Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA) for Divesture of State owned lands acquired with Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Funds
The EA has been finalized and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed July 19, 2012.
"Dear Commenter" letter (PDF, 87 KB)
Programmatic EA and FONSI (PDF, 2313 KB)
Questions may be directed to Heather Hollis or Fred Caslick:
Heather Hollis, Grants Specialist
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program
911 NE 11fth Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Fred Caslick, Chief
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program
911 NE 11fth Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Native earthworm science may be advanced with discovery of two new specimens of giant earthworms from opposite sides of the interior Columbia River basin (Barbara Behan)
Research being completed by University of Idaho soil scientist Jodi Johnson-Maynard, an associate professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, may confirm the discovery of giant earthworms in the Pacific Northwest. Some reports indicate the worms can reach 3-feet long. The discovery of the newest specimen occurred on the property of Wayne and Jacie Jensen south of Moscow, Idaho as agricultural and life sciences researchers were collaborating on an invasive weed study to protect prairie remnants. “It was no surprise to us that they found the worm there,” landowner Jacie Jensen said. “It’s an intact, functioning ecosystem of Palouse plants so the worm was where it should be.” A Landowner Incentive Program grant was provided to purchase a 70-acre easement of a remnant Palouse Prairie to further study the species and to preserve their habitat in the western Idaho.
Boat facility dedication an excellent example of the payoff of good partnerships (Jerry Novotny)
Dedications of new boating facilities are great opportunities to compliment the various funding and responsible entities for construction of needed boating facilities. Oregon has an excellent model of involving local groups and extended state and federal agencies in upgrading and siting new facilities. Calkins Park, located on Foster Reservoir, Linn County, Oregon, was an excellent example of such a partnership. Sport Fish Restoration Program, boating access funds, ($200,000) were used to partially fund the project. Working through several years of permitting and design necessities, involved in present-day construction activities, requires patience and cooperation. The pay off is the appreciation the public has for new, safe, and accessible facilities. Foster Reservoir is a very popular, and busy destination - fishing for trout and warm water species accounts for more than half of the total visits to the reservoir. The Corps of Engineers, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon Marine Board, Linn County Parks, and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program all collaborated in the siting of this new, and already busy, facility in Oregon.
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Funds provide guidance to protect wildlife resources (Ray Temple)
In the realm of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, technical guidance grants largely go unnoticed among habitat restoration, surveys, reintroductions, and other projects that are readily visible on the ground. Running in the background of all these efforts are three technical guidance grants (ID FW-7-T, OR FW-20-T, and WA FW-2-T) that collectively fund much of the states’ defense of fish and wildlife habitats from the growth and sprawl of human population and increased demand for goods and services that have ramped up in the last several decades. Fish and wildlife agencies typically have limited authorities for habitat protection, but may have considerable influence on state and federal regulatory agencies that can actively protect habitats. However, that influence is contingent on hard scientific data, credible analyses, and sound technical understanding of factors affecting habitat use and the consequences to fish and wildlife. Project reviews, environmental documents, permits, interagency work group meetings, and other activities collectively run into the thousands each year. Each agency approaches the use of grant funds somewhat differently, but in all cases staff biologists develop protective policies, evaluate risks, work to avoid or minimize impacts, and actively raise awareness among agencies, project proponents, and the public as to the importance of fish and wildlife and ways to meet societal needs while protecting the needs of fish and wildlife.
Hunter Education in the Northwest goes high tech! (Tony Faast)
Over half the States in the nation now have an on-line option for students requiring a State Hunter Education course; all of the Northwest states have fully-functional on-line courses. The option allows students to take a Hunter Education course via computer, and accompanied with a "hands-on" field day that compliments their on-line course work, students can now learn and progress at their own pace on their way to becoming safe and responsible hunters. The computer training is a recent, and popular addition to many Hunter Education Programs, and the number of students has grown exponentially since the first web-based programs became available in 2004. Wildlife Restoration funds derived from excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment, support these training programs for new hunters, and provide funding for shooting ranges and hunter education course enhancements.
Working with our partners to develop competitive Coastal Wetlands Program proposals (Nell Fuller)
This year, coastal states within Region One submitted a total of 13 proposals for the Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Program. For all but 2 of the proposals (those from HI), WSFRP staff participated in site visits to provide applicants with site-specific advice regarding how to address each of the required criteria. State and other partners have unanimously voiced support for these site visits in the past, and we have made special efforts to meet with them to ensure that they have addressed important ranking criteria in their applications. A representative from The Nature Conservancy summarized, "It was incredibly helpful to have you share your advice and knowledge with us on site."
Following proposal submission, WSFRP convenes a Regional Review Team, comprised of representatives from several FWS programs (Coastal, Endangered Species, Migratory Birds, Fisheries, WSFRP, and the Pacific Coast Joint Venture) to rank the proposals. The Team reviews each grant application and provides scores and suggestions for improvements, with follow-up calls to ensure comments were clear. These site and proposal reviews prior to submission of the application give FWS personnel a unique opportunity to provide comprehensive technical advice to our partners in the development of their proposals.
The Starkey Project – a unique approach to research (Dan Edwards)
Since the early 1980s, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has used nearly $4.5 million in Wildlife Restoration Program funds (W-87-R) to fund long-term deer and elk research on the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range in Northeastern Oregon. This was a unique approach in the 1980s and has since provided many years of valuable data in the on-going research of forest, and deer and elk management issues.
Emphasis of the Starkey project has always been on applied research in an effort to answer management-related questions in a controlled, but natural setting (40 square mile, fenced enclosure). Initial projects focused on forest planning and deer and elk management designed to address four basic issues: elk herd productivity, intensive timber management effects on deer and elk; roads and traffic effects on deer and elk; and competition for forage among elk, deer, and cattle. Through the years ODFW focused on use of forage by deer, elk, and cattle, and the question of how the age breeding bull elk and the older bull:cow ratio influenced elk productivity. As research progressed, efforts extended to many other aspects, including: impacts of traffic and roads on deer and elk, impacts of hunting pressure on elk reproduction, impacts of nutrition on cow condition on parturition dates, and a variety of projects related to how deer, elk and cattle use available habitats and forage. Dietary overlap among these species and how cattle and elk respond to intensive forage management also were studied.
The Starkey Project has resulted in over 140 scientific publications from over 50 studies; many, but not all, of these studies were funded fully or partially with Wildlife Restoration Program funds. While ODFW was one of the original partners in the Starkey project, many other federal and state agencies, universities, Indian tribes, and private organizations and companies have participated over the years. As mule deer and elk research has progressed, study efforts have expanded outside of the Starkey fence to investigate other aspects of mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk ecology. It is safe to say that information gained through the use of Wildlife Restoration Program funds on the Starkey Project has influenced forest, range, road/travel, and deer and elk management decisions throughout western North America and beyond. The Starkey Project is a good example of how sportsmen’s dollars are benefiting wildlife now, and will continue to do so in the future.