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=69443 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's February 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 1,216,400 acre-feet (af), which is 97% 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 700,000 af, which is 94% of the 30-year average of 742,600 af. <P> • Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 645,000 af, which is 104% 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 415,000 af, which is 95% 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> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=69143 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's January 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 at 1,114,600 acre-feet (af), which is 89 percent 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 675,000 af, which is 91 percent of the 30 year average of 742,600 af. <P> • Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 660,000 af, which is 107 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68323 Reclamation to hold public meetings for the Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply Project
BISMARCK, N.D. - The Bureau of Reclamation will hold public scoping meetings in October to seek comment for the Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply (ENDAWS) project. <P> "This is a bulk water supply project that would deliver an alternate water supply to the state of North Dakota's Red River Valley Water Supply Project," said Reclamation Area Manager Arden Freitag. "This would help to improve water reliability standards, given the significant variation in water supplies and high potential for drought on the Red River." <P> The proposed action includes construction of ENDAWS project features, issuance of a water repayment contract for Garrison Diversion Unit facilities, issuance of permits to construct and maintain ENDAWS facilities on Reclamation rights--f-way, and compliance with the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. <P> The purpose of the public scoping process is to inform those interested or affected by the proposed action, as well as to gather input regarding issues and concerns. Input received through the scoping process will help Reclamation define the scope of an environmental impact statement, identify significant issues to be analyzed in depth, as well as identify issues that are not significant and could be eliminated from detailed study. Public input can also help Reclamation identify other environmental reviews and/or consultation requirements, so Reclamation has time to initiate these, as needed, and integrate them into the EIS. There will be three public scoping meetings starting at 6:00 p.m. each evening: Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Fargo Delta Hotels by Marriott—Overture Room, 1635 42nd Street Southwest, Fargo, North Dakota Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Bismarck Ramkota Hotel- Cannon Ball Room, 800 South 3rd Street, Bismarck, North Dakota Thursday, October 24, Jamestown Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center - Basement Room 1, 205 6th Street Southeast Jamestown, North Dakota <P> Both verbal and written comments will be accepted at the meetings. In addition, 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: ENDAWS.EIS@usbr.gov <P> FAX: 701.250.4590 <P> Comments should be received by close of business on December 15, 2019. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68045 Reclamation Announces Lake Elwell (Tiber Reservoir) Public Meeting
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation is hosting a public meeting on October 9, 2019 in Chester, MT to update the public on recreation and resource management issues around Lake Elwell (Tiber Reservoir). Topics of discussion will include information on fisheries and wildlife management, aquatic invasive species, recreation improvements, and use of Reclamation lands. <P> "Reclamation considers public engagement important to understanding not only what is happening on our public lands, but also what is expected out of us as a public land management agency”, says Reclamation’s Acting Montana Area Manager, Tom Sawatzke. <P> The public meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Liberty Community & Senior Center at 618 Adams Avenue East, Chester, MT 59522 <P> For more information visit Reclamation’s website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao">http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68044 Reclamation invites public to open house discussing Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Plant redesign plans
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Eastern Colorado Area Office would like to announce an open house to present information on redesign plans for the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel treatment plant Tuesday, October 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College’s Climax Building (a.k.a. KW Building), 901 US-24, Leadville, Colorado, Room 401. <P> “This will be a great opportunity for the public to provide input on the redesign proposals,” said Eastern Colorado Area Office Manager, Jeff Rieker. “To optimize the process moving forward, it’s important that members of the public have a chance to fully understand the plant’s processes, and the various treatment options moving forward.” <P> Throughout its history, Reclamation has performed monitoring and safety studies on the LMDT. The most recent study, completed in the fall 2008, concluded that the LMDT continues operating safely. <P> The Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel, or “LMDT,” was purchased by the Bureau of Reclamation from the Bureau of Mines in 1959. Originally, the Tunnel was a potential source of water for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. However, poor water quality required that the water be treated before it could be released to the Arkansas River. As a result, Reclamation designed and constructed the LMDT Treatment Plant. It has been safely and effectively treating water released from the Tunnel to the Arkansas River since 1991. For more information on the LMDT, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/leadville/leadville.html">https://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/leadville/leadville.html</a> <P> Media inquiries or general questions should be directed to Tyler Johnson at 406-247-7609 or <a href="mailto:tjohnson@usbr.gov">tjohnson@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68043 Reclamation will be conducting a siren test on Wednesday, October 9 at its Leadville Plant
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Eastern Colorado Area Office will be testing the emergency siren system at its water treatment plant near Mountain Valley Estates in Leadville, Colorado on October 9 at 1:00 p.m. <P> “The siren will blast three times; afterwards, instructions in English and then Spanish will broadcast and repeat,” said Eastern Colorado Area Manager, Jeff Rieker. “Again, this will only be a test to confirm system functioning.” The sirens and emergency warning system are tested periodically as part of Reclamation's regular maintenance program at the drainage tunnel and treatment plant. The sirens and warning system were installed to enhance notification for local residents in the unlikely event of an emergency. The Drainage Tunnel and Treatment Plant continue to function as designed and are performing safely. <P> En Espanol: <P> El sistema de sirenas de emergencia alertara a los residentes de la “Mountain Valley Estates”. Después de que la alarma alerte a los residentes, las instrucciones en ingles y español serán diseminadas repetidamente. Esto sera una prueba, solamente! <P> Media inquiries or general questions about Reclamation and its maintenance procedures should be directed to Tyler Johnson at 406-247-7609 or <a href="mailto:tjohnson@usbr.gov">tjohnson@usbr.gov</a>. <P> The Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel, or “LMDT,” was purchased by the Bureau of Reclamation from the Bureau of Mines in 1959. Originally, the Tunnel was a potential source of water for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. However, poor water quality required that the water be treated before it could be released to the Arkansas River. As a result, Reclamation designed and constructed the LMDT Treatment Plant. It has been safely and effectively treating water released from the Tunnel to the Arkansas River since 1991. For more information on the LMDT, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/leadville/leadville.html">https://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/leadville/leadville.html</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67684 Reclamation notifies public of changing water levels at Glendo and Guernsey Reservoirs due to end-of-season drawdown
MILLS, Wyoming -- The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyoming, will be lowering the water level in Guernsey Reservoir as the 2019 irrigation season draws to a close. <P> Guernsey Reservoir levels are expected to remain at the normal summer reservoir level through September 8. Reclamation will begin drawing down Guernsey Reservoir on the morning of Monday, September 9. It is anticipated that the reservoir will drop 12 feet to reach elevation 4400.00 feet by September 17. After September 17, the drawdown of Guernsey reservoir will vary based on timing and downstream demand. Users should be aware of declining water levels. <P> Glendo Reservoir levels are expected to continue gradually declining and reach a water surface elevation near 4597.30 feet (approximately 165,000 acre-feet) around September 30. <P> The planned reservoir elevations may change in response to changing water demands. <P> Boaters, recreationists, and irrigators should take proper precautions regarding changing river flows between Glendo and Guernsey Reservoirs and the lowering of Guernsey Reservoir. <P> For more information on water levels at Guernsey or Glendo Reservoir, contact Shane Hayden at 307-261-5647 or <a href="mailto:shayden@usbr.gov">shayden@usbr.gov.</a> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67563 All Motorized Boats Required to Utilize Designated Boat Ramps at Belle Fourche Reservoir
RAPID CITY, S.D. - The recent discovery of zebra mussels in South Dakota’s Lake Sharpe has prompted the Bureau of Reclamation to immediately require all motorized watercraft to launch and retrieve from designated boat ramps at Belle Fourche Reservoir. “Reclamation, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, and the Belle Fourche Irrigation District are concerned that zebra mussels will make their way to Belle Fourche Reservoir, which is less than 120 miles from Lake Sharpe,” said Area Manager Arden Freitag. “We hope to delay any introduction of zebra mussels by being proactive.” <P> Invasive zebra mussels move from lake to lake by people carrying them on their boats. As such, current South Dakota law requires all boaters to pull all drain plugs before leaving a boat ramp parking lot. Plugs must remain out until the boat’s next launch. Additionally, boats cannot transport lake water past the boat ramp parking lot. <P> Bill Eastman, Conservation Officer with South Dakota Game Fish and Parks reminds the public that a good practice for all boaters and anglers to follow is the Clean, Drain, Dry procedure. <ul> <li><strong>Clean</strong> off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from all equipment before leaving water access.</li> <li><strong>Drain</strong> motor, bilge, livewell, and other water containing devices before leaving water access.</li> <li><strong>Dry</strong> everything for at least five days or wipe with a towel before reuse.</li> </ul> <P> “The introduction of zebra mussels into Belle Fourche Reservoir and ultimately into the Belle Fourche Irrigation distribution system would be catastrophic,'' said Darren Alexander, Interim Manager for the Belle Fourche Irrigation District. <P> Zebra mussels clog and damage pipes, drains, gates and other infrastructure causing millions of dollars in maintenance. Along with the infrastructure maintenance nightmare, recreation impacts exist. As mussels become established, dead mussels accumulate on beaches and the sharp shells can cut the feet of people and animals. When water levels recede; as they do annually in Belle Fourche Reservoir, zebra mussel die-offs release strong odors. <P> There are currently two designated boat ramps at Belle Fourche Reservoir, both are located in Rocky Point State Recreation Area. A third boat ramp is scheduled to be constructed on Gadens Point in the fall of 2020. <P> “We realize requiring all motorized watercraft to launch and retrieve from designated boat ramps will be an inconvenience for some users as well as cause some congestion at the boat ramps,” said Area Manager Arden Freitag. “However, this action is needed in an attempt to protect the future of Belle Fourche Reservoir.” <P> Signs reminding the public of this new requirement will be posted in areas around the Reservoir. <P> “It is important for us all to recognize the role we play in combating the spread of zebra mussels,” said South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. “If you’re spending time on any body of water in South Dakota, make sure you pull your boat plugs upon exiting the lake or river and leave them out until your next launch. South Dakota's water bodies are here for all of us to enjoy – for today and for the next generation. We must all take care of them together.” <P> For more information regarding this restriction or other issues pertaining to Belle Fourche Reservoir, call Jay Leasure, Bureau of Reclamation, 605-519-5504. For questions related to Rocky Point Recreation Area, contact Brad Nelson, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks at 605-641-0023. To learn more about zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species, visit <a href="SDLeastWanted.com">SDLeastWanted.com</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67384 Reclamation Releases Environmental Document for Colorado-Big Thompson Project’s Town of Estes Park 500-acre-foot Water Service Contract Renewal
LOVELAND, Colo. -- A Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed renewal of the Town of Estes Park (Estes Park) water service contract with the Bureau of Reclamation for Colorado-Big Thompson Project water has been made available for public review and comment. Estes Park has contracted directly with Reclamation since 1939 for the delivery of up to 500 acre-feet of water per year for its water treatment plants. Estes Park operates two local water treatment plants, one at Marys Lake and one along Glacier Creek. <P> Reclamation would continue to deliver water to the Marys Lake Water Treatment Plant. However, the contract would also allow for the instantaneous exchange of water delivered to Lake Estes to be used at Glacier Creek Water Treatment Plant. Prior to this exchange of water, the following activities must occur including: an expansion of the Glacier Creek Water Treatment Plant, adjudication of additional Colorado water rights, and construction of a new diversion structure on the Big Thompson River above Lake Estes. Finally, the contract would change from a 40-year water service contract to a perpetual repayment contract. 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 request any written comments on the Draft EA be received by September 13, 2019. Comments can be sent to: Terence Stroh, Environmental Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 11056 W. CR 18E, Loveland, CO 80537; fax: (970) 663-321; or email: <a href="maito: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 970-461-5469 or <a href="maito:tstroh@usbr.gov">tstroh@usbr.gov</a>. For questions related to the contract, please contact Bob Rice, at 970-461-5496. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67263 Jeff Rieker named Area Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Eastern Colorado Area Office
BILLINGS, Mont. – Great Plains Regional Director Mike Black announced today that Jeff Rieker will succeed Signe Snortland as Eastern Colorado Area Office manager September 15, 2019. Rieker will serve as the Eastern Colorado Area Manager after serving as the Operations Manager for the Central Valley Operations Office where he oversaw the day-to-day water and power operations of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project (CVP), one of the largest water storage and transport systems in the world. The CVP is comprised of 20 dams and reservoirs, 11 power plants and more than 500 miles of canals and aqueducts within California’s Central Valley. <P> "Jeff brings a history of technical ability and collaboration with regional, local and international parties on a variety of issues that will benefit Reclamation and the numerous stakeholders," said Black. “Jeff is a great asset to our leadership team and I am confident he will serve the people of Colorado well.” <P> Rieker joined Reclamation in 1999 as a student hydraulic engineer in Reclamation’s Technical Service Center. Over his Reclamation career, he has served in a variety of positions including Special Studies Division Manager for the Lahontan Basin Area Office, Special Assistant for the Mid-Pacific’s Office of the Regional Director, and the Mid-Pacific Region’s Liaison Officer in Washington, D.C. <P> Rieker holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, a master’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in water resources planning and management from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in the same subject from Colorado State University. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67243 Reclamation finalizes title transfer of the Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office, Oklahoma
