Response for project 199202601: Grand Ronde Model Watershed

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

Yes, we request that our project be renewed for FY 2006 The $1,343,166 is sufficient to accomplish our FY 2006 goals

Accomplishments since the last review

# of people reached in each of 3 classes (T/S/G): Teachers, Students, General publicG - 8,000-10,000 with Quarterly "Ripples" publication (approximately 8 publications) insert in local newspapers
Identify and Select ProjectsEach year the GRMWP staff, Technical Committee and Board solicits, reviews 15-20 habitat restoration porjects. 10-15 are selected and funded each year.
CoordinationThe GRMWP coordinates with many restoration partners on a daily and weekly basis, including ODFW, ODF, NRCS, USFS, ODEQ, ODOT.
Manage and Administer ProjectsThe GRMWP manages 3-4 projects in concert with the Grande Ronde Model Watershed Foundation.
Provide Technical ReviewThe GRMWP facilitates technical review of 10-15 projects annually through the Grande Ronde Technical Committee.
# of stream miles treated (0.01 mi.)17 miles
# of road miles decommissioned (0.01 mi.)10 miles obliterated (similar to but not always full recontouring
Develop Alternative Water Source22 spring development, 3 well developments
# of miles of fence (0.01 mi.)17 miles livestock exclusion fencing
# of acres treated (0.1 ac)9,000 acres
Enhance Floodplain870 acres and 27 stream miles of floodplain enhancement as a result of fencing, planting noxious weed control, dike relocation and road removal
If installing a ladder, does the ladder meet NOAA specifications for attraction flow, pool dimensions, jump height, etc? (Y/N)Modified/improved 3 irrigation diversion structures

GRMWP/BPA Project Accomplishments 2002-2004 Riparian Fence - Exclusion (Riparian Enhancement) 17mi Riparian Fence - Non-exclusion (Riparian Enhancement) 6mi Riparian Zone Treated (Riparian Enhancement) 870ac and 27 stream miles Exclosure Fencing Planting/Seeding Noxious Weed Control Dike Relocation Removal of drawbottom road Instream Work (In-channel habitat diversity) 17mi Large Woody Material Placement Structures (rock & wood) Restore Historic Channel Channel Treatments Streambank Stabilization Create/Improve Side Channel Habitat Irrigation Diversion Structure Improvements (Fish Passage) 3 Livestock Water Developments (Riparian Enhancement) 25 Spring Developments (22) Well Developments (3) Upland Improvements (Reduce Sediment) 9,000 ac Direct Seed Incentive Road Obliteration (Reduce Sediment) 10mi Stream Crossing Structures (Fish Passage) 5 There are numerous additional "non-restoration project" accomplishments related to Goal #1 (bulleted items) that the GRMWP staff accomplish on a daily/weekly basis.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

# of stream miles treated (0.01 mi.)3-4 miles
Create, Restore, and/or Enhance WetlandLadd Rechannel, improve wetland characteristics
Replace/Maintain Instream StructureRestore/improve fish passage at 2 culverts, 2 irrigation diversion dams, and several concrete structures (I-84

