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Planning for the Future

Master Plans for the Mid-Columbia and Rogue Rivers

Revised master plans will improve natural resource management planning strategies for the next 20 years and ensure adherence to federal regulations and national goals in a comprehensive and consolidated manner.
The Corps wants your input as it updates and prepares master plans for two major regions in the Portland District boundaries: the mid-Columbia and the Rogue River basin. An environmental assessment, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, will be integrated with the master plan.

The master plan will guide the responsible stewardship and sustainable use of project resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

A master plan is a guidance document that provides the vision for how the resources of the lake or reservoir will be managed in the future. Master plans are required for Corps civil works projects on fee-owned land, which are administered by Corps for management of natural and man-made resources. 

The master planning process encompasses interrelated tasks involving 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.


Areas Covered by the Master Plans

Mid-Columbia River
A regional Mid-Columbia River master plan and integrated environmental assessment is being prepared for the following four Corps projects: Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day and Willow Creek Projects. These projects on the Columbia River are called the Mid-Columbia River Projects. These projects begin at Bonneville Lock and Dam at river mile 142, 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 mile192, and the John Day Lock & Dam is located at river mile 216. Willow Creek Dam is located at river mile 52.4 on Willow Creek, a tributary to the Columbia River at river mile 250.

Rogue River Basin
A regional Rogue River Master Plan and integrated environmental assessment is being prepared for the following three Corps projects: Lost Creek Dam, Applegate Dam and Elk Creek Project. A master plan was recently updated in 2012 for Elk Creek and will be integrated into the regional master plan. The master plan covers areas of land owned by the Corps around Lost Creek Lake, Elk Creek Dam and Applegate Dam.

Our Goals

While each regional master plan will have its own resource goals and objectives, the overarching master plan goals 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.

We Want Your Input!

We want to hear from you! You can submit written comments during the public comment period; however, the best way to be involved is to come to a public meeting near you. 

Mid-Columbia River Regional Master Plan

The 60% draft master plan and integrated environmental assessment is available for public review and can be downloaded at the following link: at https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/8046. (Please note the document is a large file and may take some time to download.)

All interested parties are invited to attend the public meeting:

Date: October 9, 2018, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Dallesport Community Center
136 6th Ave
Dallesport, WA 98617

Please submit written comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District by October 22, 2018.  Written comments may be sent via email to: mid-columbia-plan@usace.army.mil or sent via mail to:


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: CENWP-PM-F/Gail Saldaña
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946


Written comments may also be submitted at the public meeting.


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.


Rogue River Regional Master Plan

The public comment period for the 60% draft master plan closed July 27. View the complete public notice at: www.nwp.usace.army.mil/notices/permit-application/Article/1561815/. The next public comment period will be open fall 2018. 

The draft master plan and integrated EA are available for download at the following link: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/7289

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

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.

Our Process

The planning process started in October 2017 and will include site analysis, public engagement sessions, planning workshops, and plan alternatives before a draft master plan will be produced. Initial meetings were held with Corps staff and natural resource managers for the projects. Document reviews, initial site visits and site analysis were carried out in October and November for all of the sites addressed in the regional master plans. Public scoping sessions will take place in early 2018, followed by specific planning workshops for each region. A draft plan and integrated environmental assessment will be made available for public comment in summer of 2018.

Why Now?

These two regional master plans will update outdated individual project master plans that date back to the mid-1970s. The Master Plans and integrated environmental assessments will incorporate and address elements such as hydrology, fish and wildlife resources, ecological setting, cultural resources, and recreation facilities, among many other things. These regional master plans will also address outdated land classifications, sustainable natural resource management, encroachments, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species management, and federal and state listed threatened and endangered species. Revised master plans will improve natural resource management planning strategies for the next 20 years and ensure adherence to federal regulations and national goals in a comprehensive and consolidated manner.