Carriage Contracts Contracts Between the United States and Three Private Individuals for the Carriage of Non-Project
Water Through Mancos Project Facilities
This final Environmental Assessment (EA) is prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (Public Law 91-190) and related Department of Interior (Interior) policies and regulations to address three proposed water carriage contracts between the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and three private irrigators in Southwestern Colorado. Specifically, Reclamation's Western Colorado Area Office (WCAO) in Durango, Colorado, has received requests for three contracts to carry non-project irrigation water through the Mancos Project facilities. The proposed contracts would be among the United States, Mancos Water Conservancy District (District) and the three individual irrigators who own non-project water rights. The non-project water carried under these contracts would be used to irrigate private lands within the Mancos project boundaries.
In addition, this Environmental Assessment will also serve as the compliance document for implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Section 7 (Sec 7). No biological assessment was developed the Draft Environmental Assessment served as the biological Assessment for this proposed action. Reclamation initiated informal consultation under the Endangered Species Act in a letter to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requesting an endangered species list, describing the proposed project, and also requested initiation for consultation under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act; and formal consultation was initiated upon submittal of the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) on March 21, 2002. On April 9, 2002 the Service concurred with Reclamations determination in the DEA that there would be "no effect" on any federally listed species, except the Colorado pikeminnow and the razorback sucker, and that a reasonable and prudent alternative to jeopardy had previously been put in place by the Service and Reclamation (Service, 1998) for those two endangered fish.
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