Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48927 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48806 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48666 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/abpumplant/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/abpumplant/index.html </a>. Hard copies or CD-ROM versions of the report may also be obtained free of charge by contacting Mr. John Petrovsky at jpetrovsky@usbr.gov, 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48646 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/ririe/">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/ririe/ </a>. Hard copies or CD-ROM versions of the report may be obtained free of charge by contacting Mr. Rich Jackson at rjackson@usbr.gov, 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48626 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/landuse/blackcanyon/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/landuse/blackcanyon/index.html </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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48607 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48567 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 hrefhttp://www.usbr.gov/pn/about/otto/index.html">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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/2014prineth.jpg" 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/cast/">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="http://www.letsmove.gov/"><img src="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/ds2014.jpg" 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/icefish.jpg" 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/stem.jpg" 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/nyc.jpg" 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/about/hr/student.html">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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48549 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48486 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 kkbt@usbr.gov, 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="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html</a> and <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/index.html</a>. <P> Additional information regarding the Integrated Plan may be found at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/2011integratedplan/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/2011integratedplan/index.html</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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48266 Reclamation Announces Water Conservation Field Services Program Grant Funding Available
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation has announced that a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Pacific Northwest Region's Water Conservation Field Services Program is now available. The grant opportunity is for cost-share funding for water conservation activities. <P> The funding opportunity announcement is available at <a href="http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html">www.grants.gov</a> using funding announcement number R15AS00001. <P> Reclamation established the Water Conservation Field Services Program in 1996 to encourage water conservation on Reclamation Projects, assist irrigation districts to develop and implement water conservation plans, and foster improved water management. <P> WCFSP grants will require a 50 percent or better cost-share, and will be evaluated based on criteria outlined in the announcement. Eligible activities include water management planning, such as development or updating a water conservation plan, or implementation of activities identified in a water conservation plan. Implementable activities include: water measurement, automation, and improved conveyance efficiency projects, such as canal piping and lining. <P> To be eligible, there must be a defined relationship to a Reclamation Project located within the boundaries of the Pacific Northwest Region. Reclamation expects to award about 12 grants of up to $25,000, depending on Reclamation's final fiscal year 2015 appropriations from Congress. <P> Proposals must be submitted as indicated on <a href="http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html">www.grants.gov</a> by 4 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, February 15, 2015. It is anticipated that awards will be made this spring. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48054 Mammoth Fossil Recovered from American Falls Reservoir
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation reports that the fossil remains of a more than 70,000 year-old mammoth discovered near American Falls Reservoir last week were excavated and transferred to the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello. <P> A partial skull encased in plaster and parts of one tusk were carefully removed by IMNH paleontological staff under contract with the Bureau of Reclamation on the weekend of Oct. 18. Museum researchers who examined growth rings on the tusk estimate the mammal was 16 years old at the time of its death. <P> "The exposed fossil will be cleaned and prepped for long-term storage or possibly exhibit, depending on its state of preservation," said Dr. Mary Thompson, IMNH Senior Collection Manager and lead contractor for the fossil recovery effort. "This find is exciting because there are still teeth in place in the jaw - so much can be learned from that." <P> The