Preliminary Assessment for Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

Posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 by
In Federal Services, tagged in
section 203 preliminary feasibility assessment

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) has identified problems in creeks on their Reservation. These issues include streambank erosion, sedimentation, and poor water quality, and they impact wildlife habitat within and adjacent to these creeks. Under the authority of the Tribal Partnership Program, the tribe sought to partner with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to address problem areas in their creeks.

The tribe’s partnership with USACE resulted in a Preliminary Assessment Report. The intent of which was to preliminarily investigate the problem areas, identify opportunities to address the issues, and ultimately, determine if further study should take place. The Affinis team was selected to complete the work with Vireo, who took the team lead role.

To better target problem areas within the Reservation, this report evaluated and incorporated existing data and past studies completed by the tribe partnering with organizations, such as Kansas State Conservation Commission, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. After analyzing the existing data and past studies, the team identified problems and opportunities in the project area. This was followed by a worst-case assessment of what would result if no improvements were made, along with management measures that could be performed to address this worst-case assessment. For each management measure, a summary of approximate costs was prepared.

Finally, to identify the locations of target improvements, an overall assessment of stream condition on the Reservation was performed for this study using in-stream habitat condition, stream bank stability, and the tree canopy data as indicators. In addition to this assessment, specific locations were rated based on whether they were currently under PBPN ownership or control, with those under PBPN ownership or control offering the greatest opportunity for project implementation.

When working on preliminary assessments like this one, we have found communication and collaboration is key. On this particular project, we kept USACE and the tribe involved throughout the process. This meant both parties knew what to expect in the final report, leaving no surprises.

While the Preliminary Assessment Report was completed several years ago, we are now beginning the next phase. Our team will be working with USACE and the tribe to complete a feasibility study for the project area. This study will take the Preliminary Assessment to the next level, more clearly defining management measures and evaluating their effectiveness and cost.

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