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C -- Cold Creek Watershed Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration Plan

Solicitation Number: IBET-03-04-079
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Forest Service
Location: R-5 IBET Province, Eldorado N.F.
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IBET-03-04-079
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Presolicitation
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Added: May 3, 2004
For technical information contact Jim Howard 530-543-2657. The USDA Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is initiating an Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration Plan for the Cold Creek Watershed. As part of its mission to restore ecosystem function in the Lake Tahoe Basin the LTBMU will conduct a thorough assessment of physical and ecological processes within the watershed The assessment will include a thorough investigation of watershed conditions prior to the human impacts of the Comstock Mining Era, and provide a detailed account of human impacts that have caused a departure from pre-disturbance condition. Upon completion of the assessment the LTBMU will develop a comprehensive, long-term restoration plan to restore and manage the natural processes that sustain healthy ecosystem function within the watershed. The Forest Service believes the cumulative effects of historical land use are impairing ecosystem processes in the Cold Creek Watershed. The LTBMU is seekingSF-254s and SF255s from qualified consultants to provide professional services for a comprehensive ecosystem assessment and long-range restoration plan for the Cold Creek Watershed.



PROJECT SITE DESCRIPTION: The Cold Creek Watershed is located in the southeast portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Cold Creek is a tributary to Trout Creek. Its watershed area is 12.8 square miles. Elevation ranges from 6300 feet to 10,884 feet at Freel Peak. The underlying bedrock is granodiorite of the Sierra Nevada Batholith. The longitudinal profile of the watershed is stair-stepped, a pattern typical of glaciated headwater basins in the Sierra Nevada. Meadows have formed along low gradient areas. The vegetation is typical of that found in upper montane and subalpine watersheds in the central Sierra Nevada. The project site is located in El Dorado County and may be accessed from US Highway 50 to Pioneer Trail. The Cold Creek crossing on Pioneer Trail is located between High Meadows Trail and Black Bart Avenue.



THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE ASSESSMENT ARE: 1. Geomorphology and Hydrology - Geologic and Geomorphic History (watershed morphological characteristics created by climate, glaciation, faulting, landslides, fires, etc. that impose physical controls on the geomorphic function of the ecosystem). Time series aerial photo analysis of watershed changes from 1939 to present (including channel dimension and pattern, sediment transport dynamics, reaction of watershed to floods of record, etc.). General watershed hydrology. Description of the fluvial geomorphic system’s dynamic stability

under the current climatic regime, the range of inherent variability in channel dimension, pattern, and profile under the full range of discharges (description of current sediment and nutrient transport dynamics, etc.). Description of the hill slope geomorphic system’s dynamic stability under the current climatic regime (the range of inherent variability in erosion potential and sediment production during climatic events typical for this environment). Determine the influence of groundwater and surface flow on hillslope and stream environment zone (SEZ) function. A focused assessment of meadow sedimentary and hydraulic function at High Meadows (the range of natural variability in channel plan form, stratigraphy, erosion dynamics, and hydrologic connectivity between the channel, water table, and meadow surface under a full range of discharges). An assessment of hydrologic function and connectivity of Star Lake and Star Meadow and tributary stream channels to High Meadow. A description of the history of livestock grazing and its effect on ecosystem processes (a focused assessment of how grazing affected hill slope, meadow, and SEZ geomorphic function). 2. Forest Health -Assessment of forest stand dynamics (health, structure, species composition). Compilation of historic aerial photography, ground photography and historic documentation of forest conditions. Logging history (a spatial and temporal account of logging activities including an assessment of historic logging methodologies and their impacts on tree stand dynamics (health, structure, species composition). Assessment of logging impacts on large wood recruitment to the fluvial system. Assessment of fire fuels conditions (stand density, pathology, mortality). 3. Soils and Vegetation - Compilation of latest available information on watershed soils. Compilation of latest available information on watershed vegetation (including all existing data on rare and sensitive species). A focused assessment on the affect of altered hydrologic processes on meadow and riparian vegetation. A description of the effect of livestock grazing on soils and vegetation. 4. Fire History - Assessment of the pre-human-disturbance fire regime. History of fire as a management tool. Impacts of fire suppression and prevention on ecosystem processes. 5. Wildlife Inventory, Dynamics, and Habitat - Compilation of all existing data (BE/BAs) that will support planning of future restoration projects in the watershed. Assessment of primary wildlife habitat components and functional processes that maintain dynamic equilibrium in species abundance and diversity. Qualitative analysis of terrestrial species communities’ interrelationships with each other and their habitats and how those interrelationships have been affected by human disturbance. Assessment of beaver activity and its influence on the biology and geomorphology in the ecosystem. 6. Human Infrastructure - Transportation (a description of the road system and its effects on ecosystem function). Location of public utilities and how they affect ecosystem function.