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Bureau of Reclamation has finalized the title transfer of the Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office in Oklahoma over to the Arbuckle Master Conservancy District. The transfer is being executed under Title VIII, Subtitle 8301 of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of March 12, 2019 (Pub L. 116-9), which includes 2.83 fee title acres. <P> “The District currently operates and maintains the facilities,” said Great Plains Regional Director Mike Black. “The title transfer will allow increased flexibility and efficiency in their operations.” <P> The Arbuckle Project was authorized under P. L. 87-594 for municipal and industrial (M&I) water supply, flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife purposes. The Project includes Arbuckle Dam and Lake of the Arbuckles, and delivers M&I water to the cities of Davis, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Dougherty, and the Wynnewood Refinery. <P> For questions related to the title transfer, please contract James Allard at 405-470-4810 or <a href="mailto:jallard@usbr.gov">jallard@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67203 County fire restrictions apply to Bureau of Reclamation surface
MILLS, Wyoming--The Bureau of Reclamation reminds the recreating public that they are responsible for complying with the fire restrictions imposed by the counties when participating in recreational activities on Reclamation surface. <P> Reclamation recognizes and adopts fire restrictions imposed by the counties in which Reclamation surface is located. <P> Code of Federal Regulations Title 43 CFR 423.31(e) and 18 USC 3571 require the public to comply with all applicable Federal, State and local fire orders, restrictions or permit requirements. <P> The following web site may provide current information on fire restrictions in Wyoming counties: <P> <a href="https://wsfd.wyo.gov/fire-management/fire-restrictions">https://wsfd.wyo.gov/fire-management/fire-restrictions</a> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67163 Reclamation provides updates on emergency barrier installation near Carter Lake, Green Mountain, Sugar Loaf, and Mount Elbert Forebay Dams
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The Bureau of Reclamation would like to provide the public with updates on the construction of emergency barriers adjacent to Reclamation dams within Larimer, Lake, and Summit counties. <P> Three barriers are being installed at Carter Lake Dam, two barriers at Green Mountain Dam, two barriers at Sugar Loaf Dam, and one barrier at one end of Mount Elbert Forebay Dam, with a circle of passive barriers (large blocks or boulders) at the other end of the dam. All subject dams, except for Mt. Elbert Forebay Dam, have county roads across them. <P> “These barriers are being installed to provide respective County Sheriff’s Offices a means to temporarily close county roads across dams to reduce potential security risk should the need ever arise,” said Eastern Colorado Acting Area Manager, Monica Griffitt. <P> All barriers located on county roads will be locked in the “open” position. In the unlikely event any of these barriers were ever closed, the nearby reservoir would be completely full, and a credible threat would have been received. <P> “There is currently no information indicating any dams are at risk,” said Griffitt. <P> Only the respective County Sheriff’s Office (not Reclamation) has the authority and ability to close any of the barriers. If closed, the barriers would be staffed to allow residents and inspected vehicles to pass. <P> Installation has already begun at Carter Lake. Installation at Green Mountain Dam is expected to begin in early Fall 2019, followed by Mount Elbert Forebay Dam and Sugarloaf Dam. Complete installation of all barriers is expected to be completed no later than December 7, 2019. <P> For more information, please contact Howard Bailey, Eastern Colorado Area Office, by phone or e-mail: (970) 556-9494, or <a href="mailto:hbailey@usbr.gov">hbailey@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67123 Bureau of Reclamation to Host Ruedi Reservoir Water Operations Public Meeting
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled the annual public meeting to discuss the Ruedi Reservoir Water Operations for the 2019 water year. <P> The meeting will be held on August 7, 2019, from 6:30-8:00 pm at the following location: <P> <strong>Roaring Fork Conservancy River Center<br> 22800 Two Rivers Road<br> Basalt, CO 81621</strong> <P> The meeting will provide an overview of Ruedi Reservoir's 2019 projected operations for late summer and early fall, which are key tourist seasons in Basalt. Also, representatives of the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will give a presentation on the upcoming implementation of the Ute Water Conservancy District lease of Ruedi Reservoir water to the Board for instream flow use in the 15-Mile Reach of the Colorado River. The meeting will include a public question and answer session. <P> For more information, please contact Tim Miller, Hydrologist, Eastern Colorado Area Office, by phone or e-mail: (970) 461-5494, or <a href="mailto:tmiller@usbr.gov">tmiller@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67023 Reclamation reduces duration of Guernsey silt run
MILLS, Wyoming--The Bureau of Reclamation will be refilling Guernsey Reservoir a week sooner than originally planned, following the annual silt run. Boaters, recreationists and irrigators should take proper precautions regarding changing river flows below Glendo and Guernsey Reservoirs and the rapid refilling of Guernsey Reservoir. <P> The silt run is an operation that provides silt-laden water to Goshen, Gering-Fort Laramie and Pathfinder Irrigation Districts under contract with Reclamation. <P> The silt run began on July 12 and was originally expected to continue through July 25. The irrigation districts requested the silt run be terminated early this year, prompting the change in schedule. <P> Beginning on the late morning of July 18, the release of water from Glendo Reservoir will be rapidly increased to refill Guernsey Reservoir. The level of Guernsey Reservoir is expected to be suitable for boating again by the morning of July 20. However, the reservoir will continue to rise by approximately 6 feet per day and is expected to reach the normal reservoir operation level by the evening of Monday, July 22. <P>