Graveyard Wash Flood Retarding Structure Rehabilitation Project

Supplemental Watershed Plan No. 2


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) proposes to supplement the Frye Creek – Stockton Wash Watershed Work Plan under Public Law 83-566 (PL-566) authority (Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954, as amended). The original Plan was prepared in 1958, and was first supplemented in 1961; this project is the second supplement to the Plan. The NRCS National Watershed Program Manual (NWPM) sets forth the policy for all watershed plans developed under the PL-566 Program. No project will be funded unless it meets the requirements set forth in the manual. PL-566 authorizes the NRCS to provide technical and financial assistance to sponsoring local organizations (Sponsors) to prepare and implement watershed plans. The Sponsor for this effort is the City of Safford.

The Graveyard Wash Flood Retarding Structure (FRS) was designed and constructed by the Soil Conservation Service (now NRCS) under the Frye Creek – Stockton Wash Watershed Work Plan that was prepared in 1958. The dam structure and appurtenances were constructed in 1962 with a design service life of 50 years. Recent assessments indicate that the dam and appurtenances do not meet current NRCS and Arizona Dam Safety criteria and performance standards for numerous criteria. Alterations to bring the dam into compliance with current criteria will require another supplement to the 1958 Plan. The NRCS will assist the City of Safford in preparing a supplemental watershed project plan and environmental assessment, which will be combined into a single document, called the Supplemental Plan-EA. The Supplemental Plan-EA will be prepared to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The purpose of the Supplemental Plan-EA is to develop a watershed project plan so that NRCS can decide whether to provide technical and financial assistance for implementation of the alternative selected by the City of Safford. 

Technical studies are currently being conducted, with a Draft Plan-EA anticipated in early 2023.


This planning effort will be completed in four phases.

We are currently in Phase 1 – Identify Problems and Determine Objectives. As part of this phase, we are soliciting public feedback to identify possible concerns with rehabilitation activities in the vicinity of the Graveyard Wash Flood Retarding Structure.

Public Scoping Meeting

  • Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2022
  • Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm MST
  • Place:
    • Online at
    • Meeting ID: 857 0079 6656

How To Comment

  1. Submit comments on the map below:
  2. Send an email to:
  3. Mail comments to the following address:
    1. Jones & DeMille Engineering
    2. Attn: Jenna Jorgensen
    3. 1535 S. 100 W., Richfield, UT 84701

Comments will be accepted through the project website, email, and mail between April 5, 2022, and May 5, 2022, 11:59 PM (MST). Mailed comments will be accepted if postmarked by May 5, 2022.

Public Comment + Map


The NEPA process includes an early and open process to determine the scope of issues for analysis; this process is termed scoping. The scoping process for this Watershed Plan-EA will include public meetings and a comment period when the public can submit information, comments, and concerns to consider during development of the project. During this period, the public may provide comments via this website, email, or mail (see How to Comment section below). In addition to comments and input provided by the public, per Title 390 – National Watershed Program Manual Part 501.24, scoping must consider, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. National Economic Development (NED) Principles and Guidelines
  2. Air quality
  3. Coral reefs
  4. Cultural resources
  5. Ecologically critical areas
  6. Endangered and threatened species
  7. Environmental justice and civil rights
  8. Essential fish habitat
  9. Fish and wildlife (including coordination requirements)
  10. Floodplain management
  11. Forest resources
  12. Invasive species
  13. Land use
  14. Migratory birds
  15. Natural areas
  16. Parklands
  17. Prime and unique farmland, and farmland of statewide significance
  18. Public health and safety
  19. Regional water resource plans (including coastal zone plans)
  20. Riparian areas
  21. Scenic beauty
  22. Scientific resources
  23. Sole source aquifers
  24. Social issues
  25. Soil resources
  26. Water quality
  27. Water resources
  28. Waters of the United States, including special aquatic sites
  29. Wetlands
  30. Wild and scenic rivers
  31. Other concerns identified by Sponsoring Local Organization, agencies, and the public

Questions & Comments Can Be Directed To:

Jenna Jorgensen: (435) 896-8266

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