2010 Wildlife project review

Proposal 199107800: John R. Palensky Wildlife Area (was Burlington Bottoms Wildlife Mitigation Project)

1. Administrative
2. Location
3. Species
4. Past accomplishments  
5. Relationships
6. Objectives
7. Work elements   
8. Budget
9. Future
10. Narrative

Organization: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Short description:
This project will restore and maintain wildlife habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species on 417 acres of wetlands & riparian forests. On-going work includes wetland restoration, O&M, and monitoring and evaluation of enhancement activities.

Contacts

Contact nameRoleAddressPhoneEmail
Sue Beilke Project Lead Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
18330 NW Sauvie Island Road
Portland, Oregon 97231
503-621-3488 Sue.G.Beilke@state.or.us

Section 2. Location

Province: Lower Columbia Subbasin: Willamette

Specific locations

Lat/longLocation descWaterbody (lake or stream)County/StateSubbasinResolutionPrimary?
45.646 deg. N, 122.841 deg. W Ten miles north of Portland off of Hwy. 30 and across from Sauvie Island. Multnomah Channel Multnomah Willamette area Yes

Section 3. Species

Primary: Wildlife: All Wildlife

Additional species: Yellow Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Pileated Woodpecker, Western Pond Turtle, Beaver, Green Heron, River Otter, Red-legged Frog, Common Yellowthroat, Purple Martin, Willow Flycatcher, Wood Duck, Western Wood-Pewee

Section 4. Past accomplishments

FYAccomplishment
1993 Identified target species and conducted a Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) for the site. Completed a hydrology and hyraulics assessment. Completed a Management Plan/EA for the site.
1994 Began implementation of Management Plan. This included surveying & identifying areas for restoration, including native planting and removal of invasives species.
1995 Continued implementation of Mngt. Plan. Removed invasive plant species, including Scot's broom, from approx. 30 acres. Began surveys & monitoring of target & other wildlife species; conducted Neotropical Migratroy Songbird & amphibian breeding surveys.
1996 Habitat restoration included removal of ivy, blackberry, etc. on 25 acres. Conducted wildlife surveys, including for State & Federal (bald eagle) listed species on 300 acres. Conducted O&M for site, including maintaining 2.5 miles of roads for access.
1997 Habitat restoration included planting of native species on 15 acres of riparian scrub/shrub and forested habitats; removal of invasive species on 20 acres of wetlands. Conducted wildlife surveys on 300 acres.
1998 Habitat restoration activities included native planting on 12 acres of wetlands, and removal of invasive species on 15 acres of riparian forest habitat. Conducted wildlife surveys. Conducted O&M of roads, trails, etc.
1999 Completed Draft 5-Year Habitat Management Plan. Planted native species on 10 acres of wetlands. Removed invasive species on 15 acres. Conducted wildlife surveys on 300 acres. Conducted O&M including maintaining, roads, trails, etc.
2000 Continued work on Draft Habitat Management Plan, including GIS mapping. Increased values for HEP and other species through invasive plant species removal and native planting on approx. 20 acres. Conducted wildlife surveys. Conducted O&M.
2001 Completed 5-Year Habitat Mngt. Plan. Conducted habitat restoration including native planting on 10 acres & invasive species removal on 20 acres of wetlands. Continued wildlife surveys on 300 acres. Conducted O&M including road & trail maintenance.
2002 Began implementation of 5-Year Habitat Plan, including planning for moist soil mngt. activities. Conducted wildlife surveys on 300 acres. Restoration included invasive species removal & native planting on 20 acres. Conducted O&M.
2003 Worked with partners including DU & NRCS to plan for installation of water control structure as part of Moist Soil Mngt. for habitat restoration. Obtained state & federal permits. Restoration included planting and removal of invasives species on 18 ac.
2004 Completed Section 7 Consultation. Completed installation of foundation for water control structure. Completed native planting on 12 ac. & removed invasive species on 15 acres. Conducted wildlife surveys on 300 acres. Surveyed for listed fish species.
2005 Habitat restoration included native planting on 10 acres and invasive species removal on 15 acres. Surveyed & monitored past activities to determine success of plantings, etc. Conducted wildlife surveys. Surveyed for listed fish species.
2006 Continued implementation of 5-year Management Plan; removed invasive plant species on 10 acres; installed native plants on 5 acres; worked with DU & NRCS to complete drawings, etc. for water control structure. Conducted wildlife surveys on 100 acres.
2006 Continued implementation of 5-year Management Plan; removed invasive plant species on 10 acres; installed native plants on 5 acres; worked with DU & NRCS to complete drawings, etc. for water control structure. Conducted wildlife surveys on 100 acres.
2007 Constructed and began operation of water control structure & road improvements including 2 culverts to improve hydrology on site. Replanted all areas disturbed with native shrubs and trees on 2 acres. O&M included invasive species removal on 15 acres.
2008 Operated and maintained water control structure. Continued invasive plant species removal on 15 acres. Monitored past enhancement projects on 40 acres. Maintained all access roads on site.

