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Corps wants public comment on tribal fishing site

Site located a quarter mile east of toll bridge

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer is seeking public comment on a "draft environmental assessment" to construct a treaty fishing access (in-lieu) site on the Columbia River near White Salmon.

The proposed site is roughly a quarter mile east of the Hood River Toll Bridge and about a half-mile west of Bingen.

Development of the site would include facilities to support fisheries for four treaty tribes: the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation, the Nez Perce, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.

Proposed at the site are construction of a paved, 24-foot wide access road, parking area, fish processing building, loading dock, hydroslate equipment, fish delivery area and two sewage drain fields.

Work is slated to begin in fall 2004, with completion by fall 2005. The fishing access site will be solely for use by tribal members.

Access to the river for fishing purposes was guaranteed under treaties signed between the United States government and individual tribes during the 1850s, as well as by the Columbia River Treaty Fishing Access Site Program, which was signed into law in 1988. The program calls for a total of 31 sites to be established along the Columbia River.

To date, 23 sites have been completed or are under construction.

For more information on this project, contact Steve Helm at (503) 808-4778. The deadline for comments is May 17.


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