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Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Prepared By Paul R Ashley-CBFWA Regional HEP Team February 2010
Much Appreciation to Peter Paquet, Richard Stiehl, and John Andrews For Their Contributions to This Presentation
Columbia Basin Wildlife Mitigation • • Genesis and Mitigation Process HEP Overview Case Study Example (“how HEP should be applied”) Annualization and Compensation Options – In kind, Equal, Relative • HEP/Columbia River W/L Mitigation Comparison • Regional HEP Team
Genesis • The Northwest Power Act “The Council shall develop and adopt a program to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife … while assuring the Pacific Northwest an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable power supply. ” Section 4(h)(5) “The BPA shall fund to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife to the extent affected by the development and operation of the FCRPS. . . in a manner consistent with the Council’s Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. ” Section 4(h)(10)(A) “ The Administrator shall … exercise such responsibilities to adequately protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife including related spawning grounds and habitat. ” Section 4(h)(11)(A)(i) habitat
Mitigation Process: • Avoid impacts • Minimize impacts • Repair impacts & restore the affected environment on-site • Compensate for unavoidable impacts by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.
HEP Habitat Evaluation Procedures OVERVIEW
ACCOUNTING HEP is an accounting tool HEP was developed to answer one question…. . How Much Will It Cost If We Build It?
WHY HEP? • Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Methodology is habitat based and considers habitat quality and quantity. – – a scientific method for impact and compensation analysis developed by the USFWS in the 1970’s used world-wide upheld in court
HEP Assumptions/Tenets • A linear relationship exists between habitat quality and carrying capacity (population) • Habitat quality can be measured and expressed as a “habitat suitability index” • Habitat “losses” and “gains” can be expressed as habitat units (HUs) • Compensation site baseline HUs are not credited • HEP plans/applications include both Project Areas (PA) and Management Plans (MP) or “compensation areas” • HEP CAN BE MODIFIED AS LONG AS EVERYONE AGREES!!!!
high Linear Relationship Population or other performance measure low 0. 0 Habitat Suitability Index 1. 0
A Similar Concept: Cattle Forage Carrying Capacity 10 acres Low forage Carrying capacity High forage Carrying capacity (Low Quality) (High Quality)
“HQ Expressed as Habitat Suitability Index” In math: 30 = Bird species seen on of interest trip Index = Value this birding 50 = Index = Bird species seen on the best birding day Value of interest 50 = Bird species Standard of best birding day seen on the comparison INDEX OF BIRDING = 0. 60 Standard of comparison In HEP: = Habitat condition on the study site 40% =HSI= Habitat condition on the study site hydrophytic shrub c. c. on study area HSI Optimum shrub condition 100% = optimum hydrophyticshrub c. c. for YEWA 100% = optimum hydrophytic habitatcondition YEWA Optimum habitat c. c. for 0. 4 = HSI for YEWA
Habitat Suitability Index Scale No Suitable Habitat Medium Quality Habitat High Quality Habitat 0. 0 Zero Carrying Capacity 0. 5 1. 0 Optimal Carrying Capacity
The Currency of HEP is the Habitat Unit or HU AREA HSI Quantity X Quality = HU 50 Acres X 0. 50 HSI Habitat Suitability Index – ranges from zero to one (0 -1. 0) = 25 HUs
HEP Crediting Basics Project Area 60 HUs after enhancements No Net Gain to Wildlife 40 HU Loss 20 Baseline HUs Net Gain to Wildlife = 40 HUs: Compensation Achieved 0 HU credit for existing value 60 HUs – 20 HUs = 40 HUs
HEP Components • Species Models -mathematical formulas generate Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) • HEP Team -selects models and methods • Field Sampling -measure physical habitat characteristics • Data Compilation - generate Habitat Units (HUs) • Report Findings
HEP PHASES • Pre-field Activities • Field Activities • Data Compilation and Reporting Pre-field Activities
Pre-field Activities (Project Scoping) • Form an assessment (HEP) team • Define study objectives • Delineate study boundaries • Assemble baseline data • Delineate cover types • Select evaluation species/HSI models • Select inventory techniques • Select a sampling design
Species Selection Species are selected after: 4 Study objectives are established. 4 Resource categories have been determined. 4 Study area has been delineated. 4 Cover types have been defined. Species can be selected to represent: 8 Important species. 8 Important resource categories. 8 Important habitats. 8 Important cover types.
