Proposal 199009200: Wanaket Wildlife Area

1. Administrative
2. Location
3. Species
4. Past accomplishments  
5. Relationships
6. Objectives
7. Work elements   
8. Budget
9. Future
10. Narrative

Organization: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Short description:
Continue operations and maintenance of the 2,817 acre Wanaket Wildlife Area to provide 2,334 habitat units of protection credits and generate 2,495 habitat units of enhancement credits. Primary habitat types include wetland and shrub-steppe/grassland.


Contact nameRoleAddressPhoneEmail
Jenny Barnett Form Submitter Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla
Old Mission Highway P.O. Box 638
Pendleton OR 97801

Section 2. Location

Province: Columbia Plateau Subbasin: Umatilla

Specific locations

Lat/longLocation descWaterbody (lake or stream)County/StateSubbasinResolutionPrimary?
45.916257, -119.263191 Adjacent to the south shore of the Columbia River, between McNary Dam and Hat Rock State Park [none] Umatilla Columbia Lower Middle area Yes

Section 3. Species

Primary: Wildlife: All Wildlife

Additional species: 8 HEP mitigation species: Canada goose, western meadowlark, California quail, mallard, spotted sandpiper, mink, yellow warbler, downy woodpecker

Section 4. Past accomplishments

1992 [Accomplishment field left blank]
1993 BPA acquired Wanaket Wildlife Area Mitigation Project under Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, securing an estimated 2,274 Habitat Units of protection credit. CTUIR assumed management responsibility.
1994 [Accomplishment field left blank]
1995 Management plan and update of original HEP analysis completed, and protection credits were revised to 2,334 HUs. Developed management objectives (protect existing habitats, upgrade irrigation infrastructure) and range of acceptable management activities.
1996 Conducted annual management tasks (see narrative section for description).
1997 Rebuilt pumpstation irrigation infrastructure to increase irrigation efficiency.
1998 Completed management plan objective of increasing irrigation efficiency through canal and headgate improvements and created an additional 8 acres of emergent wetland habitat.
1999 Created 7 additional acres of wetlands. Succession of wetlands to emergent wetland habitats, and moist soil management will contribute toward Habitat Units enhancement objectives.
2000 Initiated management plan update. Created 11 ecological reconnaissance survey plots to document current ecological status of shrub-steppe habitat, compare current conditions to historical conditions, and develop priorities for the management plan update.
2001 Created 2 new acres of wetlands, installed 3 new headgates, and removed 20 acres of Russian olive. Competed management plan update, with emphasis on shrub-steppe/grassland enhancement, wetland and wildlife protection through access and travel management.
2002 Planted 1,200 acres with seed of native perennial grasses.
2003 Conducted annual management tasks (see narrative section for description).
2004 Planted big sagebrush seedlings on 900 acres. Installed new self-cleaning screens on irrigation intakes.
2005 Planted 30 acres with bluebunch wheatgrass seed. Removed 10 acres of Russain olive. Collected field data for HEP. Re-read ecological reconnaissance survey plots and established Daubenmire cover transects on the plot locations.
2006 Completed the HEP report from 2005 field work. Completed a mosquito (vector) control plan. Drafted a weed control plan outlining an integrated weed management program. Planted 500 bitterbrush seedlings and removed Russian olive from 10 acres.
2007 Finalized the weed control plan. Removed Russian olive from 80 acres and planted grass seed on 30 acres.
2008 Removed Russian olive from 25 acres. Initiated 105-acre upland restoration project, treating cheatgrass and weeds. Secured match funding for weed treatments and restoration.

Section 5. Relationships to other projects

Funding sourceProject IDProject TitleRelationship
BPA 199506001 Iskuulpa Watershed Project One of 3 fish and/or wildife mitigation projects developed by CTUIR to mitigate for impacts of the John Day and McNary Dams within the CTUIR ceded territory. All meet the vision of the CTUIR Wildlife Mitigation Plan.
BPA 200002600 Rainwater Wildlife Area Operat One of 3 fish and/or wildlife mitigation projects, developed by CTUIR to mitigate within the CTUIR ceeded territory, for impacts of the John Day and McNary Dams. All meet the vision of the CTUIR Wildlife Mitigation Plan.

Section 6. Objectives

Objective titleDescriptionRelevant subbasin planRelevant strategy(ies)Page number(s)
1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat Operate and maintain the Wanaket Wildlife Area to provide 2,334 Habitat Units of protection credit. Protect 159 acres of herbaceous wetland and 2,477 acres of shrub-steppe habitat. Herbaceous wetland and shrub-steppe/grassland are the primary habitat types on Wanaket. These habitat types, along with riparian tree, riparian shrub, and sand/cobble/gravel/mud provide habitat for 8 mitigation species. Umatilla Herbaceous wetland, obj 1, strat 1. Protect. Shrub-steppe, obj 4., strategy 1; protect 5-54 to 5-51
2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat Implement enhancements that will contribute towards the provision of 2,495 enhancement credits and enhance wetlands and 150 acres of shrub-steppe/grassland habitat. Enhancements aim to improve habitat for 8 HEP species. Herbaceous wetland and shrub-stepee/grassland are highest priority for enhancements. Umatilla Herbaceous wetland, bio obj 2, strategy 3: Reduce exotic plants. strategy 4: mimic natural disturbance regimes. Shrub-steppe, bio obj 5, strategy 1: reduce exotic, plants. Strategy 2: modify livestock grazing. Strat 3: ID site potential and restore 5-54, 5-51

