Great Plains Region Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52549 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's February forecast for the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn River Basin is as follows: <P> <ul> <li>Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 596,200 af, which is 54 percent of the 30 year average of 1,114,300 af.</li> <li>Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 570,000 acre-feet (af), which is 83 percent of the 30 year average of 686,300 acre-feet.</li> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 350,000 af, which is 64 percent of the 30 year average of 548,300 af.</li> <li>Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 110,000 af, which is 80 percent of the 30 year average of 138,200 af.</li> <li>Wind River - April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 300,000 af, which is 74 percent of the 30 year average of 405,400 af.</li> </ul> <P> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen and Bull Lake reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Carlie Ronca at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Steve Davies at 406-247-7298. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52527 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for North Platte
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyo., has prepared snowmelt runoff forecasts for the North Platte River Basin, according to Carlie Ronca, Wyoming Area Manager. The Feb. 1 forecast indicates the spring snowmelt runoff for the North Platte Basin will be below average. <P> Total April through July runoff in the North Platte Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 750,000 acre feet (AF). The April through July expected runoff is comprised of approximately 600,000 AF into Seminoe Reservoir, 30,000 AF into Pathfinder Reservoir from the Sweetwater River, and 120,000 AF from the basin between Pathfinder Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir. The anticipated 750,000 AF is 86% of the 30 year average of 872,100 AF. <P> The total storage for the North Platte Reservoir System as of January 31, 2016 is 2,020,985 AF, which is 131% of the 30-year average of 1,539,100 AF. The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 AF. <P> "In spite of projected below average inflows, we anticipate the current above average reservoir storage will allow us to provide our North Platte Basin contractors with a full water supply this year," Ronca said. <P> Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in March, April, and May. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52448 Reclamation Warns of Changing Ice Conditions
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Bureau of Reclamation advises the public to take extreme precautions due to rapidly changing ice conditions at all reservoirs in North Dakota and South Dakota. <P> Winter snowpack melting due to warm temperatures has increased water inflows, causing rapid shifts in ice conditions. Two cases of ATVs breaking through the ice at Belle Fourche Reservoir this past weekend in western South Dakota emphasize the danger of rapidly changing ice conditions for anglers and other recreationists. <P> No ice can be considered 100% safe. <P> "Changing water elevations and increased runoff create dangerous areas of thin ice creating unsafe conditions for individuals recreating on the rivers and lakes," said Dakotas Area Office Manager David Rosenkrance. "These fluctuating water elevations cause shifting ice conditions without prior warning." Reclamation urges extreme caution whenever venturing onto the ice. <P> General Safety Guidelines for frozen lakes: <ul> <li>Leave information about your plans with someone -- where you intend to fish and when you expect to return.</li> <li>Wear a personal floatation device and don't fish alone.</li> <li>Ice varies in thickness and condition. Always carry an ice spud or chisel to check ice as you proceed.</li> <li>Be extremely cautious crossing ice near points of land. Water currents cause ice to be thinner over these areas.</li> <li>Avoid going onto the ice if it has melted away from the shore. Receding ice indicates melting is underway, and ice can rapidly shift position as wind direction changes.</li> <li>Waves from open water can quickly break up large areas of ice. If you can see open water in the lake and the wind picks up, get off the ice!</li> <li>Carry a set of hand spikes to help you work your way back onto the surface of the ice if you fall through. Holding one in each hand, you can alternately punch them into the ice and pull yourself up and out. You can make these at home, using large nails, or you can purchase them at stores that sell fishing supplies.</li> <li>Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone who has gone through the ice.</li> <li>Leave your car or truck on shore.</li> <li>Heated fishing shanties must have good ventilation to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window or the door part way to allow in fresh air.</li> </ul> <P> For more information on what to consider before going onto the ice, visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at: <a href="http://www.gf.nd.gov">http://www.gf.nd.gov</a> or the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department website at: <a href="http://gfp.sd.gov">http://gfp.sd.gov</a>. <P> For more information, please contact Patience Hurley at 701.221.1204. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52408 Reclamation Awards $4 Million Construction Contract for Nelson Dikes Safety Modifications
