WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District (Corps) invites public comments on the draft Mill Creek Project Master Plan (MP), draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Environmental Assessment (EA). Comments are due no later than Oct. 25.
The MP is the strategic land-use management document that guides the comprehensive management and development of all Mill Creek Project recreational, natural and cultural resources throughout the life of the Project.
Public scoping for the draft MP was conducted March 30 to April 30, 2015, and included a public information meeting on March 31 at the Walla Walla Community College, located adjacent to the Mill Creek Project. Public input received during scoping was considered during development of the draft MP.
The Corps prepared an EA to address potential effects associated with the draft MP. As part of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, the Corps invites public comment on the draft MP, EA and draft FONSI. The Corps is required to consider all comments received.
The public comment period for the draft MP, draft FONSI and EA is Sept. 25 through Oct. 25, 2015. These documents are available for review on the district’s website at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects/MillCreekMP.aspx. Comments may be submitted via email at MillCreekMP@usace.army.mil or sent via the U.S. Postal Service to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District
ATTN: PM-PD-PF Mill Creek Master Plan
201 N. 3rd Avenue
Walla Walla, WA 99362
What is a Master Plan?
A Corps of Engineers master plan is the guidance document that describes how the natural resources of the project will be managed in the future and provides the vision for how the project should look in the future. It’s typically updated every 20 years. The master plan does not address issues such as flood risk management (levees/dams/channels/etc.) and water level management which are addressed in other guidance documents.
Development of the revised master plan will include consideration of regional and ecosystem needs, as well as public interests and desires.
The Mill Creek Master Plan update's main objectives are:
* Conserve project resources within current Corps policies and guidelines
* Accommodate current and projected uses with maximum efficiency
Mill Creek’s master plan was last updated in 1993, and a lot has changed since then:
- Visitation has dramatically increased – we have about 100,000 more visits annually than in 1993.
- Our visitors have brought new modes of recreation to our trails, park and lake, such as: long-boarding, geo-caching and paddleboarding.
- There are new invasive and ESA-listed species to be considered as we manage our lands and waters.
While no two visitors share exactly the same vision of how the project should look in 20 years, we believe all have its best interest in mind.