Public Comment Open on Bowman Dam Draft Environmental Assessment

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Jim Taylor, (208) 378-5081

For Release: November 23, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment for safety of dam modification at Arthur R. Bowman Dam located on the Crooked River about 20 miles southeast of Prineville, OR.

The Draft EA outlines the proposed action to correct safety deficiencies at Arthur R. Bowman Dam, known locally as Bowman Dam. The comment period starts November 24 and concludes on December 24.

Hard copies of the Draft EA will be available at the Ochoco Irrigation District located at 1001 NW Deer Street, Prineville, OR.

Bowman Dam is a 245-foot high earthfill structure completed in 1961. The preferred alternative involves constructing a 6-foot-high concrete parapet wall on the upstream side of the dam crest and review of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to identify methods for detection, decision making, and notification procedures within the downstream communities for responding to major flood events.

The parapet wall would be a 1-foot thick, 6-foot high reinforced concrete wall with an 8-foot wide, 1-foot thick footing. It would provide about 30,000 acre-feet of additional emergency storage above the dam crest to provide additional protection for a major flood event.

Big Bend Campground downstream of Bowman Dam is proposed as one of two possible staging areas for construction activities and would be temporarily closed for the duration of the construction project. The other alternative staging area is the southern portion of Powder House Cove boat ramp which would remain open during the construction period, but would have a reduced parking capacity for recreationists.

Under the No Action alternative, Reclamation would continue to operate Bowman Dam with no improvements to contain flood waters which could result in a continued threat to public safety to those directly downstream from the dam.

For more information about the comment period and the Draft EA contact: Jim Taylor, Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 1150 North Curtis Road, Suite 100, Boise, ID 83706-1234. Or phone (208) 378-5081 and e-mail at or the document is available online 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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