SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, (Corps) is evaluating a proposal to establish the Soda Creek Wetland Mitigation In-Lieu Fee Project for the National Forest Foundation (NFF) Western Slope In-Lieu Fee Program (ILF).
AUTHORITY: This prospectus is being evaluated under 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 332.8.
APPLICANT: Marcus Selig
National Forest Foundation
390 Union Boulevard, Suite 400
Denver, Colorado 80228
AGENT: Tyler Bell
Westervelt Ecological Services
602 Park Point Drive, Suite 265
Golden, Colorado 80401
LOCATION: The project site is located on lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and is centered on Soda Creek, directly south (upstream) of the Keystone Ranch Golf Course, at approximately latitude 39.568127°, longitude -105.997266°, Summit County, Colorado.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: It is estimated that the Soda Creek ILF project would result in the re-establishment of 29.9 acres of wetlands and the rehabilitation of 6.3 acres of wetlands in the Blue River watershed by constructing several beaver dam analogs, post-assisted log structures, and grade control log structures in Soda Creek to elevate the water table and reconnect the floodplain. It is estimated that 36.2 compensatory mitigation credits will be generated by the project for the ILF’s Blue River/Eagle River Service Area. The project will require that the Corps approve modification of the ILF program instrument and authorize a Department of Army permit to conduct the work.
The enclosed drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting: The general project site is approximately 200 acres and includes approximately 12.5 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands, 40 acres of palustrine scrub-shrub wetlands, 2.82 miles of perennial stream, and 0.79 mile of ephemeral/intermittent channels. The site is located at approximately 9,250 feet above mean sea level and is within a subalpine forest ecoregion. Historically, the site was manipulated and used for cabbage farming and other various agricultural purposes. Land disturbance and eradication of beaver populations appears to have resulted in an incised stream channel and a lack of an active wetland floodplain.
Other Governmental Authorizations: The Interagency Review Team responsible for the review and approval of the proposed ILF project includes representatives from the Corps, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Historic Properties: As the lead federal agency, the U.S. Forest Service will initiate and conduct consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.
Endangered Species: As the lead federal agency, the U.S. Forest Service will initiate and conduct consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
Evaluation Factors: The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, federal, state, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties to evaluate the impacts of this proposed ILF Project. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and other public interest factors. Comments are used in the evaluation of the proposed ILF Project per 33 CFR Part 332.8 and in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.
Floodplain Management: The Corps is sending a copy of this public notice to the local floodplain administrator. In accordance with 44 CFR part 60 (Flood Plain Management Regulations Criteria for Land Management and Use), the floodplain administrators of participating communities are required to review all proposed development to determine if a floodplain development permit is required and maintain records of such review.
CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2014-01100 must be submitted via email to the office listed below on or before November 11, 2022, which is the close of the comment period. Extensions of the comment period may be granted for valid reasons provided a written request is received by the deadline above. If no comments are received by that date, the Corps will consider there to be no objections to the proposed project. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Comments and requests for additional information should be submitted to:
Benjamin Wilson, Regulatory Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District
Telephone: (970) 243-1199 X 1012
Please note that names and addresses of those who submit comments in response to this public notice may be made publicly available through the Freedom of Information Act.