Reclamation News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from the Bureau of Reclamation http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47974 San Joaquin River Restoration Program to Design Seepage Projects with Contractor CDM Smith
2014-10-01 17:33:00.0 <p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif.</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a contract to CDM Smith for seepage project design for $2,539,322 with one option year as part of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. The Bureau of Reclamation also awarded a cooperative agreement with the Central California Irrigation District for seepage project construction for $6,258,150. </p> <P> <p>Resolving seepage challenges through this agreement is needed to reestablish and reconnect flows in the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the Merced River confluence. At the same time, seepage projects protect landowners from root zone salinity and waterlogging impacts to their crops as a result of higher groundwater levels.</p> <P> <p>The contract will provide for CDM Smith to design and do environmental compliance for seepage projects, as well as update the Seepage Management Plan, Seepage Project Handbook, conduct groundwater monitoring, soil salinity tests, hydraulic conductivity tests, and install staff gages. Reclamation will then work with the Central California Irrigation District through the cooperative agreement to construct, operate and maintain seepage projects. </p> <P> <p>Seepage projects include interceptor lines, drainage ditches, slurry walls, shallow groundwater pumping, seepage berms, and land-releveling in support of seepage management under the Restoration Program. </p> <P> <p>“These two agreements are a big step forward in Reclamation upholding its commitments to the parties to the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement and to the landowners adjacent to the San Joaquin River,” said David Murillo, Mid-Pacific Region Regional Director. “We are excited to be moving forward with construction actions to address seepage.”</p> <P> <p>The Restoration Program seeks to increase releases from Friant Dam to support a self-sustaining population of Chinook salmon and other fish in the San Joaquin River. The Record of Decision supporting the release of Restoration Program flows from Friant Dam limits the release of flows to levels that will not cause material adverse impacts to adjacent lands due to groundwater seepage. The current channel cannot support the required releases. Seepage projects address the groundwater seepage impacts and allow for the conveyance of the flows necessary to achieve the Program’s Restoration Goal.</p> <P> <p>To address groundwater seepage, the Restoration Program has committed in the Seepage Management Plan to hold flows low until seepage projects are implemented. Flows are limited based on groundwater level thresholds set in a network of over 200 groundwater wells, of which half are monitored weekly. Reclamation has been working on seepage project implementation for the past several years. </p> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47973 Draft Environmental Documents Available for Addition of North-Kern Water Storage District to Friant-Kern Canal Groundwater Pump-in Program
2014-10-01 13:26:00.0 <p><b>FRESNO, Calif. --</b> The Bureau of Reclamation has announced the availability of draft environmental documents for the proposed introduction of up to 10,000 acre-feet of North-Kern Water Storage District groundwater into the Friant-Kern Canal as part of the FKC Groundwater Pump-In Program.</p> <P> <p>The introduction of up to 10,000 acre-feet is included in the cumulative annual total of 50,000 acre-feet allowed Friant Division contractors under the FKC Groundwater Pump-In Program.</p> <P> <p>Under the proposal, North-Kern’s non-CVP water would be conveyed through the FKC to the Cross Valley Canal for delivery to four westside Kern County water districts via the California Aqueduct.</p> <P> <p>The Draft Environmental Assessment and Findings of No Significant Impact were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and are available online at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=19441">http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=19441</a>. If you encounter problems accessing the documents online, please call 916-978-5100 or e-mail <a href="mailto:ibr2mprpao@usbr.gov">ibr2mprpao@usbr.gov</a>.</p> <P> <p>Please email comments to Rain Emerson, Bureau of Reclamation. at <a href="mailto:remerson@usbr.gov">remerson@usbr.gov</a>. Written comments may also be mailed to Emerson, Bureau of Reclamation, 1243 N Street, Fresno, CA 93721, or faxed to Emerson at 559-487-5397. Comments are due by Oct. 7, 2014. For additional information or to request a copy of the Draft EA/FONSI, please contact Emerson at 559-487-5196 (TTY 800-735-2929). Copies of the Draft EA/FONSI may also be viewed at Reclamation’s Fresno office at the above address</p> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47972 Reclamation Awards Contract for Nimbus Dam Radial Gates Repair
