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=64043 Reclamation releases draft Environmental Assessment for Clipper Center Lateral Pipeline Project
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the Clipper Center Lateral Pipeline Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project would replace approximately 4.3 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 Monday, January 21, 2019. 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=63984 Reclamation solicits proposals for hydropower development at Silver Jack Dam
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals to lease the right to develop hydroelectric power at Silver Jack Dam, part of the Bostwick Park Project, located near Montrose, Colorado, under a Lease of Power Privilege (LOPP). <P> A LOPP is a contractual right given to a non-Federal entity to use a Reclamation facility for electric power generation consistent with Reclamation project purposes. The LOPP program promotes renewable hydropower energy development on Reclamation owned facilities and allows non-Federal entities to take advantage of existing infrastructure where there is potential to generate clean, renewable energy. Reclamation will collect a portion of the revenue generated by the hydropower project to be credited to the project to help cover current or future project expenses. LOPPs do not exceed 40 years. <P> Guidelines for submitting proposals must be followed and are available in a Federal Register Notice (83 FR 64871) located at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-12-18/pdf/2018-27299.pdf. No Federal funds will be available for this hydroelectric power development. <P> The potential lessee must submit a written proposal and seven copies on or before 4:00 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2019. A proposal will only be considered if it is received at or before 4:00 p.m. on the designated date. Late proposals will not be considered. <P> Proposals can be sent or delivered to Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P> Technical data, including water release patterns, may be obtained by contacting Ryan Christianson at rchristianson@usbr.gov or 970-248-0652. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63865 Reclamation releases draft Environmental Assessment for Aspen Canal Piping Project
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the Aspen Canal Piping Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project would replace approximately 5.6 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, January 4, 2019. 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=63784 Reclamation releases final Environmental Assessment for North Delta Irrigation Canal Salinity Control Project I
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the Delta Irrigation Canal Salinity Control Piping Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project will replace approximately 6.1 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 final EA/FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html, or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63783 Reclamation releases final Environmental Assessment for East Side Laterals Piping Project, Phase 9
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the East Side Lateral Piping Project, Phase 9 in Delta and Montrose Counties, Colorado. The project will replace approximately 20.4 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 final EA/FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html, or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. Additionally, historical and photographic documentation on the laterals effected by this project are available at www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/rm/cr/index.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63685 Reclamation draining Avalon Reservoir for maintenance
CARLSBAD, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation is in the process of draining water from Avalon Reservoir so the Carlsbad Irrigation District can conduct required maintenance on the dam. <P> The reservoir is located about 13 miles north of Carlsbad. It was also drained last winter for similar purposes. During that time, Reclamation and Carlsbad Irrigation District staff noticed signs of four-wheeling within the reservoir pool and vehicles stuck in the mud. <P> “We want to remind everyone that this kind of activity is prohibited. Four-wheeling or any activity in a dry reservoir can be very dangerous as water levels can rise in an instant with water flowing from upstream or with inflow from other sources such as nearby arroyos. The surface may look stable but underneath the mud could be sticky, making it difficult for vehicles and people to get out,” said Jim Wilber, Deputy Area Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Office. <P> Avalon Reservoir will be filled with water from nearby Brantley Reservoir late this winter or early this spring in preparation for the next irrigation season. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63603 East Portal Road closed for winter in Montrose, Colorado
MONTROSE, COLO. - Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road located east of Montrose, Colorado, will close for the winter on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. <P> The East Portal Road, beginning at the junction with State Highway 347, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Crystal Dam. The road will reopen next spring as weather conditions permit. For more information contact Larry Lingerfelt at (970) 240-6306. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63527 Reclamation awards grants to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for management, operation and maintenance and aquatic nuisance species prevention at seven parks in Western Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded two grants to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for seven state parks in Western Colorado owned by Reclamation. The first is a $3.065 million management, operation and maintenance grant and the second is a $776,182 aquatic nuisance species prevention grant. The grants will be used at Rifle Gap, Vega, Crawford, Paonia, Ridgway, Mancos/Jackson Gulch and Navajo. <P> The grants are part of a 50/50 cost share that will provide for continued management, operation and maintenance and aquatic nuisance species prevention from October 2018 to September 2023. Activities covered by these grants include: park administration, public safety, law enforcement, park operations, custodial services, grounds maintenance, aquatic nuisance and invasive species inspections, boat inspections and vessel decontaminations. <P> “Since 1994 Colorado Parks and Wildlife has done an impressive job of managing the seven state parks, creating a place where people enjoy visiting and recreating. The grant for aquatic nuisance species, in particular quagga and zebra mussels, will go a long way to prevent the spread of mussels in Western Colorado.” said Ed Warner, Area Manager for the Western Colorado Area Office. “Local communities also benefit economically from the associated recreation opportunities provided at each reservoir”. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63526 Bureau of Reclamation to Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Vegetation Removal Along High Line Canal
SALEM, UT – On November 8, 2018 the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public meeting to discuss plans for the removal of woody vegetation (trees and shrubs) from government-owned land adjacent to the High Line Canal. The canal is located in Utah County near the cities of Salem and Payson. <P> If not properly managed, woody vegetation near urbanized canals can present safety risks. Woody vegetation grows roots that penetrate earthen canal banks and creates habitat which encourages rodent infestations. Rodents burrow into canal banks and create leaks that threaten facility integrity. In addition, vegetation makes it more difficult for canal operators to discover and address developing safety issues. Without a clear view of the banks of a canal, a minor seepage problem can rapidly develop into a full-scale emergency. <P> Reclamation’s Provo Area Office is committed to working with neighboring landowners and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss any issues related to the project. The public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Salem Community Center at 151 West 300 South in Salem, Utah. Comments may also be sent to highlinewoodyvegetation@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63503 Interior Initiates High-Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam
PAGE, Ariz. – The Department of the Interior initiated a high-flow release of water on November 5 from Glen Canyon Dam. This is the first high-flow release under the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan, which was approved in December 2016. This experiment will help rebuild beaches, sandbars and other environmental resources in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. It continues important scientific research and monitoring along the Colorado River while preserving crucial water and power deliveries for the nearly 40 million people who rely on the river. <P> “This high-flow experiment is an important opportunity to learn more about the Grand Canyon’s resources,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “I applaud the partnership and collaboration among the Department agencies and bureaus, all seven basin states and other stakeholders to continue our successful adaptive approach to managing Glen Canyon Dam.” <P> During this 60-hour high-flow release, the increased river flow will carry sediment deposited on the bed of the Colorado River from tributaries below Glen Canyon Dam in recent months through the Grand Canyon. Scientists and other researchers will also use this high flow experiment to gather important information which will help inform future operational and management decisions at the dam and along the Colorado River. In fact, this high flow experiment continues and supports more than 20 years of extensive scientific research, experimentation and analysis conducted through the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. The Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan is a 20-year plan that updates protocols for continued experiments and provides a framework for adaptive management of Glen Canyon Dam. <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, and representatives from all seven Colorado River Basin States. Before proceeding with the experiment, 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 sediment resources throughout the Grand Canyon while meeting all water delivery requirements and minimizing negative impacts to hydropower production. <P> This high flow experiment will not change or impact the total annual amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Releases from Glen Canyon Dam, both before and after the experiment and through the remainder of the year, will be adjusted to compensate for the high volume released during this high-flow experiment. <P> Additional information about this high-flow experiment will be posted and updated online at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/gcdHFE/index.html. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63424 Media Advisory: High-Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam
PAGE, Ariz. – The Bureau of Reclamation, under the direction of the Department of the Interior, will increase water releases from Glen Canyon Dam beginning on Monday, November 5, 2018 and ending November 8. This release is in support of a high flow experiment (HFE) in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. Releases will begin to increase early Monday morning and will peak at approximately 38,100 cubic feet per second at 2:00 p.m. Flows will continue at that peak for 60 hours to move accumulated sediment downstream to help rebuild eroded sandbars and beaches through Glen and Grand Canyons. These sandbars and beaches are important for life in and along the river. <P> Reclamation and National Park Service officials advise river users to exercise caution along the Colorado River through Glen and Grand Canyons and the easternmost portion of Lake Mead during the entire week of November 5. Flow level information will be posted online and at multiple locations in both Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. Note that it will take several hours and up to two days following beginning and end of the HFE for high flow waters to reach and then recede at downstream locations in the canyons, depending on their distance from the dam. <P> WHAT: High Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam <P> WHEN: Monday, November 5, 2018; First bypass tube will open at approximately 10:00 a.m. MST, with full bypass at 2:00 p.m. MST. Full bypass will continue for 60 hours. <P> WHERE: Glen Canyon Dam, US-89, Page, AZ 86040 <P> Members of the media are invited to view the opening of the bypass tubes on November 5, tour Glen Canyon Dam and interview on-site subject matter experts from Reclamation, National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. Reporters wishing to view the high flow experiment should contact Marlon Duke (mduke@usbr.gov or 385-228-4845) or Lee Traynham (ltraynham@usbr.gov or 801-524-3752). <P> This HFE will not change the total annual amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Releases later in the water year will be adjusted to compensate for the high volume released during this experiment. Insights gained from this and previous high flow experiments will continue to assist in the management and operation of Glen Canyon Dam. <P> Additional information about this high flow experiment will be posted and updated online at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/gcdHFE/index.html. Additional information about projected river flow levels at campsites and other use areas through the Grand Canyon can be found here: https://grandcanyon.usgs.gov/portal/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=13c8070db92046d4ac3825decb1f0ca7. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63389 Reclamation begins Mancos Water Conservancy District repayment contract negotations for Jackson Gulch Canal System rehabilitation
