Ochoco Irrigation District

Announcement of Public Scoping Period for Infrastructure Modernization Project

August 27, 2019 - The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a public scoping meeting and public scoping period to consider improvements to aging irrigation infrastructure in Ochoco Irrigation District, located in Crook County near Prineville, Oregon.

Ochoco Irrigation District and project partners propose to modernize aging infrastructure to conserve water, reduce energy use, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in Ochoco and McKay creeks and the Crooked River. 

By converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-pipe systems, and installing

new pump stations, the proposed Ochoco Irrigation District Modernization Project could reduce

tailwater and seepage losses over the entire irrigation season and improve the District’s ability to

efficiently provide water to its patrons.

The public scoping meeting was held

September 18, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Carey Foster Hall

1280 S Main Street

Prineville, Oregon

(Note: Carey Foster Hall can also be accessed from the Fairgrounds entrance on Lynn Blvd)

Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposed irrigation improvements at the meeting and submit their comments, ideas and concerns. Several project documents are located below. 

Improvements under consideration may be partially funded through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954 (PL 83-566) and would address water conservation, enhancement of aquatic species habitat, and public safety risks while supporting existing agricultural land use.

The project is sponsored by the Deschutes Basin Board of Control and Ochoco Irrigation District, with funding and technical support from the Energy Trust of Oregon, NRCS, and Farmers Conservation Alliance. NRCS is the lead federal agency for the proposed project. Farmers Conservation Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which, as a federal contractor, is assisting NRCS and the sponsors in the Watershed Plan - Environmental Assessment process. 

Public scoping comments will be accepted from August 27, 2019 through October 18, 2019 related to the proposed project. 

Scoping comments can be submitted via the following ways:

1) Email: ochoco.id.comments@gmail.com

2) At this online form

3) Mail to:
ATTN: Ochoco Watershed Plan
Farmers Conservation Alliance
102 State St
Hood River, OR 97031

The comments will be used to inform the development of a Draft Watershed Plan – Environmental Assessment (Draft Watershed Plan/EA). The Draft Watershed Plan/EA will identify alternatives to meet the project’s purpose and need, identify the resources potentially affected by the project, and evaluate the effects of the project on those resources. Once the Draft Watershed Plan has been completed it will be released for public review. At that time, a second public meeting and comment period will be advertised and held to solicit questions and comments on the Draft Watershed Plan/EA. 

Anyone who provides their email during the scoping period or signs up below will receive notifications related to the project including when the Draft Watershed Plan/EA is available for review. 

For more information about Ochoco Irrigation District, please visit their website

For further information please contact: 

Farmers Conservation Alliance


Please note: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 

Further information on the public involvement process can be found at the Council of Environmental Quality's Citizens Guide to NEPA.