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200715300 - Cardwell Hills Wildlife Mitigation and regional Biodiversity Protection Project

Sponsor: David Evans and Associates, Inc.

Budgets: FY07: $1,903,141 | FY08: $3,916,068 | FY09: $2,798,459

Short description: Wildlife mitigation project to implement Cardwell Hills Regional Conservation Planning Strategy and Willamette Subbasin Plan through purchase or easement of up to 500 acres of upland prairie/savanna, oak woodlands, and riparian forest in Benton County, OR.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Capital

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


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable


ISRP found this proposal exemplary, well reasoned, and well written. Although this is a new project, the context for its development has been clearly and compellingly presented and should contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Program. The proposal clearly explains the need to acquire and manage habitat for endangered and threatened species. The project is specifically designed to benefit focal species through habitat acquisition and habitat restoration. Long-term benefits will depend on other activities in the basin for some focal species. The potential impact of restoration activities, such as burning and vegetation removal, on non-focal species should be clearly addressed. The project appears to be a priority wildlife and habitat restoration project supported by the Willamette Subbasin Plan and OWEB. Specifically, the proposed project is a critical component of the Cardwell Hills Strategy that Governor Kulongoski has designated as an Oregon Solutions project. After 2 years, the project has initiated an intensive landowner outreach program that has identified up to 27 landowners who may voluntarily implement restoration activities to benefit upland prairie/savanna, oak woodland, wetland prairie and seasonal marsh, and riparian habitats. The next phases of the project involve determining which available parcels should be surveyed and protected, entering into negotiations with willing landowners, implementing restoration plans, and initiating a similar outreach program throughout the Corvallis – Philomath Oaks PCA, the Corvallis Watershed PCA, and other areas. This is an excellent model of collaboration. This large project involves many objectives that depend on the same approach but target different habitat types and focal species. It may be more prudent to proceed in steps to acquire and restore habitat types on a priority basis to allow refining and adapting the process over a series of funding cycles. It would be useful if the sponsors identified a priority order for the objectives. There are many, many objectives that are clearly defined. Expected results are identified but not all provide measurable benefits to fish and wildlife. There is extensive monitoring and evaluation that is adequately explained given much of the project is still in the planning and early implementation phase. This level of monitoring should be capable of determining the success of the project. The proposal mentions in general terms how the information from this project will be disseminated (annual report, technical report, or scientific publication). Plans for data storage and release are adequate. The ISRP encourages the consideration of information dissemination beyond the Willamette Valley as results and model could be widely useful if successful.

State/province recommendation: Not fundable due to budget constraints

Review group: OSPIT - Estuary

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

Comment: Though we are unable to fit the project within the budget for the subbasin, we would see value in the habitat acquisition and would recommend that sponsors continue to pursue that action in the next funding cycle.