The Bureau of Reclamation submitted a Supplemental Biological Assessment to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in January 2009. NOAA is now in the process of developing the final Biological Opinion for the Rogue Basin which will likely impose operational changes in water management on the irrigation districts to ensure the continued existence of federally-listed threatened species and their habitat. The exact operational changes are not known at this time, but the districts and their consultants are continuing to be represented at every meeting to give input to Reclamation and NOAA to minimize the impact of any proposed operational changes.
The Consultation continues to be very time and resource consuming and expensive for the irrigation districts; however, the crucial concern is that a poorly written Biological Opinion with a finding that the federal project which supplies our water is jeopardizing the continued existence of the species, or is adversely modifying its habitat, could severely hamper the districts’ ability to deliver a full water supply to their patrons. The preservation of our water supply is of the utmost importance to the districts, their patrons and communities they serve.
Bear Creek TMDL Implementation Plan Update
Irrigation districts are required to have a plan under the Federal Clean Water Act, under the direction of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), to help the local creeks meet state water quality standards in relation to bacteria, temperature, excessive aquatic weeds, excess sediments, etc. After coordinating with DEQ and the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, the Board of Directors of the District adopted the Bear Creek TMDL Implementation Plan at the August 4, 2009 regular board meeting. The plan lays out specific criteria the District must perform and document on an annual basis what we are doing to address our impact on water quality in the Rogue Basin.
The District has just completed its first year of annual reporting for the Bear Creek Watershed Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Implementation Program. The completed annual report was submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality, via the Rogue Valley Councel of Governments (RVCOG) on September 15, 2010. The purpose of this program is to improve water quality in the Bear Creek Watershed. The Medford and Talent irrigation districts reduced sediment and nutrients from irrigated lands by converting flood irrigation to sprinkler irrigation and adding protective liners along canals or or replacing the canals with pipes to reduce erosion. The Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District(SWCD) and the U.S. Department of Agricultures's (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are helping farmers to implement agricultural BMPs such as nutrient management, exclusion fencing (typically to prevent livestock from accessing reparian areas), pesticide management, pasture fencing and pasture management.
RECLAMATION REFORM ACT (RRA)
Any landowner who owns and/leases irrigated land totaling 40.1 acres or more must annually file RRA forms with the District office prior to receiving irrigation water.
The Bureau of Reclamation requires that RRA forms be on file prior to any water being delivered to the property of owners who own and/or lease irrigated land totaling 40.1 acres or more. If your landholdings change in anyway during the year, which includes moving your property into a trust, it is imperative that the landowner contact the District office to update their RRA forms.
The District makes every effort to help landowners comply with the RRA regulations, but it is absolutely the landowner's responsibility to understand the law and make sure that the correct forms are filled out and on file. Please remember when you make any changes in your landholdings that put you at 40.1 acres or more owned and/or leased, to contact the District office for the necessary RRA forms. The District only updates our ownership records twice a year with Jackson County's records, so your diligence in communicating any changes you make to your landholdings is the utmost importance.
Beginning January 1, 2012 the District has expenses that are requiring extra services that should be born by the effected party and not the water users.
The new fees are:
Irrigation Fees (charged at a 1 acre minimum)
Account Charger (per tax lot) = $100.00
Old Land (per acre) = $61.00
New Land(per acre) = $63.00>
1. Transfer off/Quitclaim = $350.00 each plus $95.00 GIS mapping fee per tax lot
2.Transfer on = $550.00 application fee plus $95.00 GIS mapping fee per tax lot
3.Instream Lease = $400.00 OWRD fees,1-4 tax lots and $500.00 processing fee per tax lot
4.Pond application = $55.00 plus $95.00 GIS mapping fee
5.Returned check fee = $25.00
6.$55.00 Title search fee per tax lot
7.$50.00 Letter in general, to inquires
8.Lien fee = $220.00
9. Fees to review plat maps, letters, on-site visits for developers/surveyers,etc.
a. $100.00 initial review
d. $50.00 any repeat/extra
e. $55.00 lien search fee per tax lot
f. $95.00 GIS mapping fee per tax lot
g. Oregon Water Resources Dept. fees
***All fees subject to change***
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