Great Plains Region Newsroom Channel Reclamation Newsroom Channel Carlie Ronca Selected as Wyoming Area Manager
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Great Plains Regional Director Michael Ryan has announced the selection of Carlie Ronca as Area Manager for Reclamation's Wyoming Area Office. <P> "Carlie brings a wealth of experience to our organization," said Ryan. "She is well-versed in critical issues ranging from water rights to operations and maintenance of Reclamation facilities. She is the right person to lead this vital area of the Great Plains Region." <P> Ronca is responsible for the management of the Wyoming Area Office's portion of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, the Shoshone Project in the Bighorn River Basin, and the North Platte and Kendrick Projects in the North Platte River Basin. <P> The Area Office provides approximately 2.8 million acre-feet of water deliveries, 250 megawatts of hydroelectric power generation, and over one half million acres of lands managed for beneficial uses each year. WYAO employs a supervisory control system for operation of the federal dams and power plants on the North Platte, Wind, Bighorn, and Shoshone Rivers in Wyoming. The Area also provides supervisory control for Colorado's Big Thompson Project and Montana's Yellowtail and Canyon Ferry hydropower facilities. <P> Prior to the Area Manager position, Ronca was the Resources Division Chief for the Eastern Colorado Area Office in Loveland, Colorado. In that capacity, she managed Project water rights and operations, operations and maintenance of Pueblo dam, water contract administration, and natural resources compliance and management. Ronca joined Reclamation in 2006 as a Natural Resource Specialist and Project Manager. After serving as a public school teacher, she began her federal career in 1999 in the natural resources fields for the National Park Service. <P> Ronca holds a Master of Science in Biology from East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the Reclamation Executive Leadership Program, and has been recognized by customers and stakeholders for her service-oriented approach and ability to produce collaborative and creative solutions to complex issues. <P> <P> Reclamation Releases Draft EA for Rehabilitation and Improvement of Crow Irrigation Project
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for the Rehabilitation and Improvement of Crow Irrigation Project, located on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. <P> The Draft EA will be open for public comment from Thursday, October 17 until Friday, November 21. The Crow Tribe, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs developed a programmatic approach for rehabilitation and improvement work. Under this approach, work would be accomplished in phases over a 15-20 year period based on more detailed engineering and environmental reviews at the field level. <P> The Proposed Action incorporates conservation measures for conserving physical, biological, social, and heritage resources to reduce impacts on the environment. The EA addresses resource conditions and values that would be conserved through the application of best management practices (BMPs), natural resource conservation measures, and opportunities for on-farm improvements. <P> Visit <a href=""></a> to access the draft EA for review and comment. For additional information, please contact Christina Lasater, <a href=""></a>, (406) 247-7753. <P> Reclamation, Northern Water Reach Tentative Agreement on Windy Gap Firming Project
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Bureau of Reclamation, Northern Water Conservancy District and Northern Water's Municipal Subdistrict have been negotiating a contract that would allow the Subdistrict to use excess, or unused, capacity in Reclamation's Colorado-Big Thompson Project for the Windy Gap Project and future Windy Gap Firming Project. <P> The 30-day public comment period will open October 8, and close November 7. The comment period provides the public the opportunity to comment on the Contract, Senate Document 80, and Section 14 (Reclamation Project Act of 1939) Determination Memos. <P> "This project will make more efficient use of existing water rights," said Reclamation's Great Plains Regional Director Mike Ryan. "When completed, Windy Gap Firming would provide water storage for 13 municipal providers." <P> The contract will allow for the introduction, storage, conveyance, exchange, substitution, and delivery of water for Municipal Subdistrict, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and allows the flexibility to move or preposition water from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project in Colorado. <P> Section 14 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into contracts for the exchange or replacement of water, water rights, or electrical energy for the adjustment of water rights. Senate Document 80 contains guidelines for Project Facilities operations and Auxiliary Features. <P> "There has been a need for a storage reservoir for Windy Gap water for more than 25 years," said Ryan. "We are getting much closer to making that a reality, and making better use of America's infrastructure, while also creating needed jobs in the process." <P> For more information on the contract, Senate Document 80, and Section 14 Determination Memos, contact Lois Petersen at (406) 247-7752 or <a href=""></a>. <P> Jamestown Dam Downstream Area Reopens
