Upper Colorado Region News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55227 Flaming Gorge Operations Open Public Forum
VERNAL, Utah – Media representatives are invited to join the Flaming Gorge Working Group at an open public forum for information exchange between the Bureau of Reclamation and the stakeholders of Flaming Gorge Dam. The public is encouraged to attend and comment on the operations and plans presented by Reclamation at these meetings. <P> What: Flaming Gorge Working Group open public forum <P> When: Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. <P> Where: Uintah Conference Center, 313 East 200 South, Vernal, Utah 84078 <P> Reclamation will provide the opportunity to see the progression of forecasts and related operations during 2016. <P> For more information on the current status of Flaming Gorge, please visit Reclamation’s Flaming Gorge operations website. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55087 Reclamation Awards $17.8 Million Contract for Generator Rewinds and Excitation System Replacements for Wayne N. Aspinall Unit
MONTROSE, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded Toshiba America Energy Systems of Colorado a $17.8 million contract on Friday, June 10, 2016, to overhaul two generators, install new stator cores and frames, and improve oil and air cooling systems for its Wayne N. Aspinall Unit. Additional work will include new digital excitation systems for Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal power plants near Montrose, Colorado. <P> Work performed under this contract will replace update existing equipment to allow generation at full rated capacity and improve responsiveness to the dynamic demands of the electrical grid. <P> Each of the Unit’s power plants and dams are used to generate hydroelectric power and control water flow in the Gunnison River. The Wayne N. Aspinall Unit has a combined generating capacity of 291,000 kW. <P> Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal power plant and dams are part of Reclamation’s Wayne N. Aspinall Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project, which retains the waters of the Colorado River and its tributaries for agricultural and municipal use. The project furnishes the long-term regulatory storage needed to permit States in the upper basin to meet their flow obligation at Lees Ferry, Arizona, as defined in the Colorado River Compact and still use their apportioned water. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54968 UPDATE: Flaming Gorge Dam Adjusts Water Releases
SALT LAKE CITY— Bureau of Reclamation officials are continuing water release adjustments out of Flaming Gorge Dam in response to updated Yampa River flow forecasts and increasing inflows into the reservoir. <P> To manage reservoir storage amid those high spring inflows, Flaming Gorge releases will be increased further on Thursday, June 9, 2016, to a peak rate of approximately 8,600 cubic feet per second (cfs). Releases will reach that peak rate at or near 8:00 AM Thursday morning. <P> Water releases from the dam reached 6,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Friday, June 3, 2016. The increase to 8,600 cfs is necessary to make space in the reservoir for continued high inflows. Releases will remain at 8,600 cfs until further notice, but are anticipated to stay at this level for five to seven days. Projected peak flow on the Green River at Jensen, Utah, resulting from the combined flows of the Yampa River and Flaming Gorge Dam releases, remains approximately 20,000 to 23,000 cfs. <P> Reclamation will continue monitoring downstream flowrates and will provide updates regarding future flows in the Yampa and Green Rivers. Flaming Gorge Reservoir information, including daily inflow and release rates, for the last 40 days can be found at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/rsvrs/ops/crsp_40_fgd.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54889 Flaming Gorge Dam Adjusts Water Releases
SALT LAKE CITY— Bureau of Reclamation officials are adjusting water releases out of Flaming Gorge Dam from previously-announced target levels to alleviate potential flooding downstream of the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers. These adjustments respond to projected rapid snowmelt runoff and increased flow estimates along the Yampa River. Water releases from the dam reached 6,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Friday, June 3, 2016, up from the previous level of approximately 800 cfs but down from the earlier target of 8,600 cfs. Releases will remain at 6,600 cfs until further notice. <P> Flaming Gorge Reservoir is currently at approximately 91 percent of its capacity. Reclamation officials are closely monitoring upstream inflows, which are forecast to increase. May was a particularly wet month and the most recent forecast for spring volume (April through July) increased significantly, from 770,000 acre feet to 1.06 million acre feet. Once Yampa River flows begin dropping and flooding potential decreases, Flaming Gorge Dam may increase releases to 8,600 cfs in order to manage reservoir storage amid high spring inflows. Projected peak flow on the Green River at Jensen, Utah, resulting from the combined flows of the Yampa River and Flaming Gorge Dam releases, is approximately 20,000 to 23,000 cfs. <P> In addition to responding to high spring inflow into Flaming Gorge Reservoir, these releases align with the environmental adaptive management plan under the current Record of Decision, which governs operational decisions at the dam. Specifically, the increased flows are expected to assist the endangered razorback sucker fish, which began spawning in the Green River downstream from Flaming Gorge Dam late last month. Larval emergence in the river was observed on May 28, 2016. <P> Reclamation will continue monitoring downstream flowrates and will provide updates regarding future flows in the Yampa and Green Rivers. Flaming Gorge Reservoir information, including daily inflow and release rates, for the last 40 days can be found at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/rsvrs/ops/crsp_40_fgd.html. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54873 Reclamation Administrative Professionals Advisory Council (RAPAC)
The Upper Colorado Region recently hosted the Budget Review Committee (BRC), Reclamation Leadership Team (RLT), and the administrative professionals throughout the agency during Administrative Professionals Week, April 25-29, 2016, in Salt Lake City, Utah. <P> Commissioner Estevan López gave a brief background of the Administrative Support Career Management Program as a guide to promote peak performance and enhance career development. He then spoke of the important role administrative professionals have within Reclamation and how they help keep priorities and schedules moving – including his. In addition to the BRC and RLT meetings that took place, leaders thanked their assistants and recognized all individual Administrative Support Council (ASC) winners at the annual award ceremony before the Commissioner announced the two Reclamation-wide winners. <P> Early in the week, personnel from across Reclamation including ASC chairpersons, winners, and Executive Assistants learned more about communication from Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist, Tim Coplin; the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Programs from “Mr. Salty”, Kib Jacobson; and Water Leasing and Rights from Malcolm Wilson and Jeff Painter. Opportunities for the ASC chairs to network, share successes and failures from their perspectives in regards to the program, and game plan strategies to make it better, happened in an open environment. Linda McFarland and Stacy Leitner from Admin to Admin were brought in for a customized morning workshop helping attendees learn how to lead without authority and take control of their career road map. <P> This year’s field trip focused more on the agency’s on-the-ground efforts instead of visiting a dam. The group boarded a bus and headed south – first to the Provo Area Office, where Area Manager, Wayne Pullan welcomed everyone. Assistant Area Manager, Paul Christensen and Resource Management Specialist, Scott Blake gave an overview on energy efficiency and green building solutions. The Central Utah Water Conservancy District then provided an excellent and very high-tech presentation on Olmsted as if you could not only fly over, above, and through windows and walls but see through them with x-ray vision similar to the powers of Superman. This technology is not available to the public just yet, but plans are in place for others to be able to see what the attendees saw very soon. Attendees could visualize historical features that no longer exist to obtain a better idea of what the project once was. Afterwards, the group drove to Deer Creek Reservoir where Outdoor Recreation Planner, Valerie Heath-Harrision gave a presentation on invasive species, recreation rehabilitations, and partnerships. The trip ended with almost a hands-on learning experience from Richard Mingo and Paula Trater from the Utah Mitigation Commission educating us on wetlands and invasive species in regards to the Provo River Restoration Project. <P> Extended thanks goes out to all of those who helped make this happen including but not limited to Tara Ashby, Melynda Roberts, Beth Fox, Tina Villegas, Public Affairs, Human Resources, Information Resources and many more! <P> Reclamation’s Administrative Professional for 2015 – Charlotte Tucker, Lahontan Basin Area Office <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/RAPAC/Winner_CharlotteTucker.JPG" alt="Charlotte Tucker" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> Charlotte worked personally with stakeholders, was polite, competent, proud and excited; exhibited a wonderful attitude, and maintained a high degree of professionalism and exemplary customer service, resulting in positive office morale. A 13-year effort of a partial transfer from a Reclamation storage project comprised of 83,530 acres of Federal lands and irrigation features known as the Humboldt Projects, was completed successfully in 2015. Charlotte scanned records dating as far back as 1934 making them digital identified 300 project folders containing approx. 