Section 7. Work elements

Work element nameWork element titleObjective(s)Start dateEnd dateEstimated budget>Sponsor performs work?
Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation 01. Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat<br>2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 25,300 Yes
Description: Complete environmental compliance on all projects requiring it. Environmental compliance includes securring permits, conducting NEPA analysis, cultural resource compliance, and conducting threatened and endangered species consultation.
Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage/Structure 02. Irrigation System Maintenance 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat 3/1/2010 10/31/2012 212,730 Yes
Description: Maintenance of these facilities is critical to provide and maintain wetland and associated riparian habitats for mitigation credit. Irrigation water is applied to the naturally occuring potholes on the area. Two water rights, aquired with the property, allow irrigation between March 1 and October 31. The irrigation facilities (pumps, electric motors, pipeline, ditches, and water control structures) are the means by which irrigation water is applied and controlled, creating and maintaining the wetland habitats. Wetlands are filled in Spring to provide foraging areas for migrating and breeding waterfowl and shorebirds. Deep water ponds, which provide brooding habitat for waterfowl, are maintained throughout the summer. Wetlands are filled again in fall, to provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl.
Provide Access and Public Information 3. Provide Regulated Public Access 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat 2/15/2010 12/31/2012 73,915 Yes
Description: Public access for rate-payers is a component of the fish and wildlife program. However, public access is managed to provide wildlife security during critical life stages, such as nesting, and to prevent resource damage. Uses include regulated access for hiking, wildlife viewing/photography, and waterfowl and upland bird hunting. Project staff mows parking lots, locks gates, and posts regulations. Visitors must park in established parking lots and follow area regulations. Hunting is allowed on Wednesdays and Saturdays during state seasons for waterfowl and upland gamebirds and hunters must fill out a daily permit. Wanaket is open every day during the spring public access period, February 15 through March 31.
Investigate Trespass 04. Reduce Trespass and Other Criminal Activities 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat<br>2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 34,675 Yes
Description: Provide 2,817 acres of habitat protection. Unregulated human use during sensitive life history stages of wildlife (i.e. nesting) can reduce habitat effectiveness. Trespass (unmanaged) livestock grazing can negatively impact habitat struture important to target mitigation species. Wanaket is closed to the public during waterfowl breeding season to prevent disturbance. It is only open to hunting 2 days a week during state seasons, so it functions as a sanctuary for waterfowl on the other 5. Periodic patrols are conducted to look for trespass livestock, unauthorized hunting or other recreation, and damaged fences and locks. When trespass cattle are located, the owners are contacted and the cattle removed from the wildlife area. People found using the property during non-public use periods are asked to leave. Damaged fences and locks are repaired. Local law enforcement is notified when project staff suspect illegal activities.
Remove Debris 05. Remove Modern Trash from Illegal Dumping 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 28,475 Yes
Description: The objective is to maintain a debris-free project area. Illegal dumping is problematic in open space in Umatilla County. Because failure to collect and dispose of illegally dumped modern trash decreases habitat quality, visitation experiences, invites additional dumping, and poses contamination risks, we remove all trash found during routine patrols. Costs include labor, transportation, and dump fees.
Remove, Exclude, and/or Relocate Animals 06. Assist Vector Control District in Reducing Vector Production 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat 3/1/2010 10/31/2012 40,580 Yes
Description: CTUIR has completed a mosquito management plan, detailing wetland management operations designed to reduce mosquito production while maintaining wetland habitat, and options for chemical control of mosquitoes. A direct effect of providing water for riparian and wetland protection is the creation of mosquito (vector) habitat and mosquito production. The local West Umatilla Vector Control District is charged with monitoring mosquitoes in the area, tracking mosquito borne diseases, and controlling mosquito populations. Through a collaborative negotiation, we have an on-going agreement with the vector control district which allows them to use certain mosquito larvicides on Wanaket. They reduce mosquito populations on site and we reimburse them for a portion of their costs via this contract.
Produce Inventory or Assessment 07. Track Noxious Weed Populations 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat<br>2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 20,225 Yes
Description: Continue GPS-based tracking and managment of weed populations and treatments. New weed infestations are GPS'd and added to the weeds database as they are discovered in the course of other work. Treatments on specific infestations are entered into the database and infestations that are actively managed are peridocially re-assessed. Results are used to supplement weed treatment strategies and plan control projects. Systematic surveys will be repeated in 2012 (every 5 years).
Remove vegetation 08. Control Noxious Weeds and Competing and Unwanted Vegetation. 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat<br>2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 50,554 Yes
Description: Noxious weeds and competing and unwanted vegetation (cheatgrass and Russian olive) threaten to negatively inpact the species diversity and structure of desirable plant communitites beneficial to mitigation target species. Undesirable vegetation is removed with a combination of manual, mechanical, and chemical control, as appropriate for specific plant species and sites.
Plant Vegetation 09. Plant vegetation in shrub-steppe/grassland habitats 2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 90,675 Yes
Description: Native shrub-steppe plant species on Wanaket have been negatively impacted by past managment practices, such as livestock grazing, and by wildfire. Planting native grasses, shrubs, and forbs will help move these plant communitites toward recovery.

# of upland acres treated: 150

Maintain Vegetation 10. Follow-up treatments in vegetation control sites 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat<br>2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 3/1/2010 10/31/2012 101,109 Yes
Description: Successful, long-term removal of several weeds requires multiple treatments. Russian olive re sprouts from the roots after mechanical or chemical treatment, and the sprouts must be treated for several years after the initial project. Many weed species require multiple treatments over several for successful control. Methods are the same as those described under WE - Remove Vegetation
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data 11. Monitor waterfowl production, public use, and revegetation success. 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat<br>2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 6,150 Yes
Description: Data collection to estimate annual waterfowl production (pair and brood counts). Monitoring transects and photo points on revegetation areas to determine success of seeding/planting efforts.

Primary R, M, and E Type [Status and Trend Monitoring, Action Effectiveness Research, Uncertainties Research, Project Implementation/ Compliance Monitoring]: breeding pair surveys (waterbirds)
Primary R, M, and E Type [Status and Trend Monitoring, Action Effectiveness Research, Uncertainties Research, Project Implementation/ Compliance Monitoring]: Waterfowl brood counts
Primary R, M, and E Type [Status and Trend Monitoring, Action Effectiveness Research, Uncertainties Research, Project Implementation/ Compliance Monitoring]: Revegetation Monitoring

Analyze/Interpret Data 12. Analysis of waterfowl and revegetation monitoring data 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 6,150 Yes
Description: Estimate annual waterfowl production. Monitor results of revegetation efforts.

