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=51267 Reclamation to Close East Portal Road for the Winter
MONTROSE, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office will close the East Portal Road located east of Montrose, Colorado, on November 19, for the winter. If there is a winter storm before November 19, the road will be closed early. The East Portal Road, beginning at the junction with State Highway 347, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Crystal Dam. The road will reopen next spring as weather conditions permit. For more information contact Larry Lingerfelt at (970) 240-6306. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51248 Reclamation Releases a Draft Environmental Assessment for Piping the Zanni Lateral of the Crawford Clipper Ditch
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that it has released a draft environmental assessment on the Zanni Lateral of the Crawford Clipper Ditch located in Delta County, Colorado. <P> The project would replace approximately 1.7 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried water pipeline. The purpose of the project is to improve the efficiency of water delivery to canal users and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The draft environmental assessment is available online at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html, or a copy can be received by contacting Jenny Ward at 970-248-0651 or jward@usbr.gov. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received prior to preparing a final environmental assessment. Comments can be submitted by email to lmcwhirter@usbr.gov or by mailing Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Comments are due by Friday, December 11, 2015. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51187 Highway Over El Vado Dam to Close for Drilling
EL VADO, N.M. - The highway over El Vado Dam will be closed to traffic during daytime hours beginning November 12. <P> The closure of state Highway 112 from one end of the dam to the other will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for approximately 10 to 12 days while a contractor for the Bureau of Reclamation conducts geotechnical investigations. <P> The drilling into the interior of the dam is part of a study being conducted as Reclamation prepares for an analysis of the embankment. A total of five holes will be drilled using two rigs. The dam crest road is only about 15-feet wide so there is no way for vehicles to pass while the drilling rigs are positioned on the road. Residents living in the vicinity or anyone visiting the area can expect significant noise during the drilling. Typical noise levels from a sonic drill rig are approximately 96 decibels measured 50’ from the source. <P> During the work period, the road will be open to traffic from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. the following morning. During the daytime closure of state Highway 112 alternate routes include Rio Arriba County Road 322 on the west side of El Vado Reservoir north to state Highway 95 or state Highway 112 south. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51167 Reclamation Announces Talmadge Oxford as Power Area Office Manager for the Upper Colorado Region
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced Talmadge Oxford as the new manager of the Upper Colorado Region’s Power Area Office. <P> As manager, Oxford now oversees the operation and maintenance of three field offices associated with Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) hydroelectric power generation facilities: the Glen Canyon Field Division located in Page, Arizona; the Curecanti Field Division in Montrose, Colorado; and the Flaming Gorge Field Division in Dutch John, Utah. In addition, Oxford is now responsible for ensuring the structural safety and security of all of these powerplants and dams. <P> “I enjoy serving in the Upper Colorado Region and the great opportunities and challenges it presents,” said Talmadge. <P> “Talmadge brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, making him well qualified for this assignment,” said Regional Director Brent Rhees. “I know we can continue to rely on his talents as he leads the men and women of the Power Area Office to meet the unique challenges of the Upper Colorado Region.” <P> As a leader in Reclamation, Talmadge brings more than 30 years of nuclear and hydroelectric power operations and electrical experience with the U.S. Navy; Chelan County Public Utility District, Washington; and the Bureau of Reclamation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51107 Reclamation Releases the Final Environmental Assessment for Developing Hydropower at Drop 5 of the South Canal
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for developing hydropower at Drop 5 of the South Canal, part of the Uncompahgre Project in Montrose, Colorado. <P> The project will be located approximately four miles downstream from the Drop 4 hydropower project on the South Canal. A Lease of Power Privilege will authorize the use of federal facilities and Uncompahgre Project water to construct, operate and maintain a 2.4 megawatt hydropower facility and associated interconnect power lines. <P> The hydropower plant will operate on irrigation water conveyed in the South Canal and no new diversions will occur as a result of the hydropower project. Construction activities and operation of the hydropower plant will not affect the delivery of irrigation water. <P> The Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact are available at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html, or a copy can be received by contacting Jenny Ward at 970-248-0651 or jward@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51087 New Mexico State Parks Teams up with Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Get Every Kid in a Park
