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200714200 - Restore and Protect American River Watershed

Sponsor: Nez Perce Tribe

Budgets: FY07: $335,008 | FY08: $348,016 | FY09: $341,424

Short description: Restore and protect the American River Watershed for the benefit of both anadromous and resident fish using an overall watershed approach. This project is a cooperative effort between the Nez Perce Tribe, Nez Perce National Forest, and BLM.

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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 sponsors provided brief and general answers to ISRP comments, rather than addressing the comments in the level of detail that was expected. The ISRP requested "greater and clearer detail of the specific activities to be undertaken." It also stated that "the proposal would benefit from a more clearly identifiable need and justification for its undertaking relative to objectives (measurable), benefits to focal species (salmon and steelhead), and effects on non-focal species..." The sponsor's response was simply to insist, "The proposal narrative gives a very specific description of work to be completed during this funding cycle." The sponsors appear to have misinterpreted the ISRP's original review comment pertaining to justification for this project’s elements (including barrier removal). The ISRP does not dispute the general idea that removal of barriers can - but not necessarily will - result in increased fish production. As a fundamental and general principle this has support and documentation. Rather, the ISRP sought justification of each project based on the quality and quantity of habitat above a barrier (not just miles of stream as the sponsors propose) and the potential increase in fish use and benefit. The ISRP recommends as a precursor to barrier removal (perhaps as a future stand alone project) a quantitative evaluation of habitat quality and quantity above each barrier, and that these estimates should play a major role in prioritizing barrier replacement/removal projects. Provisions also should be made for some level of assessment of fish use and abundance after barrier replacement/removal. The ISRP requested more detail on criteria for selecting roads that were to be decommissioned or improved. The sponsors did not provide this information, but rather the response was "The Nez Perce Tribe’s Fisheries Watershed Department focuses solely on watershed restoration. Roads identified for improvement or decommissioning are truly focused on reducing chronic sediment input into streams for habitat improvement." The ISRP requested that the proposal ..."needs measurable objectives specified in terms or biological response..." The sponsors responded that it is "...extremely difficult to provide direct ties to numbers of fish or wildlife..." without providing any additional details about why it is difficult or suggesting how biological responses would be assessed. The ISRP requested that the discussion of M&E needed to be expanded. The sponsors stated, essentially, that funding was not sufficient to allow data collection to show compliance and effectiveness. This response is perplexing in that the sponsors proposed to collect physical habitat and biological data in the original proposal. This data should provide insight into project effectiveness, but the sponsor’s response raises questions about whether the data will be analyzed. In short, the ISRP knows little more about this project than was provided in the original proposal. ISRP comments similar to those addressed to the sponsors of this proposal were also addressed to the sponsors of #200725500. The sponsors of the latter proposal were able to provide responses sufficient to address ISRP comments. For full comments on "restore and protect" type projects, please see heading “General comments concerning Nez Perce Tribe proposals to protect and restore various watersheds” at the beginning of the ISRP comments on project # 199607702, Protect & Restore Lolo Creek Watershed.

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: Snake

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

Comment: NPT Tier 2 - 1