Upper Colorado Region News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62194 Ceremony Marks Recreation Opening at Lake Nighthorse Near Durango, Colorado
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation and City of Durango held a dedication ceremony this morning at the Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area located near Durango, Colo. The ceremony celebrated the collaboration and hard work between numerous stakeholders and partners to make recreation a reality at the site, including: the Animas-La Plata Conservation District, Animas-La Plata Operation, Maintenance, and Replacement Association, City of Durango, La Plata County, Reclamation, Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe. <P> “We’ve looked forward to opening this reservoir to recreation for a long time,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, “We’re here because of the strong collaboration and determination of all of our project partners.” Commissioner Burman continued, “This is sacred land; thanks to everyone involved for their hard work to develop a plan that balances recreation opportunity with important cultural resource protections.” <P> The City of Durango will manage the recreation area. “Reclamation appreciates the City stepping to the plate to manage recreation at Lake Nighthorse. We look forward to continuing the excellent working relationship we have established with the City and are excited about what the future holds”, said Ed Warner, Area Manager for Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office. <P> To protect cultural resources in the area, recreation is only allowed in developed areas and 25 feet above high-water level around the reservoir. Off limit lands around Lake Nighthorse are marked with no trespass signs and all visitors will receive information about appropriate recreating at the lake. Destruction or removal of cultural resources will be prosecuted. Reclamation will continue to work with all partners and stakeholders regarding recreation management at Lake Nighthorse. <P> Lake Nighthorse is part of the Animas-La Plata Project located near Durango, Colo. And provides important water storage for the region. Recreation opportunities at Lake Nighthorse include swimming, boating, fishing and picnicking. Motorized boats will be allowed from May 15 to November 15. All motorized boats will be inspected for invasive species and are subject to decontamination before entering the water. The City has designated Mondays and Wednesdays as “no wake” days, motorized boats must maintain wakeless speed on those days. <P> More information on Lake Nighthorse recreation is available at: durangogov.org/LakeNighthorse. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62176 Reclamation awards Cultural Resource contract for numerous projects including, the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation recently awarded a contract for cultural resource work. The contract, valued up to $50 million, was awarded to Alpine Archaeological Consultants, Inc. of Montrose, Colo., Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants, Inc. of Cortez, Colo., and Statistical Research, Inc. of Tucson, Ariz. This contract will allow the Western Colorado Area Office and Upper Colorado Region to obtain cultural resource-related services for various projects. <P> Services provided under this contract are expected to include identification, documentation and evaluation of cultural resources; archaeological testing and data recovery; Historic American Building Survey/Historic Architecture Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) documentation and evaluation; ethnohistorical and anthropological research; geographic information systems (GIS) development and support; geoarchaeological investigations; storm water pollution prevention and erosion mitigation for cultural resources; artifact analyses and curation preparation; technical reporting; public outreach; and staff support. <P> One of the projects being served by this contract will be the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, a project Reclamation is constructing in northwest New Mexico that will bring a reliable potable water supply to communities in the eastern portion of the Navajo Nation, the southwest portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the City of Gallup, NM. The contract will also be used for cultural resource services on other Reclamation projects in northern New Mexico, western Colorado, and across the Upper Colorado Region. <P> “This important contract ensures that Reclamation will continue to meet our cultural resource compliance obligations while maintaining our ability to manage, develop, and protect water and related infrastructure.” said Upper Colorado Regional Director Brent Rhees “Reclamation archaeologists will be able to draw on the additional expertise of private sector contractors in effectively managing and protecting resources that are of value to the American public.” <P> The contractors will closely coordinate activities with the Western Colorado Area Office archeologists who will conduct field inspections and review all documents under this contract. <P> The contractors will begin working on individual task orders in April 2018. It is anticipated that project specific cultural resource work will be awarded under this contract through 2023. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62147 East Portal Road Closed May 8 and 9 in Montrose, Colorado
MONTROSE, COLO. - Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road located east of Montrose will be closed Tuesday, May 8 and Wednesday, May 9 for installation on of a cattle guard. The road will reopen on Thursday, May 10. The road, beginning at the junction with State Highway 347, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Crystal Dam. <P> Reclamation plans to install an additional cattle guard later this summer that will require another two-day closure. Announcements will be made prior to that closure. <P> The East Portal Road will remain open throughout the summer and fall until snow, ice, or rockslides make it unsafe for travel. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62133 First Experiment to be Conducted under the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan
SALT LAKE CITY—The Department of the Interior will conduct the first experimental flow at Glen Canyon Dam since implementing its Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan (LTEMP) in 2016. The goal is to provide enhanced habitat for the lifecycle of aquatic insects that are the primary food source for fish in the Colorado River. <P> Experiments under LTEMP consist of four flow regimes: high flows, bug flows, trout management flows, and low summer flows. Collaborative discussions among technical experts resulted in a decision to begin this first experiment on May 1 and continue through August 31, 2018. It will slightly modify the schedule and flow rates of water releases from Lake Powell through Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona. The normally scheduled monthly and weekly release volumes will not be affected. <P> Flows during the experiment will include steady weekend water releases with routine hydropower production flows on weekdays that include normal hourly changes in release rates. Those steady weekend flows are expected to provide favorable conditions for aquatic insects to lay and cement their eggs to rocks, vegetation, and other materials near the river’s edge. Steady weekend flows will be relatively low, within four inches of typical weekday low water levels. It is unlikely casual recreational river users will notice the changes in water levels. <P> “Experiments like these are an important tool as we continue to work collaboratively to balance the need to deliver water and power resources with our obligation to actively preserve and protect the river system through Glen, Marble, and Grand canyons,” said Dr. Timothy Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. “We expect this experiment will positively benefit crucial insect populations, which will benefit the entire ecosystem while limiting the impact on other resources and Colorado River users.” <P> The decision to conduct this experiment was based on input from a collaborative team, including Department of the Interior agencies—Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs—the Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration, six consulting American Indian Tribes, and all seven of the Colorado River Basin States. Before proceeding with these experiments, experts determined there would be no unacceptable adverse impacts on other resource conditions. Technical experts with the Department of the Interior have coordinated the experiment’s design to optimize benefits to the aquatic ecosystem throughout the Grand Canyon while meeting all water delivery requirements and minimizing negative impacts to hydropower production. <P> Insects expected to benefit from this experiment are an important food source for many species of fish, birds, and bats in the canyon. Beyond expected resource benefits, this experiment will also provide scientific information that will be used in future decision making. <P> For more information about flow volumes, please visit the following websites: <P> Hydrograph at Lees Ferry: <a href="https://www.gcmrc.gov/discharge_qw_sediment/station/GCDAMP/09380000">https://www.gcmrc.gov/discharge_qw_sediment/station/GCDAMP/09380000</a> <P> Lake Powell 40-day data (elevation, storage, inflows, and releases): <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/rsvrWater/rsv40Day.html?siteid=919&reservoirtype=Reservoir ">https://www.usbr.gov/rsvrWater/rsv40Day.html?siteid=919&reservoirtype=Reservoir</a> <P> The Bug Flow release pattern for May: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/studies/images/BugFlowExp-May2018.png">https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/studies/images/BugFlowExp-May2018.png</a> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62131 Closure of unsanctioned gun range at Newton Dam and Reservoir
SMITHFIELD, UT - In consultation with the Town of Newton, Newton Water Users Association, Cache County Council, and Cache County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Reclamation has concluded that, due to ongoing safety risks and illegal dumping, the unsanctioned gun range at Newton Dam and Reservoir will be closed. The closure of the range will improve safety for both recreational visitors and the employees who maintain the dam, reservoir and associated facilities. It will also prevent illegal dumping in the area. <P> Beginning May 2, workers from Reclamation will place barriers and signage near former entrances to the range. Camping, boating, hiking and fishing at the reservoir will be unaffected and the public is invited and encouraged to make use of the facilities for these purposes. <P> Alternative shooting facilities are available. The Cache Valley Public Shooting Range, located approximately 15 miles south of Newton Dam and Reservoir, is staffed by a full-time range master and open to the public for all shooting activities. <P> The reservoir’s primary purpose is to provide irrigation water to lands surrounding the town of Newton. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62130 Bureau of Reclamation Awards $6.9 Million Dollar Heavy Equipment Rental Contract
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a contract on April 25, 2018, to Wheeler Machinery Company of Salt Lake City, UT. Under the terms of the contract, Wheeler will supply Reclamation’s Force Account with a variety of heavy construction equipment of the type typically used for large-scale construction projects. <P> Reclamation’s Force Account, which operates out of the Provo Area Office, engages in a variety of construction activities related to Reclamation’s mission as a manager of federal water projects. The equipment provided under this contract is expected to be used for environmental mitigation work, as well as for a variety of repairs and upgrades to the dams, canals and other water projects that Reclamation manages. In addition to providing construction services for Reclamation projects, Force Account also provides services to several other federal and state agencies located in the seventeen Western states. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62120 Reclamation seeks public comment regarding draft environmental assessment of proposed recreational facilities at Echo Reservoir
