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Title: Yakima Habitat Improvement Project Master Plan, Technical Report 2003.

The Yakima Urban Growth Area (UGA) is a developing and growing urban area in south-central Washington. Despite increased development, the Yakima River and its tributaries within the UGA continue to support threatened populations of summer steelhead and bull trout as well as a variety of non-listed salmonid species. In order to provide for the maintenance and recovery of these species, while successfully planning for the continued growth and development within the UGA, the City of Yakima has undertaken the Yakima Habitat Improvement Project. The overall goal of the project is to maintain, preserve, and restore functioning fish and wildlife habitat within and immediately surrounding the Yakima UGA over the long term. Acquisition and protection of the fish and wildlife habitat associated with key properties in the UGA will prevent future subdivision along riparian corridors, reduce further degradation or removal of riparian habitat, and maintain or enhance the long term condition of aquatic habitat. By placing these properties in long-term protection, the threat of development from continued growth in the urban area will be removed. To most effectively implement the multi-year habitat acquisition and protection effort, the City has developed this Master Plan. The Master Plan provides the structure and guidancemore » for future habitat acquisition and restoration activities to be performed within the Yakima Urban Area. The development of this Master Plan also supports several Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs) of the NOAA Fisheries 2000 Biological Opinion (BiOp), as well as the Water Investment Action Agenda for the Yakima Basin, local planning efforts, and the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority's 2000 Fish and Wildlife Program. This Master Plan also provides the framework for coordination of the Yakima Habitat Improvement Project with other fish and wildlife habitat acquisition and protection activities currently being implemented in the area. As a result of the planning effort leading to this Master Plan, a Technical Working Group (TWG) was established that represents most, if not all, fish and wildlife agencies/interests in the subbasin. This TWG met regularly throughout the planning process to provide input and review and was instrumental in the development of this plan. Preparation of this plan included the development of a quantitative prioritization process to rank 40,000 parcels within the Urban Growth Area based on the value of fish and wildlife habitat each parcel provided. Biological and physical criteria were developed and applied to all parcels through a GIS-based prioritization model. In the second-phase of the prioritization process, the TWG provided local expert knowledge and review of the properties. In selecting the most critical areas within the Urban Growth Area for protection, this project assessed the value of fish and wildlife habitat on the Yakima River. Well-developed habitat acquisition efforts (e.g., Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project by the Bureau of Reclamation and Yakama Nation acquisition projects) are already underway on the Yakima River mainstem. These efforts, however, face several limitations in protection of floodplain function that could be addressed through the support of the Yakima Habitat Improvement Project. This Master Plan integrates tributary habitat acquisition efforts with those ongoing on the Yakima River to best benefit fish and wildlife in the Urban Growth Area. The parcel ranking process identified 25 properties with the highest fish and wildlife value for habitat acquisition in the Yakima Urban Area. These parcels contain important fish and wildlife corridors on Ahtanum and Wide Hollow Creeks and the Naches River. The fifteen highest-ranking parcels of the 25 parcels identified were considered very high priority for protection of fish and wildlife habitat. These 15 parcels were subsequently grouped into four priority acquisition areas. This Master Plan outlines a four-year schedule for acquisition, protection, and restoration of the 25 highest ranked properties. The proposed acquisition order recognizes the outstanding character of habitat and apparent connectivity benefits among the 15 highest-ranking parcels. The time critical nature of subdivision and zoning changes of specific parcels within the UGA has also been considered. Priority area properties are considered to have the highest need for immediate acquisition and preservation and are recommended for acquisition as a group. The remaining ten properties were grouped as medium and low priority within the acquisition order and are recommended for acquisition on an individual basis. This plan also details the importance of long-term land management, restoration and monitoring of properties acquired and protected through the Yakima Habitat Improvement Project.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US200917%%449
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Portland, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States