Pioneer Irrigation District & City of Caldwell Title Transfer Proposal Environmental Assessment

The Bureau of Reclamation prepared a draft Environmental Assessment, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, addressing the proposed transfer of title for about 78 miles of irrigation drains to the Pioneer Irrigation District and City of Caldwell in Canyon County, Idaho.

The title transfer proposal is limited to facilities and related property interests operated and maintained by Pioneer Irrigation District since construction by Reclamation in the early 1900s. The district has fulfilled all repayment obligations for the federally-owned portion of the drainage system; however, title remains with the U.S. Government.

In 2014, the Pioneer Irrigation District and the City of Caldwell signed an agreement specifying they would jointly pursue transfer of title for the drains held by the U.S. Government to the district and the city. This agreement also specified which of the U.S. Government facilities would transfer to the City of Caldwell and which would transfer to the Pioneer Irrigation District.

The transfer proposal is in keeping with Reclamation's goal of increasing the cost-effectiveness of its operations. The facilities to be transferred are drainage channels and associated rights-of-way and easements. The proposal does not include water rights, storage rights, water management agreements, or facilities maintained by other entities.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires Reclamation to evaluate the environmental impacts that would result from this action.

The first part of the Environmental Assessment effort is scoping, an early effort to obtain input from interested or affected parties regarding questions and potential issues or impacts that should be addressed by the Environmental Assessment. The scoping period ran from February 1 to March 3, 2017, and included a public open house to provide information and answer questions about the proposed action and the NEPA process.

A draft Environmental Assessment was out for a 90 day public review. Written comments were due no later than January 5, 2017, to Rochelle Ochoa, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 230 Collins Road, Boise, Idaho, 83702-4520 or by email at Subsequent to this public review period, Reclamation will respond to all comments received and prepare a final Environmental Assessment. This draft Environmental Assessment will supersede previous documentation related to a similar proposed action in 2006-2007.

09/2017 Pioneer Irrigation District and City of Caldwell Proposed Title Transfer Draft EA PDF 8.27 mb
12/2007 Pioneer Irrigation District Proposed Title Transfer EA & FONSI PDF 4.80 mb


John Petrovsky
Activity Coordinator (Planning)
(208) 383-2231

Bureau of Reclamation
Snake River Area Office
230 Collins Road
Boise ID 83702-4520

Last Updated: 1/4/18