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Cottonwood Creek Watershed Plan-EA

Sponsor - City of Cottonwood
Co-sponsors - Cottonwood Highway District and the Idaho Department of Transportation

Project Description

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with the City of Cottonwood as the project sponsor and the Cottonwood Highway District and the Idaho Transportation Department as co-sponsors, is providing funding through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law [PL] 83-566) for preparation of a Watershed Plan and associated Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA) to address the following needs:

photo of flooding
  • Undersized and aged piping cannot handle peak flows, resulting in flooding of areas near the fairgrounds and along King and Main Streets during flooding events.
  • Treated water discharge from the wastewater lagoons to Cottonwood Creek does not satisfy State & Federal water quality standards.
  • There is no pedestrian connectivity from the center of town to a city park and baseball fields.

The Plan-EA will:

  • Develop and evaluate alternatives to mitigate flooding, including:
  • Installing piping beneath Main Street, King Street, and other impacted streets to convey floodwaters; and
  • Consider the use of detention basins to decrease peak flows, thereby reducing the size of pipig needed along Main and King Streets to convey floodwater; and,
  • Consider improvements to the Cottonwood Creek channel to reduce sediment load and reduce/prevent flooding, such as bank stabilization, culvert improvements, or similar.
  • Evaluate alternatives for agricultural water storage and irrigation improvements to reduce or eliminate treated water discharge, improve agricultural water management, and satisfy water quality criteria through improvement of water quality in Cottonwood Creek; and,
  • Consider options to provide safe, pedestrian access as part of a recreational component of PL-566 funds to connect a city park and baseball fields to the center of town.
road in town

NEPA Analysis

NRCS, as the lead federal agency, initiated a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and is overseeing the development of the Plan-EA. The Plan-EA will analyze the proposed project and evaluate potential impacts to the natural and human environment. The Plan-EA will comply with the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations at 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508, PL-566 Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act requirements, and NRCS’s Principles, Requirements, and Guidelines for Water and Lake Related Resources Implementation Studies.

Current Status

A virtual public scoping meeting was held on January 14, 2021 at 6:00 PM.  The meeting was recorded and links to the recording and presentation materials are provided below. The public comment period was open through February 16, 2021. Comments are being reviewed and a scoping report will be prepared. The project team, including NRCS, the City of Cottonwood, and J-U-B Engineers, Inc., are working to develop alternatives and evaluate existing conditions in the area and any potential impacts of proposed projects. Another public meeting and comment period will be held after the Draft Environmental Document has been prepared, likely in Spring 2022.

Project Location

The project is located in and around the City of Cottonwood in Idaho County, Idaho.

Project Map


Map of Cottonwood Project

Contact the Project Team

All questions can be directed to:

Elizabeth Spaulding, The Langdon Group
2760 W Excursion LN, STE 400
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 685-9361