2014-10-01 13:14:00.0 <p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif</b>. - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $11,141,820 construction contract for the Nimbus Dam Radial Gate Repair Phase III to Alltech Engineering Corp. of Mendota Heights, Minnesota. The dam is located near Sacramento, Calif. </p> <P> <p>The primary purpose of the project is to repair 14 spillway gates and construct a bulkhead storage facility by the end of fiscal year 2019. Over the five-year construction period, the project will include removing and disposing of the coating that potentially contains lead and other heavy metals and performing mechanical repairs on the nearly 70-year-old gates. The contract also calls for making concrete repairs to the dam’s spillway and piers. </p> <P> <p>Nimbus Dam was constructed in 1956. The original steel wire ropes were replaced with stainless steel wire ropes in the 1980s, but other than normal maintenance, no major work has been done to the gates since the dam began operations. Four of the dam’s 18 gates were repaired in previous phases. This will be the final contract for the remaining 14 gates.</p> <P> <p>“This construction project will help bring Nimbus Dam – a key feature of the Central Valley Project ­­­­– up to date,” said Acting Reclamation Commissioner Lowell Pimley “It will ensure the Nimbus Dam facility continues to operate at full capacity, while protecting and safeguarding environmental conservation and water-related recreational activities.”</p> <P> <p>Nimbus Dam is located about seven miles downstream of Folsom Reservoir and impounds Lake Natoma, a regulating reservoir for water releases out of Folsom Dam/Reservoir. </p> <P> <p>For additional information, please contact Jay Emami, Chief Operation and Maintenance Division, Central California Area Office, at 916-989-7143 (TTY 800-877-8339) or <a href="mailto:jemami@usbr.gov">jemami@usbr.gov</a>.</p> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47971 Northwest Youth Corps at Lake Cascade, Idaho
2014-10-01 11:22:00.0 <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=47969 Notice of Availability for Draft EIS/EIR on Proposed Long-Term Water Transfers; Public Hearings Scheduled
2014-09-30 15:43:00.0 <p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif</b>. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis &amp; Delta-Mendota Water Authority have made available for public review a joint Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report on the effects of water transfers from 2015 to 2024. </p> <P> <p>This Draft EIS/EIR evaluates water transfers that originate from willing sellers in northern California to buyers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Proposed Action includes transfers of Central Valley Project water through CVP or State Water Project facilities and transfers of non-CVP water supplies that require the use of CVP facilities. </p> <P> <p>Water transfers would occur through various methods such as groundwater substitution, cropland idling, reservoir releases, or conservation and would include individual and multiyear transfers from 2015 through 2024. The transfers could originate in Colusa, Butte, Glenn, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, or Yuba counties. The transfer buyers could be in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kings, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, or Stanislaus counties. The Draft EIS/EIR evaluation found no significant, unavoidable impacts on environmental resources.</p> <P> <p>Hearings to solicit comments on topics addressed in the Draft EIS/EIR have been scheduled for:</p> <P> <p>· Sacramento: Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2 to 4 p.m., 1413 Howe Avenue, Quality Inn and Suites At Cal Expo </p> <P> <p>· Los Banos: Thursday, Oct. 16, 6 to 8 p.m., 842 6<sup>th</sup>, Street, Los Banos, SLDMWA </p> <P> <p>· Chico: Tuesday, Oct. 21, 6 to 8 p.m., 1110 W. East Avenue, Chico Masonic Family Center</p> <P> <p>Reclamation and SLDMWA are lead federal and state agencies, respectively, for the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. The Draft EIS/EIR may be viewed at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=18361">http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=1836<i>1</i></a>. If you encounter problems accessing the documents, please call 916-978-5100 or email <a href="mailto:mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov">mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov</a>. Paper copies of the documents are also available for review at Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Office Library, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825 and at the SLDMWA’s office: 842 6th Street, Los Banos, CA 93635. </p> <P> <p>The documents are also available at the main libraries in Auburn, Colusa, Fairfield, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hollister, Marysville, Merced, Milpitas, Modesto, Oroville, Pleasant Hill, Red Bluff, Redding, Sacramento, Stockton, Willows, Woodland, and Yuba City.</p> <P> <p>Written comments are due by close of business Monday, December 1, 2014, and should be sent to Brad Hubbard, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-410, Sacramento, CA 95825, or email to <a href="mailto:bhubbard@usbr.gov">bhubbard@usbr.gov</a>, or faxed to 916-978-5290. </p> <P> <p>For additional information, please contact Hubbard at 916-978-5204 (TTY 800-877-8339) or Frances Mizuno, SLDMWA, at 209-832-6200 or at , P.O. Box 2157, Los Banos, CA, 93635.</p> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47968 Reclamation to Close American Falls Boat Ramp for Repairs