Section 5. Relationships to other projects

Funding sourceProject IDProject TitleRelationship
BPA 199206800 Willamette Basin Mitigation This project develops and implements measures to mitigate for wildlife habitat losses in the Willamette Subbasin, working in a cooperative manner with various agencies and groups to improve habitat, improve water quality, develop management plans and in general to improve the overall ecosystem health. Results of enhancement and maintenance activities at Burlington Bottoms are shared with this project, in an effort to further the understanding of Willamette riparian, floodplain, and wetland systems. In addition, some staff time and equipment are shared and collaborated between this project and the Willamette Subbasin program.
BPA 199205900 Amazon Basin/Eugene Wetlands - Located in the Willamette Valley, this on-going project also contributes to mitigation requirements for the Willamette Subbasin, and involves the protection and enhancement of wetland habitats similar to those found at Burlington Bottoms. It involves cooperation and collaberation of several groups and agencies, including the Nature Conservancy, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and the City of Eugene.
OWEB - State [no entry] McCarthy Creek/Enyart Floodplain/Wetland Restoration This project lies adjacent to the north property boundary of Burlington Bottoms, and contains wetland/riparian habitats. This project is a cooperative and cost sharing project between the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, OWEB, DU, BPA, a private landowner, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Objectives include restoring floodplain connectivity between McCarthy Creek and the surrounding wetlands which includes Burlington Bottoms and enhancing scrub/shrub habitat. Benefits will include restoration of native plant communities, improved quality of wildlife habitat for such focal species as red-legged frog and willow flycatcher, and improved backwater refugia for juvenile salmonids.
BPA 200001600 Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Located in the lower Willamette River Subbasin, this project involves the protection and enhancement of wetland/riparian habitats similar to those found at Burlington Bottoms, and also contributes to mitigation requirements for the Willamette River Subbasin. Cooperaters in this project include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and Ducks Unlimited.
BPA Sandy River Delta Natural Area This project is located at the junction of the Sandy and Columbia Rivers, at the eastern edge of Troutdale, Oregon. Similar to the floodplain habitat at Burlington Bottoms, the site encompasses various habitat types including cottonwood gallery forests, open meadow and seasonal wetlands for a total of approximately 1,500 acres. Located in the lower Columbia River Basin, BPA funding has included restoration of wetland habitats including the establishment of seasonal ponds that provide habitat for a diversity of species including many species of waterfowl, wading birds, amphibians and reptiles.
BPA Multnomah Channel This site is located along the Multnomah Channel and approximately two miles downstream from Burlington Bottoms. The Metro Parks and Greenspaces property includes approximately 200 acres of floodplain habitats which are very similar to Burlington Bottoms and include mature ash and cottonwood forests and seasonal wetlands. This project includes restoration of scrub/shrub and seasonal wetlands, which offers habitat to a diverse assemblage of wildlife species including the amphibians and reptiles, songbirds, wading birds and waterfowl.