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has completed two projects that had the downstream area of Jamestown dam and access roads closed off for public safety. Those areas have been reopened for public use. <P> A replacement concrete drain was installed on the east downstream side of the dam, and a replacement sub surface drain was installed along the west wingwall of the spillway works on the west downstream side of the dam. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation is also planning to conduct maintenance in the Jamestown Dam outlet works over the next several weeks. Minor concrete repairs will be made within the outlet works. Work is scheduled to begin on October 14, and is expected to take up to two weeks. <P> "The concrete repairs are required to repair freeze-thaw damage at the normal winter ice level within the outlet works stilling basin," said Darrin Goetzfried, Deputy of Facility and Engineering at Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office. <P> Releases from Jamestown Dam will be shut off and the Ice House Dam gates will be opened to lower the James River water level to help facilitate the work. <P> Once repairs are complete, the Ice House Dam gates will be closed and releases will again be made from Jamestown Dam to maintain the reservoirs water level at the winter target elevation of 1429.8 or below. Jamestown Reservoir is currently at elevation 1429.35. <P> For additional information, please contact Darrin Goetzfried at 701-221-1272 or Patience Hurley at 701-221-1204. <P> Reclamation Releasing Water from Patterson Lake for Inspection and Maintenance of the Dam
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Reclamation is temporarily lowering the water level of Patterson Lake to allow for inspection and maintenance of the dam's Bascule Gate. <P> "The water release allows for this work which is part of Reclamation's routine inspection and maintenance associated with all Reclamation water storage facilities," said Darrin Goetzfried, Deputy of Facilities and Engineering. <P> For the duration of the work, which could take up to three weeks, Reclamation will keep the lake elevation just below 2416.5 feet, 3.5 to 4 feet lower than normal. There may be times when no water will be released from the dam during this period. <P> For more information, please contact Patience Hurley at 701.221.1204 or Jim Weigel at 701.221.1289. <P> Reclamation Announces Meetings on Crow MR&I Water Supply Project
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation's Great Plains Region, in cooperation with the Crow Tribe, today announced times and locations of public open houses for Crow Tribe Municipal, Rural, and Industrial Water Supply Project (MR&I Project). <P> "I'm pleased we are engaging with the public on this vital project," said Michael Ryan, Great Plains Regional Director. "This is an opportunity for folks to share their input and help the Crow Tribe and Reclamation make the best decisions possible." <P> The open houses are part of the scoping process for an environmental review of the construction of the MR&I project under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). <P> <table width="460" border="0" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top">Public open houses will be held at:<br><br></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">St. Xavier:</td> <td>Big Horn District Hall<br />Monday, September 22<br />6 to 8 p.m.</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Crow Agency:</td> <td>Black Lodge/Center Lodge (Reno) Multi-Purpose Building<br />Tuesday, September 23<br />6 to 8 p.m.</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Lodge Grass:</td> <td>Valley of the Chiefs/Mighty Few City Hall<br />Monday, September 29<br />6 to 8 p.m.</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Pryor:</td> <td>Arrow Creek Community Hall<br />Tuesday, September 30<br />6 to 8 p.m.</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2">An open house for government agencies will be held at:<br><br></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Billings:</td> <td>Bureau of Reclamation Office<br />Red River Room #206<br />2021 4th Avenue North, Billings, MT, 59101<br />Tuesday, September 30<br />1 p.m. to 3 p.m.</td> </tr> </table> <P> The open houses will be hosted by Reclamation, the Crow Tribe, and the Tribe's contractor, Bartlett & West. <P> Representatives for the project will be on hand to provide project information, answer questions, and take comments from the public and agencies. Information on the environmental analysis for the project is available at <a href=""></a>. <P> Scoping comments will be accepted through October 31, 2014. <P> <P> Reclamation to Begin Annual Drawdown of Alcova Reservoir
MILLS, Wyo. -- The annual drawdown of Alcova Reservoir will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 1, according to Acting Wyoming Area Manager Lyle D. Myler. <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," Myler 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 Mahonri Williams at 307-261-5624. <P> Reclamation Lowers Guernsey Reservoir
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyo., will be lowering the water level in Guernsey Reservoir as the 2014 irrigation season draws to a close, according to Lyle D. Myler, Acting Wyoming Area Manager. <P> Guernsey Reservoir levels are expected to continue gradually declining until the end of September. The reservoir is expected to drop below water surface elevation 4400 feet (approximately 9,700 acre-feet) during the last week of September. <P> Guernsey Reservoir releases are expected to be at or below the current flow rate of approximately 1,700 cfs until the end of September when they will be discontinued for the winter. <P> Glendo Reservoir levels are expected to continue gradually declining and reach a water surface elevation near 4580 feet (approximately 84,000 acre-feet) around September 20. Glendo Reservoir levels will then stabilize and slowly increase after October 1. <P> Boaters, recreationists, and irrigators should take proper precautions regarding changing river flows between Glendo and Guernsey Reservoirs and the lowering of Guernsey Reservoir. <P> Reclamation Awards $1 Million Contract for McCook SCADA Replacement
