As part of Oregon Gulch Project, the TRRP will complete an Environmental Assessment/Initial Study (EA/IS) to meet requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This effort will be led by Reclamation, BLM, and the California North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The EA/IS will evaluate and disclose potential environmental effects of implementing the Oregon Gulch Project. To encourage your informed participation, this page includes a general description of the project/proposed action and the purpose and need for the project.
The draft environmental document that formally analyzes the impacts of this proposed project, and which meets California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements is available for public review starting January 15, 2021 at https://www.trrp.net/library/document/?id=2479. The public comment period will extend 30 days from the date of posting though February 18, 2021.
Project Goals and Objectives
The Oregon Gulch Project is designed to improve the overall function of the restoration area. The completed project would:
- Reestablish a functional, topographically–complex floodplain to promote dynamic river processes, increase river connections, and create juvenile salmon and steelhead habitat, at a greater range of flows.
- Increase in-channel habitat diversity at all flows by placing wood to interact with river flows, provide cover for fish, and increase channel complexity and groundwater retention.
- Revegetate construction–disturbed upland and riparian habitats to restore native plant diversity and fish and wildlife habitat, and provide future trees for recruitment to the River.
The proposed Oregon Gulch Project spans approximately 134 acres upstream of Junction City, CA, between river mile (RM) 80.9 and 81.7. Equipment access to the Oregon Gulch Project would be only via Sky Ranch Road on River right. Access to river-left construction areas would be made across the river. Most of the lands included in the proposed footprint are managed by the BLM-Redding Field Office (96 acres). The remainder consists of a privately owned parcel (38 acres) located in the eastern extent of the Project area. The map above shows the proposed Oregon Gulch Project activity areas.
Proposed Oregon Gulch Project Schedule
- Public Scoping – October 22 – November 23, 2020
- Public Scoping Meeting – November 5, 2020
- Draft EA/IS for public comment – January 15 – February 18, 2021
- Final EA/IS and Final Decision – Spring 2021
- Proposed Oregon Gulch Project construction – 2021 – 2025
- The proposed activities would take place in two phases; excavation/removal of mine tailings in the first phase (2021 up to 2025) and in-river channel/floodplain rehabilitation work in the second (2023 to 2025).
- Initial excavation and hauling of up to 500,000 cubic yards of mine tailings could begin as early as fall 2021. Transport of this material would continue, as funding is available, for approximately 1.5 – 4 years prior to commencement of the in-river channel work planned in the second phase. The intensity of trucking materials to Eagle Rock would substantially decrease if the project duration is extended.
- When the bulk excavation and transport of mine tailing material is completed, work would shift to in-channel restoration work. In-river work would occur between July 15 and Oct. 15 and take an additional one to two years. The second phase of the project work could extend through 2025.
- Full revegetation efforts would not occur until fall following in-river/riparian construction
- Post-construction revegetation and maintenance – As needed