[Federal Register: March 25, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 57)]
[Page 13647-13648]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Bureau of Reclamation

Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Program
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report (SEIS/SDEIR).


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Bureau of 
Reclamation (Reclamation), along with the Hoopa Valley Tribe and 
Trinity County, California are preparing a Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report for the 
Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Program (Program). The 
purpose of the SEIS/SDEIR is to analyze the effects of two biological 
opinions associated with the Program issued on October 12, 2000, one by 
the FWS and the other by the National Marine Fisheries Service of the 
Department of Commerce (NMFS), on Central Valley Project (CVP) 
operations and the effects of the Program on energy generation within 
the context of the state of deregulation and supply uncertainty for 
electricity within California.
    A final environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Program was 
issued in November, 2000, and a Record of Decision (ROD) executed on 
December 19, 2000. Central Valley water and power interests filed suit 
seeking to enjoin implementation of the ROD. On March 22, 2001, the 
court issued a Memorandum Decision and Order enjoining the federal 
defendants from implementing any of the flow related aspects of the 
ROD. Westlands Water District v. United States Department of the 
Interior, CIV-F-00-7124-OWW/DLB (E.D. Calif., filed May 3, 2001). In 
its Memorandum Decision and Order the court found that the effects of 
reasonable and prudent measures in the two biological opinions as well 
as the effects on power in light of the California energy crisis, were 
not adequately analyzed in the EIS. The federal agencies are now 
seeking to address these issues in a SEIS and are soliciting public 
input and comment on this process.
    The overall objective of the Program is to meet Federal trust 
responsibilities for tribal fishery resources and restore the fisheries 
in the Trinity River basin to the level that existed prior to the 
construction of the Trinity River Division (TRD) of the CVP. These 
actions are authorized by the Act of August 12, 1955, 69 Stat. 719; the 
Trinity River Basin Fish and Wildlife Management Act, Public Law 98-541 
(1984), as amended, and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 
Public Law 102-575, Title XXXIV (1992) (CVPIA). The FWS and Reclamation 
are the federal co-leads for purposes of complying with National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); along with Hoopa Valley Tribe, which 
is also acting in a co-lead agency role. Trinity County functions as 
the state lead agency for purposes of complying with the California 
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
    The purpose for the October 2000 EIS/EIR is as follows: to restore 
and maintain the natural production of anadromous fish on the Trinity 
River mainstem downstream of Lewiston Dam. The purpose of the SEIS/SEIR 
will be the same.

DATES: A scoping meeting will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2002, from 
1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Redding, California, to solicit public input on 
alternatives, concerns, and issues to be addressed in the SEIS/SDEIR.
    Written comments on the scope of the SEIS/SDEIR may be mailed to 
Reclamation at the address below by May 23, 2002. Comments received 
after this date will be considered but may not be included in the 
resulting SEIS/SDEIR scoping report.

