Phase 5 - Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the WDFW Statewide Steelhead Management Plan (SSMP)
The release of the FEIS for the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan occurs on February 29, 2008. The alternatives presented in the FEIS will lay the foundation for decisions on a new WDFW steelhead management strategy. On February 2, 2008, the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) took public comment on the draft SSMP. These public comments were incorporated in the latest draft of the SSMP contained in the FEIS document, dated February 29, 2008 (see Appendix A).
The SSMP is designed to rebuild wild steelhead populations statewide. The updated plan sets the course for managing steelhead populations in a time of environmental uncertainty, in particular, global warming and habitat loss. WDFW needs the help of fishers, landowners, and other citizens to achieve the goals set out in the plan.
The availability of functional habitat is the principal factor affecting the health of the wild steelhead populations. NOAA Fisheries citied habitat degradation as the principal factor limiting the viability of Puget Sound steelhead and sustainable fisheries do not pose a significant risk to wild steelhead populations (72 FR 26722). WDFW is restructuring hatchery operations where necessary to ensure they do not interfere with wild steelhead populations. The plan also contains strategies intended to achieve benchmarks of the Salmon and Steelhead in the 21st Century Project.
4 - Preliminary Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the WDFW
Statewide Steelhead Management Plan (SSMP)
The release of the Preliminary
FEIS for the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan occurs on December 5, 2007.
The Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released the Draft EIS (DEIS) on August 1, 2007.
The DEIS considers potential environmental impacts of changes in fisheries
management, hatchery operations, habitat restoration and other practices
that may result from adoption of the steelhead management plan. The public
meetings occurred in Sequim (8/13), Olympia (8/14), Vancouver (8/15), Mill
Creek (8/16), Wenatchee (8/20), Moses Lake (8/21), and Richland (8/22). The
comment period was scheduled to close on August 16, 2007 but was extended
until September 11, 2007. Approximately 260 written comments were received
on the DEIS and SSMP which resulted in 29 modifications or additions, improving
the statewide plan. Those changes are reflected in the Preliminary FEIS.
The alternatives presented
in the Preliminary FEIS will lay the foundation for decisions on a new WDFW
steelhead-management strategy. The Preliminary FEIS is subject to change,
pending final Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) approval of the SSMP in
early 2008. The FWC is scheduled to hear public comments regarding the Preliminary
FEIS on February 1-2, 2008 in Olympia, Washington.
Phase 3 –
DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the WDFW Statewide Steelhead
Management Plan (SSMP)
The State Environmental
Policy Act (SEPA) process continues with the release of the DEIS for the
Statewide Steelhead Management Plan on August 1, 2007.
The Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a series of public meetings
in August to gather comments on the DEIS. The DEIS considers potential
environmental impacts of changes in fisheries management, hatchery operations,
habitat restoration and other practices that may result from adoption
of the steelhead management plan.
Developed under provisions
of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), the DEIS is posted online
at the link below.
The latest draft of the steelhead management plan is attached as an appendix
to the draft EIS.
WDFW will consider
public comments on the DEIS received in writing through Aug. 30, 2007,
as well as those received at the public meetings. Written comments should
be addressed to SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, Regulatory Services Section, Habitat
Program, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501.
Phase 2 –
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Statewide Steelhead Management
Volume 1. Statewide Policies, Strategies, and Actions
The State Environmental
Policy Act (SEPA) process began for the Department’s statewide steelhead
management plan with a focus on Puget Sound by the release of the Determination
of Significance and Request for Comments on Scope of the Environment Impact
Statement (EIS). Public meetings took place in August and September of
On December 22, 2006,
WDFW released a new Determination of Significant and Request for Comments
on the Scope of EIS for the Steelhead Statewide Management Plan. This
plan is a non-project statewide policy proposal, which assesses the potential
environmental impacts of policies and strategies designed to improve hatchery,
harvest, enforcement, monitoring, and outreach and education actions pertaining
to steelhead programs in Washington. At a later date, supplemental Environment
Impact Statements (EIS) will be developed at the regional level for steelhead
stocks of Washington State, including Puget Sound.
Phase 1 –
WDFW Steelhead Science Paper
“Oncorhynchus mykiss: Assessment of Washington State’s
Anadromous Populations and Programs”