threat of rising water in the reservoir prompted Reclamation to act quickly to recover the remains. Under the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, federal agencies are required to manage paleontological resources located on federal land. Also, the law which was enacted in 2009 says the fossil locations should be kept confidential to protect them from looting. <P> The fossils were found in an irrigation drainage, about 30 feet below the reservoir high water mark. Reclamation's Upper Snake Field Office Manager Roland Springer believes that increased flows in a small drainage due to unusually heavy rainfall in August caused erosion which led to the exposure of the tusk and skull artifacts. "We're very lucky to have recovered them," says Springer. "Had they not been reported to Reclamation, the fossils may have been eroded and carried away into the reservoir." <P> Casual collection of fossils is not permitted on Reclamation-managed areas at American Falls Reservoir. If fossils are found on reservoir lands, Reclamation asks the public to photograph them, note their GPS location if possible, and report their findings to the nearest Reclamation office or the IMNH in Pocatello. <P> "The scientific value of those specimens is so high that we really need to make sure that they get into the hands of researchers who can interpret these things and help us understand their significance," says Reclamation's Regional Archaeologist Dr. Sean Hess. <P> View fossil excavation photos: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/afmammoth2014.pdf">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/afmammoth2014.pdf<br> </a> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48026 Reclamation Takes Safety to the Dogs
<img src="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/features/images/2seespot.jpg" style="float:right" width="273" height="410" border="1" hspace="10" alt="Otto Otter with his dog Ellie Mae at the 2014 See Spot Walk Event in Boise Idaho"/> Boise, ID – Tails wagging and barks heard across Julia Davis Park, staff from the Bureau of Reclamation’s PN Region joined 3,000 people and their dogs at the See Spot Walk event in Boise Idaho. The event is sponsored by the Idaho Humane Society every year and offers Reclamation the opportunity to reach a very different but important audience; one that would not be reached otherwise. <P> In an event that can only be described as a “doggy Halloween party”, this setting gave Reclamation employees a chance to offer up the message “Leash Up, Stay Out, and Stay Alive” when it comes to dogs and canals. <P> “Many people allow their dogs to swim in canals during the summer months, with no thought of what could happen in an instant,” said Dave Walsh, Acting Deputy Public Affairs Specialist. “Imagine a cubic foot being the size of a basketball. When the canal runs 50-70 cfs of water, that’s 50-70 basketballs per second pushing against your dog. He’s down the canal in seconds with no way of getting out, or even worse drowning under a culvert,” he said. <P> Reclamation also educates people on lack of water treatment; just drinking out of a canal can put your dog’s health at risk. “While these things seem very harsh, they are a reality that dog owners need to consider,’” said Dave. “There are alternatives to swimming in canals, and we need to start doing them. Dog parks, small pools, dog days at local pools are all safe things a pet owner can do in lieu of swimming in a dangerous canal.“ <P> Otto Otter was also present to reach out to children as well. Thanked by everyone for being there and bringing attention to dog safety, Reclamation hopes to attend the event next year as well. <P> Remember that the purpose of a canal is to deliver water swiftly to irrigators. Canals are not for pets or people to play in, period. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/features/images/1seespot.jpg" width="598" height="250" border="1" vspace="10" alt="PN Regional Office Employees at the 2014 See Spot Walk Event in Boise Idaho"/> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47992 Reclamation to Draw Black Canyon Reservoir Down for Routine Maintenance, Caution Advised
EMMETT, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will begin a drawdown of Black Canyon Reservoir approximately 18 feet to elevation 2,479 feet starting October 11 to perform routine maintenance at the facility. Black Canyon Reservoir is located on the Payette River about five miles northeast of Emmett. <P> The reservoir will be drawn down by November 12. The drawdown will allow Reclamation work crews to remove debris from the trash racks located on the upstream face of the dam. The Emmett Irrigation District will take advantage of the reservoir drawdown to perform maintenance activities at its pump station located at the north end of the dam. These maintenance activities are expected to take several days, after which normal reservoir operations will resume. <P> "People in the area are advised to exercise caution along the riverbank as the reservoir recedes and more of the shoreline is exposed," said Brent Jensen, Powerplant Maintenance Supervisor II. "The exposed banks and delta area will be unstable and should be avoided." <P> For more information on the drawdown, please contact Brent Jensen at 208-365-2600, ext. 18. <P> Black Canyon Diversion Dam, completed in 1924, is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation water and hydropower. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47971 Northwest Youth Corps at Lake Cascade, Idaho
