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Upper Maple River Watershed Plan

Upper Maple River Watershed Plan

DRAFT WATERSHED PLAN - ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS) UPPER MAPLE RIVER WATERSHED, SITE 2A

The purposes of the proposed action are flood damage reduction and watershed protection.

The Upper Maple River watershed annually contributes 30,200 pounds of phosphorus and 331,600 pounds of nitrogen to the Red River, for which U.S. agreed to nutrient objectives at the international border have not been achieved.  Dissolved inorganic phosphorus is of particular concern, given that annual loads and concentrations have been on an upward trend since the early 1980s.  Average annual cropland inundation by flooding in the watershed is 12,600 acres which results in high transport of nutrients to the Maple River, in addition to detrimental impacts to agricultural production and infrastructure.  Historic loss of wetland and upland habitat throughout the Red River Basin, including the Upper Maple River watershed, threaten multiple species. 

The proposed action includes the construction of a multi-purpose dry dam with incorporated features to reduce nutrient delivery from the upstream watershed; reduce the extents, frequency, and duration of downstream cropland flooding to further reduce nutrient transport to the river; and to restore, enhance and create wetland and upland wildlife habitat. Upper Maple Site 2A will entail construction of a 2.3-mile earthen embankment dam, associated spillways, farmstead levees, and road raises.  Within the interior of the dry dam, the project will develop 240 acres of shallow water biomass harvest areas managed to optimize nutrient removal, as well as 230 acres of wetlands and 1,290 acres of uplands managed for wildlife habitat. 

Total Installation Cost:               $14,810,000

Federal (NRCS) Contribution:   $8,046,000

UMR Final Project Map

Current Status

The plan has recently been determined to require an EIS instead of an EA.  NRCS published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS to the Federal Register on June 21, 2023.  The comment period closes on 8/7/2023.  Comments received from the scoping period are being addressed in the revised Draft Plan-EIS. The final Draft Plan-EIS is expected to be completed in 2024 and will be distributed for agency and public comments. Completion of the Section 106 consultation will also be completed in this timeframe.

A virtual EIS Scoping meeting was held on May 30th, 2023.  Materials and video for the meeting can be accessed here:

Presentation:

Video Link 

More information: https://www.casscountynd.gov/government/water-resources-board/cass-county-joint-water-resource-district    

Comments received from Draft Plan EIS Scoping 2023: