Response for project 199206200: Lower Yakima Valley Riparian/W

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

I desire renewal of this project in FY2006. This budget is consistent with my expectation.

Accomplishments since the last review

BPA Environmental ComplianceAll environmental compliance activities are conducted on each property according to the permitting and NEPA needs. Archaeological and cultural surveys are conducted on each newly-protected property.
# of people reached in each of 3 classes (T/S/G): Teachers, Students, General publicProject area tours, presentations and work shops have reached over 100 teachers, 300 students, and 1,000 members of the general public in the last 3 years.
Identify and Select ProjectsThis includes priortization of lands for protection and priortization of management and restoration activities.
CoordinationCoordination is conducted with adjacent BPA-funded projects and with landowners adjacent to or within the project area. Coordination also involves securing funds for restoration of protected lands.
Manage and Administer ProjectsThis involves coordinating restoration activities on properties and the maintenence of equipment to perform the management and restoration.
Produce PlanManagement plans are developed for each protected property. These plans guide future restoration, operation and evaluation activities.
Produce Annual ReportAnnual reports are completed for all project activities each year.
Produce Status ReportQuarterly reports are completed each quarter.
Conduct Controlled BurnFire is an important component of vegetatioin management. Grassland and wetland communities restored on project lands require periodic fires to maintain their values.
# of acres of vegetation planted (0.1 ac.)approximately 300 acres of floodplain grasslands have been planted in 2003-2005.
# of riparian miles treated (0.01 mi.; count each bank separately)The project's hydrologic restoration techniques allow for riparian vegetation restoration to occur without the need for planting.
Maintain Terrestrial StructureThis includes maintaining fences and other upland-related structures. Currently the project maintains over 100 miles of property fence.
Replace/Maintain Instream StructureThis includes maintenence of water level control structures, spillways, grade control structures, etc.
Maintain VegetationThis includes mowing, water level control, weed control, and all other activities required to maintain the native vegetation components of protected and restored properties.
Operate/Maintain FacilityThis involves maintaining equipment storage facilities, roads, public access structures and other related facilities.
Remove DebrisThis activity involves mostly garbage removal on protected properties.
Prepare HEP ReportBaseline HEP surveys are conducted annually on all newly-protected properties. HEP updates are conducted on a 5-10 year rotation.
# of riparian miles protected (0.01 mi.)2003 - 2005: 11.35 miles -protected
# of acres of new lease. (0.1 ac.)2003 - 2005: 2317 acres protected
# of acres of renewed lease (0.1 ac.)Approximately 20,000 acres are currently protected by this project. Leases that are up for renewal are renewed annually. All properties are expected to be renewed in perpetuity.
Start and end dates of lease (mm/dd/yyyy)Leases continue for a minimum of 25 years, with first right of renewal.
Conduct Pre-Acquisition ActivitiesWork is performed each year to develop the lease and easement priorities and documents.
Develop RM&E Methods and DesignsHabitat and wildlife species response to protection and restoration activities are monitored annually. Fish monitoring activities within the project area are conducted under the Satus and Toppenish/Simcoe BPA-funded projects.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataVegetation, wildlife and hydrologic data is generated annually to assist in the restoration and management needs of the protected properties.

This project is truly a landscape scale habitat protection and restoration effort. It is designed to protect and restore at least 27,000 acres of floodplain habitats along the lower elevations of the anadromous fish bearing waterways of the Yakama Nation Reservation (Satus and Toppenish Creeks, Yakima River). The protection, operation and maintenence, and monitoring components of the project are funded with BPA dollars. Each year, large restoration components of the project are funded through other (non-BPA) grant sources, using BPA funds as cost share. Though these restoration activities occur on the project properties, affecting thousands of acres or floodplain habitats, they are not reported here because they are funded by non-BPA sources. Literally millions of dollars of non-BPA funds have been secured by this project over the last 12 years. These sources include N. Am. Wetlands Conservation Act, BOR, USFWS, BIA, Pheasants Forever, USDA (WRP, CREP, WHIP, etc.). Since 1992, approximately 20,000 acres (toward the 27,000 acre goal)have been protected and are under restoration. Passage barriers have been removed, side channels, wetlands and associated upland areas have been reconnected and restored. Water rights are also acquired in association with the land protections. This project has acquired all of the irrigation water rights on Satus Creek, one of the most important tributaries of the Yakima Basin for steelhead production.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

