From email from Reclamation (Susan Novak Behery):
The Bureau of Reclamation is continuing to schedule release changes for the spring peak release from Navajo Reservoir.
The current release is 4,000 cfs. The next release changes are scheduled to occur as follows:
Date Time Release Tuesday, May 30th 10:00 AM 4,300 cfs Wednesday, May 31st 10:00 AM 4,600 cfs Thursday, June 1st 10:00 AM 5,000 cfs
Release changes are made based on river conditions and coordination with federal, state, and local agencies.
The shape and timing of the hydrograph have been coordinated with the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program to balance Recovery Program benefits with flood control and operational safety. During spring operations, releases from the Navajo Unit will be made in an attempt to remain at or below the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers safe channel capacity of 5,000 cfs between Navajo Reservoir and the confluence with the Animas River in Farmington, and 12,000 cfs downstream of Farmington. The release may be changed or reduced if the precipitation forecast shows a risk of exceeding safe channel capacity in the San Juan River.
Areas in the immediate vicinity of the river channel may be unstable and dangerous. River crossing may change and be impassable as flows increase. Please use extra caution near the river channel and protect or remove any valuable property in these areas.
Notices will be posted to our website along with the latest release schedule.http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/water/rsvrs/notice/nav_rel.html
For more information, please see the following resources below:
Bureau of Reclamation:
• Susan Behery, Hydrologic Engineer, Reclamation WCAO (email@example.com or 970-385-6560).
• Navajo Dam website: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/nvd.html
• Navajo Dam Release Notices: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/water/rsvrs/notice/nav_rel.html
• Colorado River Basin Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/coloradoriverbasin
San Juan County, New Mexico, Office of Emergency Management:
• Website: https://www.sjcoem.net
• SJOEM River Page: https://www.sjcounty.net/river
• Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/oemsjc
San Juan County, Utah, Office of Emergency Management:
• San Juan County Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SanJuanUtah/
Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management:
• Website: https://ndem.navajo-nsn.gov/
• Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nndem2020/
Click the link to read the article on The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel website (Dan West). Here’s an excerpt:
Tucked away in Rabbit Valley, a rare native plant called the Dolores River Skeleton Plant has been spotted. Very little is known about it, but Colorado Canyons Association and the Bureau of Land Management are hoping to learn more with the help of some local volunteers and a smartphone app. On Thursday, June 1, 2023, the Colorado Canyons Association is hosting an event for volunteers to come and gather data on the plant with the help of BLM ecologists. Plant location, population and even what bloom stage the flowers are in are some of the things the volunteers will record, CCA Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Morgan Rossway said…
“It has such a brief window when it blooms to be able to identify it,” Rossway said. “We’re hoping that we can catch that window and with the help of the BLM ecologists that are going to come to the event they’ll help our volunteers (identify the plant).”
Volunteers will enter the data into the iNaturalist app. The app is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, which allows users to enter observations of plants into the app and share it with other users. In this case it will be shared with BLM ecologists, rather than the general public…
The CCA is still accepting volunteers to help with the Dolores River Skeleton Plant Survey. If you are interested in taking part you need to register for the event online at coloradocanyonsassociation.org.
Click the link to read the article on the Field & Stream website (Travis Hall). Here’s an excerpt:
On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued a ruling that could ultimately rescind federal protections from more than 50 percent of the nation’s wetlands. With its 5-4 ruling in a case known as Sackett v. EPA, SCOTUS declared that the Clean Water Act—a measure long-regarded as the most impactful clean water safeguard ever enacted—no longer applies to isolated wetlands that aren’t visibly connected to larger water bodies by continuous, surface-level flows. According to sportsmen’s groups, the ruling will leave these isolated wetlands unprotected from development, drilling, and other sources of pollution. While the decision will be a boon to the homebuilding and extraction industries, it could have far-reaching and detrimental repercussions for wildlife species that rely on cold, clean water sources—like trout and waterfowl.
