Corps of Engineers completes Dworshak Public Use Plan

Published March 30, 2011

AHSAHKA, Idaho – With significant public input, the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed a new “Dworshak Reservoir Public Use Plan” that addresses recreation management changes needed based on current reservoir operating conditions.

The new plan includes concepts for future recreation development at Dworshak. It updates and supplements an original 1970 “design memorandum” and incorporates more recent public working groups input.

“We’re thankful to Orofino, Lewiston, Clarkston and area residents for their input into this updated Public Use Plan,” said Dworshak Natural Resource Manager Paul Pence. “Part of the Corps’ job as a good steward of public lands and the environment is to listen to the public.”

Dworshak Dam and Reservoir operations have changed significantly in recent years due to court-mandated drawdowns of the reservoir pool as part of a larger Columbia-Snake rivers fish management program. The pool is lowered approximately 80 feet each summer to provide cold water for juvenile salmon migrating in the Snake River.

This change in reservoir elevations has resulted in decreasing use of recreation facilities designed prior to this requirement, and the public has requested alternative recreational access to the reservoir. The new Public Use Plan, for example, proposes designating new motorized land access to select shoreline campsites no longer readily available to boat campers. While modifications to recreational facilities and access still need to be planned and funded, the stage is set for volunteer groups to partner with the District to update, develop and maintain access trails and other amenities.

Copies of the new Public Use Plan and related documents are available at the Walla Walla District website at Copies of the plan on compact discs can also be obtained at the Dworshak Visitor Center during business hours or by contacting Dworshak Natural Resources staff. The visitor center is at (208) 476-1255.



Public Affairs

Release no. 11-34