Newsroom Channel Reclamation Newsroom Channel New Deputy Power Manager Announced for Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region announced that Tim Koczur has been selected as the new Deputy Power Manager at Grand Coulee Dam. In his position, Koczur will serve as a member of the Management Team, providing leadership and direction for the Grand Coulee Power Office. He will assume his new duties April 5. <P> Koczur has worked for the Bureau of Reclamation for eight years. Since 2011, he has served as the facility manager for seven dams and six power plants along the North Platte River in Wyoming. Prior to moving to Wyoming, Koczur was an electrical engineer at Reclamation's Hungry Horse Dam in Montana. <P> "Tim's experience and record of success in power plant and dam maintenance, compliance with Western Energy Control Commission regulations and standards, and workplace safety will be a great benefit to the Grand Coulee Dam facilities," said Power Manager Coleman Smith. "We welcome him back to the Pacific Northwest and look forward to having him join our team." <P> Before coming to Reclamation, Koczur served in the Air Force as a liaison officer for Delta IV rocket launch support of National Reconnaissance Office satellites. He also spent four years in Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Operation and three years in the U.S. Navy. <P> Koczur has a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a master's degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. <P> Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, is a multi-purpose facility and a key feature of Reclamation's Columbia Basin Project. It is the largest power producer in the U.S. at an average of 20 billion kWh annually. The John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant, located adjacent to Grand Coulee Dam, provides irrigation water to approximately 670,000 acres of farmland in the Columbia Basin Project in central Washington. It has a hydroelectric generating capacity of 314 megawatts and has been in operation since the early 1950s. The plant contains six pumps and six pump-generators. <P> <P> Reclamation Seeks Public Input on Proposed Increase in Discharge from Sorrento Plant
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment to help identify issues and concerns that may be associated with a proposed increase in wastewater flows from the Sorrento Lactalis dairy products facility in Nampa. Comments are due by April 27, 2015. <P> Sorrento is proposing to substantially increase production at the Nampa facility over the next several years. This growth in production will increase the plant?s wastewater flows from 1.2 cubic feet per second to approximately 4.5 cfs. Sorrento has submitted an application to Reclamation to accommodate this increase in discharge from its treatment plant. <P> Sorrento's wastewater flows into the Purdam Drain next to its Nampa facility. From the Purdam Drain, the discharge flows down Mason Creek to the Boise River. The quality of the discharge is governed by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. <P> In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Reclamation is preparing an Environmental Assessment to determine if Sorrento?s proposed action will have any significant impact on the human population or the natural environment. Reclamation will also consider whether there are any alternatives to the proposed action that would lessen or avoid impacts. The alternatives that are being considered include: <P> • No Action - Defined as denial of the application for increased discharge. <P> • The Proposed Action - Defined as approval of the Sorrento consent to use application for an increase in discharge from 1.2 cfs to 4.5 cfs to the Purdam Drain, Mason Creek and the Boise River. <P> • A New Pipeline Discharge Facility - Defined as seeking a route for a new pipeline dedicated to discharge of Sorrento?s waste to the Boise River. <P> The deadline for written comments is April 27, 2015. They can be sent to Rich Jackson, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office, 230 Collins Road, Boise, ID 83702 or by email at <P> <P> <P> <P> Reclamation Awards $7.2 Million Contract for Switchgear Replacement at John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant at Grand Coulee Dam
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $7.2 million contract on March 13 to Gardner Zemke Company of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to replace the switchgear for six pump-generators at the <a href="" target="_blank">John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant </a>, a part of the Grand Coulee Power Complex. Replacing the switchgear begins a 20-year modernization project at the plant. The project, funded through Bonneville Power Administration, South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District, East Columbia Basin Irrigation District and Congressional appropriations, is scheduled to be finished by June 2017. <P> The pump-generating units were installed from 1973 to 1984. "Upgrading and replacing aging equipment in the pumping plant will ensure reliable irrigation delivery to Reclamation's largest irrigation project." said Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López. "It will also help support the Columbia Basin Project's significant economic impact of producing more than 90 crops that are distributed both locally and internationally." <P> The principal components of work include furnishing and installing new 13.8 kV unit switchgear assemblies for pump-generator units 7 through 12, including cubicles, gas-insulated power circuit breakers, disconnect (including ground) switches and instrument transformers. Other work will include furnishing and installing conductors and conduit for power and control circuits, furnishing spare parts, drawings and data, training staff in operation and maintenance of new equipment, and factory and field testing new equipment. <P> Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, it is a multi-purpose facility and a key feature of Reclamation's Columbia Basin Project. It is the largest power producer in the U.S. at an average of 20 billion kWh annually. The John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant, located adjacent to Grand Coulee Dam, provides irrigation water to approximately 670,000 acres of farmland in the Columbia Basin Project in central Washington. It has a hydroelectric generating capacity of 314 megawatts and has been in operation since the early 1950s. The plant contains six pumps and six pump-generators. <P> Reclamation Issues Draft Environmental Assessment for Shoreline Protection Project at Lake Roosevelt
GRAND COULEE, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment for the construction of shoreline protection systems on the lower portion of Lake Roosevelt. Comments are due by April 20, 2015. <P> The proposed project involves installing wooden log booms at Moonbeam Bay and Redford Canyon. The log booms would span approximately 645 linear feet at Redford Canyon and 675 linear feet at Moonbeam Bay. <P> The Draft Environmental Assessment analyzes potential environmental impacts of two alternatives, including a preferred alternative: <ul> <li>No Action - Reclamation would not take any action to protect the shoreline by reducing disturbance from recreational visitors and natural or boat-induced wave action.</li> <P> <li>Preferred Alternative - Reclamation would install log booms, also known as waterway barrier systems, at the inlets to Moonbeam Bay and Redford Canyon. This action uses wooden boom logs connected by chains and anchored to the shoreline. The log booms would absorb wave energy, diminishing shoreline erosion from natural and human-made wave action. </li> </ul> You can download the Draft Environmental Assessment at: <a href=""></a>. <P> Please send your comments no later than April 20, 2015, to Lon Ottosen, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Power Office, P.O. Box 620, Grand Coulee, WA 99133. You may also contact him for additional information at (509) 633-9324 or <P> <P> <P> <P> Boise River Flows Set to Increase
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are increasing flows in the Boise River from 240 to 750 cubic-feet-per-second beginning March 13, 2015. <P> This increase in flow is due to good reservoir carryover from the 2014 season and a forecast of heavy rains and warm temperatures in the Boise basin. These releases will help reduce the risk of flooding later in the spring. <P> The increased flows at the Glenwood Bridge will initially be comparable to late summer levels. Further flow increases are possible, depending upon weather conditions. Currently, Boise River reservoirs are at approximately 77 percent of capacity. A full supply of irrigation water is anticipated this summer. <P> Please use extreme caution when recreating on or near the Boise River, as the increased flows will result in cold, fast, deep water. <P> Real-time water data at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region is available at: <a href=""> </a>. <P> The Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation operate three dams on the Boise River as a system to manage flood control and irrigation storage needs — Lucky Peak Dam, Arrowrock Dam and Anderson Ranch Dam. Storage capacity provided by Reclamation's Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch dams, and the Corps' Lucky Peak Dam, combined with well-planned water releases, limited Boise River flows through the city of Boise during the 2011 flood season preventing approximately $277 million in potential flood damages. <P> Yakima Basin Water Supply - March Forecast Released
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's March 2015 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2015 irrigation season, but an estimated 73 percent supply for junior water rights. <P> "We are expecting a below normal water supply with a moderate shortage to junior users," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. "The snowpack, which is considered the Yakima Basin's sixth reservoir, is extremely low right now. Fortunately, the five Yakima Project reservoirs are nearly full which is tremendous for this time of year." <P> Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly through July. Specific water delivery levels will be determined later in the spring when natural flows can no longer meet Yakima system demands and Yakima Project reservoir storage is released for irrigation demands. <P> The March TWSA 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> "The upcoming weather conditions will have a significant impact on the water supply this season," Garner said. "Right now we don't see any good storms on the horizon." <P> In the event that spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation expects the water supply available for junior users to decline. 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 <a href=""> </a> <P> Chad Stuart Selected as New Manager for Yakima Field Office
