Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63170 Federal agencies release environmental documents for the Snow Lake Water Control Structure
CHELAN COUNTY, WA – The Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) have issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed removal and replacement of the Upper Snow Lake water discharge control valve. The water control valve structure is located on land owned by the Service and surrounded by the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area in Chelan County, Washington. <P> The existing valve has exceeded its expected 10-year service life and cannot meet the 80 cubic feet per second discharge capacity required by the Icicle and Peshastin irrigation districts and Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery in the late summer, when cool, clean water is necessary for fish production and to meet irrigation demands. Reclamation and the Service have prepared this EA to evaluate the environmental impacts of removing and replacing the valve, including avenues for transporting materials, equipment, supplies, and contract personnel to the remote location. <P> The draft EA analyzed three actions: a No Action Alternative (non-implementation) and two Action Alternatives (implementing the project as described above). Alternative 3, the Helicopter and Camping Alternative, was selected. Reclamation and the Service are co-lead agencies for the final EA and FONSI and have prepared it in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. <P> The final EA and FONSI is available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/snowlake/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/snowlake/index.html</a>. For more information or to request a copy, contact Mr. Stephen Kolk, Wenatchee Subbasin liaison, Bureau of Reclamation at 509-667-8494. <P> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63169 Minidoka boat ramp construction to begin
RUPERT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation announced that the Minidoka boat ramp construction project, below Minidoka Dam, will begin October 2. The ramp and the surrounding area will continue to be closed to the public, including all boater and angler traffic. The area will re-open after construction is completed, which is on or about December 20. <P> “Our contractors have a short window after irrigation season to replace the boat ramp while the water level is down,” said Upper Snake Field Office Natural Resources Manager Michael Hilliard. “The goal is to replace the entire boat ramp and reconstruct the parking area before the water level rises in January.” <P> Reclamation asks the public to respect all signage and barriers during the construction period. <P> 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. <P> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63139 Reclamation temporarily re-opens road at Howard Prairie Dam
ASHLAND, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation will temporarily re-open some of the public areas around Howard Prairie Dam. Because winter is approaching, construction operations will discontinue, beginning Sept. 17, 2018, through about April 1, 2019. The areas that will re-open to the public are the un-improved boat ramp and access road to the un-improved boat ramp. The areas adjacent to the access road will remain closed until construction is completed in 2019. <P> Howard Prairie Dam is located on Beaver Creek approximately 19 miles east of Talent, Ore. It was constructed from 1957 to 1958 for irrigation storage and for power generation. Water is conveyed through the Howard Prairie Delivery Canal to the Green Springs Powerplant to produce clean, renewable energy. <P> The dam is owned by Reclamation and operated by the Talent Irrigation District. The operation and maintenance are funded by Talent Irrigation District, Medford Irrigation District, Rogue River Valley Irrigation District, Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration with irrigation and power revenues resulting from discharges of the dam. <P> For more information, please contact Jesse Poletasio at (208) 378-5218 or visit Reclamation’s website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=124">https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=124</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63107 Reclamation re-opens West Fork Bridge after reconstruction
EPHRATA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation has re-opened the West Fork Bridge, located one mile southwest of Conconullly. The West Fork Bridge had been closed to all motorized traffic since August 11 to reconstruct the bridge. The closure was estimated to last until late-September, but the construction work was completed early. <P> The West Fork Bridge connects the cabins and lands south of the West Fork of Salmon Creek to the West Fork Road. The bridge is owned by Reclamation. <P> For more information about this action, please contact Sara Millard at smillard@usbr.gov or by calling (509) 754-0232. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63106 American Falls boat ramp replacement continues
