Reclamation Completes Biological Assessment on Deschutes River Basin Projects Operations

Media Contact: Diana Cross , (208) 378-5020
Karen Blakney , (503) 872-2839

For Release: October 01, 2003

The Bureau of Reclamation submitted a Biological Assessment on operations and maintenance actions associated with the Deschutes River basin projects to NOAA Fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service today. Deschutes River basin projects include the Deschutes, Crooked River, and Wapinitia Projects located in central Oregon. The Biological Assessment was developed to comply with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

The Biological Assessment evaluates and describes the potential effects of Deschutes River basin project operations on threatened and endangered species, including the bald eagle, bull trout, steelhead, Canada lynx, and northern spotted owl.

Deschutes River basin project features include instream and offstream storage facilities, instream and offstream diversion structures, and irrigation canals. The primary purpose of these Reclamation projects is to supply irrigation water to lands authorized by Congress within the Deschutes River basin.

The majority of Reclamation's projects in the Pacific Northwest were constructed before passage of the Endangered Species Act. However, as part of its responsibilities under the Act, Reclamation continually evaluates the effects of its operations on endangered and threatened species.

The document will be posted on Reclamation's website at or, to obtain a printed copy, email Ellen Berggren or call (208) 378-5090.

# # #

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.