Reclamation finalizes Klamath Project Biological
Reclamation Press Release: January 02, 2019
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation
completed the Final Biological Assessment on “The Effects of the
Proposed Action to Operate the Klamath Project from April 1,
2019 through March 31, 2029 on Federally-Listed Threatened and
Endangered Species.” The document was submitted Dec. 21, 2018 to
the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service. The 2018 BA was written as Reclamation’s portion of the
reinitiation of consultation with the services. Reclamation
believes all information necessary to continue and complete the
formal consultation process with the services has been provided.
However, exchange of information will continue during the
development of the services’ coordinated biological opinion
which is anticipated to be complete before the 2019 irrigation
The BA contains: (1) a detailed description of
the Klamath Project and its operation; (2) a description of the
specific area that may be affected by the action and the
environmental baseline; (3) a description of Endangered Species
Act-listed species and critical habitat; (4) a description of
the effects of the proposed action on ESA-listed species and
associated critical habitat; and (5) other relevant available
information incorporated by reference and citation. The
information in the BA represents the best scientific and
commercial data available.
Reclamation’s proposed action analyzed in the BA
proposes to continue to: store waters of Upper Klamath Lake (or
UKL) and the Klamath and Lost rivers; operate the project for
the delivery of water to meet authorized project purposes and
contractual obligations inclusive of deliveries to national
wildlife refuges; conduct routine maintenance activities on
project facilities; and, implement conservation measures
intended to minimize impacts of the proposed action.
The proposed action includes a water supply based
operational strategy and consists of a water management approach
for UKL and the Klamath and Lost rivers that mimic natural
hydrologic conditions observed in the Upper Klamath Basin. This
approach attempts to optimize the ecologic benefit of the
available water supply, resulting in the ability to maximize the
amount of remaining water available for the project while
seeking to fill UKL during the fall/winter to increase the
volumes available for the Environmental Water Account (including
disease mitigation flows), UKL, and project irrigation supply
during the spring/summer operational period.
Reclamation appreciates the contributions
provided by tribes and key stakeholders during the development
of the BA.
The 2018 BA and its appendices are available at www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao.
For additional information, contact Laura Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
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