ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is proposing to remove Wild Rice Dam as a mitigation feature for the proposed Fargo, N.D./Moorhead, Minn., flood risk management project. The flood risk management project could potentially impact fish of the Wild Rice River and removing Wild Rice Dam has been proposed to improve fish movement and reduce potential adverse effects.
The state and federal agencies working together on this project believe that Wild Rice Dam may be adversely affecting aquatic life in the Wild Rice River by blocking the ability of fish to migrate upstream. To address this, the Corps has been working with the South East Cass Water Resource District; the North Dakota Game and Fish Department; the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Fargo-Moorhead project sponsors, which include the cities of Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., to study options for fish passage at this dam. After thorough discussion with these groups, a tentative plan to remove the dam was selected.
An Environmental Assessment and Section 404(b)(1) evaluation have been prepared by the St. Paul District and are available for public review and comment for a period of 30 days. The review period runs from August 18, 2014, thru Sept. 18, 2014. A copy of these documents can be obtained by contacting the St. Paul District or by visiting the district website at: www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
The Section 404(b)(1) evaluation is being distributed as part of this document. Anyone may request a public hearing on this Wild Rice Dam removal project. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer before the expiration date of this notice, received no later than Sept. 18, 2014. The request must clearly state the interest that the project would affect and how the project would affect that interest. The official public notice is provided at the website above. All requests for a hearing and comments on the document will become an official part of the project file and will be available for public examination.
Please address all correspondence on this project to Terry Birkenstock, Deputy Chief, Regional Planning and Environment Division N., St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, 180 Fifth St. E., Ste. 700, St. Paul, MN 55101-1678. For more information, contact Elliott Stefanik, Corps’ environmental specialist, at 651-290-5260.
The nearly 650 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
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