“It’s bad news for hunters and anglers,” Alex Funk, Director of Water Resources and Senior Counsel for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), tells Field & Stream. “Everything from ducks to cold-water fish species like trout rely on headwater streams and headwater wetlands, like fens, to help maintain water temperatures—those are at risk now.”
The Clean Water Act’s stated goals were beautifully simple: Make America’s rivers and wetlands “swimmable and fishable” again. For fifty years, throughout the administrations of six different U.S. Presidents, the federal rule worked well. And it reversed some of the country’s most egregious environmental sins. Then, in 2001 and again in 2006, SCOTUS began taking court cases with huge implications for the future of the Clean Water Act. Its rock-solid protections were eroded by unfavorable court decisions, and the clarity that had made the CWA such an effective safeguard for so many years was muddied…
In response to the confusion brought about by these court cases, the Obama-era EPA proposed the so-called Waters of the U.S. Rule—commonly known as WOTUS. This 2015 rule sought to clarify and re-establish lost protections for hundreds of thousands of miles of ephemeral streams and tens of thousands of acres of wetlands. It was widely supported by the vast majority of America’s hunting and angling conservation groups. But its opponents had immense power in the mining, agribusiness, and development sectors. That lobby’s boisterous campaign to undermine WOTUS was widely successful, and in 2019 President Trump decried the rule as “horrible”, scaling back its protections for ephemeral streams and isolated wetlands once again. Then, when current President Joe Biden took office, his EPA administrator rebuilt WOTUS, restoring its protections to pre-Trump levels. That’s more or less where the rule remained until yesterday…
“The wetlands on the Sackett property are distinguishable from any…waters [that are covered under the CWA],” wrote Justice Samuel Alito, because they aren’t visibly connected to them. Writing for the majority, Alito went on to say that, in order to be eligible for federal protections under the Clean Water Act, a wetland must have a “continuous surface connection with water, making it difficult to determine where the water ends and the wetland begins.”
“The Court is basically making the assumption that water only flows on the surface,” Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood tells F&S. “They’re making the assumption that there’s no such thing as groundwater, no such thing as sub-surface flow. It totally flies in the face of the scientific reality, and it’s a dangerous reading of the Clean Water Act.”
According to TRCP’s Funk, the onus will now fall on individual states to enact whatever clean water protections they see fit. “Most states don’t have the resources to set up clean water programs and enforce those safeguards,” says Funk. “The whole model of the Clean Water Act was that the feds would provide that cooperative base level of protection for the states. With this ruling, that base just dropped considerably.”
Click the link to read the article on The Washington Post website (Joshua Partlow). Here’s an excerpt:
When a deal to protect the Colorado River’s water supply finally came together after a year of contentious negotiations and a marathon weekend of last-minute haggling by phone and video calls that ran well past midnight, whatever sense of achievement the participants felt seemed outweighed by relief and fatigue…Within hours, Arizona’s negotiator stressed at a news conference that the deal was simply “an agreement to submit a proposal.” The four northern states along the river signed off on further study of the plan but would concede little else. The negotiations wrapped up with a call to immediately start another multi-year round of talks…
The problems with the negotiations arose partly from the size of the task. The amount of water that the administration was asking states to cut from their farms and cities had never been tried…
Negotiating teams kept meeting throughout the winter, as a barrage of atmospheric rivers pummeled the California coast and snows piled up in the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains, promising a big runoff year into reservoirs. On Jan. 26, they gathered at Woolley’s Classic Suites, a hotel near the Denver airport. Interior had asked for proposals on potential cuts by the following week. Six of the states were coalescing around a plan that would assign cuts based on evaporation of the river, an approach that would hit California particularly hard. California negotiators were caught off guard that lawyers and technical staff from the other states had arrived early and were huddling at the hotel, already writing proposals…
That month, Beaudreau held separate conference calls with Upper and Lower Basin officials to clarify the lines of command. Lower Basin officials related that the turmoil and strife was not helpful, and they wanted clear direction from Interior. Beaudreau informed state officials that he would be in charge, along with Touton, in the months ahead. Trujillo, the assistant secretary, was taken off the Colorado River negotiations.