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation announced that the American Falls Reservoir west boat ramp construction project will resume following the Labor Day weekend. The ramp will be closed to the public, including all boater and angler traffic, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4 and will re-open in mid-October. <P> “Our contractors have a small window of opportunity to access a portion of the ramp,” says Mike Hilliard, Upper Snake Field Office natural resources manager. “The goal is to replace the remainder of the ramp before the water rises in mid-October.” <P> Irrigation demands and lack of precipitation are projected to lower the reservoir levels, exposing the lower portion of the boat ramp, which will allow for the old ramp to be replaced. <P> Reclamation asks the public to respect signage and contractor barriers during the construction period. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63096 Yakima Project “Flip-Flop” Operations Underway
YAKIMA, Wash. – To aid in successful spawning and incubation of the Chinook salmon eggs in the Yakima basin, the Bureau of Reclamation has begun its annual “flip-flop” operation. Flows out of Keechelus and Cle Elum reservoirs in the upper Yakima River basin will be gradually reduced while increasing flows from Kachess and Rimrock reservoirs. This operation will affect flows in the Tieton and Naches rivers, and Kachess Reservoir flows into Lake Easton in the upper basin. <P> The purpose of the “flip-flop” operation is to achieve and maintain relatively low flows in the upper Yakima, Cle Elum, and Bumping rivers where the spring Chinook salmon spawn. These lower flows are closer to natural flow conditions. Additionally, impacts on irrigation water supply are reduced by allowing for lower flow releases throughout the winter to improve reservoir storage for the coming season. <P> As part of the process, on or about Sept. 4, Reclamation will begin diverting water down the Kittitas Reclamation District’s Spillway 1146 into the Yakima River near Thorp. Buoys will be in place from Sept. 4 or 5 until soon after the flow from Spillway 1146 stops in mid-October. For safety reasons, recreationists are strongly advised to portage around the buoys and stay out of the dangerously turbulent flows. <P> “Those who are enjoying the river should avoid the area where the spillway water pours into the river,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> Flows out of Cle Elum Reservoir have been gradually decreasing since July 26 from a high of 3,772 cubic feet per second (cfs) and will continue to decline to a low of about 200 cfs around Sept. 10. Flows from Rimrock Reservoir are expected to be between 1,000 and 1,500 cfs by Sept. 1 and increase to between 1,800 and 2,400 cfs by mid-September, depending on irrigation demands and weather conditions. Rimrock outflows will begin to decrease in late September and will be at the minimum winter flow by Oct. 22. <P> Streamflow changes will occur gradually during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Streamflow information can be obtained from Reclamation’s website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima/index.html</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63093 Reclamation releases final environmental documents for modernizing 18 generators at Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation has issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Grand Coulee Dam G1 – G18 Generating Units Modernization and Overhaul project. <P> Reclamation requested public review and comment on the draft EA from April 13 to May 14, 2017. In response to comments, Reclamation provided clarifications and expanded discussion in various sections in the final EA. <P> Based on the analysis in the EA, Reclamation proposes to complete the needed work in the Left and Right Powerhouses by working on two generating units simultaneously. Modernizing all 18 generating units is anticipated to take approximately 10 years to complete. Restoring the generators, which have been in use for over 70 years, will ensure reliable future operations. <P> The final EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/gcpowerhouse/index.html"> https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/gcpowerhouse/index.html</a>. <P> Hard copies of the final EA and FONSI are available on request by contacting Ms. Pam Druliner at <a href="mailto:pdruliner@usbr.gov"> pdruliner@usbr.gov</a>, by mail at Bureau of Reclamation, 1150 North Curtis Road, Boise, ID 83706, or by phone at (208) 378-6214. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63043 “Building Grand Coulee Dam” presentation on August 25
Grand Coulee, Wash.–The Bureau of Reclamation invites the public to the presentation, “Building Grand Coulee Dam,” by Raymond “Paul” Giroux on August 25, 2018, at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center at 6:30 p.m. The program is free of charge. <P> During the early twentieth century the Bureau of Reclamation was charged with harnessing the water potential of the western United States. Critical to this vision was taming the mighty Columbia River. With river flows more than 300,000 cubic feet per second, building the biggest concrete dam in the world in a remote area of eastern Washington was seemingly impossible. Construction began during the Great Depression, and the success of the project was not only essential to America’s long-term interests, but also instrumental in providing jobs for thousands of people with the hope to restore the entire region. In the decades preceding Grand Coulee Dam’s construction, tremendous advancements were realized in every discipline of engineering. Mr. Giroux’s presentation highlights how the right men, the right machines, and the right methods all came together to build a project of unprecedented scope and challenges. Giroux is the author of several bridge design and civil engineering history papers. He also is an active public speaker at engineering schools throughout the United States and other international venues. In 2017, he was the recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers Roebling Award for Construction Engineering and was inducted into the Iowa State University Construction Engineering Hall of Fame in 2018. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62972 Reclamation releases environmental documents for Minidoka Powerplant Unit 7 maintenance project
