The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) are holding two public scoping meetings on Thursday, September 27, 2012, to solicit input for the EA/IS on the M&T Chico Ranch/Llano Seco Rancho Fish Screen and Pump Facility Short-Term Protection Project. The public and other agencies are encouraged to participate in the scoping process by sending written suggestions and information on the issues and concerns that should be addressed in the EA/IS, including the range of alternatives, appropriate mitigation measures, and the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts.

The CDFG and USFWS propose to implement interim measures to maintain the viability of the M&T Chico Ranch/Llano Seco Rancho Fish Screen and Pump Facility (M&T Facility) located on the east bank of the Sacramento River at approximately River Mile 192.5, downstream of the confluence of Big Chico Creek and approximately six miles southwest of the City of Chico. The M&T Facility withdraws water from the Sacramento River for delivery to agricultural lands, USFWS refuge and easement lands, and CDFG Wildlife Areas. Without this facility, these areas would not have an adequate water supply to support the existing +4,000 acres of wetland habitat (which supports numerous non-migratory wildlife species and 300,000 to 500,000 of migratory waterfowl).

The proposed project is needed to maintain and protect the M&T Facility until the environmental review process for a long-term solution can be completed. The following measures have been identified to maintain the function of the M&T Facility:

  • Removal of gravel bar material from the river in order to maintain the functionality of the M&T Facility pumps, and the maintain the functionality and regulatory compliance of the M&T Facility fish screen
  • Maintenance of the existing rock toe and tree revetment to prevent further westward migration of the river and potential subsequent isolation of the M&T Facility until a long-term solution is developed and completed.

The public scoping meetings will be held on Thursday, September 27 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Chico Masonic Family Center in Chico. The meetings will include a presentation, the opportunity to ask questions and provide input following each presentation. The presentation will include a general overview of the proposed project, purpose and need, description of proposed actions, description of the proposed project area, and approaches for avoiding and minimizing impacts to the environment.

If you would like to receive additional project information, a copy of the EA/IS, and/or to submit written comments on the proposed project and issues to be addressed in the EA/IS, contact Dianne Simodynes, 2379 Gateway Oaks, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95833, (916) 679-8838 or by email at M&TLlanoSecoProject@hdrinc.com. Comments may also be dropped off at the meeting.

Logo courtesy U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

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