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Joint Public Notice - Proposal to Establish a Wetland Mitigation Bank in Lane County, Oregon

Posted: 2/8/2019

Expiration date:


JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE

30 Day Notice
Issue Date: February 6, 2019
Closing Date: March 8, 2019
Corps File No.: NWP-2019-22 
DSL # 67131-NP

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) are considering a proposal to establish the Amazon Prairie Wetland Mitigation Bank (Bank).  The proposed bank site is located approximately two miles northwest of Eugene, about halfway between the Eugene Airport and Fern Ridge Reservoir, west of Amazon Creek and east of Goodman Road (Figure 1).  The project site is in Township 17 South, Range 5 West, Section 1, tax lot 500; latitude 44.117124, longitude -123.241284.  

Federal and State regulations implement a policy of no net loss of wetlands by requiring wetland gains to offset unavoidable wetland losses, called mitigation.  A wetland mitigation bank is a project in which wetland gains such as habitat for fish and wildlife, water quality improvement, and floodwater storage and delay are quantified into mitigation credits.  This wetland mitigation bank is being proposed by the bank sponsor, the City of Eugene Parks & Open Space Division, to meet the requirements for mitigation for projects permitted by the Corps under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and by the DSL under the authority of the Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law (ORS 196.800 - 196.990).  

The bank sponsor proposes to restore approximately two acres of filled former wetland and enhance approximately 196 acres of cropped wetland with various degrees of drainage.  The project on the 329-acre parcel would convert a grass seed field to a diverse mix of upland and wetland prairie with some shallow seasonal pools, all dominated by native plants.  Because of the large scale of the project, the bank may be constructed in phases.  A Prospectus describing the proposed bank is now available for public review and comment.  

The proposed bank would generate wetland credits by improving several functions of existing wetlands such as habitat for prairie wildlife, filtration of sediment and nutrients that would otherwise pollute Amazon Creek, and detention of rainfall to support groundwater recharge and reduce downstream flooding.  The bank sponsor is coordinating with airport representatives to ensure the target plant communities will not increase the bird-strike hazard around the airport.  The sponsor also proposes to include elements of low-impact recreation such as trails and outdoor education in the long-term plan for the site.

The proposed service area, which is the area within which the mitigation bank credits may be used, consists of the Upper Willamette watershed (5th Field Hydrologic Unit Code 17090003) as well as the lower parts of the McKenzie, Middle Fork, and Coast Fork Willamette watersheds up to 600 feet elevation (Figure 2).  This area includes the communities of Albany, Corvallis, Philomath, Tangent, Brownsville, Halsey, Monroe, Harrisburg, Junction City, Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, and Creswell.  

Comments received in response to this notice will be provided to the bank sponsor and to the Federal, State, and local agencies represented on an interagency review team.  This team will work with the bank sponsor to create a detailed bank instrument and legal agreement that will specify the ecological goals of the project, grading and planting plans, monitoring, maintenance, and long-term stewardship.  This document will also identify the number and schedule of wetland credits to be made available when specified performance standards have been met.

A copy of the Prospectus may be requested from the Corps or the DSL at the addresses given below.  It is also available for viewing or download from the DSL website:  
https://lands.dsl.state.or.us/index.cfm?fuseaction=Comments.AppListLF&county=Lane.  
Comments on this proposed mitigation bank may be submitted to the Corps at the address below or electronically via the DSL website. Comments should be received no later than March 7, 2019. 

Please provide comments to:

Andrea Wagner
Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers    
Eugene Regulatory Field Office
211 E. 7th Ave., Suite 105
Eugene, OR 97401-2763
Phone: (541) 465-6882
    
OR

Dana Field
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-1279
Phone: (503) 986-5238