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Intent to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Environmental Restoration, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Walla Walla District, intends to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EIS will evaluate the environmental effects of providing environmental restoration to riverine, wetland, and riparian habitat for four sites within the active Snake River channel between Grand Teton National Park and the South Park Elk Feed Grounds in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Teton County and the Teton County Natural Resources District are cost sharing sponsors and participating partners in the project and in developing the EIS. The objective of this study is to provide site-specific restoration measures. Formulation of the restoration activities focuses on examining the condition of the existing ecosystem and determining the feasibility of restoring degraded ecosystem structure, function, and dynamic processes to a less degraded and more natural condition. Ecosystem restoration provides a more comprehensive approach than focusing only on fish and wildlife habitat for addressing problems associated with disturbed and degraded ecological resources. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By focusing on the Upper Snake River ecosystem structure, the Corps' interdisciplinary planning team will identify parameters that are altering water quantity or quality and adversely impacting the ecosystem, or parts thereof, within the watershed. Consideration must be given, during plan formulation, to those activities and conditions in the watershed that may influence the success and resilience of the restoration proposal, even though they may exist outside of the study area. Hydrology and sediment transport are two key functions that must be investigated in order for this restoration effort to be successful. Alternatives: Along a 25-mile reach of the Snake and Gros Ventre rivers, twelve locations which showed the best potential for restoration were selected for evaluation. In an effort to reduce the scope and cost of the study, the number of sites was reduced to four. Alternatives that could be implemented at the four sites include: a. Channel restoration to rehabilitate fisheries. b. Island protection measures to preserve riparian island values. c. Island restoration measures to restore riparian island values. d. Fish habitat creation through stream structure alteration. e. Headgate opportunities to provide for future water diversions to restore spring creeks, wetlands, and riparian habitats. f. No action. Scoping Process: The Corps invites affected Federal, state and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other interested organizations, parties, and the public to participate in the scoping process for the EIS. Input from other agencies and organizations that have a special interest and expertise in key resource areas such as fisheries, wildlife, water quality, hydrology, and stream restoration techniques is welcome. The EIS process includes environmental review and consultation in accordance with other environmental statutes, rules, and regulations which apply to the proposed action. Scoping meeting: A public scoping meeting for the EIS will be held in Jackson, Wyoming on September 25, 1996. Time and location information will be advertised and provided in a scoping letter that will be distributed throughout the region.
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