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The following are excerpts from a special issue of the 4SW newsletter issued for the Open House meetings held AUGUST 22, 2000 - WAUNETA, NE and AUGUST 23, 2000 - McCOOK, NE. The purpose of the Open Houses was to assist in DEVELOPMENT OF RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANS (RMPs) FOR THE 4SW RESERVOIRS.

 

Purpose of the Open House

The purpose of today's open house is to gather your ideas and input for future management of Medicine Creek, Red Willow, Swanson and Enders Reservoirs. The information you give us will be considered in developing a Resource Management Plan, called an RMP, for each of the four reservoirs. The RMP will serve as a guide for Reclamation and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (Commission) in managing land and water resources. It will contain long term management goals and objectives and address reservoir use while ensuring protection of the resources.

Information Collected

Information collection and exchange is a critical component of RMP development and the process is well underway. During 1999, outdoor recreationists who used the 4SW Reservoirs and surrounding lands were provided an opportunity to respond to a survey concerning the number and type of users as well as their recreational activities at the reservoirs. The survey gathered over 700 comments regarding recreation and resource management issues at the 4 SW Reservoirs. They have been placed in binders and are available at the handout table for you to look at. To present the information in a format offering more clarity and ease of comparison, the Commission has prepared bar chart graphs. The graphics are also available at the handout table. They describe and quantify the uses, preferences, demographics, and needs of the outdoor recreationists who returned surveys.

At this open house we want to offer the opportunity for input to any of you who did not have the chance to complete a survey. We also welcome additional comments from any of you who have previously provided information.

Scope of Discussions

Personnel from Reclamation and the Commission are interested in your concerns and are willing to discuss a wide range of resource related topics. However you need to know that some issues, including those listed below, are outside the scope of the RMP process and we cannot effect changes in them. The focus of the open houses is the collection and exchange of information concerning development of RMPs for the 4 SW Reservoirs. We hope to use the time today to learn as much as we can about your management ideas for the reservoirs.

Issues Outside the Scope of the RMP Process

Management ideas or issues on reservoirs or recreation areas that are not owned by Reclamation.
Water levels at the 4 SW Reservoirs - An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was recently completed covering irrigation district contract renewal and minimum pool levels. Public meetings were held to gather input during the renewal process as well as comment periods for both the draft and final EIS. Contracts setting out minimum pool levels were recently executed. The new contracts include water conservation measures and shared shortages provisions.

The setting of hunting seasons or fishing limits - Seasons, limits, etc. are established by the Commission during open public meetings.


Objects of the Open House
1. To provide information to reservoir users about all aspects of resource and recreational use, development, and management in the 4 SW Reservoirs that will be affected or influenced by development of the RMPS.
2.

To gather constructive input and management ideas for the future at the reservoirs.


What Happens to Your Comments?

All comments received will be read and evaluated. Both Reclamation and the Commission work under various laws, regulations, and policies regarding management of resources at the reservoirs. As we evaluate the management ideas we must consider the parameters within which we have to operate. Is the suggestion feasible considering limited budgets, does it provide for resource protection, allow reasonable use, and follow regulations and policy? Could it possibly be combined with another suggestion to become a feasible management option? We want to get constructive input and ideas addressing recreation or resource management options that can be implemented. Ideas considered to be workable will be incorporated into the RMP for each reservoir.

If you would like a copy of all the comments received at the open houses, please fill out a comment card with your name and address indicating you would like a copy.

WHAT'S NEXT

Reclamation and Commission personnel will evaluate the information collected. The RMP process will then move forward to the identification and evaluation of management alternatives.

Once management alternatives have been formulated they will be incorporated into a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft RMP available for public comment for 30 days. The final step will be the issuance of a final EA and RMP.

We encourage you to stay involved throughout the RMP process. The comments collected at the open houses as well as other information on the RMP process will be posted on Reclamation's web site under Current Activities - Resource Management Plans - Comments from Informational Open Houses. In addition, RMP information will be disseminated through newsletters, special mailings, or press releases.

THANK YOU FOR COMING TO THE OPEN HOUSE AND PROVIDING INPUT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANS.

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

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