Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact by drr10525

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									                                                                            Crane Creek Headgate DN/FONSI


                                    DECISION NOTICE
                                                   AND
                  F I N D I N G O F N O S I G N I F I C A N T I M PA C T
                                                   FOR
                             C R A N E C R E E K H E A D G AT E


                          FREMONT-WINEMA NATIONAL FORE ST
                              KLAMATH COUNTY, OREGON

                       BACKGROUND, DIRECTIO N, AND TIERING

Crane Creek originates from springs, including Mare‟s Egg Spring, on the Fremont-Winema National
Forests and is a tributary to Sevenmile Creek and Agency and Upper Klamath Lakes. Crane Creek is
known habitat for Oregon spotted frog, yellow rail, redband trout, and is potential habitat for bull trout.
Downstream from the National Forests boundary, all water in Crane Creek is diverted into an irrigation
canal, completely dewatering the natural channel on private lands. The irrigation ditch does not
provide habitat for fish because it lacks sufficient velocity, pool and riffle features, and stream canopy
to provide habitat value. The natural channel of Crane Creek still exists beside the ditch, although it is
dry most of the year. A different, but related, project will restore the historic form, function, and
composition to the Crane Creek channel to improve habitat conditions for a variety of fish and wildlife
species and will enhance wetland environments.

The proposed action for this project will restore passage for redband trout, and potentially bull trout, to
four stream miles of Crane Creek. Additionally, the proposed action will restore connectivity between
Crane Creek and the Sevenmile Creek system, approximately 6.5 stream miles on private lands, and 10
stream miles in the Fremont-Winema National Forests. Currently there is a headgate at the lower end
of Crane Creek, which impedes fish passage. The proposed action will remove the current headgate
and install an efficient structure that provides irrigation water for the private landowner while
providing year-round fish passage for small and large trout.

This project exists entirely on private land at Township 34 South, Range 6 East, Sections 1 and 2.

This decision adopts the “Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Klamath Basin Ecosystem
Restoration Office Projects 2000-2010” as amended: May, 2006 for Projects through 2015,prepared by
the Klamath Basin Ecosystem Restoration Office (ERO) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That
EA is available on the world-wide web at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/projects/ero/progea/

The project was cooperatively developed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecosystem Restoration
Office (ERO) and the private landowner and recommended by ERO. The Fremont-Winema Resource
Advisory Committee recommends that funding be provided under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools
and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. In accordance with that Act, project funds are under
control of the Secretary of Agriculture. Thus, the project must comply with provisions of the National
Environmental Policy Act and all federal laws. Since the project is on private lands, the National
Forest Management Act and the Winema National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and its
amendments do not apply.


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                                                                            Crane Creek Headgate DN/FONSI


                                              DECISION

Based on the analysis documented in the EA and review of the process record; it is my decision to
select the Proposed Action Alternative and approve the use of Title II funds to support the project.

The Proposed Action includes:
    Reconfiguration of the headgate arrangement.
    Install an efficient structure that provides irrigation water for the private landowner while
       providing year-round fish passage for small and large trout.

The environment in the Upper Klamath Basin has been changed significantly since the 1890‟s due to
logging, agriculture and urban development. An extensive system of dams, canals, and drainage
structures has resulted in the conversion of approximately 80% of pre-settlement wetlands to
agricultural uses. Riparian corridors have been similarly impacted, and upland forests have been
affected by logging, road construction and other factors. These changes have contributed to problems
with water quality and degraded habitat and blocked fish passage for several threatened and
endangered fish species in the region. The purpose of this project is to make a small improvement in
these conditions.

Key issues addressed are:

Fish Habitat
The lack of quality fish habitat results in poor habitat conditions for red band trout and potentially for
bull trout.

The purpose of the proposed action is to restore connectivity of fish passage in Crane Creek and its
tributaries.

Needs are:

      Restored fish passage in Crane Creek and its tributaries.


DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION

The proposed action would restore fish passage, by removing the current headgate and installing an
efficient structure that provides irrigation water for the private landowner while providing year-round
fish passage for small and large trout.



                                               SCOPING

Scoping is a process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed, identifying key issues related
to a proposed action, and identifying and eliminating from detailed study the issues that are not key or
those covered by other environmental review. Scoping for the programmatic EA started with a letter
to 400 concerned individuals and organizations on October 4, 1999. A newspaper article appeared in
the Herald and News on October 10, 1999. Copies of the scoping letter, mailing list and other
materials are available from ERO. This project was reviewed by the Fremont-Winema Resource


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                                                                         Crane Creek Headgate DN/FONSI

Advisory Committee and recommended for funding with Title II funding from the Secure Rural
Schools Act.



                                RATIONALE FOR DECISI ON

I considered the no action alternative and have decided to implement the proposed action alternative
because it best addresses the key issues and meets the needs. I have reviewed the EA and the project
record and have determined there is sufficient information to provide a reasoned decision. In making
my decision, I considered information related to the purpose and need and the key issues.

KEY ISSUES

   Fish Habitat

Improvements in stream connectivity result in improved habitat conditions for fish.

NEEDS

The fish habitat needs are supported by the discussion on page 1 of the EA where habitat restoration
and improvement are identified as key needs. The proposed action alternative best meets these needs.

OTHER ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

No Action Alternative.

With the no action alternative there would be no fish passage restoration because fish would not pass
through the headgate area. The no-action alternative would not address the needs or the issues
described in the EA.

Alternatives Comparison Table

Needs                              No Action                          Proposed Action
Increased fish passage             0 miles                            Increased fish passage in 4
                                                                      stream miles in Crane Creek.
                                                                      Connectivity between Crane
                                                                      Creek and Sevenmile Creek, 6.5
                                                                      stream miles on private land,
                                                                      and 10 stream miles in the
                                                                      Fremont-Winema National
                                                                      Forests.




                         FINDING OF NO SIGNIF ICANT IMPACT


The Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the ERO‟s Programmatic Restoration Program is
based upon the “Amended Programmatic Environmental Assessment, Klamath Basin Ecosystem
Restoration Office Projects, 2000 to 2010.” It found no significant impact from a 10-year program that
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                                                                           Crane Creek Headgate DN/FONSI

would implement many projects of this type as well as other types of projects. Based upon that EA, its
associated FONSI and on previous experience with similar projects, I have determined that this project
is not a major Federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment,
therefore an Environmental Impact Statement is not needed. This determination was made considering
the following factors:
1. Significant impacts can be beneficial and adverse.
   The impacts from implementation of this project are disclosed in Chapter IV of the EA. No
   significant impacts were identified. The anticipated effects are similar to those in past projects that
   have not proven to cause significant impacts.
2. Effects on public health and safety.
   No public health or safety problems are anticipated since this project is on private lands.
3. Unique characteristics of the geographic area such as proximity to historic or cultural resources,
   park lands, prime farmlands, wetlands, wild and scenic rivers, or ecologically critical areas.
   Prime farmlands adjacent to the proposed project will retain their function. Wetlands as defined on
   page 18 of the EA are present but will not be adversely affected by this project. No significant
   impacts on heritage resources were identified. No ecologically critical areas were identified during
   analysis.
4. The degree to which the possible effects on the human environment is likely to be highly
   controversial.
   My decision falls within the scope of the analysis of the “Programmatic Environmental Assessment
   for Klamath Basin Ecosystem Restoration Office Projects 2000-2010” prepared by the Klamath
   Basin Ecosystem Restoration Office (ERO) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The desired
   future condition, standards and guidelines, and analysis for that EA support activities such as those
   proposed here.