An evaluation species may be: A single species u. Channel catfish A life stage or life requisite of a species u. Nine-banded armadillo A group of taxonomically related species u. Rainbow trout fry u. Least Tern u. Eastern Cottontail winter cover Black basses (Spotted, Sm. mouth & Lg. mouth) A group of species using similar resources u. Blue-winged teal brood pond Chipmunks (Eastern, and Least) u. Coolwater reservoir fish A fish or wildlife community Carolina) u. Chickadees (Black-capped & u. Cavity users u. Forest interior songbirds
Five Considerations in evaluation species selection 1. Evaluation species MUST relate to the fish & wildlife objectives. 2. The number of evaluation species depends on objectives, project complexity, and constraints. 3. The process of evaluation species selection must be well documented. 4. The way a species responds to the project should not be a reason for selection (i. e. , many or few HUs). 5. The Phylum of a species should not be a consideration in the selection.
HEP PHASES (cont. ) • Pre-field Activities • Field Activities • Data Compilation and Reporting
Field Activities § Collect Habitat Data §Percent shrub cover §Basal area §Tree height §Photo documentation § and more…… For example………
HSI models define habitat variables….
Yellow Warbler Habitat Needs: Shrubby areas, especially near water with willows and alders. Habitat Characteristics that are measured: • Shrub height • Shrub canopy cover • % cvr riparian shrub species
No Suitable Yellow Warbler Riparian Habitat (HSI = 0) No riparian shrubs/trees
Low Quality Yellow Warbler Riparian Habitat (HSI = 0. 2) Some riparian shrubs
High Quality Yellow Warbler Riparian Habitat (HSI = 0. 8) Average shrub height =/> 6. 6 feet Shrub canopy cover near 60 -80% Multiple riparian shrub species
HEP PHASES (cont. ) • Pre-field Activities • Field Activities • Data Compilation and HU Reporting
Determine NET Impacts Dam Location Key Habitat Type Mixed Upland Forest Riparian Shrub/Forest Riverine/Open Water Evaluation Species BC Chickadee Yellow warbler Lesser Scaup Totals Pre-Dam HUs 2700 HUs 240 HUs 30 HUs 2970 HUs Post-Dam HUs 42 HUs 4 HUs 275 HUs 321 HUs Net Change -2658 HUs -236 HUs +275 HUs -2619 HUs
Average Annual Habitat Units AAHUs “Futures Analysis”
Habitat Units Determine Targetunits for over period Calculatethe habitat units&eachthe period of analysis Divide to determine the Average Annualthe species Sum habitat Years HUs for Habitat Units (AAHU) TY 0 AAHUs TY 10 TY 20 TY 35 TY 40 TY 50
A Futures Analysis is conducted on both the project area and compensation site
HUs for species A Without project conditions PROJECT LOSS With project conditions TY 0 TY 1 TY 5 TY 10 TY 20 TY 30 Time TY 40 TY 50
HUs for species A With management MANAGEMENT GAIN Without management TY 0 TY 1 TY 5 TY 10 TY 20 TY 30 Time TY 40 TY 50
NET EFFECTS of “project life” HU HU Compensation area gains due to management Project area losses due to project Period of analysis Continued management gains Continued project losses
COMPENSATION GOALS 1. In Kind 2. Equal 3. Relative
Goal 1: In Kind compensation is intended to replace AAHU losses with equal AAHU gains for that same species…. no trade -off…. only losses are considered.
Goal 2: Equal Replacement goal is to offset HU losses through a gain of an equal number of HUs. A gain of 1 HU for any target species can be used to offset the loss of 1 HU for any evaluation species. The list of target species may or may not be identical to the list of impacted species. Can apply an average HSI in a single cover type.
