US Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District Website

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has updated the Lower Monumental Master Plan and wants your input!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Walla Walla District, has revised the 1966 Lower Monumental Master Plan and prepared a draft Master Plan with an accompanying draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and a draft Environmental Assessment (EA).  These documents are available for your review and comment via the links on the right-hand side of this webpage.

Master Plans guide how the Corps manages Lower Monumental project lands surrounding Lake West behind Lower Monumental Dam.  Master Plans are about the land – they do not address dam operations (e.g., spill, fish passage, or dam breaching), flood risk management (e.g., levees), or navigation.

Written comments will be accepted from July 20 through August 21, 2020.

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A Master Plan describes how we manage lands surrounding Lake West under our care.  It describes:

  • The unique and important factors for this Project that influence management
  • The natural resources on these lands (e.g., soils, vegetation, wildlife)
  • The cultural resources on these lands (e.g., sites of historical and/or cultural significance)
  • The recreational resources on these lands (e.g., the unique recreational opportunities, factors which influence recreation)

Once the resources are identified and described, the Master Plan describes our goals as we manage these resources for the next 20 years or so.  Based on those resource objectives, the current use of the land, existing regulations, and public input, each parcel of land is assigned a land use classification.

This land classification determines the main use of each parcel of land (e.g., recreation, wildlife management).  The Master Plan describes each parcel by name and identifies any unique characteristics or resource concerns for that area.  Restricted areas and no-wake zones on the surface water of Lake West are also identified.

Master Plans do not:

  • Deal with details of design or administration of the lands – the Master Plan is a high-level, conceptual document.
  • Address dam operations like spill, fish passage, or dam breaching. 
  • Discuss navigation or flood risk management.
  • Make large-scale changes to how lands are currently managed; there are restrictions and regulations that guide the management of public lands by the Corps.  However, because the current Master Plan is so old (1966) and Corps regulations have changed significantly in the interim, there will be larger than normal changes to this Master Plan when updated.

The short answer is because it is 54 years old and does not comply with current Corps regulations.  Master Plans used to be much more detailed (even getting into how to prune specific species of trees) than our current standards.  The authorized land classifications have also changed to account for contemporary land uses such as mitigation.  The associated EA considers environmental concerns. 

So many things have changed in the past 54 years – an updated Master Plan and EA allow the Corps to take all these things into account as we plan how to manage this Project for the next 20 years or so.

How can I comment?

There are several ways that you can provide input to the Corps on this Master Plan revision or the EA. 

  • Submit a comment by clicking on the map at the top of this page.  You can click on specific areas (e.g., Lyons Ferry State Park, Tucannon HMU) and make comments specific to that parcel of land.
  • Submit a comment on this page, below.
  • You may also submit electronic comments via e-mail to:  LowerMonumentalMP@usace.army.mil
  • You may submit written comments via U.S. Mail to the Corps at:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District
ATTN:Lower Monumental Master Plan
201 North 3rd Avenue
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Comments need to be submitted or postmarked no later than August 21, 2020 to ensure consideration.  All comments submitted will be considered and become part of the public record.

For more information about the Master Plan revision, please contact Ms. Leigh Cranmer, Master Planner, at LowerMonumentalMP@usace.army.mil or at 509-527-7137.  For more information on the EA, please contact the Environmental Coordinator, at 509-527-7245 or at LowerMonumentalMP@usace.army.mil.

 

Lower Monumental Master Plan Comment Form