Upper Colorado Regional Office
Media Contact: Doug Hendrix or Dennis Kubly
(801) 524-3837 (801) 524-3715
Release Date: February 8, 2008
Comments due: February 22, 2008
Reclamation Releases Environmental Assessment for Public Comment on
Proposed High-Flow and Steady Flow Experiment on the Colorado River
Salt Lake City, UT - The Department of the Interior's Bureau of
Reclamation today released for public comment an Environmental
Assessment that describes a proposed early-March 2008 high-flow test
and fall steady flow experiment from Glen Canyon Dam downstream
through the Grand Canyon. Comments will be due by close of business
February 22, 2008.
"Reclamation continues to support the application of science and
adaptive management to the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and the
management of natural resources in Glen and Grand Canyon," Reclamation
Commissioner Robert W. Johnson said in announcing the availability of
the Environmental Assessment. "Experiments such as the proposed
high-flow and fall steady flow continue to advance our understanding
of the ecosystem while providing tangible benefits to the fishery,
river environment, and recreational users in Grand Canyon National Park."
The environmental assessment evaluates the impact of the proposed test
on a wide range of environmental and socioeconomic resources. A
decision by the Department of the Interior is anticipated in late
February 2008, with plans to conduct the high flow in early March
2008, if the decision is to move forward with the experiment.
The high-flow experiment and associated research activities, should
they occur, will be undertaken cooperatively by scientists and
resource managers from Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS),
Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
and Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The 2008 test would be similar to the previous high-flow tests
conducted in 1996 and 2004, but the amount of sediment available is
considerably larger. In particular, scientists have concluded that
more sand is needed to rebuild sandbars throughout the 277-mile reach
of Grand Canyon National Park than was available in 1996 or 2004.
Currently, sand supplies in the river are at a 10-year high with a
volume about three times greater than in 2004 due to tributary inflows
below the dam over the past 16 months.
The Environmental Assessment is available for public review on the
Internet by following this link--click here--or by contacting
Dennis Kubly, Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Regional Office,
125 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138, and by telephone at
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