Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53947 Traffic Diverted for Routine Bridge Inspections Near Cascade Dam May 9
CASCADE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation is temporarily diverting traffic on both Lake Way Bridge and Cascade Dam Spillway Bridge May 9 to perform routine inspections near Cascade Dam in Cascade, Idaho. <P> Traffic diversions will be intermittent between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., as crews inspect the bridges. Dam Road or Vista Point Boulevard can be used to bypass traffic delays. <P> “This action is necessary to allow work crews to access the bridge safely,” said Brent Jensen, facility supervisor. “Normal traffic use will resume as soon as the work is completed.” <P> For more information, contact Neil Miyaoka at (208) 383-2267. <P> Cascade Dam was constructed in 1948 and serves as a multipurpose facility, providing water for irrigation, hydropower, recreation and flood control. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53647 Scoggins Dam Drilling Begins Next Week
FOREST GROVE, Ore. - On April 20 the Bureau of Reclamation will start a drilling program to collect soil samples at Scoggins Dam. Reclamation drill crews will be working on the dam's downstream face. Soil samples will be collected from the embankment and foundation at 12 drill sites to refine existing Scoggins Dam studies for seismic stability. <P> "Reclamation advises the public to be aware of construction equipment traffic on or near the dam," says Regional Geologist Jared Vauk. The drill crews are expected to continue through the summer. <P> Scoggins Dam, built in 1978, is part of Reclamation's Tualatin River Project. It stores water for the Tualatin Valley Irrigation District and municipalities in the area. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53507 Boise River Continues to Rise
BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advise people to be careful near the Boise River as flow continues to increase daily. <P> Beginning Wednesday, April 6, flow will increase from 1,800 cubic-feet-per-second at the Glenwood Bridge to about 4,600 cfs by Friday, April 8. More flow increases are possible over the weekend, depending on weather conditions. <P> These flows are increasing due to above-average snowpack and winter precipitation in the watershed, and will help reduce the risk of flooding later in the spring, which can happen with rapidly melting snow and rain. The water is cold, deep, and fast; use caution near the river banks. <P> Reclamation coordinates Boise River operations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who manage and operate Lucky Peak Dam. A full supply of irrigation water is anticipated this summer. <P> View real-time stream discharge, including the Glenwood gauge, at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/flow.html"> http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/flow.html</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53349 Caution Advised as Boise River Flows Increase
BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are advising people to exercise caution as flows will be increasing daily along the Boise River beginning Tuesday, March 29, from current flows of 250 cubic-feet-per-second at the Glenwood Bridge to approximately 2,250 cfs by Friday, April 1. <P> These flows are increasing due to above-average snowpack and winter precipitation in the watershed and will help reduce the risk of flooding later in the spring, which can happen with rapidly melting snow and rain. <P> Officials are advising the public to be aware of the danger associated with increased Boise River flows. The water is deep, cold, and fast. Extreme caution should be used near river banks. <P> Reclamation coordinates Boise River operations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who manage and operate Lucky Peak Reservoir. Reclamation expects an adequate water supply for irrigation and recreation activities through the season. <P> People can view real-time data of flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/realtime.html. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53012 Yakima Basin Water Supply March Forecast
YAKIMA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation’s March 2016 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates that there will be a full water supply for both senior and junior water rights this coming irrigation season. <P> “We are currently expecting the water supply to be near normal,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “The reservoirs have been filling nicely throughout the winter and are above normal right now and the snowpack is near normal for this time of year.” <P> Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly through July. Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year after reservoir storage begins to decline. <P> This forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of March 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that help determine the timing of the run-off and the demand for water are also critical in determining streamflows, prorationing, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill. <P> “We expect the reservoirs to fill and the spring runoff to provide for early season demands,” Garner said. “We are grateful to have the March water conditions that we have this year.” <P> In the event that spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation still expects an adequate supply. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin. <P> For more information, visit our website at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53007 Ochoco Dam Drilling Begins Next Week