5. The degree to which the possible effects on the human environment is highly uncertain or involves
   unique or unknown risks.
   The proposed project would employ commonly used prescriptions and methods. Therefore, the
   effects are not highly uncertain nor do they involve unique or unknown risks.
6. The degree to which the action may establish a precedent for future actions with significant effects
   or represents a decision on principle about a future consideration.
   The project meets site-specific needs. The activities are not unusual and do not lead to any further
   action that is unique.
7. Whether the action is related to other actions with individually insignificant but cumulatively
   significant impacts.
   The EA discusses cumulative effects beginning on page 26. Four projects adjacent to this project
   have been completed in recent years:
        Construction of a non-native fish barrier in lower Threemile Creek on private property.
        Large woody debris placement in Short Creek on private property.
        Protection of the riparian corridor on upper Crane Creek with a Wetlands Reserve Program
           easement on private property.
          Spring protection at Mare's Egg Spring with a livestock exclosure fence and weir
           construction for maintaining water surface elevations.


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                                                                           Crane Creek Headgate DN/FONSI

   All of these projects complement each other and are intended to improve water quality and enhance
   fish habitat by restoring stream bank condition using natural materials and sustainable methods.
   No significant cumulative effects were identified.
8. The degree to which the action may adversely affect District sites, highways, structures, or objects
   listed in the National register of Historic Places or may cause loss or destruction of significant
   scientific, cultural, or historical resources.
   Records search and field work for this project were completed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
   Service under the terms of the FWS Region1/Oregon State Historic Preservation Officer
   Programmatic Agreement. No cultural Resources potentially eligible for inclusion in the National
   Register of Historic Places were found in the project‟s area of potential effects.
9. The degree to which the action may adversely affect an endangered or threatened species or its
   habitat that has been determined to be critical under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
   The Klamath Falls Ecosystem Restoration Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed
   Intra-Service Section 7 Consultation under the Endangered Species Act on July 2, 2007; and made
   the following findings:
              Bald Eagles - May Effect – Not Likely to Adversely Affect (includes beneficial
               effects)
              Bull trout – No effects
              Bull trout Critical Habitat – No impact
              Shortnose and Lost River suckers – No Effects
              Oregon spotted frog - May Impact Individuals or Habitat
10. Whether the action threatens a violation of Federal, State, or local laws or requirements imposed
    for the protection of the environment.
   The selected alternative is designed to comply with Federal, State, and local laws. My decision
   falls within the scope of the “Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Klamath Basin
   Ecosystem Restoration Office Projects 2000-2010.” This project is within the scope of projects
   identified as „Habitat complexity and diversity improvements‟ in the programmatic EA, page 6.


                                        OTHER FINDINGS


I find that expenditure of the funds to carry out this project is consistent with the limitation on use of
project funds as defined in Title II of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act
of 2000. The project is located on non-federal land and will improve conditions for the same fish that
use these waters into the Fremont-Winema National Forests. By improving conditions for fish in this
area, this project contributes to habitat quality that extends onto the lands of the Forests.
Since this project occurs entirely on private lands, the Winema National Forest Land and Resource
Management Plan is not applicable.
The applicable standards and guidelines described in Appendix C of the EA constitute the Best
Management Practices for this project.




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                                                                            Crane Creek Headgate DN/FONSI


                                  NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY

This document and the EA are on file and available for public review in the Klamath Falls office of the
Fremont -Winema National Forest, 2819 Dahlia Street, Klamath Falls, OR, 97601, (541) 883-6726.
The EA is available on the world-wide-web at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/projects/ero/progea/

                             APPEALS AND IMPLEMENTATION

This decision is not subject to appeal since the project does not fall under the provisions of Forest
Service regulations at 36 CFR 215, 217, 218 or 251.
Implementation may occur immediately, however it is expected that work will occur during the open
work season for Crane Creek (August 1 – September 30). For further information about this project,
contact Michelle da Luz, Assistant Forest Planner, Fremont-Winema National Forests at (541)-883-
6714 or Robes Parrish, Restoration Biologist at the Ecosystem Restoration Office (541) 885-2513.


/s/ Karen Shimamoto                                                  July 11, 2007
KAREN SHIMAMOTO,                                                         Date
Forest Supervisor
Fremont-Winema National Forests




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