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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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Published June 21, 2012
Expiration date: 7/20/2012


SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District (Corps) is evaluating a proposal to establish the Colorado River Conservation Reserve Wetland Mitigation Bank (CRCR), which would result in the preservation of approximately 1,014 acres adjacent to the Colorado River, in the Colorado Headwaters Watershed, Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 14010001. The bank sponsor is requesting approval to utilize the project site to restore and/or enhance approximately 924 acres of wetland and riparian areas, and to restore 9,550 linear-feet of stream. The sponsor anticipates that approximately 784 wetland credits and 9,550 stream credits would be available to offset unavoidable permanent, temporary, direct and indirect impacts to aquatic resources within the geographic service area. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.

Mitigation banks provide for replacement of the functions provided by wetlands and other aquatic resources which are lost as a result of impacts authorized under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Section 404 regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States. Using appropriate methods, the newly established functions are quantified as mitigation credits, which are available for use by the bank sponsor or by other parties to compensate for adverse impacts (i.e., debits). The use of credits may only be authorized for the purposes of complying with Section 404 requirements when adverse impacts are unavoidable. For additional information on mitigation banking, see Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule, 33 CFR Parts 325 and 332, April 10, 2008.

AUTHORITY: This prospectus is being evaluated under 33 CFR Part 332.8.

BANK SPONSOR: Colorado River Cattle Ranch, LLC
Attention: Robert Young
P.O. Box 429
Kremmling, Colorado 80459
Telephone: 970.409.7912

LOCATION: The 1,014.66-acre site is located along two miles of the north bank of the Colorado River, immediately west of the Town of Kremmling, within Township 1 North, Range 80 West, Sections 7, 18, and 19 and Range 81 West, Sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 23, and 24, in western Grand County, Colorado, at Latitude 40.05217° North, Longitude -106.41774° West (NAD 83), Sixth Principal Meridian. See the vicinity map and bank property map, Attachments A-1 and A-2.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The sponsor is proposing to establish a wetland and stream mitigation bank, which involves a three-phased restoration and enhancement of approximately 821 acres of wetland, 103 acres of riparian upland, and 9,550 linear-feet of stream. The sponsor proposes a combination of riparian buffer establishment, natural channel design, and revegetation to restore historic stream segments and wetlands and improve the functioning of existing streams and wetlands. See Attachment C-1 for the conceptual development map.

The primary objective of the proposed mitigation bank would be to replace functions and services of aquatic resources and associated habitats that have been degraded or destroyed as a result of activities conducted in compliance with, or in violation of, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The goals of the CRCR would be to hydrate dewatered portions of the CRCR by filling drainage ditches with native soil material and restoring portions of historic elevational contours. The purpose of this work is to re-establish wetland conditions or improve the existing degraded wetlands, and to remediate impacts caused by the history of land-use through implementation of monitored and innovative management strategies.

With this prospectus, the sponsor is proposing to develop a bank enabling instrument, which will legally allow the use of mitigation credits to offset future, unavoidable wetland impacts that could result from projects needing wetlands mitigation under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In addition, the CRCR may be used to offset environmental losses resulting from impacts related to regulated activities by local, state, or other federal programs. The proposed geographic service area for operation of the bank is the Colorado Headwaters Watershed, HUC 14010001; the Blue, HUC 14010002; the Eagle, HUC 14010003; and the Roaring Fork, HUC 14010004. See Attachment B-1 for the service area map.

The Corps would determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether projects requiring mitigation could use credits from the bank. The Corps will also insure that use of the bank complies with all applicable provisions of 33 CFR Parts 320 through 331 and the Section 404 (b)(1) Guidelines (40 CFR Part 230).


CRCR Prospectus. A copy of the Prospectus for the proposed CRCR Wetland Mitigation Bank is available online in the Regulatory In-Lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS), at the following location: At the RIBITS home page, go to the box in the lower left corner of the page labeled “Filter View and Login”. Do not attempt to login. Select “District”, and then select “Sacramento” from the drop down list of Districts. From the Navigation menu at the top left, click on “Existing Banks and ILF Sites”. You’ll see a list of all the mitigation banks in the Corps Sacramento District. Scroll down to the status “Pending” banks, and click on “Colorado River Conservation Reserve”. Select “Cyber Repository” in the top right corner of the page under the frog. Click on the “CRCR Prospectus” folder to view the Prospectus and attachments.

Environmental Setting. The project area is positioned in the heart of the Southern Rocky Mountains Ecoregion, in Grand County, on the western edge of Middle Park between 7,300 and 7,500 feet elevation. The site is positioned primarily on a low terrace, beneath irrigated mesas and surrounded by mesic and dry hillslopes. A significant portion of the CRCR is part of a riparian system that has been degraded by various activities. The Colorado River forms the two-mile long southern boundary of the project area. Sheep Creek flows along the western boundary and Muddy Creek flows along the eastern boundary. The Blue River enters the Colorado River approximately 4,500 feet upstream of the project area.

The majority of the CRCR has been in agricultural rotation for over a century and is dominated by hay fields and pasture for livestock. There are 169.14 acres of wetlands within the proposed mitigation bank site. These wetlands are largely palustrine emergent wetlands, although riverine, slope and palustrine shrub-dominated wetlands exist in areas not subjected to hay production and mowing rotation. A Department of the Army permit may be required for restoration and enhancement activities.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: The prospectus is designed to initiate the planning and review process for the proposed mitigation bank. Information provided in the prospectus serves as the basis for developing a bank enabling instrument (Instrument). Development of the Instrument will be done jointly by an Interagency Review Team (IRT) and the sponsor. The IRT responsible for review of the proposed mitigation bank include representatives from the Corps, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Grand County. The Instrument will form a detailed agreement between the sponsor and the Corps on issues such as accounting procedures, long-term management, site development, monitoring, remedial actions, financial assurances, and performance standards.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed activity may affect Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project will not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The above determinations are based on information provided by the sponsor and our preliminary review.

EVALUATION FACTORS: The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. The Corps will review the comments received in response to this notice and make a written initial evaluation as to the potential of the proposed mitigation bank to provide compensatory mitigation. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors. Comments are used in the preparation, if applicable, of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. In addition, all comments will be distributed to the members of the IRT and the sponsor within 15 days of the close of the comment period. The Corps and the IRT members will also have the opportunity to comment. After considering comments from the Corps, the IRT, and the public, the sponsor may choose to proceed with the establishment of the mitigation bank by preparing a draft Instrument for submission to the Corps.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2011-00076 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before July 20, 2012. All comments should be sent to:

Lesley McWhirter
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Colorado West Regulatory Branch
400 Rood Avenue, Room 224
Grand Junction, Colorado 81501

Alternatively, comments can be sent electronically to:

Comments received after the close of business on the expiration date of this public notice will not be considered. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act.


A-1: Vicinity Map
A-2: Bank Property Map
B-1: Service Area Map
C-1: Development Plan