WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold an open house and information meeting about an updated McNary Shoreline Management Plan on Thursday evening, June 9, at the Pasco Red Lion hotel. The open house begins at 6 p.m., and the public meeting is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the hotel at 2525 North 20th Avenue in Pasco, Wash.
The public is encouraged to participate in the open house and meeting to learn about the plan and associated revised Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). There will be opportunities to ask questions of representatives of the Corps and other federal agencies that the Corps consulted with while developing the shoreline plan. Maps of proposed affected shoreline areas in the Pasco, Richland and Kennewick area will also be available.
The plan seeks to balance environmental stewardship and legal requirements with the public’s desires for recreation with a programmatic approach to address all private docks on the public shoreline at one time. Individual private dock owners or adjacent private property owners would then be spared the effort and expense of conducting individual environmental and real estate reviews for private docks on public land.
The updated shoreline plan provides guidance for managing the McNary (Lake Wallula) shoreline stretching from McNary Dam to the Tri-Cities. It addresses rules and regulations, shoreline allocations and requirements for permitting private use of public lands managed by the Corps including permits for private docks and vegetation mitigation on the public shoreline. The plan allows for individual or shared “community docks” for up to four households, but does not apply to public docks, which are addressed under separate policies.
The Corps has been working for several years to update 1983 Lake Wallula shoreline plan. Environmental and cultural resource requirements have changed significantly since then. Working within a well-established process, the Corps completed Endangered Species Act consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011. A plan is required by federal law and Corps policy.
This open house and informational meeting are being held during a public comment period that began May 25 and is scheduled to end June 27. Comments may be submitted any time during that period via email, U.S. Mail, fax or comment cards provided at the meeting. The public is encouraged to submit lengthy or technical comments in writing since time may be limited at the meeting.
The June 2011 McNary Shoreline Management Plan, May 2011 revised EA and draft FONSI are available for review on the District’s website at www.nww.usace.army.mil/McNaryShoreline/default.asp. Public comments may be submitted to the Corps through June 27 by email to McNarySMP@usace.army.mil; by fax to (509) 527-7832; or by U.S. Mail to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District; ATTN: Cindy Boen/MSMP; 201 N. Third Avenue; Walla Walla, WA 99362.
For information regarding the updated shoreline plan, EA, FONSI, or public information meeting, contact Cindy Boen, Corps project manager, at (509) 527-7246.