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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
Ron Eggers
(503) 872-2795
Tanya Sommer
(503) 872-2846

Released On: February 03, 2004

Reclamation Seeking Issues to be Identified for Larson Creek Fish Passage Analysis
The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking identification of issues, impacts, or concerns that may result from a fish passage project in Medford, Oregon. Written comments are requested by February 27.

Reclamation's Water Conservation Field Services Program is proposing to contribute half of the funding to the Larson Creek Fish Passage Project in Medford, Oregon. The Larson Creek drainage is a tributary of Bear Creek in the Rogue River Basin. The project would replace 2 sections of open canal with approximately 10,200 feet of buried pipeline, restore a section of the creek bed that is currently being used as a canal, and eliminate 3 fish passage barriers.

Reclamation funds would be used to replace portions of open canals operated by Medford and Talent Irrigation Districts with a buried pipeline. These irrigation districts are contributing fifty percent to the project. As a result, three fish passage barriers in Larson Creek currently used to channel irrigation water would be eliminated and three miles of steam channel upstream of the diversions would become accessible to fish. The lower reaches of Larson Creek are currently used by coho salmon and the project area historically supported steelhead runs.

A new residential development currently underway prompted the proposal of this fish passage project. The development is located southeast of the intersection of Barnett Road and North Phoenix Road on the east side of the city of Medford.

Reclamation will complete the environmental assessment required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The first step in this process is identifying issues and concerns. An environmental assessment is expected to be completed during the summer of 2004 and construction could begin in the fall.

To be placed on a mailing list or to identify possible social and environmental impacts or concerns if the proposed project is funded, please write to Tanya Sommer, Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Columbia Area Office, 825 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 1110, Portland OR 97232, or call (503) 872-2846. Comments are requested by February 27.

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.

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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.