In response to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s January 6, 2014 request, the ISRP reviewed a revised proposal for the Nez Perce Tribe’s project titled Protect and Restore Northeast Oregon/Southeast Washington (project #2007-393-00). The project is intended to support the Tribe’s work with partners to implement habitat projects in the Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Wallowa Watersheds in Northeast Oregon and the Tucannon River and Asotin Creek watersheds in southeast Washington. These habitat projects are designed to address limiting factors to aid the recovery of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed steelhead and Chinook salmon.
This review includes the ISRP’s evaluation of the Tribe’s point-by-point response to the ISRP’s review of the project in the Geographic Review, in which the ISRP found the project did not meet scientific review criteria (ISRP 2013-11, August 15, 2013). Based on the ISRP’s recommendation and other information including public comments, the Council recommended that the Tribe submit a revised proposal for ISRP review, with future funding contingent on the review outcome.
Recommendation: Not Applicable
The ISRP had been uncertain about the degree of overlap and duplication between this project and the Grande Ronde Model Watershed (GRMW) umbrella project. The Tribe’s response and the GRMW’s letter of support clarify that this is not an umbrella project and that the proposed work will largely complement rather than duplicate work funded under the GRMW umbrella project. All of the letters provided in the response clarified the importance of the proposed project and its usefulness in prioritizing actions and maintaining involvement in habitat restoration. Based on the letters, the project’s role is well understood by entities involved with the sponsors.
The Tribe’s response and specific details provided in the revised proposal clarify the history of this project and the nature of the proposed work. The new information allays many of the ISRP’s previous concerns about the proposal. However, there remains very little in the way of specific scientific details in the proposal for a scientific review by the ISRP, thus the ISRP recommendation of “not applicable.” As this project is implemented and more detailed, on-the-ground proposals are planned, developed, and funded, more specific scientific details will emerge that might be amenable to a scientific review. The ISRP recommends a review at that time.