13-058 Corps invites public comments on lower Snake River planting plan environmental assessment

Published Aug. 21, 2013

SNAKE RIVER, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District invites public comments on an environmental assessment (EA) for habitat improvements at locations along the lower Snake River. Comments are due by Sept 6.

The Corps is proposing to plant native vegetation on three Habitat Management Units (HMUs) along the lower Snake River to create or enhance approximately 125 acres of wildlife habitat to help meet the terrestrial wildlife mitigation requirements of the Lower Snake River Fish and Wildlife Compensation Plan. Proposed planting sites are located in Garfield, Whitman and Walla Walla Counties, along the banks of the lower Snake River. The three sites proposed for habitat enhancement are: Ayer, Swift Bar, and Willow Bar HMUs.

The Compensation Plan directed that lands on the lower Snake River, plus other lands purchased and leased in adjacent areas of southeast Washington, be developed for terrestrial wildlife habitat. As a result, approximately 25,000 acres of Corps lands along the lower Snake River were set aside for this purpose. Another 24,000 acres of lands were purchased or leased for terrestrial wildlife habitat development and angler access.

The Corps prepared a Environmental Assessment (EA) to address potential effects associated with implementation of the planting plan. As part of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, the Corps is inviting public comment on the EA and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The Corps is required to consider all comments received. The EA and draft FONSI are available on the Corps website at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects/LSRWildlifeHabitatPlanting.aspx.

Public comments must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, to NEPANWW@usace.army.mil; or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CENWW-PD-EC, ATTN: Environmental Compliance LSR Planting EA, 201 North 3rd Ave., Walla Walla, WA 99362.


NOTE TO MEDIA: All media queries should go to Walla Walla District Public Affairs at 509-527-7020

or cenww-pa@usace.army.mil, and not to Mr. Chamberlain.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 13-058