PRINEVILLE, Ore. - On March 8 the Bureau of Reclamation will start a drilling program to collect soil samples at Ochoco Dam. Reclamation drill crews will be working near the toe of the dam's downstream face. Soil samples will be collected from the embankment and foundation at ten drill sites to refine existing Ochoco Dam studies for seismic stability. <P> A temporary access road will be constructed on the downstream slope of the dam in mid-March. Reclamation advises the public to be aware of construction equipment near the dam and to stay clear of the area. The drill crews are expected to continue through the summer. <P> Ochoco Dam has been part of Reclamation's Crooked River Project since 1956. It stores water for the Ochoco Irrigation District. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52947 Reclamation to Host Open House on Proposed Third Hydroelectric Generating Unit at Black Canyon Dam
EMMETT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will host an informational open house March 9 to inform the public of the status of the proposed construction of a third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam on the Payette River, near Emmett, Idaho. <P> The open house will be held 6 – 8 p.m. at Kenneth J. Carberry Intermediate School, 1950 E. 12th St., Emmett, Idaho. Contact Erika Lopez at (208) 383-2254 by March 7 if you need sign language interpretation or other accessible accommodations. <P> People will be able to visit information stations where representatives will explain plans for the project as it moves forward. Topics at the information stations include: <P> • Project overview <P> • History of the Payette Division of the Boise Project <P> • National Environmental Policy Act process <P> • Fish, wildlife and water quality considerations <P> “We are very interested in meeting with members of the community to update them on the progress of the project,” said Roland Springer, Snake River Area Manager. “The open house format will allow people to converse directly with specialists covering a wide range of aspects related to the project.” <P> In October 2011, Reclamation completed an Environmental Assessment and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact. To incorporate new environmental information, Reclamation has prepared a revised Draft Environmental Assessment that supersedes the 2011 Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact. <P> The revised Draft Environmental Assessment, released Feb. 12, analyzes a proposal to construct a 12.5 megawatt hydroelectric generating unit. The proposed hydroelectric unit would generate 105 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power 9,500 homes. The power produced would be integrated into the power grid and serve 10 irrigation districts in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon as well as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. <P> The Draft Environmental Assessment analyzes potential environmental impacts of two alternatives, including a preferred alternative: <P> • Alternative A – No Action – Under the No Action alternative, a third hydroelectric generating unit or associated facilities would not be constructed. <P> • Alternative B – Proposed Action – Under Alternative B, Reclamation would construct a 12.5 MW third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam. <P> You may download the Draft Environmental Assessment at: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/blackcanyondam/">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/blackcanyondam/</a>. <P> Written comments will be accepted until March 14, 2016. The public is also invited to submit written comments during the open house; oral comments will not be recorded. For more information, please contact Richard Jackson, Natural Resource Specialist at (208) 383-2285. <P> Black Canyon Diversion Dam was constructed in 1924 as part of the Payette Division of the Boise Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides water for irrigation, hydropower and recreation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52688 Draft Environmental Assessment Released for Proposed Third Hydroelectric Generating Unit at Black Canyon Dam
EMMETT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on the revised Draft Environmental Assessment to help identify issues and concerns associated with the proposed construction of a third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam on the Payette River near Emmett, Idaho. <P> In October 2011, Reclamation completed an Environmental Assessment and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact. To incorporate new environmental information, Reclamation has prepared a revised Draft Environmental Assessment that will supersede the 2011 Environmental Assessment and Finding of Significant Impact. <P> The revised Draft Environmental Assessment analyzes a proposal to construct a 12.5 megawatt hydroelectric generating unit. The proposed hydroelectric unit would generate 105 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power approximately 9,500 homes. The power produced would be integrated into the power grid and serve 10 irrigation districts in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon as well as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. <P> The Draft Environmental Assessment analyzes potential environmental impacts of two alternatives, including a preferred alternative: <P> Alternative A – No Action – Under the No Action alternative, a third hydroelectric generating unit or associated facilities would not be constructed. <P> Alternative B – Proposed Action – Under Alternative B, Reclamation would construct a 12.5 MW third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam. <P> You may download the Draft Environmental Assessment at: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/blackcanyondam/"> www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/blackcanyondam/</a>. <P> Please send your written comments no later than March 14, 2016, to Richard Jackson, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office, 230 Collins Road, Boise, ID 83702 or by email at <a href="mailto:bcdd-comments@usbr.gov">bcdd-comments@usbr.gov</a>. You may also contact him at (208) 383-2285 for additional information or to obtain a hard copy of the Draft Environmental Assessment. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52467 Reclamation Takes Precautionary Measures at Minidoka Southside Canal
RUPERT, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation has taken precautionary measures to secure a canal gate at Minidoka Dam’s Southside Canal after a routine inspection found one of the gate’s arms showing signs of buckling. The gate is one of two that feeds irrigation water into the Southside Canal from Lake Walcott, 12 miles northeast of Rupert, Idaho. <P> The gate is presently closed and not leaking water. The cause of the damage is being investigated and the site is being monitored around the clock. Technical experts will be on-site Wednesday afternoon to evaluate the damage and begin formulating repair plans. <P> “Minidoka Dam is operating properly,” Reclamation’s Snake River Area Manager Roland Springer said. “We have taken steps to ensure there is no risk to public safety.” <P> Reclamation has placed bulkheads to isolate the damaged gate until repairs are completed. The canal gate structure is built for the placement of these bulkheads to allow for routine maintenance. <P> Burley Irrigation District representatives have met with Reclamation staff on-site and local emergency managers have been notified. This situation is not expected to affect irrigation water delivery this spring. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52307 Reclamation Selects Ryan Newman to Head the Upper Snake Field Office
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation has selected Ryan Newman to serve as the new assistant area manager for leading the Upper Snake Field Office where he will oversee the management and operation of Reclamation facilities in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. The Upper Snake Field Office is located in Heyburn, Idaho, and is part of the Snake River Area Office headquartered in Boise. <P> “We’re very happy to have Ryan as a part of our Reclamation team,” said Snake River Area Office Area Manager Roland Springer. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and will be a great asset in this new position.” <P> Most recently, Newman worked for the Snake River Area Office where he managed a variety of water resource projects including the Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange and Title Transfer, Henrys Fork Basin Study, Island Park Reservoir Enlargement, and several environmental compliance projects. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, and a minor in chemistry from South Dakota State University. <P> Newman is a rural South Dakota native with 20 years of experience in natural and water resource management. He spent his entire career working on river and reservoir systems and related resources in the Dakotas and Idaho with South Dakota State University, Idaho Fish and Game, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Reclamation. <P> Newman began his career with Reclamation in 2000 in the Dakota Area Office in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he worked on municipal, rural and industrial water systems. Beginning in 2012 he spent two years managing Lake Sakakawea, the third largest man-made reservoir in North America, during the height of the North Dakota oil boom. <P> The Upper Snake Field Office manages six projects, eight dams, and two powerplants in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. The projects provide for the delivery of irrigation water, hydroelectric generation, flood control and recreation opportunities. For more information about the Snake River Area Office visit http://www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/. <P> Download photo: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/2016/rnewman.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/2016/rnewman.jpg</a> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52267 Routine Maintenance Continues Drawdown at Black Canyon Diversion Dam
EMMETT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will keep Black Canyon Reservoir drawn down through February 2016 for continued routine maintenance at the Black Canyon Diversion Dam. The dam is located on the Payette River about 5 miles northeast of Emmett, Idaho. <P> Reclamation began the drawdown Oct. 15 to reach an elevation safe enough for work crews. Work was originally scheduled to end in January, however, crews plan to take advantage of the current winter weather conditions to perform additional routine dam maintenance through mid-February before spring runoff naturally raises the reservoir elevation. <P> “Safety is a priority. Exposed sandbars in the upper reservoir may appear attractive for fishing or other activities, but people need to know these areas could be dangerous for themselves as well as for their pets,” said Steven Coulter, Black Canyon facility manager. “We ask that the public continue to exercise caution around the reservoir and riverbanks during the continued drawdown period.” <P> The 18-foot drawdown put the reservoir at elevation 2,480 feet. Normal pool elevation is at 2,498 feet. <P> Black Canyon Diversion Dam, completed in 1924, is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation water and hydropower. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52247 Recreation Facilities at Black Canyon Dam Parks Open for Reservations
