Wetlands

This week Environmental Science Associates  (ESA) staff will be conducting a Local Wetland Inventory (LWI) of potential sites within the Urban Growth Boundary and City boundaries.

The assessment of wetlands and waters in the LWI will help bring the City into compliance with Statewide Planning Goal 5.

The City of Pendleton is completing a Local Wetlands Inventory (LWI), a refinement of the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI), to identify and assess the functions of potential jurisdictional wetlands and waters within the urban growth boundary (UGB) and urban reserve area (URA) – referred to as the study area. The LWI is funded by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) with oversight from the Department of State Lands (DSL). The identification and assessment of wetlands and waters in the LWI will help bring the City into compliance with Statewide Planning Goal 5.

The City is relying on the technical expertise of environmental consultants (Environmental Science Associates [ESA] and Winterbrook Planning) to complete the LWI, which will provide useful planning information for property owners, stakeholders, and the City. The LWI will also identify locally significant wetlands that may warrant extra protection at the local level. Preliminary data sources including aerial photography, soil maps, and existing wetland delineations on file with DSL were used to determine the potential location of wetlands and waters prior to site investigations.

The City has requested landowner participation to gather the most accurate information possible about the location and quality of wetlands within the study area. Properties, where access has been granted, were visited by the consultants (2011, 2012, and 2020). No private properties were accessed where permission was not granted, but all properties within the study area will appear on the LWI maps and may show potential waters based on off-site observation from public rights-of-way or existing sources of information.

Despite Pendleton’s relatively arid climate, several wetlands occur along the City’s major waterways, including the Umatilla River, McKay Creek, and Tutuilla Creek. Several smaller wetlands may not be mapped, and wetlands may be missed due to lack of on-site access, tree canopy cover, or other constraints.

The general process and timeline for completing the LWI are as follows:

  • Compile existing data and request landowner permission for access (2011–2012, and 2020).
  • Conduct on-site and off-site field investigations (May 17–19, 2011; April 16–20, 2012; and September 28–30, 2020).
  • Conduct public outreach – public hearings held at the City on June 30, July 21, and August 4, 2011.
  • Solicit input from the public on a draft LWI report and maps:
    • The City hosted a public Open House on December 6, 2012.
    • A virtual public Open House will be scheduled for the fall of 2020.
  • Revise the draft LWI report and maps based on public input, and submit to DSL for approval (December 2020).

For specific project information, please contact:

George Cress, Planner, City of Pendleton, at 541.966.026, George.Cressatci.pendleton.or.us

or Sarah Hartung, Professional Wetland Scientist, ESA at 503.407.6083, shartungatesassoc.com

To learn more about the process of Local Wetlands Inventories, please visit the Department of State Lands website: https://www.oregon.gov/dsl/ww/Pages/Inventories.aspx or contact Jevra Brown, Aquatic Resource Planner, Department of State Lands, at 503.580.3172, jevra.brownatstate.or.us.

 

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