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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
John Redding
(208) 378-5212
Chris Ketchum
208) 678-0461 x34

Released On: September 16, 2005

Final EA Issued for American Falls Reservoir District #2 Proposed Title Transfer
The Bureau of Reclamation issued the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the American Falls Reservoir District #2 title transfer. The proposed title transfer involves facilities associated with the Gooding Division of the Minidoka Project, primarily the Milner-Gooding Canal in southeastern Idaho.

The two alternatives addressed in the EA include the no action alternative and the proposed action of title transfer. The proposed action also includes three transfers of relatively small parcels of land to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the City of Gooding, and the National Park Service to streamline administrative processes. In order for the title transfer to be implemented as proposed, Reclamation will have to receive authorization from Congress through corresponding legislation.

"This proposed title transfer represents Reclamation's commitment to work in cooperation with the irrigation district which has earned title to the property, while also removing additional costs to the taxpayer," said Regional Director Bill McDonald. "These facilities will continue to serve in the public's interest for many years to come."

The proposed title transfer would be consistent with Reclamation's policy of enabling the transfer of certain federal irrigation facilities to project beneficiaries who are capable of managing the facilities and where the federal investment in the facilities has been repaid.

The EA evaluated the effects of the proposed action on the natural resources in the area, including endangered species, Indian trust assets, and cultural resources. Reclamation has found that the transfer will have no significant effect on the environment.

Reclamation distributed a draft EA in May 2005, receiving three letters of comment. The comments are addressed in the section of the FONSI titled "Public Comments to the Draft Environmental Assessment." The final EA and FONSI are available on the internet at Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Regional Office webpage (www.usbr.gov/pn). Hard copies or CD-ROM versions of the report may also be obtained free of charge by contacting Mike Relf at the Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1150 North Curtis Road, Suite 100, Boise ID 83706, at (208) 378-5106, or via e-mail at mrelf@pn.usbr.gov.

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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 www.usbr.gov.