Ochoco Irrigation District Title Transfer

The Ochoco Irrigation District is interested in receiving the title to relevant federally owned Crooked River Project facilities located downstream of the Crooked River diversion and fish screen. Crooked River Project facilities in the proposed title transfer are located near Prineville, Ore. and comprise eight pump stations, canals, drains, pipelines, and a borrow area at the base of Ochoco Dam.

The Bureau of Reclamation and the OID are working together in accordance with Title VIII of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 (Public Law 116-9) that was signed into law on March 12, 2019.

Parallel to this transfer effort, OID is implementing a $30 million modernization project, which is largely funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, with a cost share from OID and stakeholders. The modernization project supports the McKay water rights switch, a proposed exchange of private instream flow water rights in McKay Creek with stored water from Prineville Reservoir for enhanced instream flows. More information on these interrelated projects can be found on Oregon Watershed Plans website Ochoco ID (https://oregonwatershedplans.org/) and the Deschutes River Conservancy website McKay Creek (https://www.deschutesriver.org/).

Authorized on Aug. 6, 1956 (P.L. 84-992), the Crooked River Project stores and distributes water from the Crooked River in Arthur R. Bowman Dam and distributes water from the Crooked River and Ochoco Creek, which are tributaries to the Deschutes River. In 1962, Reclamation transferred operations and maintenance responsibilities of Crooked River Project water delivery facilities constructed by Reclamation to OID. In 2019, OID repaid relevant construction costs for these Crooked River facilities.

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. An environment report documenting the Crooked River Project's historic features was prepared and submitted to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office in January 2022. Archaeological land surveys slated for title transfer and affected by the Natural Resources Conservation Service modernization project were conducted during fall/winter 2021. These documents were submitted to the Ochoco Irrigation District, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, and the Burns Paiute Tribe for review and comment.

Below are the NHPA determinations.

Oregon State Historic Preservation Office concurred with the agencies' determination the irrigation district as a whole is not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places meaning it is not considered a historic property. Therefore, alteration of conveyance features or transfer of federal easements will result in an No Adverse Effect to Historic Properties determination for purposes of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Several archaeological sites and isolated finds were documented within NRCS modernization project. Some sites are determined by the agency for eligibility on the National Register of Historic Places. NRCS and consulting parties will determine solutions to resolve adverse effects that may result from the project.

02/2022 SHPO Case No. 21-0313 PDF 32 kb
11/2021 Ochoco Irrigation District Title Transfer, Existing Reclamation Asset on Proposed Title Transfer PDF 569 kb
11/2021 Ochoco Irrigation District Title Transfer, Proposed Federal Property Disposition PDF 315 kb


Jordan Rank
Project Manager
(208) 513-3893

Bureau of Reclamation
Columbia-Pacific Northwest Regional Office
1150 N. Curtis Road
Boise, ID 83706

Gregg Garnett
Bend Field Office Manager

Bureau of Reclamation
Bend Field Office
1375 SE Wilson Ave Suite 100
Bend, OR 97702

Last Update: 3/30/22