Reclamation releases draft environmental document for proposed water acquisition for Klamath wildlife refuges

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 9169785100, eccurtis@usbr.gov

For Release: June 22, 2018

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Environmental Assessment to disclose potential environmental effects and solicit public comment associated with a proposed water acquisition for National Wildlife Refuges within the Klamath Basin Refuge Complex.

The Klamath Basin, similar to much of California and Oregon, had a prolonged dry winter. As of June 1 no snowpack remains in the upper basin, and the governors of California and Oregon have both declared a drought in the region. Drought conditions have limited the availability of water for the refuges in 2018. The constraints on water will reduce habitat and food sources for migratory birds in the Pacific Flyway as well as other wildlife.

Under the proposal, Reclamation could acquire up to 50,000 acre-feet of surface water supply from Klamath Project contractors for the benefit of migratory waterfowl and wetland-dependent wildlife in the refuges during the current drought year.

The draft EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_base.php?location=kbao.

Comments are due by close of business, July 6, 2018. Please submit comments to Kirk Young via either email at byoung@usbr.gov or post to Bureau of Reclamation, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.

Physical copies of the documents are available for review at Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office at the above address. For additional information or to request a copy of the documents, please contact Young at byoung@usbr.gov.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.