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Public Notices

Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought. Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest. Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

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SPECIAL PUBLIC NOTICE – SPK-2020-00359, Navigability Determination for the Lower Bear River in Utah

Published Oct. 5, 2021

On October 1, 2021, the Commander of the South Pacific Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that the Lower Bear River, from its mouth at the Great Salt Lake in Utah, upriver to the Idaho-Utah state line at approximately River Mile 101.3, is a navigable water of the United States pursuant to the Rivers and Harbors Act and 33 CFR Part 329.  The determination was made based on a report of findings prepared by the Sacramento District.

Navigable waters of the United States are those waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or are presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce. A determination of navigability, once made, applies laterally over the entire surface of the waterbody and is not extinguished by later actions nor events which impede or destroy navigable capacity. (33 CFR §329).

In the 1860s and 1870s, during the railroad construction era, the Lower Bear River was used to transport railroad ties from points in Idaho to Corinne, Utah. In addition to the railroad tie trade, sawmills in Corinne were supplied with logs transported down the Lower Bear River from points in Idaho from 1869 to 1875. Corinne, during this era, was a hub for interstate transport. Railroads, waterborne freight, tie and log drives and interstate wagon freight lines all met in Corinne, which acted as a transfer point until the completion of the Utah and Northern Railroad. Interstate transport of railroad ties and logs driven on the Bear River from the north met steam and sail transport ascending the Bear River from the Great Salt Lake.

Past and continued use by recreational boaters using equipment analogous to the boats used during the fur trade and log and tie driving era demonstrate the susceptibility of the Lower Bear River to transport for these purposes.

The navigability determination will improve and expedite jurisdictional determinations made by the Sacramento District under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act in the Lower Bear River watershed.