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation is initiating negotiations on an amended repayment contract with the Mancos Water Conservancy District for the rehabilitation of the Jackson Gulch Canal System and other infrastructure. The first negotiation meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 5, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at the Mancos Community Center, 117 North Main Street, Mancos, Colorado. <P> The amended contract to be negotiated will provide updated terms, and further flexibility to fund rehabilitation work for the project. All negotiations are open to the public as observers, and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the contract during a thirty-minute comment period following the negotiation session. <P> The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting, or can be obtained on our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html, under Current Focus or by contacting Marc Miller at 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colorado, 81301, 970 385-6541 or mbmiller@usbr.gov . <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63367 Bureau of Reclamation to hold press day at Steinaker Dam
VERNAL, UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation will hold a press day at Steinaker Dam near Vernal, Utah, on October 30. Interested members of the press will be able to tour the dam, take photos, and interview managers and engineers from Reclamation about recent modifications to the facility. <P> In late July, Reclamation began modification work at the dam to repair a slope failure on the upstream face of the right abutment and to flatten the slope of the abutment. Reclamation and the Uintah Water Conservancy District slowly emptied Steinaker Reservoir during the summer recreation season to enable modification work. Once work is complete, Reclamation anticipates a return to full and normal operations. <P> The dam, which is owned by Reclamation and operated by the Uintah Water Conservancy District, provides off-stream water storage from Ashley Creek and is an important feature of the Central Utah Project. In addition to its primary water storage benefits, the reservoir also provides excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. While water levels will remain low throughout construction, Steinaker State Park will remain open with a variety of recreational opportunities. Visitors should check with Utah State Parks (https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/steinaker/) for available activities and park hours. <P> Work will result in a safer facility that will better serve water users and protect the surrounding community. Through a cost share under Reclamation’s Dam Safety Program, the federal government will cover 85 percent of modification costs and the Uintah Water Conservancy District will pay 15 percent. Reclamation previously awarded a contract for the majority of the work to Weeminuche Construction Authority, which is owned by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. Reclamation engineers will oversee and inspect all construction work, which will continue year-round and is expected to be complete in 2020. <P> Those interested in attending the press day should contact Andrew Kirby at akirby@usbr.gov or 801-379-1161. A white paper, as well as photos and quotes relating to the project, are available to interested parties. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63366 Reclamation extends comment period on draft Environmental Assessment of Green River Block Water Exchange Contract
PROVO, UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation has extended the comment period on the draft Environmental Assessment for the Green River Block Water Exchange Contract by two weeks. The document considers the possible impacts of the contract on the human and natural environment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. <P> The water exchange contract, between Reclamation and the State of Utah, would facilitate the development of the Green River Block portion of the State’s Ultimate Phase water right. Releases from Flaming Gorge Dam could be altered to meet annual water demands under the exchange contract. However, operations of Flaming Gorge Dam would remain within the parameters analyzed in the 2005 Operation of Flaming Gorge Dam Final Environmental Impact Statement and established in the 2006 Record of Decision. The Green River Block water exchange contract is distinct and separate from the contract proposed for the Lake Powell Pipeline project. <P> Multiple resources were considered in the assessment, including the hydrology of the Green River, recreational opportunities, floodplains, fish and wildlife habitats, endangered species, among others. A draft version of the EA can be found at https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html. <P> Stakeholder input is essential to the environmental review process – members of the public are invited and encouraged to provide comment. Comments should be submitted by November 2, 2018, to greenriverblock@usbr.gov or via mail addressed to Bureau of Reclamation, Attn: Jared Baxter, 302 E 1860 S, Provo, Utah 84606. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63293 Reclamation releases draft Environmental Assessment for the Animas Water Quality and Resilience Improvement Project
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment for the Animas Water Quality and Resilience Improvement Project. The proposed project would implement riparian and streambank restoration activities at three sites identified in the Lower Animas River Watershed Based Plan, including the Flora Vista River and Riparian Restoration; Ruins Road Riparian Pasture Improvement; and Road 3133 Riparian Revegetation. <P> The project would improve water quality and resilience of the river. The project includes: river bank restoration, removal of Russian olive, reestablishment of native riparian species, river bank re-sloping to decrease sedimentation and fencing to exclude livestock access. <P> The draft FONSI and EA is available by contacting Reclamation at jliff@usbr.gov or erheaume@usbr.gov. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received by Monday, October 22, 2018. Submit comments by email to erheaume@usbr.gov or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, CO 81303. <P>