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collaborated with New Mexico State Parks to accept the Every Kid in a Park pass at their state parks. Fourth graders who present their pass at Reclamation or Army Corps-owned state parks will receive free entry alongside their guardian. <P> "America is blessed with unrivaled public lands and waters, and through Every Kid in a Park, we’re inviting every fourth grader and their families to enjoy our nation’s great outdoors," said Secretary Sally Jewell. "Through this program, every fourth grader – including those in New Mexico – will have an opportunity to nurture their curiosity and wonder, developing a lifelong connection to our nation’s land, water and wildlife in their backyards and beyond." <P> State parks participating in the program include: Navajo Lake, Sumner Lake, Elephant Butte Lake, Caballo Lake, Percha Dam, Leasburg Dam, Conchas Lake, Santa Rosa Lake, Heron Lake, El Vado and Brantley Lake State Parks. <P> The Every Kid in a Park program seeks to connect young people with the great outdoors. The program allows fourth graders nationwide to go to www.everykidinapark.gov and obtain a pass for free entry to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide for an entire year for them and their families. The program was announced by President Obama earlier this year and launched by the U.S. Department of Interior on September 1. <P> "Allowing 4th graders and their families into state parks to engage the next generation to be great stewards of the land is key to this initiative," said Christy Tafoya, Director of New Mexico State Parks. "It is a great way for New Mexico children to have meaningful, hands-on, minds-on experiences in State Parks. <P> New Mexico State Parks manages recreation at many of the reservoirs owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This decision will allow children and their families to also access these parks, which include New Mexico’s largest State Park, Elephant Butte Lake. For more information, visit www.nmparks.com. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=51030 Reclamation Releases the Final Environmental Assessment for Piping the Cattleman’s Ditches
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that it has released the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on the Cattleman’s Ditches Pipeline Project located in Montrose County, Colorado. <P> The project will replace approximately 8.5 miles of open irrigation ditch with 6.4 miles of buried water pipeline. The purpose of the project is to improve the efficiency of water delivery to canal users and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact are available at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html, or a copy can be received by contacting Jenny Ward at 970-248-0651 or jward@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50828 Officials Conduct Exercise at Glen Canyon Dam
PAGE, Arizona - Officials from the Bureau of Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region, in partnership with federal, state, local and county law enforcement agencies, conducted a security exercise at Glen Canyon Dam facilities today. <P> Residents and visitors may have seen and heard emergency flashing lights and sirens leading to and at dam facilities, however, there was no actual emergency or danger to the public. The lights and sirens were in conjunction with the exercise. <P> Reclamation operations and security officials train with law enforcement officials to ensure positive outcomes to possibly adverse incidents and to build strong working relationships within the surrounding communities. <P> “Reclamation works and trains with our partners in law enforcement to prepare for any security situation that could threaten safety and operations at Glen Canyon Dam facilities,” said Jason Tucker, Glen Canyon Dam Facility Manager. <P> “The exercise went really well today,” said Ron Anderson, Security Specialist. “It was a great opportunity to train with other emergency professionals in our community. We will continue to train with them to ensure that we maintain our high standards of safety and security at Glen Canyon Dam facilities.” <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50807 Reclamation Begins San Juan-Chama Repayment Negotiations
Santa Fe, NM. – Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Office announced today that it will initiate negotiations on a proposed repayment contract for the San Juan-Chama Project with the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, Tesuque and the Pueblo de San Ildefonso for the statutory allocation of project water as part of the Aamodt Litigation Settlement. <P> The contract to be negotiated will provide for storage and delivery of project water, and provide for payment of costs for the operation and maintenance of the project. <P> The first negotiation meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at the Camel Rock Showroom, 17486A Co Road 84, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506. <P> All negotiations are open to the public as observers and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the contract during a thirty minute comment period following the negotiation session. The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting, or can be obtained on our website at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/albuq/index.html in the Current Focus section under Draft SJCP Repayment Contract: or by contacting Terina Perez at (505) 462-3614 or tlperez@usbr.gov. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50654 C.A.S.T. For Kids Events in the Upper Colorado Region
On September 12 and October 3, the Upper Colorado Region sponsored C.A.S.T. for Kids events at Elephant Butte and Lake Powell, respectively. Both events were unique in that they were coordinated by private citizens acting in a volunteer capacity on behalf of Reclamation. <P> Both events had been cancelled earlier in the year for various reasons and Jim Yelas, Executive Director of the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, reached out to his contacts and was able to secure the services of Messrs. Will Dooley and Jarrett Edwards to plan and coordinate the events at essentially the last minute. <P> Because both volunteers had only a short window of time (about 2 months) and a lack of CAST-specific event planning experience in which to pull off the events, they were smaller than usual. However even then, the children involved had a great time. <P> Specifics of each event <P> Elephant Butte Mr. Dooley is an employee of Lago Rico, Inc., which operates Marina del Sur (in addition to two other marinas on Elephant Butte). With the assistance of another employee, they were able