2014-09-30 15:06:00.0 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47967 Reclamation Lowers Lake Mohave Water Level as Annual Razorback Sucker Harvest Underway
2014-09-29 15:21:00.0 Boulder City, Nev. — The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region is lowering water levels in Lake Mohave beginning in late September to aid in harvesting razorback suckers, a species native to the Colorado River, from lakeside rearing ponds. The work is part of annual river operations that have been timed to coincide with conservation activities for the endangered fish. Beginning this week, Lake Mohave, located above Davis Dam on the Colorado River near Laughlin, Nevada, will steadily lower from its September 26 elevation of 642 feet above mean sea level (msl) to an elevation of about 634 feet msl by the week of October 27. <P> Water levels will begin rising again by early November as the conservation work is finished. Updated information on water levels at Lake Mohave and other Lower Colorado Region reservoirs is located at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html">www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html</a> under Current Conditions. Boaters may experience decreased access to ramps and should be extra cautious on the lake. For current recreation opportunities and changes, contact the National Park Service office at 702-293-8691. <P> Each year, Reclamation’s Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP) gathers tens of thousands of newly hatched razorback sucker larvae from Lake Mohave and transfers the larvae to state and federal hatcheries throughout the Southwest. After an initial growth period in these hatcheries, many of the fish are placed in lakeside rearing ponds around Lake Mohave, where they continue to grow and learn how to forage for food. In the fall, these fish are harvested from the lakeside ponds, tagged with microchips and released back into Lake Mohave. <P> The project is part of Reclamation’s continuing collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State University and the Nevada Department of Wildlife. The LCR MSCP is a multi-agency effort to accommodate current and present water and power needs while conserving species and their habitats along the river. More information about conservation efforts for razorback suckers is available at <a href="http://www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/razorback_sucker.html">http://www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/razorback_sucker.html</a>. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47966 Reclamation to Begin Stabilization Project Near Cascade Dam
2014-09-29 14:05:00.0 CASCADE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will perform shoreline stabilization near the Cascade Dam intake structure beginning October 6 through November 13. The work will impact about 500 feet of shoreline located south of the outlet works intake at the dam. This area will be closed to the public during this period. Cascade Dam is located in Valley County on the North Fork of the Payette River, about one-half mile northwest of Cascade and about 79 miles north of Boise. <P> The shoreline upstream from the Cascade Dam intake structure is eroding, forming vertical cliffs and plugging the intake with sand and gravel. The shoreline stabilization will stop the erosion from progressing and will protect a portion of the Ridgeview Campground Loop Road at the intersection of Lakeshore Drive and Dam Road which is also affected by the erosion. Stabilization of the bank will also improve the water quality of the reservoir by reducing sediment runoff into Lake Cascade. <P> "During this time of year, the reservoir is lower and we recognized this as the best opportunity for the rehabilitation work," said Brent Jensen, Powerplant Maintenance Supervisor II. "We are asking the public to please stay away from the construction site as large equipment will be working in the area and a dump truck will be moving riprap material from the Crown Point Quarry to the site." <P> Cascade Dam was constructed in 1948 and serves as a multipurpose facility, providing water for irrigation, hydropower, recreation and flood control. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47950 Secretary of the Interior Jewell Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Power Generation at Glen Canyon Dam
