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200713500 - Lower Columbia Salmon Recovery Planning: Habitat Restoration Project List Development and Modeling

Sponsor: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)

Budgets: FY07: $323,994 | FY08: $289,031 | FY09: $309,730

Short description: Develop a prioritized habitat recovery project list for chinook, coho, chum, and steelhead in all Lower Columbia sub-basins. Estimate whether these actions will result in populations reaching recovery targets.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This proposal seeks to calibrate the EDT model in relation to the uncertainty that it brings with its assessments, rather than continue to have it treated as providing an absolute answer to habitat/limiting factor questions. One of the major shortcomings of the subbasin plans was the failure of most of them to prioritize habitat restoration actions within and between subbasins. This proposal makes a good case that it will be able to do that in a systematic way. The proposal is for WDFW to work with the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (LCFRB) to develop prioritized lists of habitat restoration projects based on EDT assessments done for the subbasin plans. It describes the EDT work that was conducted and methodology developed by WDFW to estimate confidence intervals around EDT performance estimates and the geographic prioritization of restoration. The rationale is sound in linking this project to LCFRB recovery plan and Lower Columbia Subbasin Plan. The idea is to provide a more complete assessment of strategies used to recover lower Columbia River salmon and steelhead, for which threats persist, so that priorities can be developed. The value of this project will be extremely high if it produces a ranked list of restoration priorities, so limited funds for recovery actions can be applied to those projects that will have the greatest impact for recovering ESA-listed populations. It should be noted, however, that EDT does not have a dynamic geomorphic analysis capability. It would be a grave mistake to assume that appropriate choice of stream habitat restoration involving modification of the longitudinal profile or cross-section of a stream could rely solely on EDT results. The proposal mentions some possible overlap with proposal 200703100 which will develop a decision support system to list optimal watershed management strategies. The overlap does not seem to be too much, and if they coordinate well each project could help the other. The project has a single objective: to assess the effectiveness of salmon recovery actions developed in the LCFRB plan. Methods are described in great detail, and are scientifically sound and innovative. The project will have a strong evaluation component.

State/province recommendation:

Review group:

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

Comment: