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=50287 Reclamation Releases a Draft Environmental Assessment for Developing Hydropower at Drop 5 of the South Canal
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that it has released a draft environmental assessment for a hydropower project at Drop 5 of the South Canal, part of the Uncompahgre Project in Montrose, Colorado. <P> The project, proposed by the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association, 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 draft environmental assessment is available and can be received by contacting Jennifer Ward by phone at 970-248-0651 or email 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 to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Comments are due by Monday, September 14, 2015. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50269 Earth Connections Camp
The Upper Colorado Region along with federal and state partners hosted two successful Earth Connections Camps at Red Butte Garden on June 17 and Moab Youth Garden, Utah, on August 22. Earth Connections goal is to reconnect urban American Indian youth with their natural world and cultural heritage. <P> Each camp had roughly 30 Native American students (K-12) from across the state to spend the day learning about American Indian traditions, constructing dams, painting rock art, learning about hydrology and engineering, language, history, traditional music, song, and dances. American Indian educators and specialists from the various partners led each of the learning stations. The camp is a partnership with the Utah State Office of Education Title VII Program and organizers hope to continue the collaboration and expand the day-camp to have more students attend. <P> Deputy Regional Director Daniel Picard, BOR Deputy Regional Director an Oglala Sioux and Nez Perce descendant, was the keynote speaker. His speech reiterated the importance of maintaining cultural identity in today’s society and encouraged students to pursue higher level education. <P> Stacey Smith presented the dam construction exercise and building solar kits with Reclamation staff assistance to explain Reclamation’s projects and activities to the youth. <P> One by one the students and their instructors shared their thoughts of the day’s activities during circle time. Here is some of the take back from the camp: <P> “I like learning about my culture and being outside in nature,” said Calora Norton, an 11th grader at Lehi High School. “I liked learning about what people here do for their jobs.” <P> Dominic Goodman, a senior at West Jordan High School liked that his generation heard from elders about the importance of education and why they need to learn about traditions and culture. “It is all entangled with who we are,” he said. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=50007 Fish and Fun in the Sun
Heber City, Utah –- Thirty-five excited children boarded 25 motor boats for a day of fishing at Strawberry Reservoir, Utah, on Saturday, August 8. <P> The children and more than 100 volunteers and boat captains participated in the 19th Annual Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids, the Bureau of Reclamation-hosted summer event that provides disabled and disadvantaged youth the chance to get outdoors and learn how to fish. <P> A few hours later, participants were all smiles when they disembarked their boats after a morning of chasing fish. Like natural fishermen and fisherwomen, the new anglers came back with stories of fish bites, nibbles and the ones that got away, but many also brought back trophies including the prize cutthroat trout. Coming in at 27 inches and weighing an estimated 8 pounds, the trout was caught by a very excited young fisherwoman. <P> Whether or not the fish cooperated, volunteers and children said they had a great time. One boat captain and volunteer wrote, “After fishing for a bit (no luck), the participant got to be my ‘co-co-captain’ and told me where to drive the boat so we cruised around the lake wherever he wanted to go. We had a great time!” <P> “This was an amazing experience for my kids,” said one parent of participants. “They have never been on a boat before and to see the joy on their faces really made the whole experience. It was an amazing day and one we will never forget.” <P> “It was great for (my son) to go on a boat, and fish with his dad and siblings,” said another participant’s parent. “It was the first time that he had done that and he loved it!” <P> Each year, Reclamation sponsors many C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing events at reservoirs across the Western United States. These events are intended to provide disabled and disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy a quality outdoor recreational experience through the sport of fishing. For more information, visit the C.A.S.T. for Kids website at www.castforkids.org. <P> <img src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/282/20307194690_78e3c8e00e.jpg" alt="Looks like these three kids had a fun time" width="500px"> <br /> <img src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/319/20307133430_3a3402c781.jpg" alt="A beautiful day on Strawberry Reservoir." width="500px"> <br /> <img src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/514/20469144466_5a94d90986.jpg" alt="The boats getting ready to head out on Strawberry Reservoir on a foggy morning." width="500px"> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49970 Media Advisory: C.A.S.T. for Kids event at Strawberry Reservoir tomorrow
Strawberry Valley, Utah - The Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Regional Office and Provo Area Office will hold the 19th annual Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids fishing event at Strawberry Reservoir. <P> When: Saturday, August 8 from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. <P> Where: Strawberry Reservoir at the Soldier Creek Marina. <P> What: C.A.S.T for Kids provides an opportunity for children with special needs and their families as well as disadvantaged children and their parents/caretakers to spend a day on the water with volunteer anglers learning to fish. <P> At this event there will be opportunities to report on and film: <P> • Participant children receive fishing rod and reel, t-shirt, hat, and tackle box. <P> • Children fishing from boats on the water; a dedicated vessel for media will be available. <P> • Adult volunteer anglers and boat captains interact and coach youth fishing for the first time. <P> • Family activities at Bugler’s Knob Group Pavilion. <P> • Interviews with willing participants and event representatives. <P> Interview opportunities: <P> • Brent Rhees, Regional Director, Reclamation <P> • Kent Kofford, Deputy Area Manager, Reclamation (Provo) <P> Directions from Heber City: Follow Highway 40 South to Strawberry Reservoir, take the second exit (Soldier Creek) and follow the road to the marina. <P> Why: Each year, Reclamation sponsors many C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing events at reservoirs across the West. These events are intended to provide disabled and disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy a quality outdoor recreational experience through the sport of fishing. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49968 Reclamation Increasing Releases from Navajo Reservoir in Response to the Gold King Mine Spill in Animas River
DURANGO, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation has increased its water releases from Navajo Dam, from 650 to 1,300 cubic feet per second (cfs), in response to the Gold King mine spill near Silverton, Colorado. <P> Increased releases may help dilute mine contaminates in the San Juan River and alleviate concerns for endangered species and wildlife, while helping with other river issues. <P> Releases from the dam will remain at 1,300 cfs through the weekend and will be reevaluated on Monday, August 10. The decision to increase releases to help decrease the effects of the Gold King mine spill on local rivers and wildlife was made in collaboration with the San Juan Recovery Implementation Program. <P> Reclamation's Western Colorado Area Office says at this time projects in the area have not been impacted, but staff will continue to observe and patrol area projects and will take action as needed. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49830 Investigation into Thefts at Elephant Butte Dam
ELEPHANT BUTTE, NM - Recent thefts of equipment from Elephant Butte Dam have prompted investigations by local and federal law enforcement. <P> Elephant Butte Dam is owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. Any unauthorized removal of equipment or supplies from the dam or Reclamation property is a federal crime. <P> The thefts occurred around June 18 and July 19. Reclamation staff at Elephant Butte are working with law enforcement officers investigating the thefts. <P> “We ask that members of the public keep an eye out and their ears open for any information on these recent thefts,” said Albuquerque Assistant Area Manager Ken Rice. “Any theft of Reclamation property has an impact on our operations of the dam for water delivery and power generation.” <P> Anyone with information is asked to call Reclamation’s See N Say program at 1-888-748-7220 or e-mail at <a href="mailto:seensay@usbr.gov">seensay@usbr.gov</a>. Or call the Sierra County Sheriff’s Department at (575) 894-9150. A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and prosecution. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49810 Reclamation Hosts 2015 Strawberry Reservoir C.A.S.T. For Kids Event
Heber City, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Regional Office and Provo Area Office is gearing up for the 19th annual Catch a Special Thrill for Kids fishing event in Utah. <P> WHO: C.A.S.T for Kids provides an opportunity for children with special needs and their families as well as disadvantaged children and their parents/caretakers to spend a day on the water with volunteer anglers learning to fish. The goal of C.A.S.T. for Kids is to provide this experience for children who might otherwise never have the opportunity, while simultaneously providing the opportunity for volunteers to gain a new appreciation for people living with impairments or in less than ideal situations. <P> WHAT: C.A.S.T. for Kids Strawberry Reservoir event. WHEN: Saturday, August 8, 2015, at 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. <P> WHERE: Strawberry Reservoir at the Soldier Creek Marina. <P> Each year, Reclamation sponsors many C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing events at reservoirs across the West. These events are intended to provide disabled and disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy a quality outdoor recreational experience through the sport of fishing. For more information, visit the C.A.S.T. for Kids website at www.castforkids.org. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49787 Reclamation Awards $37 Million Contract to Replace Glen Canyon Powerplant Transformers