2014-09-27 13:00:00.0 <b>PAGE, AZ</b> – Today, at a ceremony on the crest of Glen Canyon Dam, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined other officials and dignitaries to kick off a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of power generation at Glen Canyon Dam. <P> “At the 50th anniversary of Glen Canyon Dam, we are not just standing at crest of this dam – we are standing at a crest of history in the West,” Secretary Jewell said. “Glen Canyon Dam harnessed the power of the Colorado River to open the West to millions of people by providing for their water and power needs. Today we celebrate the triumphs and sacrifices of the people and communities that made this immense undertaking possible.” <P> Secretary Jewell thanked the people and the community who have supported Glen Canyon from the early days of construction and the continuation of operations today including Facility Manager Jason Tucker, who oversees the operation of the dam for the Bureau of Reclamation and Todd Brindle, Superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. She also praised Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Anne Castle, who is leaving Interior at the end of the month for new ventures, for her outstanding work with Reclamation, National Park Service and other Interior agencies on adaptive management of the Colorado River Basin. <P> In addition to Secretary Jewell, other guest speakers included, Assistant Secretary Anne Castle, Mayor of Page Bill Diak, Colorado Energy Distribution Association Executive Director Leslie James, as well as Former President of the Colorado Water Users Association Ron Thompson. <P> “The Colorado River has always been known for its superlatives – the most volatile supplies, the most iconic landscapes, the most dammed, the most litigated, and recently, the most threatened,” remarked Assistant Secretary Castle. “Collectively, we need to make this river, this basin, this economy, one that will endure into the future and ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same benefits and gifts that this river has provided to all of us. Operation of Glen Canyon Dam that is based on sound science and that balances a complex set of interests has been and will continue to be key to that sustainable future.” <P> Glen Canyon Dam is a key unit of one of the most extensive and complex river resource developments in the world, providing vital water storage and power generation for the west. It allows the Upper Colorado River Basin States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming to utilize their share of the Colorado River while providing the required delivery of water to the lower basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada. <P> Situated on the Colorado River in northern Arizona, near Page, Glen Canyon Dam is the second highest concrete-arch dam in the United States—710 feet above bedrock, second only to Hoover Dam, which stands at 726 feet. The structure impounds Lake Powell, the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States. The powerplant began generating clean, renewable hydropower on September 4, 1964. The inexpensive electricity generated by this facility contributes to the renewable energy footprint in the western United States and has contributed to the modernization of hydroelectric power that exists today and will continue into tomorrow. <P> Today Lake Powell can store nearly two years of the Colorado River’s average annual flow, helping mitigate the current drought; moreover, the powerplant produces 5 billion kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power each year – enough electricity to help supply the power needs for 5.8 million customers. It would take 2.5 million tons of coal or 11 million barrels of oil to generate the same amount of hydropower that Glen Canyon provides every year using clean, renewable hydropower. The many hundreds of miles of shoreline at Lake Powell provide opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming, boating and fishing. Glen Canyon Dam and the adjacent Carl B. Hayden Visitor Center annually host nearly one million people on guided tours. <P> “Glen Canyon Dam, its Powerplant and Lake Powell are critical components of Reclamation’s Colorado River Storage Project,” said Lowell Pimley, Acting Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation. “We are proud that this facility has and will continue to generate clean renewable hydropower, regulate the flow of the Colorado River, store water for multiple beneficial uses, help reclaim arid and semi-arid lands, provide flood protection and offer prime recreation opportunities to millions of Americans.” <P> The celebration continued after the ceremony with tours of the dam and powerplant, an antique car show, several displays related to power generation and water use from federal, state, and local partners. A special presentation by the Navajo tribe allowed visitors to see traditional Navajo dance. Additionally, at the event a video was premiered that was created by local Page High School students in collaboration with Reclamation titled, “I am Glen Canyon.” <P> For more information on the event or on Glen Canyon Dam and Powerplant, please contact Reclamations Upper Colorado Regional Public Affairs Officer Matthew Allen at 801-524-3774 or mrallen at usbr.gov. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47949 Reclamation to Host Live Internet Broadcast of Glen Canyon's 50th Anniversary Celebration