Primary R, M, and E Type [Status and Trend Monitoring, Action Effectiveness Research, Uncertainties Research, Project Implementation/ Compliance Monitoring]: Waterfowl Production Estimates
Primary R, M, and E Type [Status and Trend Monitoring, Action Effectiveness Research, Uncertainties Research, Project Implementation/ Compliance Monitoring]: Revegetation Success

Produce Plan 13. Update management plan for Wanaket Wildlife Area 1. Provide Habitat Units, protect habitat<br>2. Provide enhancement credits, enhance habitat 1/1/2010 12/31/2011 33,090 Yes
Description: Produce an updated management plan for the Wanaket Wildlife Area, as required by BPA and CBFWA. The plan will be initiated in 2010 and completed in 2011.
Manage and Administer Projects 14. Manage and Administer Projects 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 47,186 Yes
Description: This work element includes general administration of the contract and of a wildlife area. Preparing annual budgets and SOW for BPA is a primary component. It also includes training, responding to information requests, supervision and dealing with personnel issues, budget tracking and addressing local concerns and unforeseen opportunities and issues.
Produce (Annual) Progress Report 15. Annual Report for BPA 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 15,775 Yes
Description: Produce annual report to document yearly progress. The progress report summarizes the project goals, objectives, hypotheses, completed and uncompleted deliverables, problems encountered, lessons learned, and long-term planning. Progress reports must conform to BPA guidelines.
Produce Pisces Status Report 16. Periodic Status Reports for BPA 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 1,540 Yes
Description: The contractor shall report on the status of milestones and deliverables in Pisces. Reports shall be completed quarterly, as determined by the BPA COTR.
work element budget total: 788,129

Section 8. Budget

Item Note FY 2010 cost ($) FY 2011 cost ($) FY 2012 cost ($)
Capital Equipment 0 0 0
Fringe Benefits 36,978 38,816 40,745
Other Includes subcontracts for weed control and removal of unwanted and competing vegetation, electricity to run the pumps, a lease agreement for heavy equipment rental for irrigation ditch repair and Russian olive removal projects, and money paid to West Umatilla Vector Control District for vector (mosquito) control. 38,725 36,525 34,400
Overhead 60,807 63,212 65,642
Personnel 96,758 101,486 106,450
Supplies 9,311 8,945 8,313
Travel 13,672 13,672 13,672
Itemized budget totals: 256,251 262,656 269,222
Type of funding source Funding source or organization Item or service provided FY 2010 est value ($) FY 2011 est value ($) FY 2012 est value ($) Cash or in-kind? Status
federal NRCS cash for 50% of the cost of grass seed and site preparation, NTE $62.50 per acre 6,563 Cash Confirmed
Cost share estimate totals: 6,563 0 0

FY 2010-12 total cost share estimate: 6,563

Section 9. Project future

Outyear budgets 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
275,953 282,852 289,923 297,171 304,601 312,216

Includes 2.5% Cost of Living Adjustment.

Likely project termination/end date: perpetual

Termination notes:
Project should be maintained for the life of the hydroelectric project it mitigates for.

Final deliverables:
Long-term/perpetual protection and management of lands providing Habitat Unit credits agains't BPA's loss obligation.


