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Lemhi Valley River and Floodplain Restoration Projects (DOE/EA - 2133)

Lemhi County, Idaho
PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has decided to provide funding for two river and floodplain habitat restoration actions in tributaries of the Lemhi River in eastern Idaho as listed below:  
·         Canyon Creek Confluence, a stream and floodplain restoration project on Canyon Creek near its confluence with the Lemhi River
·         Middle Eighteenmile, a stream and floodplain restoration action on Middle Eighteenmile Creek, one of the headwater streams that form the Lemhi River
These projects are designed to benefit fish species such as Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout, and would be sponsored and managed by the Lemhi Soil and Water Conservation District and Trout Unlimited.
In 2020, BPA decided to provide funding for eight river and floodplain habitat restoration actions also in the mainstem and tributaries of the Lemhi River to benefit fish species such as Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.  These actions included five mainstem and tributary river/stream restoration actions, two irrigation diversion relocations, and a culvert replacement.  Construction on these projects were completed in 2020.
Another project, the L-63 irrigation diversion weir removal, is proposed by the Lemhi Regional Land Trust but awaits design finalization.  This project is proposed for construction in 2022, and BPA has not yet made the decision to fund it.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
To understand the potential environmental impacts of the projects, BPA prepared an environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA analyzes the Lemhi Valley River and Floodplain Restoration Projects, as well as a No Action Alternative in which these projects would not be funded nor implemented. The EA describes anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and identifies mitigation measures to help avoid or minimize impacts. The draft EA was released for public review and comment in May 2020; comments were received on the draft EA from three entities. The EA analyzes eleven distinct projects, so a number of FONSIs are anticipated to be produced for various projects, or collections of projects, as they become ready for implementation.
 
The proposed schedule for the environmental review is as follows:
Scoping comment period                                                              January 21 thru February 21, 2020
Draft EA comment period                                                              May 1, 2020 - May 15, 2020
Final EA                                                                                      Spring 2020
Finding of No Significant Impact (2020 projects)                              Summer 2020
Construction start                                                                         Summer 2020
Finding of No Significant Impact (2021 projects)                              Spring/summer 2021
Construction Start                                                                        Summer 2021

CURRENT STATUS:
BPA released its final EA and the first Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for eight of the eleven projects on June 18, 2020. The July 7, 2021 FONSI concerns an additional two projects analyzed in the EA, and includes a Mitigation Action Plan to help avoid or lessen potential impacts.  BPA has not yet made a funding decision for the remaining project assessed in the EA, the L-63 project.

CONTACT:
For environmental information, contact: 
Rob Shull
Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Environmental Protection Specialist
Direct line: 503-230-3962
CorSource Technology Group
Bonneville Power Administration – ECF-4
 
PO Box 3621
 
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621
 
 
OR
 
Chad Hamel
Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist
Direct line: 503-230-5564
Bonneville Power Administration – ECF-4
PO Box 3621
 
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621
 
 
 
 For project information, contact: 
Hannah Dondy-Kaplan
Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Fish and Wildlife Project Manager
Direct line: 503-230-4071
Bonneville Power Administration – EWM-4
PO Box 3621
 
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621
 
 
 
DOCUMENTS
FONSIs:
2021 Projects FONSI                        (07/07/2021)
2021 Projects Mitigation Action Plan    (07/07/2021)
2021 Projects Public Letter                (07/07/2021)

2020 Projects FONSI                         (06/18/2020)
2020 Projects Mitigation Action Plan     (June 2020)           

FINAL EA:
Final EA                                            (June 2020)              
Public Letter                                      (06/26/2020)
 
DRAFT:
Comments received
Public Letter                                       (05/01/2020)
Draft EA                                              May 2020
 
 
SCOPING: 
Scoping comments received
Public Letter                                         (01/21/2020)
Project Map 
Comment Form