1,500 records located in an off-site warehouse. Charlotte independently created a tracking system before documents were transferred to the water district in order to carefully monitor the delivery and retrieval of the secured boxes. Charlotte showed integrity in her work thought her professionalism and courteous communications leaving a large footprint of success in the area office. <P> Reclamation’s Administrative Services Professional for 2015 – Alisha Daniels, Mid-Pacific Regional Office <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/RAPAC/Winner_AlishaDaniel.JPG" alt="Alisha Daniel" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> Alisha’s individual expertise was fire-tested and proven more than once in 2015. The organization saw a 44 percent increase in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, many drought related and complex. Alisha reviewed over 50,000 pages both in scope and volume, of information for release. When a determination was challenged by a requester in the District of Columbia Federal Court, her efforts ensured the exemption was solid and the courts found Reclamation in favor of their original decision. Referred to as “one of the best organized filing stations reviewed to date” by the Regional Records Officer, her organizational skills are flawless. As a closely watched metric by the Department, she conducted a complete review of existing correspondence, re-wrote, and added the mandatory language to incorporate the new statutory requirements helping the FOAI program maintain a zero backlog status for the 4th year in a row. Alisha strives to improve her value to the organization and succeeds. Her enthusiasm and determination are wonderful assets to the MP Region. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/RAPAC/RAPAC_PAO.JPG" alt="Tina and Sabrina at the Provo Area Office" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54872 Navajo Lake C.A.S.T. Event
While the mission of the Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Foundation is to provide special needs and disadvantaged youth the opportunity to enjoy a quality outdoor recreational experience fishing on the water, the motto for the Navajo Lake version of the event might be better suited for that classic line from the Postal Service “Neither snow nor rain nor…” you get the picture. The last few years, the participants at the Navajo Lake event have seen their fair share of unsettled weather, and this year’s event, held May 7, 2016, was no exception. While the weather may have been gloomy, the attitude of the volunteers and the excitement level of the participants was far from it. <P> Approximately 163 volunteers, representing over 30 federal, state, and local agencies and businesses were on hand to make sure the day exceeded the expectations of the eager anglers – despite the weather. On hand for the event representing Reclamation were Deputy Commissioner of Policy, Administration and Budget Gray Payne, Upper Colorado Deputy Regional Director Brent Esplin, and Four Corners Construction Office (FCCO) Project Engineer Barry Longwell. The three of them, along with FCCO Deputy Construction Engineer Pat Page, were able to get out on the lake and check in with several boats during the event. (It should be noted that Deputy Commissioner Payne and Pat Page snuck in a few casts to go the extra mile to try to gather “fishery data” to provide to the kids; but alas, their efforts, while extraordinary, were all for not as they both got skunked and thus had no information to share!) Several FCCO employees including Jere Wales, Cindy Slade, Cliff Drayton, and Chico Quintana led Reclamation’s involvement by volunteering their day to help out in various capacities from registration to boat captains/fishing guides. <P> The participants and their families, totaling an estimated 70-80 individuals, began arriving at Navajo Lake New Mexico State Park at around 7:30 am. For some, it had been over a 2 and1/2 hour bus ride! Like a well-oiled machine, the volunteers got to work signing in the participants, handing out t-shirts, providing fishing poles and tackle, issuing personal flotation devices and introducing them to their boat captain. After getting their official “team” picture taken, the boat captains and their crews loaded their boats and shoved off in search of fun, adventure and maybe even a fish or two. <P> After battling typical high-desert spring-time weather for several hours, by noon most of the boats were off the lake and everyone was treated to a well-deserved lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers hot off the grill. After lunch, the sun came out and the participants and their families had the opportunity to interact with many of the agency personnel who were involved in putting on the event. Rather than provide trinkets and other goodies at the time of registration like in year’s past, this year the coordination committee implemented a new concept whereas participants were given an empty bag and had to visit the various “stations” to pick up goodies, ask questions, and get information from the various agencies. This new concept was deemed a success by participants and volunteers alike. The event was topped off with an awards ceremony recognizing each participant and acknowledging the extraordinary efforts of the volunteers, and, as the skies were turning dark once again, everyone headed home happy, tired, full of stories, and perhaps a bit chilly from a long day of fun and excitement that is the essence of C.A.S.T. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/CAST/NavajoCASTSafety.jpg" alt="CAST participant enjoying one of the "post-fishing" activities"> <br /> <small>CAST participant enjoying one of the "post-fishing" activities.</small> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/CAST/NavajoCASTpoles%26tackle.jpg" alt="Student volunteers from Piedra Vista High School in Farmington assemble fishing equipment in preparation for the participants' arrival."> <br /> <small>Student volunteers from Piedra Vista High School in Farmington assemble fishing equipment in preparation for the participants' arrival.</small> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/CAST/NavajoCASTregistration.jpg" alt="Boat captains getting registered."> <br /> <small>Boat captains getting registered.</small> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54827 Flaming Gorge Dam to Increase Water Releases Tuesday
