Response for project 199901900: Restore Salmon River (Challis,

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

Custer SWCD is asking for reduced funding this year to allow continued work on the planning and development of additional properties for potential easements and side channel reconstructions. A portion of the funding will be used to secure a grazing permit (80K)that was a component of the Stark Easement secured from FY05 budget. The additional funds will allow for project coordination, reporting, landowner coordination, appriasals and title search on projects identified in the last fiscal year as potential project sites.

Accomplishments since the last review

Working in partnership with the Corps of Engineers and Custer County Watershed Group at least six project have been identified along a 12 mile reach of the Salmon River near Challis. These projects focus to restore floodplain and create side channels. A Conservation Easement with one of the landowners on this reach is expected to close in early June. The Custer SWCD assisted the Corps with the development of the EA and BA for this project both of which have been out for public comment. The Corps is providing 65% cost share of the total overall project.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

The goal of this contract is to coordinate with the Corps of Engineers to identify potential projects and develop plans and specifications for the development of side channels and improve function of floodplains within a 12-mile reach. The District anticipates continued efforts with the Corps and potential construction on a side channel on the Stark Property in 2006.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

According to the Sub-basin Plan (Assessment Page 3-13 and 14)The primary limiting factors in this reach are the lack of access to floodplain and side channel habitat from barriers and alteration of the channel (through dicking)altered riparian habitat function and sediment. (see table 3-3 page 3-14)Work proposed under this contract is anticipated to improve floodplain function, develop side channels,increase riparian cover thereby reducing temperatures.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

Limiting factors idetified in the Sub-Basin Plan include Altered hydrologic regime, Grazing/Browsing of domestic animals, Land-use conversions. The goals of this project are anticipated to improve floodplain function, develop side channels,increase riparian cover thereby reducing temperatures. The Sub-basin plan notes on Page 157 that the Salmon Terrestrial Technical Team developed guiding principles for prioritization in the Salmon Sub-basin. the #1 priority was to Prioritize areas for protection and restoration at a watershed scale. This project is an attempt to address a 12-Mile reach of stream and develope an overall management plan for this reach of river. It must be noted, however, that implementation of projects on private land is voluntary.

Other comments

This project is an ongoing project with the US Army Corps of Engineers that will provided 65% of the cost share of the total overall project.