Master Plan overview
A master plan is a strategic land use management document that guides the comprehensive management and development of a project’s recreational, natural and cultural resources. The Master Plan includes land use classifications that govern the way land is managed and used to provide good stewardship and outdoor recreation to meet the needs created by the lake itself. Every U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) lake has a master plan that serves as a framework for consistent, responsible decision-making for 15-25 years.
Master plans determine how areas of the lake should and can be used for the next 15- 25 years based off of environmental studies, boating studies, operational requirements and public opinion. These studies and findings ensure that the Master Plan will properly guide decision-making at the lake. The primary goals of the Raystown Lake Master Plan revision are to prescribe an overall land use management plan, resource objectives, and associated design and management concepts for the Raystown Lake Project. The current Master Plan for Raystown Lake dates back to 1994.
It's important to note that a master plan does not plan or approve changes or improvements to the flood risk management and hydropower functions of the lake. Raystown Lake was built for these missions, so a master plan will not allow for any adjustments to those functions.
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Purpose for revising the Master Plan
While legislation contained in the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act (WIIN), Section 1309, requires the Master Plan for Raystown Lake be updated, the revision is part of a larger, Corps-wide effort to bring master plans up to date across the country. Master plans are designed to provide a framework for decision-making for 15-25 years. In 25 years a lot can change at a project. Technology improves, recreational needs may change and environmental factors may vary. The last time Raystown Lake’s Master Plan was revised was 1994, which is why we need to go over the plan again to see how the public needs/wants may have changed and how biologically the lake might have changed or remained the same.
Contents of the Master Plan
The new Master Plan will be shorter and more comprehensive than the 1994 plan. The sections of the Master Plan will include the following chapters:
- Introduction: Reviews the purpose and overview of the project and the Master Plan.
- Project Setting and Factors Influencing Management and Development: Details natural and cultural resources, hydrology of the lake, visual qualities, economic factors, topography, etc.
- Resource Objectives: Details the goals and resource objectives of the lake.
- Land and Water Use Classifications: Details land and water allocations and classifications.
- Resource Plan: Outlines land and water classification areas such as operations areas, environmentally sensitive areas, high-density recreation areas, etc.
- Special Topics: Covers various topics such as land inventory, Boating Carrying Capacity Study, partnerships, etc.
- Agency and Public Coordination: Details how public comments were evaluated and collected.
- Summary of Recommendations: Details a summary of the findings and proposed actions of the Master Plan.
- Bibliography: Details any additional sources cited in the Master Plan.
- Appendices: Includes the Environmental Assessment, park maps, Boating Carrying Capacity Study, land inventory, etc.