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The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP), in cooperation with the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), is seeking public review and comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA)/Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for a proposed habitat restoration project located along the lower Colorado River near Needles, California.

The 50-acre parcel is located approximately 13 miles south of Needles, California, between river miles 236 and 237 within the Moabi Regional Park (Park Moabi). The document will assess the suitability of the area for inclusion in the LCR MSCP program, and activities to protect native riparian, wetland and backwater habitat for targeted LCR MSCP species including the flannelmouth sucker and razorback sucker.

If approved, the CDFW and the LCR MSCP would partner to create the Mohave Valley Conservation Area (MVCA) and implement the habitat projects. The proposed projects include removing non-native species such as saltcedar, establishing an open backwater channel, planting native cottonwood and willow trees, and creating marsh habitat. Proposed activities also include constructing a water control structure to send water to the backwater area, with return flows to the Colorado River through the Park Moabi Channel.

Reclamation and CSLC are seeking public comments on the draft EA/MND to include in the final EA/MND. Reclamation will issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) if the study determines that no significant impacts would result from creating the MVCA and implementing the proposed habitat projects. The EA/MND is being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

All public review and comments must be postmarked by November 30, 2015. Please address official project comments or questions in writing to the California State Lands Commission, 100 Howe Avenue, Suite 100-South, Sacramento, CA 95825, ATTN: Afifa Awan, or via e-mail to CEQAcomments@slc.ca.gov or fax at (916) 574-1885. For specific inquires for the Bureau of Reclamation, please contact Dana Anat via email at danat@usbr.gov or fax at (702) 293-8418. An electronic copy of the Draft EA/MND for the proposed MVCA Backwater Project is available at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g2000/envdocs.html or a paper copy is available by e-mail request to Dana Anat.

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