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200301200 - Shillapoo Wildlife Area

Sponsor: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)

Budgets: FY07: $262,023 | FY08: $291,239 | FY09: $280,776

Short description: The Shillapoo Wildlife Area's principal purpose is to provide high quality habitat for migrating and wintering sandhill cranes, waterfowl and several other key species as mitigation for losses associated with Bonneville, John Day and The Dalles dams.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $190,000 | FY08: $190,000 | FY09: $190,000

Comment: Interim funding pending wildlife o&m review.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable

Comment:

Actions related to the project date back to 1992, including ISRP review in 2002 as part of the provincial review process. The SWA is located in the Vancouver Lowlands, and is intended to provide riparian, wetland, and oak woodland habitat across a former lakebed that was drained and developed as agricultural land. A goal of the WDFW acquisition program is to acquire the entire former lakebed and restore it to its former species diversity and wetland functions for wintering waterfowl, while keeping a portion of it in a semi-agricultural state that supports sandhill crane and geese populations. The proposed project should benefit focal wildlife species. It is not clear that the benefits will persist over the long-term because of the great potential for urban pressure on the site. The proposal clearly identifies the specific objectives in the Lower Columbia River Subbasin Plan and specific parts of the Fish and Wildlife Program. The proposal identifies other similar work but does not identify collaborative efforts. The ISRP encourages collaborative efforts. The rationale for this project and significance to regional programs is clear. Specifically, the problem of habitat degradation imposing limiting factors on wildlife species is clearly explained. This appears to be a worthwhile project that will benefit wetland-dependent species in the Vancouver Lowlands. Areas targeted for restoration and specific restoration actions are clearly identified. The objectives are very clearly defined and relate to specific tasks and related to the subbasin plan. The proposal clearly identifies tasks that are related to the objectives. The measurable benefits to wildlife are stated in terms of amount of habitat restored. It appears that reasonable, pragmatic approaches are proposed. An extensive monitoring and evaluation component includes five types of surveys. Monitoring of habitat and of wildlife response to changes in habitat will be done. Evaluation in terms of amount of habitat restored is clearly explained, but identification in terms of wildlife response is not as clearly specified. Identification of specific, measurable benefit to wildlife is recommended. Information transfer is mentioned but more specific information should be presented. It is not clear that the information obtained will be readily available in a usable format. The proposal should clearly identify the effect of the habitat restoration activities and resulting wildlife response on fish. Previous ISRP reviews noted the possibility of the potential for negative impacts on fish; the current proposal makes no mention of negative impacts. Indeed, little is mentioned about interactions with the larger lower Columbia River aquatic ecosystem. The ISRP encourages inclusion of a discussion of the effects of the overall actions on fish and aquatic species in the Lower Columbia River ecosystem as part of project reporting.

State/province recommendation:

Review group:

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

Comment: