The purpose of this task was to investigate operations and maintenance (O&M) costs for wildlife projects to further the cost-effectiveness goal of the Fish and Wildlife Program.
The scope of this study explicitly did not include land easements or acquisitions, nor did it include fish projects. Wildlife projects were studied because of the perception that there are better measures for quantitative analysis, not because they are believed to be less cost-effective than other (i.e. fish) projects. In particular, wildlife project cost per acre can be measured and has been discussed as a possible basis for cost-effectiveness comparisons.
The investigation has proceeded on three independent paths:
- exploring the potential use of wildlife project cost data from Pisces for cost benchmarking,
- examining the availability and potential usefulness of other wildlife project cost data from the region, and
- considering the application of cost management and economic incentives.
- In its current form Pisces can provide useful information on relative costs of wildlife projects, but only at a very coarse level of resolution, and with caveats. More detailed, informed, and case-by-case comparisons are likely to be more accurate and useful.
- The IEAB recommends that project reporting and Pisces be modified to include 1) cost shares from other (non-BPA) sources by work element, and 2) the expected life of any investments expected to last more than 1 year. Other changes to Pisces may be justified.
- There are many wildlife projects in the region that are not part of the Fish and Wildlife Program that can provide useful cost and management information.
- There is potential for cost-effective changes to project contracting and management practices, but there are impediments to their implementation in some areas of the program.