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200723500 - Proposal to Create a Sub-Basin Plan for the Blackfoot River Sub-Basin

Sponsor: Trout Unlimited

Budgets: FY07: $32,133 | FY08: $29,133 | FY09: $32,134

Short description: In this proposal, Trout Unlimited will coordinate a planning effort to create a sub-basin plan for the Blackfoot River sub-basin.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $45,000 | FY08: $45,000 | FY09: $0

Comment: Funding for two fiscal years only, plan to be delivered by end of fiscal year 08.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable


The primary issue is policy related: does the Council need a subbasin plan for these areas? If they do, this is a fundable proposal and it is advisable to expand the plan to include the Clark Fork/Bitterroot Basins. A current proposal for the Bitterroot is not as well developed as this one. This is a good proposal for a subbasin plan, and they have the capability to create it: most of the work has already been done. The methods are appropriate and consistent with those used to develop earlier subbasin plans. The results should increase the effectiveness of future projects and provide a model of collaborative restoration. This project will leverage existing work, at very reasonable cost with almost 50% cost share from existing partners. Further, this is not anticipated to be an unending obligation, just a 1-term project. It is not clear that the Tribes are as involved as they could be, but this is noted in the proposal. There is no stated relationship to other BPA projects, but the proposal relates to adjacent sub-basin plans as well as a number of efforts undertaken by partners using funds other than those from BPA. Planning objectives are clear, measurable and feasible in the time proposed. As the sponsors develop methods and strategies, they need to assure they are based on sound scientific evidence that they will, in fact, increase distribution and abundance of the target species. Human activity is believed to have caused a decline in this system’s production of valuable fishes. Actions needed to restore lost productivity are difficult to identify because flushing flows, stable hillslopes, and flood plain dynamics no longer exist as they did in the past. Strategies for improving productivity in similar basins are not producing desired benefits for fish. Sponsors of this proposal need to be thoroughly familiar with all such strategies and develop innovative new ones with greater probabilities for success (e.g., see Palmer et al. 2005. Standards for ecologically successful river restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 42, 208-217). All exotic species should be assessed as potential threats to the natives. The monitoring and evaluation component is a major strength of this project, proposing to link a number of current and future efforts in the subbasin with a unique, integrated monitoring scheme. It seems highly likely that focal species and other associated species will benefit as projects come on-line that are carefully prioritized and planned and whose results are monitored.

State/province recommendation:

Review group:

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