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region announced that Chad Stuart has been selected as the new Yakima Field Manager. Stuart will oversee the management and operation of Reclamation programs in south-central Washington. He will assist the Columbia-Cascades Area Manager in carrying out the overall responsibilities related to conservation and judicious management of land, water and natural and energy resources within the Yakima Project. Stuart began his new role Feb. 23. <P> "Stuart's level of experience in water management and his strong leadership and organizational skills will be a great addition to this office," said Dawn Wiedmeier, Columbia-Cascades Area Manager. "We are very excited to have him join our team." <P> Prior to accepting this assignment, Stuart served as the Park Manager for the Corps of Engineers at Success Lake and Isabella Dam in California, where he supervised operations and maintenance personnel. He has served as the Natural Resource Manager for the Corps in the Rogue River Basin and also in the Willamette Basin. <P> Stuart received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology and Geology. <P> The Yakima Field Office is located in south-central Washington and oversees the Yakima Project. The project delivers irrigation water to over 471,000 acres of land. <P> Reclamation Closes Gem County Boat Ramp for Needed Repairs
EMMETT, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation has closed the Gem County Boat Ramp located upstream of the Black Canyon Diversion Dam. The boat ramp closure is due to deterioration of the ramp and it will remain closed until reservoir water levels are low enough to safely make repairs. Black Canyon Diversion Dam is located on the Payette River near Emmett. <P> Reclamation determined that it is necessary to close and repair the concrete ramp because of damage caused by propeller action, water level changes, and ice heaving that has eroded the lower end of the ramp, dangerously exposing rebar. Gem County recently placed concrete barriers closing the ramp until repairs have been completed. <P> "We are concerned about the safety of the public," said Jeff Reavis, Natural Resources Manager. "Gem County and Reclamation want to ensure that recreationists are safe while enjoying Black Canyon Reservoir." <P> Black Canyon Dam is part of the Boise Project and was constructed between 1922 and 1924. It provides irrigation water to nearly 1,760 farms in Gem and Payette counties. The Powerplant generates about 62 million kilowatt hours annually. <P> <P> A&B Irrigation District Pumping Plant Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Released
BURLEY, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation issued the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the proposed A&B Irrigation District Pumping Plant #2 Jan. 29. <P> The Final EA includes a no action alternative and three alternatives that would permit delivery of surface water diverted from the Snake River. Each of the three action alternatives would improve inefficiencies and bring surface water to areas previously served by ground water wells. <P> The District, located in Rupert is part of Reclamation's Minidoka Project, North Side Pumping Division. The District serves approximately 82,600 acres of irrigated land and is split into two major irrigated areas - Unit A (served by surface water from the Snake River) and Unit B (served by groundwater wells tapping the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer). <P> For several decades, water levels in Unit B wells have steadily declined. The District's proposed solution is to install a second pumping plant and associated distribution pipelines to provide supplemental water to lands with failing groundwater in Unit B and to eliminate delivery constraints in the original Unit A configuration. <P> "The District has been continually adapting its water delivery systems at great expense," said District Manager Dan Temple. "This project will increase deliveries to users short of water and reduce overall withdrawals from the aquifer to help offset water level declines in the Snake Plain Aquifer." <P> The Draft EA (May 2014) identified the Alternative 2 configuration of the pumping plant location and pipeline route as the preferred alternative. However, based on public input received on the Draft EA, Reclamation reanalyzed which alternative pumping plant and pipeline location would best meet project objectives, including keeping project cost within a feasible range while minimizing potential adverse effects on local landowners and residents. The result was a change of the preferred alternative for the pumping plant location and pipeline alignment to Alternative 3. This change reduced potential effects on landowners both near the proposed pumping plant and across the river. <P> The Final EA is available on Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Regional Office webpage at <a href=""> </a>. Hard copies or CD-ROM versions of the report may also be obtained free of charge by contacting Mr. John Petrovsky at, by mail at the Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office, 230 Collins Road, Boise, Idaho, 83702 or by phone at (208) 383-2224. <P> <P> Ririe Winter Storage Study Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Released