MCCOOK, Neb. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $1,000,784 contract to Scipar, Inc. for the McCook SCADA replacement. The work will be performed at various McCook Area Offices and dam sites in Kansas and Nebraska. <P> "This SCADA modernization contract will help us to continue efficient operation of our reservoirs in Nebraska and Kansas well into the future," said Aaron Thompson, Nebraska-Kansas Area Manager. <P> The scheduled delivery date for the construction is March 22, 2016. <P> Supervisory Control and Data Replacement (SCADA) is a system designed to monitor and control water treatment plant operations by gathering data from sensors located at the facility, then sending the information to a central computer system. Nearly all of the treatment plant operations can be controlled through the SCADA system. <P> Reclamation Awards $939,057 Contract for Arkansas Valley Conduit Work
LOVELAND, Colo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $939,057 contract to MWH Americas, Inc., of Denver, Colo., for Utility Location and Land Rights Acquisition Plan Support Services. The work will be performed as part of the Arkansas Valley Conduit, Fryingpan-Arkansas Project in southern Colorado. <P> "The objective of this contract is to provide Reclamation with utility locations, current ownership information, legal descriptions, and encumbrances affecting the parcels along the construction route," said Jacklynn Gould, Eastern Colorado Area Manager. "In addition, the contractor will verify and update GIS data, and prepare a preliminary land acquisition plan for Reclamation's review and approval." <P> The work is scheduled to run from September 2014 to September 2015. <P> The Fryingpan-Arkansas Project is a multipurpose transmountain, transbasin water diversion and delivery project in Colorado. It makes possible an average annual diversion of 52,000 acre-feet of surplus water from the Fryingpan River and other tributaries of the Roaring Fork River, on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, to the Arkansas River basin on the eastern slope. <P> Reclamation Awards $6.9 Million Contract for Goose Bay Modernization
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $6,960,069 contract to Helena Sand and Gravel for the modernization of the Goose Bay Marina Concession Area at Canyon Ferry Reservoir, near Helena, Mont. <P> "The modernization of the Goose Bay Marina provides the public with an opportunity for increased access to Canyon Ferry Reservoir, as well as injecting a significant financial contribution to the local economy," said Lowell Pimley, Reclamation's Acting Commissioner. <P> The work is located at Canyon Ferry Reservoir, at the Goose Bay campground, approximately 25 miles north of Townsend, Mont. <P> "We're pleased at the increased recreation opportunities this modernization will provide the public," said Michael Ryan, Great Plains Regional Director. "This project represents a significant investment and offers an improved access point for the public to enjoy their lands." <P> According to Brent Esplin, Montana Area Manager, the principal components of the work include developing a marina complete with store, fueling area, showers, flush toilets, RV dump stations, potable water fill stations, day use area, picnic areas, group camping areas, RV campsites, water and wastewater systems, accessible dock access, overnight boat trailer parking, electrical/telephone service, and varied landscaping throughout the area. <P> "This project is going to transform the Goose Bay Marina into a modern, multi-use facility that will protect the environment and serve the public well," said Esplin. <P> The Canyon Ferry Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program is a multiple-purpose project that makes an important contribution to the power supply, flood control, and water supplies in the upper Missouri Basin Principal structures are Canyon Ferry Dam and Power Plant, about 17 miles northeast of Helena, Montana. <P> Belle Fourche Irrigation District Performing Dredging of South Canal Intake at Belle Fourche Reservoir
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Belle Fourche Irrigation District will be performing dredging of the South Canal intake structure this summer. <P> Dredging will begin the middle of August and continue through the end of the year, or until work is completed. Work will be performed daily between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. <P> "South Canal Outlet Works has large amounts of sediment deposited around the intake structure," said Jeff Nettleton, Manager of Facilities and Engineering for Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office. "Dredging will remove sediment from around the intake to ensure proper flow, operation and function of the Belle Fourche Dam Outlet Works." <P> The dredging barge and equipment will be surrounded by buoys, which have solar powered lights for visibility at night. Boaters should maintain a distance of at least 300 feet from the dredging equipment and buoys to avoid accidents and to protect any divers that may be in the water. <P> "The reservoir is open to the public during the scheduled work, however, boaters and