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $4,015,045 contract for Nelson Dikes Modification to Johnson-Wilson Constructors, Inc. of Helena, Montana, to mitigate seepage-related safety deficiencies of dikes at Nelson Reservoir, 19 miles northeast of Malta, Mont. <P> "On-site activities for the project will launch late this spring," said Steve Davies, Montana Area Office Manager. "At that time, the contractor will begin prepping the site for construction work. We expect normal reservoir operations to continue until approximately July 1, 2016." Davies said. "Around that time, Reclamation will begin drawing down Nelson Reservoir to reach an elevation of 2,205 feet by August 25, 2016 in order to facilitate construction activities." The reservoir will remain at this lower level until at least Oct. 15, 2016 while modification work on the downstream portions of the dikes is completed. Depending on the available water supply, Nelson Reservoir could be back to normal operating levels as early as spring 2017. <P> Construction is scheduled to be complete by summer 2017. An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the modification has been finalized and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been signed. The public can access the final EA and FONSI on Reclamation's website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/nelson/">http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/nelson/</a>. <P> For additional information, please contact Jack Conner at 406-247-7300, or <a href="mailto:jconner@usbr.gov">jconner@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52131 Heart Butte Reservoir Gate House Maintenance Will Restrict Traffic Over Dam
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Reclamation will temporarily restrict traffic on State Highway 49 as it crosses over the top of Heart Butte Dam located 17 miles south of Glen Ullin, N.D., beginning the week of January 11, 2016. <P> "Reclamation will be replacing the control house access ladder which will require vehicles to be located on the shoulder or lane next to the control house located on top of the dam adjacent to the Highway," said Darrin Goetzfried, Deputy of Facilities and Engineering. <P> For safety reasons, traffic speeds on the road on top of the Dam will be reduced and occasionally restricted to one lane traffic while this work is being performed. <P> "We are planning for this work to take up to 8 weeks. The affected area will be signed and signaled as needed," said Goetzfried. <P> The work is part of Reclamation's routine maintenance associated with the facility. Reclamation will keep water releases steady at 33 cubic feet per second with the lake elevation around 2061.6 feet, which is about 3 feet below the top of the spillway structure. <P> For more information, please contact Patience Hurley at 701.221.1204 or Jim Weigel at 701.221.1289. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52047 Reclamation Releases Environmental Document for Pueblo Reservoir Hydropower Project
LOVELAND, Colo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Pueblo Reservoir Hydropower Project for public review and comment. <P> Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Board of Water Works of Pueblo, and Colorado Springs Utilities have requested approval to develop hydropower at the federally-owned Pueblo Dam. <P> Under the proposed action, the Bureau of Reclamation would execute a Lease of Power Privilege to authorize the use of federal lands, facilities, and Fryingpan-Arkansas Project water to construct, operate, and maintain a seven megawatt hydropower facility at the Pueblo Dam. <P> The Draft EA is electronically available at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/sopa.html">http://www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/sopa.html</a>. <P> Comments on the Draft EA can be sent to: <a href="mailto:TStroh@usbr.gov">TStroh@usbr.gov</a>; Terence Stroh, Bureau of Reclamation, 11056 West County Road 18E, Loveland, CO 80537; or faxed to 970-663-3212. <P> For additional information or to receive a printed copy of the Draft EA, please contact Terence Stroh at 970-962-4369 or <a href="mailto:TStroh@usbr.gov">TStroh@usbr.gov</a>. Reclamation requests comments on the Draft EA on or before January 30, 2015. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51876 Bidding Opportunity for Concessionaire at Goose Bay Marina, Montana
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking a Concessionaire to provide commercial services to the public at the newly modernized Goose Bay Marina and Campground, located on the eastern shore of Canyon Ferry Reservoir, near Townsend, Montana. <P> The Concessionaire prospectus package is available at <a href="http://www.fedbizopps.gov">www.fedbizopps.gov</a>, under Solicitation No. R16PS00092. Additional background information is available on Reclamation's website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/canyonferry/goosebay/">www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/canyonferry/goosebay/</a>. A prebid site visit is planned for 1 pm on January 12, 2016. <P> Bids must be received by February 26, 2016. <P> "We are very pleased to see the final pieces of the modernization project coming together," said Steve Davies, Area Manager. "The Montana Area Office appreciates the public's patience as we have moved forward with improvements to the Goose Bay Marina and Campground. I expect visitors to the site will find there is a vastly different experience with modern facilities and updated infrastructure, as well as areas that retain less developed characteristics that some campers prefer," said Davies. <P> The Goose Bay Marina boat ramp at Canyon Ferry Reservoir was closed through the 2015 recreation season as improvements were built. Reclamation plans for the Marina and Campground to be operational for the 2016 recreation season, with some facilities open by Memorial Day 2016. <P> For the latest information on the Goose Bay Marina and Campground, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/">www.usbr.gov/gp/</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51880 Reclamation Releases Environmental Document for Estes Park Transit Facility Parking Structure
