Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bumping Lake ancient forest at risk: Hearings announced

Yakima Herald-Republic - Monday, April 04, 2011 AT 10:44PM
Hearings to collect environmental concerns on basin water plan

Two upcoming public meetings will give Yakima River Basin residents a chance to suggest what needs to be considered in an environmental review of a proposed $5 billion plan to meet future water needs.
The two meetings -- in Ellensburg on May 3 and Yakima on May 5 -- will launch preparation of an environmental impact statement.
A stakeholder group spent 19 months reaching agreement on the plan's elements, including new and expanded storage, fish ladders, fish habitat and watershed enhancements, more water conservation, aquifer storage, operational changes, and water banking.
Wendy Christensen, technical projects program manager for the federal Bureau of Reclamation in Yakima, said the meetings are an opportunity to share details of the plan and gather public comment on alternatives, potential impacts and reasonable mitigation measures.
The stakeholder group included irrigation districts, the Yakama Nation, fish managers and other local, state and federal agencies.
They were brought together by the bureau and the Washington Department of Ecology to devise a broader plan than that considered in a 2008, five-year storage study. That study concluded the proposed Black Rock reservoir, east of Yakima, would be too costly at about $5 billion for construction and did not meet federal cost-benefit guidelines.
A draft of the environmental impact statement is expected to be issued in the winter, followed by a final document next spring.

If you go
Public meetings to consider environmental issues in a plan for future basin water needs are scheduled in May.
Two sessions will be conducted at each meeting, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
* May 3: Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg.
* May 5: Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Way, Yakima.

Written comment will be accepted through May 19 and should be addressed to the attention of Candace McKinley, environmental programs manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, 98901.
Email comments should be submitted to yrbwep@usbr.gov .

* On the Net:
www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/cwp/cr_yak_storage.html

No comments: