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Deschutes River Basin Habitat Conservation Plan

Middle Deschutes River (photo: B.Moran/ USFWS)

The goal of developing a Deschutes River Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is to provide sufficient, reliable water for residents and farmers while conserving fish, wildlife, and water resources.

  • HCP UPDATE

    The Deschutes Basin draft environmental impact statement (dEIS) and Habitat Conservation Plan published in the Federal Register on October 4, 2019.  On October 30, a 15-day extension to the comment period was published in the Federal Register.  Public comments will now be accepted through December 3, 2019.

    The dEIS and draft HCP are available here:


    Draft Deschutes Basin HCP
    Deschutes Basin Incidental Take Permit Transmittal Letter
    Draft Deschutes Basin dEIS - Volume 1
    Draft Deschutes Basin dEIS - Volume 2


    Addendums:

    - 2 corrected pages from Appendix 3.4 (these depict the study areas by reach): Appendix 3.4-A, Figure 1 and Appendix 3.4-C, Figure 11

    - Table 3.1-1

    See below for information on how to submit comments.



    BACKGROUND

    The Deschutes River Basin HCP is a large scale planning effort that will help the City of Prineville and the Irrigation District members of the Deschutes Basin Board of Control meet their current and future water needs while enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. The HCP will cover approximately 10,700 square miles of land in central Oregon. Bounded by the Cascades Mountains on the west, the Ochoco Mountains on the east, and the Columbia River to the north, the Deschutes River Basin includes six major tributaries above Lake Billy Chinook.  

    The HCP will eventually become part of an application for one or more Endangered Species Act incidental take permits (ITPs) that would authorize incidental take of listed species caused by covered activities. The potential applicants for the ITP(s) include the City of Prineville and members of the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (i.e., Arnold, Central Oregon, North Unit, Ochoco, Swalley, Three Sisters, Tumalo, and Lone Pine Irrigation Districts in Oregon). The National Marine Fisheries Service is a cooperating agency in the draft EIS process. Conservation measures in the HCP would be designed to minimize and mitigate impacts caused by the take of covered listed species that may result from the storage, release, diversion and return of irrigation water by the Districts and the City of Prineville. 

    Species covered under the Deschutes River Basin HCP include three federally-listed species (Oregon spotted frog, bull trout, and steelhead), and two currently unlisted species that have the potential to become listed during the life of the HCP (sockeye salmon and spring Chinook salmon). The Service has jurisdiction over Oregon spotted frog and bull trout, and NOAA Fisheries has jurisdiction over the other three species.

    DRAFT HCP & DEIS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

    The public is invited to review and comment on the draft HCP and dEIS through Dec 3

    Public Outreach and Meeting Materials

    Two public meetings were held on Oct 15 and 16 in Bend and Prineville, Oregon.

    Presentation 1: Overview
    Presentation 2: Deschutes Basin HCP 
    Deschutes Basin Factsheet
    Poster Boards 
    Irrigation Districts Covered by the HCP 
    Map of the Irrigation Districts 
    Map of Return Flows, Major Diversions, and Potential OSF and Steelhead Distribution

    How to Submit Comments

    All comments must be submitted online, at the two public meetings, or in hard copy by U.S. mail or hand delivery to the address below. We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Online at https://www.regulations.gov:  
    Follow instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2019–0091. Comments submitted online must be received by 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time) on December 3, 2019.

    Hard Copy:
    Comments must be postmarked on or before, or received by, November 18, 2019. Submit by U.S. mail or hand delivery to:

         Public Comments Processing:
         Attn: Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2019–0091, MS: JAO/1N 
         U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
         5275 Leesburg Pike
         Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    PAST PUBLIC & STAKEHOLDER INPUT

    2017 Public Scoping Process 

    We initiated a public scoping period to engage Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments and the public in the identification of issues and concerns, potential impacts, and possible alternatives to the proposed action for consideration in the draft EIS. In August 2017, we held four public meetings in Madras and Bend, OR.  Comments received during the 2017 public scoping can be viewed here.  

    Stakeholder Meetings

    We held a stakeholder group meeting in Bend, OR on December 13, 2018.  Notes from that meeting are available here.

    For more information about the HCP, please contact Bridget Moran, Field Office Supervisor, Bend Field Office at 541-383-7146.

    RESOURCES

    "Sharing the River" Story Map, October 2019

    Timeline for Deschutes HCP, October 2019

    USFWS Oregon spotted frog BiOP (Current, 2019) - Reinitiation of Formal Consultation on Bureau of Reclamation Approval of Contract Changes to the 1938 Inter-District Agreement for the Operation of Crane Prairie and Wickiup Dams, and Implementation of the Review of Operations and Maintenance (ROM) and Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams (SEED) Programs at Crane Prairie and Wickiup Dams, Deschutes Project, Oregon (2017-2019), July 26, 2019. Tracking # 01EOFW00-2017-F-0528-R001.

    Stakeholder Meeting Notes, December 13, 2018

    2018 NEPA Scoping Report, June 2018

    Public Scoping Comments Received, September 2017

    PowerPoint Presentation - National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Habitat Conservation Plans, August 2017

    PowerPoint Presentation - Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, August 2017

    Public Scoping Notice - July 24, 2017 (Scoping period is closed)

    USFWS Oregon spotted frog BiOP (Old, 2017) - Formal Consultation on the Approval of Contract Changes to the 1938 Inter-District Agreement for the Operation of Crane Prairie and Wickiup Dams, and Implementation of the Review of Operations and Maintenance and Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams Programs at Crane Prairie and Wickiup Dams, Deschutes Project, Oregon, 2017. Tracking # 01EOFW00-2017-F-0528. 

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