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Spring snowmelt runoff in the Colorado Rocky Mountains has triggered the spawning and emergence of endangered razorback sucker fish populations in the Green River downstream from Flaming Gorge Dam, Utah. Larval emergence in the river was observed on May 28, 2016. <P> To assist the survival of this endangered fish population, Bureau of Reclamation officials will gradually increase water released from Flaming Gorge Dam from the current flow of 800 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 8,600 cfs beginning Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The rate of release will reach 8,600 cfs on Friday, June 3, 2016, and will remain at that flow rate until further notice. However, Reclamation officials anticipate the release to remain at this rate for only 7 to 14 days beyond June 3. <P> At the highest rate, Flaming Gorge reservoir will release approximately 4,600 cfs through the Flaming Gorge Dam powerplant, allowing power generation to reach its full capacity of approximately 150 megawatts. Another 4,000 cfs will be released through the dam’s bypass tubes to reach the total of 8,600 cfs. <P> Projected peak flow on the Green River at Jensen, Utah, resulting from the combined flows of Flaming Gorge Dam releases and the Yampa River, will be approximately 22,000 to 24,000 cubic feet per second. These projections are close to flood stage and Reclamation officials urge caution while recreating or farming along the Green River during the next few weeks. <P> Scientists monitor critical habitat to detect the first emergence of razorback sucker larvae as a “trigger” for this type of release by Reclamation in cooperation with the State of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. A major purpose of the higher release is to transport as many larval fish as possible into critical nursery habitats located in the floodplains along the Green River, downstream of the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers. The increased releases from the dam, combined with the Yampa River flows, will provide the maximum possible flow of water to transport the larval fish. <P> Reclamation consulted with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources concerning possible impacts of the releases to the rainbow trout fishery below the dam. While releases during this period will make fishing the river more difficult, no adverse impacts to the fishery are expected. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54751 Flows Increase on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Flows through the Middle Rio Grande and Rio Chama are on the rise as the spring runoff is supplemented with water from El Vado Reservoir for the benefit of the environment and endangered species. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and Interstate Stream Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and Rio Chama Watershed Partnership came together to create this coordinated flow event. <P> “This is a great example of what can happen when everyone works together for the benefit of our river systems,” said Jennifer Faler, Albuquerque Area Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation. <P> The higher flows on both rivers will provide a great opportunity for recreation this Memorial Day weekend, but the public should use caution as water levels are higher and moving faster than we’ve experienced in recent years. <P> The release from El Vado to Abiquiu is currently at 2,000 cubic feet per second. That will double by Wednesday and then will begin dropping back down to about 2,000 cubic feet per second by Friday. It will remain at that level for a couple of weeks. This flow, which is beneficial to the ecosystem of the Rio Chama, includes the bypass of the inflow to El Vado Reservoir as well as the scheduled release of water stored with approval of the Rio Grande Compact states of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. This agreement allowed for the storage of close to 40,000 acre-feet of water in El Vado between May 2 and May 20. The Rio Grande Compact Commission approved a resolution to allow for the temporary modification of storage operations at El Vado at its March meeting. <P> “This collaborative operation has multiple benefits,” said State Engineer and Rio Grande Compact Commissioner Tom Blaine. “Not only does it continue to provide water to allocated users, it also helps the restoration efforts for endangered species.” <P> The release from Abiquiu Reservoir is scheduled to rise to about 1,800 cubic feet per second by Wednesday and continue for approximately two weeks. The release from Cochiti Dam will be close to 3,300 for about two weeks. This flow will also benefit the entire ecosystem and is aimed at signaling the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow to spawn. Minnow numbers have been low in recent years as the drought has continued. However, a better spring runoff last year helped support a slight improvement in minnow abundance. Monitoring for silvery minnow eggs will be conducted throughout this operation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54749 Reclamation Awards $2.4 Million Contract to Replace Excitation Systems at Flaming Gorge Powerplant
DUTCH JOHN, Utah. – The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $2.4 million contract to Koontz Electric Company, Inc., from Morrilton, Arizona, to replace the excitation systems in the three generating units at Flaming Gorge Powerplant. <P> The current exciters are at the end of their life cycle, most of the spare parts have been used and it is difficult to obtain new parts. The exciter is what provides the magnetic field to the generator and the presence of a rotating magnetic field induces current into the wingdings of the generator, which produces electricity. The exciter also provides the means to manipulate the strength of the magnetic field, so that more electricity can be produced and/or more water released. <P> Flaming Gorge Dam and Powerplant is part of the Colorado River Storage Project, which provides vital water storage and hydropower generation as well as providing recreation and improving conditions for fish and wildlife. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54748 Reclamation Awards $1.4 Million Contract for Aquatic Invasive Species Inspection Services at Elephant Butte and Navajo Reservoirs
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a contract for $1.4 million to Pyramid Enterprises, Inc. of Valencia, California, to provide aquatic invasive species inspection services for watercrafts entering Elephant Butte Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir, New Mexico. <P> Aquatic invasive species continue to be a threat to waters in New Mexico. Currently, every state adjacent to New Mexico has one or more waterbodies with a population of zebra and quagga mussels. <P> Currently, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has four seasonal aquatic invasive species technicians to provide outreach and conduct inspections/decontaminations on watercraft entering Navajo Reservoir. Officials at Reclamation and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish determined there is a need to expand watercraft inspections to include Elephant Butte Reservoir. Given the volume of annual visitation at Elephant Butte Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir and the number of boat ramps available for watercraft owners, inspections done by the Department of Game and Fish staff alone is not feasible. This contract will provide additional inspection services. <P> A low-risk watercraft inspection is expected to last between one and three minutes and a high risk inspection to last between three and six minutes. This contract will ensure staffing at levels to efficiently inspect all motorized watercraft entering Elephant Butte Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir while keeping wait times and traffic backups to a minimum. Currently, there is not an inspection requirement of non-motorized watercraft; however, if an owner of a canoe, paddleboard, kayak, etc. enters the inspection station the staff will use the opportunity to provide public outreach regarding aquatic invasive species and will inspect the vessel if asked by the owner. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54688 Western Colorado Area Office Participates in Water Festivals
In May 2016, employees and retirees of the Western Colorado Area Office participated in two water festivals. The first festival was the Children’s Water Festival in Durango, Colo., at Fort Lewis College on Wednesday, May 4. Over 700 fifth grade students attended the festival and the Western Colorado Area Office taught the “Colorado River Journey” where students learn about the Colorado River water diversions, water sources and water quality. <P> The second festival was the Western Colorado Children’s Festival in Grand Junction, Colo., at Colorado Mesa University on Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17, this water festival in the largest in Colorado. Nearly 2,500 fifth grade students attended the festival where Western Colorado Area Office employees and retirees taught the “Colorado River Journey”. <P> Thank you to the Western Colorado Area Office employees and retirees who helped this year: Mike Baker, Susan Behery, Fredrick Busch, Ryan Christianson, Dan Crabtree, Justyn Liff, Marc Miller, Kevin Moran, Carrie Sheata, Jenny Ward and Melissa Werkmeister. An extra “thank you” goes to retired Western Colorado Area employees Mike Baker and Dan Crabtree who love the Water Festival so much they volunteered their time! <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/TheJourney.jpg" alt="Students playing The Colorado River Journey."/> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/WCAOEmployeesTeachColoradoRiverJourney.jpg" alt="WCAO employees teaching the Colorado River Journey."/> <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54389 Work Begins on Lake Nighthorse Boat Inspection and Decontamination Station
