Meeting: Colorado River Management Committee, Denver
Date: March 3, 1999
Attendees: See Attachment 1
>Assignments are highlighted in the text, and in Attachment 2.
CONVENE: 8:30 a.m.
1. Review/modify agenda and time allocations - The agenda was revised as it appears below.
2. Approve January 21 meeting summary - The summary was approved as written.
3. Program activities updates:
a. Colorado water users' discussions/15 Mile-Reach programmatic biological opinion - Henry said the draft programmatic biological opinion will be released on March 5th at a meeting with the water users. >The Service will mail the draft to the Management Committee on Friday, also. It will be a non-jeopardy opinion of the actions of the Recovery Program and water development in and around the 15-Mile Reach. The Service is working on resolving Reclamation's concerns regarding who the opinion is written to.
b. Grand Valley Water Management Water Plan - Brent said the water users are reviewing the letter agreement for Highline pumping plant operation. The operation and maintenance agreement between Reclamation and the water users can be completed when the 15-Mile Reach biological opinion is done. If the opinion is in place by May or June, Reclamation can complete most of the pipeline construction this summer.
c. 15-Mile Reach flow filings - Bruce McCloskey said the CWCB passed a motion recommending withdrawal of the recovery flow filing applications, maintaining the base flow filing applications until further investigation of the utility of the base flow filings. Robert Wigington emphasized that we need to make clear that the Fish and Wildlife Service didn't pull the plug on the instream flow filings for the 15-Mile Reach, and distributed a memo on that topic.
d. Land acquisition activities - Pat Nelson said the Program has acquired 582 acres of bottomlands: 401 acres on the Green River (in 6 easements); and 181 acres (in 2 easements) on the Colorado River. Twenty-six additional properties are in various stages of acquisition; 18 of those are on a fast track (5 on the Green River, 12 on the Colorado River, and one on the Gunnison River). In addition, the Program and the Salinity Control Program are cost-sharing acquisition of the Peters property on the Colorado River (about 14 acres) which we'll use for growout ponds.
e. Propagation activities - Susan Baker reported on problems of completing construction at Ouray. A third party design firm will be hired to evaluate the operational difficulties. Since the hatchery won't be ready this spring, this year's lots of razorback suckers will be raised at the old hatchery and at Jones Hole (the Program will purchase a $1,000 heater for Jones Hole). It turns out that Ouray's ozonation filtering system will cost $60-$80K/year (rather than $20-$25K/year) to operate. Currently, the ozonation also is causing problematic levels of potassium permanganate, so the design firm will be looking at ways to resolve that, as well. Once the ozonation system is running, a full-time maintenance person will be needed, costing an additional $20K/year. So, total O&M costs at Ouray will be $80K more/year than originally planned. Ralph is sending a letter to Reclamation asking them to speed up Ouray completion (>and the Service will send copies to the Management Committee). The Management Committee supported Ralph sending this letter. Barry Saunders cautioned that if the operation and redesign costs go beyond a certain level, the Program will need to consider abandoning Ouray and putting a hatchery somewhere else. >Another update on Ouray construction will be on the next Management Committee agenda. > Tom Czapla will post an update on the propagation work group activities to the listserver and provide a report at the next Management Committee meeting.
f. Biological opinions - Henry reported that the Aspinall first draft will go out for the Aspinall biologists to review (prior to peer review) in April. Bob Muth said that the Flaming Gorge synthesis report is being revised and will be provided to the Biology Committee for their review in April.
g. Service sufficient progress determination - Susan Baker reported that the Service held their annual meeting and reviewed progress under the Recovery Program. >The Service will provide their draft letter in advance of the April 1 Implementation Committee meeting.
h. Discussion of Management Committee Chair correspondence with UT DNR - Barry Saunders said the Committee's letter prompted frank discussion at Utah DNR and they should have a response to the Committee within the next 1-2 weeks.
i. Long term funding legislation - Dan McAuliffe distributed revisions to the briefing paper, key points, MOU, and legislation documents. >Any final changes should be given to Dan today, then he'll post to the listserver and send them to Congressman Hansen's office. Colorado is talking to Senator Allard about introducing the legislation in the Senate.
j. GVIC diversion canal fish screening - Tom Pitts said that he, Henry Maddux, and Bob Norman had a good meeting with the GVIC manager. Tom will meet with the GVIC board on May 6 to talk with them about Program activities in the Grand Valley, and to discuss concerns they may have and how to resolve them.
k. Overdue reports - >An updated list will be posted to the listserver within the next week.
l. Overdue Reclamation projects - Henry distributed an update on status of selected capital projects (which was posted to the listserver on March 1). Brent said construction at the 24-Road Hatchery facility should be completed by June 1. Price-Stubb fish passage has been delayed over whether Mr. Jacobsen gets a FERC license for a hydropower project (out of Reclamation's control). This also affects passage at Grand Valley, because if a ladder is constructed at Price-Stubb, then that's the best place to exclude nonnative fish. The Committee agreed that the best action would for someone from the Colorado Congressional delegation to ask FERC about this. >Colorado will ask Congressman McInnis to make this inquiry. >Henry will post any changes to the completion dates for these capital projects to the listserver.
m. Program tracking system - Angela Kantola reported that the system the Service is using for other purposes won't work as indicated and that none of the web-based systems under investigation seem useful, so they plan to hire a contractor to develop a custom application.
