Development of Lower Colorado River Basin Shortage Guidelines & Coordinated Management Strategies for Lakes Powell and Mead
Public Involvement Activities
Reclamation is committed to providing opportunities for the public, stakeholders and other interested parties to engage in meaningful participation throughout the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. To achieve this goal, a Public Involvement Plan was developed and will be used and updated throughout this process.
Reclamation held two series of public meetings to obtain input from the public regarding the scope of this study. The initial series of public meetings was held in July 2005. The purpose of this first series of meetings was to solicit input from the public regarding the content, format, mechanism, and analysis to be considered during the development of the proposed shortage guidelines and reservoir management strategies. The outcome of this initial public input process was a decision by the Secretary to begin a formal NEPA process and preparation of an EIS. The second series of public meetings was held in November 2005. The purpose of this second series of meetings was to solicit comments from the public on the scope of specific shortage guidelines and other coordinated reservoir management strategies and the issues and alternatives that should be considered and analyzed in the EIS. The written and oral comments received at both sets of meetings were summarized in the Scoping Summary Report.
Opportunities for public comment will occur throughout the entire EIS process. Once the Draft EIS for this project is released, Reclamation will hold another series of meetings to provide the public an opportunity to review the draft environmental document and make formal comments. Public comments will then be addressed in the Final EIS. The Final EIS is expected to be complete by fall 2007 with the Secretary issuing a Record of Decision by December 2007. Documents will be available by mail, online, and at various local agencies and libraries.
Five federal agencies are participating in this EIS process as Cooperating Agencies. These agencies include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Western Area Power Administration, and the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission. The Cooperating Agencies are meeting regularly with Reclamation and will assist with the development and evaluation of alternatives and in the preparation of the EIS.
Consultation and Coordination Efforts
Reclamation is also coordinating the development of the EIS with the seven Basin States, Indian Tribal Governments, Mexico and other key stakeholders and interested parties. It is important to Reclamation to involve these entities as early in the process as possible to answer questions, discuss concerns, and address issues as they arise. Meetings with these various groups have been and will continue to occur throughout the planning process.
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