Bureau of Reclamation Seeks Comments on Plan to Protect Native Fishes and Amphibians in Redrock Canyon, Coronado National Forest

Media Contact: Patricia Cox , (623) 773-6214
John McGlothlen , (623) 773-6256

For Release: September 14, 2007

The Bureau of Reclamation has issued a draft Environmental Assessment on the potential environmental effects of a proposed aquatic ecosystem restoration project in the Redrock Canyon watershed on the Coronado National Forest, Santa Cruz County, Arizona and is seeking comments from the public. The proposed project would include construction of a fish barrier, removal of nonnative fish and frogs, and restoration of the native fish and amphibians. The project is a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Redrock Canyon, located 45 miles southeast of Tucson, Ariz., is home to 4 species of native fish including the endangered Gila topminnow. Several native amphibians also reside in the watershed, most notably the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog and endangered Sonora tiger salamander. The purpose of the proposed action is to establish self-sustaining populations of five native fish species (Gila topminnow, Gila chub, desert sucker, speckled dace, longfin dace), the Chiricahua leopard frog, the Sonora tiger salamander, and possibly other aquatic and semi-aquatic native species, in the Redrock Canyon watershed.

The draft EA can be obtained by calling the Environmental Resource Management Division at (623) 773-6251, by e-mailing rkonst@lc.usbr.gov , or by downloading it from the Phoenix Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/

Comments should be mailed to Mr John McGlothlen at the Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office, PXAO-1500, 6150 West Thunderbird Rd., Glendale AZ 85306-4001or faxed to (623) 773-6481, no later than October 15, 2007. Questions may be directed to Mr. McGlothlen at (623) 773-6256.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.