Great Plains Region Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54768 Reclamation Expects High Water Levels in the North Platte River System This Summer
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation expects higher than normal flows and reservoir levels on the North Platte River System this summer. This is due to recent widespread precipitation, coupled with above average snowpack and already well above average water levels in the reservoirs. <P> "Reclamation is continuing to take steps to make room for the snowmelt runoff that is expected to come into Seminoe and Pathfinder Reservoirs over the next few weeks," said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca. "Moving water downstream now will reduce the peak of downstream flows that would be experienced otherwise. Reclamation is coordinating with other Federal, state, and local officials regarding reservoir levels and river flows." <P> Spillways and outlet works will be operated as necessary at all of the Reclamation dams along the North Platte River. The public should be aware of the changing river flows and reservoir levels and take proper precautions. <P> The release from Seminoe Dam through the Miracle Mile has been increased to approximately 6,500 cfs (cubic feet per second) and is expected to be increased again to 7,500 cfs by the end of the week. The current release below Pathfinder Dam is approximately 4,600 cfs and is likely to increase to over 5,000 cfs by the end of May, and 7,000 cfs by early June. The current release from Gray Reef Dam is approximately 4,500 cfs and is expected to increase to 5,000 cfs by the end of May and near 7,000 cfs by early June. As a comparison, the Gray Reef Dam releases from the most recent high water year in 2011 were about 8,000 cfs. <P> Glendo Reservoir has risen to approximately 5 feet into the exclusive flood control. The reservoir is expected to remain in the flood pool until late July in an effort to provide downstream flood protection in Wyoming and Nebraska. The Guernsey Reservoir release is currently 5,000 cfs. That outflow is projected through the month of May with an increase to 6,000 cfs by mid-June. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54527 Reclamation Expects High Water Levels in the North Platte River System This Summer
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation expects higher than normal flows and reservoir levels on the North Platte River System this summer. This is due to recent widespread precipitation, coupled with above average snowpack and already well above average water levels in the reservoirs. <P> "Steps are being taken to make room for the snowmelt runoff that is expected to come into Seminoe and Pathfinder Reservoirs over the next few weeks," said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca. "Moving water downstream now will reduce the peak of downstream flows that would be experienced otherwise. Reclamation is coordinating with other Federal, state, and local officials regarding reservoir levels and river flows." <P> Spillways and outlet works will be operated as necessary at all of the Reclamation dams along the North Platte River. The public should be aware of the changing river flows and reservoir levels and take proper precautions. <P> The release from Seminoe Dam through the Miracle Mile has been increased to approximately 4,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) and may approach 7,000 cfs by early June. The current release below Pathfinder Dam is approximately 2,500 cfs and is likely to increase to over 5,000 cfs by the end of May and 7,000 cfs by mid-June. The current release from Gray Reef Dam is approximately 2,500 cfs and is expected to increase to 5,000 cfs by the end of May and near 7,000 cfs by mid-June. As a comparison, the Gray Reef Dam releases from the most recent high water year in 2011 were about 8,000 cfs. <P> Glendo Reservoir has risen to approximately 4 feet into the exclusive flood control. The reservoir is expected to remain in the flood pool until late July in an effort to provide downstream flood protection in Wyoming and Nebraska. The Guernsey Reservoir release is currently 4,000 cfs and will soon increase to approximately 5,000 cfs. That outflow is projected through the month of May with an increase to 6,000 cfs by mid-June. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54427 Reclamation Releases Finding of No Significant Impact for Estes Parking Transit Facility Parking Structure
LOVELAND, Colo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a Town of Estes Park proposal to construct up to a three-level parking structure on Reclamation lands. <P> Reclamation will issue a Special Use Permit to allow the parking structure to be constructed south of the existing Estes Park Visitor Center/Transit Facility. In 2011, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded the Town of Estes Park a $3,000,000 federal grant under the Paul S. Sabanes Transit in Parks Program. The grant provides funding for transit facility improvements and construction of a parking structure. FTA's final approval is still required before federal grant funds can be used to complete final designs and begin construction. <P> The project will expand the existing 102 stall surface parking lot by adding 108 new parking spaces in the parking structure. Another 202 new spaces could be accommodated on two future levels of the structure. Currently, the Town of 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 EA and FONSI are electronically available 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> For additional information or to receive a printed copy of the EA/FONSI, please contact Terence Stroh at 970-962-4369 or <a href="mailto:TStroh@usbr.gov">TStroh@usbr.gov</a>. For questions regarding the Estes Park Transit Facility Parking Structure, please contact Gregory Muhonen, Estes Park 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=54408 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's April forecast of the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn Basin is as follows: <P> <ul> <li>Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 620,000 acre-feet (af), which is 90 percent of the 30 year average of 686,300 af. Approximately 68,700 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Buffalo Bill during April, leaving 551,300 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 700,000 af, which is 128 percent of the 30 year average of 548,300 af. Approximately 68,600 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Boysen during April, leaving 631,400 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li> <li>Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 