[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 242 (Tuesday, December 17, 2013)]
[Pages 76317-76318]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30016]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2013-N271; FXRS12610800000V2-134-FF08RSRC00]

Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary Unit Restoration and Pumping Plant/
Fish Screen Facility Protection Project, CA; Record of Decision

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), announce that the 
record of decision (ROD) for the Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary Unit 
Restoration and Princeton, Codora, Glenn & Provident Irrigation 
Districts (PCGID-PID) Pumping Plan/Fish Screen Facility Protection 
Project is now available. The ROD includes a statement of the decisions 
made, the basis for the decisions, a description of the alternative 
considered, a description of the environmentally preferable 
alternative, an overview of the measures to minimize environmental 
impacts, and a summary of public involvement in the decision-making 

ADDRESSES: The ROD is available at:
     Internet: www.fws.gov/refuge/sacramento river/ and http://www.riverpartners.org/where-we-work/sanctuary/documents.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Moroney, Refuge Manager, 
Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge, 530-934-2801 (phone) or 
kelly_moroney@fws.gov (email); or Helen Swagerty, River Partners, 530-
894-5401 (phone) or hswagerty@riverpartners.org (email).



    The Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary Unit was acquired by the Service 
in 1991 and added to the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge. The 
Service acquired the Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary Unit as part of the 
Joint Management Agreement between Parrot Investment Co., The Nature 
Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Game, and the Service to 
cooperatively manage lands on the Llano Seco Ranch. The Llano Seco 
Riparian Sanctuary Unit is one piece of the larger Llano Seco Ranch, 
and was cleared of riparian vegetation for agricultural production by 
the previous landowner during the 1970s. Although the property has been 
out of agricultural production for close to 15 years, the habitat 
remains dominated by nonnative and invasive noxious weeds. Currently, 
just over 200 acres is farmed to dryland cereal crops to help control 
nonnative weeds.
    Prior to acquisition by the Service, rock revetment was placed on 
the north end of the Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary Unit by the 
Department of Water Resources in 1985 and 1986. The rock was placed in 
order to lock the Sacramento River in place, ensuring that flood flows 
would continue to be diverted from the Sacramento River through the 
Goose Lake overflow structure and into the Butte Basin. When the 
Service acquired the ranch property in 1991, we did so with the 
understanding that our management activities would not impact the Goose 
Lake overflow structure that diverts flood water into the Butte Basin.
    Since the placement of rock revetment in 1986, the natural 
riverbank that is south of the revetment has eroded approximately 600 
feet. The erosion on refuge property is directly across from the PCGID-
PID pumping plant and fish screening facility. In 1999, the PCGID-PID 
consolidated three pumping plants into one new facility equipped with 
state-of-the-art fish screens. The fish-screening efficiency of the new 
PCGID-PID pumping plant is now endangered by the bank erosion on the 
refuge property and the migration of the Sacramento River. Although the 
rock revetment on the north edge of refuge property is decades old and 
eroding, it plays a key role in protecting the PCGID-PID pumping plant. 
As the bank erodes, the angle of flow and velocity of the water passing 
the screens will change, trapping fish against the screen rather than 
sweeping them past. Without some type of protection, it is likely the 
bank will continue to erode and the pumping plant facility will fail to 
meet guidelines for operation of the pumping-plant fish screens that 
were published by the National Marine Fisheries Service of National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Department of Commerce).

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The Draft EIS/EIR was available for a 45-day public review and 
comment period, which we announced via several

[[Page 76318]]

methods, including public notices in local newspapers and a notice in 
the Federal Register (77 FR 26569, May 4, 2012). We held a public 
meeting to solicit comments on the Draft EIS/EIR on May 30, 2012. We 
identified and analyzed four alternatives in the Draft EIS/EIR.
    Following public review of the Draft EIS/EIR, the Service and CDFW, 
in coordination with PCGID-PID, River Partners, and the design 
engineers, identified the preferred alternative, which includes 
installation of traditional riprap on the northwest bank of the 
Riparian Sanctuary, including a low berm along the gravel bar and a toe 
trench just off the gravel bar; removal of upstream rock; and site-
specific plantings on the Riparian Sanctuary. A notice of availability 
of the Final EIS/EIR was published in the Federal Register on March 15, 
2013. The record of decision documents our decision to support the 
implementation of the preferred alternative described in the Final EIS/
    We provide this notice under regulations in the Code of Federal 
Regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (40 
CFR 1506.6).

Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region .
[FR Doc. 2013-30016 Filed 12-16-13; 8:45 am]