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=56170 Public Meeting on Navajo Reservoir Spring Peak Releases
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation is hosting a public meeting Tuesday, August 23 at 6 p.m., to recap the 2016 spring peak release operations at Navajo Reservoir. The meeting agenda includes a recap of the 2016 spring operations; flood risk management and safe channel capacity; sedimentation and bank erosion in the San Juan River Basin; and floodplain risk issues. <P> Susan Behery, Hydraulic Engineer for Reclamation, hopes the public will attend the meeting to, “learn about the purpose and need for spring peak releases from Navajo Reservoir and discuss the 2016 spring peak release operations.” <P> The meeting will include presentations and representation from several agencies, including: Reclamation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, and San Juan County, N.M, Office of Emergency Management. There will be opportunities for questions, comments, and discussion during the meeting. <P> The meeting will be held at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 West Arrington, in Farmington, N.M. If you have any suggestions for the agenda or have questions about the meeting, please call Susan Behery at 970-385-6560. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55992 Extraordinary Maintenance Contract Negotiations Begin for the Grand Valley Project
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District and the Grand Valley Water Users Association will initiate negotiations for a proposed contract for repayment of extraordinary maintenance on the Grand Valley Powerplant, part of the Grand Valley Project. <P> The objective of the proposed contract is to provide funds for extraordinary maintenance activities of the Grand Valley Powerplant. The work is necessary to bring the plant up to contemporary safety and operational standards. <P> The first negotiation meeting is scheduled for August 30, 2016, at 9:00 a.m., in Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office at 445 West Gunnison Ave., Suite 221. <P> All negotiation meetings are open to the public as observers, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments related to the contract during a thirty minute comment period following the negotiation session. <P> The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting or by contacting Ryan Christianson. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55987 Colorado River More Important Than Ever
SALT LAKE CITY – Ongoing attention to the Colorado River emphasizes its crucial role as the “lifeblood” that sustains millions of Americans across dozens of cities and countless farms in the American West. For the seven states that comprise the Colorado River Basin—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming—the Colorado River has stimulated growth and opportunity for generations. Today it is as important as ever for leaders, residents and visitors to this beautiful and dynamic region of the country. <P> Westward migration in the early 20th century made the challenge of gaining beneficial use from the Colorado River’s unpredictable and often destructive flows more urgent. The basin’s seven states struck a historic agreement in 1922 and adopted the cornerstone of today’s “Law of the River,” the Colorado River Compact. The Compact divides the basin into two sections—the Upper Colorado Basin (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Lower Colorado Basin (Arizona, California and Nevada)—and established that each basin is entitled to 7.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually. It also grants priority entitlement to the lower basin. That entitlement obligates upper basin states to deliver the lower basin’s full allocation as averaged over any rolling 10-year period regardless of annual runoff and hydrology. Follow on negotiations further established minimum objective release criteria wherein an average of at least 8.23 million acre feet is provided to the lower basin annually. Additionally, a 1944 international treaty guarantees 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water to Mexico each year. <P> As the century progressed, Congress authorized several projects to build dependability into the river’s resource and reduce the risk from its erratic and destructive flows. By the early 1950’s, many federal projects were in place in the lower basin—including the All-American Canal, Laguna Dam, Imperial Dam, Parker Dam, Davis Dam and the iconic Hoover Dam. <P> In 1956, Congress authorized one of the most extensive and complex river resource development projects in the world, the Colorado River Storage Project. CRSP’s purpose is to allow upper basin states to develop their Colorado River water apportionments while meeting or exceeding required annual water delivery to the lower basin. It accomplishes that through four initial storage units—Wayne N. Aspinall Unit in Colorado (Blue Mesa, Crystal and Morrow Point Dams), Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah, Navajo Dam in New Mexico and Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona—as well as a number of participating projects. <P> CRSP’s key feature, Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir, Lake Powell, functions like a savings account of water that can be drawn upon in times of drought. With 26.2 million acre feet of capacity, Lake Powell accounts for more than 86 percent of the 30.6 million acre feet of total storage capacity across CRSP’s four main units. That storage is key to ensuring the upper basin can meet its annual delivery obligation to the lower basin without creating shortages for upper basin states. Additionally, CRSP facilities and participating projects provide other valuable benefits such as hydroelectric power, flood control, agricultural irrigation and recreation. <P> Despite CRSP’s importance to the West generally and Glen Canyon Dam’s importance to the system specifically, it has been a source of controversy from its earliest stages. Balancing the vital need for water and related resources with an obligation to protect environmental and ecological health poses an increasingly complex challenge. The Bureau of Reclamation manages CRSP and other Colorado River projects to develop and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner for the American public. It works actively with federal, tribal, state, local and non-governmental partners to adaptively manage the river system with attention toward greater societal awareness and the importance of healthy ecosystems—particularly downstream of the dam through Glen and Grand Canyons. <P> Hydroelectric power generation is a very important CRSP benefit and provides major support to the western power grid. Project facilities can generate enough electricity for nearly 5.8 million customers in seven Western states. Reclamation provides electricity from CRSP facilities to the Western Area Power Administration, which markets and delivers the low-cost, reliable hydropower to a variety of cooperatives, municipalities, tribes, publically owned utilities and state and federal agencies. CRSP facility and project costs—including repayment of initial construction, system upgrades, operation and maintenance—are paid entirely from hydropower electricity sales and transmission revenues, rather than from U.S. taxpayers. In fact, each CRSP project is self-sustaining; costs for facilities within each generating unit are paid by that unit, not shared or covered by other units in the CRSP. Power generation revenues also support recovery and environmental programs within the basin, reduce salinity in the river and rehabilitate local irrigation systems. <P> It has been 60 years since Congress first authorized CRSP and its facilities continue to fully meet its vision and purpose. Storage provided by Glen Canyon Dam in particular has enabled the upper basin to weather prolonged drought successfully, while making consistent full water deliveries to the lower basin without creating shortages for upper basin states. <P> As western populations continue to grow, so do the challenges and complexities associated with water management. Facilities like the Glen Canyon Dam have been integral to development across the seven Colorado River Basin states and they will continue to play a vital role in the future of the West. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55867 Water Levels Dropping at Elephant Butte
ALBUQURQUE, NM – Extreme heat and lack of rain over the last month are contributing to declining water levels at Elephant Butte Reservoir as the end of the irrigation season nears. <P> Although the decline of water in the reservoir is common this time of year, current levels are lower than expected. The Bureau of Reclamation is coordinating with local recreation managers to ensure they are aware of water level projections so they can make decisions for safe recreation through the end of summer and into fall. If necessary, this would be the third time since 2004 that marinas had to be moved due to low water levels. <P> The pool elevation at Elephant Butte Reservoir is currently about 4,311 feet, 10 feet lower than this time last summer. As the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, El Paso County Water Improvement District Number One and Mexico continue to call for their water to complete this irrigation season, the water level could drop another 10 feet by mid-August. The Rio Grande Project which serves the two districts and Mexico, has not received a full project allocation in the last eight years. <P> “This spring and summer started out strong. We had a good runoff and thought we were set when monsoons appeared to move in last month. Unfortunately temperatures skyrocketed and the monsoons have not been much help. This has set us back as far as the water levels at most reservoirs in New Mexico, including Elephant Butte,” said Jennifer Faler, Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Manager. “But the good news is the largest reservoir in New Mexico still has enough water to provide good recreation for the remainder of the season.” <P> Hydrologists and specialized modelers with Reclamation and its partners have been coordinating to ensure the most recent and accurate information is being used to model the water supply as we head into August. The irrigation season is scheduled to end in September. <P> "The lake goes up and down every year and it has certainly been lower,” said Neal Brown, owner of Lago Rico Inc., the operator of the marinas and the Historic Damsite Area at Elephant Butte. “This year we will still have plenty of water to enjoy. The marinas will still be here to help those who want to enjoy the lake with boat rentals and gas and groceries. And for what it’s worth, a lot of us enjoy seeing the change." <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55827 3.5 miles of the Steinaker Service Canal to be Enclosed
Vernal, Utah- Contractor W.W. Clyde will begin work to pipe the lower 3.5 miles of the Steinaker Service Canal August 15, 2016. This project is a joint effort between Bureau of Reclamation, who is providing the materials and construction management, and the Uintah Water Conservancy District who contracted to install the materials. <P> “We are excited about this project,” stated Gawain Snow, UWCD General Manager. “This section of canal has an estimated 1,200 acre-feet of water loss annually and some of the under shots are too small to allow delivery of the needed water to irrigators on the lower end of the canal. <P> “This project will provide greater efficiency and effective use of a valuable natural resource, delivering water where it is needed, as needed,” said Snow. “We have been coordinating with the Highline and Ashley Upper Canals to minimize impacts to the irrigators affected by this project, and appreciate their cooperation and support.” <P> The Project consists of installing 12- to 63-inch high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, making connections to existing delivery points, installing water meters, and installing a screening structure at the inlet to the 63-inch pipe. Construction is expected to be substantially completed by December 2016. Normal operation of the canal and pipeline will resume in time for irrigation in spring 2017. <P> The Steinaker Service Canal is a feature of Reclamation’s Vernal Unit of the Central Utah Project. Initial construction of the canal was completed in 1962. The Uintah Water Conservancy District has operated and maintained the canal as well as the other features of the Vernal Unit under contract with Reclamation for more than 50 years. <P> For more information, contact the Uintah Water Conservancy District a (435) 789-1651 <P> # # # <P> The Uintah Water Conservancy District was formed to operate and maintain the Vernal and Jensen Units, comprising Steinaker and Red Fleet Reservoirs and related distribution systems. The Uintah Water Conservancy District also provides technical, financial and/or operational support to projects intended to develop and/or local water resources. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55547 Interior Department and Navajo Nation to Develop Plan for Contingency Water Supplies for Navajo Farms
SHIPROCK, N.M. – U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and senior Navajo Nation officials met at the Navajo Shiprock Chapter House today and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to evaluate emergency contingency water supplies for Navajo farms in northern New Mexico. This planning effort will identify critical system components and emergency water supplies in case the San Juan River is temporarily deemed unfit for irrigation in the future. <P> Interior has committed Bureau of Reclamation Fiscal Year 2016 financial assistance to fund a study to identify alternative contingency water supplies and operations plans. This effort will include development of parameters for the scope of study, identification of issues and factors to be considered in the evaluation of alternatives, and evaluation of selected alternatives to determine the most practical and attainable solutions. <P> “Water is especially important to Native American culture, economic security, and quality of life, and we at the Department are committed to working with our tribal partners to find meaningful solutions to the water challenges facing these Nations,” said Deputy Secretary Connor. “This MOU builds on years of cooperation between the Navajo Nation and the Department of the Interior to evaluate alternatives to offset impacts to farmers and crops in the event of water supply shortages and other emergencies.” <P> “We support the efforts of the Department of the Interior in making sure that Navajo farmers will continue to have a consistent, dependable water supply in times of water shortage or other water emergencies,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. “This agreement will help to put a plan in place, in case of any emergency, so that Navajo area farms will continue to receive water.” <P> Today’s MOU reaffirms and reinforces commitments initially made in 2000, when the Bureau of Reclamation and the Navajo Nation signed an MOU to establish a long-term partnership in support of the Navajo Nation’s efforts to develop and protect its water resources. In November 2015, in the spirit of that partnership, Reclamation received a request from the three Navajo Nation Chapter Farm Boards that rely on irrigation water from the Hogback Canal to support a study to find and evaluate options for a secondary water source for the canal, in case water quality in the San Juan River again falls below acceptable standards. <P> “The Bureau of Reclamation supports this Memorandum of Understanding and will work with the Navajo Nation and the Shiprock, Tse Daa K’aan, and Gadii’ahi chapter farm boards to initiate and complete this study,” Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. “Actions such as these help assure the sustainability and viability of these farms.” <P> Efforts associated with this study began with an information gathering session that was conducted by Reclamation with last week at the Gadii’ahi Chapter house. A detailed schedule will be developed as the scope of the study is further refined. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55527 $8.3 Million Contract Awarded for Security Guard Services at Flaming Gorge Dam
