The Willamette Valley System (WVS) in Oregon is composed of 13 dams and reservoirs that are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE is currently developing an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze how they operate and maintain the system, which has not been done since 1980. TCG was hired to provide public engagement support for the public scoping period for the environmental impact statement to involve the public and gather input from stakeholders in accordance with CEQ regulations for implementing NEPA.
TCG helped to raise awareness about the project and EIS to the public, clarify the role of the Endangered Species Act in this process, narrow the scope of analysis for the EIS, solicit public input, and ensure meaningful public participation. Public engagement efforts were extended to stakeholders throughout the Willamette Valley System including regulatory agencies, elected officials, Tribes, farmers, NGOs, cities, counties, recreation and special interest groups, Watershed Councils, conservationists, businesses, water and electric utilities, and other public citizens.
Public outreach messaging was geared toward communicating the many competing uses of the WVS and how to balance those interests for all stakeholders in USACE’s decision-making process. The public engagement and outreach strategies were vital during this time in order to effectively use the public scoping period to inform the development of the EIS.
Read more about this project here: https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Locations/Willamette-Valley/System-Evaluation-EIS/