- Projects & Facilities
- Seedskadee Project
Region: Upper Colorado Basin Region
Seedskadee Project History (82 KB)
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The Seedskadee Project, a participating project of the Colorado River Storage Project, is in the Upper Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming. It provides storage and regulation of the flows of the Green River for power generation, municipal and industrial use, fish and wildlife, and recreation. The basin contains vast mineral resources of coal, trona, oil and gas, and shale that provide the basis for extensive existing and potential industrial development. Towns in the area are Rock Springs, Green River, and Kemmerer.
The Crow Indians called it the "Seeds-ke-dee-agie," meaning "Sage Hen River," but it was the "Rio Verde" to the Spaniards. To the mountain men it was simply the Green River. In 1812, South Pass was discovered by fur trappers. From 1825 until 1840, the Upper Green River Basin was the crossroads for the mountain men. After the trappers came, the covered wagons moved west along the Oregon Trail. Settlers began homesteading lands near the river in the 1880's.
On February 6, 1963, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Reclamation opened bids for the construction of Fontenelle Powerplant and Switchyard. The contract was awarded on April 8, 1963, to E-W Construction Co. and L.D. Shilling Co., Inc., of Creswell, Oregon. Work commenced in early June. By the end of 1963, approximately 20 percent of the work had been completed. Work to date consisted largely of excavation for the Powerplant and tailrace channel, as well as placement of concrete in the lower levels of the Powerplant and tailrace channel walls. During the calendar year 1964, the prime contractor, performed an additional 55% of the work on the Powerplant and Switchyard. They completed framing of the powerplant substructure and superstructure, installed the roof and began the application of metal siding. Early in the year, the hydraulic turbine, the 100-ton traveling crane, the 8.5 x 8.5 river outlet works control gate, and the draft tube bulkhead gates, all furnished under different supply contracts, were delivered to the job site. By the end of the year, the prime contractor completed concrete placement for the river outlet works gate house. Subcontractors installed the penstock and surge tank and the electrical subcontractor erected the major switchyard structures. The prime contractor also installed the crane and the gates, and began preparing the spiral case of the turbine to be embeded in second-stage concrete. In the spring of 1965, E-W Construction Company and L.D. Shilling Company, Inc., of Creswell, Oregon, installed the hydraulic turbine spiral case turbine runner and shaft. Concurrently, the generator erection contractor assembled the generator station and rotor and then installed them under the direction of the manufacturer's erection engineer. The summer saw continued work on powerplant piping, electrical wiring, and switchyard construction. The 69-KV powerline, constructed between the powerplant and Bridger, Wyoming by the Bridger Valley Rural Electric Association energized the switchyard by August. Essentially complete by September, the powerplant was ready for operational testing. In early spring 1965, Reclamation opened bids for the construction of a control cable line between the Powerplant and the downstream river gaging station. However, a leak at Fontenelle Dam disrupted access to the work site, leaving the contract un-awarded. The leak did not disrupt Powerplant construction and the contractor completed all work on the Powerplant, except for replacement of inadequate heating and ventilating controls, by the end of the year. In January 1968, the Montrose Power Operations Office assigned a powerplant electrician and one assistant to Fontenelle Powerplant. May 24, 1968, the powerplant went "on line" beginning production of hydroelectric power. Also, in January 1968, the Power Operations Office at Montrose, Colorado, assumed operation of Fontenelle Powerplant, making Fontenelle a part of the CRSP power system. They transferred the Powerplant to Operation and Maintenance (O&M) status July 1, 1968. All Powerplants contained within CRSP, including Fontenelle Powerplant are administered by the Colorado River Storage Project power system, which includes dams, hydroelectric powerplants, switchyards, substations, and transmission lines. The CRSP system, adjacent Federal systems, and systems of the public and private preference customers comprise a large interconnected power system. The Power Operations Center, Montrose, Colorado, (established April 15, 1963,) location of CRSP headquarters, provides administrative, storage, vehicle service, machine shop, and warehouse facilities and equipment necessary for the efficient conduct of maintenance activities for the CRSP power system. Located approximately in the geographical center of the CRSP, the Power Operations Center also administers the activities for Region 4 (later renamed the Upper Colorado Region) and serves as the control center for the operation of all power facilities within CRSP. Bureau of Reclamation employees, personnel of the University of Wyoming and other interested parties met with the Wyoming Reclamation Projects Survey Team, to discuss the development of the Seedskadee Project, during the first months of 1963. Subsequently, the Survey Team held several public meetings in April and May throughout southwestern Wyoming to obtain public views of the Project. Joe Bud, an alternative member of the Colorado River Commission called a public meeting in Kemmerer on May 6, 1963, to review the report of the meeting held by the Survey Team. In addition, Bud vigorously pointed out the dangers of losing Wyoming's share of the Colorado River water to the lower states. The Wyoming Resource Board as well as industry and stock interests in the area also expressed the desire to maintain Wyoming's share of the Colorado River waters. Overall the general public's sentiments appeared to support the reports of the survey team. In their report dated, June 30, 1963, the Wyoming Reclamation Projects Survey Team recommended that a pilot farm program be established immediately for the purpose of determining the necessary components of a successful irrigation operation; the Farm would be operated by the Bureau of Reclamation in cooperation with the Agricultural Research Service of the Department of Agriculture and the University of Wyoming. After making these examinations a request could be sent to Congress requesting legislation authorizing the Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall to act in accordance with the evidence as it relates to unit size. Awaiting information from the operation of the Development Farm, construction of the project irrigation distribution system was deferred indefinitely, beginning the last of March. Preparation of design data for the Seedskadee Development Farm began August 26, 1963, under the recommendation of the Wyoming Reclamation Projects Survey Team. Located approximately eleven miles downstream from the Dam, the site selected for the Farm represents the project's soils and topography. In October, topography maps were completed and a collection of design data for the various features initiated. The Bureau initiated construction, in accordance with general recommendations of the Advisory Committee, during the spring of 1964 and completed the Farm in the summer of 1965. Summer of 1964 saw establishment of crops, while fall brought the addition of livestock. The Agricultural College of the University of Wyoming supervised the Farm Operations directly, under the general supervision of the Advisory Committee. Reclamation financed operations directly with appropriated funds. The Agricultural College scheduled the submission of a report of findings late in 1966. Reclamation awarded the contract, for the construction of a farm access road, fencing, pumping plant, and buildings, to Landon Construction Company of Casper, Wyoming, beginning Farm construction. The contractor moved his equipment in on March 27, 1964, and began work March 30. Also on March 30, an additional contract, for the construction of earthwork and structures for laterals, drains, and land leveling, was let to Benson Construction Company of Grace, Idaho. Work began April 16. Until completion in early August, work continued steadily. After leveling and completing the laterals, individual fields were turned over to the University of Wyoming for seeding and initial irrigation. All nine fields of the upper bench had been seeded by mid-August. Landon Construction Company moved a 2-bedroom relocatable house to the farm from Fontenelle Community, to serve as quarters for farm help and experimental workers. On September 1, 1964, the College of Agriculture of the University of Wyoming assumed operation of the Development Farm, with funds advanced by the Bureau of Reclamation. Former Manager of the University of Wyoming Pilot Farm at Farson, Wyoming, Mr. E. E. Buckendorf was selected as Resident Manager of the Development Farm. The Farm manager erected minor improvements such as fencing and a large pole shed for livestock in the fall. The fields of the upper bench were seeded with alfalfa, oats, and various grasses. The oats started remarkably well without fertilizer, according to observations in early summer. The earth distribution system and the river pumping plant functioned well. In 1965, the Farm completed its first year of operation. The State of Wyoming through the University of Wyoming, successfully operated the Farm for the next four years, 1966-69. In 1970, the five year contract made between Reclamation and the State of Wyoming expired and the Farm reverted to Reclamation control. Beginning January 1, 1972, Reclamation advertized for lease, the Seedskadee Development Farm, including approximately 740 acres near Green River Wyoming. These lands lie fallow, as no one ever purchased the Farm. Construction of Fontenelle Dam commenced in June 1961 and was completed in April 1964. In September 1965, after the reservoir had filled to capacity, water passing through relief cracks in the right abutment carried away part of the downstream embankment. The reservoir was evacuated and a repair program undertaken and completed in 1967. The reservoir was refilled in the winter and spring of 1968. Construction of Fontenelle Powerplant and appurtenant facilities was started in February 1963, and completed in January 1966. Power generation commenced in May 1968. Initial deliveries of municipal and industrial water to the State of Wyoming under the contract of June 14, 1962, began in 1974. Further negotiations with the State were completed on December 27, 1974 for additional municipal and industrial deliveries. The Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge was established by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1965. The refuge lies along 35 miles of the Green River, approximately 6 miles below Fontenelle Dam and 20 miles northwest of the town of Green River. The refuge will provide habitat for waterfowl, and ultimately 18 wildlife management units will be developed. About 13,250 acres of Federal and private land have been acquired with plans to bring the refuge to a total of about 22,000 acres. A substantial fishery has developed in the reservoir and in the stream between the reservoir and the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Both the stream and reservoir are stocked with rainbow and brown trout. In the stream below the reservoir, a whitefish population is sustained as a result of natural spawning. Recreation facilities constructed on the west shore of the reservoir near Fontenelle Creek include sites for camping and picnicking, a boat ramp, parking, sanitary facilities, and drinking water. For specific information about any of these recreation sites, click on the name below. http://www.recreation.gov/detail.cfm?ID=701 http://www.recreation.gov/detail.cfm?ID=1606 Commercial power generation commenced in May 1968. The powerplant and switch yard at Fontenelle Dam with transmission lines interconnected with the Colorado River Storage Project transmission system at the Flaming Gorge Powerplant. Although there is no specific reservoir capacity assigned for flood control, the Seedskadee has provided an accumulated $3,047,000 in flood control benefits from 1950 to 1999. In December 1928, primarily to pave the way for construction of Hoover Dam, Congress approved the Colorado River Compact. The Compact, originally drafted in 1922, allocated the waters of the Colorado River among the states that lie in the Colorado River Basin: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The Compact, the first of its kind, separated the basin into two groups, the Upper Basin states (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming), and the Lower Basin states (Arizona, California, and Nevada). Of the seven states, Arizona was the most reluctant to ratify the Compact, because of its concerns California would take the majority of the lower basin's allocation of water. Arizona's concerns only increased after the discovery that the river's flow had been over-estimated. After the passage of the Compact by Congress in 1928, the Upper and Lower Basin states faced the difficult task of allocating their share of water amongst themselves. The Lower Basin states had to address concerns regarding California's ever-growing need for water. Meanwhile, most of the Upper Basin allocation went to the more populous states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, leaving Wyoming a smaller share of the water. Concern for its share of the Colorado River led Wyoming to campaign in Congress for its own Reclamation Projects. In the early 1950s, Wyoming saw her chance to retain her share of the allocation with the introduction of the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) to Congress.1 The Colorado River Storage project was designed to regulate the flows of the Colorado River between the Upper and Lower Basin states. With the construction of the dams proposed in CRSP, the upper basin states could consistently meet the flow requirements at Lee's Ferry, Arizona, while at the same time using the Colorado River to its fullest extent.2 Wyoming was not concerned necessarily with the project benefits of CRSP, rather her leaders were concerned that the lower basin states, namely California, and to some extent even the Upper Basin states, would appropriate her portion of the Colorado River leaving Wyoming without her share of the Colorado River. Wyoming's reasoning behind inclusion of the Seedskadee Project in CRSP was similar to the reasoning Los Angeles used when diverting water from the Owens Valley. There did not have to be a current use for the water, it merely needed to be held on to so that another state could not use it.3 In the case of Los Angeles, William Mullholand chose to irrigate the San Fernando Valley instead of building a reservoir to store the water he was appropriating from Owens Valley. Wyoming took the more traditional approach and called for building a dam on the Green River. Located in Southwestern Wyoming, the Seedskadee Project lies within the Green River Basin, a part of the Colorado River Basin. Sweetwater County contains most of the project, but the northwestern tip extends into Lincoln County. Project lands extend along a thirty-five mile strip between the towns of LaBarge and Green River, Wyoming, along both sides of the Green River. Additional lands lie on each side of Big Sandy Creek near the creek's confluence with the Green River. Towns in the vicinity of the project include, Green River and Rock Springs, southeast of the southern end of the project, LaBarge northwest of the project's northern end, and Kemmerer about 35 airlines miles west of the area. The vicinity of the project looks like a typical western desert, broken only by a narrow strip of green bottom land along the Green River and Big Sandy Creek. Lands, originally thought to be irrigable by the project, lie on the arid benches adjacent to the bottom land and range in elevation from 6,590 feet at its northern portion to 6,180 feet in the southern portion. The benches have an average width of about one mile with an elevation difference between them of 120 feet or less. Rock broken badlands bottled by buttes flank the bench areas to the east of the river. Elevation of most