199608600 - Clearwater Focus Program, Idaho SCC

Sponsor: Idaho Soil Conservation Commission

Budgets: FY07: $107,136 | FY08: $107,136 | FY09: $107,136

Short description: Idaho State co-coordinator of the Clearwater Focus Program to provide technical and management assistance to habitat restoration groups, performs staff functions for Clearwater PAC, and interagency liaison for program development.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $98,000 | FY08: $98,000 | FY09: $98,000

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Admin (see comments)

Comment:

This proposal is to provide a coordinator to integrate activities by Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Nez Perce Tribe, and others with the priorities in the Clearwater subbasin plan. The funding request is for a single FTE. Although the ISRP placed this proposal in the administrative category, the proposal is not justified as presented. This position may be an essential element of stewardship for the subbasin. But based on the proposal, it is not clear that this project is showing results in the basin for restoration and evaluation. This project is supposed to provide vital services, but it is not clear what essential functions this individual provides, and what would happen regarding subbasin integration and facilitation of other Council Fish and Wildlife Program proposals if this coordinator was not available. The list of tasks for the Focus Coordinator are extensive, leading reviewers to be skeptical of whether this position covers these tasks, for example, "Maintain subbasin inventory database and maps" (page 10 #3) and "Provide contract engineering or legal assistance to Bonneville project sponsors" (page 11 #3). These are disparate tasks for a single person, thus it is not clear what the coordinator actually does. The focus of this proposal seems to be facilitating meetings. The ISRP’s province review recommendation included the statement: “This project should demonstrate performance by the next review cycle otherwise it should be terminated.” The coordinator clearly played a role in completion of the subbasin plan, but the continued value of the coordination is not persuasively presented. Past ISRP reviews indicated a need to increase activity in coordinating M&E in the subbasin. From this proposal it is clear that there is no intent to do that. The project began in 1996, but there is an inadequate summary of the assignments actually performed by the Focus Coordinator. There is a list of the meetings that the coordinator facilitated, but it is not clear that this facilitation improved the coordination of activities in the subbasin. Four projects are identified as Clearwater focus projects, and there is connection to two other through the NPT Focus coordinator. This seems to be minimal rationale to justify a coordinator to link these projects. Moreover, the proposals from the focus projects need significant improvement, so there is no evidence that this position is critical to the SWCDs being able to connect with each other, BPA, and Idaho PCSRF. In other words, the results of the ongoing efforts and how this project improved those efforts through coordination and support are not evident, and based on the other proposals submitted are not promising. In sum, there is not a clear demonstration that this coordinator is essential to execute proposals to BPA and PCSRF. As with other watershed coordinator proposals, the proposed effort would be better integrated into a proposal that is directed toward management based on science including on-the-ground work and monitoring.

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $98,000 | FY08: $98,000 | FY09: $98,000

Comment: Reduced funding levels are based upon the following: a) overall reduced funding to the province, b) reduction in the need for for capital equipment, c) cooperative efforts to maintain other ongoing priority state projects in the Clearwater and Upper Salmon basins.