COALVILLE, Utah - On May 2, 2018, the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public meeting regarding the environmental impacts of the design and construction of new state park facilities at Echo Reservoir. <P> This meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at North Summit High School, located at 111 E. 100 S., Coalville, UT 84017. Following a brief presentation, representatives from Reclamation and Utah State Parks will conduct an open house to answer questions and receive public comment. The meeting will conclude at 8 p.m. <P> Comments received by May 21 regarding the new State Park at Echo Reservoir will inform the analysis and development of a Final Environmental Assessment prepared by Reclamation. The Draft EA is currently available for public review at https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and provide comments. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62111 Pecos River to rise as irrigation release begins
FORT SUMNER, NM - Water levels on the Pecos River will rise in the coming days as the Bureau of Reclamation moves water downstream for the Carlsbad Irrigation District. <P> A block release from Sumner Reservoir will begin on Monday, April 23, 2018, at 8:00 am. The Carlsbad Irrigation District has called for approximately 10,000 acre-feet to be released from storage. The release rate is expected to be between 1,300 to 1,600 cubic feet per second, and it is expected to last three-and-a-half days. The block release is to reduce the storage volume of water in Lake Sumner to its permitted summer conservation storage. <P> The public is asked to use caution when working or playing in or near the Pecos anywhere between Santa Rosa Lake and Brantley Reservoir, which is located north of Carlsbad, through the summer as water levels could change significantly due to irrigation water movement, releases for endangered species or weather events. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62010 Reclamation awards $6.6 million contract for photogrammetry to improve operations
Salt Lake City, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $6.6 million contract to Geomatics Data Solutions, Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon, for a 5-year agreement to provide agency-wide professional photogrammetry services, April 16, 2018. <P> Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements from photographs. Input is collected from photographs, such as aerial photographs, and used to create tools such as maps, drawings, measurements, or a 3-D models of real-world objects or scenes. <P> Geomatics Data Solutions, Inc. will provide high-resolution photogrammetry in support of technical evaluations conducted in all five Reclamation regions. These evaluations include historical analysis of aerial photography data, the creation of digital surface models and digital elevation models, thematic mapping of river planforms, bathymetric surveys, vegetation mapping, evaluations of land-use change, and the documentation of as-built site conditions for the monitoring of construction activities. <P> Initial photogrammetry work will be in support of Reclamation activities in the Upper Colorado Region, including sections of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Geomatics Data Solutions, Inc. may also perform work in Reclamation areas of responsibility throughout all 17 contiguous states west of the Mississippi River, during the contracted dates, as additional photogrammetry services are needed outside of the Upper Colorado Region. However, emergency response support will be limited to the Upper Colorado Region. <P> This contract will help enable Reclamation to carry out its mission to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61982 Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers release 2018 Annual Operating Plan for the Rio Grande
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – In the face of a worsening drought, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Office and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today released their Annual Operating Plan for the Rio Grande. Some of the lowest snowpack reports on record will leave water managers with very little water to manage and some difficult decisions on when and how to move water down the Rio Grande to benefit downstream water users and to implement a survival strategy for the Rio Grande silvery minnow, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act. <P> The April forecast data released by the Natural Resources Conservation Service shows the Jemez River Basin at 6 percent of average, the Chama River Basin at 18 percent of average, and the Upper Rio Grande at 50 percent of average. Inflow into Heron Reservoir is estimated to be approximately 30,000 acre-feet. This, combined with the previous allocation of 55,000, should bring San Juan-Chama Contractors close to a full allocation this year. El Vado Reservoir is projected to have an inflow of about 41,000 acre-feet and could be nearly empty by July. <P> Reclamation has about 11,600 acre-feet of water available to supplement flows through the Middle Rio Grande and is currently releasing about 200 acre-feet. More than 10 miles have already dried in the Bosque del Apache area. Reclamation is working closely with its partners and is focused on implementing a survival strategy for the Rio Grande silvery minnow as outlined in the 2016 Middle Rio Grande Biological Opinion. Reclamation is coordinating with Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure fish rescue crews are active in the areas of the river that have dried. We are also working with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Albuquerque Water Utility Authority, and other stakeholders on an operational pulse to facilitate silvery minnow egg collection efforts. <P> On the Rio Grande Project in southern New Mexico, the allocation to the two irrigation districts and Mexico is about 60 percent of a full allocation. Both irrigation districts had some carryover water in storage from last year. Little inflow is expected to Elephant Butte Reservoir this spring, and it could be left holding less than 5 percent of its capacity at the end of the irrigation season. <P> <p><img src="https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2018/04/riogrande2.jpg" alt="The drying riverbed of the Middle Rio Grande near the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge on April 4, 2018." width="75%"><br /> <small>The drying riverbed of the Middle Rio Grande near the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge on April 4, 2018.