2014-09-25 15:58:00.0 <b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation will host a live Internet broadcast of the 50th Anniversary celebration of power production at Glen Canyon Dam on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. The event will begin at 3 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. PDT. To view the live video broadcast, please visit: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/live">www.usbr.gov/live</a>. The celebration will feature a speech by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. <P> This is also a community celebration. If members of the public are near Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, they are invited to participate in the celebration on the crest of the dam. Complimentary dam tours will also be available this day. If you are interested in attending in person, please view the <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/feature/gc/50thAnniv/Invitation.pdf">invitation</a> for more information. <P> Glen Canyon Dam, a key unit of one of the most extensive and complex river resource developments in the world, provides vital water storage allowing the Upper Colorado River Basin states of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to utilize their share of the Colorado River, especially during times of drought, while providing the required delivery of water to the lower basin states of California, Nevada, and Arizona, according to the Colorado River Compact of 1922. <P> If you are unable to view the live video feed, an archived video of the event will be available at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/live">www.usbr.gov/live</a> shortly after the celebration ends. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47948 Reclamation to Hold Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study Online Public Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 2
2014-09-25 15:25:00.0 <p><strong>SACRAMENTO, Calif.</strong> – The Bureau of Reclamation will hold an online public meeting on the Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study. The public is invited to participate in the meeting on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.</p> <p>Please go to <a href="https://ssjbs.webex.com/ssjbs/onstage/g.php?t=a&amp;d=292388954">https://ssjbs.webex.com/ssjbs/onstage/g.php?t=a&amp;d=292388954</a> and follow the instructions for connecting to the online meeting.</p> <p>This is the third in a series of web-based presentations designed to inform stakeholders and the public about the basin study process. In this meeting, Reclamation will present a summary of climate change impacts and findings identified in the <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/wcra/docs/ssjbia/ssjbia.pdf">Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Climate Impact Assessment</a>, which was released on Sept. 22. The presentation will encourage participation by stakeholders and the public to propose and evaluate potential climate adaptation options.</p> <p>The purpose of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study is to identify adaptation strategies to mitigate potential climate change impacts to water and associated resources in these basins and meet future water demands. The study was initiated under the Department of the Interior&rsquo;s WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America&rsquo;s Resources for Tomorrow) Program.</p> <p>Building on previous and ongoing work in the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Tulare Lake basins, the study is projected to be completed in spring 2015. The study team will use information available throughout the basins, including experiences of interested individuals and organizations, as input for the study.</p> <p>This effort is being conducted as a partnership by Reclamation with the California Department of Water Resources, the California Partnership for San Joaquin Valley, Stockton East Water District, Madera County Resource Management Agency, El Dorado County Water Agency, Friant Water Authority, and Mountain Counties Water Resources Association.</p> <p>For additional information, please contact Arlan Nickel, Program Manager, at 916-978-5061 or <a href="mailto:anickel@usbr.gov">anickel@usbr.gov</a> or visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/mp/SSJBasinStudy/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/mp/SSJBasinStudy/index.html</a>.</p> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47947 Reclamation discontinues early season impoundment of water at Steinaker Reservoir
