Phoenix Area Office - Programs & Activities
Environmental Resource Management
Protecting the Natural Environment
CAP MITIGATION HISTORY
A project as large as the CAP can significantly impact the plant and animal populations it touches. Federal laws such as the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and Reclamation's own regulations require that any impacts be minimized to the fullest extent possible. Reclamation energetically conducts an environmental program to preserve and enhance the values of the natural and human environments that planning, constructing, operating and maintaining the CAP will affect.
This program, managed by Reclamation's Phoenix Area Office (PXAO) ensures that all project construction activities comply fully with state and federal regulations protecting the fish, wildlife, and native plant resources. A staff of full-time biologists manage the program.
By ensuring timely compliance with all regulations, the program allows Reclamation to mitigate, or minimize, the loss of fish and wildlife values in the project area. It also helps prevent costly construction delays that result if necessary biological impacts assessments or mitigation measures are delayed or overlooked.
Biological studies are conducted to determine how plant and animal communities could be affected by the project and what
can be done to lessen those affects. Studies have shown, for example, that acquiring lands to protect existing but threatened
wildlife habitat and intensively revegetating disturbed areas can significantly offset habitat loss, although it rarely
compensates for such losses completely. And some mitigation measures, such as building wildlife water developments in
the desert, can actually enhance deer habitat in areas where water is a limiting factor.