Programmatic Final Environmental Assessment
and Finding of No Significant Impact
The Rio Grande Silvery Minnowwas formerly one of the most widespread and abundant cyprinid species in the Rio Grande basin in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Due to population declines caused by the dewatering of segments of the Middle Rio Grande through water-regulation activities as well as habitat degradation, the RGSM is currently listed as endangered both federally and by the State of New Mexico. In addition, the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher has been a federally-listed endangered subspecies since 1995 and is also classified by the State of New Mexico as endangered. Its decline has been largely attributed to the hydrological and ecological changes which have affected the composition and extent of floodplain riparian vegetation along the Middle Rio Grande.
Reclamation has discretion to conduct various activities within its authority to benefit threatened and endangered species under section 7(a)(1) of the Endangered Species Act. Reclamation has conducted prior discretionary acts since 1996 to protect the RGSM and SWWF as outlined in the 2001 Rio Grande Supplemental Water Programmatic Environmental Assessment. The Supplemental Water Program has been utilized to comply with elements of the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative of the 2003 Biological and Conference Opinions on the Effects of Actions Associated with the Programmatic Biological Assessment of Reclamation’s Water and River Maintenance Operations, Army Corps of Engineers’ Flood Control Operation and Non-federal Actions on the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, March 1, 2003 – February 28, 2013.
The Supplemental Water Program is funded by Reclamation. This supplement (2011-2016) serves as an update to the May 31, 2006 (2006-2011) supplement which was a five-year document. These environmental assessments are tiered off the 2001 Programmatic Environmental Assessment and evaluates only the impacts of the Program associated with the updated elements in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
|Final Environmental Assessment and FONSI||