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200206100 - Restore Potlatch R Watershed

Sponsor: Latah County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)

Budgets: FY07: $482,106 | FY08: $476,576 | FY09: $485,376

Short description: Implementation stage for the Potlatch River Watershed Management Plan with focus on restoration of A-run steelhead spawning and rearing habitat through the implementation of best management practices on private agricultural, forest and range lands.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $397,486 | FY08: $397,486 | FY09: $397,486

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable

Comment:

The ISRP is pleased to see stronger ties to fish and aquatic habitat here than in most SWCD proposals; this still works to implement Best Management Practices, but the authors have done an assessment and prioritized the tributaries with an understanding of what needs to be worked on first. This is a very strong point of this proposal. They used information from their assessment to actually inform their current understanding; i.e., some of the assessment data changed their minds. There is also a strong working connection, not just lip service, to IDFG steelhead studies on the Potlatch system. The M&E needs to be better developed and coordinated; see ISRP's programmatic comments on M&E. Fish monitoring would be dependent upon IDFG. This is not likely a situation where in-depth habitat effectiveness monitoring is needed. The effectiveness monitoring should use methods that are peer reviewed and up to Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) and Collaborative Systemwide Evaluation Program (CSMEP) standards. In order to track progress toward a "restored" state, abundance targets (in this case, numbers of steelhead) are needed. Project staff will need to work with others to better identify abundance goals for fish in the Potlatch River. On page 9, paragraph 2 of the proposal, 5,900 - 10,000 adult A-run steelhead are identified as the goal for the Clearwater, and sponsors suggest that the Potlatch could produce a significant number of these fish. These goals should largely be identified by management agencies and perhaps a recovery plan.

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $200,000 | FY08: $200,000 | FY09: $200,000

Comment: Reduced funding levels are based upon the following : a) overall reduced funding to the province, b) planning and assessment activities are finished , c) full project implementation has not yet begun, d) reduced funding will allow implementation to begin without loss of project momentum, e) cooperative efforts to maintain other ongoing priority state projects in the Clearwater and Upper Salmon basin