Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the United States Forest Service, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, (Forest Service) proposes to restore aquatic habitat on a 1.4-mile stretch of the Grande Ronde River to benefit Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed spring Chinook salmon, summer steelhead, and bull trout. Approximately 1.0 mile of the project would be implemented on National Forest System Lands, 0.4 miles on State and private lands. This is the second phase of restoration work in a reach of the Grande Ronde River which was disconnected from its floodplain when the Grande Ronde River Road (Highway 244) and the railroad grade were constructed. BPA is considering whether to fund the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to implement this proposal and the Forest Service is deciding whether to issue a special use permit.
Specific proposed actions include:
1. Excavation of new channel meander bends to improve aquatic and riparian habitat diversity and complexity, and increase channel-floodplain interactions.
2. Creation of secondary channels to increase the available area of juvenile salmon rearing habitat.
3. Placement of wood structures to increase habitat complexity.
4. Vegetation planting and seeding to improve streambank stability and provide protective cover for juvenile salmonids.
The Forest Service and BPA prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA analyzes the proposed action, as well as a no-action alternative. The EA describes anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and will identify mitigation measures to help avoid or minimize impacts. During this process, BPA will work with landowners, tribes, Federal, State and local agencies, and interest groups.
The proposed schedule for the environmental review is as follows:
|Scoping comment period
Draft EA comment period
Finding of No Significant Impact (if warranted)
If decision to build, construction start
|December 14, 2018 - January 15, 2019|
August 21, 2019 - September 20, 2019
BPA and Forest Service are currently requesting public comments on the Draft EA. Please send your comments by September 20, 2019, so they may be considered in the Final EA. When commenting, refer to the full project name. All comments will be posted on the Forest Service comment website. Please send comments to:
Mail: Bill Gamble, District Ranger Phone: 541-962-8582
La Grande Ranger District Fax: 541-962-8580
3502 Highway 30 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
La Grande, OR 97850 or
For environmental or project information, contact:
Environmental Protection Specialist
Bonneville Power Administration EC-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208
Direct Line: 503- 230-3493
Public Letter (8/21/19)
Draft EA August 2019
Scoping comments received
Public Letter (12/14/2018)
Project Map (12/14/2018)