Land ownership. Assessment of urban development within watershed. Assessment of existing restoration projects. Recreation (a thorough account of current and traditional recreation activities and their impacts on ecosystem function). Cultural Interests

(compilation of all existing information on Heritage Resources that will support future planning of restoration projects in the watershed).

THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE RESTORATION PLAN ARE: 1. A thorough description of desired conditions. 2. Based on the results of the Ecosystem Assessment, a long-range restoration plan that will achieve desired conditions. 3. A set of recommended projects that meets the goals of the long-range restoration plan for the entire watershed. 4. A proposed action for the restoration of High Meadows. 5. A comparison of the proposed action for High Meadows, alternatives to the proposed action, and a no action alternative that assists the LTBMU Forest Supervisor in making informed management decisions. 6. Technical documentation that justifies and supports the proposed action for High Meadows, including a Biological Evaluation/Biological Assessment, a Heritage Resources Survey, and an EA that meets the demands of NEPA. 7. Biddable, certified-engineer-stamped, designs and specifications for selected restoration projects. 8. A comprehensive, cost-effective monitoring plan that facilitates the LTBMU in its implementation of an adaptive management framework to determine levels of success, need for maintenance, need for adjustments to design, need for supplemental restoration projects, and need for additional monitoring.

THE STATEMENT OF WORK FOR THIS PROJECT INCLUDES: 1. Watershed Ecosystem Assessment Report (EAR). A professional report that summarizes all analyses and conclusions described in the Components of the Assessment section above, and any other analyses developed during contract negotiation and/or during the assessment phase of the contract and agreed upon by both USFS Restoration Staff and the consultant. 2. Watershed Restoration Plan. A professional report that includes all tasks in the Components of the Restoration Plan section above, and any other tasks developed during contract negotiation and/or during the assessment and/or restoration plan phases of the contract and agreed upon by both USFS Restoration Staff and the contractor. 3. USFS Coordination, Field Reviews and Timeframes. The COR and/or Designated Inspectors (USFS Ecosystem Restoration Team) will be part of the Consultant’s assessment/design team from assessment to conceptual design to final design. There will be monthly coordination with the Restoration Team, as needed, regarding the progress and status of the project and related issues through meetings or personal communications. During the Assessment the Consultant shall attend meetings with the Technical Advisory Committee at the preliminary, 50% and 90% completion phases. These meetings will be held in the field if deemed necessary by the COR. The EAR will by submitted to the COR at 50% and 90% completion for review and comments. The EAR will be completed by December 2005. During preparation of the Restoration Plan report, the Consultant shall attend meetings with the Technical Advisory Committee at the preliminary, 50% and 90% completion phases. These meetings will be held in the field if deemed necessary by the COR. Meetings may be attended by others outside the Technical Advisory Committee including but not limited to, STPUD, CalTrans, TRPA, Lahontan RWQCB, CTC, League To Save Lake Tahoe, and El Dorado County. Consultant shall be prepared to present the project design and respond to questions. Consultant shall respond in writing to comments presented at the meetings as well as to comments received in writing from the USFS. The Restoration Plan report will be submitted to the COR at 50% and 90% completion for review and comments. The report will be completed by December 2006. 4. Environmental and technical documents.