2014-09-24 13:57:00.0 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, the Bureau of Reclamation discontinued early season impoundment of water at Steinaker Reservoir near Vernal, Utah. <P> "This action is a precautionary measure to facilitate the agency's investigation of a displacement in material on the upstream face of Steinaker Dam," said Wayne Pullan, Reclamation's Provo Area Office Manager. "There is no evidence of any threat to public safety." <P> Canal companies served by the reservoir are able to irrigate late season crops using the flows that would have been impounded in the reservoir. There is no anticipated effect on current year irrigation or municipal or industrial water supplies. Storage in the reservoir will resume after Reclamation’s investigation is complete and any remediation work is finished. <P> Flows of Ashley Creek are stored by Steinaker Dam, an off-stream dam constructed in Steinaker Draw about 3.5 miles north of Vernal. This dam is a zoned earthfill structure with a height of 162 feet, a crest length of 1,997 feet, and a volume of 1,892,000 cubic yards. Steinaker Reservoir has a total capacity of 38,173 acre-feet, and a surface area of 820 acres. <P> For more information please contact Provo Area Office Manager Wayne Pullan at 801-369-2778, or Reclamations Upper Colorado Regional Public Affairs Officer Matthew Allen at 801-524-3774. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47946 New Melones Lake Activities for Autumn 2014 Support the Let’s Move Outside Initiative
2014-09-23 13:32:00.0 <p><strong>SONORA, Calif.</strong> – The Bureau of Reclamation announces the fall interpretive programs at New Melones Lake. All activities are free and suitable for all ages; most do not require reservations. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. A water bottle and sunscreen are recommended. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Mormon Creek Paddle</strong><br /> <strong>Sunday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>Tuttletown Recreation Area </strong><br /> Experience the beauty of New Melones from a unique perspective on this Ranger-led paddling tour. We will launch from Tuttletown, hugging the shoreline past the campgrounds, and up Mormon Creek. Along the way we will look for river otters, bald eagles, osprey, and other wildlife. This outing is open to experienced swimmers with their own kayak or other non-motorized boat. Expect to be out for 3 hours. Participants need to bring their own boat, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (properly fitting and serviceable), paddles, sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch. Each child under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext. 236 to reserve your place. We will meet at the Tuttletown Entrance Station at 10 a.m. Participants will be given a parking pass for the duration of the event.</p> <p><strong>Creepy Crawlies of Natural Bridges</strong><br /> <strong>Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>Natural Bridges </strong><br /> Come out for a hike to discover some of the &ldquo;scary&rdquo; critters at New Melones Lake. Find out about their importance in our ecosystem and why they&rsquo;re really not scary at all! We will bring along microscopes to examine some of the creepy crawlies we find along the way! This is a moderate-to-strenuous hike, 2 miles roundtrip; participants may return uphill at their own pace. Please bring water, snacks, and wear shoes appropriate for hiking. We will meet at the Natural Bridges Trailhead parking lot off of Parrotts Ferry Road at 10 a.m.  Dogs are not allowed on the Natural Bridges trail.<strong></strong></p> <p><strong>Eagles and Osprey Kayaking Tour</strong><br /> <strong>Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>New Melones Lake Visitor Center</strong><br /> Coyote Creek is the home for year-round raptors! Join Ranger Hilary on this kayak birding adventure. We will launch from the Mark Twain Day Use Area then traverse across the lake and up Coyote Creek. This will be a strenuous paddling tour. Expect to be out on the water 4 to 5 hours. This outing is open to experienced swimmers with their own kayak or other non-motorized boat. Participants need to bring their own boat, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (properly fitted and serviceable), paddles, sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch; waterproof binoculars are recommended for this event. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext. 236 to reserve your place. We will meet at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 10 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Geocaching Tuttletown&rsquo;s Trails</strong><br /> <strong>Sunday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>Tuttletown Recreation Area</strong><br /> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s gold in them thar hills!&rdquo; Ranger Greg has hidden trinkets along the trails in Tuttletown, and it&rsquo;s your job to find them! Cash in on the Geocaching craze and join us in Tuttletown! This is a moderate 3-mile roundtrip hike. We will meet at the Tuttletown Entrance Station at 10 a.m. Bring your GPS unit or download an app on your phone before the event. Participants will be given a parking pass for the duration of the event.