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=64183 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's January forecast of the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn Basin is as follows: <P> • Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 810,100 acre-feet (af), which is 66 percent of the 30 year average of 1,221,100 af. <P> • Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 650,000 af, which is 88 percent of the 30 year average of 734,600 af. <P> • Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 400,000 af, which is 66 percent of the 30 year average of 603,300 af. <P> • Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 110,000 af, which is 77 percent of the 30 year average of 143,200 af. <P> • Wind River – April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 350,000 af, which is 80 percent of the 30 year average of 435,000 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=63846 Bureau of Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Documents for Platte River Recovery Extension
BILLINGS, Montana -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental and Biological Assessment (EA) and signed the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, Proposed First Increment Extension. Reclamation, working with the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska, water users, and environmental and conservation organizations, proposes to extend the First Increment of the basin-wide, cooperative Recovery Implementation Program by 13 years. Reclamation participates in the Program to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act. <P> The purpose of this action is to continue implementing Program projects in order to accomplish the following: <P> <ul> <li>Reduce flow shortages in the Platte River aimed at conforming with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service target flows</li> <li>Continue land management activities necessary to provide habitat for target threatened and endangered species</li> <li>Continue integrated monitoring, research, and adaptive management, in order to assess the progress of the Program and inform future management decisions</li> </ul> <P> The final EA and FONSI evaluates and discloses the potential impacts of the proposed 13 year extension of the Program's First Increment. The final EA and FONSI does not represent the final decision of the Secretary of the Interior, in cooperation with the Governors of the states of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, to extend the Program. The final EA and FONSI informs the Secretary that the potential impacts of the proposed extension do not warrant the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. The formal decision by the Secretary regarding whether or not to extend the Program in cooperation with the Governors will occur at a later date. <P> The final EA and FONSI are available for viewing at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/platte_river/index.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/platte_river/index.html</a>. For additional information or to receive a printed copy of the EA or Draft FONSI, please contact Brock Merrill at 307-532-1093 or <a href="mailto:beberrill@usbr.gov">bemerrill@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63447 Reclamation Signs Finding of No Significant Impact to Support a Revised Resource Management Plan at Horsetooth, Carter Lake, Pinewood, Flatiron Reservoirs
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation has signed a Finding of No Significant Impact for a revised Resource Management Plan (RMP) for Horsetooth Reservoir, Carter Lake, Pinewood Reservoir and Flatiron Reservoir. Reclamation owns and manages the four reservoirs in terms of operations and Larimer County manages them in terms of recreation. Because the reservoirs are on Federal property, proposed recreation improvements are required to be disclosed and analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act. <P> The RMP was developed in parallel to Larimer County's Reservoir Parks Master Plan. This plan takes a county-wide look at current and future recreation needs. While the four reservoirs play an important role in the master plan, Larimer's Master Plan also includes topics beyond the scope of the RMP, including project costs, financial strategies, and recreation needs beyond those served by the four reservoirs. Larimer County's Reservoir Parks Master Plan is available at <a href="http://www.onegreatcountytoplay.com/">www.onegreatcountytoplay.com</a>. <P> The Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and electronic copies are available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/larimer_county.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/larimer_county.html</a>. For additional information or to request a printed copy of the Final Environmental Assessment and/or Finding of No Significant Impact, please contact Terence Stroh at 970-962-4369 or <a href="mailto:TStroh@usbr.gov">TStroh@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63427 Reclamation awards $44 million contract for Safety of Dams construction at Bull Lake Dam
MILLS, Wyoming -- The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $44,580,999 contract on September 20, 2018 to Malcolm International LLC, of Rancho Cordova, California, for construction services at Bull Lake Dam in Fremont County, Wyoming. Safety of Dams construction activity will begin in the fall of 2018 and end in the summer of 2021. <P> "The Bull Lake Dam spillway project is necessary to address deficiencies in the existing spillway and provide for the continued safety and functionality of Bull Lake Dam," said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca. <P> Construction activities will include the construction of a temporary access road for construction traffic, construction of cofferdams, construction of a new concrete spillway structure, removal of the existing spillway, and replacing the existing spillway with a section of earthen dam embankment. The project will be constructed under Reclamation's Safety of Dams Program, and Midvale Irrigation District will be responsible to repay Reclamation up to 15 percent of the project cost. <P> The existing road for recreational access to Bull Lake Reservoir for tribal members and those with Wind River Indian Reservation recreational or fishing permits will not be affected by the construction. <P> Bull Lake Dam is located in the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. It is on Bull Lake Creek, a tributary of the Wind River. Bull Lake Dam was constructed from 1936-1938, is owned by Reclamation, and is operated and maintained by Midvale Irrigation District. Water stored in Bull Lake provides a supplemental irrigation water supply to approximately 70,000 acres served by Midvale Irrigation District. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63425 Reclamation Releases Draft Programmatic Environmental Document for Continuation of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project Temporary Excess Capacity Contracting Program and Two 40 Year Excess Capacity Contracts
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft programmatic environmental assessment (EA) for continuation of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project Temporary Excess Capacity Program and the issuance of two 40-year excess capacity contracts. <P> As described in the EA, Reclamation would continue to issue annual excess capacity storage contracts for the use of up to 25,000 acre-feet of excess capacity storage in Pueblo Reservoir "if and when" the space is available. Entities can request temporary (1-5 years) excess capacity storage contracts with Reclamation to meet their agricultural, municipal and industrial water needs. <P> The EA also evaluates a 499-acre-foot 40-year excess capacity storage and conveyance contract with Donala Water and Sanitation District (Donala) and a 400-acre-feet 40-year excess capacity storage contract with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for storage in Pueblo Reservoir "if and when" it becomes available. Both Donala and BLM have previously held annual excess capacity contracts issued under the Temporary Program. Donala utilizes excess capacity storage to facilitate the use of its water rights to reduce dependency on non-renewable groundwater resources. Under the 40-year contract, Donala would also utilize the Southern Delivery System pipeline as the primary route to deliver water treated by Colorado Springs Utility to Donala's service area. If granted a 40-year contract, BLM intends to utilize excess capacity storage to exchange water from Pueblo Reservoir to DeWeese Reservoir to improve low flow conditions in Grape Creek. <P> Written comments on the Draft EA are due to Reclamation by November 10, 2018; the document is available online at: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/fryark.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/fryark.html</a>. For additional information or to provide written comments, please contact Terence Stroh at either: 970-962-4369, <a href="mailto:tstroh@usbr.gov">tstroh@usbr.gov</a>, or by mail at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Eastern Colorado Area Office, 11056 West County Road 18E, Loveland, Colorado 80537-9711. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63387 Telephone Outage Affects Main Offices of Eastern Colorado Area Office, Flatiron and Pole Hill Power Plants, and Construction Services
LOVELAND, Colo. -- The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation is currently experiencing a telephone outage affecting the Main Offices of the Eastern Colorado Area Office (ECAO), along with the Flatiron Power Plant, Pole Hill Power Plant and Construction Services in Loveland, Colorado. Internet connectivity has not been affected by this outage and we encourage you to use email as your primary means of contacting affected staff. <P> Additionally, other facilities managed by ECAO but not listed above, such as Estes Power Plant, are currently unaffected by the telephone outage. <P> During this outage, we retain one working phone number which is (970) 622-0173. A staff member monitors this phone from 8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. (Mountain Time) and will relay messages to your intended recipient. Additionally, we’ve established a general email account address - <a href="mailto:ECAO@usbr.gov">ECAO@usbr.gov</a> - which you can email. From that account, your email will be routed to the appropriate recipient(s) for response. <P> We are unable to offer a current estimated timeframe for this outage, though we will provide updates as more information becomes available. <P> Our multiple redundant communications at Pole Hill and Flatiron Powerplants - a dedicated landline, satellite phones, cell phones, hand-held radios and internet - are functioning to ensure our plants have communications in the event of an emergency. <P> For more information on this issue, please contact the Public Involvement Specialist, James Bishop, at <a href="mailto:jbishop@usbr.gov">jbishop@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63240 Reclamation issues Final Environmental Assessment for Horsetooth, Carter Lake, Pinewood, Flatiron Reservoirs
