Advocacy alert: scoggins Valley Park/Henry hagg Lake


February 2024 — The United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBOR) is undergoing a project to fortify the Scoggins Dam at Scoggins Valley Park to make it better able to withstand a major seismic event.

There will be impacts to recreation that the County and community needs the USBOR to mitigate – or better yet, avoid.

The USBOR has issued a draft of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and are accepting comments on it until February 26, 2024. As the project is going to have real impacts to recreation at Scoggins Valley Park, it’s important that users of the park have their voices heard. Washington County residents, park users, and outdoor recreation advocates are ALL encouraged to provide feedback.

Please submit comments during the public comment period, open until February 26, 2024. A virtual meeting room is also accessible 24 hours a day, where visitors can view information about the project, read FAQs, and submit comments.

What are some of the potential impacts to recreation?

Here are some of the impacts, along with possible responses you could provide. Feel free to add your own perspective, concerns and solutions.

  • Absence of safe travel lanes for bicycle and pedestrian traffic across the dam. It is essential that the dam project construct a separated bicycle and pedestrian facility across the dam when the replacement road is built. The 14 mile trail around the lake is one of the most popular draws of the park. Because there is currently no separated bicycle and pedestrian facility it is unsafe for people to walk or ride a bicycle across the dam and acts as a recreation barrier.
  • There will be complete removal of soft surface trails in the borrow areas, with no plan to construct temporary reroute trails. Please stage the construction to avoid removal and maintain trail access around the lake thought the duration of the construction project. If the existing trail cannot be kept open during construction 1) a trail of comparable character and nature shall be constructed as a temporary reroute and 2) the existing trails must be replaced in the same location they exist in today when the excavation of materials is completed. Large segments of the trail being eliminated with no replacement is an unacceptable impact to recreation.
  • The current plan includes large scale deforestation at the “borrow areas” (excavation sites). It is very important to recreation users that at a minimum a 200ft buffer of forest is left between the high water mark and the excavation to mitigate this impact.
  • An approximately 75-foot wide haul road is proposed to be build on the reservoir side of Scoggins Valley Road. This will deforest a large swath of land and impact the operation and access of the campground and the Eagle Point Recreation Area. The haul route should create no impact to the campground site.

You can learn more about the EIS here.

This is the EIS fact sheet.