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200704300 - Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group Community-Based Multi-Sub-Basin Habitat Restoration Program

Sponsor: Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group

Budgets: FY07: $150,000 | FY08: $150,000 | FY09: $150,000

Short description: The Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group seeks program-level support to continue community-based salmon and steelhead habitat restoration program and activities directly linked to implementation of Sub-Basin and Recovery Plan Priorities.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0


ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable


The response provides additional general information on types of M&E conducted by other LCFEG projects enabled through the addition of project managers, as well as more detail on information transfer methods. However, several responses repeat assertions made in the original proposal (such as cost-effectiveness), and the original ISRP review comments remain valid. This proposal is inadequate in detail and scientific justification. The ISRP maintains its original recommendation of "Not fundable." ISRP comments (June 2006): Not fundable. This proposal would fund three LCFEG program managers to promote and develop an unspecified number of habitat restoration projects in the lower Columbia River subbasins. The specific subbasins are unspecified. The proposal raises a number of concerns, which are summarized by proposal section. Technical and scientific background: This proposal is to expand the organizational capacity in the lower Columbia River to take on habitat restoration projects in the Cowlitz, Elocoman, Grays and Estuary Subbasins. Ten limiting factors that cross subbasins are the focus of activities to restore habitat for four listed species (the focal species). The group will be working from several habitat assessments already performed. Building on these assessments, they now want to develop, fund, permit, construct and monitor habitat restoration projects. Other than the general intent to address habitat issues, the section provides very little detail regarding what the LCFEG will actually do. The subbasin plans give general guidance on limiting factors, and link habitat condition with fish population, but there is no process to justify exactly how what should be done where at the reach scale. The examples provided suggest that river engineering has directed what should be done where. This may possibly be justified where streams have been scoured to bedrock. But the cause may dictate differing designs. Causes include splash-dams, channel simplification and/or straightening, headward incision or positive feedback between successive flood flow and bed/bank erosion resulting from disconnection between channel and floodplain. Even if the problem is well defined, its solution may yet depend on further analysis to determine the reach dynamics. The dominant morphological processes must be understood if restoration money is to be invested wisely. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The focus of this section is on the LCFEG's capabilities and interest in expanding their area of habitat restoration in the lower Columbia River. They present a rationale for their work based on their identification as a habitat project sponsor in the recovery plans and subbasin plans. Emphasis is placed on how they are increasing their organizational capacity in order to increase their presence in additional WRIAs (Water Resource Inventory Areas). They note their success in leveraging project funds. They receive funding form WDFW and WRF, and seek BPA funding to hire additional project managers to increase organizational capacity. These are general statements about the LCFEG’s capacity rather than a rationale for a proposed project. The section lists a number of plans that provide a strategic framework for LCFEG. However, none of these addresses the issue of upland sediment source management, which is taken as an important issue earlier in the proposal. Relationships to other projects: This section does not develop a narrative explanation of this proposal in the context of other regional projects, but rather includes a list of Salmon Recovery Funding Board funded projects in which they are involved in. The section demonstrates minimal linkage to other projects. Objectives: This section includes five biological objectives that derive from the collection of Lower Columbia River Subbasin Plans. Objectives not specific to any particular subbasin but instead are general descriptions of various habitat restoration protocols. Timelines are not specific. Tasks (work elements) and methods: The work elements and methods include a lot of very active engineering approaches to restoration (bank stabilization, gravel reintroduction, introduction of large woody debris, engineered structures, etc.) rather than being based in sound science reflecting the context of watershed dynamics. Methods are described quite generally and consist of basic methodologies used in habitat restoration, rather than anything specific to be done in this project. No time lines or specific measurable outcomes are included. Monitoring and evaluation: No provisions are made for monitoring and evaluation of results, which is notable given the degree of active intervention proposed to fix specific problems. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: No explanation is provided other than an indication that cost-share with other funding will apply to facilities and personnel. Early sections of the proposal describe the location of personnel. Information transfer: Information transfer will be done by LCFEG through partners: landowners, agencies, businesses, academic and political entities, watershed councils, SWCDs, community stakeholders, and through the lead entity (the LCRFRB). No specific information is provided as to how information will be distributed and used. Benefits to focal and non-focal species: The benefits to focal species are indeterminate. It is unclear how the active restoration projects described will affect non-focal species.

Response loop edit

See the sponsor's revised proposal from the response loop. You'll be taken to CBFWA's proposal system in Section 10 where most sponsors uploaded revised narratives or other responses to the ISRP comments.

State/province recommendation: Washington

Review group: Washington list

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: See Washington guidance