DUTCH JOHN, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded Chenega Security and Support Solutions, LLC an $8.3 million contract on Tuesday, June 12, 2016, to provide around the clock security services for Flaming Gorge Dam, Powerplant and Visitor’s Center. These services will protect the dam and associated facilities—including critical assets, employees and visitors. <P> Flaming Gorge Dam provides water storage, power generation and flood control as part of the Colorado River Storage Project. Flaming Gorge Reservoir extends 91 miles upstream from the dam and has a capacity of nearly 3.8 million acre feet of water storage. Its three hydroelectric power generators produce approximately 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year—enough to serve about 50,000 households. Power produced by the Flaming Gorge Dam powerplant is distributed by the Western Area Power Administration to Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska and Nevada. <P> “Securing vital infrastructure like the Flaming Gorge Dam is a crucial part of Reclamation’s mission,” said Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Regional Director Brent Rhees. “This contract will help us meet that mission by protecting visitors and employees; controlling access to sensitive and dangerous areas; securing buildings, facilities and property; deterring criminal activity and responding to emergency situations.” <P> Contract security officers will work closely with Reclamation’s facility management, as well as county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to maintain a safe and secure environment at and around the dam. <P> The contract is performance based with an award term clause, which is the first of its kind in Reclamation contracting. Under the clause, Chenega may earn extensions to the contract term if they maintain sufficiently high performance ratings. The initial award includes one year and four option years and if the award term structure is met and the contract is exercised in full, the contract will be worth $8.3 million and extend for 10 years. This structure helps ensure consistent contractor performance while granting Reclamation added flexibility for more efficient contract management. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55509 Interior Department and Navajo Nation Agree to Study Contingency Water Supplies for Navajo Farms
SHIPROCK, N.M. – Media representatives are invited to join U.S. Department of the Interior and Navajo Nation leaders as they sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to identify and evaluate emergency contingency water supplies for Navajo farms in northern New Mexico. U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and senior Navajo Nation officials will sign the MOU at the Shiprock Chapter House. <P> This planning effort will identify critical system components and emergency water supplies in the event they are needed. In addition to signing the MOU, Interior and Navajo Nation leaders will discuss crucial water needs in the region. <P> Who: Michael L. Connor, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Estevan López, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Senior Navajo Nation Officials <P> What: MOU signing event with U.S. Department of the Interior and Navajo Nation leaders <P> When: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. <P> Where: Shiprock Chapter House, Shiprock, N.M. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55468 American Indian Youth Embrace STEM at Red Butte Garden
On June 22, 2016, Earth Connections Camp partners joined American Indian youth at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City for the fourth annual camp, which aims to spark a lasting interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among American Indian youth while reconnecting them with their cultural heritage. The camp slogan for 2016 is “Immersing STEM into Native Culture.” <P> The camp had roughly 50 American Indian students (K-12) from across the state to spend the day learning about educational resources and diversity programs. The student’s experienced STEM-related activities and American Indian traditions surrounded by Red Butte Garden’s exquisite botanical garden and arboretum. Students experienced STEM in motion with 1-3 dimension bathymetry, astronomy, dam building exercises, medical sciences, emergency readiness and disaster preparedness. <P> It’s a great program and exciting to see it grow. The students thoroughly enjoy all of the STEM activities while they reconnected to their culture and learned from the instructors that have been dedicated to make Earth Connections Camp a success each year. <P> “This is a great partnership among other agencies and to focus all your energy for these students,” said Dr. Chuck Foster, Utah State Office of Education, while thanking everyone for the support and willingness to serve. “This was an opportunity for students to learn and comprehend many of the presentations and to seek knowledge for future goals.” <P> There will be another Earth Connections Camp at the Bluff Community Center in Southern Utah on August 11, 2016. Plans are being made for next years annual event. <P> Earth Connections Camp is a Utah State Office of Education Title VII program in partnership with the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake, Red Butte Garden, U.S. Department of the Interior agencies, U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies, Utah Museum of Natural History, Utah Division of Water Resources, Utah Division of Air Quality, and University of Utah Astronomy. <P> For more photos and activity blogs throughout the day, you can check out #ECC2016 on Twitter. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/EarthConnections/DamBuilding.jpg" alt="Dam building exercise with Reclamation" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/EarthConnections/DreamCatcher.jpg" alt="Making dream catchers" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/EarthConnections/TalkingCircle.jpg" alt="The "talking circle" at the end of the day" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <P> <P>
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>