MINIDOKA COUNTY, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation has issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the Minidoka Powerplant Unit 7 draft tube bulkhead structure, located at Minidoka Dam in Minidoka County, Idaho. <P> The purpose of the proposed action is to improve the structural integrity of Minidoka Powerplant Unit 7, such that dewatering for regular maintenance is feasible, and to avoid further deterioration leading to potential structural failure. The current state of the Unit 7 structure, which has undergone degradation over its 75 years in service, has created the need for this action. <P> The work would require short-term dewatering in the tailrace to perform removal and replacement of components, as well as placement of new concrete reinforcement structures. No long-term impacts to recreation are expected since the project area is closed to public access. <P> The final EA and FONSI are available at<a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/minidokaunit/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/minidokaunit/index.html</a>. <P> If you have any questions about this project or would like to obtain a printed copy of the final EA and FONSI, please contact Ms. Amy Goodrich, Natural Resource Specialist, Snake River Area Office, at 208-383-2250. <P> # # # <P> 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. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62952 Reclamation issues draft programmatic investigation report for Yakima Basin tributaries
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation has completed a draft Yakima Basinwide Tributaries Programmatic Investigation Report. The report describes potential projects to enhance water supplies, improve habitat conditions, and benefit federally listed fish species in tributaries throughout the Yakima River basin. <P> The study was completed under the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) in coordination with the Yakama Nation, State of Washington, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Yakima Basin irrigators. Enhancement measures such as fish passage, water conservation, floodplain reconnection, and habitat restoration may be considered for various tributaries in the basin, based on identified needs. Any future project implementation will involve opportunities for public involvement as well as participation by the Yakama Nation, State of Washington, water users, and other stakeholders. <P> To obtain copies of the draft report, contact Jason Romine at jason_romine@fws.gov. <P> The document is available online at: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/phase2/tribhab/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/phase2/tribhab/index.html</a>. <P> Written comments should be addressed to Jason Romine, U.S. Fish and Wildlife YRBWEP representative, Bureau of Reclamation, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, Wash., 98901-2058. Comments will be accepted until August 31, 2018. <P> Background: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/ ">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62901 Reclamation releases environmental documents for proposed title transfer
BOISE, Idaho — The Bureau of Reclamation has issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed transfer of title for approximately 80.5 miles of irrigation drains and certain federal facilities to the Pioneer Irrigation District and the City of Caldwell in Canyon County. <P> Based on the analysis in the EA, the proposed action was selected. The Pioneer Irrigation District has operated and maintained certain facilities and related property interests since the early 1900s. The district has fulfilled all repayment obligations for the federally owned facilities; however, title remains with the U.S. Government. The purpose and need for the proposed title transfer is to reduce or eliminate costs associated with administering these drainage facilities, for which all of the federal (public) costs have been repaid. These facilities have not been deemed facilities of national importance and, therefore, can be efficiently and effectively managed by non-federal entities. <P> The final EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/pid/"> https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/pid/</a>. For more information or to request a copy of the final EA and FONSI, contact Ms. Rochelle Ochoa, natural resource specialist at 208-383-2277 or Mr. John Petrovsky, activity coordinator at 208-383-2224. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62899 Reclamation seeks comments on Marble Beach bank stabilization project
