Great Plains Region Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases for Reclamation's Great Plains Region https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=71083 Reclamation announces planned fluctuation of Wind River flow downstream of Boysen Dam
MILLS, Wyo. – The Bureau of Reclamation, in response to a request from the Hanover Irrigation District, has scheduled a flushing flow below Boysen Dam, according to Area Manager Carlie Ronca. <P> “The purpose of the flushing flow below Boysen is to attempt to flush moss down river and mitigate the amount of moss the district has at their diversion. <P> On June 4 and June 5, flows in the river below Boysen Dam will fluctuate from 1,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 3,200 cfs and back to 1,400 cfs according to the following schedule: <P> <head> <style> table, th, td { border: 1px solid black; } </style> </head> <body> <P> <P> <table> <tr> <th>Hours</th> <th>Boysen Outflows (cfs)</th> </tr> <tr> <td>00:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.</td> <td>1,400</td> </tr> <tr> <td>8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.</td> <td>2,300</td> </tr> <tr> <td>9:00 p.m. to midnight</td> <td>3,200</td> </tr> <tr> <td>00:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.</td> <td>3,200</td> </tr> <tr> <td>9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.</td> <td>2,600</td> </tr> <tr> <td>10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.</td> <td>2,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td>11:00 a.m. to noon</td> <td>1,400</td> </tr> </table> <P> After completing the flushing flow on the morning of June 5, the flows below Boysen Dam will return to 1,400 cfs. <P> The public is urged to use caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Boysen Dam. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=71043 Reclamation will begin spillway repair at Alcova Dam in October
MILLS, Wyoming - The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation is preparing for contract construction work at Alcova Dam following the 2020 irrigation season. To accommodate the construction work, the reservoir will be temporarily lowered an additional 29 feet below the normal winter operating elevation of 5488 feet, down to elevation 5459 feet, which is below the level of the spillway crest. <P> “Completion of this project is important in order to ensure the continued reliability of the spillway structure,” said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca. “It includes replacing deteriorated concrete on the downstream spillway and stilling basin retaining walls, retaining wall caps, and floor slabs in designated areas. Additionally, it will replace downstream spillway and stilling basin handrails and chain-link fence.” <P> Reservoir levels will not be affected during the summer and will remain at normal levels through the end of September. Spillway and stilling basin access work will start after October 1 and be completed by March 31, 2021 to avoid peak spillway discharge season. <P> During the month of October, Alcova Reservoir will be lowered 39 feet at an average rate of about 15 inches per day. In a normal year, the reservoir is lowered about 5 inches per day for a total of 10 feet. The flows below Alcova and Gray Reef Dams during October 2020 will be approximately 2000 cubic feet per second (cfs) through October 20, and then be reduced to the normal winter flow rate of 500 cfs. Alcova reservoir is planned to be refilled to normal winter operating elevation in the last half of December. This will result in temporary higher than normal releases through the Miracle Mile and from Pathfinder Dam and minor declines in reservoir levels in Seminoe and Pathfinder Reservoirs. By January 1, 2021, Alcova Reservoir will be restored to its normal winter operating range. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=71023 Reclamation Seeks Public Comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply Project
<strong>BISMARCK, N.D.</strong> - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on Reclamation’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply (ENDAWS) Project. <P> “This evaluation of a water supply for Eastern North Dakota examines the use of existing Garrison Diversion Unit facilities to meet contemporary needs in the State,” said Area Manager Arden Freitag. “This project will evaluate a bulk water supply to deliver an alternate water supply to the State of North Dakota’s Red River Valley Water Supply Project.” <P> Reclamation has issued a Federal Register Notice formally announcing and seeking public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the ENDAWS Project. <P> “The public comment period is an important step to provide to those interested or affected by the proposed action and to gather input regarding issues or concerns,” said Freitag. <P> The proposed action includes construction of ENDAWS project features, issuance of a water repayment contract for Garrison Diversion Unit facilities, and issuance of permits to construct and maintain ENDAWS facilities on Reclamation rights-of-way. <P> A public meeting will be held on June 18, 2020 in Bismarck, North Dakota, at the Ramkota Hotel, 800 South 3rd Street, from 7 pm to 8 pm. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing measures may need to be implemented for the meeting. In the event that a public meeting cannot take place, due to the ongoing pandemic, information will be provided to the public instructing them on how to access a virtual meeting through a virtual meeting room. <P> Comments may be submitted by mail, e-mail, or FAX to: <P> Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply Project Bureau of Reclamation, Dakotas Area Office 304 East Broadway Ave Bismarck, North Dakota 58501 <P> Email: <a href="mailto:ENDAWS.EIS@usbr.gov">ENDAWS.EIS@usbr.gov</a> FAX: 701.250.4590 <P> Comments should be received by close of business on July 6, 2020. The Federal Register Notice regarding this proposed action is available for download at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/dkao/nepa/endaws/index.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/dkao/nepa/endaws/index.html</a> <P> Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov">www.usbr.gov.</a> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70965 Reclamation announces spring reservoir levels for areas in eastern Montana
<strong>BILLINGS, Montana</strong> —The Bureau of Reclamation has announced that water levels at most Reclamation- managed reservoirs in eastern Montana are at or above average for this time of year.<br/><br/> <P> “Most boat ramps should be usable at all Reclamation reservoirs east of the Continental Divide during the Memorial Day weekend,” said Montana Area Manager, Steve Davies. “As always, we strongly encourage water-based recreationists to check for the most up-to-date water level conditions at Reclamation’s website <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/boat/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/gp/boat/index.html</a> before heading to your favorite reservoir,” said Davies.<br/> <br/> <P> Current conditions at Reclamation facilities include:<ul> <P> <li><strong>Clark Canyon Reservoir</strong> – Inflows to the reservoir are below average for this time of year. However, storage is only 3 feet below the top of active conservation pool. Boaters will be able to launch at all locations around Clark Canyon Reservoir.</li><br/> <P> <li><strong>Canyon Ferry Reservoir</strong> – Inflows to Canyon Ferry are average for this time of year. The reservoir level is about 12 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and releases to the Missouri River are near 4,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to conserve storage in Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Most boat ramps at Canyon Ferry are currently usable.</li><br/> <P> <li><strong>Gibson Reservoir</strong> – Inflows and the reservoir level at Gibson Reservoir are above average for this time of year. The boat ramp at Gibson Reservoir will be usable during Memorial Day Weekend.</li><br/> <P> <li><strong>Lake Elwell (Tiber Reservoir)</strong> – Inflows to Tiber Reservoir are above average for this time of year. The reservoir level is about 4 feet below the top of the joint-use pool. Releases to the Marias River are currently being maintained near 1,500 cfs. Boaters can launch at all boat ramps.</li><br/> <P> <li><strong>Fresno Reservoir</strong> – Inflows to Fresno Reservoir are average for this time of year. The reservoir level is near the top of the joint-use pool. Releases to the Milk River are currently near 600 cfs. All boat ramps at Fresno Reservoir are currently usable.</li><br/> <P> <li><strong>Nelson Reservoir</strong> – Nelson Reservoir is nearly full, and the reservoir level is above average for this time of year. Boaters should be able to launch at all locations around Nelson Reservoir.</li><br/> <li><strong>Bighorn Lake (Yellowtail Dam)</strong> – The reservoir level is about 29 feet below the top of the joint- use pool and continuing to fill. Releases to the Bighorn River are below average and are being maintained at 2,000 cfs to conserve storage in Bighorn Lake. For more information regarding recreation activities and boat launching at Bighorn Lake, recreationists are encouraged to contact the National Park Service at 406-666-3218 or visit the National Park Service’s website <a href="https://www.nps.gov/bica/index.htm">https://www.nps.gov/bica/index.htm.</a></li><br/> <P> Each year hundreds of lives are lost... thousands are injured... and millions of dollars of property damage occurs because of preventable recreational boating accidents on U.S. waterways. Too often recreation outings turn tragic. You — as a boat operator, passenger, or concerned individual — can make a difference. For more information visit <a href="www.uscgboating.org">www.uscgboating.org.</a> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70964 Reclamation-managed recreation areas east of the continental divide in Montana are increasing access in phases
<strong>BILLINGS, MT</strong> – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities, Reclamation’s Montana Area Office- managed sites east of the continental divide are increasing recreational access. The Bureau of Reclamation is working across the 17 western states in close coordination with federal, state and local authorities to actively monitor the COVID-19 pandemic while using a phased approach to increase public access on a case by case basis. </br> <P> As of <strong>May 18, 2020</strong>, the following are publicly accessible:</br> <P> <strong>Canyon Ferry Reservoir</strong> <ul> <li>Day use areas</li> <li>Some primitive campgrounds are open for overnight use including: <ul> <li>Confederate</li> <li>Duck Creek</li> <li>Dispersed camping near Goose Bay Marina</li> </ul> <li>Boat launching ramps where accessible</li> <li>Restroom facilities on a limited basis</li> <li>Marinas <ul> <li>The public is encouraged to contact individual marinas directly for questions concerning specific services offered: <ul> <li>Goose Bay Marina: 406-266-3065</li> <li>Yacht Basin Marina: 406-475-3440</li> <li>Kim’s Marina, 406-475-3723</li> <li>Silos Recreation Area: 406-266-3100</li> </ul> </ul> </ul> <P> <strong>Tiber Reservoir (Lake Elwell)</strong> <ul> <li>Overnight camping</li> <li>Group use shelters</li> <li>Day use areas</li> <li>Boat launching ramps where accessible</li> <li>Restroom facilities</li> </ul> <P> <strong>Fresno and Nelson Reservoirs</strong> <ul> <li>Overnight camping</li> <li>Group use shelters</li> <li>Day use areas</li> <li>Boat launching ramps where accessible</li> <li>Restroom facilities</li> </ul> <P> <strong>Clark Canyon Reservoir</strong> <ul> <li>Overnight camping</li> <li>Group use facilities</li> <li>Day use areas</li> <li>Boat launching ramps where accessible</li> <li>Restroom facilities</li> </ul> <P> While Reclamation is working diligently to open all sites as soon as possible, with public health in mind, the following remain <strong>inaccessible or closed at this time:</strong></br> <P> <strong>Canyon Ferry</strong> <ul> <li>All other developed campgrounds not listed above</li> <li>Most restroom facilities</li> <li>Group use sites</li> </ul> <P> <strong>Tiber Reservoir (Lake Elwell)</strong> <ul> <li>Tiber Marina is scheduled to open May 23, 2020. The public is encouraged to contact Ru’s Tiber Marina at 406-759-5637 for specific questions.</li> </ul> <P> The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers and partners continues to be paramount. At recreation areas managed by Reclamation, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and be regularly monitored. </br> <P> While these public areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to use a phased approach and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, including the regulations listed in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ndkepiFNDJZC6y2jXBQEgswv7EMdmphy/view">Montana Phased Approach Directive</a> issued by Governor Steve Bullock for recreation facilities and services. In addition, visitors should practice <a href="https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/">Leave No Trace principles</a> and avoid crowding. Additionally, Reclamation wants to remind the recreating public of the 14 day stay camping limit and must not leave personal property unattended for more than 24 hours. </br> <P> The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in recreation areas and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health. </br> <P> Details and updates on facilities and operations managed by the Montana Area Office will continue to be posted on our <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/">website</a>. </br> <P> <i>For more information, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/">https://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/</a>. Learn more about CDC Guidance on staying safe while recreating at <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/parks-rec/index.html">https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/parks-rec/index.html.</a></i> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70963 Reclamation moving quickly to assess damage on the St. Mary Canal
BILLINGS, Montana – At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, a concrete drop structure failed on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Milk River Project St. Mary Canal, northwest of the town of Cut Bank in northern Montana, located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. When the damage was reported, the canal was flowing approximately 200 cubic-feet-per-second (CFS) which is about 1/3 of the canal’s total capacity of approximately 600 CFS. No injuries were reported, and canal flows have been shut off. <P> This concrete drop structure is the last of five drop structures that use gravity and siphons to convey water through the 29-mile long St. Mary Canal to the North Fork of the Milk River. Water is diverted into the canal from the St. Mary River, near Glacier National Park. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation, along with stakeholders of the Milk River Project, are assessing the situation to determine the impacts to the water users and options for restoring canal operation. Currently, Fresno Dam and Nelson Reservoir are both at full storage levels and will be used to provide continued irrigation deliveries. Once a plan and schedule for the repair of the canal are developed, water deliveries will be assessed and communicated. <P> The majority of construction of the Milk River Project was completed between 1906 and 1940. The canal was constructed between 1907 and 1915 and is the primary water source for eight irrigation districts tribes, contract pumpers, and several municipalities downstream of Havre serving approximately 110,000 acres of land. <P> Details and updates on facilities and operations managed by Reclamation’s Montana Area Office will continue to be posted on our website at https://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70863 Reclamation issues Federal Notice authorizing off-road vehicle use at Twin Buttes Reservoir, Texas
SAN ANGELO, Texas - The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with managing partners, is finalizing a Transportation Management Plan (TMP) that officially authorizes off-road vehicle (ORV) use and designates open ORV routes on Federal lands surrounding Twin Buttes Reservoir. This is being done in response to growing concerns about public safety and unauthorized uses in the area. <P> “This effort is being led by the Bureau of Reclamation, in close collaboration with our managing partners, the city of San Angelo and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD),” said Oklahoma-Texas Area Manager, Mark Treviño. “The TMP allows continued ORV use in a manner that considers impacts on the environmental and cultural resources, enhances public safety, and sustains the multi-project benefits associated with Twin Buttes Reservoir.” <P> The TMP was developed based on input provided by the public, local stakeholders, and ORV user groups. The respective Texas congressional offices were briefed on the TMP to make them aware of the plan and address any concerns. Although completion of the TMP marks an important milestone in and of itself, officials believe the most important work is yet to be done. <P> “That work includes implementation of activities identified in the TMP, as well as continuing collaborative efforts with local users to adapt the TMP to reflect conditions and needs as they evolve into the future,” said Treviño. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden, Major Jason Huebner added his enthusiasm for the approval of the TMP, “This milestone is important for the managing partners and for the public that enjoy using public lands around Twin Buttes Reservoir. It also allows us to seek the necessary funding through TPWD’s Recreational Trails Program to implement improvements.” <P> For more information regarding the TMP, please contact Trent Parish, (512) 899-4150, or <a href="mailto:jparish@usbr.gov">jparish@usbr.gov.</a> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70844 Reclamation issues snowmelt forecast for North Platte River Basin
MILLS, Wyo. - The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation has prepared the May snowmelt runoff forecasts and operating plans for the North Platte River Basin. <P> The April forecasts indicate the spring snowmelt runoff will be above average. Total April through July runoff in the North Platte River Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 1,002,000 acre-feet (af), which is 110% of the 30-year average. <P> The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 af. As of April 30, 2020, the combined storage content in the North Platte Reservoirs was 2,273,800 af, which is 129% of the 30-year average. <P> Current releases are 2,350 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Seminoe Reservoir through the Miracle Mile. Releases out of Gray Reef Reservoir are 2,500 cfs. Releases out of Guernsey Reservoir are 3,000 cfs. Based on current projections for the months of May, June, and July, the releases out of Seminoe Reservoir are expected to have already peaked at 3,200 cfs, while flows out of Gray Reef are expected to be in the range of approximately 2,000 to 3,000 cfs. Releases from Guernsey will be in the 3,000 to 5,200 cfs range. Pathfinder Reservoir is not expected to spill this spring. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70843 Reclamation issues snowmelt forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's May forecast of the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn River Basin is as follows: <P> • Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast to be approximately 1,203,000 acre-feet (af), which is 96% of the 30-year average of 1,256,400 af. <P> • Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 750,000 af, which is 101% of the 30-year average of 742,600 af. <P> • Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 650,000 af, which is 105% of the 30-year average of 617,400 af. <P> • Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 135,000 af, which is 94% of the 30-year average of 143,800 af. <P> • Wind River – April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 450,000 af, which is 103% of the 30-year average of 437,900 af. <P> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen, and Bull Lake Reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Carlie Ronca at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Steve Davies at 406-247-7298. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70663 Project Management Plan Developed for Arkansas Valley Conduit
Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Bureau of Reclamation have adopted a project management plan that will guide construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC). <P> The AVC is a pipeline project that will deliver clean drinking water to 40 communities serving 50,000 people from Pueblo Dam to Lamar and Eads on the eastern plains. This water supply is needed to supplement or replace existing poor quality water and to help meet AVC participants’ projected water demands. The estimated cost of the AVC is between $564 million and $610 million. <P> “The Project Management Plan is the blueprint for how we will build the Arkansas Valley Conduit, and an important step in the future of the AVC,” said Bill Long, President of the Southeastern District Board of Directors. “The AVC is absolutely necessary for the future water quality and health of the Arkansas Valley.” <P> “The Department of the Interior and Reclamation are committed to improving the water supplies of rural southeastern Colorado,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman. “I look forward to our continued collaboration with Southeastern to move this long-delayed project forward.” <P> “The communities of the Lower Arkansas Valley deserve clean drinking water, which the Arkansas Valley Conduit will supply for 50,000 Coloradans for generations to come,” said Senator Cory Gardner, R-Colo. “I was proud to secure robust federal funding of $28 million to begin construction for the first time since Congress authorized the project and President Kennedy promised completion nearly six decades ago. The project management plan adopted by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy is another great step forward for this project and I’ll continue to work with local and federal leaders to ensure we deliver abundant and affordable clean drinking water to the Colorado communities in need.” <P> “This is a significant milestone in our efforts towards construction of the AVC,” said Jeff Rieker, Eastern Colorado Area Manager for Reclamation. “This plan will guide design and construction by Reclamation and Southeastern, and streamline our joint efforts to provide clean water to these communities.” <P> Reclamation and Southeastern have worked together for the past year to envision a layout for the AVC that reaches communities with the poorest water quality most quickly, reduces overall costs, and reduces the need for federal appropriations. Many communities have issues with radioactive elements in groundwater supplies. Others face increasing costs to treat water and to dispose of waste by-products from that treatment. <P> Under the plan, AVC water will be delivered to a point east of Pueblo by the Pueblo Board of Water Works. A contract among Reclamation, Pueblo Water and Southeastern is in the discussion stage. <P> From that point, Reclamation will construct the trunk line, a treatment plant and water tanks, while Southeastern will coordinate with communities to fund and build connections. Reclamation and Southeastern continue to meet regularly, using remote technology, to work on activities such as design, land acquisition and environmental review that will lead to construction. <P> “We’re on a path to begin construction in the near future, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Kevin Karney, who chairs Southeastern’s AVC Committee. “Part of that will be reaching out to AVC participants to help shape how the AVC is developed. Overall, I’m excited to see the AVC moving forward.” <P> Congress provided additional funds to Reclamation in FY 2020. Reclamation allocated $28 million for construction of the AVC in February, and an additional $8 million for 2021 was requested in the President’s budget. The Colorado Water Conservation Board approved a $100 million finance package that still must be approved by the Colorado Legislature. Other potential sources of funding are being considered. <P> The AVC was part of the 1962 Fryingpan-Arkansas Project Act, but was never built because communities could not afford 100 percent of the costs. In 2009, the Act was amended to provide a 65 percent federal cost share. Reclamation identified a preferred alternative in 2014, which has been modified in the latest project management plan. <P> For additional information, contact Chris Woodka at Southeastern, (719) 289-0785; Darryl Asher at Reclamation, (406) 247-7608. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70503 Reclamation Releases Draft Environment Document for Pueblo Reservoir Resource Management Plan
<strong>LOVELAND, Colo.</strong>- Reclamation has released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for public review and comment for the Pueblo Reservoir Resource Management Plan (RMP). <P> Colorado Park and Wildlife manages the RMP planning area under 1975 Lease and 1981 Reservoir Area Management Plan as Lake Pueblo State Park and Pueblo Reservoir State Wildlife Area. <P> The RMP will replace the 1981 Reservoir Area Management Plan to address current and future resources needs identified through the RMP planning process from 2014 through 2019. Major components of the RMP include addressing recreational uses, mountain biking, and unauthorized trails. As part of the RMP, Reclamation will incorporate a 2019 Trail Management Plan developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to address ongoing impacts associated with unauthorized trails in the RMP planning area. The Draft EA is available electronically at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/sopa.html">http://www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/sopa.html.</a> Reclamation requests any written comments on the draft EA be received to Reclamation by May 11, 2020. Comments can be sent to: Terence Stroh, Environmental Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 11056 West Country Rd 18E, Loveland, CO 80537; fax: (970) 663-321; or email: <a href = "mailto: tstroh@usbr.gov"> tstroh@usbr.gov. </a> <P> For questions related the Draft EA or to request a printed copy, please contract Terence Stroh at (970) 962-4369 or <a href = "mailto: tstroh@usbr.gov"> tstroh@usbr.gov. </a> For questions related to the RMP, please contact Tara Piper, at (970) 461-5481 or <a href = "mailto: tpiper@usbr.gov"> tpiper@usbr.gov. </a> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70463 Recreation to remain open at Chain of Lakes
<strong>BISMARCK, N.D.</strong> – Bureau of Reclamation recreation facilities at the Chain of Lakes remains open to the public. The Chain of Lakes is located north of Wilton, N.D., and consists of New Johns Lake, East Park Lake, West Park Lake, and Heckers Lake. Please practice social distancing at the Chain of Lakes and be advised that there will be limited maintenance of facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The public is asked to make appropriate arrangements and exercise precautions when visiting the Chain of Lakes. <P> <strong>Can I still camp at the Chain of Lakes?</strong> <P> Yes. Reclamation asks that individuals practice social distancing and other health and safety guidelines as they arise. All posted rules and regulations, such as 14-day camping limits and no fireworks, are still in place. <P> <strong>Will I be able to launch my boat from the dock?</strong> <P> Yes. Continue to follow social distancing guidelines and other guidelines to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Always practice water safety. <P> <strong>What about other facilities at the Chain of Lakes?</strong> <P> There will be limited maintenance at the vault toilets. Also, the North Dakota Game & Fish Department has advised communities to delay putting in fishing piers. Fishing piers will not be available until further notice. <P> For more information please contact Michelle de Leon 701-221-1263. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70403 FWP, Bureau of Reclamation to partner on flow modification to investigate potential benefits to pallid sturgeon
