Submit Comments on the Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment

When the Public Comment period is open, public comments must be submitted in writing by email or postal service mail.

Send email comments to:
Newport_107@usace.army.mil
Please add “Newport 107 Draft EA” in the subject line of the email.

 

Send postal service comments to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: CENWP-PME-E / Willamette EIS
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946
Please add “Newport 107 Draft EA” in the subject line of submitted letters.

The Corps will consider all comments received during the comment period and will respond to comments in the Final Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment. If applicable, the Final Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment will reflect changes to the Draft based on public comments and/or information made available since publication of the Draft. All public comments will be included in the Corps’ administrative record.

Wana Pa Koot Koot Cultural Resources Survey

Throughout time, lands along the Columbia River have had many uses, leaving important traces of that history on the land.  To better understand how Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day Projects – including the reservoir and associated facilities – may be affecting these important traces of history, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with the Bonneville Power Administration, are working through the Federal Columbia River Power System Cultural Resources Program to identify and assess impacts to cultural resources on both government and privately owned lands adjacent to the lakes. Cultural resources can include archaeological sites, historic buildings and structures, and areas having cultural importance to Indian Tribes.

As a part of this effort, known as the Wana Pa Koot Koot Cultural Resources Survey, the Corps is reaching out to landowners to coordinate access to their lands. Understanding the impacts to cultural resources is an important part of being good stewards to the environment.

Prior to anyone accessing private property to conduct these surveys, the Corps will need written permission from the property owner. Once permission is granted and a survey scheduled, an archeologist, will walk the property to observe any cultural material that may be on the beach or shoreline. If any are identified, the archaeologist will document artifacts, site conditions, and site boundaries. (Scroll down to the FAQ section for more information.)

The Corps is identifying properties within the designated study area that may be suitable for surveying and sending out standard Right-of-Entry form that the Corps uses to access properties. If you are interested in having your property surveyed or would like to learn more, please use the contact information below:

Email: cenwp-pme-wanapakootkoot@usace.army.mil
Phone: 503-808-4463

Return completed Rights-of-Entry forms to:

Portland District, CENWP-PME-CR
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946

FAQs

Why is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) doing a voluntary cultural resource survey on non-federal lands?
USACE, in partnership with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), is working to identify cultural resources on privately owned and non-federal lands to assess how the operations and maintenance of the Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day Projects may be impacting cultural resources. This will help USACE and BPA comply with federal laws, specifically Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

What are cultural resources? What could you find on my property?
Cultural resources are the physical evidence or place of past human activity. They can be a building, site, object, structure, landscape, or natural features of significance to a specific group of people. These can include traditional habitation areas, transportation routes, ceremonial areas, and hunting, fishing, and gathering locations.

Along the Columbia River, we often find evidence of Native American habitation – fire cracked rock, lithics, burials, and fishing sites – as well as more modern materials like building foundations, metal, glass, and household items.

Why should I agree to the cultural resource survey and grant access?
Throughout time, lands along the Columbia River have had many uses, leaving important traces of that history on the landscape. We are all stewards of this heritage and can work together to preserve and protect these significant and irreplaceable tangible links to the past. Granting access allows USACE to identify these resources and then work towards protection, preservation, and education. Additional benefits include:

  • Learning more about the history of your property.
  • Contributing to the cultural resource community by documenting unique features of your property.
  • Environmental and cultural resource stewardship.

How will USACE carry out cultural resource surveys?
Cultural resource surveys will be conducted by qualified professionals – usually archaeologists. The survey team will arrive at your property at an agreed upon date and time and bring appropriate safety gear and equipment (e.g., handheld mapping systems, cameras, documentation forms). Depending on the size of the property, survey will take approximately one day. There will be no ground disturbance and no artifacts will be collected. Once survey is complete, the archaeologist will prepare a report and provide a copy to the property owner as well the State Historic Preservation Office and Indian Tribes. Some sensitive information may need to be redacted depending on survey results. 

Can the property owner be present during the cultural resource survey?
Yes. The property owner is welcome to observe the survey. If the owner wants to be present, USACE will coordinate schedules to make this possible.

What if you find cultural resources on my property?
If any cultural resources are identified during the survey, the archaeologist will document the resource (take photos, measurements, location points) and then record the resource on either a Washington or Oregon cultural resource documentation form. This form will be included with the survey results report and filed with the State Historic Preservation Office, who maintains statewide cultural resource survey records.

If you find something, what are the federal and state requirements?
If cultural resources are found on your property, USACE will need to consider any impacts that could result from the operations and maintenance of the Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day Projects. USACE has not identified all significant resources on private property and this survey helps to meet that objective. If it is found that the operations and maintenance of the Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day Projects is adversely affecting the cultural resource, USACE may need to work with the property owner to mitigate these impacts.

In the unlikely event human remains are identified, there will be additional requirements per state law, and these will be communicated to the property owner. 

Both Oregon and Washington have state laws that protect cultural resources on private property. Please visit the following websites for additional information or contact the state offices:

State of Washington: https://dahp.wa.gov/project-review/preservation-laws
State of Oregon: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/OH/Pages/projectreview.aspx

If you find something, will the federal government take my property?
No. The federal government will not take any private property if cultural resources are identified.

If you find something, will restrictions be placed on my property?
No federal land use restrictions will be placed on your property if cultural resources are identified. If you are planning future actions that will require a federal permit or approval, or will utilize federal funding, the results of this survey can be used to inform those federal efforts, which may come with additional compliance requirements. For example, reviews for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Management Plan and Columbia River Gorge Commission may utilize this survey.

Both Oregon and Washington have state laws that protect cultural resources on private property. Please visit the following websites for additional information or contact the state offices:

State of Washington: https://dahp.wa.gov/project-review/preservation-laws
State of Oregon: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/OH/Pages/projectreview.aspx

Do I have to grant access for a cultural resource survey?
No. If you do not want to cultural resource survey completed, you do not have to grant Rights-of-Entry to USACE.

What do I need to do to grant access?
Complete a Right-of-Entry form prepared by the USACE Real Estate Branch and coordinate timing with USACE. A Right-of-Entry is a bare real estate interest that has no market value paid by the Government and there are no fees or costs for the landowner. If at any time you change your mind, you can stop the cultural resource survey.

What type of data are you collecting and where will it be stored?
USACE will be collecting general archaeology survey data using geographic information systems, overview photos of the property, and historic information from other reports and local repositories. If cultural resources are identified, the archaeologist will take more specific photos, measurements, and location information of the specific resource. Findings will be included in a report that will be provided to the State Historic Preservation Office, Indian Tribes, and the property owner. All information will be maintained by USACE and BPA.

Where else are you doing cultural resource surveys?
USACE is starting surveys within a small portion of Lake Bonneville near Rowena, OR and Bingen, WA. However, efforts are starting to also complete cultural resource surveys in portions of The Dalles Project (Lake Celilo) and John Day Project (Lake Umatilla). Similar surveys are being completed throughout the Columbia River Basin as part of the larger Federal Columbia River Power System Cultural Resource Program.

What if I have more questions?
Contact Tracy Schwartz, Wana Pa Koot Koot Program Manager
Email: cenwp-pme-wanapakootkoot@usace.army.mil
Phone: (503) 808-4463

More information on the FCRPS Cultural Resource Program is available at https://www.bpa.gov/environmental-initiatives/efw/cultural-resources-bpa/fcrps-cultural-resource-program.