Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

August 27, 2002  
Otto Jose, 303-236-8156

Service Determines "Finding of No Significant Impact" on Proposal to Build New Dam and Enlarge Lake Henry

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) for the final environmental assessment of a state proposal "Rehabilitation of Lake Henry through the Reconstruction of Lake Henry Dam on Dawson Creek, Bon Homme County, South Dakota’." as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposal is a Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration project to be funded jointly by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The final environmental assessment, prepared by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks (SDGFP), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, analyzed the Department’s proposal to construct a new dam approximately 1,350 feet downstream from an existing breached dam. This will double the lake size to 160 acres. Associated recreational fishing facilities will also be constructed and will include a 20-foot wide boat ramp; parking lot; accessible fishing pier on the existing dam embankment; two gravel access roads; 6-foot wide handicapped-accessible boat dock; and self-contained vault toilet.

Public comments were received on the draft environmental assessment distributed previously and included Mayor of Scotland, South Dakota, Bon Homme County Commissioners, Scotland City Council, Scotland Lake Henry Association, South Dakota B.A.S.S. Federation, Bon Homme Conservation District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local citizens. The general public were overwhelmingly in support of the project.

The NEPA process requires any federal funded project be reviewed for potential impacts to the human environment. The objective of NEPA is twofold. One objective is to consider every significant impact on natural and physical environment. The other objective is to assure the public plays a role in the decision making process and the implementation of the decision.

The FONSI and the final environmental assessment are available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalaid/LakeHenryEA.pdf. The document can also be accessed through the SDGFP www.state.sd.us/gfp. Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services’s Division of Federal Aid, 303-236-4430.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses nearly 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov