Adaptive Management Program


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The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program was developed to provide an organization and process for cooperative integration of dam operations, downstream resource protection and management, and monitoring and research information, as well as to improve the values for which the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park were established.

Adaptive management is a dynamic process where people of many talents and disciplines come together to make the right decision in the best interests of the resources.


header image: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program


Since Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1963, increasing concern was expressed by the public and federal and state agencies regarding how dam operations may be adversely affecting the downstream environment. To begin addressing these growing concerns, in December 1982, the Bureau of Reclamation initiated the multi-agency interdisciplinary Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Studies at the direction of the Secretary of the Interior.

In November 1989, the Secretary directed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared on the operation of Glen Canyon Dam, and the Secretary designated Reclamation as the lead agency. This Final EIS, completed in March 1995, received broad and intense interest from water and power users, environmental and conservation groups, Federal and State agencies, Indian tribes, and private citizens across the country.

Findings from the EIS indicated that many uncertainties still exist regarding the downstream impact of water releases from Glen Canyon Dam. The EIS team consolidated the issues of public concern, identifying the significant resources and associated issues to be analyzed in detail. These resources include: water, sediment, fish, vegetation, wildlife and habitat, endangered and other special status species, cultural resources, air quality, recreation, hydropower, and non-use value.

In compliance with the Grand Canyon Protection Act (Act) of 1992 (Public Law 102-575), the EIS proposed a process of "adaptive management" whereby the effects of dam operations on downstream resources would be monitored and assessed.

The Act, and the EIS are the guiding documents for development of the Adaptive Management Program. The program meets the purpose and strengthens the intent for which the EIS was prepared, and ensures the primary mandate of the Act is met through future advances in information and resource management.

Section 1802 of the Act directed the Secretary to establish and implement long-term monitoring programs and activities to ensure the Glen Canyon Dam is operated "... in such a manner as to protect, mitigate adverse impacts to, and improve the values for which Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area were established, including, but not limited to natural and cultural resources and visitor use."

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In order to comply with the consultation requirement of the Act, Section 1805 of the Act, the EIS recommended formation of a federal advisory committee. The Transition Work Group was formed to operate until such time as a federal advisory committee could be formed, and a record of decision (ROD) signed by the Secretary of the Interior to initiate a process of "management" (operating criteria for unbiased scientific research and data collection) whereby the effects of dam operations on downstream resources would be assessed. Meetings were held with representatives from the cooperating agencies and public interest groups who provided comments on the criteria for development of reasonable alternatives for the EIS.

The transition group worked on a variety of issues including a long-term monitoring and research program to ensure Glen Canyon Dam is operated in a manner consistent with protecting the downstream environment as well as implementation and management of operations and monitoring in consultation with broad-based interests.

The ROD was signed by the Secretary of Interior in October 1996, and in January 1997, Interior Secretary Babbitt signed a Notice of Establishment of the Glen Canyon Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG), a federal advisory committee. The charter of this group was signed on January 15, 1997.

All of the elements are now in place for an effective, credible adaptive management effort. The AMWG is the key; the TWG providing detailed guidance on issues and objectives; the Science Center to conduct the research and monitoring needed to evaluate operations; and the independent review panel, the outside review necessary to provide the credible science.

The AMWG continues public involvement in the decision-making process and incorporates those stakeholders with interest in the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and downstream resources. By blending the best science and management practices, the AMWG makes recommendations to the Secretary on how to protect the resources and meet the requirement of the law.

The Adaptive Management Program is administered through a senior Department of the Interior official (designee) and facilitated through the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG), which is organized as a federal advisory committee and chaired by the designee.

The AMWG held their first meeting on September 10-11, 1997, and officially formed the Glen Canyon Technical Work Group (TWG)as a subgroup to work on tasks charged to them by the AMWG.

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header image: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

The Adaptive Management Work Group, a federal advisory committee, is chaired by a designee, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. Membership is appointed by the Secretary of Interior with representation from each of the cooperating agencies, Colorado River basin states, environmental groups, recreation interests, and contractors for federal power from Glen Canyon Dam.

The formation of an advisory committee has provided a forum of discussion for bringing key issues to resolution. The Secretary of Interior has been mandated to operate the dam and regulate the river in such a manner as to meet the many and varied statutory goals mandated by congress. The AMWG makes it possible for the Secretary to bring all these varied interests to a consensus on how to protect downstream resources and strike a wise balance on river operations.

AMWG Meetings are held biannually, or more frequently as deemed appropriate by the designated federal official. In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a written notice of each meeting of the AMWG shall be published in the Federal Register at least 15 days prior to the meeting, advising of the date, the place, and purpose of the meeting. In accordance with FACA, all meetings of the AMWG shall be open to the general public. Any organization, association, or individual may file a written statement, at the discretion of the AMWG, and provide verbal input regarding topics on the meeting agenda, in accordance with FACA. The first AMWG meeting was held September 10-11, 1997 in Phoenix, Arizona.


header image: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

The Technical Work Group (TWG) is a subcommittee of the Adaptive Management
Work Group (AMWG), and is chaired by one of the TWG committee members selected by a vote of the committee. The responsibilities of the TWG are to develop criteria and standards for monitoring and research programs; provide periodic review and updates; develop resource management questions for the design of monitoring and research by the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and provide information, as necessary, for preparing annual resource reports and other reports, as required for the AMWG.

The TWG is comprised of technical representatives from each organization represented in the AMWG, with the exception of two members from the National Park
Service representing the Grand Canyon National Park and the Glen Canyon Recreational Area, and one representative from the U.S. Geological Survey. TWG members are appointed by the member agencies or interests represented on the AMWG.



header image: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program
AMWG Meeting Minutes


TWG Meeting Minutes




header image: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

Budget Information

photo: Glen Canyon Dam
Fiscal Year Budget Information
  • FY1997 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY1998 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY1999 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2000 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2001 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2002 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2003 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2004 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2005 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2006 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2007 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2008 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2009 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2010 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2011 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2012 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2013 Final Budget & Work Plan
  • FY2014 Approved Budget & Work Plan
  • Proposed FY15-17 Budget & Work Plan

 


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Contact Us

photo: Colorado River Bureau of Reclamation
Linda Whetton, UC -733
125 South State Street, Room 8100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84138-1147
Telephone: 801-524-3880
E-mail: lwhetton@usbr.gov

Grand Canyon Monitoring & Research Center
Serena Mankiller
2255 North Gemini Drive
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
Telephone: 928-556-7217
Fax: 928-556-7094
E-mail: smankiller@usgs.gov

Last Updated: 1/5/18