OMAHA, Neb. – A draft environmental assessment for the exchange of federal and private lands at Garrison Dam/Lake Sakakawea Project in N.D. is currently available for public review. The draft EA evaluates the effects of exchanging 11.4 acres of land owned by the Corps and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with 5.9 acres currently owned by a private land owner.
This draft EA is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), the Corps’ regulations for implementing NEPA (33 CFR 325 and Engineering Regulation 200-2-2) and other applicable environmental laws and regulations.
BACKGROUND: In March 2008 a letter from the USFWS requested a land exchange between the Corps and local landowners at the Garrison Dam/Lake Sakakawea Project area. The properties are located on the eastern-most edge of Lake Audubon on the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, McLean County, N.D. Currently two small, Corps-owned parcels, totaling approximately 11.4 acres, lie east of County Road 23 and are isolated from the main body of the refuge. The private parcels, totaling approximately 5.9 acres, lie on the refuge side of the road. These parcels of land are fragmented from the refuge which makes land management impracticable and limits biological value.
The proposed action would provide cohesive habitat for migratory birds, especially waterfowl, threatened and endangered species, and resident wildlife and promote compatible public use and recreation, including hunting, ice fishing, wildlife observation, and photography. In addition, the land exchange would provide an opportunity to greatly improve identification of the refuge boundary for management purposes and address public and private access issues.
The public is encouraged to provide comments on the draft environmental assessment, which is available for viewing at: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/EnvironmentalPlanning/DraftDocuments.aspx. Comments can be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC; ATTN: Land Exchange EA; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments can also be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than October 1, 2013.
Release no. 20130918-001