Tribe, BPA seeking comment on refuge floodplain proposal

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is proposing to provide funding to the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho to restore floodplain connectivity to the Kootenai River historic floodplains within the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The project’s reconnection activities would include breaching levees, raising roads, replacing water control structures, enhancing wetlands, and re-establishing wetland connections. All of these actions would occur within an overall project area of about 2,330 acres.

A month long scoping comment period is now underway through May 18 and a public scoping meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, in the Boundary County Annex Building, 6566 Main Street, Bonners Ferry.

BPA is requesting comments on issues to be considered during the environmental review of the project. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service would cooperate in the environmental review. For information about the project, the environmental review process, upcoming public meetings, and how to comment, please visit the project website at:

Please send your comments by May 18, 2024, so they may be considered in the environmental review. When commenting, refer to the full project name; “Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge Floodplain Reconnection Project.” All comments will be posted on the BPA comment website. There are several ways to comment:

For additional environmental information, contact Ted Gresh, Senior Environmental Protection Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration – ECF-4, PO Box 3621, Portland, OR 97208-3621, toll-free at 1-800-622-4519 or by email,

For additional project information, contact Lee Watts, Fish and Wildlife Project Manager, Bonneville Power Administration – EWM-4, PO Box 3621, Portland, OR 97208-3621, toll-free at 1-800-622-4519 or by mail,

One thought on “Tribe, BPA seeking comment on refuge floodplain proposal

  1. As a Bonners Ferry resident since ’97, I’ve dearly loved visiting the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge all times of each year. Usually by car, but several times by bicycle and often taking part of the drive on foot. I learned about my current camera on a birders’walk years ago when another birder showed the rest of us what it could do. Several of my favorite trips were with my kindergarten class and their parents. I’ve also got a personal and professional history working with Native American groups in the Florida Everglades, Blue Mountains of Oregon and right here in Boundary County. So I was delighted to read in 9bNews that the local Kootenai Tribe is working with federal agencies to restore more natural water flow into the Reserve. Another example of government and taxpayers benefiting from the knowledge and experience of those whose ancestors were here first.

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