recreationists should be cautious and careful when approaching and driving their water craft near the construction equipment that will be onsite," said Nettleton. <P> Veit & Company, Inc. of Rogers, MN, has been awarded the contract bid by the Belle Fourche Irrigation District. Veit & Company, Inc. will be performing the work themselves. RESPEC Engineering of Rapid City, S.D., has been awarded the contract management of this project. <P> Belle Fourche Reservoir and the surrounding lands are owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. South Dakota Game Fish and Parks is the managing partner of the Rocky Point Recreation Area on the reservoir lands. <P> For dredging information, please contact Steve Bareis with RESPEC Consulting and Services at (605)381-0387. <P> For recreation information, please contact Brad Nelson with SD Game, Fish and Parks at (605) 641-1864. <P> Reclamation Announces Temporary Road Closure
MILLS, Wyo. -- Due to heavy rains occurring in the area of Seminoe and Kortes Dams on the evening of August 4, 2014, the road maintained by the Bureau of Reclamation known as "Seminoe Road" between the Miracle Mile Bridge and Carbon County Rd 351 near the entrance to Seminoe State Park suffered severe erosion. <P> According to Deputy Wyoming Area Manager, Lyle Myler, "Reclamation is closing the road to public travel until further notice. This will effectively block access to the Miracle Mile area from the Seminoe Reservoir side. The Miracle Mile is still accessible via the Hanna Leo Draw Road (Carbon County Road 291). Reclamation is evaluating the damage to the road and determining what actions will be necessary to repair the road for public travel." <P> For further updates on the status of the road, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Public Hearing Scheduled for Northwest Area Water Supply Project Environmental Document
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Bureau of Reclamation is holding a public hearing on the Northwest Area Water Supply Project Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS), on Wed., July 23, at Minot, N.D. <P> The purpose of the hearing is to seek public comment regarding the Draft SEIS. The public hearing provides an opportunity for both verbal and written comment on the Draft SEIS. The Draft SEIS evaluates the estimated future water needs of the area through 2060, develops a full range of reasonable alternatives to meet this future need, and evaluates the potential environmental effects of the proposed alternatives. <P> Requests to comment may be made at the hearing and speakers will be scheduled accordingly. Verbal comments will be recorded by a court stenographer and included as part of the hearing record. <P> Written comments may also be submitted at the hearing, or sent to: Northwest Area Water Supply Project Draft SEIS, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 1017, Bismarck, North Dakota, 58502-1017. <P> Reclamation has granted a 30-day extension of the comment period so the public has through Wed., Sept. 10, 2014, to provide comments. The Draft SEIS can be downloaded from <a href=""></a>. <P> Please notify the Bureau of Reclamation 48 hours in advance if you require special accommodations for this hearing. Contact Alicia Waters at 701-221-1206. <P> The public hearing will be held: <P> <ul> <li><strong>July 23, 2014</strong> – Open House 6-6:30 p.m. CST and<br> Public Hearing 6:30-8:30 p.m. CST<br> Comfort Inn – 1515 22nd Avenue SW.<br> Minot, North Dakota</li> </ul> <P> For additional information please contact Alicia Waters, Bureau of Reclamation, at 701.221.1206 or <a href=""></a>. <P> Big Thompson Power Plant Back On Line, Post Flood
LOVELAND, Colo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation is pleased to announce the return to service of the Big Thompson Power Plant. Located at the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon, the small plant was damaged during the September floods of 2013. <P> "We are extremely pleased with the recovery of this small plant," said Eastern Colorado Area Manager, Jaci Gould. "The Big T Plant is a symbol of green energy. It provides electricity at a low cost using a renewable resource: water. We're glad to have it back on line." <P> While the majority of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project facilities impacted by the flood returned to service within a matter of weeks, the Big T Plant was harder hit. During the flood, the river rerouted itself at the mouth of the canyon, erasing the afterbay of the plant. It also broadened from 30 to 300 feet and buried the tailrace, where water exits the plant, under 12 feet of sediment. A large tree trunk was driven partially through the plant's upstream wall. <P> Reclamation's operations and maintenance crew took proactive measures by running back-up generators during the rain and flood event, more work ranging from manual debris removal to equipment testing continued for months afterward. Reclamation resources and engineering staff also worked closely with the State of Colorado, State contractors, other federal agencies and local neighbors in the recovery of the power plant and adjacent riverbank. <P> "Overall, it's been a lot of hours by our teams and important partnerships with others," said Monica Griffitt, Chief of Engineering at the Eastern Colorado Area Office. "Teamwork is what really pulled us through." <P> The Big Thompson Power Plant is one of six plants on the C-BT. Together, they provide enough hydro-electricity to power 58,000 American homes a year. To learn more about Reclamation hydropower, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P>