of their “RME Strategy 3: Critical Uncertainties Research” (page 101).