<iframe width="598" height="336" src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/HrAh7Noah8I?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <P> A five person crew ages 18-25 spent part of their summer working hard at Lake Cascade. Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region hired the crew through the Northwest Youth Corps (NYC) which is an organization that provides a challenging education and job training experience that helps youth and young adults develop the skills they need to lead full and productive lives. They serve more than 1,000 youth each year across a five state region. <P> This partnership is made possible by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) 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. NFWF is one of the world's largest conservation grant makers. They work with the public and private sectors to protect and restore our nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. <P> This is part of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative launched by President Obama to develop a 21st Century conservation and recreation agenda. As part of the America’s Great Outdoors 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) Initiative, NFWF launched Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists, a competitive matching grant conservation program. Its goal is to provide support for innovative job opportunities that expose young people, particularly urban and underserved youth who are increasingly disconnected from the outdoors, to the natural world and career opportunities in conservation. <P> The NYC crew members are from different states including Oregon, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Their career goal is to work in the area of natural resources. As part of the NYC summer Stewardship Program, the crew worked for eight weeks on a habitat improvement project consisting of the thinning of forest to reduce wildfire fuel loading, improve habitat and protect the watershed. The NYC crew treated more than 22 acres of land. They completed this work manually, using chainsaws and other hand tools. <P> "I learned yesterday how to fell trees with a chainsaw," says Micaela Petrini, NYC Red Crew Leader. "The satisfaction of working hard, seeing those end points and reaching them is something I really value." <P> Standing, dead, damaged, or hazard tress were marked for removal by Reclamation in advance of the NYC crew arriving. Tree limbs within five feet of the ground were cut and removed to reduce "ladder fuels" that could carry ground fire into the tree crowns. Once cut, the trees, limbs and shrubs were sorted and placed into two different types of piles. Logs large enough to be used for firewood will be gathered later and donated to a charity to aid local families needing assistance with winter heating. Smaller branches, foliage, and other woody material are piled into "slash piles" that will later be burned or chipped to reduce the amount of fuel on the site. <P> "The work the NYC field crew completed this summer was a tremendous help to Reclamation in reducing hazardous fuels," said Michael Wissenbach, Natural Resource Specialist of the Cascade Field Office. "They did an excellent job of thinning trees and treating slash within the wildland-urban interface." <P> Nicole Trammel, a crew member and senior in high school says, "I really want to start to set myself up for the future, have my options open, and have good skills that can carry me on. Working with the NYC is a great learning experience. You learn more about yourself and how to interact with people." <P> "I love the idea of being a force in these youth's lives, encouraging them, motivating them, being there for them, and providing them with opportunities to increase their work ethic," said Petrini. "This is so much more than just hauling sticks or digging trails. It’s like watching personal growth." <P> This project has reduced the potential for severe wildfires and has improved local forest health and wildlife habitat. Thanks to the Northwest Youth Corps crew for their hard work. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47968 Reclamation to Close American Falls Boat Ramp for Repairs
HEYBURN, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will close the American Falls Boat Ramp on the west side of the American Falls Reservoir for emergency repairs October 9 through October 27. There will be no boat access to the reservoir during this closure due to the water level being below the bottom of other ramps. <P> Reclamation’s decision to close and repair the ramp is based on damage caused by late summer storms compounding previous damage from age, water current, wave action and spring storms. Repairs will be made to the top third of the left lane where the worst damage has occurred. <P> Docks were placed over the damaged areas by Power County Waterways this summer, allowing continued use of the ramp. The repairs will return the ramp to a useable condition while Reclamation works on a long-term solution. <P> “Safety is the driver here,” said Roland Springer, Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office manager. “We appreciate the dedication and help of Power County Waterways in keeping reservoir access open and safe for the public.” <P> The American Falls Reservoir, west of Pocatello, Idaho, is a multipurpose reservoir and the largest on the Minidoka Project. It draws anglers and other recreationists from the southeast Idaho region extending into northern Utah and is also noted nationally for birding. <P>