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News Release

Public comments sought for improvements to East Fork Irrigation District infrastructure

Public Scoping Meeting Oct. 18 in Hood River


News Release #: 2018-10-003

Contact: Tom Makowski, Assistant State Conservationist for Watershed Resources and Planning
Phone: 503-621-7626

Tracy Robillard, Public Affairs Officer
Phone: 503-414-3220. Email:

PARKDALE, Ore. – (Oct. 11, 2018) – The East Fork Irrigation District and project partners propose to modernize aging infrastructure to conserve water, reduce energy use, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Hood River Watershed.

By converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-pipe systems, the proposed East Fork Irrigation District Modernization Project could reduce seepage and spill water losses by up to 5,287 acre-feet, a rate of up to 16.6 cubic feet per second, over the entire irrigation season.

The project is sponsored by the East Fork Irrigation District, with funding and technical support from Energy Trust, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Farmers Conservation Alliance.

Members of the public are invited to provide input to help guide planning efforts during a scoping meeting, Oct. 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Pine Grove Grange, 2835 Van Horn Drive, Hood River, Oregon.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposed irrigation improvements at the meeting and submit their comments, ideas and concerns.

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 David McKay (541) 716-6085 or

Public comments may be submitted through Nov. 16, 2018. Comments may be emailed to or submitted online at or mailed to: Farmers Conservation Alliance, 11 3rd Street, Suite 101, Hood River, OR 97031.

Following the public comment period, project partners will develop a Draft Watershed Plan - Environmental Assessment. The public will have an opportunity to review the draft plan and provide additional input.

Once complete, the watershed plan will enable NRCS to apply for funding to construct irrigation improvements through its Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program, also referred to as PL-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to states, local governments and Tribes (project sponsors) to plan and implement authorized watershed project plans for the purpose of watershed protection, flood mitigation, water quality improvements, soil erosion reduction, rural, municipal and industrial water supply, irrigation, water management, sediment control, fish and wildlife enhancement, and hydropower.

For more information about this and other irrigation modernization projects in Oregon, visit or visit the NRCS Oregon public notice webpage here.


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