Bureau of Reclamation Banner, Upper Colorado Region
Reclamation Home              Reclamation Offices              Newsroom              Library              Projects & Facilities

Western Colorado Area Office Home   Environmental Documents 

Aspinall Unit Operations Final Environmental Impact Statement

The Bureau of Reclamation proposes to implement a plan to avoid jeopardy to four endangered fish in the Gunnison and Colorado rivers downstream from the Wayne N. Aspinall Unit, a Colorado River Storage Project multi-purpose water development facility in western Colorado. The final environmental impact statement explains the process of identifying and defining endangered fish needs, alternative manners of releasing water from the Unit, impacts of implementing alternatives, and the selection of the preferred alternative. The FEIS complies with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

The purpose of modifying the operations of the Aspinall Unit is to provide sufficient releases of water at times, quantities, and duration necessary to avoid jeopardy to endangered fish species and adverse modification of their designated critical habitat while maintaining and continuing to meet authorized purposes of the Aspinall Unit. The intent of the new operations is also to assist in recovery of the species. The programmatic biological opinion prepared by the Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the EIS is designed to complete Endangered Specias Act compliance for the Aspinall Unit as well as provide ESA coverage for private and other public water uses in the Gunnison Basin and also ESA compliance on the Dallas Creek and Dolores Projects. The Upper Colorado River Basin is inhabited by 14 native fish species, four of which are now endangered. These four fish are the Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, bonytail, and humpback chub; they exist only in the Colorado River Basin. The four fish are endangered because of adverse impacts to their habitat over the last 125 years. The two types of habitat impacts that appear to have the greatest effect have been water development and introduction of non native fish.

Aspinall Unit Operations Final Environmental Impact Statement
 Volume 1    (book marked PDF file)
3.3 MB
Cover pages     (PDF)
88 KB
Appendix A - Aspinall EIS Hydrology Report     (PDF)
4.3 MB
Appendix B - Gunnison River Basin Programmatic Biological Opinion     (PDF)
1.4 MB
Appendix C - Biological Assessment     (PDF)
1.7 MB
Appendix D - Methodology for Analyzing the Impacts of Aspinall EIS Alternatives
on Power Economics     (PDF)
560 KB
Appendix E - Economic Analysis     (PDF)
83 KB
Appendix F - Scoping Summary Report     (PDF)
172 KB
Appendix G - Black Canyon NP Water Right Decree     (PDF)
2.5 MB
Comment & Responses - PART 1    (PDF)
17.1 MB
Comment & Responses - PART 2    (PDF)
17.1 MB
Comment & Responses - PART 3    (PDF)
9.2 MB
Comment & Responses - PART 4    (PDF)
17.3 MB
Comment & Responses - PART 5    (PDF)
11.3 MB
 Record of Decision
6.4 MB



Last updated: May 7, 2012