DURANGO, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation is contracting with Weeminuche Construction Authority, a Ute Mountain Ute Tribe construction company for surveying and construction of the Lake Nighthorse boat inspection and decontamination station. Survey work and construction will begin in May 2016. <P> The station will be located off County Road 210 at the entrance of the Lake Nighthorse recreation area. The purpose of the station is to prevent aquatic invasive species from being introduced into Lake Nighthorse. <P> After construction is completed in September 2016, the area will remain closed to all public access. This is necessary until a recreation management entity is identified and appropriate recreation facilities are built to provide for public safety and protect resources from damage due to uncontrolled use. <P> Lake Nighthorse is a component of the Animas-La Plata Project, the project was built to fulfill the water rights settlement of the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes of southwestern Colo. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54291 Public Comment Extended on Rio Grande Operating Agreement Draft EIS
Albuquerque, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation is extending the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on continuing to implement the 2008 Operating Agreement for the Rio Grande Project Operating Agreement, and to implement long-term contracts for storage of San Juan-Chama Project water in Elephant Butte Reservoir. <P> The Notice of Extension of the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2016. The public comment period for the Draft EIS will end on June 8, 2016. <P> The document was prepared to analyze the environmental effects of continuing to implement the Operating Agreement until 2050. The Operating Agreement fulfills obligations in Reclamation’s contracts with the Elephant Butte Irrigation District and El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1. The proposed action is also to implement long-term contracts for storage of San Juan-Chama Project water in Elephant Butte Reservoir, where Reclamation would execute a multiyear contract through 2050 to store 50,000 acre-feet per year. <P> The document is available at the Bureau of Reclamation website at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/albuq/rm/RGP/index.html. <P> Copies of the document are also available for public review at the following locations: <P> • Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102. <P> • Bureau of Reclamation, El Paso Field Division, 10737 Gateway West, Suite 350, El Paso, Texas, 79935. <P> • Natural Resources Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Main Interior Building, Washington, DC, 20240-0001. <P> • Elephant Butte Irrigation District, 530 South Melendres Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88005. <P> • El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, 13247 Alameda Avenue, Clint, Texas, 79836. <P> • El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, Canutillo Office, 7254 La Junta Drive, Canutillo, Texas, 79835. <P> The Rio Grande Project extends from Elephant Butte in southern New Mexico down to west Texas. Its facilities include Elephant Butte and Caballo Dams and Reservoirs; Percha, Leasburg, Mesilla, American and International Diversion Dams; and canals and drains. <P> Written comments on the Draft EIS should be submitted to Nancy Coulam by e-mail at ncoulam@usbr.gov or by mail at Bureau of Reclamation, 125 State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138-1147 on or before Monday, June 8, 2016. <P> ### <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54147 East Portal Road Opens
MONTROSE, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road located east of Montrose will open on Friday, April 29 after being closed for the winter months. The road, beginning at the junction with State Highway 347, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Crystal Dam. <P> The East Portal Road will remain open throughout the summer and fall until snow, ice, or rockslides make it unsafe for travel. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53827 Reclamation Extends Draft Environmental Assessment Comment Period for Lake Nighthorse Recreation Plan
DURANGO, Colo. – In response to multiple requests, the Bureau of Reclamation will extend the draft environmental assessment comment period for the Lake Nighthorse Recreation Plan to Wednesday, May 25. <P> The draft environmental assessment includes a no action alternative and three alternative recreation plans. These three proposed plans provide different scenarios for recreation at Lake Nighthorse while protecting water quality and sensitive natural, cultural, and other resources and ensure compatibility with the primary purpose of the Animas-La Plata Project for municipal and industrial water supply. <P> The draft environmental assessment is available online at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/progact/animas/index.html, under the Environmental Compliance tab, or interested groups and individuals may request a copy by contacting Justyn Liff at 970-248-0625. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received prior to preparing a final environmental assessment. Written comments can be submitted by email to jliff@usbr.gov or mailed to: Ed Warner, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave., Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P> Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. <P> Lake Nighthorse is a component of the Animas-La Plata Project that was built to fulfill the water rights settlement of the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes of southwestern Colo. <P> <P> <P>