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation issued the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the proposed Winter Interim Operations at Ririe Dam and Reservoir Jan. 28. Ririe Dam and Reservoir are located on Willow Creek about 15 miles northeast of Idaho Falls. <P> The Final EA includes two alternatives: <ul> <li>No Action Alternative - The No Action alternative continues the practice of drafting the reservoir contents to 5,000 acre-feet below required winter flood space of water at the beginning of winter. With this practice, storage of natural inflows would not often encroach on the winter flood control space and winter releases would typically not be required. </li> <P> <li>Alternative 1 - This would allow storage of winter inflows up to 8,000 acre-feet to be stored in the winter flood control space through the end of February. Each year, Mitigation, Inc. would have the option of signing an agreement with Reclamation before the beginning of winter that would activate Alternative 1, by committing to clean the channel of snow and ice in advance of any required releases, as described in the Final EA. Reclamation plans to move forward with Alternative 1. </li> </ul> <P> The EA proposes to modify current Ririe Dam and Reservoir winter flood control operations to retain additional water storage without increasing downstream flood risk for a 10-year interim period. This would be accomplished by decreasing Ririe Reservoir winter drawdown that occurs in the fall of some years, resulting in more water held in the reservoir between Nov. 1 and March 1. <P> "We are excited to complete this EA and appreciate the engagement of water users and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through a lengthy process," said Jerry Gregg, Snake River Area Manager. "Reclamation is committed to working with our stakeholders to improve management of Idaho's critical water resources." <P> The Final EA is available on Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Regional Office webpage at <a href=""> </a>. Hard copies or CD-ROM versions of the report may be obtained free of charge by contacting Mr. Rich Jackson at, by mail at the Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office, 230 Collins Road, Boise, Idaho, 83702 or by phone at (208) 383-2285. <P> 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 starting Feb. 2 in advance of the summer season from May 18 to Sept. 25. <P> "With warmer days on the horizon, we are preparing for another safe and successful recreation season at Black Canyon Parks," said Supervisory Park Ranger Doug Goff. "The gazebos are available for reservation, and the public may contact park staff for information." <P> Instructions for reserving a gazebo may also be accessed online by visiting the parks' website at <a href=""> </a>. 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. These parks include: <P> <ul> <li>Black Canyon Park with two gazebos which can be reserved for $125 each. The day-use fee is $5 per vehicle to enter the park. The park features two boat ramps, accessible to people with disabilities, and open from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.</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; however, water and electricity are not available at this site. The group overnight camping fee is $125 a night. </li> </ul> <P> Regulations prohibit renting out the entire park at any of these sites and a Gem County ordinance prohibits alcohol and pets at Black Canyon Park. Special event alcohol permits may be obtained for Wild Rose, Cobblestone and Triangle parks. <P> Montour Park, located in the Montour Wildlife Management Area, has overnight camping for $8 a campsite and tent camping on the lawn is available for $3 a night. Dogs are allowed only on a leash in this park. The 18 campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Potable water, a dump station and bathrooms are available. <P> For additional information, please call (208) 365-2682. <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> Wild Rose Park Will Remain Open for the 2015 Recreation Season
EMMETT, Idaho - Delays associated with the construction of the new hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam will result in Wild Rose Park remaining open for the May through September 2015 summer season. At this time, the park is still scheduled to be closed from May 2016 through March 2017. <P> "Wild Rose Park will open in May and the gazebo will be available to reserve for special events," said Jerry Gregg, Snake River Area Manager. "Park reservations will begin in early February for the summer season." <P> The 10.5-acre park was scheduled to be closed Summer 2015 for public safety reasons so it could be used as a staging area for heavy equipment related to the construction of a third generating unit at Black Canyon Dam. Construction has been delayed to ensure the project is economically viable. <P> The proposed 12.5-megawatt hydroelectric unit will expand the generating capacity at the facility by 105 million kilowatt-hours (enough to power 9,359 homes a year). The power produced will be integrated into the power grid to serve 10 irrigation districts in southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. <P> The majority of the project is funded by Bonneville Power Administration which markets hydroelectric power generated at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest. <P> Black Canyon Diversion Dam and Powerplant were completed in 1925 as part of the Payette Division of the Boise Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides water for irrigation, hydropower and recreation. <P> A Look Back at the Pacific Northwest Region's 2014 Youth Activities — Play, Learn, Serve, Work
