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Corps releases final Big Bend Dam and Lake Sharpe Master Plan

Published Dec. 10, 2021
Big Bend Dam

Big Bend Damn

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Omaha District has released the Big Bend Dam and Lake Sharpe Master Plan, which will serve as the primary guiding document for land management for the next 15 to 25 years.

Input from the public, tribal governments, state and local agencies, federal organization, and other stakeholders were incorporated to ensure future management actions are both environmentally sustainable and responsive to public outdoor recreation needs.

Following an initial scoping phase gathering input a draft master plan was presented during public meetings at the Big Bend Project Office near Fort Thompson, South Dakota and posted online for public review and comment. Several comments were received and were incorporated or addressed into the final document.

The final master plan for the Big Bend Dam/Lake Sharpe Project is available for viewing online here: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/19238

The updated master plan contains an accompanying Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) that assessed potential impacts of the revised plan on the environment, resulting in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). This process was conducted in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The master plan includes opportunities for more public recreational opportunities and addresses the potential for sustaining current and opportunities for more partnerships with other agencies and stakeholders in the management of recreation areas and for fish and wildlife management objectives.

A master plan does not appropriate funding to improvements or developments, but effectively portrays where development and resources could be authorized if funding or a strategic partnership were to become available for implementation. Master plans do not change or address the operations of the hydropower plant or water control and releases.

Big Bend Dam and Lake Sharpe are located on the Missouri River near Fort Thompson, South Dakota. The Big Bend Project is a multipurpose project managed for the purposes of flood damage reduction, navigation, hydropower, fish and wildlife enhancement, recreation, municipal and industrial water supply, and irrigation. Big Bend Dam construction began in 1959 and the Project was placed into operation in 1964. Lake Sharpe is approximately 60,000 acres in size with approximately 200 miles of shoreline. Numerous public parks, recreation areas, wildlife management areas, and lake access points are provided around Lake Sharpe and are managed by Tribal and State agencies, along with USACE-managed areas.


Zach Montreuil
Environmental Stewardship Program Manager

Zach Montreuil

Release no. 21-070