140,000 af, which is 101 percent of the 30 year average of 138,200 af. Approximately 7,300 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Bull Lake during April, leaving 130,900 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li> <li>Wind River - April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 380,000 af, which is 93 percent of the 30 year average of 405,900 af. Approximately 28,100 af of the forecasted amount was received during April, leaving 351,900 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li> <li>Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 1,055,100 af, which is 95 percent of the 30 year average of 1,114,300 af. Approximately 122,000 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Bighorn Lake during May, leaving 933,100 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</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=54407 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecasts 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 May 1 forecasts indicate the spring snowmelt runoff for the North Platte Basin will be above average. <P> Total April through July runoff in the North Platte Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 1,170,000 acre feet (AF), which is 134 percent of the 30 year average. 233,800 AF was received in April. The April through July expected runoff is comprised of approximately 850,000 AF into Seminoe Reservoir, 70,000 AF into Pathfinder Reservoir from the Sweetwater River, and 250,000 AF from the basin between Pathfinder Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir. <P> The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 AF. As of April 30, the total storage was 2,363,500 AF, which is 135 percent of the 30-year average. <P> "In anticipation of the high forecasted runoff, a release from Guernsey Reservoir above irrigation demand was initiated on April 28 to pass a portion of the inflow. Additional adjustments in releases throughout the system will continue as the season progresses," Ronca said. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54007 Reclamation Announces Availability of Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on EA Dam Safety Corrective Actions at Box Butte Dam
MCCOOK, Neb. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has announced the availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for Box Butte Dam Safety of Dams Corrective Action. Reclamation prepared the Final EA to evaluate the environmental consequences of undertaking corrective actions at Box Butte Dam, located in Dawes County, in order to reduce the risk of dam failure to satisfactory levels. <P> Reclamation requested public review and comment on the Draft EA between January 15 and February 12, 2016. In response to comments, Reclamation provided clarifications and expanded discussion in sections 3.3.2 (Soils), 3.5.2 (Water Resources), 3.7.2 (Land Use and Vegetation), 3.9.2 (Fisheries), 3.10.2 (Recreation), and 3.11.2 (Economic and Social Factors) in the Final EA. Also, Reclamation identified Alternative 1 (Toe Drain Replacement) as the Preferred Alternative and provided additional details on required construction dewatering and reservoir drawdowns. <P> Based upon the analysis of environmental impacts, as described in the Final EA, Reclamation has also released a Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Notice for the Dam Safety Corrective Actions at Box Butte Dam. Reclamation has selected the Preferred Alternative (Toe Drain Replacement) for implementation. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2017. <P> To view the Final EA and FONSI, along with project updates and schedule information, please visit Reclamation's website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/nkao/nepa/box_butte.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/nkao/nepa/box_butte.html</a>. Hard copies of the Final EA are available upon request at the contact information below. <P> Bureau of Reclamation<br> Attn: Lucas Milheiser<br> 1706 W. 3rd Street<br> McCook, NE 69001 <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53569 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's April forecast of the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn Basin is as follows: <ul> <li>Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 620,000 acre-feet (af), which is 90 percent of the 30 year average of 686,300 af.</li> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 550,000 af, which is 100 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 135,000 af, which is 98 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 380,000 af, which is 93 percent of the 30 year average of 409,500 af.</li> <li>Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 873,000 af, which is 78 percent of the 30 year average of 1,114,300 af.</li> </ul> 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=53570 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 April 1 forecast indicates the spring snowmelt runoff for the North Platte Basin will be slightly above average. <P> "The snowmelt runoff forecast and system storage has improved since last month. We anticipate we will be able to provide our North Platte Basin contractors with a full water supply this year," Ronca said. <P> Total April through July runoff in the North Platte Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 890,000 acre feet (AF). The April through July expected runoff is comprised of approximately 680,000 AF into Seminoe Reservoir, 60,000 AF into Pathfinder Reservoir from the Sweetwater River, and 150,000 AF from the basin between Pathfinder Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir. The anticipated 890,000 AF is 102 percent of the 30 year average of 872,100 AF. <P> The total storage for the North Platte Reservoir System as of March 31, 2016 is 2,245,741 AF, which is 136 percent of the 30-year average of 1,651,100 AF. The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 AF. <P> Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in May. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53567 Reclamation Announces Yellowtail Dam/Bighorn Lake Spring Operations and Bighorn River System Issues Group Meeting