</p> <p><strong>Melones Branch of the Sierra Railway</strong><br /> <strong>Saturday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>Peoria Wildlife Management Area</strong><br /> Traverse the historic route of the Melones Branch of the Sierra Railway and discover how the Melones Dam was built! This is a moderate 4-mile roundtrip hike. We will meet at the Peoria Wildlife Equestrian Staging Area on Peoria Flat Road at 10 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Capture Composition in 10 Ways</strong><br /> <strong>Sunday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>Angels Creek Trail, Glory Hole Recreation Area</strong><br /> You don&rsquo;t need expensive equipment to take meaningful photographs. Composition before you click is the true key to success. Bring your camera or cell phone and get some pointers on pictures! This will be a moderate 2.5-mile hike along the Angels Creek Trail. We will meet at the Glory Hole Entrance Station at 10 a.m. and caravan to the Angels Creek Trailhead. Participants will be given a parking pass for the duration of the event.</p> <p><strong>Mark Twain&rsquo;s Trials, Tales and Trails</strong><br /> <strong>Saturday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>New Melones Visitor Center</strong><br /> Step back in time to experience Mark Twain&rsquo;s past while we follow the Sierra Railroad&rsquo;s tracks that traversed through the winding foothills from Angels Camp to Jamestown. This is an easy 2.5-mile hike. We will meet at the New Melones Visitor Center at 10 a.m. and caravan to the Stevenot Bridge.</p> <p><strong>Carson Creek&rsquo;s Cultural Kayaking Tour</strong><br /> <strong>Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>Glory Hole Recreation Area</strong><br /> Carson Creek is filled with history. Join us as we explore what the receding water levels reveal from the past. Launching from Glory Hole Point, we will hug the shoreline past the Marina and up Carson Creek. This outing is open to experienced swimmers with their own kayak or other non-motorized boat. Expect to be out 3 to 4 hours. Participants need to bring their own boat, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (properly fitted and serviceable), paddles, sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Please contact Ranger Hilary at 209-536-9094 ext. 236 to reserve your place. We will meet at the Glory Hole Entrance Station at 10 a.m. Participants will be given a parking pass for the duration of the event.</p> <p><strong>Everything Is Connected</strong><br /> <strong>Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>New Melones Visitor Center</strong><br /> Everything in nature is dependent on everything else. The alteration of the natural environment can cause either positive or unintended negative effects to the ecosystem. Join us on a short journey along the Norwegian Gulch Trail and find out how we are all connected in the biological web of life. This is an easy 1-mile hike. We will meet at the New Melones Visitor Center at 10 a.m.<strong></strong></p> <p><strong>French Flat Frisbee Golf</strong><br /> <strong>Sunday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> <strong>French Flat</strong><br /> Come out for the fun of our first-ever Frisbee golf interpretive program! Rangers will set a course filled with clues about the natural and cultural history of New Melones Lake. Hit the targets, gain the clues, and answer the questions to win a prize! This will be a 9-hole course set in the rambling oak woodlands of French Flat. Participants will be walking through tall grass, so long pants (and your own Frisbee) are required. We will meet at the corner of Shell and Rawhide Roads at 10 a.m. and caravan to French Flat for a great game of golf!</p> <p><strong>If This Rock Could Talk</strong><br /> <strong>Table Mountain </strong><br /> <strong>Saturday, Dec. 27, 10 a.m.</strong><br /> Join us on a hike though time and discover the geologic wonders of Table Mountain. Learn where this lava flow originated and the processes that occurred to create such a beautiful landmark. This is a challenging 3-mile hike with a ¼-mile series of steep, rocky switchbacks that leads to the top for grand views of New Melones Lake. We will meet at the corner of Shell and Rawhide Roads at 10 a.m.</p> <p>If you would like to participate in a program and need accommodation, please contact Park Ranger Hilary Maxworthy at 209-536-9094 ext. 236 or email <a href="mailto:hmaxworthy@usbr.gov">hmaxworthy@usbr.gov</a> a minimum of 14 days in advance.</p> <p>All hikes tie into First Lady Michelle Obama&rsquo;s Let&rsquo;s Move Outsideinitiative, <a href="http://www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside">http://www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside</a>. The First Lady&rsquo;s goal is to solve the problem of childhood obesity by encouraging children to increase physical activity on America&rsquo;s public lands and waterways and by eating healthier. And where better for the public to enjoy the great outdoors than at a Reclamation facility like New Melones.</p> <p>The New Melones Visitor Center and Museum is managed by Reclamation&rsquo;s Central California Area Office and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information on activities, directions, pet restrictions, or other questions, please call 209-536-9543 (TTY 800-877-8339) or visit the New Melones Lake website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/newmelones/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/newmelones/index.html</a>.<strong></strong></p> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47934 Draft EIS for Cle Elum Pool Raise Project Released