LOVELAND, Colo. -- Reclamation has released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for public review and comment for a Town of Estes Park (Estes Park) proposal to construct up to a three-level parking structure on Reclamation lands. If approved by Reclamation, the parking structure could be constructed south of the existing Estes Park Visitor Center which serves as a transit facility. In 2011, the Federal Transit Administration awarded Estes Park a $3,000,000 federal grant under the Paul S. Sabanes Transit in Park Program. The grant provides funding for the transit facility improvement and construction of a parking structure. The comment period will close on January 15, 2016. <P> The project will expand the existing 102 stall surface parking lot by adding 108 new parking spaces in a parking structure. Another 202 new spaces could be accommodated on two future levels of the structure. The full project would result in approximately 412 parking spaces. Currently, Estes Park operates a free shuttle service to and from the Estes Park Visitor Center, with services to downtown Estes Park, Estes Park Events Complex and Park-n-Ride, Marys Lake Campground, East Portal Campground, and Rocky Mountain National Park's Fall River and Beaver Meadows Visitor Centers. <P> The Draft EA is available electronically at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/estes_park_transit.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/estes_park_transit.html</a>. <P> Comments on the Draft EA can be sent to: Terence Stroh, Environmental Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 11056 W. CR 18E, Loveland, CO 80537; fax: (970) 663-321; or email: <a href="mailto:tstroh@usbr.gov">tstroh@usbr.gov</a>. <P> For questions related the Draft EA or to request a printed copy, please contract Terence Stroh at 970-962-4369 or <a href="mailto:tstroh@usbr.gov">tstroh@usbr.gov</a>. For questions related to Estes Park, please contact Gregory Muhonen, Estes Parks Public Works Department at 970-577-3581 or <a href="mailto:Gmuhonen@estes.org">Gmuhonen@estes.org</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51627 Unsafe Ice Conditions Identified at Lake Audubon
BISMARCK, ND -- Ice conditions at Lake Audubon are unstable and unsafe due to fluctuating water levels and warmer temperatures. Ice thickness varies from feet to only inches within very short distances. Lake Audubon should never be considered safe for vehicle traffic no matter how cold the temperatures may become. <P> "Reclamation and the Corp of Engineers are evaluating the changing water levels of the Lake and are working on a solution to stabilize the lake elevation," said Darrin Goetzfried, Deputy Manager for Facilities and Engineering. "Reclamation is concerned for all individuals' safety and urges that extreme caution be applied whenever venturing onto the ice." <P> Here are some safety tips every person venturing out onto frozen lakes should observe: <ul> <li>Leave information about your plans with someone -- where you intend to fish and when you expect to return.</li> <li>Wear a personal floatation device and don't fish alone.</li> <li>Ice varies in thickness and condition. Always carry an ice spud or chisel to check ice as you proceed.</li> <li>Be extremely cautious crossing ice near points of land. Current causes ice to be thinner over these areas.</li> <li>Avoid going onto the ice if it has melted away from the shore. This indicates melting is underway, and ice can shift position as wind direction changes.</li> <li>Waves from open water can quickly break up large areas of ice. If you can see open water in the lake and the wind picks up, get off!</li> <li>Carry a set of hand spikes to help you work your way out onto the surface of the ice if you go through. Holding one in each hand, you can alternately punch them into the ice and pull yourself up and out. You can make these at home, using large nails, or you can purchase them at stores that sell fishing supplies.</li> <li>Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone who has gone through the ice.</li> <li>Leave your car or truck on shore.</li> <li>Heated fishing shanties must have good ventilation to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window or the door part way to allow in fresh air.</li> </ul> <P> For more information on what to consider before going onto the ice, visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at: <a href="http://www.gf.nd.gov">http://www.gf.nd.gov</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51232 Reclamation Releases Finding of No Significant Impact for Horsetooth Reservoir Facilities