4. Review and approve recommended RIPRAP revisions and FY2000 Program Guidance (to be discussed and approved by the Implementation Committee on April 1st). - The Committee agreed to go through the RIPRAP, then Program Guidance. Henry briefly reviewed changes and additions to the RIPRAP.
Narrative, page 2 - change $69 to $62M.
23 - When/whether to conduct a follow-up public attitude survey - the Management Committee agreed to defer this until FY 01 so that new Information and Education coordinator will be fully on board. Wyoming would like the part of Wyoming in the basin to be included in the survey this time. We do need to make better use of the results of the next survey.
22 - Robert Wigington proposed adding monitoring to evaluate effectiveness of stocking (at the end of Section IV). Henry said that assessing ongoing or proposed monitoring under ISMP already is in ISMP, but that he would add the remaining items (with dates). The Committee agreed.
23 - The Committee agreed that item VII.A.4.c (development of specific recovery goals) needs to be stepped down. The recovery goals can be developed now that the IMO document has been completed, new data are available, and Program participants are committed to work together to develop the goals.
24 - Brent said Chris Karas asked that NEPA compliance be completed 18 months after the Flaming Gorge biological opinion is completed. The group agreed, as long as that doesn't prevent operating Flaming Gorge in accordance with the biological opinion. Brent said that it wouldn't.
26 - Brent asked that since the Tusher Wash recommendations won't be completed until 7/99, that due to construction season, the completion date be moved to 4/01. The group agreed.
26, 30, 42, 45 - Robert referred to his e-mail and said he was unwilling to delete the "and as guided by the Genetics Management Plan" language from item IVA. The group agreed to leave the language in the RIPRAP.
28 - In light of the changes on the instream flow filings, a new item IA2 will be added: Evaluate how identified flows will be legally protected (CWCB, 12/00). Also, a new item IA2a will be added: "Evaluate pending base flow filing." (CWCB, 9/00).
29 - Add new IB2: Evaluate how identified flows will be legally protected (CWCB, 12/00). Delete the added parenthetical.
31 - Dates changed on Duchesne flow protection: IC2b - delete X in FY 00, add X to FY 02; ID2 - delete X in FY 99, add X to FY 01 and FY 02; and IE - delete X in FY 99 and FY 00 and add X to FY 02.
33 - Add new IB: Evaluate how identified flows will be legally protected (CWCB, 12/99).
35 - Add new IA2: Evaluate how identified flows will be legally protected (CWCB, 12/99). Add new item IA2a: "Evaluate pending base flow filing." (CWCB, 10/99). Delete the added parenthetical. (The narrative text under instream flow protection [Colorado] and the appropriate subbasins also will be changed.)
36 - Change dates on Ruedi: IA3c1biii to be completed 7/99; IA3c1biv to be completed 2/00 and CWCB to be added to the "who" column.
37 - Delete Collbran item (IA3c3diib) because the contract in the parenthetical is almost done.
37 - Date on Silt item IA3c3eii changed to 7/00 because these recommendations will be in the Division 5 report.
38 - Add new IB2: Evaluate how identified flows will be legally protected (CWCB, 12/99).
38 and 38 insert - Change Ia3c3g(iii) and IA3c3i(iii) to "Deliver and legally protect flows." Don't change text in IA3c3i(ii) as suggested by Water Acquisition Committee.
43 - Change Aspinall dates
43 - Add new IB: Evaluate how identified flows will be legally protected (CWCB, 12/99).
Budget table - >Henry will post this to the listserver (and will send it to Robert Wigington to review first).
b. Program Guidance
Robert requested that Program Director's office make sure that monitoring of the effectiveness of nonnative fish removal will be adequately long-term. Henry said that will be part of the ISMP evaluation.
Henry said he commented on WAPA's proposed new start on effects of fluctuating flows and that his comments weren't incorporated. >Henry and Tom Czapla will work with Art Roybal to make the necessary revisions.
The Committee discussed Tom Pitts' proposed new starts leading to stocking humpback chub and additional stocking of Colorado pikeminnow. Susan said this should be reviewed by the Biology Committee. Henry said the Program already is working on humpback population estimates. We do need to do a Green River pikeminnow population estimate, however. Henry said he believes the Biology Committee agreed that an augmentation plan for humpbacks is not currently needed. All life stages of humpbacks are found in the wild, therefore, stocking probably is not the right tool to increase their numbers. Henry said he'd prefer to fund work to better identify just what is needed to recover humpback chubs. Robert Wigington said he supports developing population estimates and refining the IMO's (which appear to be underway), but he can't support stocking humpback or pikeminnow in the locations Pitts proposes just because the numbers are below the IMO's. Robert distributed his October 1997 memo on the definition and use of IMO's. Robert emphasized the need to stick with the stocking priorities identified by the Biology Committee. No resolution was reached, so Tom's proposals were not added to the Program Guidance.
