Public Scoping Meetings To Be Held On Aspinall Unit Operations Environmental Impact Statement

Media Contact: Justyn Hock, 970-248-0625

For Release: February 12, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation has filed a notice of intent in the January 21, 2004 Federal Register to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on operations of the Wayne N. Aspinall Unit (Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal Reservoirs) in western Colorado to help provide adequate flows for endangered fish downstream in the Gunnison River.

The EIS will develop operating criteria and guidance for reservoir operations to help meet recommended flows for endangered fish while continuing to maintain the authorized purposes of the Aspinall Unit. Alternative operating plans will be formulated and analyzed.

The public is invited to participate in scheduled scoping meetings: - February 24 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Gunnison County Multipurpose Building (Fairgrounds), 275 South Spruce St., Gunnison - February 25 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Delta Middle School Auditorium, 822 Grand Avenue, Delta - February 26 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at Liff Auditorium, Mesa State College (in student center at 12th and Elm), Grand Junction

Input from these meetings will help determine issues that should be addressed in the EIS, help determine which issues are significant, and provide initial ideas on alternatives to be considered.

Reclamation invites comments during the scoping period. Written input regarding the scope and content of the EIS should be sent to the Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Western Colorado Area Office, 2764 Compass Drive, Suite 106, Grand Junction, CO 81506 or to Those not desiring to submit comments or suggestions at this time, but who would like to receive a copy of the draft EIS and other mailings, should contact Reclamation at the same address.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.