Conduct Controlled BurnFire will be used to treat approximately 100 wetland acres, 100 grassland acres. Russian olive tree piles which result from removal activities will also be burned.
# of acres of vegetation planted (0.1 ac.)We anticipate that 300-500 acres of native floodplain grass communities will be planted in FY06.
# of riparian miles treated (0.01 mi.; count each bank separately)Because our restoration methods produce riparian vegetation responses that do not require planting, little or no riparian vegetation is planted each year.
# of riparian miles protected (0.01 mi.)FY06, we hope to protect 3-5 miles of riparian habitats
# of acres of new lease. (0.1 ac.)FY06 - we hope to protect 1,000-2,000 acres of floodplain habitats
# of acres of renewed lease (0.1 ac.)FY06 - we will be renewing and maintaining the approximately 20,000 acres of leases and easements in perpectuity
Start and end dates of lease (mm/dd/yyyy)in perpetuity

The goals for this project were developed in plans and environmental documents from 1991 through 1994. Implementation of the overall project has been occurring every year since then. All metrics reported in the "Past Accomplishments" portion of this report will be implemented again in 2006. Only the metrics associated with acreage or milage figures are repeated here. On average, an additional 1-3,000 acres are added to the project each year. Large restoration projects anticipated in FY06 include a side channel reconnection along the Yakima River, reconnection of channels, wetlands and hydrology on a site along Toppenish Creek, and at a site along Satus Creek. The long-term operation and maintenence activities will continue, as will all monitoring activities.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

This project is consistent with and implements Tier 1 habitat strategies described in the Yakima Subbasin Plan Suppliment. This project is located in Assessment Units 2 (Mid-Yakima Floodplain) and 3(Low Elevation Tributaries). Activities occur in the Satus and Toppenish Creek, and Yakima River floodplain areas. The strategies listed below, all within the "immediately implementable" category, address Tier 1 limiting factors. Terrestrial Habitat Strategies - Interior Riparian Wetlands (Table 6, page 22) Strategies 1-6. These address hydrologic and habitat improvement through protection and restoration using techniques that mimic or restore normative conditions. Aquatic Habitat - Flow (Table 9, page 26) Strategies 1-5. Purchases easements and water rights and works toward restoration of normative hydrologic conditions. Obstructions and entrainment (Table 10, page 27-28) Strategies 1,3,7. Uses restoration techniques that restore fish passage through channel and wetland habitats. Key Habitat Quantity (Table 11, page 28-29) Strategies 1-3, 5-6. Protects and restores floodplain habitats, side channels and wetlands at a large scale. Habitat Diversity (Table 12, page 29) Strategies 1-10. Hydrology and habitat characteristics associated with these activities meet, very clearly, all of the strategies outlined in this table. Temperature (Table 13, page 30) Strategies 1-8. Restoring hydrology and habitat conforms with temperature strategies outlined in the report. Sediment Load (fine) (Table 14, page 31) Strategies 1-2. Floodplain habitat restoration involves on-farm improvements, road closures, etc. These reduce the sediment loads entering the waterways. Channel Stability (Table 15, page 31-32) Strategies 1-6, 9. Habitat restoration improves channel stability. Predation (Table 16, page 32) Strategies 4-6. Diverse habitats reduce predation. Eutrophication (Table 18, page 33) Strategies 1-4. Our techniques reduce eutrophication. Chemical (Table 21, page 34) Strategy 2. Water monitoring is completed with channel restoration

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

All of the strategies listed above are considered to be Tier 1 activites in the Yakima Subbasin Plan Suppliment. The project area is within the highest priority areas listed for all of the strategies listed above.

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