Section 6. Objectives

Objective titleDescriptionRelevant subbasin planRelevant strategy(ies)Page number(s)
1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. Protect and maintain existing high quality habitats. This will include operations and maintenance to protect 1,319 HU's. Operations and maintenance will include removal of invasive plant species where needed, including removal of ivy, blackberry and other invasives. Installation of native plants will occur to replace plants damaged by beaver, etc. Willamette 1. Conserve and restore biological communties; this will include removal of invasive species through rapid response. 5-19
2.Connect floodplain habitat using moist soil mngt Continue moist soil management of wetlands through operation of the water control structure, allowing for seasonal control of water levels in wetland habitats. Benefits will include providing for reconnection of backwater sloughs to wetlands, increasing off-channel habitat for juvenile salmonids as well as many species of wildlife. Willamette 1. (Terrestrial)Achieve more natural flow and water regines. This includes maintaining more natural water levels and soil moisture regimes. 2. Restore physical habitats. 3. (Aquatic) Achieve more natural flow regimes. 4. Connect favorable habitats. 5-18, 5-19
3. Enhance wet meadow and scrub/shrub wetlands. Moist soil management of wetlands will occur using various techniques including operation of the water control structure, mowing and disking, and planting and seeding with native species. Enhancement will focus on improving habitat for focal and target wildlife species including willow flycatcher, western meadowlark, yellow warbler and northern red-legged frog. Willamette 1. Conserve and restore biological communties; this includes removal and control of invasive species through rapid response. 5-19
4. Restore upland oak savannah habitat. Enhancement activities will focus on enhancing habitat areas for specific focal species needs, including willow flycatcher, western meadowlark, northern red-legged frog, etc. Restoration will include establishing oak savanna habitat on approximately 15 acres. Willamette 1. Restore physical habitats. 2. Conserve and restore biological communties. 5-19, 5-20
5. Monitor and evaluate restoration activities. M&E will allow for the determination of the degree of success of restoration activities, as well as fish and wildlife species use and response. Effective adaptive management includes M&E in order to measure the response of focal and other species to the actions carried out under the management plan. Willamette Evaluate the local effectiveness of site-specific restoration efforts by monitoring representative samples of specific restoration types. Assess general status and trend for habitat, fish and wildlife populations, and terrestrial conditions in subbasin. 5-36-37

Section 7. Work elements

Work element nameWork element titleObjective(s)Start dateEnd dateEstimated budget>Sponsor performs work?
Maintain Vegetation Protect and Maintain Habitats Through O&M of Past Enhancement Activities 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 39,705 Yes
Description: Past native plantings for restoration and enhancement will be maintained by various means including pruning, mulching, weeding, etc. Plantings damaged/destroyed by deer, beaver, etc. will be replaced where possibe.
Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Produce environmental compliance documentation. 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 7,470 Yes
Description: BPA's Environmental Compliance Group will be contacted to determine what documentation and assistance will be needed for acitivities under this work element. It is anticipated that compliance will include BPA's Habitat Improvement Program for herbicide use in regard to the ESA and listed salmonids.
Investigate Trespass Monitor authorized and unauthorized uses of the site. 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 10,015 Yes
Description: The site will be monitored in order to protect fish and wildlife species and habitats from illegal activities including removal of vegetation, poaching, harrassment of wildlife, etc.
Remove Debris Remove debris, garbage, etc. from site. 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 11,350 Yes
Description: Periodic debris removal will occur in order to protect and maintain high quality habitats.
Other Maintain terrestrial structures including signs, roads, trails, etc. 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 7,350 Yes
Description: Maintain signage on site. Maintain all maintenance roads and trails as needed for management access in order to carry out habitat restoration and enhancement and O&M activities, and conduct M&E projects. Maintenance of roads/trails will include brush and tree removal, filling of potholes, etc.
Coordination Coordinate with surrounding landowners to protect habitats. 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 17,535 Yes
Description: Coordinate and cooperate with surrounding landowners regarding shared access road, maintenance, etc. to ensure protection of site. Actively work with landowners to encourage removal/control of invasive plant species to reduce threats of invasion of noxious weeds onto Burlington Bottoms.
Manage and Administer Projects Manage and administer projects, activities, etc. for site. 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 23,915 Yes
Description: Supervise part time employee and contracted field work teams and volunteers. Maintain field equipment needed for habitat enhancement activities, including mowers and hand tools, etc. Administration of BPA contract; administrative work to support BPA's programmatic requirements; administration of subcontracts.
Produce Plan Revise and Update Habitat Management Plan 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats. 4/1/2010 3/31/2011 6,500 Yes
Description: The Habitat Management Plan for the site will be revised and updated to reflect current and future desired habitat conditions. The updated plan will address the latest control methods for invasive species, as well as monitoring and evaluation and operations and maintenance needs.
Remove vegetation Remove invasive plant species in order to protect and maintain existing high quality habitats. Eenhance wetland, riparian and upland habitats. 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats.<br>3. Enhance wet meadow and scrub/shrub wetlands.<br>4. Restore upland oak savannah habitat. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 67,638 Yes
Description: Invasive plant species including English ivy, Japanese knotweed, and Himalayan blackberry will be removed using various techniques including mowing, discing, and herbicide treatment. Approximately 20 acres of wetlands and approximately 60 acres of riparian and upland habitats will be treated.

