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Comments are sought on a proposal to construct and operate an acclimation pond for coho salmon on the Eightmile Ranch, north of Winthrop.The pond would hold young coho from March to May then release them into the Chewuch River.
Eightmile Ranch is owned and operated by the US Forest Service. It is situated about eight miles north of Winthrop along the Chewuch River. The Forest Service is considering whether to issue a Special Use Permit to the Yakama Nation for the construction and operation of the acclimation site which would include a 1/3 acre earthen pond, buried power line, surface water intake on the Chewuch River, buried surface and ground water supply pipelines and a buried discharge line back to the river.
While the Forest Service decides whether to permit the installation of the acclimation pond, Bonneville Power Administration is considering whether to fund the project. The Forest Service and BPA are working together to produce an environmental assessment for the project.
"An Environmental Assessment will help us understand the potential environmental impacts of the proposal," said Victoria Wilkins, Environmental Coordinator for the Methow Valley Ranger District. "Along with considering two alternative locations for the acclimation pond we will look at an alternative under which the pond would not be built.
The assessment will describe anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and it will include mitigation measures to avoid or minimize those impacts."
Should BPA decide to fund and the Forest Service decide to permit the acclimation pond, construction might begin in the fall of 2014.
For comments on the Eightmile Ranch Coho Acclimation Site Project to be considered in the draft Environmental Assessment, they need to be sent by May 13, 2013. They can be sent to Bonneville Power Administration, Public Affairs-DKC-, PO Box 14428 Portland Oregon, 97293-4428 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Both agencies will receive and review copies of all comments and they will be posted on BPA's website at www.bpa.gov/comment.
For more information about the project or the environmental process, please call Nancy Weintraub, BPA Environmental lead at 800-622-4519 or Victoria Wilkins, Environmental Coordinator at 509-996-4063.
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