Response for project 199009200: Wanaket Wildlife Area

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The proposed budget is identical to the budgets for FY2004 and FY2005. Freezing the budgets in FY2003, FY2005 and FY2006 has and does not allow for increases in the cost of living and other wage increases, rising utility and fuel and other materials costs, and associated administrative costs let alone project costs that were unforseen when proposals were last submitted in 2002. We have absorbed these cost increases for the last 4 years. It will become more difficult if not impossible to implement the project properly without concurrent funding increases. To cover these additional costs, CTUIR requests that the project budget be increased by 10% from $225,978 to $248,579. This project represents a long-term core component of the F&W Program and proposed '06 increases represent a ramp up towards increased '07 costs that the NPCC must recognize as necessary to maintain past investments in this "base program".

Accomplishments since the last review

Produce Environmental Compliance DocumentationEnvironmental compliance was conducted each year, as needed.
CoordinationParticipate in Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority and Northwest Power Planning Council Processes. Includes project reviews, funding prioritization, and standards development and adherence.
Manage and Administer ProjectsManage and administor work on 2,817 acres of wildlife habitat, including preparation, coordination and oversight of subcontracts.
Produce Annual ReportProduced annual report each year
Produce Status ReportProduced 4 quarterly reports each year
# of acres of vegetation planted (0.1 ac.)2004 - planted 900 acres with big sagebrush. 2005 - planted 30 acres with bluebunch wheatgrass. 2002 - planted 1,200 acres with native perennial grasses.
# of acres treated (0.1 ac)Control noxious weed infestations, control competing and unwanted vegetation and maintain a professional agreement for fire protection
Maintain Terrestrial StructureMaintain 12 miles of project boundary fence and gates.
Operate/Maintain Facility2004 - installed new self-cleaning screens. ANNUALLY - Maintain functionality of irrigation facilities, including inspection, repair and routine maintenance of intake screen, pumps and motors, flow meters, irrigation ditches and water control structures
Remove DebrisRemove debris resulting from illegal dumping

2002, 2003, and 2004 - Provide approximately 2,334 Habitat Units of protection credits for 7 wildlife mitigation species on the Wanaket Wildlife Area. Protection and enhancement is acheived by maintain boundary fences, irrigation infrastructure, and signs, provide regulated public access, removing unwanted vegetation, protecting the area from tresspass, planting desirable vegetation, and collecting data on wildlife species and habitats.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

Produce Environmental Compliance DocumentationComplete environmental compliance on all projects, as needed.
CoordinationParticipate in Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority and Northwest Power Planning Council Processes. Includes project reviews, funding prioritization, and standards development and adherence.
Manage and Administer ProjectsManage and administor work on 2,817 acres of wildlife habitat.
Produce Annual ReportPrepare annual report.
Produce Status ReportProduce quarterly reports.
# of acres of vegetation planted (0.1 ac.)Plant bitterbrush and sagebrush seedlings on 10 acres.
Maintain Terrestrial StructureMaintain project boundary fence and gates.
Maintain VegetationControl noxious weed infestations, control competing and unwanted vegetation and maintain a professional agreement for fire protection
Operate/Maintain FacilityMaintain functionality of irrigation facilities, including inspection, repair and routine maintenance of intake screen, pumps and motors, flow meters, irrigation ditches and water control structures and electrical system.
Remove DebrisRemove debris resulting from illegal dumping

Overall, the project protects and enhances 2817 acres of wildlife habitat, providing 2,334 Habitat Units of protection credits for 7 wildlife mitigation species. Additional metrics could include: 1. Prevent tresspass. Prevent unregulated human and livestock tresspass. 2. Provide public access. Provide regulated public access, for consumptive (approximately 950 hunter visits per year)and non-consumptive uses (6 weeks of public access). Maintain access signs. 3. Collect Data. Collect, manage and interpret data on breeding waterfowl (pair and brood counts) and public use.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

Wanaket Wildlife Area provides existing mitigation, on-site and in-kind, for loses to wildlife habitat resulting from the construction of McNary Dam. The area is listed in the Umatilla?Willow Subbasin Plan (Draft- May 28, 2004) as an area with "high" protected status, meaning it already has management in place that limits the amount of human activity on the land (pg 4-5 and 4-6). In addition, it provides shrub-steppe habitat, a focal habitat type and provides habitat for burrowing owl and loggerhead shrike. Biological Objective 1, strategy 1 calls for administratively or legislatively protecting shrub-steppe habitat at a medium or high level (pg 5-75). Biological Objective 2 strategy 2 (pg 5-76) calls for modifying livestock grazing practices to reduce impacts on shrub-steppe vegetation and decrease the spread of noxious weeds. No livestock grazing is allowed at Wanaket Wildlife Area. Wanaket is valuable open water and marsh habitat for migratory birds. Under the herbaceous wetland focal habitat, Biological Ojective 1, Strategy 2 (pg 5-86) calls for protecting herbaceous wetlands at high administrative level.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

Administratively protecting shrub-steppe habitat and resting it from livestock grazing are strategy priority 1. Wanaket Wildlife Area consists of shrub-steppe and wetland habitat and already has the highest level of administrative protection and no livestock grazing. This makes it a high priority area for wildlife and wildlife habitat under the subbasin plan. Administratively Protecting wetland habitat is also strategy priority 1.

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