The Adaptive Management Work Group Advisory Committee
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:
Bureau of Reclamation
Grand Canyon Wildlands Council
Grand Canyon River Guides
SEVEN COLORADO RIVER BASIN STATES:
FEDERAL POWER PURCHASE CONTRACTORS:
Colorado River Energy Distributors Association
The construction and operation of Glen Canyon Dam fundamentally altered the Colorado River ecosystem. Given the importance of Colorado River water to Arizona and the other Lower Basin States, it is not surprising that there has been and remains considerable controversy over how to share the water in this major river. Challenges abound over how best to manage this resource for the mutual benefit of agricultural, municipal, industrial, tribal, environmental and recreational interests.
The Grand Canyon Protection Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-575) directed the Secretary of the Interior to manage Glen Canyon Dam in such a way as to "protect, mitigate adverse impacts to and improve the values for which Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area were established." The act provided direction for the Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); it required that all dam operations would be analyzed in terms of those goals.
After nearly five years of study - and over 40 different projects undertaken by more than 15 different agencies - the "record of decision" for the Glen Canyon Dam EIS was signed in 1996. The decision specified parameters for operating Glen Canyon Dam and mandated that adaptive management of the resources in Grand Canyon be undertaken. The act stipulated that a close watch be maintained on the effects of Glen Canyon dam operations. It also ordered that future modifications of those operations and management actions be considered to protect and enhance the Colorado River ecosystems.
The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP) was officially established in 1997, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, in compliance with the Grand Canyon Protection Act of 1992 and the 1996 Record of Decision which initiated the process "whereby the effects of dam operations on downstream resources would be monitored and assessed." The implementation of the GCDAMP provides for flexibility in adapting the dam's operations in order to facilitate continued scientific research and monitoring without preventing the dam from achieving its primary purposes. As environmental experimentation and study continues, it is important to recognize that the Secretary must continue to operate Glen Canyon Dam to meet the purposes established by Congress.