Metrics:
# of riparian acres treated: 60 acres of riparian habitat

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Data Collection for Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Activities 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats.<br>5. Monitor and evaluate restoration activities. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 49,536 Yes
Description: M&E will incude surveys to collect data on habitat enhancement projects (e.g., success of planting, wildlife damage, etc.) as part of the on-going, long term monitoring and evaluation of project activities. Surveys will include 1) vegetation sampling including analysis of plant species diversity, density, etc.; 2) amphibian egg mass counts, 3) point counts for neotropical migratory songbirds, 4) nest surveys of great blue heron colony and 5) waterfowl surveys.

Metrics:
Primary R, M, and E Focal Area [Population Status, Hydrosystem, Tributary Habitat, Estuary/Ocean, Harvest, Hatchery, Predation, Systemwide]: 200 acres
Primary R, M, and E Focal Area [Population Status, Hydrosystem, Tributary Habitat, Estuary/Ocean, Harvest, Hatchery, Predation, Systemwide]: Vegetation sampling on 200 acres; wildlife surveys on approximately 200 acres

Produce Pisces Status Report Prepare and submit Pisces Status Reports 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats.<br>5. Monitor and evaluate restoration activities. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 17,532 Yes
Description: Quarterly progress reports will be submitted via Pisces in order to document activities completed during the contract period.
Produce (Annual) Progress Report Submit Annual Progress Report 1. Protect and maintain high quality habitats.<br>5. Monitor and evaluate restoration activities. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 13,365 Yes
Description: An annual progress report will be submitted in order to document all activities completed under the contract period. This includes on the ground activities such as vegetation survey results, invasive plant species removal, planting, etc.
Create, Restore, and/or Enhance Wetland Restore and enhance wetland habitats through moist soil management. 2.Connect floodplain habitat using moist soil mngt<br>3. Enhance wet meadow and scrub/shrub wetlands. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 89,026 Yes
Description: Various moist soil management techniques will be used to restore and enhance approximately 60 acres of wetland habitats. This will include operation of the water control structure to control water levels, mowing and discing wet meadow habitats, and planting and seeding with native species where needed.

Metrics:
# of riparian acres treated: 80 acres of wetlands will be treated

Plant Vegetation Plant native vegetation in wet meadow, scrub/shrub and upland habitats. 3. Enhance wet meadow and scrub/shrub wetlands.<br>4. Restore upland oak savannah habitat. 4/1/2010 3/31/2012 101,173 Yes
Description: Native plants will be installed in order to restore and enhance wet meadow, scrub/shrub and upland habitats for a diversity of wildlife species and to increase overall biological diversity. This will include planting willows and other species on approximately 30 acres of scrub/shrub wetlands to increase habitat diversity. Establishing upland oak savanna habitat on 15 acres will include planting of native grasses, oaks, etc.

Metrics:
# of riparian acres treated: 30 acres of scrub/shrub habitat and 15 acres of oak savanna

work element budget total: 462,110

Section 8. Budget

Item Note FY 2010 cost ($) FY 2011 cost ($) FY 2012 cost ($)
Personnel Includes full time NRS 2 and part-time Biology Aide 61,288
Fringe Benefits 31,789
Supplies Includes plants, seed mix and miscellaneous supplies, etc. 7,779
Other Includes heavy equipment rental and field crews 12,125
Travel Travel for meetings, picking up supplies, etc. 1,062
Overhead 33,891
Personnel Includes full time NRS2 and part time biology aide 64,320
Fringe Benefits 33,407
Supplies Includes plants, seed and miscellaneous supplies, etc. 7,286
Other Includes heavy equipment use and field crews. 11,500
Travel Travel for meetings, pick up supplies, etc. 1,080
Overhead 35,540
Personnel Includes full time NRS2 and part time biology aide. 68,040
Fringe Benefits 35,194
Supplies Includes plants, seed and miscellaneous supplies, etc. 7,224
Other Includes heavy equipment use and field crews. 11,875
Travel Travel for meetings, pick up supplies, etc. 1,080
Overhead 37,630
Itemized budget totals: 147,934 153,133 161,043
Type of funding source Funding source or organization Item or service provided FY 2010 est value ($) FY 2011 est value ($) FY 2012 est value ($) Cash or in-kind? Status
other Local Volunteers Local volunteers assist with wildlife surveys and help monitor for invasive species. 12,000 15,000 18,000 In-Kind Confirmed
Cost share estimate totals: 12,000 15,000 18,000

FY 2010-12 total cost share estimate: 45,000

Section 9. Project future

Outyear budgets 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
169,043 177,465 166,406 160,743 152,196 144,580

Note
Costs are estimates based on current and projected expenses through 2018. Wetland restoration costs (equipment, planting) expected to decrease after 2014 with on-going management activities including protection and maintenance of habitats, M&E and O&M.

