In response to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s July 7 request, the ISRP reviewed the Desert Wildlife Area O&M (Wetland Enhancement) 14-year Final Monitoring Report (2002-2015) for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Project #2006-003-00, Desert Wildlife Area O&M. The monitoring report is intended to address the condition the Council placed on this project, as part of the Wildlife category review in July 2009, that the proponents complete a summary report of results to date for ISRP review.
The ISRP’s 2009 review (ISRP 2009-17) stated, “The ISRP requests that proponents complete a report summarizing the results to date. The report should contain a description of the wetland restoration actions undertaken, the results of any monitoring, a summary of how the data are being archived and made available to others, and an explanation of how lessons learned from the project thus far have been used to improve current O&M activities.”
The ISRP also commented, “Because the Desert Wildlife Area wetlands are in part caused by human activity (agricultural surface water returns and elevated groundwater), it is likely that these nutrient-rich wetlands will undergo rapid vegetation succession and be vulnerable to exotic weed and fish invasions. This is likely to result in the need for frequent habitat restoration to maintain conditions suitable for target waterfowl species. This project will require considerable O&M to achieve its goals. Therefore, it is important that a reasonable monitoring program be implemented to track the project's success. Currently there appears to be no plan to monitor the effectiveness of many of the restoration actions. We also strongly encourage the proponents to initiate an appropriate water quality testing program.”
The ISRP reviewed the progress report and requests a response. Additional information is needed to address the ISRP’s qualification from 2009.
The ISRP appreciates the concise 14-year monitoring report and the attempt to address previous comments by the ISRP. Although the monitoring report contains useful data and findings about the restoration effort, the ISRP concludes that additional details are needed to document progress to date. Thus, the ISRP requests, that in a revised progress report, the proponents provide more details on:
- Goals and objectives (How do the goals and objectives differ between the two project areas [TD1, TD2] and why were the goals selected for each of these?);
- Methods, including vegetation sampling, wetland boundary delineation, and waterfowl surveys;
- Wetland restoration and management actions, including water management; and
- Results, specifically for any statistical analyses completed.
Specific details for these recommendations and other related comments to be addressed in the revised progress report are provided in the full memo.
The ISRP requests that a revised progress report be submitted as part of the Fish and Wildlife Program’s upcoming Wildlife Category Review (or sooner if the Council requests).