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Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:
Mark Andersen
406-247-7610

Released On: June 19, 2003

Reclamation Office Receives Four C's Award from Secretary Norton
John W. Keys, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation announced today that staff of Reclamation's Great Plains Region/Wyoming Area Office in Mills received a Four C's Award from Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton. The award recognizes a Department of the Interior employee or group of employees that make extraordinary contributions in the spirit of the Secretary's Four C's - "communication, consultation, and cooperation, all in the service of conservation."

The Wyoming Area Office in Reclamation's Great Plains Region was recognized for coordinating a multi-year, multi-agency effort to restore flows in the North Platte River below Pathfinder Dam to reestablish and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. Their efforts culminated in a ceremony conducted August 3, 2002, adjacent to the restored river channel to celebrate the accomplishment and recognize the agencies, groups and individuals that played key roles in developing, funding, and implementing the plan.

Keys said the effort involved four major steps:

1. Construction of a bridge to allow access to the east side of Pathfinder Reservoir when water for irrigation was flowing in the river channel. 2. Installation of a 30-inch jet flow valve in Pathfinder Dam to provide flows of less than 300 cubic feet per second. 3. Providing public access to the restored river channel for fishing and recreation. 4. Developing fish and wildlife habitat in and adjacent to the restored river channel.

Keys said, "The project required a tremendous amount of time, effort, and resources by Reclamation staff and cooperating agencies and organizations. Communication between all parties was ongoing and frequent, consultation with experts in a number of fields was essential during planning and implementation, and the level of cooperation shown by all participants was remarkable."

"The result," Keys added, "is a beautiful stretch of river which will provide enjoyment for the public for years to come."

Particularly recognized in the award citation were Area Manager John Lawson, who conducted long-term negotiations with sister agencies and partners; the staff of the Area Office Water and Lands Division, who completed National Environmental Policy Act compliance; the Water Management Branch, who did the necessary hydrologic analysis; and the staff of the Operation and Maintenance Division for design and construction oversight.

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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.