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Agency seeks comments on plan for Klamath suckers

Published on January 29, 2013 3:01AM

Last changed on February 26, 2013 7:50AM

YREKA, Calif. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking comments on an energy company's conservation plan for two endangered sucker fish species in the Klamath Basin.

As part of its habitat conservation plan, PacifiCorp would discontinue routine operations at two hydroelectric facilities at its Link River Dam and fund restoration projects and other activities to benefit the imperiled Lost River and shortnose suckers.

The Link River Dam is separate from the four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River slated for removal under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement.

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced Jan. 25 it had unveiled a draft environmental assessment of PacifiCorp's plan, triggering a 60-day public comment period that is set to close March 28.

In addition, the agency will hold a public meeting at 5 p.m. Feb. 20 at its office at 1936 California Ave., Klamath Falls, Ore., to give an overview of the plan and answer questions.

The plan comes as PacifiCorp has applied for a 10-year incidental take permit for certain species under the Endangered Species Act as part of its hydroelectric project operations in the basin, the government explained in a news release.

In December, Fish and Wildlife issued a final rule designating critical habitat for Lost River and shortnose suckers. It included about 282 miles of streams and 241,438 acres of lakes and reservoirs in Oregon's Klamath and Lake counties and California's Modoc County.

The environmental report on PacifiCorp's plan can be viewed at the agency's Klamath Falls office or at http://www.fws.gov/klamathfallsfwo/ , or a copy can be requested by contacting the agency at (541) 885-8481.

Submit written comments to Laurie R. Sada, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office, 1936 California Avenue, Klamath Falls, OR, 97601. Comments via email that do not exceed 6 megabytes may be sent to FW8KFFWOESComments@fws.gov .

--Tim Hearden


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