News Releases

Corps opens new comment period for Willow Creek Dam draft Supplemental EA and Draft FONSI

Published May 4, 2018
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, is seeking public comment on the draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the long-term release of an additional 1,000 acre-feet of stored water for irrigation from the Willow Creek Dam and Lake Project.

The Willow Creek Project is authorized to store and release up to 3,500 acre-feet of water for irrigation purposes. The existing Environmental Assessment (March 2008) evaluated the baseline irrigation release of 2,500 acre-feet.  The Willow Creek District Improvement Company, which has relied on groundwater for a portion of its irrigation needs, is seeking a more reliable, long-term, annual source of irrigation water. Water released from storage is considered to be more reliable than groundwater sources.

The Willow Creek Project consists of a dam and lake located on Willow Creek in Morrow County, Oregon, directly upstream from the City of Heppner. The Portland District operates the project for flood risk management and irrigation with incidental benefits for recreation, sportfishing, and wildlife. Space for sedimentation (trapping of sediment from upstream sources) is also provided. 

While the Portland District previously announced the availability of this draft SEA and draft FONSI for public review Mar. 2 to Apr. 2, 2018, the District has identified that some interested parties did not receive the news release. Therefore, the Portland District is providing an additional 30-day public review period to give interested parties an opportunity to provide the District with comments on these draft documents.

The Portland District has not made any changes to either the draft SEA or draft FONSI from the previous review period. If you submitted comments during the prior public review period, there is no need for you to re-submit those comments during this review period; the Portland District will consider all comments received during both review periods.

View the public notice, SEA and FONSI at

The Corps invites all interested parties to submit comments regarding the draft SEA and draft FONSI through June 4, 2018. 

Questions or comments may be sent via email to, or mailed to the address below: 

District Environmental Specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineer District, Portland
Attn: CENWP-PM-EE/Rob Waldman
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, Oregon  97208-2946

Please note that this comment period is 30 calendar days and closes on June 4, 2018. Mailed comments on this notice must be postmarked by that date.

All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act, including any personally identifiable information such as name, phone numbers and addresses.

Sarah P. Bennett

Release no. 18-026

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