ISRP final recommendation: Meets Scientific criteria? Yes

The sponsor responses thoroughly addressed the concerns expressed by the ISRP. The additional information provided on the monitoring associated with this project addressed the primary issue raised in the initial project review. The waterfowl data are very complete. The project sponsors note the decrease in the number of breeding waterfowl at Wanaket since surveys began in 1994. They suggest that this decrease may be partially explained by the decrease in waterfowl numbers throughout the Columbia Basin. The ISRP suggests that a comparison of the rate of change in waterfowl numbers at Wanaket and throughout the Columbia Basin be included in future reports on waterfowl use of the project site. This comparison will partially account for the effect of regional waterfowl population changes on the utilization observed at Wanaket and enhance the ability to identify project-level responses. The ISRP appreciates the sponsor's positive response to the comment concerning monitoring of shrub-steppe-dependent wildlife populations by adding songbird population monitoring. The sponsors may want to consider some modifications of the shrub-steppe bird monitoring in the future to better focus this effort on the effectiveness of their upland habitat projects. Many of the species observed in the shrub steppe are incidental and not closely associated with this habitat type. The most meaningful measure of the success of the upland habitat restoration measures would be increasing numbers of associated species and nesting by these species: sage sparrows and shrikes for example. Modifying the monitoring protocols to focus on these shrub-steppe associated birds will produce more useful results. The sponsor's plans for initial evaluation of the Interplug Project (Pilot) with a combination of belt transects to evaluate survival of plugs and transects to estimate canopy cover and frequency of herbaceous vegetation are appropriate.

from May 19, 2009 ISRP 2009-17 report

Sponsor response to ISRP preliminary review


ISRP preliminary recommendation: Meets scientific criteria? Response requested

Before providing a final evaluation of the Wanaket Wildlife Area proposal, the ISRP requests that a summary of results from M&E data that have been collected be provided. In the last review cycle, reporting of results was identified as a weakness of the proposal. This deficiency remains in the current proposal. Specific questions and concerns to be addressed are included in the text below. The project proposal is clearly written and justified. The objective of the project is to protect and increase the availability and quality of wetland and shrub-steppe habitat in the Umatilla-Willow Subbasin. Maintaining and enhancing these habitat types is consistent with the objectives of the subbasin plan. The Wanaket Wildlife Area protects about 160 acres of wetland habitat and over 2000 acres of shrub steppe habitat. As the representation of both these habitat types has declined severely from historic levels, the habitat provided by Wanaket is regionally significant. The approaches being used to restore habitat in the project area are generally, technically sound. However, some methods are experimental and should be evaluated thoroughly before widespread implementation (see comments on M&E below). A timeline for completion of habitat enhancements, where appropriate, should be included. The project was initiated in 1993, and significant progress on habitat restoration has been accomplished. The creation of wetland habitats and removal of Russian olive have been among the more prominent activities. Project results have been reported in a series of annual reports, which are cited in the proposal. However, results in terms of biological response to habitat protection and enhancement are generally lacking. For example, there does not appear to be a report that compiles and analyzes the information being collected on water bird use of the project area. This information would be useful in illustrating the response of key wildlife populations to the project. The objectives, work elements, and methods are appropriate for this project. The primary objectives of the project are to maintain the habitat improvements that have been made to date and to implement additional enhancements. The actions required to achieve these goals are clearly explained in the proposal, and their relation to achieving the project objectives is explained. Investigation of innovative techniques to increase efficiency of maintenance and operations of the irrigation system and to reduce dumping of debris by humans is encouraged. Monitoring and evaluation are described, but reporting in the proposal is limited to Habitat Units and tasks completed. The water bird census work appears to be thorough and should provide a good indication of temporal changes in their populations. The proposal would have been improved with brief graphical and numerical summaries of the water bird data, such as number of breeding pairs over time, and other information on wildlife response. The sponsors should consider using the Weed Management Information System that is used elsewhere in the region rather than developing a new system. Plant monitoring appeared to be appropriate for assessing the effectiveness of the vegetation restoration efforts being implemented at the site. However, insufficient detail was provided on the evaluation of the small, circular plant restoration plots to determine the technical merits of this approach. Are various sizes of treated areas being evaluated? Are different combinations of native plants being introduced to the treated sites? A thorough evaluation of the efficacy of this approach would require the application of a set of replicated treatments. However, it was not mentioned in the proposal whether this was the approach being used. Assessment of population response to the restoration of the shrub-steppe habitats in the Wanaket Wildlife Area does not appear to be a component of the current M&E plan. As the restoration of this habitat type is a major management goal for the area, population monitoring of some shrub-steppe wildlife species should be included in the M&E plan. This proposal is clearly organized and well written. With improvements in reporting of monitoring results, this would be a good example for other sponsors to follow.

from Mar 26, 2009 ISRP 2009-7 report