Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the United States Forest Service, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, (Forest Service) propose 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.
To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, the Forest Service and BPA prepared an environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
BPA and Forest Service released the Draft EA for public review and comment in August 2019. Four comments and two letters were received during this scoping period. You may find these comments and responses on the draft EA on the USFS site, located here
The schedule for the environmental review was 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 USFS have released the final EA, USFS has released its Decision Notice, and BPA and USFS have released their Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI).
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
Final EA (October 2019) (hard copy to be sent at later date)
FONSI (04/15/2020) (hard copy to be sent at later date)
Public Letter (04/15/2020) (hard copy to be sent at later date)
Public Letter (8/21/2019)
Draft EA (August 2019)
Scoping comments received
Public Letter (12/14/2018)
Project Map (12/14/2018)