5. Develop plan and strategy for Washington, D.C. briefing trip meeting - John Shields distributed a proposed schedule of meetings. The group agreed to meet with Congressional delegations before Interior this year as indicated in John's draft. >Those going on the trip should call Kathy Wall before March 20 to confirm their reservations at the Capitol Hill Suites. >John Shields will post the draft schedule electronically this week. >Management Committee members will make the appropriate appointments and get confirmed times and dates to Angela Kantola as they are made. >Tom Pitts will prepare the delegation letters (including letters to the ranking minority members). The requested amounts for FY 99 are ~$7.628M for Reclamation (>Brent will post a specific number). and $376K, $624K, and $200K for the Service (Ouray, resource management funds, and Section 6 funds, respectively). Tom Pitts noted that he and others are going back to D.C. on March 22-24 to pitch the long-term funding legislation (Dan McAuliffe is setting this schedule).
6. Draft Implementation Committee agenda for April 1, 1999, meeting - Dan McAuliffe said this will be the Colorado DNR's new Director, Greg Walcher's first meeting and recommended that the agenda be very crisp and very clear (the items asterisked on the list below will be very important to Colorado). Several of the "updates" need to be identified as upcoming policy issues. The agenda probably should be structured as Program Director's update, followed by policy issues, followed by decision items. Agenda items will include:
- Approval of September 9, 1998 meeting summary
* - Recovery Program and fish status update (should also highlight the most important challenges facing the Program in the next year).
- Review/approval of recommended RIPRAP revisions
- Review/approval of recommended of FY2000 Program Guidance
* - Update on long term funding legislation (policy issue)
- Update on Congressional briefing trip scheduled for April 21-27
* - Update on biological opinions (hand out Tom's version)
- Update on FY 99 budget execution
* - Extending Program beyond 2003 (policy issue)
- Scheduling of September 1999 Implementation Committee meeting.
* - I&E/outreach
>Henry Maddux will draft the agenda, then the Management Committee or a subgroup will discuss and refine it before sending it out.
7. FY 99 capital funds status - Deferred (USBR report on use of Program funding and recommendations from Biology Committee on capital contingency).
8. Yampa Management Plan - Gerry Roehm said the hydrological analysis will be sent out tomorrow. Brent agreed to fund the Yampa coordinator for the remainder of the fiscal year ($40K) from capital funds. However, unless we have an answer as to whether augmentation is or is not going to be pursued, then NO further capital funds will go to the Yampa Management Plan in FY 2000.
9. Information and Education Coordination in the Recovery Program - Linda Lee outlined the draft white paper prepared on revamping public involvement efforts (>which she'll post to the listserver). Linda said the group would like the recommendations to become a working plan for the new coordinator and the I&E Committee. Management Committee members will review the document and bring comments to the next Management Committee meeting. Prior to that comments, >Committee members should submit comments to Linda Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Minority/majority reports from the Biology Committee - At their last meeting, the Biology Committee agreed that minority reports from any of their Committee members will be filed no more than 2 weeks after the meeting where the majority/minority decision was made. Robert Wigington said this needs to be put in the Organization and Mission document. >The Program Director's office will update the Organization and Mission document to bring it up to date and incorporate recent policies.
11. Extending the Recovery Program's Cooperative Agreement - Where will we be in 2003? John Shields said Wyoming will sign an extension that says they'll provide the necessary in-kind contributions for their full participation in the Program, but they're not willing to sign one that says they'll contribute a set dollar amount each year. The Committee still needs to develop a process to resolve differences on this issue.
12. Next Management Committee meeting - May 12, 9 - 4:30 at the La Quinta hotel near DIA.
13. Review of Action Items from Recent Meetings - Deferred. Shane Collins distributed a memo from Clayton Palmer on the status of his report on scientifically determined impacts of the reoperation of Flaming Gorge for endangered fish purposes.
ADJOURN: 4:30 p.m.
Colorado River Management Committee, Salt Lake City, Utah
March 3, 1999, Meeting Attendees
Management Committee Voting Members:
Brent Uilenberg Bureau of Reclamation
Bruce McCloskey State of Colorado
Tom Pitts Upper Basin Water Users
Barry Saunders and Robert
King for Marty Ott Utah Department of Natural Resources
Robert Wigington The Nature Conservancy
John Shields State of Wyoming
Shane Collins Western Area Power Administration
Susan Baker U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Dave Mazour Colorado River Energy Distributors Association
Henry Maddux Recovery Program Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Recovery Program Staff:
Angela Kantola U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Tom Czapla U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pat Nelson U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Bob Muth U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Dan McAuliffe Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Larry Fluharty Bureau of Reclamation
Ray Tenney Colorado River Water Conservation District
Gerry Roehm U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Alice Johns Bureau of Reclamation
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