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Oklahoma ES works with NRCSon plans for a flood water retarding structure onTurkey Creek Watershed, Alfalfa County, Oklahoma
Southwest Region, March 27, 2007
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Richard Stark of the Oklahoma ES Field Office participated on a site visit for a flood water retarding structure being proposed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Turkey Creek Watershed Structure # 8 would be the second of 11 structures that the NRCS proposes to construct in the Turkey Creek watershed, located in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma.  A mitigation plan for impacts to fish and wildlife resources was developed for all 11 structures during the preparation of the Final Watershed Plan and Environmental Impact Statement in 1983.  The mitigation plan was developed so that the combined habitat value of proposed mitigation features to be implemented at each site would serve to offset losses expected to occur within the entire watershed.  Mitigation features to be implemented at a particular structure, however, were not necessarily developed to completely replace losses in habitat value that would occur as a result of constructing that structure.  The NRCS proposed to implement the mitigation features in accordance with the 1983 EIS for structure # 8, which calls for planting 1.5 acres of riparian habitat.  However, about three acres of riparian habitat would be lost as a result of the proposed action.  Because structure # 8 is only the second watershed structure to be constructed since the 1983 EIS, the Service is concerned that the proposed mitigation features would not serve to adequately offset losses in habitat value as originally intended due to the uncertainty as to when and whether any additional structures and their associated mitigation measures would be implemented.  Oklahoma ES is working with the NRCS and COE to develop site specific mitigation measures for the proposed action to ensure that impacts to important fish and wildlife resources are adequately and appropriately compensated for over time.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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