Planning for the Future

Master Plans for Willamette Valley Projects

The Corps of Engineers wants your input as it updates and prepares master plans for projects located within the Willamette Valley. 

Specific locations include Big Cliff and Detroit projects along the North Santiam River, Foster and Green Peter projects along the South Santiam River, Blue River and Cougar projects adjacent to the McKenzie River, Dexter, Lookout Point, Fall Creek and Hills Creek projects in the Mid-Willamette River region, Dorena Project on the Row River, Cottage Grove projects on the Coast Fork Willamette River, and Fern Ridge Project on the Long Tom River. Regional master plans will be developed by watershed and will include an integrated environmental assessment, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Visit the main Coast Fork Master Plan Project website and subscribe to a newsletter about our progress, here.

How To Participate

Public meetings will be scheduled for each of the regional master plans. Input can also be provided virtually online via web-based comment form, which will be available, soon.

Anticipated Schedule

Master plan development is a minimum 2-year process for each watershed.

  • Coast Fork Master Plan (Cottage Grove & Dorena Lakes) 2021 – 2022
  • South Santiam (Foster and Green Peter Lakes) 2022 – 2023
  • Long Tom Master Plan (Fern Ridge Lake) 2023 – 2024
  • Middle Fork Willamette Master Plan (Hills Creek, Lookout Point, Dexter and Fall Creek Lakes) 2024 – 2025
  • North Santiam AND McKenzie River Master Plans (Detroit, Big Cliff and Blue River, Cougar) 2025-2026

Master plans are required for civil works projects administered by the Corps of Engineers and provide natural resource management planning strategies and ensure adherence to federal regulations and national goals in a comprehensive and consolidated manner.  They establish a vision for future natural resource management and guide responsible stewardship and sustainable use of project resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

A family recreates at Cottage Grove Reservoir, southeast of Eugene, Ore., during sunset, July 10, 2014.

Our Goals

While each regional master plan will have its own resource goals and objectives, the overarching master plan goals express the overall desired end state of the project, include the following:

  • Identify the best management practices to respond to regional needs, resource capabilities and suitability, and expressed public interests consistent with authorized project purposes;
  • Protect and manage project natural and cultural resources through sustainable environmental stewardship programs;
  • Identify outdoor recreation opportunities that support project purposes and public demands created by the project itself while sustaining project natural resources;
  • Recognize the particular qualities, characteristics, and potentials of the project;
  • Provide consistency and compatibility with national objectives and other state and regional goals and programs.

The National Environmental Policy Act

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 is one of the nation’s oldest environmental laws that encourages federal agencies to make environmentally responsible decisions. The law requires all federal agencies to consider and disclose the environmental effects of their proposed actions in an environmental assessment. The Citizen's Guide to NEPA explains this law clearly and in detail, as well as how to effectively submit your input.

To satisfy the requirements of the law, the Corps will be preparing an integrated environmental assessment for the master plan. The Corps prepares an environmental assessment to assist in the evaluation of the significance of environmental impacts of a proposed action. The environmental assessment will include brief discussions of the need for the proposal, possible alternatives, environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternatives and a listing of agencies and persons consulted.

Collecting the right level of information at the right time is important to developing this plan. This requires early and frequent engagement of all affected federal, state and local agencies, affected tribes, and interested groups and individuals.

Examples of areas for evaluation in the environmental assessment include: air quality, water quality, biological environment, socioeconomics, land use, recreation, aesthetics, historic and cultural resources, and transportation.

Master Plans for the Mid-Columbia and Rogue Rivers

Master plans improve natural resource management planning strategies and ensure adherence to federal regulations and national goals in a comprehensive and consolidated manner.

Portland District updated the mid-Columbia and the Rogue River basin master plans in 2019-2020. This included an integrated environmental assessment, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

These two regional master plans updated outdated individual project master plans that date back to the mid-1970s. The master plans and integrated environmental assessments address elements such as hydrology, fish and wildlife resources, ecological setting, cultural resources, and recreation facilities, among many other things. Outdated land classifications, sustainable natural resource management, boundary encroachments, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species management, and federal and state listed threatened and endangered species are also addressed. Updated master plans incorporate public comments and improve natural resource management planning strategies for the next 20 years.

Master plans are required for civil works projects administered by the Corps of Engineers and provide natural resource management planning strategies and ensure adherence to federal regulations and national goals in a comprehensive and consolidated manner.  They establish a vision for future natural resource management and guide responsible stewardship and sustainable use of project resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

The master planning process encompasses the analysis of environmental, recreational, and socioeconomic trends within a conceptual framework. This framework includes regional and ecosystem needs; project resource capabilities and suitability; expressed public interests that are compatible with project authorized purposes; and sustainability elements.

Mid-Columbia River Regional Master Plan

Portland District completed this regional master plan and integrated environmental assessment (EA) for Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day and Willow Creek Projects. These projects begin at Bonneville Lock and Dam at river mile 146 and extend to the upper end of Lake Umatilla at approximately river mile 290. Along this reach, The Dalles Lock & Dam is located at river mile 192, and the John Day Lock & Dam is located at river mile 216.5. Willow Creek Dam is located at river mile 52.4 on Willow Creek, a tributary to the Columbia River at river mile 250.

The 90% draft master plan and integrated environmental assessment can be downloaded at the following link: at https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/12018.

(Please note the document is large and may take some time to download.)

Rogue River Basin Regional Master Plan

Portland District completed a regional master plan and integrated environmental assessment (EA) for Lost Creek, Applegate, and Elk Creek projects. Lost Creek and Elk Creek projects are approximately 28 miles northeast of Medford, Oregon. Applegate Project is about 28 miles southwest of Medford, Oregon.  

The 90% draft master plan and integrated EA are available for download at the following link: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/10335

(Please note the document is large and may take some time to download.)