to secure donations of food for breakfast and lunch, boat captains and participants. <P> The day was calm and beautiful, fishing was good for bass, and the kids excited to go for a boat ride. Three of the kids spent time fishing off the marina platform while waiting for lunch and were very successful at catching several bass, which they promptly let go. <P> A pancake breakfast was prepared by volunteers for all attendees and a lunch of grilled hot dogs, chips, watermelon, and drinks was prepared and served by other volunteers. <P> Marina Del Sur has a Facebook page where other attendees posted some great photos. So if you would like to see more, please visit https://www.facebook.com/MarinaDelSur. <P> Mr. Dooley said he is willing to make the Elephant Butte event bigger and better next year and is excited to get started. <P> Lake Powell Mr. Edwards is a professional angler with an outdoor television show, “Jarrett Edwards Outdoors” which can be watched online at http://www.jarrettedwardsoutdoors.com/. It is also syndicated on the World Fishing Network, Altitude Sports and the Sportsman's channels. <P> The Lake Powell event was held at the beautiful Antelope Point Marina on the eastern shore of Lake Powell. Fishing was very good, with lots of bass and catfish caught and one sunfish that this author saw. Most of the fish were released after being brought in, but a few of them made for some tasty dinners later that day. <P> Lunch was prepared and served by employees of Antelope Point and consisted of pulled chicken barbecue sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw, fries, tater tots, drinks and ice cream for desert. <P> Special thanks to employees from the Glen Canyon Field Division who helped at the event, including Don Elwood, Damion Thomas, Corey Kidwell, Tim Tilney and JC Franklin. <P> In Closing Much gratitude is extended to our citizen volunteers. You selflessly gave of your time to ensure the children in your areas could experience this opportunity. We could not have done it without you! <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50627 Fairchild Challenge, Green Careers Day
The Upper Colorado Regional Office and Provo Area Office participated in Fairchild Challenge’s Green Careers Day at Thanksgiving Point, Utah. Fairchild Challenge offers 11 fun environmentally-themed challenges aimed to improve the environment and help schools win money by getting students together to compete with each other, or by doing an individual project. The challenge is free to enter for participants. The environmental education program is designed to give high school students an opportunity to express their opinions about environmental issues in their region. By appealing to their intuitive sense of creativity and curiosity, the challenge invites students to investigate the most difficult environmental issues, imagine effective responses to the issues, and take action to address them. <P> Green Careers Day brings the students to interact with and learn from a variety of professionals working in green-related careers. Students get their hands dirty by participating in activities designed to help them gain awareness of different environmentally-based jobs. <P> Reclamation used the Fairchild Challenge Green Careers Day to teach students Reclamation’s mission and conduct a watercourse scenario. Katrina Grantz, Upper Colorado Region Hydraulic Engineer, explained the different types of dams and water management-related projects. She also taught about the exciting work that Reclamation conducts and the potential careers Reclamation offers in the fields of engineering, land and recreation, safety and security, environmental protection, geology, and much more. <P> The students went to the erosion table water room where David Snyder, Provo Area Fish and Wildlife Biologist, provided a scenario to the students where they had to build water delivery systems with irrigation pipelines, ditches, farm ponds, dams, etc., to get water to a farm without enough water on one side of a mountain and manage the water flow to a farm with too much water on the other side of the mountain---all while protecting endangered fish. The fun, hands-on exercise taught students in-depth scenarios of the type of work Reclamation conducts. <P> Students returned positive feedback and were engaged by answering lessons learned questions at the end of each presentation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50607 Bureau of Reclamation Announces Brent Esplin as Deputy Regional Director for the Upper Colorado Region
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced Brent Esplin as the new Deputy Regional Director for the Upper Colorado Region. As Deputy Regional Director, Esplin will oversee a variety of water and hydropower programs throughout Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. He begins his new assignment October 4, 2015. <P> “I am excited that I get to continue my service with Reclamation in the Colorado River Basin,” said Esplin. “I have enjoyed working in Reclamation regions throughout the West, but I am very happy to be coming home to serve in the Upper Colorado Region where I grew up. I am looking forward to the great opportunities ahead.” <P> Esplin most recently served as the Area Manager of the Montana Area Office in Billings, Montana, in Reclamation’s Great Plains Region. In that role, he worked on issues related to endangered species, production of hydropower, safety of dam modifications, construction of rural water projects, and municipal and irrigation water supply. <P> “Brent brings a wealth of Reclamation experience in management of historic and contemporary water supply issues,” said Regional Director Brent Rhees. “We are looking forward to adding Brent’s strong background to our team as we meet the unique challenges of the Upper Colorado Region.” <P> Esplin’s service experience in Reclamation also includes assignments as Deputy Area Manager in the Phoenix Area Office, Arizona, Lower Colorado Region; Deputy Area Manager of the Nebraska-Kansas Area Office, McCook, Nebraska, Great Plains Region; and as a civil engineer in the Montana Area Office, also in the Great Plains Region. He has served many years working with endangered species, implementation of Indian water right settlements, contemporary water supply issues for the Central Arizona and Salt River Projects, as well as issues related to Republican River Interstate Compact. <P> Esplin is a native of Smithfield, Utah, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50547 End of 2015 Irrigation Season for Rio Grande Project
ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M.—The Rio Grande Project’s irrigation season is scheduled to end next week when the release of water from Caballo Reservoir will stop. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation stopped releasing water from Elephant Butte Reservoir on September 16. The release from Caballo Reservoir will stop September 28. The irrigation season will end with a total release of approximately 425,000 acre-feet for the year. Elephant Butte Irrigation District and El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 will both carry over allocation water into the 2016 irrigation season. This irrigation season, which ran from May to September, was an improvement from 2014, which ran from the last week in May to August 22 and had a total release of 303,000. It was a vast improvement from 2013, when the project only released irrigation water for just over a month due to low supplies. Elephant Butte Reservoir is currently holding approximately 167,000 acre-feet of water, which is eight percent of total storage capacity. Caballo Reservoir is holding more than 26,900 acre-feet. Irrigators on the Rio Grande Project were allocated 59 percent of a full supply this year. <P> Rio Grande Project water is used to irrigate lands in the Elephant Butte Irrigation District in southern New Mexico, the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 in west Texas, and for delivery to Mexico under the 1906 treaty. Project water is also used for municipal and industrial purposes by the city of El Paso, Texas. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50527 Reclamation Awards a $1 Million Contract to Upgrade Four Dolores Project Pumping Plants
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Bureau of Reclamation announced that it has awarded a $1 million contract to PAF Electrical, LLC, Oregon, on September 17 to replace nine existing variable frequency drives that will upgrade the Cahone, Dove Creek, Pleasant View and Ruin Canyon Pumping Plants near Cortez, Colorado. <P> “Replacing the variable frequency drives will increase the energy conservation where there is a need to vary the flow in distribution systems,” said Western Colorado Area Manager Ed Warner. “The new frequency drives will lessen the mechanical and electrical stress on the motors, reduces maintenance and repair costs and extend the life of the motor.” <P> The Dolores Water Conservancy District provides seasonal irrigation and delivers vital water to Montezuma and Dolores Counties as part of the Dolores Project which is owned by Reclamation and operated by the District. The contract provides upgrades for four pumping plants by replacing the nine existing variable frequency drives with modern drives which provides more reliability with increased flow flexibility. <P> The Pleasant View and Ruin Canyon Pumping Plants currently use medium 2400 VAC drives and motors that require the use of old technology and are significantly aged. To support the change in pump operating voltage to 480 VAC at these pumping plants, the equipment at each plant will include a new section of 5 kilovolt metal-enclosed switchgear, a new station service transformer, as well as new a distribution switchboard. New 480 VAC inverter duty motors will replace the four 2400 VAC motors on the existing pumps at those two plants and provide one spare. These new motors will be a hollow shaft design. <P> The Cahone and Dove Creek Pumping Plants were originally constructed using 480 VAC drives and motors. The contract will replace the old 480 VAC variable frequency drives. <P> For more information about Dolores Project, please visit: http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Project.jsp?proj_Name=Dolores+Project <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50409 Reclamation Awards $1.3 Million Contract for Unit Breaker Replacement and Excitation System Modification at Fontenelle Dam and Powerplant
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Bureau of Reclamation awarded Yellowstone Electric Company of Montana a $1.3 million contract to replace the unit breaker and modify the excitation system for the generator at Fontenelle Powerplant near LaBarge, Wyoming, on September 15. <P> Work performed under this contract will benefit Fontenelle Powerplant by upgrading several of the vintage components of the power facility originally installed in the 1960's. These components are no longer supported by the manufacturer and finding replacement parts is no longer possible. The new components will also improve safety for workers who maintain the facility. These upgrades will make Fontenelle Powerplant a more efficient and reliable facility for producing clean, renewable hydroelectricity into the future. <P> “The upgrade to new modern equipment will benefit Fontenelle by enhancing our ability to employ remote operational control, improve generator and system reliability, and create a safer maintenance work environment,” said Field Division Manager Steve Hulet. <P> Fontenelle Dam is a zoned earthfill structure with a spillway that consists of an uncontrolled crest, an open chute, and a stilling basin and has a design capacity flow of 20,200 cubic feet per second. The powerplant is located adjacent to the toe of the dam, with the power penstock branching from the river outlet works. It consists of one 10,000-kilowatt generator and one 16,000-horsepower hydraulic turbine that produce hydroelectricity, a resource administered through Western Area Power Administration that provides power to 15 Central and Western States. <P> Fontenelle Reservoir provides storage and regulation of flows of the Green River for power generation, municipal and industrial use, fish and wildlife, and recreation for camping, picnicking, and boating. <P> The work is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2016. <P> For more information about Fontenelle Dam and Powerplant please visit: http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=Fontenelle Powerplant. <P> <P>