of the lands ranges between 6,300 feet and 6,400 feet.4 Seedskadee, a participating project in the Colorado River Storage Project, provides storage and regulation of the flows of the Green River for power generation, municipal and industrial use, fish and wildlife, and recreation. The basin contains vast mineral resources of coal, oil and gas, oil shale, and trona which provide the basis for extensive existing and potential industrial development. Fontenelle Dam, Powerplant, and Reservoir comprise the principal features of the project. Municipal and industrial water use, power production, flood control, and a downstream fishery and wildlife refuge provide the basis for Reservoir operation.5 Fontenelle Dam sits on the Green River twenty-four miles southeast of La Barge, Wyoming. A zoned earthfill structure, the Dam looms 139 feet high with a crest length of 5,421 feet, and a volume of 5,265,000 cubic yards of material. An uncontrolled crest, open chute, and stilling basin, with a design capacity of 20,000 cubic feet per second, comprise the spillway. Fontenelle Powerplant is located adjacent to the toe of the dam, while the power penstock branches the river outlet works. The Powerplant consists of one 16,000-horsepower hydraulic turbine and one 10,000-kilowatt generator. The Reservoir, with a surface area of 8,058 acres, has an active capacity of 150,500 acre-feet and a total capacity of 345,400 acre-feet. When full, the lake is twenty miles in length with a shoreline of approximately fifty-six miles. The Dam, Reservoir and Powerplant take their name from Fontenelle Creek which enters the Green River near the Damsite. The Creek was named after Lucien Fontenelle, an early French fur trader and trapper. Fontenelle worked for the American Fur Company in the 1820s and 1830s.6 Sparsity of population has been characteristic of Wyoming since primitive times. Paleo-Indian hunters and gathers, who may have come to North America from Siberia, were the first known human beings in the region more than 20,000 years ago. Archeological sites indicate mammoth hunters near Worland over 11,000 years ago. Additional archeological evidence of continuous human habitation dating from approximately 9,000 years ago, has also been discovered. Beginning about 4,500 years ago the early inhabitants abandoned the region, possibly due to climatological change. Eventually small nomadic hunting bands returned to Wyoming, mostly Shoshone and Crow Indians later joined by the Arapaho and Cheyenne. It is believed that the nomadic Indian population numbered no more than 10,000 when the first Anglos arrived. Even the arrival of the Anglos did not result quickly in permanent settlement; the early hunters and trappers merely took what they needed off of the land before moving on. Many passed through Wyoming, but few chose to stay. Wyoming has long been a land of have nots--no water, gold, people, or outposts of civilization; location, resource limitations, high elevation, and aridity have combined to impede its growth. Early westward travelers and explorers revealed it as a land of little water, making Wyoming into an obstacle and not a place with its own unique attributes. Few on their cross-country travels appreciated the beauty of the unusual state, all they saw was the hot dry prairie that they had to cross to reach the civilization, waters, and gold of California, Oregon and Washington; an attitude replicated by many cross-country travelers even today. Ultimately however, it was the mountain men, that became central to Wyoming's history. More than any other state, Wyoming has been identified as rendezvous country and home of the mountain men. The fact that the freedom, independence, and self-reliance of the trappers' life have been exaggerated, as have the economic importance, the color, and the romance of the annual gatherings which took place from 1825-1840, has had little effect on the overall perception of the mountain men in Wyoming. Jim Bridger, the most famous mountain man of them all, owned a trading post in the southwest corner of Wyoming. Bridger ranks as one of Wyoming's six outstanding deceased citizens, while historians rate his fort second only to Fort Laramie in terms of importance. Though the mountain men are the most romantic figures in Wyoming's history, her state motto "The Equality State" proclaims her greatest claim to fame. In 1869, Wyoming became the first government to grant women the right to vote. Considerations of justice notwithstanding, the majority of the legislature passed the suffrage bill because of its public relations value; they thought that it would advertise the territory and attract population. An additional argument for suffrage was that the opportunity to vote would attract women from the east to balance out the dominantly male population. The suffrage bill did not attract population, but it did give the state a distinction which lives on. In fact, in 1955 the Wyoming Legislature proclaimed Esther Morris, the first woman judge, the outstanding deceased citizen. Though a land of many legends, Wyoming has always had a scarce population and a lack of water. The Federal Government has attempted to address these two features of Wyoming with projects such as Seedskadee. At the same time, there will always be those who prefer the pristine nature of the state. The Bureau of Reclamation initially investigated the Seedskadee Project as a part of a plan for the development of the Upper Green River Basin; the 1946 report on the Colorado River