Response for project 200102100: 15 Mile Creek Riparian Buffers

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

We do desire to renew the project in fiscal year 2006. The budget is consistent with the previously approved budget but has been at the same level for the past four years. During that time fuel and personnel costs have risen. We request an additional $5,000 (6.4%) for a total FY06 budget of $82,884 in order to maintain adequate levels of technical support. Preliminary budget estimate for FY06: Personnel Services $64,000, Supplies and Services $11,350, Indirect $7,534.

Accomplishments since the last review

Riparian Buffers. Since inception in 2001, 72 buffer plans have been completed resulting in riparian buffer contracts on 78.75 stream miles, protecting 2,333 riparian acres. Fencing, tree planting, and water developments are included along with 14-15 year leases on each contract. Average buffer width is 122 ft. on each side. Total implementation and lease cost from non-BPA sources is $3,946,025.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

Goals for 2006 are 85 landowner contacts, 12 coordination meetings, 12 riparian buffer plans and 12 contracts (est. 50 acres and 1.5 stream miles each) to include planting prescriptions, fencing, and water developments as appropriate, 12 landowners provided technical assistance, 4 outreach activities, 4 quarterly reports and one annual report.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

The Fifteenmile Riparian Buffer project is consistent with the Fifteenmile Subbasin Plan. Aquatic Biological objectives include increasing capacity of habitat for steelhead production (section 5.2 page 9). This project to establish riparian buffers addresses two of the four conditions necessary to meet the biological objectives (page 11): 1. Development of fully functional floodplains and riparian vegetation throughout the watershed and 2., Restoration of large woody debris to recreate pre-settlement habitat characteristics in approximately 40 stream miles where key habitat and habitat diversity are most severely reduced.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

The Fifteenmile Riparian Buffer Project implements the highest priority restoration strategy identified in the subbasin plan. As noted in section 5.3.1 of the plan, page 14., under Riparian/Floodplain Restoration, “Of any one restoration strategy, wide-spread implementation of riparian buffers on private lands produced the greatest increase in steelhead capacity and abundance when modeled by the EDT Scenario Builder”. Included in the Riparian Buffer Plans developed under this project are establishment of riparian vegetation including groundcover, shrub, and tree components; fencing, and off-stream water developments.

Other comments