BLM seeks comments on the removal of Hult Dam
Springfield, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on the future of the aging Hult Dam, including the removal of the structure to protect public safety. The removal plan, which would allow the creek to flow freely through the area, would also include options for future recreational use within the area.
The local community voice is critical to reimagining the future of the Hult Dam area. To hear from the public, the BLM will hold an open house on Thursday, September 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. The BLM invites members of the public to attend any portion of the open house. Project staff will be available to share information, answer questions, and receive comment. There will be no formal presentations.
What: Hult Dam & Reservoir safety open house
Where: Hult Reservoir (north of Horton)
When: Thursday, September 16, 2021 4 to 7 p.m.
North of Horton, the Hult Dam was built in 1948 as part of a sawmill operations. The dam serves no flood protection or water retention purposes. Today, the area is a popular recreation destination.
The BLM is responsible to both users of the reservoir and the people and infrastructure downstream. In 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inspected the dam and identified large floods and ground instability as hazards to the dam. Based on these findings, the BLM determined that the dam posed a high risk to public safety.
If the dam were to give way, it would release an uncontrolled rush of water downstream toward the community of Horton. This rush could damage Highway 36 and even cause loss of life. Due to this high risk, the BLM must frequently conduct costly inspections and maintenance on the dam. After consulting engineers and dam safety experts, the BLM determined that the only responsible, cost-effective way to reduce risk and protect the public was to remove the dam.
In the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement, the BLM will develop and analyze various alternatives for dam removal and will consider recreational uses, fish passage, impacts to native vegetation, and community safety.
Please visit the project ePlanning website to learn more about the project and how to submit a public comment: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/99598/510. For questions or additional information, the public is invited to call (541) 683-6983 or email BLM_OR_NO_SIU_Hult_Dam_EIS@blm.gov.
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.