Mill Creek Master Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District (Corps) recently updated the Mill Creek Master Plan (MP). 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. Development of the revised master plan included consideration of regional and ecosystem needs, as well as public interests and desires.
Public scoping for the draft MP was conducted March 30 to April 30, 2015, and included a public information meeting on March 31. The public comment period for reviewing the draft MP, draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment occurred Sept. 25-Oct. 25, 2015. Public input received during scoping and draft-review was considered during master plan revision process. The final revised MP and associated EA are available for viewing under “Links” on the right side of this webpage. A “Summary of Recommendations” is available in Section 8 of the revised Mill Creek Master Plan.
What is a Master Plan?
A master plan is the guidance document that describes how the 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.
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, like long-boarding, geo-caching and paddleboarding.
- There are new invasive and ESA-listed species to be considered as we managed 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. The revised MP will guide the use, development and management of Mill Creek lands in a manner that optimizes public benefits within resource potentials and the authorized function of the project while remaining consistent with Corps policies, regulations and environmental operating principals.