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Notice of Availability of Draft Plan-EA, Tumalo Irrigation District

Notice of Availability of Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment

Tumalo Irrigation District Modernization Project

Published April 16, 2018

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), with assistance from Farmers Conservation Alliance and in cooperation with Tumalo Irrigation District and the Deschutes Basin Board of Control as the project sponsor, announces the availability of a Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Draft Plan - EA) to improve aging irrigation infrastructure in Tumalo Irrigation District. These improvements may be partially funded through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954 (PL 83-566) and will address water conservation, enhancement of aquatic species habitat, and public safety while supporting existing agricultural land use.

The proposed project is located in the north-central portion of Deschutes County. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations at 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508 require an evaluation of potential environmental impacts associated with federal projects and actions with input from the public. NRCS has reviewed the potential impacts of the project and released a Draft Plan-EA.

You are invited to attend a public meeting where your input is requested. The range of resource issues and alternatives addressing system improvements to Tumalo Irrigation District will be presented and discussed.

Public Meeting on Draft Plan-EA

Date: May 8, 2018

Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.

         Location: Cascades Academy, 19860 Tumalo Reservoir Road, Bend, OR 97703

The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting to Margi Hoffmann (541) 716-6085 or margi.hoffmann@fcasolutions.org.

Comments on the Draft Plan-EA may be submitted during a public comment period starting April 16, 2018 and ending on May 22, 2018. View the complete Draft Watershed Plan-EA and other project information online at www.oregonwatershedplans.org. Printed copies of the Draft Plan-EA are also available at the Deschutes Public Library, the Tumalo Irrigation District office, and the USDA Redmond Service Center.

Comments may be emailed to wsp@tumalo.org or mailed directly to:

Margi Hoffmann

Community Relations Director

Farmers Conservation Alliance

11 3rd Street, Suite 101

Hood River, OR 97031

 

Project Purpose and Need

Through the Watershed Program, authorized by Public Law 83-566, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations for planning and carrying out watershed projects that help solve natural resource and related economic problems in a specific watershed. These issues can include watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and wetlands creation.

In accordance with the provisions of the NRCS’s Watershed Program, Tumalo Irrigation District is eligible for funding to address water loss in District conveyance systems, water delivery and operations inefficiencies, instream flow for fish and aquatic habitat, and risks to public safety from open irrigation canals. The purpose of this project is to improve water conservation, water delivery reliability, and public safety on up to 68.8 miles of District-owned canals and laterals.