Bonneville Power Administration is considering whether to fund the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation’s proposal to construct and operate an acclimation pond for coho salmon on the Eightmile Ranch, which is owned and operated by the Methow Valley Ranger District, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest approximately eight miles north of the town of Winthrop, Okanogan County, Washington. The Forest Service is considering whether to issue a Special Use Permit to the Yakama Nation for the construction and operation of the acclimation site. The Forest Service is also considering a project-specific amendment to Okanogan Forest Plan Standard and Guideline 9-4 that would allow for an intake to supply water to the acclimation site. The amendment would be necessary in order for the Forest Service to issue a special use permit.
The site would be used to acclimate coho smolts for the Mid-Columbia Coho Restoration Program, funded in part by BPA and implemented by the Yakama Nation. The young coho would be held in the pond from March to May and then released into the Chewuch River approximately 10 miles above its confluence with the Methow River. The main feature of the site is an earthen pond approximately 1/3-acre in size. The pond would be excavated below the ground level and fenced. Locations being considered are at the south end of the Eightmile Ranch property east of the Westside Chewuch Road. Other components of the design include a surface water intake on the Chewuch River, buried surface and ground water supply pipelines, a buried discharge line back to the river, and a buried electrical power line to the pond.
To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA and the Forest Service are jointly preparing an environmental assessment as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. We would like to hear from you about what should be included in this analysis. What questions do you have? What resources and potential impacts should we analyze? Do you have information or concerns about specific areas?
To learn more about the project go to www.bpa.gov/goto/Eightmile or contact Nancy Weintraub at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-230-5373. You may also call toll free 800-622-4519, please mention Eightmile Ranch Coho Acclimation Site Proposal.
BPA is accepting comments through May 13, 2013.