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Posted 3/20/2015

Release no. 15-011

Diana Fredlund

PORTLAND, Ore. – Brig. Gen. John Kem, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division commander, signed a record of decision for the Double-Crested Cormorant Management Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The ROD documents Kem’s decision and rationale for adopting the management plan to reduce predation on juvenile salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act by a growing population of double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary.

Reasonable and Prudent Alternative action 46 from NOAA Fisheries’ 2014 Supplemental Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion calls for a reduction in double-crested cormorant predation of juvenile salmonids over 172 river miles of the Columbia River estuary by reducing the East Sand Island colony, which accounts for 98 percent of the double-crested cormorant breeding population in the estuary. The 2014 Supplemental FCRPS BiOp identified a specific management objective of no more than 5,380–5,939 breeding pairs on the island.

In the FEIS, the Corps analyzed alternatives to meet this objective and found that the selected management plan best met the purpose and need for the objective. The ROD, final EIS and executive summary can be found at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Currentprojects/CormorantEIS.aspx

The Corps’ Portland District is the federal land manager of East Sand Island and the lead agency for the National Environmental Policy Act process. The Corps is working with its cooperating agencies: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.