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Nimrod Lake & Blue Mountain Lake
Master Plan Revisions 

Land Classifications

Interactive Maps

Lake Nimrod

Blue Mountain Lake

Why Update the Master Plan?

The original Nimrod Lake Master Plan was approved in April of 1946 and was followed by an addition of three supplements in 1952, 1966 and 1975. There were also a further six supplements to the 1975 Master Plan.

The original Blue Mountain Lake Master Plan was approved in July of 1947 and was followed by an addition of three supplements dating 1966, 1968, and 1975. Furthermore, there are currently five supplements to the 1975 Master Plan.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers periodically updates the Master Plan for these lakes for several reasons.

  1. To ensure accurate land classification and resource protection for future generations.
  2. To update the plan format and mapping to modern requirements.
  3. To better reflect modern USACE policies, regulations, budget processes, and business line performance measures.
  4. While customer uses of the lake and surrounding land are similar, the needs of these users have changed over time. For example: the size of the average Recreational Vehicle, the number Amps required at campsites, and changes in the population and development around the lakes.
  5. Partners, landowners, and other stakeholders have changes they wish to see to sustain benefits provided by the lakes.
  6. To identify issues related to the stewardship of the lake ecosystem, including vegetation and siltation management.

During these master plan revisions USACE managed, government owned lands around the lake will be classified based on environmental and recreational considerations, public input, and an evaluation of past, present, and forecasted trends.

Government lands may be classified into one of these categories:

  • Project Operations: lands required for the dam, spillway, offices, and other areas used solely for the operation of the reservoir.
  • High Density Recreation: lands acquired for project operations and designated for use as parks or other areas for intensive recreational activities by the visiting public. 
  • Environmentally Sensitive Areas: lands designated for areas where scientific, ecological, cultural, or aesthetic features have been identified. These areas are managed to protect their environmental resources. Limited or no development is allowed in these areas.
  • Multiple Resource Management Lands: This classification allows for the designation of a predominant use with the understanding that other compatible uses may also occur on these lands, these additional uses may include:
    • Low Density Recreation: lands classified for use for activities such as hiking trails, primitive camping, limited lake access points, and other similar low-density activities by the visiting public. 
    • Wildlife Management: lands allocated as habitat for fish and wildlife and are open for hunting.
    • Future/Inactive Recreation Areas: Lands intended for recreation, but which were never developed or have been closed.
    • Vegetative Management: Lands designated for stewardship of forest, prairie, and other native vegetative cover.
  • Water Surface: For those projects that administer a surface water zoning program, this will be included in the Master Plan revision process.
    • Restricted: Water areas restricted for project operations, safety, and security purposes.
    • Designated No-Wake: To protect environmentally sensitive shoreline areas, recreational water access areas from disturbance, and for public safety.
    • Fish and Wildlife Sanctuary: Annual or seasonal restrictions on areas to protect fish and wildlife species during periods of migrations, resting, feeding, nesting, and/or spawning.
    • Open Recreation: Those waters available for year-round or seasonal water-based recreational use.

What is NEPA?

The National Environmental Policy Act is our basic national charter for protection of the environment. It is foremost a procedural law that helps ensure that federal decision makers take a hard look at the potential effects of a proposed action and allow the public and other stakeholders to comment on the federal agency’s effects analysis and consideration of reasonable alternatives. The NEPA analysis helps these decision makers understand the environmental consequences of the alternatives in comparative form before making a decision. This “hard look” is informed by the public and other stakeholders, starting with a project or study’s scoping phase.

graphic describing the national environmental policy act
* click the image to enlarge 

The environmental review process that accompanies Corps planning studies and its value to the public are not always easy to understand. Recognizing this, and to help the public and organizations effectively participate in federal agency environmental reviews, the Council on Environmental Quality wrote the informational A Citizen’s Guide to the NEPA