The Bureau of Reclamation continues to create opportunities to support and engage children and youth in educational activities and programs. <P> In 2014, the PN Region organized and co-sponsored several events for young people ages 5 to 25. Our goal is to increase youth engagement on public lands through play, learn, serve and work which supports Secretary Jewell's youth initiative. <P> <u><strong>Connecting with Young People</strong></u> <P> During the year, Reclamation's mascot, Otto Otter was engaged in children activities all over the region. <a href">Otto Otter Canal Safety Program</a> is a water safety program delivered to over 30,000 first, second, third and fourth graders in the PN Region city schools, county fairs, parades, and other special events. The program teaches children to be safe around canals, ditches, and other water sources. <P> <img src="" style="float:left" width="240" height="125" hspace="10" border="1" alt="Prineville C.A.S.T. Event"/>The region co-sponsored six <a href="">Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) events</a>. C.A.S.T. offers disabled and disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing on the water. For many of the participants, it is their first fishing experience. The events were held June through September. One in Yakima, WA; Prineville, OR; Rupert, ID; Moses Lake, WA; Emmett, ID; and Gaston, OR. There were more than 140 kids who participated this year. <P> For the fourth year, the PN Regional Office coordinated a successful combined <em>Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day/Let's Move Outside</em> event. <em>Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day</em> exposes girls and boys to what a parent does during the workday. It also shows them the value of their education and helps them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life. <P> <em><a href=""><img src="" width="348" hspace="10" height="145" style="float:right" border="1" alt="PN Regional Office participated in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day"/>Let's Move</a></em> is a comprehensive initiative, launched by First Lady Obama, 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> Reclamation is involved in a partnership for Education program with Horizon Elementary School in Boise, Idaho. The program is called Lunch Buddy. Fifty Reclamation employees volunteered as mentors to students in grades 1-6. The purpose of this program is to build self-confidence and self-esteem with at-risk children involved in the program. The mentors met with the students once a month followed with a picnic at the end of the school year. <P> <img src="" style="float:right" width="250" height="188" border="1" hspace="10" alt="Ice Fishing Derby"/>The PN Region also participated in the Sawtooth Salmon Festival, the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival, Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days, Salmon Idaho Kids Fish Fair & Fishing Derby, University of Idaho Women in Math & Science Day, and school tours at Grand Coulee Dam. <P> The Sawtooth Salmon Festival was held on the Stanley Historical Museum grounds. It is an educational event that celebrates the return of the salmon from the Pacific Ocean to Salmon River tributaries. Kids learn about the remarkable salmon and steelhead, and their amazing 900-mile journey through presentations and hands-on activities. Roughly 200 kids participated in the event. <P> At the Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days event, Reclamation participated with its Living River Exhibit. The 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 for fifth grade students. Reclamation's Living River Exhibit teaches kids about river dynamics, river restoration, and demonstrates habitat improvement projects Reclamation is working on with other partners. <P> <img src="" width="200" height="200" hspace="10" border="1" style="float:left" alt="University of Idaho Women in Math and Science Day"/>The Wenatchee River Salmon Festival is a four-day kaleidoscope of natural resource educational events that celebrates the return of salmon to the Wenatchee River. The event is held annually at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery in Leavenworth, Washington. Reclamation employees present "Macro-invertebrates Mayhem and Watershed Detectives" educational programs at the event. More than 500 third and fourth grade students from school throughout north central Washington participated in the two activities. <P> At the Salmon, Idaho, Kids Ice Fishing Derby, 51 youth registered for the event. This is a popular multi-partnership project aimed to get kids outdoors. Kids learn about fishing and the importance of spending time on public lands. The event was held at Hyde Creek Pond in Idaho. <P> The University of Idaho Women in Math & Science Day offers a unique experience for young girls to learn from successful women and realize that scientific opportunities are available in their future. This event was held at the University of Idaho in Boise, Idaho. <P> Grand Coulee sponsored school tours at Grand Coulee Dam and the Visitor Center for more than 1,380 students. The tour guides shared technological, historical, and geological facts about the Dam. <P> <u><strong><img src="" width="300" height="300" style="float:right" hspace="10" border="1" alt="Northwest Youth Corp workers"/>Young People Working for Reclamation</strong></u> <P> In 2014, the PN Region hired 42 students in various occupations around the region and through several student-hire partnership programs including the Student Conservation Association. <P> This summer, the PN Region also hired a five person crew through the Northwest Youth Corps (NYC), a partnership program to work at Lake Cascade in Idaho. NYC is an organization that combines education and job skill training with outdoor adventure. Their core purpose is to provide