Likely project termination/end date: None

Termination notes:
This is an on-going mitigation project that includes on-going O&M activities as well as monitoring and evaluation.

Final deliverables:
Protection and maintenance of original habitat units of 1,319 plus additional AAHUs after restoration activities are complete.

Reviews

ISRP final recommendation: Meets Scientific criteria? Yes

Overall, this proposal was exemplary, and the project is clearly a benefit to wildlife through a wide range of habitat restoration efforts that are technically supported and were apparent from the site visit. Reporting of project results has improved significantly in recent years, and the technical justification and rationale, described for this project, are very thorough, with sound rationale provided for habitat restoration actions. The project has done a good job in monitoring the response of vegetation to the new water flow regime that approaches the historic water regime. Native vegetation is responding positively (e.g., Wapato, historically important, is now becoming re-established), while non-native invasive plants, such as reed canary grass, are declining with the new water regime. Comments/recommendations from past ISRP reviews of this project seem to have been thoroughly addressed including improvements in reporting of project survey results and indications that adaptive management is occurring by modifying habitat restoration efforts in response to findings during monitoring surveys. One important deficiency in the proposal was that the descriptions of methodology were too general and not detailed sufficiently to fully evaluate the scientific and technical merit. The project might benefit in the future by working with a statistician to develop statistically valid survey designs for M&E. 1. Technical justification, program significance and consistency, and project relationships: The technical justification and rationale described for this project are very thorough with sound rationale provided for habitat restoration actions. The Willamette Subbasin Plan is cited throughout as the program that this project is responding to, but no other references or technical reports are cited in this section. Many other references could be cited for justification or continuation of this project. The relationships to the regional Willamette Subbasin Plan, the 2000 Fish and Wildlife Program, the Oregon Conservation Strategy, and the ODFW 2005 Wildlife Strategy Plan are very well described. Relationships to other projects are only generally described and although cooperative partners are named, the cooperators activities are not described in any detail. Also, no project numbers were given for BPA projects. 2. Project History and Results The recent project history is well documented including data on removal of invasive species and planting of native species. In addition, long-term survey data series from red-legged frogs, salamanders, neo-tropical migratory land birds are valuable, and should be continued and expanded to include associated environmental variables. Time series of other key species and related environmental conditions would also be valuable to record in the future. In the proposal, no reports documenting project results are cited. However, after searching the BPA site for reports, we found that five have been submitted to BPA including: the HEP evaluation in 1993, the five-year management plan produced in 2001 (which is quite good), two BPA reports in 2005 and 2007 (which contain appendices with monitoring and survey data and results of breeding bird surveys and amphibian breeding surveys which are very useful) and a BPA report from 2008 (which is brief and only reports on tasks accomplished in narrative format). In future proposals, these documents need to be cited so reviewers can more efficiently evaluate the proposal and others can benefit from what is learned. 3. Objectives, work elements, and methods The objectives are somewhat general and need to be more clearly defined and measurable so they can be linked to benefits for wildlife and fish. For example, Objective 4 is to "Restore upland oak-savannah habitat." This is really a goal (from the Willamette Subbasin Plan) and if re-stated as an objective would go something like – "Restore X hectares of upland oak-savannah habitat in the John R. Palensky Wildlife Area to provide additional feeding and nesting habitat for red-tailed hawk and white-breasted nuthatch." The work elements are well done, but the methods lacked sufficient detail. For example, surveys of wildlife and vegetation are being conducted, but a detailed survey design was not provided in the proposal. The sponsors should work with a statistician to develop statistically valid survey designs. References can be cited relative to details of methods. 4. M&E The project has done a good job in monitoring the response of vegetation to the new water flow regime that approaches the historic water regime. Native vegetation is responding positively, while invasives are declining. Data on frog and salamander egg masses (1998-2007) are provided with some interpretation (lowest counts understandably in dry years before water control), thus water control can be very important. Similarly, neo-tropical bird counts (1995-2007) show strong evidence of increase in relative abundance and species diversity over time. It seems that adaptive management is occurring in response to observed findings, e.g., also improving nesting and sunning habitat for western pond turtles (which from surveys were determined to be in short supply). The setting of performance criteria and the adaptive management approach are commendable. One improvement in this section would be to provide more detailed descriptions of monitoring methods. For example, an objective is to "measure seeding survival twice per year and assess causes of seeding failure," however, how this is to be done is not described. For photo-point monitoring methods the sponsors should consider a technique for quantifying changes in vegetation from the photos.

