Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report : Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation, 2000-2002 Technical Report.

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The development of hydropower systems within the Columbia and Snake River basins has affected a tremendous amount of fish and wildlife species. The dams have played a major role in the rapid extinction of anadromous runs of salmon and steelhead as well as other native salmonids. Inundation of these dams and the construction of reservoirs for irrigation have also severely impacted wildlife species. In some cases, fluctuating water levels caused by dam and reservoir operations have created barren vegetation zones that expose wildlife to predation and a reduction in recruitment. In association with hydropower activities, secondary impacts have also challenged ... continued below

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10 pages

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Gonzalez, Daniel & Wenick, Jess February 6, 2002.

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Description

The development of hydropower systems within the Columbia and Snake River basins has affected a tremendous amount of fish and wildlife species. The dams have played a major role in the rapid extinction of anadromous runs of salmon and steelhead as well as other native salmonids. Inundation of these dams and the construction of reservoirs for irrigation have also severely impacted wildlife species. In some cases, fluctuating water levels caused by dam and reservoir operations have created barren vegetation zones that expose wildlife to predation and a reduction in recruitment. In association with hydropower activities, secondary impacts have also challenged and highly impacted a majority of wildlife species. The construction of roads, facilities, urban development, channelization, and diversions of streams and rivers often have negative long-term effects on fish, wildlife, and vegetation. In response to these concerns, the United States Congress passed the Pacific Electric Power Planning Conservation Act (Act) in 1980. The Act authorized four states (Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington) and 13 Indian Tribes (including the Burns Paiute Tribe) to create the Northwest Power Planning Council (Council). The role of the Council is to prepare a program in conjunction with several participants that protects, mitigates and enhances affected species within the Columbia River Basin and its tributaries. The Council's program, known as the Columbia River Basin's Fish and Wildlife Program (Program), has evolved over the years into a basin-wide approach that incorporates management plans for 52 subbasins. The Program includes a public involvement component that requires Program participants to provide the public with meaningful opportunities to comment on specific management proposals. Participants in this Program include the region's fish and wildlife agencies, Indian tribes, the public and an 11-member panel of scientists referred to as the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP). Program participants are responsible for creating management plans for each of the 52 subbasins. Upon approval by the Council, the management plan is then incorporated into the Program. In 1998, the Tribe submitted two land acquisition proposals for funding through Bonneville's Wildlife Mitigation Program, the Logan Valley and Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation Projects. After several months of rigorous scrutiny and defense of its project presentations, the Tribe was awarded both acquisitions. In February of 2000, the Tribe and BPA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to fund the acquisition and management of Logan Valley and the Malheur River Projects. In April and November of 2000, the Tribe acquired the Logan Valley property (Project) and the Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation Project, respectively. The MOA requires the Tribe to dedicate the Project to wildlife habitat protection. Project management must be consistent with the term and conditions of the MOA and a site-specific management plan (Plan) that is to be prepared by the Tribe. The Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation Project (Denny Jones Ranch) allows the Tribe to manage 6,385 acres of meadow, wetland, and sagebrush steppe habitats along the Malheur River. The deeded property includes seven miles of the Malheur River, the largest private landholding along this waterway between Riverside and Harper. The property came with approximately 938 acres of senior water rights and 38,377 acres of federal and state grazing allotments. The project will benefit a diverse population of fish, wildlife, and plant species. Objectives include reviving and improving critical habitat for fish and wildlife populations, controlling/ eradicating weed populations, improving water quality, maintaining Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allotments, and preserving cultural resources. Before the Tribe acquired the project site, a combination of high levels of cattle stocking rates, management strategy, and a disruption of natural disturbance regimes compromised the property's ability to provide quality habitat to wildlife species found in the area. As a result, rangeland condition was depleted, exotic annual grasses and other noxious weeds began to invade native plant communities and many riparian areas were generally degraded. Native meadow communities were also leveled and planted with introduced species shortly after settlement and wildlife use and historic home ranges for migratory species have been severely altered. Current management is actively seeking to enhance the ability of the site's plant communities to support resident fauna that are known to have thrived in the area prior to settlement. The Tribe is utilizing a baseline approach to its overall land management by recognizing the importance of plant succession in achieving wildlife goal.

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10 pages

Source

  • Related Information: [HEP Report] Malheur River Ranch (Denny Jones) Baseline HEP Survey

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  • Report No.: DOE/BP-00004050-2
  • Grant Number: 0004050
  • DOI: 10.2172/945040 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 945040
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc901482

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Creation Date

  • February 6, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 8, 2016, 8:09 p.m.

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Gonzalez, Daniel & Wenick, Jess. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report : Malheur River Wildlife Mitigation, 2000-2002 Technical Report., report, February 6, 2002; Portland, Oregon. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc901482/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.