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200204500 - Coeur D'Alene Fish Habitat Acquisition

Sponsor: Coeur D'Alene Tribe

Budgets: FY07: $1,018,210 | FY08: $1,021,167 | FY09: $1,024,283

Short description: This project aims to protect westslope cutthroat trout habitats by acquiring land management rights through purchase of easements, long term leases and possibly fee title. Priority areas have been previously defined by a Prioritization Plan (2003).

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable

Comment:

The proposal was vague and confusing, and the response, although clearly written, makes it evident that the proposal was premature. The process of prioritizing potentials parcels of land needs to be revised and completed before the process advances. The proposal did not make very clear that the funded land-acquisition project was largely based on property priorities developed in a 2002 Habitat Protection Plan. That planning was laudable and likely had a strong influence on the successful funding at that time. As described in the sponsors' response to the ISRP's 2007-2009 proposal comments, that plan developed a systematic (numerical) scoring system for the habitat value of each potentially obtainable property (primarily for cutthroat trout), including consideration of lack of data. The principal activity of the project since funding was provided appears to have been re-evaluation of potentially available properties based on new data (apparently obtained in conjunction with other funded projects). This is appropriate. Neither the proposal nor the response, however, indicates that action has been taken to acquire any properties. A major result of the continuing evaluations, as the response makes clear, has been recognition that the original prioritization was inadequate and that both the priority listing and the system used for setting priorities need to be changed. The work of redoing the prioritization appears to be a task for the proposed contract period. In spite of apparent good initial planning, the project has developed into a continual planning exercise rather than a project that has accomplished its stated mission to acquire properties and manage them for habitat protection and enhancement. The vagueness of habitat management plans remains a concern to the ISRP. Because the 2002 prioritization used specific degradation metrics, it would seem logical that the proposal would have indicated how these habitat problems would be addressed during 2007-2009 for properties acquired. This could have been done generically without identifying the specific properties. For example, stream temperature was listed in the response as a factor in the ranking process. The proposal (or response) could have proposed specific measures to improve streamside vegetation and shading, such as riparian plantings or cattle exclusion (assuming the prioritization analysis identified riparian problems). The reviewers could have seen whether the approaches were sound. Simply discussing each habitat degradation category in a few sentences would have shown that this aspect of the work had been given some detailed thought. The proposal is really premature, a result of inadequate progress with the current funding. Although it will be awkward for the 2007-2009 funding cycle, the revised prioritization should be completed before this project is re-funded. Then the project funds could be used for actual property acquisition and habitat management.

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: Fundable when money available

Review group: Intermountain

Recommended budgets: FY07: $118,210 | FY08: $1,021,167 | FY09: $124,283

Comment: Reduced budget by $900,000 in FY07 and FY09. Easement acquisitions are now targeted for 2008 only.