2014-09-23 08:14:00.0 YAKIMA, Wash - The Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecology have released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cle Elum Pool Raise Project for public comment. The proposed project is a component of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan. <P> The Draft EIS evaluates five alternatives: <ul> <li>Alternative 1 - No Action Alternative.</li> <li>Alternative 2 - Additional Stored Water Used for Instream Flow with Rock Shoreline Protection.</li> <li>Alternative 3 - Additional Stored Water Used for Instream Flow with Hybrid Shoreline Protection.</li> <li>Alternative 4 - Additional Water Used for Total Water Supply Available with Rock Shoreline Protection.</li> <li>Alternative 5 - Additional Water Used for Total Water Supply Available with Hybrid Shoreline Protection.<br> </li> </ul> <P> Common components to all alternatives are: <ul> <li> Modifying the radial gates at Cle Elum Dam to provide an additional 14,600 acre-feet of storage capacity in Cle Elum Reservoir; </li> <li>Providing for shoreline protection of Cle Elum Reservoir; and </li> <li>Accomplishing necessary environmental mitigation. <br> </li> </ul> <P> The purpose of the Cle Elum Pool Raise is to increase the capacity of the reservoir and improve aquatic resources for fish habitat, rearing and migration in the Cle Elum and upper Yakima Rivers. The project was authorized under Title XII of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project. The Draft EIS satisfies National Environmental Policy Act and Washington State Environmental Policy Act requirements. <P> Questions or comments on the Cle Elum Pool Raise Draft EIS will be accepted until November 25, 2014. Comments may be submitted to cepr@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. 613; or by facsimile 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: <table width="331" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="155" valign="top">October 21, 2014<br> Hal Holmes Center<br> 209 N. Ruby Street<br> Ellensburg, WA 98926<br> <br></td> <td width="166" valign="top">October 22, 2014<br> U.S. Forest Service<br> Cle Elum Ranger District<br> 803 W. 2nd Street <br> Cle Elum, WA 98922<br></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <P> Reclamation and Ecology offices and local libraries will have copies available for viewing. Or view online at: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/cleelumraise/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/cleelumraise/index.html</a>. <P> The public meeting facilities are physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special assistance should be made by October 10 to Ms. McKinley at the contact information above. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=47933 Brantley Reservoir Storing Water during Heavy Rains on the Pecos
2014-09-22 14:33:00.0 CARLSBAD, NM - Dams along the Pecos River are working properly and operating as they should although large-scale rain events over the entire basin continue to cause flooding in southeastern New Mexico. <P> Brantley Reservoir, located less than 10 miles north of Carlsbad, is currently holding about 59,000 acre-feet of water. It has risen approximately four feet over the last week. The reservoir's flood capacity is about 1 million acre-feet so there is plenty of room to continue capturing any inflow. The Bureau of Reclamation shut down any releases from Brantley late last week in anticipation of the storms. <P> The majority of the flood waters in the area have come from Rocky Arroyo and Dark Canyon Draw, which both reach the Pecos south of Brantley. Lake Avalon, a very small reservoir between Brantley and Carlsbad, reached its capacity of about 5,000 acre-feet with flood waters from Rocky Arroyo, which exceeded a 36,000 cubic-foot-per-second flow on Sunday night. The rate at which Avalon Dam is spilling water has rapidly slowed. <P> Dark Canyon Draw, which meets the Pecos in Carlsbad, also peaked last night and is now flowing at a lower rate. The Pecos River channel capacity of about 20,000 cubic-feet-per-second was reached and briefly exceeded in the Carlsbad area last night due to uncontrolled floods from these two tributaries, and historic rainfall amounts. Flood waters continue to recede, but water managers continue to closely monitor storm cells again brewing in the area. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation is coordinating closely with the Carlsbad Irrigation District. We are also working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, the Red Bluff Irrigation District and the Fort Sumner Irrigation District. <P> Residents living along the Pecos in the Carlsbad area should be on alert and listen for any directions from Eddy County. If you are not working with area law enforcement, the irrigation district or Reclamation, please abide by local evacuation and emergency warnings and stay away from spillways, draws, arroyos and the Pecos River. <P> <P>