KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to disclose potential environmental effects and solicit public comment associated with Reclamation’s proposed water acquisition for National Wildlife Refuges within the Klamath Basin Refuge Complex.
The Klamath Basin, similar to much of California and Oregon, had a prolonged dry winter. As of April 1, snowpack in the upper basin was 55 percent of normal; May 1, 46 percent of normal and as of June 1 no snowpack remained at SNOTEL sites. These drought conditions have reduced and will likely continue to limit the availability of water for the NWRs in 2018. The constraints on water will reduce habitat and food sources for migratory birds and other wildlife within the Refuges. The Refuges offer a variety of habitat for migratory birds in the Pacific Flyway.
Under the proposal, Reclamation could acquire up to 50,000 acre-feet of surface water supply from Klamath Project contractors for use in Refuges. The purpose of the proposal is to protect and maintain the Refuges’ habitats for the benefit of migratory waterfowl and wetland-dependent wildlife in the Refuges during the current drought year.
The draft EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_base.php?location=kbao.
Comments are due by close of business, July 6, 2018. Please submit comments to Kirk Young via either email at email@example.com or post to Bureau of Reclamation, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.
Physical copies of the documents are available for review at Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office at the above address. For additional information or to request a copy of the documents, please contact Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press release provided from the US Bureau of Reclamation.