Scoping for dam operation begins

Comments are being taken until Feb. 28 as the Bureau of Reclamation prepares an environmental impact statement for a proposed, long-term experimental plan for future Glen Canyon Dam operations.

The purpose of the long-term experimental plan is to increase understanding of the ecosystem downstream from Glen Canyon Dam and to improve and protect important downstream resources. The proposed plan would implement a structured, long-term program of experimentation which may include dam operations, potential modifications to Glen Canyon Dam intake structures, and other potential management actions, such as removal of non-native fish species, in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.

Along with submitting written comments, the public can also comment at one of two meetings ­ one in Phoenix tomorrow or in Salt Lake City on Friday.

The plan will build on a decade of scientific experimentation and monitoring that has taken place through the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. A significant element of that program is a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of the Interior called the Adaptive Management Work Group. That group has been developing recommendations for a long-term experimental plan and their work will be incorporated into this EIS.

A scoping report that provides an analysis of public comments, both written and oral, will be available in March. A draft EIS will be open for public review beginning in April 2008 with a final EIS and Record of Decision completed by December 2008.

The Phoenix meeting is from 6-8 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Phoenix Airport at 1515 North 44th St., Cholla Room, Phoenix, Ariz.

Written comments may be sent by close of business on Wednesday, Feb. 28, to: Regional Director, Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region, Attention: UC-402, 125 South State St., Salt Lake City, Utah, 84138-1147; fax to 801-524-3858; or e-mail at GCDExpPlan@uc.usbr.gov.

Additional information concerning this EIS, including copies of Federal Register notices and background information, is available through Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region Web site located under the "Quick Links" listings at www.usbr.gov/uc/.

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