News Release Archive

Reclamation Releases the Final Environmental Assessment for Lake Nighthorse Recreation Plan

Media Contact: Justyn Liff, 970-248-0625,

For Release: December 19, 2016

DURANGO, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released the final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment for the Lake Nighthorse Recreation Plan.

The selected alternative is the 2014 Recreation Plan proposed by the City of Durango. The 2014 Recreation Plan recommends implementing a small-scale, staged approach to the development of recreational opportunities and facilities, while protecting water quality and the primary purposes of Lake Nighthorse.

Recreation development will include public restrooms, an overflow parking area for the boat ramp, access road improvements and development of a courtesy dock system at the boat ramp. Recreation activities will be day use only and include canoeing, kayaking, rowing, sculling and stand-up-paddle boarding; swimming and scuba diving; and fishing. Motorized boating, including water skiing and wake boarding, will only be allowed from early spring to fall.

“We are excited for recreation at Lake Nighthorse to become a reality in the near future. We appreciate the input of our partners, stakeholders, and the public,” said Ed Warner, Area Manager of the Western Colorado Area Office. “We are committed to protecting water quality, cultural resources, and the primary purpose of the Animas-La Plata Project, while moving forward in the process to make recreation at Lake Nighthorse a reality.”

The next steps are to sign a lease agreement with the City of Durango and finalizing a cultural resource management plan and programmatic agreement to address how cultural resources are managed in the future.

The final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment is available online at

Lake Nighthorse is a component of the Animas-La Plata Project that was built to fulfill the water rights settlement of the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes of southwestern Colo.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment link