Presentation on theme: "DRAFT Wildlife Program Amendments Joint Technical Committees and Members Advisory Group Amendment Strategy Workshop July 23, 2007."— Presentation transcript:
DRAFT Wildlife Program Amendments Joint Technical Committees and Members Advisory Group Amendment Strategy Workshop July 23, 2007
Program Objectives Quantify wildlife losses due to construction, inundation, and operations Develop and implement habitat acquisition and enhancement projects to fully mitigate for identified losses Coordinate activities with fish mitigation and restoration Maintain existing and created habitat values Monitor and evaluate habitat and species responses to mitigation actions
Wildlife Program Wildlife losses due to construction and inundation calculated using Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) Impacts summarized in loss assessments for terrestrial habitats as habitat units (HU) losses and gains by indicator species and project Created "ledger
Hydroelectric Project: Chief Joseph Biological Objective: 2,290 Habitat Units Status: 14 Habitat Units Acquired (0.61% completed) Sharp-tailed Grouse Shrubsteppe Habitat Status of HU Ledger Biological Objective Focal Species/ Habitat Confirm: Focal Species, Populations, and Biological Objectives
HEP Problems Little record of vegetation communities prior to dam construction Single species focus often prioritized wrong species for management & restoration Inconsistent assessments across basin Models applicable to NW often not available Some out-of-place, out-of-kind mitigation contained habitats not considered in the loss assessments
Wildlife Amendment Issues Problems with program implementation –Operations and Maintenance –Monitoring and Evaluation –Crediting including Operational Losses –Ecological Function
Operations and Maintenance 2000 Program –maintain existing and credited habitat values –BPA and applicable agency propose for Council a maintenance agreement adequate to sustain minimum habitat values for the life of the project 1995 program –Within three years following adoption of this program, develop long-term agreements for all wildlife mitigation including a funding level likely to achieve stated objectives
O&M - Current Concerns Council concerns over variable O&M costs Not all projects have long term agreements Little flexibility to allow manager to react to management needs Confusion over O&M and enhancement Many projects under-funded to achieve objectives, thus habitat debt continues
O&M - Recommendations Managers need adequate, stable, O&M budget to maintain baseline conditions and the flexibility to adapt to changing needs on the landscape BPA Credit for project implementation is dependent on: –Completion of habitat protections –Adoption of project area management plan –Completion of long-term O&M funding agreements
O&M Recommendations (contd) BPA should develop a funding mechanism outside existing prioritization process to assure: –Continuity of funding in perpetuity –Long-term maintenance of habitat units –Develop and maintain proper ecological functions –Address known and unforeseen external threats (e.g. invasives, wildfires, etc)
Wildlife Monitoring and Evaluation 2000 Program Scientific principles # 1. The abundance, productivity and diversity of organisms are integrally linked to the characteristics of their ecosystems. …The combination of suitable habitats and necessary ecological functions forms the ecosystem structure and conditions needed to provide the desired abundance and productivity of specific species. #5. Species play a key role in developing and maintaining ecological conditions. Each species has one or more ecological functions that may be key to the development and maintenance of ecological conditions. Species, in effect, have a distinct job or occupation that is essential to the structure, sustainability and productivity of the ecosystem over time. The existence, productivity and abundance of specific species depend on these functions #6. Biological diversity allows ecosystems to persist in the face of environmental variation. The diversity of species, traits and life histories within biological communities contributes to ecological stability in the face of disturbance and environmental change. Loss of species and their ecological functions can decrease ecological stability and resilience. …Maintaining the ability of the ecosystem to express its own species composition and diversity allows the system to remain productive in the face of environmental variation.
Wildlife M&E – Current Concerns Little support or incentive from BPA to develop or implement wildlife mitigation monitoring. Most wildlife M&E not funded Little direction or support from NPCC or BPA to participate in regional monitoring programs (e.g. State conservation strategies) No NPCC direction on what to monitor, nor protocols HEP remains only region-wide assessment process and focus of BPA over more relevant monitoring or assessment programs. HEP used to define losses but does not determine if desired habitat or ecological conditions attained of focal species responding
Consequences to Wildlife Projects an inefficient use of resources (funding and staff time) - lack of data to direct and inform management decisions, increased risk of implementing inappropriate management actions because of the lack of biological information, no indicators that quantify success or failure of management actions or approaches, little feedback for adaptive management of wildlife projects, and few data that link to regional or basin-wide monitoring efforts.
Potential Benefits of Monitoring the development of benchmarks or measures of success and failure of management decisions and actions, an effective adaptive management system for wildlife projects, an ability to assess status of ecological functions (e.g., are they intact or dysfunctional),
Benefits (contd) linkages to region-wide planning efforts (Conservation Strategies) and monitoring programs (e.g., use regional monitoring to support project level decision making and implementation), a more effective and efficient management program for mitigation sites because monitoring data will be used in the planning and implementation of specific habitat restoration and enhancement activities that directly benefit wildlife and fish populations, and better data to inform policy decisions.
Wildlife M&E – Recommendations Need stable monitoring funding Monitoring needs based upon management plan objectives Monitoring needs to be adequate to –Track crediting based on HEP –Track trends in ecological function and restoration effectiveness –Complement larger scale efforts through compatible protocols and data sharing
Wildlife Monitoring Framework Focus on status/trend and effectiveness Ability to compare data across basin and link to subasin and State strategies Use reference sites to define habitat objectives Transition from HEP to new paradigm (IEI, CHAP, etc) Identify consistent (basin-wide) review process for project M&E) Stable and consistent funding to allow flexibility based on changed conditions
Crediting 2000 Program …Bonneville and the fish and wildlife managers should complete mitigation agreements for the remaining habitat units. These agreements should equal 200 percent of the habitat units (2:1 ratio) identified as unannualized losses of wildlife habitat from construction and inundation… This mitigation is presumed to cover all construction and inundation losses, including annualized losses
Crediting –Program Language contd 2000 program –An assessment should be conducted of direct operational impacts on wildlife habitat. Subbasin plans will serve as the vehicle to provide mitigation for direct operational losses and secondary losses (No annualization of losses) –Complete the current mitigation program for construction and inundation losses and include wildlife mitigation for all operational losses as an integrated part of habitat protection and restoration.
Crediting – Current Concerns BPA refers to the 2:1 crediting ratio as a point of divergence Bonneville and the regional wildlife managers have documented through contract terms, support for Bonneville taking 1:1 credit for habitat acquisitions and enhancements. BPA position is not consistent with the interim mitigation contracts and agreements
Crediting Concerns - contd Operational Losses have not been addressed Issue of credit for non-wildlife projects –No loss ledger for fish –Can result in out-of-place, out-of-kind mitigation –May not meet wildlife needs –BPA maintains they have sole discretion as to where such credit applies Perception BPA may be intending to apply credits outside appropriate areas for facilities
Crediting - Recommendations Discuss protection credits, annualization, 2:1 ratio and define full mitigation Maintenance agreements to sustain minimum credited habitat values for life of project – Council consideration Provision of long-term O&M as condition of crediting Oversight committee responsible for tracking the crediting accounting ledger
Crediting - Recommendations Implementation of Wildlife Plan In-lieu definition/issues Ecological connectivity between aquatic and terrestrial Definition, assessment and crediting for secondary impacts Species habitat substitution – need standardization Ecosystem-based operational loss framework Clarify ambiguities in the 2000 FWP language