Owyhee River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, is soliciting public and agency comments regarding the scope (extent/range) of the Owyhee River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. The Corps, in partnership with the non-federal sponsor, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe, is developing a plan to restore aquatic and riparian habitats on the Owyhee River and prepare a Feasibility Report/Environmental Assessment under the Continuing Authorities Program, Section 206.

Scoping comments will be accepted from Aug. 11 until Sept. 11. The Corps is particularly interested in input regarding alternatives and environmental effects that should be considered. Scoping comments will be used to 1) identify issues to address, 2) develop alternatives, and 3) identify potential environmental effects of possible changes to the watershed.

Electronic comments may filed at https://www.nww.usace.army.mil/EnvironmentalComplianceComment/ or emailed to NEPANWW@usace.army.mil, inserting “OwyheeRiver 206” in the subject line.  You may also mail comments to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District, ATTN: PPL-C OwyheeRiver 206
201 North 3rd Avenue
Walla Walla, WA 99362-1876


Background:  Study Area is the section of the Owyhee River located on the Duck Valley Reservation.  The river flows through Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon before flowing into the Snake River. 

The Owyhee River supports spawning and rearing habitat for redband trout and sage-grouse. 

Vulnerabilities:  Conditions in the watershed have been negatively impacted by development and land management.  Numerous opportunities exist to restore the ecosystem including restoration of floodplain habitat and connectivity, improving in-stream habitat quality, channel capacity, protection of cool spring refugia, improvement of fish passage, riparian habitat plantings, and restoration of environmental flows.   

The Study:  The Owyhee River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Study will evaluate the current conditions of the Owyhee River in terms of water quality, aquatic habitat, and stream channel condition.  Based on this assessment, the study will determine potential restoration actions to improve in-stream habitat conditions.  The focus of the study will be on developing ecosystem improvements to benefit redband trout and sage-grouse and other native species, and protect natural and cultural resources of significance to the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe.  Habitat improvements for redband trout and sage-grouse at all life stages will contribute to stronger returns, benefitting the entire Owyhee River basin.  The project would enhance sustainability, restore floodplain form, function and processes, and benefit wildlife populations in the Pacific Northwest.

The Corps is committed to working with our non-federal sponsor, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe, and the larger community to restore significant ecosystem function, structure, and dynamic processes that have become degraded in Owyhee River.  Alternatives considered might include channel naturalization, riparian plantings and restoration, creating gravel beds, placing woody debris, and improving off-channel habitat.

The Owyhee River study will also include coordination and consultation with other federal and state agencies to integrate agency knowledge of the Owyhee River ecosystems. 

The study process will include outreach activities with citizens and stake holders across the community to gather their thoughts and ideas related to the way we could restore ecological and cultural values and other important water-resources considerations. 

Contact Us

201 N. 3rd Ave.
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Additional Information