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public meeting on Thursday, April 14 at the Lovell Community Center, 1925 U.S. Highway 310 in Lovell, Wyo. <P> The meeting will provide information on water supply conditions in the Bighorn Basin and discuss the agency's proposed spring operating plan for Yellowtail Dam/Bighorn Lake. Additionally, the Bighorn River System Issues Group will discuss the river and reservoir operating criteria for Yellowtail Dam. <P> Spring operating discussions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and discussions on the Issues Group Meeting will begin about 12:00p.m. <P> Stakeholders and interested parties in Montana and Wyoming are encouraged to attend the meeting and participate in the discussions. <P> For additional information, please contact Jack Conner of the Montana Area Office, Bureau of Reclamation, 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=53410 Crow Tribes & Reclamation Enter into Water Storage Allocation Agreement from Bighorn Lake
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation and the Crow Tribe have entered into a Storage Allocation Agreement Wednesday, March 30, 2016 which defines the terms and conditions for the Tribe to utilize their stored water from Bighorn Lake near Fort Smith, Montana. <P> The agreement is part of the Crow Tribe Water Settlement Act of 2010. Under the settlement, 150,000 acre feet of Tribal stored water may be used annually for any beneficial purpose by the Tribe. Also, up to an additional 150,000 acre feet of Tribal stored water may be used annually as supplemental water for the Natural Flow Right during times of Natural Flow shortage under certain terms and conditions. <P> "The agreement sets the stage for the Crow Tribe to begin utilizing an important storage water right that is provided in the Water Settlement Act of 2010," said Great Plains Regional Director Mike Ryan. "This agreement, and other partnerships, demonstrates that by working together we can solve water resource challenges," Ryan said. <P> The Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program's Yellowtail Unit was constructed under the authority of the Flood Control Act of December 22, 1944 (58 Stat. 887, 891). Yellowtail Unit's features include Yellowtail Dam and Bighorn Lake, Yellowtail Powerplant, Yellowtail Afterbay Dam, and related structures. The Tribe's Settlement Act was enacted on December 8, 2010, permanently allocating 300,000 acre-feet of stored water to the Tribe for its use in accordance with the provisions of the Settlement Act, which includes water sold or leased by the Tribe for industrial purposes, among other uses. <P> Editor's note: Additional images of Yellowtail Dam and Yellowtail Afterbay Dam available on request. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53287 Goose Bay Campground and Marina Contract Awarded
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation announced the award of the Concession Contract for Goose Bay Marina and Campground, located at Canyon Ferry Reservoir, to Canyon Enterprises, Inc. of Bozeman, Montana. Steve Davies, Area Manager for the Montana Area Office, stated, "We are very pleased to award the 20-year Concession Contract to Canyon Enterprises. We are confident the public will find a very enjoyable experience with the new Concessionaire and the rebuilt Goose Bay Marina and Campground." <P> Canyon Enterprises has extensive experience operating 38 campgrounds in the Bighorn and Custer/Gallatin National Forests of Montana. Esther Fishbaugh, President, said she was thrilled with the award. "We are looking forward to providing campers and boaters with an enjoyable recreation experience." Fishbaugh said they will be working hard to have everything in place as soon as possible. "We will be officially open by May 15, 2016. Weather permitting, we expect to be open for camping the first full weekend in May with limited facilities." The availability of marina amenities, including the boat ramp, will be phased in beginning about mid-May. It will take a few weeks to get Canyon Enterprise' digital system set up, so reservations are not available at this time. <P> The Canyon Ferry Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program is a multiple-purpose project which makes an important contribution to the power supply, flood control, and irrigation in the upper Missouri Basin. Principal structures are Canyon Ferry Dam and Power Plant, about 17 miles northeast of Helena, Montana. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53267 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 Scottsbluff, Neb. <P> The meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Thursday, April 7, at the Scottsbluff Panhandle Station Auditorium, Scottsbluff, Neb. The meeting is being held to apprise water users and other interested parties of the reservoir storage and current water supply conditions. Information regarding snowmelt runoff and expected reservoir operations for water year 2016 will be presented. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53070 Alcova Reservoir Water Level To Rise
Mills, Wyo. -- The annual filling of Alcova Reservoir will begin on Wednesday, April 1, 2016, according to Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie A. Ronca. <P> During April, the reservoir will rise approximately 10 feet to the summer irrigation operating level. The rate of rise will average approximately 5 inches per day. Upon reaching the summer irrigation operating level, the reservoir will remain at elevation 5498 feet plus or minus 1 foot until October 1, 2016. This increase in reservoir level will be completed by May 1 to allow deliveries to the Casper-Alcova Irrigation District Canal. <P> Recreationists and reservoir users are advised to take proper precautions associated with the rising reservoir level. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53034 Reclamation to Perform Drilling at the Yellowtail Afterbay Dam
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation will perform drilling operations at the Yellowtail Afterbay Dam in support of the Crow Tribe hydropower development project. The drilling operations will be conducted from March 22 through March 31, 2016, pending weather and unexpected delays. <P> The drilling operations will be located below the Afterbay Dam and across the river from the public boat ramp. Walk-in fishing access will continue to be available in the vicinity of the drilling. Vehicle traffic across the Afterbay Dam, boat launching, and parking in the area will not be impacted. <P> Completion of the drilling work will not disrupt or deviate scheduled water releases to the Bighorn River. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53018 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's March 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 625,700 acre-feet (af), which is 56 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 600,000 af, which is 87 percent of the 30 year average of 686,300 af.</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 73 percent of the 30 year average of 409,500 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>