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Upper Colorado Region
Salt Lake City, Utah
Media Contact:
Steve McCall
(970) 248-0638
Justyn Hock
(970) 248-0625

Released On: October 11, 2011

Selenium Management Partners Host Public Forums on Selenium and Water Supply
Reclamation and their Selenium Management Program partners will host two public forums on selenium in the Gunnison Basin. The forums will be on Monday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hotchkiss Memorial Hall located at 175 N. 1st St. in Hotchkiss, Colo. and Thursday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Montrose Holiday Inn Express located at 1391 South Townsend Ave. in Montrose, Colo.

The goals of the forums are to: 1) discuss with the public and media how selenium affects the water supply and endangered fish in the Gunnison Basin and 2) receive input from the public about plans to reduce selenium in local waterways while protecting existing and future water uses and avoiding potential Endangered Species Act conflicts in the basin.

Selenium is a trace metal found in Mancos Shale, and soils in many parts of the lower Gunnison Basin are naturally high in selenium and salt. When water comes in contact with these soils it can mobilize the selenium, flushing it into our rivers. Selenium concentrations in the lower Gunnison and Colorado Rivers and many of their tributaries currently exceed levels that are deemed safe for sensitive aquatic life, including endangered fish species.

For more information about SMP visit the selenium program website email seleniuminfo@usbr.gov, or call 970-248-0600.

The forums are sponsored by: Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado River Water Conservation District, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado State University Extension, Delta and Shavano Conservation Districts, Gunnison Basin and Grand Valley Selenium Task Forces, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association, Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey

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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.