This includes all studies and plans necessary for the development of NEPA documents. 5. NEPA coordination. Consultant will coordinate with USFS to conduct all necessary activities in the NEPA process. 6. Preparation of design plans and project report. Project designs shall emphasize the use of passive watershed or bioengineering methods and approaches. Design plans shall be stamped and signed by a civil engineer registered in California. Final plans shall be detailed to the degree necessary that they can be used for construction drawings (main sheets at 1: 40 scale) and shall include, at a minimum, a cover sheet, location map, legend, abbreviation list, general notes, plan and profile sheets, cross sections, details, temporary erosion control, land capability, revegetation, bioengineering techniques, land disturbance calculations, soil excavation quantity calculations, and instream structures. Plans shall also show the location of construction and maintenance access and haul roads if required. The project report shall include, at a minimum, project introduction, problem and project need descriptions, project goals and objectives, proposed improvements, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis with findings and recommendations, and a construction cost estimate. 7. Contract documents. This includes technical specifications that shall include, at a minimum, description of bid items and materials specified, quantity takeoff, order of work, types of equipment to be used, all procedures and equipment for purchasing, installing, and maintaining all BMP’s. If the project requires a phased approach for implementation, the contract documents shall reflect this. The Consultant shall also provide a final engineer’s construction cost estimate for each phase and the project in total. 8. Field Reviews. Consultant shall lead four field reviews of the project at preliminary, 50%, and 90% phases of project design with the USFS, STPUD, CalTrans, TRPA, Lahontan RWQCB, CTC, League To Save Lake Tahoe, and El Dorado County. The fourth field review shall be for the Forest Leadership Team (FLT): Forest Supervisor, Deputy Forest Supervisor, and Staff Officers. 9. Attendance at agency/organization meetings. This includes two meetings: 50% and 90% phases of project design. Consultant shall be prepared to present the project design and respond to questions. Consultant shall respond in writing to comments presented at the meetings as well as to comments received in writing from the USFS. 10. Design/Construction drawings. Consultant shall provide two sets of reproducible, stamped and signed original final plans for bidding purposes and one electronic file of the final plans in Autodesk Land Desktop/Civil Design 3 or a compatible AutoCAD platform. 11. Monitoring plan. Consultant shall develop, in conjunction with the Forest Service, a monitoring plan for the project that includes constituents for stream channel morphology, aquatic habitat, revegetation, and erosion and sedimentation. PROPOSED PROJECT SCHEDULE: Contract Award – July 2004. Ecosystem Assessment Report (EAR) completion – December 2005. Restoration Plan completion – December 2006.



THE CONSULTANT WILL BE EVALUATED IN TERMS OF: 1. Professional qualifications necessary for satisfactory performance of required services. 2. Specialized experience and technical competence in the type of work required, including, where appropriate, experience in energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste reduction, and the use of recovered materials. 3. Restoration approach and philosophy, and demonstrated history of applying that approach and philosophy on similar ecosystem restoration projects. 4. Demonstrated competence in the areas of ecosystem assessment, ecosystem restoration project planning and design, stream and meadow restoration project planning and design, knowledge of applicable codes and regulations for restoration work in streams and riparian areas of the agencies involved in the Lake Tahoe Basin. 5. Capability to accomplish work in required timeframe. 6. Past performance on contracts with Government agencies and private industry in terms of cost control, quality of work, and demonstrated ability to complete the scope of work on time and within budget. Proposals shall be evaluated based on the thoroughness, clarity, and quality of the material presented, with emphasis on relevant experience, project staffing, ecosystem restoration approach and philosophy and demonstrated history of applying that approach and philosophy on similar ecosystem restoration projects, proximity to the site, understanding of the project, and knowledge of the watersheds of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The estimated value of the construction work resulting from this contract is $1-4 million.



SUBMISSION INFORMATION: Two copies of the proposal shall be submitted. Please submit your SF-254 and SF-255 to the USDA Forest Service, IBET Province, Eldorado National Forest, 100 Forni Road, Placerville, CA 95667 Attn: Acquisitions. Room 230. They are due by close of business (4:30 pm) on June 4, 2004. The SF-254 and SF-255 are available on the internet at http://www.gsa.gov - click on Federal Forms.

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Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, R-5 IBET Province, Eldorado N.F., 100 Forni Road, Placerville, CA, 95667
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USDA Forest ServiceLake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
South Lake Tahoe, California
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Denise Storms, Contracting Officer, Phone 530 642-5160, Fax 530 621-5258, Email dlstorms@fs.fed.us - Carrol Jagger, Contracting Officer, Phone 530 621-5232, Fax 530 621-5258, Email cjagger@fs.fed.us