This report provides final comments and recommendations on 168 proposals submitted for funding in the Upper and Middle Snake, Columbia Cascade, Lower Columbia and Estuary provinces.
The ISRP recommended 108 proposals as fundable, 17 fundable in part, and 35 not fundable. Eight proposals were considered not amenable to scientific review, withdrawn, or combined with other proposals. In addition to comments on each proposal, a programmatic section with identification of general issues that cut across subbasins and provinces is provided.
Based on the advice provided by the ISRP and CBFWA, the Council will make a final selection of projects to recommend to the Bonneville Power Administration for funding. Those decisions are scheduled to be made by early Fall 2002.
(Public comment period ended July 31, 2002.)
CBFWA's revised comments for project 32021 (Lower Boise River Wetlands Restoration Project)
This project will provide for the removal of phosphorous and sediment from the lower portion of the Boise River. The IDEQ has identified phosphorous and sediment as having negative effects on the white sturgeon population in the Hells Canyon reach of the Snake River.
Although the sponsors suggested the project would provide for sensitive species, the reviewers question the benefits to sensitive species. Reviewers indicated that there are nine target species in this area and that the proposed work would provide habitat only for mink and waterfowl. CBFWA found that this proposal does not provide enough detail to determine if the construction phase should be funded and suggest that the proposal be reviewed after the design phase is completed. Wildlife would likely benefit from the wetland creation, but dredging and removal of vegetation to remove accumulated silts and nutrients would cause disturbances approximately every five years. It is unclear if fisheries benefits would result. In fact, CBFWA suggests that thermal heating in the settling cells and wetlands could lead to elevated water temperatures downstream.
CBFWA suggests that the proposed project is primarily a water quality project, with potential side benefits to wildlife. The project would benefit from cost-share arrangements for funding from other sources. All listed cooperators are shown to contribute ?in-kind? services or funds. Although the benefit of this project, combined with others throughout the basin, could have lasting benefits, impacts addressed are not entirely attributable to the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). CBFWA was unclear as to how this project qualifies as offsite mitigation for impacts caused by the FCRPS. Due to the relatively minor impacts associated with power operations, it seems the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, State of Idaho and the counties would have greater responsibilities to provide funding to mitigate for these impacts, rather than BPA. The proposed conservation easements or land acquisitions appear to be very high cost at $5000/acre and $10,000/acre, respectively. The proposal does not describe how wildlife benefits will be calculated and credited. CBFWA found that coordination with BPA and the fish and wildlife managers appears to have been inadequate.