Banner: Bureau of Reclamation, Great Plains Region
Reclamation Home            Regional Offices            Newsroom            Library            Projects & Facilities

What is an RMP?

The RMP is a comprehensive document developed to guide Reclamation and the Commission in managing land and water resources. The RMP will include long term management goals and objectives for the 4SW Reservoirs, developed through input from you, the public, addressing the needs of all project users and ensuring the protection of the resources.


As part of the Frenchman-Cambridge Division, the 4 SW Reservoirs were built primarily for water storage to irrigate thousands of acres of project lands within the Republican River Basin. Flood control, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation were secondary purposes. The basic plan for the Division was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944. Construction began on Harry Strunk Lake in March 1947, followed by Enders in 1951, Swanson in 1953, and Hugh Butler in 1962.

The four reservoirs are located in southwest Nebraska within the Republican River Basin. See map. McCook, Nebraska is centrally located and is the only city of significant size in the immediate vicinity. All of the reservoirs are located within 50 miles of McCook. The four reservoirs provide over 10,000 surface acres of water surrounded by approximately 19,000 acres of land available for public use. The reservoirs and surrounding lands are popular recreation areas for fishing, hunting, camping and other outdoor activities.

Photo of Enders Dam Reclamation's Enders Dam on Frenchman Creek near Enders forms one of the reservoirs for which new Resource Management Plans are being developed. The dam forms a 1,707-acre lake at the top of the conservation pool. 26 miles of shoreline are dedicated to recreation and wildlife habitat.
Reclamation and the Commission entered into a lease agreement for the administration and management of land and water resources for recreation, fish and wildlife, and related activities. Shortly after the completion of construction, an RMP was developed for each reservoir to provide management guidelines.

Why a New RMP Now?

Although most resources remain the same since the original RMP's, the type and frequency of usage has increased. Development of a new RMP will help identify issues and management alternatives in order to establish guidelines that will ensure effective land management of these multiple-use reservoirs.

The development of RMP's for the 4SW Reservoirs will take approximately a year and a half to complete.

Will Management Practices Change?

Not necessarily. It is possible that some management practices may be changed as a result of the RMP planning efforts, however we don't anticipate any major changes. Rather, the development of the RMP's offers us an opportunity to review current management, public issues and needs, and the condition of resources at the 4SW Reservoirs. Consulting and gathering data from the Commission, state and county officials, users and any interested parties, will assist managers in making knowledgeable decisions and formulating effective guidelines for the management of the reservoir's natural resources.

Process to Develop the RMP
  • Resource inventory and internal scoping of issues.
  • Development of an Action Plan (Who, What, When, Where, How)
  • Agency Scoping.
  • Public scoping to identify issues and gather public opinions
  • Focus group meetings
  • Identification and evaluation of management alternatives.
  • Distribution of management alternatives in Draft EA/RMP for public comment (30 days)
  • Issuance of Final Environmental Assessment, and decision and RMP.
  • Implementation of the RMP.
What is a Focus Group?

A focus group is a team of individuals that have a common interest in the use and stewardship of a particular resource. The 4SW Reservoirs focus groups will be comprised of small teams of agency individuals. The groups will examine and discuss the technical data and public input gathered in order to develop proposed management alternatives to be considered. The management of specific resources, will be addressed including:

  • wildlife management practices
  • noxious weed control
  • vehicular access
  • recreational uses
  • exclusive uses
  • cultural resources
RMP Data Collection

The Commission, in cooperation with Reclamation, is conducting both a user survey and a resource inventory of reservoir lands and facilities. The user survey will document the number and place of origin of project users during 1999 and categorize them by type of activity. The survey is designed to provide human information pertaining specifically to outdoor recreationists who use the 4SW Reservoirs and surrounding land. We will use the survey information to develop a site-specific database that describes and quantifies the uses, preferences, demographics, socioeconomics and needs of the outdoor recreationists at the reservoirs.

The Commission is also conducting a resource inventory of reservoir, and wildlife and park land resources to develop a Geographical Information System (GIS) database.

For the inventory, the Commission will collect information describing the distribution of the biological, physical, and recreational resources. The data will be used to develop a series of GIS maps with layers depicting all the information gathered. The information will relate the present distribution and interaction of physical, biological, and recreational resources on project lands. In addition, the data will detail how future changes in management objectives or project conditions could potentially impact reservoir use.

Personal communications, mailings, focus group meetings, and open houses will provide the public opportunities to get involved and stay involved in the development of alternatives for the management of reservoir resources.

Photo of Recreationalists at a Lake


We Need Your Input

Public involvement is a critical element in the development of RMP's for the reservoirs. We welcome your suggestions, comments, and/or opinions at anytime throughout the process.

The input and suggestions concerning these reservoirs, by users like you, will provide valuable information to managers to help them ensure appropriate use and stewardship of the 4SW Reservoirs.

Is an EA Needed?

Yes, it is required by law. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the administering agency to complete the appropriate environmental study anytime an action is proposed on Federal lands or where Federal funds will be expended.

An RMP will be developed for each reservoir. However, the management alternatives for the 4SW Reservoirs will be collectively identified and evaluated in a single Environmental Assessment (EA) document. The EA will consider the impacts to the environment and also the political and economic feasibility.

When the draft EA is completed, the public will have 30 days to review and comment on the proposed management alternatives. All comments will be considered for inclusion in the alternatives outlined in the final EA

We will keep you involved in the development of the RMP's through newsletters like this one, special mailings, informational open houses, press releases, and on our web site at

Open Houses

The public is invited to attend open houses to be held in McCook, Nebraska. Dates and times will be announced. The open houses will be held to gather and discuss your ideas regarding management of the 4SW Reservoirs.

In addition to the Web site and local newspapers, meetings will be announced by information posted at the 4SW marinas and information kiosks in the recreation areas.

The Resource Management Plan Newsletter is not published on any set schedule but as the process evolves or issues develop.

For more information:

Public Involvement Specialist
Bureau of Reclamation
PO Box 1607
Grand Island, NE 68802-1607

Send us your Comments:
Phone: 308-389-4622-ext. 220
Fax: 308-389-4780
Logo of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
The Bureau of Reclamation and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission seek to develop Resource Management Plans for Nebraska's four southwestern reservoirs; Enders, Harry Strunk, Hugh Butler, and Swanson. They are referred to as the 4SW Reservoirs
Logo of the Nebraska Game and Parks commission

Last Updated: March 12, 2013

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Accessibility | FOIA | Quality of Information | FAQ | Notices
DOI | |
Stay in touch with Reclamation: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram | RSS | Multimedia