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200301300 - Grays River Watershed Restoration

Sponsor: Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST)

Budgets: FY07: $589,092 | FY08: $537,621 | FY09: $175,054

Short description: Project restores habitat-forming processes important to enhance chum salmon as well as other declining populations in the Grays River following recommendations being developed during the ongoing BPA-sponsored Grays River Watershed Assessment.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $400,000 | FY08: $101,612 | FY09: $100,000

Comment: Budget reductions not specific. Project to be implemented as proposed with reduced scope

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable

Comment:

The proposal contains a comprehensive technical background and good description of watershed conditions. The history of perturbations in this watershed is very well documented, including the specific problems regarding chum and Chinook salmon spawning habitat. The proposal gives a clear depiction of limiting factors affecting chum salmon as identified in the literature and in the subbasin plan. Excellent rationales are given for large woody debris (LWD) and riparian restoration. Use of photos, charts and graphics is helpful. Excellent literature citation is provided. Good descriptions of the restoration monitoring needed are included throughout the work element and methods sections. A brief but sufficient history of the predecessor project, the watershed assessment, is provided in the project history section of the proposal. Further detailed history (with project results) is presented in the significance to regional programs section of the proposal. All tasks were completed as scheduled: 1) completion of a geomorphic assessment of watershed condition, 2) field substrate, bedform, and hyporheic temperature data collection, 3) development, and verification of two models. However, Figure 3 badly misrepresents the central process of fluvial geomorphology. Stream geomorphology depends on both land-use and water and riparian land cover, as well as geology and soils, and climate. It critically influences the hydrologic regime and sediment transport, and dictates instream habitat and biological integrity. This basic misunderstanding of the central role of fluvial geomorphology is evident in a great many of the proposals.

State/province recommendation: Not fundable due to budget constraints

Review group: OSPIT - Estuary

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

Comment: Though OSPIT believes this is important work, the Estuary budget will not accommodate this project.