Final EA and FONSI Issued for Proposed Title Transfer to Pioneer Irrigation District

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Tino Tafoya, (208) 383-2251

For Release: December 14, 2007

The Bureau of Reclamation has issued a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the proposed transfer of title for about 75 miles of irrigation drains and certain federal facilities to the Pioneer Irrigation District in Canyon County, Idaho.

The title transfer proposal is limited to facilities and related property interests which have traditionally been operated and maintained by PID since their construction by Reclamation in the early 1900s. These facilities represent approximately 35 percent of the total drainage system currently operated and maintained by PID. PID has fully paid off its repayment obligations for the federally-owned portion of the drainage system; however, title remains with the U.S. Government.

The transfer proposal is in keeping with Reclamation's goal of increasing the cost-effectiveness of its operations. The facilities are drainage channels and associated rights-of-way and easements. The proposal does not include water rights, storage rights, water management agreements, or facilities maintained by other entities.

Authority to transfer title can only be granted to Reclamation by the U.S. Congress. The National Environmental Policy Act requires Reclamation to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from this action.

Reclamation issued a Draft EA for the proposed title transfer on August 13, 2007, for public review. The Final EA and the FONSI address comments received on the Draft EA and were prepared in accordance with the NEPA.

For additional information, or to request a printed or CD-ROM copy of the final EA and FONSI, please contact Gretchen Fitzgerald, Natural Resource Specialist with the Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office at 230 Collins Road, Boise ID 83702-4520 or at (208) 383-2231. Questions concerning the Final EA or the NEPA process should be directed to Tino Tafoya, Deputy Area Manager at (208) 383-2251. The documents are also available at

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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