Basin documented this plan. Reclamation subsequently carried out investigations of the Seedskadee as an independent project. In November 1950, the Bureau prepared a feasibility report, issued as a supplement to the December 1950 report on the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP)--a project located within the five adjacent states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. In October 1953, a third supplement brought construction costs and project benefit estimates up to date. The latter supplement, after being submitted to Congress, provided the basis for project authorization. Congress authorized the Colorado River Storage Project with the Act of April 11, 1956--initial units included Glen Canyon, Flaming Gorge, Curecanti, Navajo, and eleven other projects. This act included authorization for the Seedskadee Project, one of the initial group of participating projects in CRSP. The definite plan report for the Seedskadee Project was prepared in April 1959, and modified in February 1961 to provide for future municipal and industrial water needs. In 1959, under the Title III Water Supply Act of 1958, the Wyoming Natural Resource Board requested an additional 60,000 acre feet of storage capacity be added to Fontenelle Reservoir for future municipal and industrial purposes, thus increasing the total capacity of the reservoir to 345,400 acre-feet, with 150,500 acre-feet of active capacity. The Secretary of the Interior Fred Seaton, approved the additional 60,000 acre-feet March 19, 1960. The increased reservoir capacity made a powerplant feasible; the reservoir releases for municipal and industrial purposes are available for the generation of power. The Commissioner of Reclamation, Floyd E. Dominy approved the addition of a 10,000 kilowatt powerplant on Fontenelle Dam, August 11, 1961. On May 21, 1962, Dominy issued a stop-order suspending construction of irrigation features of the Project until a general review of Wyoming projects could be accomplished. Subsequently, experimental crops were grown on 512 acres using border dike, contour flooding, and circular sprinkling method, to seek solutions to the serious financial and economic problems encountered on high-altitude irrigation projects, and to provide guidelines for land development and water management. Fontenelle Dam, originally conceived as an irrigation storage dam, evolved toward storage of water for cities, industry, and fish and wildlife, as a result of these experimental farm studies and irrigation development was deferred indefinitely. Technically known as sodium sesquicarbonate and the most common of the sodium carbonate minerals found in nature, Trona (Na2CO3 NaHCO3 2H2O) is used to produced soda ash or sodium carbonate. Glass manufacturing requires nearly one-half of the sodium carbonate produced; chemicals consume one-quarter; and the remainder goes to pulp, paper, soap, detergent and aluminum production, water treatment, and other miscellaneous uses. In 1959, drilling by the Stauffer Chemical Company indicated a minable deposit of trona located in the southern or lower end of the project. They discovered that the southern part of the Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming overlays the largest known deposit of trona in the world, about 1,400 square miles. The Wilkins Peak Member of the Eocene Green River Formation contains about sixty-seven billion tons of trona in twenty-four beds more than three-feet thick. In a 1,400-square mile area in the Green River Basin these beds lie at depths of 400 to 3,500 feet. In the southern part of the area fourteen beds, more than three-feet thick, contain another thirty-six billion tons of mixed trona and halite. On January 14, 1960, after Stauffer's discovery, the Wyoming Natural Resource Board arranged a meeting with the officials of the Union Pacific Railroad Company, Stauffer Chemical Company, and representatives of the Bureau of Reclamation; representatives from the Bureau of Mines, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) also attended. The Wyoming Natural Resource Board unanimously passed a resolution, at the conclusion of the meeting, recommending Reclamation continue to seek Congressional appropriations for the Seedskadee Project with the confidence that the interested parties would work out the issue surrounding the mining of trona on potential project lands. The project plan was modified, after much discussion, deferring the development of the area underlain by trona until a suitable solution to the conflict between mining and irrigation could be reached. To facilitate a decision, the Stauffer Chemical Company began mining a deposit east of the Green River outside the project area. Planning to determine the pattern and extent of surface subsidence as mining operations proceeded, officials thought that a suitable solution of mining and irrigation could be worked out with the findings of these studies. The lack of irrigation on the Project later made the concerns regarding the coexistence of mining and irrigation irrelevant. Construction on the Seedskadee Project began in 1961 and continued through 1968. Several private contractors completed all the work while under contract to Reclamation. Work began with the Fontenelle Community and subsequently moved to the Dam and Reservoir, the Powerplant, and finished with the Seedskadee Development Farm. On April 10, 1961, construction of Fontenelle Community, Wyoming, (the government camp to serve the Seedskadee Project) began with the