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Bureau of Reclamation today announced that it has awarded a $37 million contract to Yellowstone Electric Co. of Billings, Mont., to replace the 12 single-phase transformers and appurtenant equipment at Glen Canyon Powerplant that have reached the end of their service life. <P> “Reclamation is the nation’s second-largest producer of clean, renewable hydropower,” said Commissioner Estevan López. “We’re excited to award this contract and begin the work that will continue the performance of Glen Canyon Powerplant well into the future.” <P> Design, manufacture and installation work for the new transformers will take place between August 2017 and the spring of 2020. The project is a first for Reclamation, as it will be the first to use transformers of this size filled with natural ester oils derived from seed and nut oils as the insulating liquid rather than petroleum-based mineral oils typically used in most transformers. The sustainable, bio-based ester oils are safer because of the higher flash-point, which reduces the risk of fire, and they are environmentally beneficial because they disperse quickly in water and bio-degrade readily in oxygen and sunlight in the unlikely event of an oil spill. <P> "Bringing sustainable design to our powerplants is key to guaranteeing their length of service," said Upper Colorado Regional Director, Brent Rhees. "It is important to our region and across Reclamation that we support green initiatives when and where we are able." <P> Each of the transformers being replaced is original equipment that has been in service since the powerplant became operational in 1964. The plant’s eight generation units are connected to the transmission grid through these transformers that increase the voltage to allow the electrical power generated at the dam. The power is efficiently sent hundreds of miles to several communities throughout the southwest. <P> All powerplant maintenance and replacement activities are scheduled in full coordination with the Western Area Power Administration, which sells power to municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, Native American Tribes and government agencies in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. <P> Glen Canyon Powerplant has a total capacity of 1,320 megawatts and annually produces approximately five billion kilowatt-hours of power to help sustain the electrical needs of about 5.8 million customers. <P> For more information about Glen Canyon Dam and Powerplant please visit: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/crsp/gc/index.html <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49536 Water Levels to Rise as Irrigation Release Begins
FORT SUMNER, NM - Water levels on the Pecos River will rise in the coming days as the Bureau of Reclamation moves water downstream for the Carlsbad Irrigation District. <P> The block release of water began Monday morning from Santa Rosa Lake, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The release from Sumner Reservoir will begin Tuesday morning, once the water from Santa Rosa arrives. Reclamation will increase the release from about 100 cubic feet per second to about 1,500 cfs. This release is expected to last seven days. Approximately 21,000 acre-feet of water will be moved from Santa Rosa and Sumner to Brantley to be used by the Carlsbad Irrigation District. <P> The public is asked to use caution when working or playing in or near the Pecos anywhere between Santa Rosa Lake and Brantley Reservoir, which is located north of Carlsbad, for the next couple of weeks as the water makes its way downstream. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49577 Western Colorado Area Office Participates In Two Water Festivals
In May 2015, employees of the Western Colorado Area Office (WCAO) participated in two water festivals. The first festival was the Children's Water Festival in Durango, Colorado, at Fort Lewis College on Wednesday, May 6th. Over 700 5th grade students attended the festival and the WCAO taught the "Water Rights Game," where students learn about senior and junior water rights and the effects of water right priorities on all water users. <P> The second festival was the Western Colorado Children's Festival in Grand Junction, Colorado, at the Colorado Mesa University on Monday, May 18th and Tuesday, May 19th. Nearly 2,500 5th grade students attended the festival where WCAO employees and retirees taught the "Water Rights Game," as well as the "Colorado River Journey," in which the kids learn about Colorado River water diversions, water sources, and water quality. <P> Thank you to the WCAO employees who helped this year: Ryan Christianson, Steve Coverly, Rocky Dial, Dee Dee Fowler, Justyn Hock, Reece James, Kevin Moran, Rosann Velnich and Melissa Werkmeister. <P> An extra "thank you" goes to the retired WCAO employees, Mike Baker and Dan Crabtree, who love the Water Festival so much they volunteered their time! <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49407 Boaters Needed for CAST for Kids Event
