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Selection Marker ImageLower Duchesne River Wetlands Mitigation Project
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LDWP Wetlands

The Lower Duchesne River Wetlands Mitigation Project (LDWP) is a federally mandated project to restore and enhance wetland, riparian and supporting upland along the Duchesne River in the Uinta Basin in Northeastern Utah. The underlying need for the Project is to make up for impacts to wetland and wildlife habitat caused by construction and operation of the Central Utah Project.

The Ute Tribe is a joint planning entity for the mitigation project. Under agreements with the Mitigation Commission and U.S. Department of the Interior, the Tribe completed a feasibility study for protecting, restoring or developing the lower Duchesne River wetlands. Based on the study, the Commission, Department of the Interior and Ute Tribe entered into an agreement in 1998 to conduct additional investigations and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis. A final Environmental Impact Statement was released April 15, 2008 for a 30-day public review.[Click here to download the Lower Duchesne River Wetlands Mitigation Project Final Environmental Impact Statement - LDWP FEIS (17 MB)] [Click here to download the Executive Summary for the LDWP FEIS (3 MB)] The Mitigation Commission signed a LDWP Record of Decision on May 22, 2008. [You may click here to view it]. The Department of Interior signed its own LDWP Record of Decision on September 22, 2008. [Click here to view the DOI ROD]

The project area consists of 4,807 acres, of which 3,215 acres are Tribal Trust or Allotted land and 1,592 acres are private land. Private lands necessary to complete the project will be acquired on a willing-seller basis; the right of eminent domain will be preserved only as a last resort in the event that every reasonable effort to complete an acquisition on a willing-seller basis fails. Acquiring lands through eminent domain is controlled by federal regulation and policy and is designed to protect both private landowner and taxpayer.

The Commission intends to finish implementing this project during the next five years. Acquisition of over 1,500 acres of lands for the project have been completed. Offers from willing are being considered as opportunities arise. On-the-ground construction of wetland features, including berms, wetland depressions and oxbow connections, began the summer of 2013 and will proceed according to the success and schedule of land acquisitions. Planting native riparian vegetation will occur on a block-by-block basis, with each planting block consisting of about a 120-acre area. Approximately one planting block of riparian habitat will be planted each year. All land disturbed during construction of wetland features will be planted the same year it is disturbed unless disturbances continue over more than one year.

All potential mosquito-breeding habitats within project boundaries will be treated for mosquitoes in accordance with a Mosquito Control Plan (outlined in Appendix G of the Final Environmental Impact Statement - FEIS). Thus, 2,579 acres of mosquito-breeding habitat will be treated, which is a significant increase over what is treated currently. Noxious weed control will also take place during all project phases. A detailed weed control plan is part of the LDWP FEIS in Appendix B. The Ute Tribe will implement the Mosquito and Weed Control Plans using federal funds, from the beginning of the project through project operation and maintenance.

The Ute Tribe will manage Project lands as a special use wetland wildlife natural resource area under the Proclamation of the Tribal Wildlife Advisory Board and Tribal Business Committee. The Tribe will be funded for operation and maintenance of the Project. Specific funding mechanisms will be detailed in Operating Agreements. A detailed Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan that specifies management strategies, habitat developments and permitted public uses will also be developed. The primary management objective will be to restore and maintain wildlife habitat. Public access will be allowed for uses related to wetland-wildlife resources. Recreational uses compatible with the overall wildlife habitat goals will be allowed such as fishing, hunting, environmental education, pedestrian use, non-motorized use and wildlife observation. Prohibited uses would include off-road motorized vehicle use.

Email Link to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, urmcc@uc.usbr.govAddress for Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, 230 South 500 East, Suite 230, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2045, (801)524-3146, Fax (801)524-3148