John Day River Study

Project Background

Heron on rock in John Day River

The Prineville Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has responsibility for managing the 147-mile John Day Wild and Scenic River from Service Creek to Tumwater Falls in north-central Oregon. The BLM manages the river in partnership with the John Day Interagency Planning Team comprised of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, local counties, and the State of Oregon. Together these partners are working to preserve the riverís resource health and a quality visitor experience into the future.

In 1988, under the Omnibus Oregon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act the BLM was charged with the preparation of a river management plan that addresses resource protection, development of lands and facilities, and user capacities on the Wild and Scenic portion of the John Day River. In 2001 the BLM completed the John Day River Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (the River Plan). The River Plan directed the BLM to use a Limits of Acceptable Change analysis to determine appropriate boating use levels for Segments 2 and 3 of the John Day River, from Service Creek to Cottonwood Bridge. In 2008, the BLM completed this analysis, called the John Day River Study, which established a long term plan to monitor conditions and suggested ways to maintain river conditions.

In 2010, the BLM prepared and circulated the John Day River Study Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze a range of alternatives to set a capacity for boating use on Segment 2 (Clarno to Cottonwood) and Segment 3 (Service Creek to Clarno) of the John Day Wild & Scenic River. The BLM released the EA for public comment in August 2010. Details of and rationale for the BLM's decision selecting an alternative from the EA are included in the Decision Record.

Decision Record and Finding of No Significant Impact Now Available

The Prineville District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Decision Record for the John Day River Study Environmental Assessment (EA). The decision prescribes a maximum capacity for boating use and a corresponding number of launch permits that will be available for reservation each day for Segments 2 and 3 of the Lower John Day River (Service Creek to Cottonwood) during the peak boating season of May 20 to July 10. These changes will not affect the river segments upstream of Service Creek or downstream of Cottonwood. The decision will be implemented for the 2011 boating season.

The decision record provides an overview of the selected action, a review of the alternatives considered, and provides a rationale for the decision. The decision record also contains an attachment with the public comments received and BLM responses and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

Contact Information

For further information about the John Day River Study Environmental Assessment or to request a hardcopy version of the Decision Record, please contact the BLM at BLM_OR_PR_JDRiver_Study@blm.gov.

For information on how to obtain a boating permit for the 2011 season, please visit the BLM John Day River Boating webpage.