GRAND COULEE, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for a bank stabilization project at Marble Beach on Lake Roosevelt in Stevens County, Wash. <P> The proposed project would stabilize the shoreline, halt bank erosion, and reduce the potential for exposure and loss of sensitive resources through the installation of a retaining wall using concrete blocks that would be reinforced with surface-treated riprap. <P> The draft EA addresses two actions: the proposed action and a no action alternative. The proposed action was developed in cooperation with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, National Park Service, Bonneville Power Administration, and the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. <P> The draft EA is available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/marble/index.html"> https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/marble/index.html</a>. Please send written comments no later than Aug. 9, 2018, to Rebecca Thompson, Project Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 1150 North Curtis Road, Boise, Idaho 83706, or by email to rthompson@usbr.gov. <P> If you have any questions about this project, please contact Ms. Thompson at 208-378-5191 or Ms. Shawna Castle at 208-378-5268. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62830 Reclamation’s July 21 C.A.S.T. for Kids event canceled at Potholes State Park
MOSES LAKE, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Ephrata Field Office has canceled its annual C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing event scheduled for July 21, at Potholes Reservoir because of unforeseen circumstances. Unfortunately, the event will not be rescheduled this year. <P> The C.A.S.T. “Catch a Special Thrill” program provides one-day fishing and boating events designed to accommodate children with a wide range of special needs. <P> Thanks to all who had planned to participate, and thanks to all our partners, donors, and volunteers who had planned to assist with the event. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62691 Yakima Basin Water Supply - July Forecast
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s July 2018 Total Water Supply Available (TWSA) forecast for the Yakima basin indicates a full water supply for senior and junior water rights this irrigation season. This is an improvement for the junior users whose entitlements were limited to 96% of their full supply since June 11, based on the June TWSA. Prorationing is now 100%. <P> “The basin started using reservoir storage on June 11 to help meet basin irrigation and instream flow demands. This is about 10 days earlier than normal,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “Although the overall supply is adequate, the reservoir carry-over at the end of the season is likely to be below normal.” <P> Reclamation will provide water supply forecasts monthly through July. Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year after reservoir storage begins to decline. <P> This forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of July 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the runoff, and the demand for water also are critical in determining streamflows, prorations, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill. <P> If summer temperatures, precipitation, and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation still expects an adequate supply. Because longer term weather conditions can be unpredictable, Garner recommends water conservation always be considered by users in the Yakima basin. <P> For more information, visit Reclamation’s website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62616 C.A.S.T. for Kids Event at the Burley Golf Course Boat Docks, Saturday, July 21
RUPERT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office will hold its annual C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing event Saturday, July 21, from 9:00 am to 1 pm. The event will be held at the Burley Golf Course Boat Docks, located off Interstate 84, exit 211 toward Burley. <P> The C.A.S.T. “Catch a Special Thrill” program provides one-day fishing and boating events designed to accommodate children with a wide range of special needs. <P> “It is a great event that provides a unique fishing experience for many children,” said Sarah Wageman, event coordinator for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office. “Come join us for an extra special day reeling in fish and making life-long memories.” <P> The children range in age from 6 to 17 years old and face various physical or developmental challenges. Each participant will receive fishing gear, a tee shirt, and a hat. Local volunteers will provide fishing boats and offer assistance to novice anglers. <P> The morning fishing event will be followed by a barbecue lunch hosted by the Rupert Elks Club 2106. <P> Partners are C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, Bureau of Reclamation, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Rupert Elks Club 2106, and the City of Burley Parks Division. Volunteers from the Cassia County Sheriff Department and Emergency Response Ambulance will assist by providing emergency services, if needed, for the event. <P> For more information about the July 21 event or volunteering at the event, contact Sarah Wageman, Upper Snake Field Office, at (208) 678-0461, ext. 49. For background information about the C.A.S.T. for Kids events region wide, contact Annette Ross, Regional Coordinator, at (208) 378-5322 or visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/cast/">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/cast/</a>. In case of rain, the event will be canceled. <P> <P> <P>