from May 19, 2009 ISRP 2009-17 report

ISRP preliminary recommendation: Meets scientific criteria? Yes

Overall, this proposal was exemplary, and the project is clearly a benefit to wildlife through a wide range of habitat restoration efforts that are technically supported and were apparent from the site visit. Reporting of project results has improved significantly in recent years, and the technical justification and rationale, described for this project, are very thorough, with sound rationale provided for habitat restoration actions. The project has done a good job in monitoring the response of vegetation to the new water flow regime that approaches the historic water regime. Native vegetation is responding positively (e.g., Wapato, historically important, is now becoming re-established), while non-native invasive plants, such as reed canary grass, are declining with the new water regime. Comments/recommendations from past ISRP reviews of this project seem to have been thoroughly addressed including improvements in reporting of project survey results and indications that adaptive management is occurring by modifying habitat restoration efforts in response to findings during monitoring surveys. One important deficiency in the proposal was that the descriptions of methodology were too general and not detailed sufficiently to fully evaluate the scientific and technical merit. The project might benefit in the future by working with a statistician to develop statistically valid survey designs for M&E. 1. Technical justification, program significance and consistency, and project relationships: The technical justification and rationale described for this project are very thorough with sound rationale provided for habitat restoration actions. The Willamette Subbasin Plan is cited throughout as the program that this project is responding to, but no other references or technical reports are cited in this section. Many other references could be cited for justification or continuation of this project. The relationships to the regional Willamette Subbasin Plan, the 2000 Fish and Wildlife Program, the Oregon Conservation Strategy, and the ODFW 2005 Wildlife Strategy Plan are very well described. Relationships to other projects are only generally described and although cooperative partners are named, the cooperators activities are not described in any detail. Also, no project numbers were given for BPA projects. 2. Project History and Results The recent project history is well documented including data on removal of invasive species and planting of native species. In addition, long-term survey data series from red-legged frogs, salamanders, neo-tropical migratory land birds are valuable, and should be continued and expanded to include associated environmental variables. Time series of other key species and related environmental conditions would also be valuable to record in the future. In the proposal no reports documenting project results are cited. However, after searching the BPA site for reports, we found that five have been submitted to BPA including: the HEP evaluation in 1993, the five-year management plan produced in 2001 (which is quite good), two BPA reports in 2005 and 2007 (which contain appendices with monitoring and survey data and results of breeding bird surveys and amphibian breeding surveys which are very useful) and a BPA report from 2008, which is brief and only reports on tasks accomplished in narrative format. In future proposals, these documents need to be cited so reviewers can more efficiently evaluate the proposal and others can benefit from what is learned. 3. Objectives, work elements, and methods The objectives are somewhat general and need to be more clearly defined and measurable so they can be linked to benefits for wildlife and fish. For example, Objective 4 is to "Restore upland oak-savannah habitat." This is really a goal (from the Willamette Subbasin Plan) and if re-stated as an objective would go something like – "Restore X hectares of upland oak-savannah habitat in the John R. Palensky Wildlife Area to provide additional feeding and nesting habitat for red-tailed hawk and white-breasted nuthatch." The work elements are well done, but the methods lacked sufficient detail. For example, surveys of wildlife and vegetation are being conducted, but a detailed survey design was not provided in the proposal. The sponsors should work with a statistician to develop statistically valid survey designs. References can be cited relative to details of methods. 4. M&E The project has done a good job in monitoring the response of vegetation to the new water flow regime that approaches the historic water regime. Native vegetation is responding positively, while invasives are declining. Data on frog and salamander egg masses (1998-2007) are provided with some interpretation (lowest counts understandably in dry years before water control), thus water control can be very important. Similarly, neotropical bird counts (1995-2007) show strong evidence of increase in relative abundance and species diversity over time. It seems that adaptive management is occurring in response to observed findings, e.g., also improving nesting and sunning habitat for western pond turtles (which from surveys were determined to be in short supply). The setting of performance criteria and the adaptive management approach are commendable. One improvement in this section would be to provide more detailed descriptions of monitoring methods. For example, an objective is to "measure seeding survival twice per year and assess causes of seeding failure," however, how this is to be done are not described. For photo-point monitoring methods the sponsors should consider a technique for quantifying changes in vegetation from the photos.

from Mar 26, 2009 ISRP 2009-7 report