The project has two primary goals: 1. Coordinate watershed restoration and outreach in the Grande Ronde Basin: • Facilitate inter-agency coordination of program and restoration activities • Coordinate planning, prioritization, design & implementation of restoration projects (Implement the GR Subbasin Plan) • Provide/facilitate technical support to landowners for restoration project implementation • Maintain a Basin-wide restoration activity Database • Participate in ESA Recovery Planning • Coordinate Basin-wide water quality monitoring program • Continue educational/outreach program 2. Habitat/Species Recovery Projects The Grande Ronde Model Watershed Program annually implements 10-15 individual habitat restoration projects. The development of FY 06 projects occurs from mid FY 05 to early FY 06, are proposed to BPA for funding in January 2006 and are implemented during the 2006 field season. The following projects are under development: • Wildcat/Wallupa Fish Passage Cooperative project with Wallowa Co. to replace 2 undersized culverts to address steelhead passage and water quality issues • Lower Catherine Creek/Davis Fish Passage Retrofit of two irrigation dams that impede juvenile and adult Chinook and steelhead passage • Ladd Creek Historic Channel Cooperative project with ODFW to restore historic channel on lower Ladd Creek to restore/improve Chinook & steelhead rearing habitat, wetlands and water quality • Lower Ladd Creek Habitat Diversity Enhancement Cooperative project with ODFW to improve juvenile Chinook winter rearing habitat • Ladd Creek/I-84 Fish Passage Complex Cooperative project with ODOT & ODFW to restore steelhead access to Ladd Creek headwaters. Additional projects will be submitted by various restoration partners in response to the GRMWP annual project solicitation process. Specific projects are not identified at this time. All projects will be reviewed, prioritized by theGRMWP Technical Committee (GR Subbasin Plan criteria), and approved by the GRMWP Board of Directors before submitting to BPA for cost-share funding.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

All references are to the Grande Ronde Subbasin Plan Supplement which was provided in response to comments to the original SBP submission. The Supplement, specifically the Management Plan section, more fully developed restoration strategies and priorities than did the original plan. The GRMWP proposed FY 2006 Projects (see Goals section) address four habitat attributes/limiting factors that are discussed at length in the original SBP as well as the SBP Supplement. Those are: Fish Passage, Habitat Diversity, Key Habitat Quantity and Sediment. The SBP highlighted fish passage, where it is blocked or impeded, as a very important element to fish population restoration because it restores habitat connectivity, has a high probability of success in a short time frame and has a relatively low risk of failure. Many of the major fish passage barriers at irrigation diversions and major culverts have already been addressed in the Grande Ronde Basin. However, there are still a few diversions and many culverts to address. The SBP did not identify specific sites due to incomplete or unverified data. Surveys and data collection are currently underway. Three of the five FY 2006 projects address fish passage. The Ladd Creek/I84 barrier is a well known and complete blockage of an entire drainage, but also will be an expensive fix (reason for not being addressed sooner). The Lower Catherine Creek/Davis site is also well known and can dramatically affect adult Chinook migration during low water years for the entire Catherine Creek drainage. Recent drought years and operational changes at the diversion have elevated the priority of this project. Habitat diversity, key habitat quantity and sediment are limiting factors that are being addressed by the Ladd Creek Historic Channel and Lower Ladd Creek Habitat Diversity projects.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

Please consult the following references in the Supplement for information and comparison of proposed FY 2006 projects and SBP priorities: pp. 15-16, Tables 3-1 and 3.2 Five Highest Priority Geographic Areas Catherine Creek (Chinook, steelhead) (Ladd Creek is a tributary) and Wildcat Creek (steelhead) are in the top five highest priority geographic areas. pp. 17-18, Table 3.3 Lower GR, Wildcat Creek, “improving conditions in tributaries will help establish broader life history diversity”. “Identify largest tributary sediment sources”. The Wallupa culvert fails periodically causing the entire roadbed to be washed out and into Wildcat Creek. Catherine Creek, restoration impact assessed to have “very large” affect on Chinook abundance. p. 40, Table 5-4 Catherine Creek (Ladd Creek), priority attributes are key habitat quantity, habitat diversity, temperature, sediment and flow. The Ladd Creek Historic Channel and Habitat Diversity projects address these attributes. The re-channel project will significantly increase habitat quantity by increasing channel length and diversity. There will be lesser, but likely reductions in sediment and late season flow enhancement due to wetland creation and improved water storage. The habitat diversity project will add wood and structure to a formerly restored reach of Ladd Creek. p. 47, Table 5.5 Framework for identifying project priorities. Addressing fish passage barriers is “an appropriate initial strategy for the long term improvement of watershed health” p. 50, Table 5-6 Catherine Creek ranks the third highest geographic area in terms of benefit derived from comprehensive habitat restoration.

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