CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District has received a request dated Oct. 31, 2018 for an amendment to the Ducks Unlimited, Inc. – Vermont In-lieu Fee Program Instrument (“DU-VT-ILF”) to establish the Willoughby Lake In-Lieu Fee Site to compensate for wetland impacts in the St. Francois Service Area off the north side of Willoughby Lake Road in Barton, Vermont.
The 243.18 acre Willoughby Lake Site includes the re-establishment, rehabilitation, and preservation of upland buffers to compensate for authorized impacts to waters of the United States in the St. Francois Service Area for which payments into the DU-VT-ILF program were made in lieu of the permittees doing their own mitigation.
The Willoughby Lake Site includes the protection of a northern white cedar swamp, a tributary of the Willoughby River along the western side of the property, and ditched moist-soil areas currently in agricultural use that are suitable for basin development and recontouring. After construction on the property is completed, Ducks Unlimited will transfer the title to an acceptable third-party, and retain a perpetual conservation easement on the property to ensure the property is not developed.
The DU-VT-ILF was approved and signed on Jan. 6, 2011. It can be viewed through the New England District’s web site at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Mitigation/InLieuFeePrograms/VT.aspx.
The process for review of the request to modify the instrument will follow 33 CFR 332, Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (“Mitigation Rule”). The Mitigation Rule was published in the Federal Register on April 10, 2008.
If the mitigation plan is deemed sufficient, Ducks Unlimited will be informed that they can finalize an amendment to the DU-VT-ILF Instrument which will be reviewed by the Interagency Review Team comprised of federal and state agency representatives. If the amendment is deemed acceptable, it will be authorized by the Corps. The decision whether to authorize the sponsor to proceed to a final mitigation plan will be based on the Corps’ determination of the potential of the proposed site to provide compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits.
The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposal. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to allow the sponsor to proceed to develop a final mitigation plan.
Public comments on this proposed amendment to the Ducks Unlimited, Inc. – Vermont In-lieu Fee Program Instrument (file # NAE-2009-01349) should be forwarded no later than Dec. 20, 2018 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Vermont Project Office (ATTN: Michael Adams), 11 Lincoln Street, Room 210, Essex Junction, Vermont. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Michael Adams at 802-872-2893 or 978-318-8485 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.