In Kind Habitat Type Mixed Upland Forest Riparian Shrub/Forest Riverine/Open Water Evaluation Species BC Chickadee Yellow warbler Lesser Scaup Totals Without Annualization -2700 HUs - 240 HUs -2940 HUs With Annualization -1563 HUs -136 HUs 0 HUs -1699 HUs Equal Habitat Type Mixed Upland Forest Riparian Shrub/Forest Riverine/Open Water Evaluation Species BC Chickadee Yellow warbler Lesser Scaup Totals Without Annualization -2700 HUs - 240 HUs +275 HUs -2665 HUs With Annualization -1563 HUs -136 HUs +208 HUs -1491 HUs
Goal 3: Relative Replacement is used when 1 HU for a target species is used to offset the loss of 1 HU for an evaluation species at a differential rate depending on the species involved.
RVI Example If the RVI values for white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse are 1. 0 and 0. 5 respectively, one white-tailed deer HU can be used to offset two ruffed grouse HUs, or two RUGR HUs could be traded for one WTDE HU.
RVI CONSIDERATIONS After modifying HUs with an RVI, HUs no longer relate to habitat potential (carrying capacity) because they include value judgments. RVIs should be used to trade less important habitat HUs for critical habitat HUs…. never from the “top - down. ”
RVIs (trade-off decisions) ……. Based on resource management goals, administrative policy, or both. Weighting values are determined by a user defined set of socioeconomic and ecological criteria. Trade-off analysis does not imply a desirable way of dealing with HUs. . only a method to document changes that will result in gains and losses of different wildlife resources.
A RELATIVE VALUE INDEX IS…. A Subjective Value Judgment to compare HU changes for different evaluation species or cover types. A Compromise A Framework for making value comparisons between species or cover types A Record and Documentation of your decision process
HEP Methods Summary • Formed an assessment (HEP) team • Defined HEP study objectives • Delineated study boundaries and cover types • Determined baseline and enhancement HUs • Collected analyzed habitat variable data • Selected evaluation species/HSI models • Selected inventory techniques and sampling protocols • Selected type of compensation • Document and report findings
HEP Versus Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation Program Inconsistencies
Primary Inconsistencies 1. Did not annualize HU losses or gains as outlined in HEP protocols 2. Net HU losses/gains were either not reported and/or were inconsistent between States/Regions 3. HU credit was awarded for compensation site baseline HUs
Primary Inconsistencies (cont. ) 4. Compensation strategies not clearly defined and/or followed leading to a mix of “Equal” and “In-Kind” compensation resulting in “paradigm” conflicts 5. “Follow-up” HEP surveys/HUs appear to be unique to our situation 6. Time between impacts and compensation
Regional HEP Team (RHT) Regional HEP Team Mission Statement: “To conduct HEP analyses in the most consistent, objective, impartial, and biologically sound manner possible. ” The Regional HEP Team conducts HEP analyses throughout the Region and provides HEP training to wildlife managers bringing consistency to the HU accounting process.
The RHT is committed to collecting robust habitat variable data using consistent and proven techniques and sampling protocols. The RHT not only conducts HEP analyses, but also actively consults with Wildlife Managers and BPA COTR staff to resolve HEP related issues e. g. , HU “stacking” in out of kind cover types….
Habitat Unit Stacking refers to the number of HEP species models used to evaluate a given cover type For Example….
“Out of Kind” Loss/Comp. Site Matrix Hames Parcel/Deep Canyon Dam 2009 HEP Comparison Matrix Open water Herbaceous Wetland Scrub Shrub Wetland Forested Wetland Wet Meadow 3 5 6 5 2 Open water Herbaceous Wetland Forested Wetland Shrubsteppe Conifer Forest 3 5 5 ? ? Bald eagle breeding x x x Bald eagle wintering x x x Black-capped chickadee x Canada Goose x x Mallard x x x Muskrat x x Yellow Warbler x x 3 5 6 5 2 Deep Canyon Dam Loss Assessment Cover Types and Number of Species Hames Parcel Paired Cover Types and Number of Species White-tailed deer Mule deer Number of Species
In Summary…… • • Genesis and Mitigation Process HEP Overview Case Study Example (“how HEP should be applied”) Annualization and Compensation Options – In kind, Equal, Relative • HEP/Columbia River W/L Mitigation Comparison • Regional HEP Team
Questions? Thank You