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the recreational management of four reservoirs: Horsetooth Reservoir, Carter Lake, Pinewood Reservoir and Flatiron Reservoir. Reclamation owns and manages the four reservoirs in terms of water operations in partnership with Northern Water, while Larimer County manages them in terms of recreation. Because the reservoirs are federally owned, proposed recreation improvements are required to be disclosed and analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act. <P> The EA summarizes the public process and identifies potential environmental impacts associated with concept-stage recreation improvements and other management actions at the four reservoirs. The conceptual recreational improvements and other management actions are identified in an associated Resource Management Plan (RMP). <P> The RMP was developed in parallel to Larimer County's Reservoir Parks Master Plan. The Master Plan is available at: <a href="https://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/plans-reports-advisory-boards" target="_blank">www.larimer.org/naturalresources/plans-reports-advisory-boards</a> and takes a county-wide look at current and future recreation needs. While the four reservoirs play an important role in the county's Master Plan, the plan also includes topics beyond the scope of the RMP, including project costs, financial strategies, and recreation needs beyond the four reservoirs. <P> Reclamation's Final EA and a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/larimer_county.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/larimer_county.html</a>. <P> For additional information or to receive a printed copy of the EA or Draft FONSI, please contact Terence Stroh at 970-962-4369 or <a href="mailto:TStroh@usbr.gov">TStroh@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <strong>More about the project:</strong> <P> Reclamation owns and operates nearly 7,000 acres of land and water at Horsetooth Reservoir, Carter Lake, Pinewood Reservoir and Flatiron Reservoir. Larimer County Department of Natural Resources manages recreational activities and maintains the recreation facilities at these reservoirs. Water stored in these reservoirs is distributed by Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District for municipal, agricultural, and other uses. <P> The RMP would replace the previous plans prepared in 2007 and establish a 10-year plan describing a management framework for the conservation, protection, and enhancement of the four reservoirs and surrounding lands. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63210 Reclamation will be conducting a siren test on Wednesday, October 10 at its Leadville Plant
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The Bureau of Reclamation will be testing the emergency siren system at its water treatment plant near Mountain Valley Estates in Leadville, Colorado on October 10, 2018. <P> The siren will blast three times; afterwards, instructions in English and then Spanish will broadcast and repeat. Again, this will only be a test to confirm system functioning. <P> <strong>En Espanol:</strong> <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 James Bishop at 970-962-4326 or <a href="mailto:jbishop@usbr.gov">jbishop@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63209 Reclamation to temporarily drain Pinewood Reservoir for routine maintenance
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The Bureau of Reclamation would like to announce the temporary draining of Pinewood Reservoir. <P> Pinewood Reservoir will begin being drawn down on September 22, 2018 and is expected to reach deadpool, i.e. the point at which it can be drained no further though some water will remain, by September 24, 2018. This will allow Dam Safety Engineers to conduct an annual inspection of the adjoining Bald Mountain Tunnel. <P> Reclamation expects to gradually refill Pinewood Reservoir between September 28 and October 6, though unexpected events could change these dates. <P> Media inquiries or general questions about Reclamation and its maintenance procedures should be directed to James Bishop at 970-962-4326 or <a href="mailto:jbishop@usbr.gov">jbishop@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63206 Reclamation expects releases to the Big Thompson River to increase significantly
LOVELAND, Colorado -- The Bureau of Reclamation is forecasting a notable increase in releases from Olympus Dam to the Big Thompson River beginning on September 20, 2018. <P> As of today, September 18, releases from Olympus Dam into the Big Thompson River are at 26 cubic feet per second (cfs). Between September 20th and October 12, releases are expected to rise to approximately 225 cfs. <P> This forecast assumes native inflows into Lake Estes as well as irrigation demands will not change significantly from our current projections, but both are subject to unexpected fluctuations. <P> Media inquiries or general questions about Reclamation should be directed to James Bishop at 970-962-4326 or <a href="mailto:jbishop@usbr.gov">jbishop@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63205 Annual Drawdown of Alcova Reservoir
MILLS, Wyoming -- The Bureau of Reclamation will be lowering the water level in Alcova Reservoir as the 2018 irrigation season draws to a close. The annual drawdown of the reservoir will begin on Monday, Oct. 1. <P> During October, the reservoir water surface elevation will be lowered about 10 feet, at a rate of approximately four inches per day. The reservoir's normal winter operating range is between 5,487 and 5,489 feet. Water released in the drawdown of Alcova Reservoir will be restored downstream in Glendo Reservoir. <P> Boat owners and recreationists should be aware of the declining level of Alcova Reservoir and take proper precautions. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63145 Reclamation Releases Finding of No Significant Impact for Central North Dakota Water Supply Project
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has completed the environmental assessment (EA) and released the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Central North Dakota Water Supply Project. <P> "The Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact were completed to address a request from Garrison Diversion Conservancy District for 20 cfs of industrial water from the McClusky Canal for use by communities in the Missouri River Basin," said Arden Freitag, Area Manager for Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office. <P> Current available industrial water allocations have the potential to limit future industrial development within the region. This project will provide a reliable water supply source for industrial needs and benefit the communities of Stutsman Rural Water District, Jamestown, Carrington, Central Plains Water District, Tuttle and South Central Regional Water District in central North Dakota. <P> "These communities have determined a need for industrial water that cannot be met by existing supplies. A supplemental water supply is necessary for continued growth and industrial development in the region," said Freitag. <P> The next step for Reclamation is to issue a water service contract and special use permit to Garrison Diversion Conservancy District. Reclamation will coordinate with the Western Area Power Administration regarding a power contract with Garrison Diversion Conservancy District for the project. <P> The EA and FONSI are available online at: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/dkao/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/gp/dkao/index.html</a> <P> For additional information or to receive a printed copy of the EA/FONSI, please contact Kate Kenninger at 701-221-1282 or <a href="mailto:kkenninger@usbr.gov">kkenninger@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63144 Reclamation Seeks Public Input on Proposed Transportation Management Plan at Twin Buttes Reservoir
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS -- The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is hosting a second public meeting to solicit feedback on a proposed Transportation Management Plan (TMP) at Twin Buttes Reservoir. The meeting will be held in San Angelo, Texas at the McNease Convention Center, 501 Rio Concho Drive, North Meeting Room on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It will be an open house format which will allow the public to come and go at their convenience, and staff will be available to discuss the TMP and answer questions. Copies of the Draft TMP will be available at the meeting. An electronic version of the Draft TMP map can be accessed at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/gp/otao/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/gp/otao/</a>. <P> Written comments may be submitted either in person at the public meeting, via email to <a href="mailto:twinbuttestmp@fs.fed.us">twinbuttestmp@fs.fed.us</a>, or by mail to Reclamation's Oklahoma-Texas Area Office, Twin Buttes TMP, 5316 Hwy 290 W., Suite 110, Austin, Texas 78735. Written comments must be received by October 15, 2018. You may contact Trent Parish at (512) 899-4150, or <a href="mailto:jparish@usbr.gov">jparish@usbr.gov</a> with any general questions regarding the proposed project. <P> The TMP at Twin Buttes Reservoir is being developed by Reclamation in cooperation with the City of San Angelo and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The TMP will designate areas and travel routes for motorized vehicle use and enhance public access to Federal lands associated with Twin Buttes Reservoir. The goal is to enhance recreational opportunities while preserving the diverse benefits provided by Twin Buttes Reservoir and surrounding lands. The Draft TMP reflects input previously provided from an initial public meeting held on April 18, 2017, as well as from meetings held with local user groups. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63132 Reclamation notifies public of changing water levels at Glendo and Guernsey Reservoirs due to early 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 2018 irrigation season draws to a close. <P> Guernsey Reservoir levels are expected to remain at the normal summer reservoir level through Labor Day. Reclamation will begin drawing down Guernsey Reservoir on the morning of Tuesday, September 4, and the boat ramps are anticipated to become unusable by September 8. To avoid potential problems associated with declining reservoir levels, Reclamation advises that watercraft be removed from the reservoir while the boat ramps remain usable. <P> Glendo Reservoir levels are expected to continue gradually declining and reach a water surface elevation near 4591.00 feet (approximately 131,500 acre-feet) around September 9. Glendo Reservoir levels will then stabilize and slowly increase. <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 Mahonri Williams, (307) 261-5624, or <a href="mailto:mlwilliams@usbr.gov">MLWilliams@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62974 Bureau of Reclamation performing safety of dams' work on Sugar Loaf Dam near Leadville, Colorado
LEADVILLE, Colorado -- The Bureau of Reclamation will be performing work at Sugar Loaf Dam from August 7-16 and August 21-30. The work is being done to modernize the dam safety instrumentation equipment located in the dam. <P> From August 21-30, one-lane of County Road 4 across the dam will be closed as crews perform the work. The work on the top of the dam will begin after the Leadville 100 race weekends have ended. <P> Sugar Loaf Dam impounds Turquoise Lake west of Leadville, Colorado. It is part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which is a multipurpose transmountain, transbasin water diversion and delivery project in Colorado. It provides water for municipal, industrial and agricultural uses in eastern Colorado. <P>