15-052 Corps of Engineers completes Dworshak Master Plan

Published Aug. 20, 2015
AHSAHKA, Idaho – With significant public input, the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed a Dworshak Reservoir Master Plan that addresses recreation and natural resource management changes based on current reservoir operating conditions.

The master plan includes concepts for future recreation development and land management at Dworshak. It replaces the 2011 Public Use Plan and the original 1970 design memorandum. It incorporates public working groups’ input.

“We’re thankful to Orofino, Lewiston, Clarkston and area residents as this plan has a significant amount of local public input incorporated throughout the 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 and our communities.”

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 Master Plan, for example, designates areas for development of new motorized trails to select shoreline campsites that are no longer readily available to boat campers all season. While modifications to recreational facilities and access improvements still need to be finalized on the ground and funded, the stage is set for volunteer groups to partner with the District to develop and maintain access trails and other amenities.

Copies of the master plan and related documents are available at the Walla Walla District website at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Locations/DistrictLocksandDams/DworshakDamandReservoir.aspx. 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 at 208-476-1255.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 15-052