Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management Issue Findings of No Significant Impact on Plan to Build a Fish Barrier in Hot Springs Canyon

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

For Release: February 13, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Land Management have issued Findings of No Significant Impact on a proposal to construct a fish barrier in Hot Springs Canyon in Cochise County, Arizona. The draft Environmental Assessment was released in November 2008. After considering public comments, Reclamation and the BLM have determined that the proposed fish barrier will not significantly impact the environment.

The canyon is located within the Hot Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern, part of the 57,500-acre Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area, and is home to 5 species of native fish: endangered Gila chub, longfin dace, speckled dace, Sonora sucker, and desert sucker. In 2007, Hot Springs Canyon was stocked with threatened loach minnow, threatened spikedace, endangered desert pupfish, and endangered Gila topminnow, creating a diverse native fish assemblage. The proposed fish barrier will protect the native fish community from predatory, nonnative fishes that inhabit downstream waters.

A copy of the final Environmental Assessment, Reclamation's FONSI and the BLM's FONSI/Decision Record can be obtained by calling Reclamation's Environmental Resource Management Division at 623-773-6251, e-mailing rkonst@lc.usbr.gov , or by downloading the documents from the Phoenix Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/

Questions may be directed to Mr. John McGlothlen of Reclamation's Phoenix Area Office Environmental Resource Management Division, 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.