EMMETT, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will begin accepting reservations for the gazebos and shelter facilities at its five parks near Black Canyon Dam beginning Feb. 1 in advance of the summer season which begins May 13 and goes through Sept. 25. <P> “We are getting prepared for another safe and successful recreation season,” Acting Supervisory Park Ranger Carl Mehaffie said. “The public may contact park staff for reservation information.” <P> Instructions for reserving a gazebo may also be accessed online by visiting the parks’ website at www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/landuse/blackcanyon. The website has a calendar that displays dates when each gazebo is available. <P> The parks are located near the Payette River, off State Highway 52, approximately 5 miles northeast of Emmett, Idaho. These parks include: <P> <ul> <li>Black Canyon Park is open from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. and the day-use fee is $5 per vehicle to enter. The park features two boat ramps which are accessible to people with disabilities and offers two gazebos which can be reserved for $125 each. A Gem County ordinance prohibits alcohol and pets at Black Canyon Park.</li> <li>Wild Rose Park offers two gazebos for large events, and can be reserved together for $125 a day.</li> <li>Cobblestone Park has one shelter that can be reserved for $125 a day.</li> <li>Triangle Park offers both day-use and overnight camping. Water and electricity are not available at this site. The group overnight camping allows for rental of the whole park at a fee of $125 a night.</li> <li>Montour Park is located in the Montour Wildlife Management Area. It offers overnight camping for $8 a night for a campsite or $3 a night for tent camping on the lawn. Dogs are required to be on a leash. The 16 campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Potable water, a dump station and bathrooms are available.</li> </ul> <P> Regulations prohibit renting out the entire park at these sites, with the exception of Triangle Park. Special event alcohol permits may be obtained for Wild Rose, Cobblestone and Triangle parks with paid reservations through Reclamation. <P> For additional information, please contact the Black Canyon Park staff at (208) 365-2682 or via email at bcparks@usbr.gov. <P> Black Canyon Dam is part of the Boise Project and was constructed between 1922 and 1924. It provides irrigation water to roughly 1,760 farms in Gem and Payette counties. The power plant at the dam generates about 62 million kilowatt hours annually. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=52227 Another Great Year of Making A Difference in the Lives of Youth in the PN Region
In 2015, several dynamic educational opportunities and programs were organized and co-sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation Pacific Northwest Region to support and engage young people between the ages of 5 to 35. The PN Region is committed to increasing youth's activity on public lands in four categories, play, learn, serve, and work. <P> <strong>Linking Young People to Reclamation</strong> <P> The Otto Otter Canal Safety Program was successfully delivered to over 35,000 excited elementary school students. Otto Otter, Reclamation’s water safety mascot, engaged in children's activities all over the region. The program was delivered through various venues from classroom settings to county fairs. Students learned the importance of canals and ditches, and how to stay safe around them. <P> During the months of June through September, six Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) events were hosted for disabled and disadvantaged children. The events occurred in different locations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State. <P> These special events provided enthusiastic kids the unique opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing on the water. At one event a participant said, "The boat ride was the greatest ever. I can't wait until next year." As one boat captain put it, "the kids just love to ride on the boat and spend time on the water; catching just one fish, or catching the legal limit is what makes the day even more special." A total of 118 kids participated with nothing but "smiles." <P> At our 5th annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day/Let's Move Outside event, 23 students participated. This event allowed girls and boys to understand what a parent does during the workday through presentations and interactive activities. Let's Move is an initiative launched by First Lady Obama which is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. <P> In our community-based and outreach program called Lunch Buddy, 50 Reclamation employees volunteered as one-on-one mentors. Lunch Buddy is held each month at a local school in Boise, Idaho. The purpose of this program is to build self-confidence and self-esteem with at-risk children. Each year, more and more children are added to the list to participate. <P> Other activities the region participated in are: Koulee Kids Fest, Wenatchee River Salmon Festival, Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days, Sawtooth Salmon