The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Huntington District is beginning the public involvement phase of the Muskingum River Basin Master Plan revision. This stage is to inform the public of the revision process and receive public input. Huntington District is providing an online public participation presentation to inform and receive public input to begin the process of revising the master plan.
Normally, USACE would conduct a face-to-face public workshop to announce the start of the revision and to request comments from the public. However, precautions associated with the COVID-19 virus have made it necessary to conduct the public involvement process online instead of hosting a face-to-face workshop.
About the Muskingum River Basin
Muskingum River Basin consists of 15 reservoir projects constructed around 1938 in cooperation with the MWCD. The Muskingum River projects are divided into three operational regions; The Upper Tuscarawas in the northeast, The Lower Tuscarawas River Watershed in the southern area, and the Walhonding River Watershed in the northwest. Operation and maintenance of the dam structures is the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers. Purposes served are flood damage reduction, recreation, and fish and wildlife. The following 15 projects have a drainage area of 4,276 square miles - Atwood Lake, Beach City Lake, Bolivar Dam, Charles Mill Lake, Clendening Lake, Dover Dam, Leesville Lake, Mohawk Dam, Mohicanville Dam, Piedmont Lake, Pleasant Hill Lake, Senecaville Lake, Tappan Lake, North Branch Kokosing Lake, and Wills Creek Lake.
What is a Master Plan?
The Master Plan is the strategic land use management document that guides the comprehensive management and development of all project recreational, natural, and cultural resources throughout the life of the water resources project. Revision of the Master Plan will not address in detail the technical operational aspects of the reservoir related to the water supply or flood risk management missions of the project. As both projects are in close proximity to each other, the revision will result in a single document addressing both projects in the form of a Regional Master Plan.
Why Revise the Muskingum River Master Plan?
The current Master Plan for these areas is outdated and does not comply with current USACE guidance regarding master plans. Changes have occurred over time and need to be captured to reflect the current and future management of the projects. The current master plans and land classifications are in need of revision to address changes in regional land use, population, outdoor recreation trends, and USACE management policy. Key topics to be addressed in the revised Regional Master Plan include revised land classifications, new natural and recreational resource management objectives, recreation facility needs, and special topics such as invasive species management and protection of sensitive wildlife habitat. Public participation is critical to the successful revision of the Master Plan.