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200201900 - Wasco Riparian Buffers

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

Budgets: FY07: $85,582 | FY08: $87,782 | FY09: $91,032

Short description: This proposal develops riparian buffer systems in southern Wasco County in the lower Deschutes and lower John Day subbasins of the Columbia Plateau Province. Implementation of buffer plans developed under this proposal is fully funded by USDA.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $70,160 | FY08: $70,160 | FY09: $70,160

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This is a combined response from the group of SWCD projects. The response letter raises concerns that ISRP reviewers are unaware of the nature of leveraged funding (with OWEB and USDA) that these projects allow. However, reviewers found that proposals make that relationship clear. ISRP review comments are directed at extending the benefits generated through these cost-effective proposals by developing monitoring collaborations and expanding evaluative assessment of the SWCD work. Review comments are also directed at encouraging the SWCDs to prioritize projects not only on the basis of opportunity but also on the basis of priority areas for conservation; i.e., to actively target areas prioritized in subbasin plans. The response addresses five areas identified by the ISRP. In the response, the SWCDs indicate that they will initiate a cooperative buffer effectiveness monitoring effort with ODFW, describe how enrollment is targeted, provide a plan to resolve the buffer contract data confidentiality issue, agree to collaboratively document SWCD experience with riparian buffer contracts, and identify the relation of SWCD projects to other riparian projects. However, the issue of the effectiveness of these riparian buffer contracts in improving physical status of habitats and the biological status of fish populations remains. Fish and physical habitat response need to be evaluated. The number of acres under contract is impressive, but sites at different areas should be monitored for factors such as parr utilization. At present, the tie to the ODFW biological monitoring is inadequate and should be more actively coordinated. In developing the collaborative document assessing SWCD experience with riparian buffer contracts, the ISRP urges the SWCDs to include information on "what hasn't worked" as well as "what has worked" and reasons why. The document should be as analytical as possible about effective and ineffective approaches, opportunities and constraints. If written as an analytical assessment the document could be an important educational tool providing information transfer to other districts and entities as they implement similar types of incentive programs. The recommended qualification to funding is that the project should develop: 1. a collaboration plan (with ODFW) for buffer effectiveness monitoring; and 2. a work element to assess SWCD experience with buffer contract development and implementation.

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, but at a reduced level

Review group: OSPIT - Plateau

Recommended budgets: FY07: $70,160 | FY08: $70,160 | FY09: $70,160

Comment: OSPIT recommends reducing the budget to FY06 levels. Sponsors had indicated they could make do with partial funding. OSPIT recognizes the importance of CREP project and ability to leverage other funds.