Festival, school tours at Grand Coulee Dam, and Earth Day events in Washington State. <P> Each Father's Day weekend at Grand Coulee Dam, the Koulee Kids Fest is held and it offers parents and kids an opportunity to fish, ride paddle boats, play games, and much more. This year, 129 kids participated. <P> In September, the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival, one of the first nature festivals in the United States, celebrated its 25th anniversary in conjunction with the 75th celebration of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. The three-day educational event celebrates the annual return of the salmon to the Wenatchee River. Reclamation employees presented "Macro-invertebrates Mayhem and Watershed Detectives" activities. Roughly 3,000 students in north central Washington participated in hands-on interactive activities. <P> Nearly 1,200 excited fifth grade students participated in Reclamation's Living River Exhibit at the Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days event. This event is a three-day, hands-on educational celebration designed to increase awareness and appreciation for salmon and steelhead resources in the Pacific Northwest Region. The students learned about river dynamics, river restoration, and habitat improvement projects Reclamation has worked on. <P> The Sawtooth Salmon Festival was held on the Stanley Historical Museum grounds. It is also and educational event that celebrates the return of the salmon from the Pacific Ocean to Salmon River tributaries. Kids learned about the remarkable salmon and steelhead, and their amazing 900-mile journey through presentations and hands-on activities. Twenty-five kids participated in the event. Grand Coulee sponsored VIP Hard Hat 2-hour tours at Grand Coulee Dam and the Visitor Center for more than 1,900 excited students. The tour guides shared technological, historical, and geological facts about the Dam and its history. <P> Another big event was the Chief Joseph Dam and Colville Confederation Earth Day. Nearly 475 students were able to take part in generating electricity through wind, solar and mechanical means. Several volunteers from Grand Coulee Dam participated. <P> <strong>Young People Working for Reclamation</strong> <P> In 2015, the PN Region hired many students in various occupations using several student partnership programs such as the Student Conservation Association. For the first time, Reclamation was able to hire a former SCA student in the PN Region through the Public Lands Corps Act program. <P> Through the Northwest Youth Corps, the PN Region hired two new crews in the month of July. They worked on a habitat improvement project which consisted of thinning trees, shrubs, and fuel reduction. The NYC is an organization that provides opportunities for youth and adults to learn, grow, and experience success by combining education and job skill training with outdoor adventure. The partnership was made possible by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation along with other government agencies. <P> The PN Region served thousands of young people last year. We will continue to engage youth in 2016. If you would like to volunteer with any of our children or youth activities, please contact Annette Ross at aross@usbr.gov. Let's continue to make a difference! <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/features/images/2015youth1.jpg" alt="Students participating with the Living Rivers Exhibit at the Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days in Idaho"/> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51808 Roza Irrigation District Cancels Kachess Emergency Temporary Floating Pumping Plant Project
YAKIMA, Washington – Due to the Roza Irrigation District canceling its initiative for the Kachess Emergency Temporary Floating Pumping Plant (KETFPP) Project, the Bureau of Reclamation has ceased work for this project. This includes the analysis of impacts and review of public comments. <P> While the effort for this short term project has ended, work continues on the long-term Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant, which is part of the larger Yakima Integrated Plan. <P> Further information on the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant can be found at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51807 Reclamation Releases Environmental Documents for New Fire Station
GRAND COULEE, Washington — The Bureau of Reclamation has released an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the construction of a new Fire Station at the Grand Coulee Power Office. <P> Reclamation has selected Alternative A, which was identified as the preferred alternative. The fire station will be constructed at the west gate to the Grand Coulee Power Office Industrial Area, near the intersection of Highway 155 and B Street. <P> The purpose of the project is to relocate the Grand Coulee Power Office Fire Department to a new independent station to ensure reliable protection for all Reclamation facilities and lands, as well as local communities and other agencies through mutual aid agreements. The current fire station is located within the John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant. The project involves construction of an approximately 21,500 square foot fire station to provide space for sleeping, dining, vehicle and equipment storage, meeting/training rooms, offices and a public reception area. <P> The EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/firestation/ <P> For questions or to request a hard copy of the EA/FONSI, please contact Lon Ottoson at (509) 633-9324 or lottosen@usbr.gov. <P>