award of the contract for streets and utilities to Witt Construction Company of Provo, Utah. The contract for ten operation and maintenance houses was awarded on May 8, 1961, to D. H. Butcher Construction Company of Salt Lake City, Utah. The contract for the permanent headquarters and service buildings was awarded to Witt Construction Company June 19, 1961. Accepted as substantially complete October 20, 1961, the camp utilities were placed in operation. Reclamation accepted, in November 1961, construction of the ten permanent houses as substantially complete. Occupation of the administration building and service buildings occurred in December 1961, although the other contracts were not fully completed. The following year, 1962, eight two-bedroom Transa houses, acquired by non-appropriation transfer, were installed along First Avenue. Kit Manufacturing Company supplied five dual trailers placed in the trailer court. De Rose, Inc. furnished ten three-bedroom relocatable residences erected along Fifth and Sixth Avenues. To accommodate the units along First, Fifth, and Sixth Avenues, the contractor extended utilities and streets and installed garages to serve the temporary housing units. Construction of alleys occurred in every block. During 1963, after the completion of landscaping by Western Garden Center of Salt Lake City, Utah, and after the delivery and erection of eight 3-bedroom relocatable residences from Transa Structures, Inc., of Fullerton, California, Reclamation accepted construction of Fontenelle Community as complete. Also in 1963, Lincoln County completed surfacing of the access road from U.S. Highway 189 to Fontenelle Community, under a negotiated contract with Reclamation. On June 13,1961, the contract for construction at Fontenelle Dam, was awarded to Folley Brothers, Inc. and Holland Construction Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. Actual construction commenced June 30, 1961. Initial work consisted of structural excavation; excavation for the dam embankment, including stripping for the dam foundation; the start of grouting operations; and excavation for the diversion channel and outlet works. Work continued as planned in 1962. During the first two-thirds of the year, design and right-of-way data for Fontenelle Reservoir was completed. Reclamation and the Wyoming State Highway Department negotiated a contract for the relocation of U.S. Highway 189. In December, the Highway Department issued specifications for the relocation. Reclamation prepared and issued specifications for Fontenelle Powerplant and Switchyard. Construction of Fontenelle Dam, by Folley Brothers, Inc., and Holland Construction Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, continued as planned throughout the year. As the 1963 construction season began, Fontenelle Dam, was approximately 60 percent complete. The contractor had essentially completed the dam by the end of 1963. The successful diversion of the Green River though the river outlet works on August 6, permitted completion of the embankment. Finally in late 1963, the contractor initiated installation of the various control gates and completed them early in 1964. In 1964, construction work on Fontenelle Dam consisted of rip-rap placement on the upstream face of the dam, minor concrete work and the installation of gates, gate controls, and related electrical and mechanical machinery in the outlet works. On April 24, 1964, Reclamation accepted the Dam as complete. In early summer 1964, Fontenelle Reservoir filled rapidly with the high river flows and in June the spillway operated for the first time. The National Park Service completed the recreation area in the spring. Subsequently, outdoor recreation developed on the reservoir.
Principal features of the project are the Fontenelle Dam, Powerplant, and Reservoir. The reservoir is operated for municipal and industrial water use, power production, flood control, and downstream fishery and wildlife refuge. The Fontenelle Dam is located on the Green River 24 miles southeast of La Barge, Wyoming. A zoned earthfill structure, the dam is 139 feet high with a crest length of 5,421 feet, and a volume of 5,265,000 cubic yards of material. The spillway consists of an uncontrolled crest, open chute, and stilling basin with a design capacity of 20,200 cubic feet per second. Fontenelle Powerplant is located adjacent to the toe of the dam, with the power penstock branching from the river outlet works. The powerplant consists of one 10,000-kilowatt generator and one 16,000-horsepower hydraulic turbine. The reservoir has an active capacity of 150,500 acre-feet and a total capacity of 345,360 acre-feet, with a surface area of 8,058 acres. The lake is 20 miles in length when full, and has a shoreline of approximately 56 miles. The Bureau of Reclamation operates the Fontenelle Reservoir and Powerplant, and is responsible for recreation facilities. The Fish and Wildlife Service manages the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission manages the reservoir fishery and the fishery in the Green River below the reservoir. The development farm has been transferred to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for wildlife management purposes.
Abbott, Carl. "The Federal Presence." In The Oxford History of the American West. Eds., Clyde A. Milner II, Carol A. O'Connor, and Martha A. Sandweiss. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
ContactTitle: Area Office Manager
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