opportunities for youth and young adults to learn, grow, and experience success. <P> The crew worked eight weeks on a habitat improvement project consisting of the thinning of trees and shrubs to reduce wildfire fuel loading and improve habitat. This partnership was made possible by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation which supplies thousands of dollars in grant funds along with the Bureau of Land Management, Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service annually. <P> Also, the PN Region partnered with tribal organizations, and other nonprofit organizations to engage and employee youth. <P> In 2014, the PN Region reinstituted its Mentoring Program. The purpose of the program is to provide a learning environment for employees in the <a href="">Pathways Program</a>. It is a formal program designed to develop and retain current workforce; develop the future culture, practices and mission of Reclamation. <P> Reclamation conducted a 2-day training class as part of the Native American Outreach Initiative which is designed to deliver USAJobs training to six tribes in the PN Region. More than 150 tribal staff and members took the training. <P> During 2014, the PN Region served thousands of children and youth. We look forward to continuing our work with young people in 2015. Together we are making a difference! <P> Carolyn Chad Selected as Columbia-Cascades Deputy Area Manager
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region announced that Carolyn Chad has been selected as the new Columbia-Cascades Deputy Area Manager in Yakima. She replaces Dawn Wiedmeier who became the area manager last year. <P> As Deputy Area Manager, Chad will provide leadership, oversight, and direction to more than 180 employees involved in a variety of Reclamation programs and activities related to water management and other related natural and energy resources in Washington and Oregon. She began her new role Jan. 12. <P> "I am excited that Carolyn has accepted the position," said Dawn Wiedmeier, Columbia-Cascades Area Manager. "She brings a wealth of experience as a manager and leader. She has successfully developed and maintained working relationships with both internal and external parties." <P> Chad has 24 years of Federal service. Prior to accepting this assignment, she served as the Associate District Manager for the Bureau of Land Management in Vale, Oregon. Before that, she was the Field Manager for BLM also in Vale. In addition, Chad worked for a year as a District Ranger in Hines on a detail for the U.S. Forest Service. <P> Chad has a Bachelor of Science degree in Range Management from Humboldt State University in California and graduated from the BLM Leadership Academy. <P> CCAO is headquartered in Yakima and oversees Reclamation projects in Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, and central and western Oregon. <P> <P> Draft EIS for Kachess and Keechelus Projects Released
YAKIMA, Wash - The Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecology have released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance projects for public comment. The proposed projects are components of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan. <P> The Draft EIS evaluates six alternatives: <ul> <li>Alternative 1 - No Action</li> <li>Alternative 2A - KDRPP East Shore Pumping Plant</li> <li>Alternative 2B - KDRPP South Pumping Plant</li> <li>Alternative 3A - KKC North Tunnel Alignment</li> <li>Alternative 3B - KKC South Tunnel Alignment</li> <li>Alternative 4 - Combined KDRPP and KKC   </li> </ul> <P> The purposes of these projects are to restore and enhance instream flows and aquatic habitat for fish; improve water supply reliability during drought years; improve the ability of water managers to respond and adapt to potential effects of climate change; and contribute to the vitality of the regional economy and riverine environment in the Yakima River basin. <P> The two projects will be evaluated separately and in combination, and bull trout enhancement is a component of all action alternatives. The Draft EIS satisfies National Environmental Policy Act and Washington State Environmental Policy Act requirements. <P> Questions or comments on the KDRPP/KKC Draft EIS will be accepted until March 10, 2015. Comments may be submitted to, by mail to the Bureau of Reclamation, Attn: Ms. Candace McKinley, Environmental Program Manager, at 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, WA, 98901; by telephone to (509) 575-5848, ext. 603; or by fax to (509) 454-5650. Hearing impaired citizens may dial 711 to obtain a toll free TTY relay. <P> Oral comments may be presented at one of two public meetings from 4 to 7 p.m. at the following locations: <P> <table width="53%" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="42%" valign="top">Feb. 3, 2015<br /> Hal Homes Center<br /> 209 N. Ruby Street<br /> Ellensburg, WA 98926</td> <td width="58%" valign="top">Feb. 5, 2015<br /> U.S. Forest Service<br /> Cle Elum Ranger District<br /> 803 W. Second Street<br /> Cle Elum, WA 98922</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <P> Reclamation and Ecology offices and local libraries will have copies available for viewing. Or, you may view online at: <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a>. <P> Additional information regarding the Integrated Plan may be found at <a href=""></a>. <P> The public meeting facilities are physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special assistance should be made by Jan. 16 to Ms. McKinley at the contact information above. <P> <P> <P> <P>