Aspinall Operations Biological Assessment
The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), in cooperation with interested non-federal parties, is submitting this programmatic biological assessment (PBA) to the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in compliance with Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S. Code 1536(a)(2). This PBA addresses the potential effects of Reclamation’s discretionary actions related to water management operations throughout the Gunnison Basin, and Dolores Project operations in the Dolores River/Colorado River basins in west central Colorado and eastern Utah.
The purpose of this PBA is to evaluate the impacts of Reclamation’s proposed action, which includes reoperation of the Wayne N. Aspinall Unit (Aspinall Unit), on threatened, endangered, and candidate species and on critical habitat. Preparation of the PBA has been coordinated with the state and private agencies/organizations in the action area. Foreseeable future changes to the environment that result from continuation of state and private water related actions are included in the PBA effects analysis.
The Service has cited 9 endangered, 4 threatened, and 2 candidate species potentially affected by the proposed action based on their presence in the Gunnison or portions of the Colorado River Basin.