ADDRESSES: The scoping meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn, 1900 
Hilltop Drive, Redding, CA 96002.
    Written comments on the scope of the SEIS/SDEIR should be sent to 
Mr. Russell Smith, Bureau of Reclamation, Shasta Dam Office, 16349 
Shasta Dam Boulevard, Shasta Lake CA 96019; telephone: (530) 275-1554; 
fax (530) 275-2441.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Russell Smith at the above address 
or by telephone at (530) 275-1554.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1983 an EIS on the Trinity River Basin 
Fish and Wildlife Management Program was prepared by the FWS (U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 1983). The environmental document analyzed 
habitat restoration actions, watershed rehabilitation, and improvements 
to the Trinity River Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery (TRSSH). The EIS 
clarified that the hatchery's purpose was to mitigate for the loss of 
the 109 miles of habitat upstream of Lewiston Dam; whereas, the 
restoration and rehabilitation projects were explicitly designed to 
increase natural fish production below the dam.
    In 1984, the Trinity River Basin Fish and Wildlife Management Act 
(Public Law 98-541) was enacted. It formalized the existence of the 
Trinity River Basin Fish and Wildlife Task Force (Task Force), and 
directed the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to implement 
measures to restore fish and wildlife habitat in the Trinity River. The 
Task Force was directed at implementation of a fish and wildlife 
management program ``to restore natural fish and wildlife populations 
to levels approximating those which existed immediately prior to the 
construction of the Trinity Division.'' In 1996 Congress re-authorized 
and amended the original Trinity River Basin Fish and Wildlife 
Management Act (Public Law 104-143). The 1996 amendments clarified that 
``restoration is to be measured not only by returning adult anadromous 
fish spawners, but by the ability of dependent tribal, commercial, and 
sport fisheries to participate fully, through enhanced in-river and 
ocean harvest opportunities, in the benefits of restoration * * * ''.
    In 1992 Congress passed the CVPIA (Public Law 102-575, Title XXXIV) 
in order to protect, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and 
associated habitats in the Central Valley, including the Trinity River 
Basin. Specifically, the CVPIA provides at section 3406(b)(23) that 
``[i]n order to meet Federal trust responsibilities to protect the 
fishery resources of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and meet the fishery 
restoration goals' of Public Law 98-541, the Secretary is directed to 
complete the Trinity River Flow Evaluation Study (TRFES) and to develop 
recommendations ``based on the best available scientific data, 
regarding permanent instream fishery flow requirements and TRD 
operating criteria and procedures for the restoration and maintenance 
of the Trinity River fishery.'' The CVPIA also specifically provided 
for the Secretary to consult with the Hoopa Valley Tribe on the TRFES 
and, upon the Tribe's concurrence, to implement the restoration 
recommendations accordingly.

[[Page 13648]]

    A joint EIS/EIR, for the Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration 
Program (TRMFRP) was prepared by the FWS, Reclamation, Trinity County, 
and the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and was completed in October, 2000. A ROD 
selecting the alternative to be implemented for the TRMFRP, was signed 
by the Secretary, with the concurrence of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, 
pursuant to section 3406(b)(23) of the CVPIA, and issued in December 
2000. However, the EIR was not certified by Trinity County and it is 
not a finalized document under CEQA.
    Subsequent to execution of the ROD, water and power interests in 
the Central Valley of California amended a previously filed lawsuit 
against the federal agencies materially involved in either the decision 
making process for the ROD or the associated Endangered Species Act 
approvals for the TRMFRP (Reclamation, FWS, and NMFS), in federal 
district court. Plaintiffs sought, and were granted a preliminary 
injunction for implementation of the flow related aspects of the ROD. 
The terms of the injunction limit the increase in flows in the Trinity 
River which may be implemented in the ROD, but allow the Secretary to 
proceed with all other activities approved by the ROD. Westlands Water 
District v. United States Department of the Interior, CIV-F-00-7124-
OWW/DLB (E.D. Calif., filed May 3, 2001). Subsequently, the plaintiff 
and plaintiff-intervenors and federal defendants, but not defendant-
intervenors Hoopa Valley and Yurok Tribes, jointly agreed to stay the 
case, pending the development of a supplemental NEPA document that 
would address the issues identified by the Westlands court as requiring 
further analysis; including the effect that the change in operations of 
the TRD would have within the context of deregulation of electrical 
utilities in California and the effects that compliance with the 
biological opinions issued by the FWS and NMFS would have upon CVP 
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual 
respondents may request that we withhold their home address from public 
disclosure, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There 
also may be circumstances in which we would withhold a respondent's 
identity from public disclosure, as allowable by law. If you wish us to 
withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at 
the beginning of your comment. We will make all submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, available for public disclosure in their entirety.

    Dated: March 19, 2002.
Frank Michny,
Regional Environmental Officer, Mid-Pacific Region, Bureau of 
    Dated: March 19, 2002.
Mary Ellen Mueller,
Fisheries Supervisor, California and Nevada Operations Office, Fish and 
Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-7066 Filed 3-22-02; 8:45 am]