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Master Plan Timeline

Public Input

Pittsburgh District held Stakeholder & Public Scoping Meetings in June 2017. Since then, we've been working to incorporate the feedback received into the updated master plan. The opportunity to see a draft of the updated master plan is now available. Please review the relevant documents above and send your comments to celrp-pa@usace.army.mil.


Click below to see the press release, presentation, and notes from the June 2017 Meetings.


News Release

Presentation: Michael J. Kirwan Master Plan Revision - Scoping

Notes: Stakeholder & Public Scoping Meetings June 2017

Progress Update

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, is revising the Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir Master Plan which guides the management of government owned and leased lands around the Reservoir. With your help, we have completed our scoping phase and have prepared a draft updated master plan and environmental assessment (EA), which is now ready for public review.

Explore the website to learn more about the Master Plan update process and see what changes we are recommending for Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir. Then, share your likes, dislikes, concerns or thoughts on the proposed path forward.


  • Submit your comments ​​concerning the Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir Master Plan by emailing us at celrp-pa@usace.army.mil.

We will be accepting comments until Friday, July 13.  Your input will help to define how Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir is managed for the next 25 years.

A final updated master plan is expected to be released in late 2018.

Explore Considered Changes -- Map

Interactive Map

Click on the map above to be taken to our interactive map of the proposed Michael J. Kirwan improvements.


What is a master plan? A master plan is a strategic land use man­agement document that guides the com­prehensive management and development of recreation, natural and cultural re­sources at Corps reservoirs and provides a vision for how the Reservoir should look in the future. The master plan is a land use management document and does not address water management operations, associated prime facilities (dam, spillway etc.), or shoreline management as those operations are outlined in separate documents. After a master plan is revised, the operational management plan and shoreline management plan would both be revised to be consistent with the goals identified in the master plan.


Why Update the Michael J. Kirwan Master Plan? The Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir Master Plan which was originally devel­oped in 1982. The master plan, developed 35 years ago, does not reflect current conditions at the Reservoir. Changes in Corps regulations and community needs necessitate a revi­sion to this master plan. The master plan revision will classify the government lands around the Reservoir based on environmental and socioeconomic considerations, public input and an evaluation of past, present, and forecasted recreation trends. This update seeks to balance recreational development and use with the goal of conservation of natural and cultural resources.

What does updating a master plan mean for future actions taken at the Project? A master plan provides a set of recommended actions (e.g. trail extension, development of equestrian area, leasing, concessions, etc.). Recommended actions included in the master plan are quicker and easier to carry out.  In essence, a master plan provides pre-approval for future actions under the assumption that they have already been analyzed and found to be appropriate for Federal landEngineer Regulation 200-2-2, 9.d. provides categorical exclusion from further analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act for "All Operations and Maintenance grants, general plans, agreements, etc. necessary to carry out land use, development and other measures proposed in project authorization documents, project design memoranda, master plans are reflected in the project NEPA documents." Master plans also detail the responsibilities pursuant to Federal laws to preserve, conserve, restore, maintain, manage, and develop lands, waters, and resources.  For example, if a project has active bald Eagle nests, the master plan will identify areas that must be avoided and the methods of mitigating impacts to the species.


What are the objectives of the Master Plan update?

The Michael J. Kirwan Master Plan revision main objectives are:

  • Conserve the resources of the Reservoir within the current policies and guidelines of the Corps

  • Accommodate current and projected recreational use patterns with maximum efficiency

  • Identify and protect cultural and natural resources

  • Attract maximum participation by the general public