City & Government

Public feedback needed for Cougar Dam assessment

Photo provided/USACE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is accepting comments on a draft environmental assessment for downstream fish passage at Cougar Dam.
The report will evaluate alternatives for the Corps’ proposed enhancement of downstream fish passage at Cougar Dam. The Corps also will be holding informational public meetings to inform and listen to comments regarding the assessment.
The meetings are scheduled
as follows:
■ Today from 5-7 p.m. at the McKenzie Fire & Rescue Training Facility and hosted by the McKenzie Watershed Council. Address: 42870 McKenzie Highway, Walterville, OR 97489
■ Thursday, March 21 from 6-7 p.m. at the Springfield City Hall. Address: 225 5th St. Springfield, OR 97477
The report is available for public comments through April 10 and will be available for download on the Cougar Downstream Passage Project website.
The Cougar Downstream Passage Project is an effort to enhance downstream passage for populations of Upper Willamette River spring Chinook salmon listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The draft environmental assessment assesses alternatives for meeting this purpose — including the alternatives’ impacts on the physical, biological, cultural and socioeconomic environment — and presents the Corps’ preferred project alternative.
The Corps will review and consider public input before finalizing the environmental assessment at the end of 2019.
Campsite change
Dorena Lake’s Schwarz Campground will change to a self-service, same-day-reservation system this year, using the system for all campsites. Visitors are encouraged to make their reservations ahead of time to make it a simple and easy experience. Cash will still be used at the site in a limited way to pay for extra vehicles at campsites. Extra vehicle is $6 per night. No change will be available on site. All other transactions through the program require a debit or credit card.
Because all reservations are virtual, camp hosts and park rangers will track campsite reservation status ”live” on
FWC meeting
The Fish and Wildlife Commission meets Friday at ODFW Headquarters in Salem, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, and starts at 9 a.m. Commission meetings are livestreamed via ODFW’s YouTube channel. The agenda for the meeting includes: (a) Considering funding for Access and Habitat projects and appointing a Landowner Representative to the statewide A&H Board; (b) Appointing a new Fish Screening Task Force Member representing fishing/fish conservation; (c) Deciding on funding for several Restoration and Enhancement Program Projects and hearing the program’s biennial report. The commissioners also will be briefed on planning related to 2019 ocean salmon fishery seasons.



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