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Oklahoma ES Coordinates with NRCS on Environmental Evaluation of Flood Water Retarding Structures
Southwest Region, May 23, 2007
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Richard Stark of the Oklahoma ES Field Office participated in an environmental evaluation of four Flood Water Retarding Structures (FWRS) in the Lower Clear Boggy Creek Watershed (# 33 – 36) that are proposed for rehabilitation under the Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 2000 (PL-106-472).  Helen Williams of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and Steve Elsener of the Natural Resources Conservation Service also participated in the site visits.    Due to the temporary ground disturbance associated with the rehabilitation projects, a presence/absence survey for the American burying beetle will be conducted.  The biological change that would occur as result of the proposed rehabilitation measures at site # 34, 35, and 36 would not constitute an adverse impact to fish and wildlife resources for which compensatory mitigation would be required.   However, the permanent elevation at site # 33 is proposed to be raised 3.6 feet, which would permanently inundate several acres of forested riparian habitat.  Although the predominant tree species present could withstand some flooding during the growing season, the proposed permanent raise in pool elevation would result in the loss of this riparian habitat over the life of the project.  We are working with the NRCS and COE to develop site specific mitigation measures for site # 33 to ensure that these impacts are adequately and appropriately compensated for over time.  Possible mitigation features were discussed on-site and include: 1) riparian zone enhancement along an unnamed tributary to the FWRS and 2) the incorporation of a water control structure in the design plans that would allow the local conservation district and/or the landowner (who lives on-site and is interested in wildlife conservation) to seasonally manipulate water levels and seed shallow areas over the life of the project for the benefit of migratory waterfowl.  The NRCS or local conservation district ultimately would be responsible for implementing the mitigation measures. 

 

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



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