<strong>BILLINGS, Mont.</strong> - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is partnering with the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct research on endangered pallid sturgeon in the upper Missouri and lower Marias rivers. The research effort will include modified flow releases out of Tiber Dam, located 18 miles southwest of Chester, Montana. Flow modification may potentially benefit pallid sturgeon and this research and investigation will further explore that potential. <P> Under the proposed flow request from FWP, beginning in late April releases from Tiber Dam into the Marias are planned to be stepped up from a release of approximately 700 cfs to 2,000 cfs. This would be followed by a reduction to 1,500 cfs in early May and a stepped increase to 3,000 cfs in late May and early June. Near mid to late June releases would be stepped back down to manage reservoir storage. Depending on actual inflows into Tiber Reservoir during this period, release rates and schedules will be adjusted accordingly. Proposed releases are not anticipated to significantly impact Tiber Reservoir levels, boat launching and recreation. <P> River recreationists and irrigation pumpers are advised to be cautious throughout the period of increased flows as river stage is expected to fluctuate during this time. For further information on pallid sturgeon research activities, please contact Jason Rhoten with FWP at 406-454-5853. For questions about Tiber Dam releases, please contact Clayton Jordan with Reclamation at 406-247-7334. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70383 Bureau of Reclamation restricts camping and group use at facilities east of the divide in Montana – Day use areas remain open
<strong>BILLINGS, Mont.</strong> - Because the health and safety of the public and our employees remains our number one priority, the Bureau of Reclamation is temporarily restricting overnight camping and group use areas at Reclamation-managed recreation areas east of the continental divide in Montana. Boat launching ramps and day use will remain open where possible, however courtesy boat docks are not in place at this time. Specifically, the following temporary restrictions are in place until further notice: <P> <strong>Canyon Ferry Reservoir</strong> <ul> <li>Day use areas open.</li> <li>No overnight camping.</li> <li>Group Use Sites are closed.</li> <li>Bathroom facilities at all locations are closed due to public, contractor, and employee safety concerns.</li> <li>The Marinas remain closed for the season until approximately mid-May. This opening is tentative and may be re-evaluated depending on the COVID-19 situation.</li> </ul> <P> <strong>Tiber Reservoir (Lake Elwell)</strong> <ul> <li>Day use areas open.</li> <li>No overnight camping.</li> <li>Group Use Sites are closed.</li> <li>Bathroom facilities at all locations are closed due to public, contractor, and employee safety concerns.</li> <li>The Tiber Marina remains closed for the season until approximately mid-May. This opening is tentative and may be re-evaluated depending on the COVID-19 situation.</li> </ul> <P> <strong>Fresno and Nelson Reservoirs</strong> <ul> <li> Day use areas open.</li> <li>No overnight camping.</li> <li>Group Use Sites are closed.</li> <li>Bathroom facilities at all locations are closed due to public, contractor, and employee safety concerns.</li> </ul> <P> <strong>Clark Canyon Reservoir</strong> <ul> <li>Day use areas open.</li> <li>No overnight camping.</li> <li>Group Use Sites are closed.</li> <li>Bathroom facilities at all locations are closed due to public, contractor, and employee safety concerns.</li> </ul> <P> Those already occupying camping spots will be allowed up to 72 hours to vacate overnight camping sites. The closings are all tentative and may be re-evaluated depending on developments related to COVID-19. <P> As a reminder, social distancing and other guidance put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be followed at each of these facilities. Guidance can be found at <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/">www.cdc.gov/</a> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=70364 Reclamation issues snowmelt forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's April forecast of the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn River Basin is as follows: <P> Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast to be approximately 1,468,900 acre-feet (af), which is 117% of the 30-year average of 1,256,400 af. <P> Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 900,000 af, which is 121% of the 30-year average of 742,600 af. <P> Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 700,000 af, which is 113% of the 30-year average of 617,400 af. <P> Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 145,000 af, which is 101% of the 30-year average of 143,800 af. <P> Wind River – April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 500,000 af, which is 114% of the 30-year average of 437,900 af. <P> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen, and Bull Lake Reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Carlie Ronca at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Steve Davies at 406-247-7298. <P>