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Forty special needs and disadvantaged children and their families or caretakers will gear up for the 18th annual Catch a Special Thrill for Kids (CAST) fishing event on Saturday, August 8, 2015, at Soldier Creek Marina on Strawberry Reservoir in Utah. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation-hosted event provides an opportunity for children with special needs and their families, as well as disadvantaged children and their parents or caretakers, to spend a day on the water learning to fish with volunteer anglers. <P> Although all child participant spots for the event are filled, boaters and donations are still needed. Donated items will be delivered to participants in fun packs and given as prizes during raffle drawings for the boaters, volunteers, participants and others at the event. <P> The goal of CAST for Kids is to provide an outdoor experience for youth who might not otherwise have this kind of opportunity. The event also provides opportunities for volunteers to gain a new appreciation for people living with impairments or in less than ideal situations. A catered lunch and awards ceremony will follow the day’s activities. <P> Businesses can get their logo printed on the event t-shirts with a $100 minimum donation to this great cause. In order to meet the t-shirt printing schedule, CAST needs your donation and logo by June 12. <P> To volunteer or donate, go to www.castforkids.org and register for the Strawberry event. <P> For more information, please visit http://www.castforkids.org/events-calendar/cast-events/strawberry-reservoir/. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49387 Doing Business With Reclamation a Free Outreach Session for Contractors
Gallup, NM – The Bureau of Reclamation is conducting a free outreach session to a variety of contractors on the mission of Reclamation and to have one on one sessions to discuss contractor capabilities and government program needs. <P> WHO: The Upper Colorado Region’s Albuquerque South Contracts Group and Program Managers will hold a session for various contractors from the surrounding areas and Reclamation personnel from the southern part of the region. The goal is to cast a wide net to the local and regional market to maximize competition. <P> WHAT: The first half of the day is planned for presentations ranging from the Albuquerque Small Business Development Center, The New Mexico District Office of U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Albuquerque Procurement Technical Assistance Program, Upper Colorado Region Acquisition Management Division, and technical personnel presenting on various programs within the region. The second half of the day will be set up for 10-minute one-on-one sessions among Reclamation Program personnel, Contract Specialists and contractors. There will be a sign up sheet with Reclamation personnel name and title/duties/responsibilities wherein contractors can sign up for the one-on-one sessions. <P> WHEN: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. <P> WHERE: Gallup-McKinley Country Chamber of Commerce, Code Talkers Room, 106 West Historic Highway 66, Gallup, NM. <P> Each firm is limited to two attendees. To pre-register for this free event, please contact Vickie Tripp at vtripp@usbr.gov with your company name and profile. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49349 Doing Business With Reclamation a Free Outreach Session for Contractors
Albuquerque, NM ? The Bureau of Reclamation is conducting a free outreach session to a variety of contractors on the mission of Reclamation and to have one on one sessions to discuss contractor capabilities and government program needs. <P> WHO: The Upper Colorado Region?s Albuquerque South Contracts Group and Program Managers will hold a session for various contractors from the surrounding areas and Reclamation personnel from the southern part of the region. The goal is to cast a wide net to the local and regional market to maximize competition. <P> WHAT: The first half of the day is planned for presentations ranging from the Albuquerque Small Business Development Center, The New Mexico District Office of U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Albuquerque Procurement Technical Assistance Program, Upper Colorado Region Acquisition Management Division, and technical personnel presenting on various programs within the region. The second half of the day will be set up for 10-minute one-on-one sessions among Reclamation Program personnel, Contract Specialists and contractors. There will be a sign up sheet with Reclamation personnel name and title/duties/responsibilities wherein contractors can sign up for the one-on-one sessions. <P> WHEN: Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. <P> WHERE: CNM Workforce Training Center, 5600 Eagle Rock Avenue Northeast, Albuquerque, NM. <P> Each firm is limited to two attendees. To pre-register for this free event, please contact Vickie Tripp at vtripp@usbr.gov with your company name and profile. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49578 Project Archaeology Workshop
Last month, the Bureau of Reclamation joined the Girl Scouts of America and its partners to host Utah’s FIRST EVER Project Archaeology Workshop. Over 80 Girl Scouts attended the event, where they participated in instructor-guided lessons and activities that instilled a sense of value and respect for Utah’s rich cultural heritage and science based careers. <P> Utah’s Project Archaeologist, Sam Kirkley, organized the event and provided training for partners, including diversity and cultural resource program leads. Professional archaeologists and teachers introduced scientific concepts and information customized to resonate with the different age groups in attendance. Presentations were followed by activities where excited scouts scrambled to apply their new knowledge. They mapped and recorded mock sites, identified and described an assemblage of artifact replicas, and built wickiups. Attendees also engaged with agency representatives during the women-in science career panel. <P> Lindsey Sheppard, a file clerk representing Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region Office encouraged the scouts to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Sheppard also shared her enthusiasm for career opportunities within the agency, saying, “at the Girls' Scout workshop I was asked to cover having a government job as a woman. At first, I was unsure of the topic, but then I understood that this was an opportunity to show how much working women can do! I felt so honored to be with these girls that will grow up to be leaders.” Sheppard then stated, “I told them that every job has its importance and that every employer hires someone for a specific reason, and that they had potential to be the ones to climb the corporate ladder. I told the girls that although they might not have a career picked out yet or even know what they want to be when they get out of high school, Reclamation is a place where dreams start and success follows. Each person (girl) has a reason to wake up each morning to say ‘Today I’m going to move mountains.’ Whatever that reason is, the possibilities of being prosperous are endless. I explained to them that having self-confidence and self-worth are top priorities to living a life of achievement. I believe that the way to having power is to be empowered by what we feel, think, and love about ourselves. I want to thank Reclamation so much for this opportunity! It was a learning experience for me as much as a teaching experience.” <P> After touring the local museum, the rigorous weekend of fun and learning concluded with each of the scouts receiving patches to commemorate their achievements. For more information about Project Archaeology and scout programs, please contact Jeanne Moe at jmoe@montana.edu or visit http://projectarchaeology.org/. Thanks to the Bureau of Land Management, Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation - CTGR, and of course, the Girl Scouts of Utah. Girls Rock! <P> <p><img src="../images/2015/uc/PArchPic1.jpg" alt="Bureau of Reclamation joined the Girl Scouts of America and its partners to host Utah’s FIRST EVER Project Archaeology Workshop. Photo by Reclamation’s Upper Colorado PAO."><br /> <small>Bureau of Reclamation joined the Girl Scouts of America and its partners to host Utah’s FIRST EVER Project Archaeology Workshop. Photo by Reclamation’s Upper Colorado PAO.</small></p> <br /> <p><img src="../images/2015/uc/PArchPic3.jpg" alt="Bureau of Reclamation joined the Girl Scouts of America and its partners to host Utah’s FIRST EVER Project Archaeology Workshop. Photo by Reclamation’s Upper Colorado PAO."><br /> <small>Bureau of Reclamation joined the Girl Scouts of America and its partners to host Utah’s FIRST EVER Project Archaeology Workshop. Photo by Reclamation’s Upper Colorado PAO.</small></p> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49280 Flaming Gorge Dam to Increase Water Releases Monday
SALT LAKE CITY - The recent record warm and dry winter and spring has consistently eroded previously forecast water inflows into the Colorado River. As a result, spring runoff began one month earlier than expected and spawning and emergence of endangered razorback sucker fish populations have arrived in the river early this year. Larval emergence was observed on May 7, 2015. The last time the observed larval emergence happened this early in the year was on May 15, 2007. Therefore, Flaming Gorge Dam will increase water releases from the dam beginning Monday, May 11, 2015, increasing from a release rate of 1,000 cubic feet per second to a total peak release rate of 8,600 cubic feet per second by Thursday, May 14, 2015. Operations, during the peak release will require powerplant capacity releases of approximately 4,600 cubic feet of water per second concurrently with bypass tube releases of approximately 4,000 cubic feet per second. <P> Current Yampa River forecasts indicate decreasing flows May 11 and 12. Based on the current daily forecast, flows at the Green River at Jensen, Utah, are anticipated to increase from 14,000 cubic feet per second to 16,500 cubic feet per second by May 16. <P> Scientists monitor critical habitat to detect the first emergence of razorback sucker larvae as a “trigger” for an experiment being implemented by Reclamation in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. A major purpose of the experiment 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. During dry years, this nursery habitat connects to the river at flow rates at or above 8,300 cubic feet per second. 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> The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has been consulted concerning the 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>