</small></p> <p><img src="https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2018/04/riogrande3.jpg" alt="Reclamation operates pumps to move water from the Low Flow Conveyance Channel into the Rio Grande. The LFCC acts as a drain for the lower part of the Middle Rio Grande." width="75%"><br /> <small>Reclamation operates pumps to move water from the Low Flow Conveyance Channel into the Rio Grande. The LFCC acts as a drain for the lower part of the Middle Rio Grande.</small></p> <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61931 Reclamation to release 2018 Annual Operating Plan for Rio Grande and Pecos River
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Bureau of Reclamation invites the public to a presentation to explain plans for water operations in 2018. Snowpack is far below average in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico and it is likely the spring runoff has already peaked. The presentation will cover the process for determining the plan for water operations. It will include a review of the 2017 water predictions, as compared to actual storage and releases. Presenters will then explain the 2018 water forecast, potential for storage and release. <P> Who: Bureau of Reclamation <P> What: Release of Annual Operating Plan for the Rio Grande and Pecos River <P> When and Where: Pecos Stakeholder Meeting: Monday April 9, 2018, at 10 a.m. Roswell Bureau of Land Management Office, 2909 W 2nd St, Roswell, NM 88201. <P> Middle Rio Grande AOP: Thursday April 12, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. Bureau of Reclamation, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, NM 87102. <P> Rio Grande AOP: Monday April 16, 2018, at 1 p.m. Elephant Butte Irrigation District, 530 S. Melendres St. Las Cruces, NM 88005. <P> Why: To learn more about the process used for determining this year’s operating plan, water forecast, water storage, potential for water storage and release <P> How: Contact Mary Carlson at (505) 462-3576 with any questions. If you are unable to attend, but would like to participate in the Albuquerque meeting via Webex or would like a copy of the presentation, please e-mail Mary at mcarlson@usbr.gov . <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61930 East Portal Road Opens in Montrose, Colorado
MONTROSE, COLO. - Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road located east of Montrose will open on Monday, April 9 at 8 a.m. after being closed for the winter months. The road, beginning at the junction with State Highway 347, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Crystal Dam. <P> Reclamation is planning to install two new cattle guards this season that will require temporary closure for up to two days for each installation. Announcements will be made prior to closure. <P> The East Portal Road will remain open throughout the summer and fall until snow, ice, or rockslides make it unsafe for travel. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61850 Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Assessment for Conveyance of Non-Project Water in Grand Valley Project Facilities
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment for a contract that would authorize the use of Grand Valley Project facilities in Grand Junction, Colo. to convey non-project water. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District, and the Grand Valley Water Users Association propose to enter into a contract with Reclamation to use Grand Valley Project facilities to carry up to 5,000 acre-feet of non-project water annually for five years. <P> Non-project water would be carried during times when Reclamation, with the advice of OMID and GVWUA, determines there is excess capacity in the Project facilities. The delivery of Grand Valley Project water would not be relinquished in order to create capacity for the non-project water. <P> The draft FONSI and EA is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received by Friday, April 27, 2018. Submit comments by email to lmcwhirter@usbr.gov or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61813 Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Assessment for Fire Mountain Canal Salinity Reduction Project
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the Fire Mountain Canal Salinity Reduction Piping Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project would replace approximately 3.67 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried pipe. The purpose of the project is to prevent seepage and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The draft FONSI and EA is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received by Friday, April 13, 2018. Submit comments by email to lmcwhirter@usbr.gov or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61682 Reclamation Seeks Public Comment Regarding Proposed Facilities for New State Park at Echo Reservoir
The Bureau of Reclamation and Utah State Parks will hold a public meeting regarding the design and construction of new state park facilities at Echo Reservoir. <P> What: Public meeting regarding the design and construction of new recreational facilities at Echo Reservoir near Coalville, Utah. <P> When: The meeting will be held on March 1, 2018, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. <P> Where: Hailstone Event Center at Jordanelle State Park [10 miles North of Heber City, Utah] <P> The purpose of the meeting is to solicit public comment on park designs. Representatives from Reclamation and Utah State Parks will be available to answer questions and receive public comment during an open house immediately following the presentation. Comments received regarding the new State Park at Echo Reservoir will inform the analysis and development of an upcoming Environmental Assessment. <P> The public is invited and encouraged to attend. <P>