Work on the 10-year management plan for Prineville Reservoir shifts into high gear with only two more years before its scheduled completion.
>Workshops, news briefs and a website will keep everyone informed of the development of a master plan for management of the very popular body of water
Development of a new master plan for the popular body of water is being coordinated by two agencies; the Bureau of Reclamation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. One aspect of the process will include a series of public meetings, formation of an ad hoc work group and creation of an informational Internet web site.
Prineville Reservoir was formed by Bowman Dam, which was built in 1958 and finished three years later. The dam and reservoir behind it was part of BOR's Crooked River Project authorized by Congress for irrigation storage, flood control, recreation and fish and wildlife management.
Resource planning for the reservoir began more than a decade ago, ending up with the current management plan which was adopted by the Bureau in 1992. This plan has served as the blueprint for the management of reclamation lands and resources. Since the 1992 plan was put in place, the reservoir and adjacent lands have become increasingly important recreation sites. The new master plan will serve as the blueprint for future recreational use and facilities.
Formulating the new master plan is expected to take about two years and is slated for completion early in 2003. This time is needed to give everyone involved, including the general public, ample time to express their interests and concerns. The two year projection also allows time to develop alternatives, evaluate their impacts through the preparation of and Environmental Assessment (EA) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Based on present conditions at the reservoir, Oregon Parks and Recreation and BOR officials have identified some of the issues that need to be addressed by the new plan. It is expected that before the early phases of the planning process is completed, more uses will be added to the list.
A few of the uses and issues already recognized are:
law enforcement and public safety
development of new recreation facilities
protection of natural resources
boat trailer parking
fish and wildlife habitat
availability of potable water
health and sanitation needs
Robert)s Bay - balancing use levels
and resource protection
North side road
South Shore needs
A series of news briefs will be prepared by the planning team and mailed to interested parties. The first of the series was mailed early this month and included a two-page questionnaire. The news brief also introduced the project, explained the public involvement program and identified the initial list of issues. Future briefs will illustrate and describe alternative courses of action being considered and outline other components of the plan development.
The two agencies will host three public meetings or workshops over the course of the project. The first will be held in both Prineville and Portland. Subsequent meetings will be held in Prineville only.
All meetings will be to obtain public input into the planning process and to share results as the process continues. The first meeting is scheduled for march 14 at Cary Foster Hall, and March 15 at the Hilton Portland in Portland. The second meeting has been tentatively set for late November.
A website with information is expected to be operational by mid March. It will be accessed through BOR)s main website at www.pn.usbr.gov.