News Release Archive

Reclamation Announces 2016 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Informational and Update Meeting

Media Contact: Shane Hunt, 916-978-5100, SHunt@usbr.gov

For Release: November 30, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation will hold an informal stakeholder meeting Dec. 6, 2016, to allow public input regarding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Biological Opinion (BiOp) on the long-term operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. Specifically, there will be opportunity for input regarding the various regulatory actions prescribed by their respective Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs).

The review will enable Reclamation, NMFS, and USFWS to use lessons learned, incorporate new science and make appropriate, scientifically justified adjustments to the implementation of the RPAs. The BiOps and their RPAs were designed by NMFS and the USFWS to avoid the likelihood of jeopardy to listed species and adverse modification of critical habitat. NMFS’s RPA requires Reclamation and NMFS to host a workshop no later than Nov. 30 of each year to determine whether any measures prescribed in the RPAs should be altered in light of information learned from the prior year’s operations or research.

Under direction from the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior, this review has been expanded to include a review of the implementation of the USFWS Long-term Operations BiOp. The California Department of Water Resources also participates in the review because it operates the SWP. The intent of the annual review is to inform NMFS and USFWS as to the efficacy of the prior years’ water operations and regulatory actions prescribed by their respective RPAs, with the goal of developing lessons learned, incorporating new science and proposing scientifically justified adjustments to the RPAs or their implementation to support decision-making for the next water year.

In April 2016, Reclamation and NMFS agreed to temporarily modify the RPAs science review frequency from annual to biennial from 2016 through 2020. At that time, Reclamation and NMFS will evaluate whether to make this change permanent or consider additional changes. The next science review will be held in November 2017.

2016 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Informational and Update Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. PST
980 Ninth Street
Second Floor Conference Room
Sacramento, California 95814

As a courtesy, this workshop will have a WebEx Conference link and a call-in line for audio. For those who will be calling in, please email comments to mhendrick@usbr.gov.

Conference Line: 303-445-3818 or 800-595-8343 (toll free)

Passcode: 3563

WebEx Conference Links:

https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usbr/join

Meeting ID: CGRJR5

Entry Code: X/Nr3q43j

First Time Users of Live Meeting:

https://goo.gl/jpPQVt

AGENDA (all times in PST, order of agenda items and listed times are subject to change)

1:30 – 1:40 Welcome Remarks – Mike Hendrick (Reclamation)

1:40 – 2:10 Hydrologic/Water Year Review – Liz Kiteck (Reclamation)

2:10 – 2:30 Biological/Fisheries Water Year Update – Mike Hendrick (Reclamation)

2:30 – 2:40 Break

2:40 – 3:45 Public Input/Comment

3:45 – 4:00 Next Steps – Mike Hendrick (Reclamation)

4:00 Adjourn

• If you have any questions, please contact Mike Hendrick at (916) 414-2420 or mhendrick@usbr.gov.

• Reasonable time limits may be established for public comments (Government Code Sections 11125.7).

For more details, refer to the following webpage: http://deltacouncil.ca.gov/science-program/long-term-operations-biological-opinions-annual-science-review

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.