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BPA Adoption of the Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Bull Trout Preservation in the Upper Camas Drainage Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA -2114)

Flathead County, Montana

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to contribute cost-share funding to Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks (MFWP) to implement the Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Bull Trout Preservation in the Upper Camas Drainage project and adopt the National Park Service’s (NPS) March 19, 2019, Environmental Assessment of the same name, with minor modifications. Under the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980 (16 USC § 839 b(h)(10)(A)), BPA has an obligation to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife affected by the construction and operation of Hungry Horse Dam.  The MFWP therefore requested BPA to share the cost of implementing this project, which partially mitigates for the effects of Hunger Horse Dam on native fishes in the Flathead Basin. 

MFWP and the NPS are proposing to use rotenone, a fish toxicant, to remove non-native Yellowstone cutthroat trout from Camas Lake, Lake Evangeline, and Camas Creek above Arrow Lake in the upper Camas drainage of Glacier National Park (Glacier). Following the removal of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout, genetically pure (less than one percent non-native genes) native westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout would be translocated (i.e. stocked) into Camas Lake and Lake Evangeline. This would be done to establish a native fish assemblage that is better secured against the threats of non-native fish and climate-related habitat degradation.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, the NPS prepared an environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act. The NPS released their EA for public review and comment in March 2019 and received 21 comment letters and two phone calls.  NPS issued a FONSI on the Proposed Action in June 2019.  The FONSI included responses to 14 letters and both phone calls containing substantive comments or otherwise warranted a response or a text change to the EA. The NPS determined that no revisions to the EA were necessary.  BPA is adopting the NPS EA, which describes and analyzes proposed BPA-funded activities, and recirculating the EA with minor text modifications. 

CURRENT STATUS:
BPA is releasing the adopted EA and Finding of No Significant Impact.

 


CONTACT:
For environmental information, contact:
Brenda Aguirre                                                    Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Environmental Protection Specialist                      Direct line: 503-230-5928
Bonneville Power Administration – EC-4                Email: baguirre@bpa.gov
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621


For project information, contact:
Cecilia Brown                                                      Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Fish Biologist/Project Manager                             Direct line: 503-230-3462
Bonneville Power Administration – EC-4                Email: ckbrown@bpa.gov
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621

DOCUMENTS

EA & FONSI:
Adopted EA                                                        August 2019
FONSI                                                                 8/21/2019
Public Letter                                                         8/27/2019

NPS:
EA                                                                     3/29/2019
FONSI                                                                6/10/2019
Public Letter                                                       6/10/2019