Reclamation to Host Rock Springs Scoping Meeting on Seedskadee Project Lands Revocation Study
Media Contact: Curt Pledger, 801-379-1000
Barry Wirth, 801-524-3774
For Release: September 24, 2012
PROVO, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation's Provo Area Office is preparing an environmental assessment on a proposal to return certain withdrawn lands associated with the Seedskadee Project on the Green River in Wyoming to the Bureau of Land Management. These lands in question are located in Lincoln, Sublette and Sweetwater counties. Reclamation will be meeting with the public in Rock Springs, Wyo., to conduct a public scoping meeting on October 2, 2012.
The project, which includes Fontenelle Dam and Reservoir as primary features, was created by Congress in 1956 to provide municipal, industrial and irrigation water along with flood control and hydropower generation. As part of the project, Reclamation withdrew certain public lands from the BLM. A small portion of these lands were set aside for the development of an experimental farm to be irrigated with project water. If the farm proved feasible, the lands would then be sold for the development of farms and ranches. However, the results of the experimental farm indicated the area is unproductive for agriculture. In 1962, Reclamation abandoned the irrigation portion of the Seedskadee Project, thus the withdrawn lands were no longer needed.
Because Reclamation has no further use for the property, it proposed to revoke the 1956 withdrawal and return the lands to the BLM. A notice of intent to revoke the withdrawal will be filed with BLM's Wyoming State Office in accordance with all applicable rules, regulations and policies. Future uses of that land will again become the responsibility of the BLM.
In order to complete the revocation, Reclamation must develop an environmental assessment. At the present time that environmental assessment is presumed to have two alternatives, the "action" alternative to return the lands to the BLM and the "no action" alternative to continue to hold the withdrawn property.
The public is invited to attend the scoping meeting Tuesday, October 2, 2012, to be held in room 1302 at the Western Wyoming Community College at 2500 College Drive, Rock Springs, Wyo., 82901. The scoping meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and run to 8 p.m. Reclamation managers will be present to answer questions and discuss the proposal. The public will have until October 16, 2012 to provide written comments on the proposal. Comments from the public will be accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The target date for completion of the draft environmental assessment is December 2012, when it will then be open for public comment.
Reclamation's Provo Area Office is responsible for both the administration of the current Seedskadee lands and the development of the environmental assessment. For further information, please contact Curt Pledger at (801) 379-1000.
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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.