LOVELAND, Colo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a Larimer County Parks and Open Lands Department (Larimer County Parks) proposal to construct new administrative and maintenance facilities. The project is located at Horsetooth Reservoir's South Bay Campground near Fort Collins, Colo. <P> Larimer County Parks manages the federal lands around Horsetooth Reservoir under agreements with Reclamation. The EA addresses changes in location and design for proposed administrative and maintenance facilities included in Reclamation's 2007 Resource Management Plan and Environmental Assessment that was prepared for Horsetooth Reservoir, Carter Lake, Pinewood Reservoir, and Flatiron Reservoir. <P> The Final EA and FONSI are available electronically at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/horsetooth_res_facilities.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/horsetooth_res_facilities.html</a> <P> For additional information or to request a printed copy of the Final EA and FONSI, please contact Terence Stroh at 970-962-4369 or <a href="mailto:tstroh@usbr.gov">tstroh@usbr.gov</a>. <P> For questions related to Horsetooth Reservoir Park, please contact Mark Caughlan, Larimer County Parks at 970-498-5600 or <a href="mailto:mcaughlan@larimer.org">mcaughlan@larimer.org</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50949 Maintenance Activities Require Temporary Water Release Using Alcova Spillway
The Bureau of Reclamation will temporarily use the spillway at Alcova Dam to make scheduled water releases to the North Platte River. This action is necessary to accommodate maintenance activities required by Western Area Power Administration in their local power facilities. The river flow below Gray Reef Dam will continue to be at about 500 cubic feet per second (cfs). <P> This particular water operation will begin on November 2 and is scheduled to last for about 5 days. When maintenance work is completed, the releases will be made once again through the power plant at Alcova Dam. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50867 Siren Test at Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel and Plant
LEADVILLE, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation will test its warning sirens at the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Treatment Plant on Thursday, November 5, 2015, starting at 1 p.m. <P> The sirens and emergency warning system are tested periodically as part of Reclamation’s regular maintenance program at the drainage tunnel and treatment plant. The sirens and warning system were installed to enhance notification of local residents in the unlikely event of an emergency. <P> The Drainage Tunnel and Treatment Plant continue to function as designed and are performing safely. <P> For more information, please call Patience Hurley at (701)221-1204 or e-mail phurley@usbr.gov. <P> Espanol: El Negociado de Reclamaciones (Bureau of Reclamation), iniciara pruebas de su nuevo sistema de alarmas para la Planta de Tratamiento de Agua, localizada en el Tunel de Drenaje de la Mina de Leadville. Las pruebas se llevaran a 1 p.m. el dia 5 de Noviembre de 2015. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50873 Siren Test at Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel and Plant
LEADVILLE, COLO. -- The Bureau of Reclamation will test its warning sirens at the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Treatment Plant on Thursday, November 5, 2015, starting at 1 p.m. <P> The sirens and emergency warning system are tested periodically as part of Reclamation's regular maintenance program at the drainage tunnel and treatment plant. The sirens and warning system were installed to enhance notification of local residents in the unlikely event of an emergency. <P> The Drainage Tunnel and Treatment Plant continue to function as designed and are performing safely. <P> For more information, please call Patience Hurley at (701) 221-1204 or e-mail <a href="mailto:phurley@usbr.gov">phurley@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <strong>Espanol</strong>: El Negociado de Reclamaciones (Bureau of Reclamation), iniciara pruebas de su nuevo sistema de alarmas para la Planta de Tratamiento de Agua, localizada en el Tunel de Drenaje de la Mina de Leadville. Las pruebas se llevaran a 1 p.m. el dia 5 de Noviembre de 2015. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50667 Reclamation to Host Public Meeting on North Platte Water Operations
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a North Platte River Water Information Meeting in Torrington, Wyo. <P> The meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Thursday, October 22, in the Brand Room at the fairgrounds in Torrington. The purpose of the meeting is to present information on the operations and accounting of the North Platte River Reservoirs in Water Year 2015, which covers the period October 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015. Scenarios of operations for Water Year 2016 will also be presented using reasonable minimum, most probable, and reasonable maximum water supply conditions. <P> For additional information contact Mahonri Williams at (307) 261-5624 or <a href="mailto:mlwilliams@usbr.gov">mlwilliams@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50436 Annual Drawdown of Alcova Reservoir
MILLS, Wyo. -- The annual drawdown of Alcova Reservoir will begin on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, according to Carlie Ronca, Wyoming Area Manager. <P> During October, the reservoir water surface elevation will be lowered about 10 feet, at a rate of approximately four inches per day. The reservoir's normal winter operating range is between 5,487 and 5,489 feet. <P> Water released in the drawdown of Alcova Reservoir will be restored downstream in Glendo Reservoir, as is normal for this time of year. "Although releases are usually made through the Alcova Powerplant, scheduled maintenance activities may require some of the October releases to be made through the Alcova Spillway," Ronca said. <P> Boat owners and recreationists should be aware of the declining level of Alcova Reservoir and take proper precautions. For more information about the Alcova drawdown, please contact Art Hill at 307-261-5633. <P>