North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project - Federal Mitigation Funds

The North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project USDA Settlement Agreement (SA) section 19.3, 6/12/2001 www.pacificorp.com/es/hydro/hl/nur.html# requires PacifiCorp Energy (www.PacifiCorp.com) to deposit funds into an established Escrow Account. The Forest Service has the sole, administrative discretion on allocating these funds within the guidelines provided in the SA.

A Strategic Mitigation Fund Plan went out for public comment March 2013 with the Final Draft available later in 2014. The funds are designated for use on federal lands within the North Umpqua watershed basin (Map - 483 KB PDF) for the purpose of offsetting adverse impacts to aquatic, terrestrial, and other natural resources caused by the Project and not otherwise mitigated for in Sections 4 through 18 of the SA. 

The fund will be used to mitigate Project impacts to wetlands and still-water amphibian habitats, riparian and aquatic species connectivity, vegetation management, terrestrial species connectivity, and soil loss and reduced soil productivity resulting from erosion. 

The Umpqua National Forest began to expend the mitigation funds in 2007 with the development of a project selection process. The Forest's leadership team directs the use of the funds, with the Umpqua National Forest Supervisor retaining the final decision authority.

Working Together

The mitigation funds provide for a unique opportunity to complete projects from outside the federal appropriated funding arena. Several selection criterion are focused to encourage locating partnership funding grants. Local conservation groups have expressed interested in becoming involved with mitigation fund projects. One way of being involved is to assist in locating additional grants and leveraging funds to increase the amount of work that can be completed to mitigate impacts from the Project.

How to Work With Us

At this time, our process is geared toward working with partners to increase what we can do to improve habitat and restoration in the watershed. To do this, the Forest actively seeks funding, labor and expertise from other government agencies, public and non-governmental agencies (NGO’s). There are no authorized processes to transfer mitigation funds to non-governmental organizations. Therefore, any proposed projects nominated outside the governments must have a Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management employee as an advocate. The type and location of the project will determine the advocate. To find a person to work with contact: Pam Sichting, Forest Hydropower Program manager (541) 957-3342.

Use of the Funds:

The SA outlines the purpose for these funds in two locations: SA §19.3 and the Explanatory Statement (ES) for the SA §5.16.

The SA §19.3 Mitigation Funds is written to address the use of the funds and in part states:

  • “PacifiCorp shall establish a Mitigation Fund…to be administered by the USDA-FS for the purpose of offsetting adverse impacts to aquatic, terrestrial, and other natural resources caused by the Project and not otherwise mitigated for in Sections 4 through 18 of this Agreement. The Fund will be used to mitigate or compensate for Project impacts to wetlands and still water amphibian habitat, riparian and aquatic species connectivity, vegetation management, terrestrial species connectivity, and soil loss and soil productivity resulting in erosion.”

The ES §5.16 Mitigation Funds (Settlement Agreement Section 19) is written to discuss all of the types of mitigations funds that PacifiCorp will be providing including funds owed to the State of Oregon and in part states:

  • “To offset Project impacts on fish and wildlife that are not otherwise mitigated by the PM&Es of the Settlement Agreement, four mitigation funds will be established that may be used to implement tributary enhancement, monitoring and predation control, riparian restoration, and other measures in the North Umpqua basin, and to provide for early implementation of PM&E measures....”
  • “Mitigation Fund: This fund, administered by the USDA-FS, will be used to implement mitigation and enhancement measures on National Forest System lands and BLM-administered lands within the North Umpqua basin. The projects may include stream or riparian restoration, road decommissioning, or other measures to benefit aquatic and terrestrial species and habitats.”

See what projects have been completed or are underway

North Umpqua Watershed Assessment Synthesis Report

Our Partners





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/umpqua/landmanagement/?cid=stelprdb5387276