|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
September 19, 2005
Contact: Otto Jose, 303-236-8156
Seeks Public Comments on Proposal to Improve
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment of a state proposal Sherman Reservoir Motorboat Access Improvement, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Public comments are welcome for a 15-day period.
The draft environmental assessment, prepared by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC), Division of Wildlife, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, analyzes the Commission's proposal to improve the boating access through the construction breakwaters, and the excavation of coves. The scope of work will excavate sediment from three coves to deepen the boating channels for enhanced boating access. The excavation work will remove a total of 100,000 cubic yards of sediment from the reservoir basin. In addition, ten breakwater structures that range in size from 200 to 1,050 feet long will be constructed at four sites. The breakwater structures will reduce siltation and sedimentation due to wind and wave action and help maintain safe boating access opportunities.
The total cost of the project would be $2.3 million. The Department proposes to use a combination of state fishing license funds, and federal Sport Fish Restoration funds to pay for the construction. The federal funds are administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service and come from an excise tax on fishing equipment, import duties on tackle and boats, motorboat fuels, and small engine fuel.
Sherman Reservoir is located in Sherman County, approximately five miles northeast of Loup City, Nebraska. Sherman Dam was constructed and completed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) in 1962 and the reservoir functions for irrigation, recreation, and very limited flood control. The dam structure is operated by the Loup Basin Reclamation District, which releases irrigation water to the Farwell Irrigation District. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is responsible for management of wildlife and fisheries at Sherman Reservoir.
Public comment on the proposal and draft environmental assessment will help the Service decide whether to fund the proposed project. The Service also must determine the proposed project's eligibility for federal funding, assess its character and design and ensure compliance with federal rules and regulations.
Detailed information on the proposal is contained in the Service's environmental assessment. Requests for copies of the document, which include details of the state's proposed action, alternative actions, and decisions to be made by the Service, are available by calling the Services's Division of Federal Assistance, 303-236-5420 or at our website at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance. Comments are due October 3, 2005 and should be sent to: Chief, Division of Federal Assistance, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO 80225.
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 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 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 and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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