Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program Phases

Explore the Program's Phases

  • Overview
    Phase 1 will include restoration work in Braided Reach 1 (view the Reach Map) and the existing spawning area of the Meander Reaches. The Meander Reaches portion of the Phase 1 work includes a US Army Corps of Engineers managed Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) Section 1135 project to enhance spawning substrate. The Tribe is the non-federal sponsor for this project. Phase 2 includes work in both Braided Reaches and the Straight Reach.

    Phase 2 may also include a second CAP Section 1135 project in the Braided/Straight reaches area.

    Phase 3 consists of work in the Meander Reaches.

    A central guiding principle of the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program is to minimize negative impacts to the local community while maximizing local benefits. Adaptive management is also a critical component of the program.
  • Phase Locations

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  • Phase 1
    Phase 1 (click here for a more detailed description)
    The Phase 1, Braided Reach 1 portion of the program includes two distinct restoration sites. The restoration strategy is to stabilize eroding banks, trap sediment and promote floodplain development, increase riparian vegetation, and increase channel margin and side channel complexity. Actions include: (1) the enhancement of existing depositional features by adding large wood and gravel/cobble, (2) the creation of floodplain surfaces, (3) the regrading and revegetating of steep eroding banks, (4) the development of riparian buffers and (5) the installation of riparian fencing. The combined Phase 1 efforts will restore about 4,000 feet of river bank.

    Early in the planning process, the Tribe established three advisory groups to help guide the development and implementation of the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program. These include a Peer Reviewer Advisory Team, a Co-Manager/ Agency Review team, and a Policy Team. The Tribe hosted workshops for the Peer Reviewer and Co- Manager/Agency teams to identify and refine design concepts for Phase 1 activities in 2009.

    In July 2010, the Tribe completed the
    Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Project Braided Reach 1, Phase 1, Feasibility Analysis and Preliminary Design. This document was distributed for review to the three advisory teams.

    In 2009 and 2010 the Tribe coordinated outreach to the community at large and specific landowners regarding the overall program and specific Phase 1 actions. The final designs for the Phase 1 Braided Reach 1 projects are currently being completed, a general contractor has been selected, and pending finalization of all permits implementation actions is scheduled for summer/ fall of 2011.

    To date the
    Bonneville Power Administration has funded all planning and design for the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program. Implementation of Phase 1 projects will be funded primarily by the Bonneville Power Administration. The Tribe also applied for, and was awarded, a $250,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Water Resources (§319) that will provide funds for a portion of the materials acquisition for the Phase 1 projects.

    The Meander Reaches portion of the Phase 1 work includes a US Army Corps of Engineers managed Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) Section 1135 project to enhance spawning substrate. The Tribe is the non-federal sponsor for this project.
  • Phase 2
    Phase 2
    Phase 2 restoration activities will occur in the Braided and Straight reaches. The Braided Reaches restoration strategy focuses on creating more "normative" or natural river conditions (including a more desirable depth and velocity to the reach), by establishing channel dimensions that are sustainable given the morphological setting and governing flow and sediment regimes; gradually reducing the supply of sediment and the ability of the stream to transport it; promoting the deposition of sediment on the floodplain; constructing a new floodplain that is connected to the channel during average annual peak flows; and revegetating the floodplain in a way to foster a more complex native plant community. The Straight Reach strategy focuses on improving aquatic habitat by increasing cover, pool habitat and hydraulic complexity, and establishing a riparian buffer along the channel margins.

    Contractors to the Tribe are continuing data collection activities (e.g., bank erosion surveys, ground water monitoring, sediment and bed load measurements, etc.) that will help us develop restoration plans for all three phases of the project. Models to help analyze the technical feasibility of various restoration treatments have been developed and are being refined.

    The Tribe developed a suite of potential Phase 2 restoration concepts and hosted workshops with the Peer Reviewer Advisory and Co-Manager/Agency Review teams in 2009 and 2010 to review these design concepts, identify potential additional approaches, and provide input on which approaches should be implemented. Based on this feedback the Tribe has initiated work to complete feasibility assessments of the Phase 2 actions including one-on-one outreach to landowners on whose properties will be affected in order to determine their willingness to support the proposed actions. The next step will be to develop preliminary designs for the Phase 2 actions, and initiate environmental compliance and permitting activities. The Tribe plans to implement the suite of Phase 2 restoration actions over a period of approximately five years beginning with a project in the Braided Reaches in 2012 and then followed by annual staged implementation of additional Phase 2 restoration actions.
  • Phase 3
    Phase 3
    The restoration strategy for Phase 3 in the Meander Reaches is based on improving interaction between the river and floodplain. Potential actions include: placement of instream structures and bank restoration to improve habitat conditions and reduce bank erosion; restoration of wetlands and riparian plant communities in low floodplain areas outside of levees; creation of off-channel habitat; removal of fish passage barriers; and restoration of riparian habitat along tributary streams.

    Due to the large percentage of private land ownership on the floodplain, site-specific (as opposed to reach-scale) opportunities to improve aquatic habitat will be implemented in the Meander Reaches in cooperation with willing landowners as specific opportunities are identified and prioritized, and as funding is secured.

    To help support this approach, in late 2010 the Tribe identified an initial group of potential Phase 3 projects and is pursuing initial feasibility evaluations. The Tribe has applied for a Natural Resources Conservation Service Community Conservation Partnership Initiative grant that would help provide match funding to implement complementary restoration actions above the waterline throughout the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program area, including the Meander Reaches.
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Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
Phone: 208-267-3519

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