Meeting: Colorado River Management Committee, Salt Lake City, Utah
Date: January 27, 1998
Attendees: See Attachment 1
Assignments are highlighted in the text.
CONVENE: 8:00 a.m.
1. Review/modify agenda and time allocations - The agenda was revised as it appears below.
2. Approve November 13, 1997, meeting summary: The summary was approved with one minor change: at the end of item 4.c. add "at all Program propagation facilities."
3. Review action items from recent meetings: The Committee reviewed the list of action items which was previously posted to the listserver.
>The Program Director's office will post the final mosquito scope of work to the listserver.
An overhead rate of 10% on funds transferred from Reclamation to the Service has been agreed to for FY 98. >John Shields will send a memo to Ralph Morgenweck noting that at the March 6 Implementation Committee, each participant will be asked to state their position on the long-term funding legislation specifying a 0-3% overhead rate. We also need to determine if the legislation, as currently proposed, allows direct appropriation of funds to the Fish and Wildlife Service (as opposed to all funds for Service work being appropriated to Reclamation, then transferred to the Service, and thereby incurring an overhead charge). >In advance of the Implementation Committee meeting, the Program Director's office will provide a description of services covered by the Service's overhead charge, and will explain the difference between these services and any similar line items (e.g. space charges) in Service scopes of work
>Tom Pitts will regularly summarize the status of Colorado water user discussions and post these summaries to the listserver.
>The Program Director's office will post a copy of the letter they sent to the National Irrigation Water Quality Program (NIWQP) to the listserver.
4. Activities updates:
a. Ouray hatchery construction - Frank Pfeifer referred to the summary that Tom Pruitt posted to the listserver, noting that the water treatment system will be completed by the end of April and the bid has been awarded for completing the hatchery building interior. Although the Ouray facility won't be completed by April 1, as hoped, this shouldn't have a significant impact on Program propagation activities.
b. Colorado water users' discussions - Peter Evans said that the water users have prepared a proposal that's under discussion with the Service. The relationship of the draft opinion to Colorado's instream flow water rights filings also is under discussion. Realistically, these discussions probably will take a minimum of another 3-4 months. Work on Grand Valley Water Management (and expenditure of the $1.7M allocated for this project in FY 98) is tied to completion of this biological opinion.
c. Long-term funding legislation - The Ad Hoc committee met yesterday, and scheduled their next meeting (again at the Salt Lake City airport from 1-5 p.m.) for March 2. They are close to agreement on the States' split of the $17 million. Concerns have been raised about the portrayal of the 50/50 split (including the $27M water user/power user/States share). The group is working to resolve the outstanding issues before the March 2 meeting. Senator Bennett is convening discussions among the other States' delegations in a few days. Peter noted that the Colorado Division of Wildlife has proposed to their Wildlife Commission downlisting the Colorado squawfish and humpback chub in Colorado. Peter provided the Management Committee with copies of the news release. Kathleen said that Utah is pursuing legislation that will earmark Utah's cost share. >Utah and Wyoming will provide Management Committee copies of their proposed legislation.
d. Scheduling 1998 D.C. briefing trip - Trip participants will travel on Wednesday, March 25 and begin their meetings on Thursday, March 26. The meetings will be completed by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1. The proposed meeting schedule is as follows:
3/26 Delegation members (Senate)
3/27 Department of Interior, Office of Management and Budget (morning)
Appropriations and authorization committee staff (afternoon)
3/30 Appropriations and authorization committee staff
3/31 Delegation members (House)
4/01 Delegation members (House)
BY FEBRUARY 6:
>State Management Committee members will schedule the meetings with delegation members (requesting meetings with the Congressional members, not just their staff).
Colorado will attempt to schedule their meetings before 11 a.m.
Utah will attempt to schedule their meetings between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Wyoming will attempt to schedule their meetings after 3 p.m.
>Peter and Tom will ask Reclamation's Commissioner to allow Reclamation representatives to participate in all the meetings.
>Christine Karas will set up meetings with Reclamation, their assistant secretary (attempting to schedule these meetings on Friday morning, 3/27), and both minority and majority staff of both their authorization and appropriations committees (attempting to schedule the Senate meetings on Friday afternoon, 3/27, between noon and 3 p.m. and the House meetings on Monday morning, 3/30).
> The Program Director's office will set up meetings with the Service, their assistant secretary (attempting to schedule these meetings on Friday morning, 3/27), and both minority and majority staff of both their authorization and appropriations committees (attempting to schedule the Senate meetings on Friday afternoon, 3/27 after 3 p.m. and the House meetings on Monday afternoon, 3/30).
> Individuals setting up meetings will post information to the listserver as soon as appointments are made. Angela Kantola will create the agenda and post updates to the listserver as she did last year.
> The Program Director's office will reserve a block of 10 rooms at the Capitol Hill Suites.
The briefing document should include all of last years letters of support, >Tom Pitts' Section 7 summary by State, and the entire amount of Reclamation's appropriation (including the amount for "other UCRB activities"). >Chris Karas will send the FY 99 budget justifications to Management Committee members as soon as she gets them (posting them to the listserver, if possible). >Reclamation and the Program Director's office will resolve their discrepancy on how much capital funds have been spent. The Program Director's office will post the draft briefing document (text portion) to the listserver for review. >The final briefing document will be sent to the printer by March 13. We'll try to send the briefing documents with trip participants (leave room in your luggage) instead of sending a box to D.C. via overnight mail, which has sometimes resulted in late arrival. >Tom Pitts, the States, and the environmental groups will send clean copies of their 1997 letters of support to the Program Director by February 6. The 1998 letters of support will include a discussion of overhead charge (whatever is agreed to at the March 6, 1998, Implementation Committee meeting). >Tom Pitts will draft the 1998 delegation letter.
e. Interim Management Objectives - The newest revision of the Interim Management Objectives (IMO) and the Demographic model were distributed at the recent Biology Committee meeting. There have been no changes in the IMO population numbers. The Biology Committee has asked their members to submit any remaining written comments to Leo Lentsch by January 30, 1998, then >the Committee will approve the documents at their February 12 meeting in Denver and forward their recommendations to the Management Committee. >The Service will post their draft Federal Register notice to the listserver. The Service should include a description of the approval process in this notice. Tom Pitts said that the water users will submit recommendations to Leo by January 30th for how to resolve issues on the numbers of populations of Colorado squawfish, razorback sucker, and humpback chub.
f. Schedule for Service sufficient progress review - Angela Kantola reported that the Service has been working on their FY 98 assessment of progress under the Recovery Program. A draft assessment of the status of FY 97/98 RIPRAP items will be forthcoming the first week of February, as part of the recommended RIPRAP revisions and FY 99 Program Guidance package. The Service will discuss that assessment on February 11 and prepare a draft sufficient progress memo to share with the Management Committee at their February 17 meeting. >Program participants may submit comments on the draft assessment to the Program Director's office by COB February 9. The Service's final letter will be forthcoming in mid-March (but probably not in advance of the March 6, Implementation Committee meeting).
5. Contingency funding/resolution of FY 98 budget - The Committee discussed remaining FY 98 capital and annual funds:
+ 1209.0K FY 1997 capital funds carry-over, as identified at November 13, 1997, Management Committee meeting (not including $921K of FY 97 floodplain restoration program carry-over).
- 624.3K Capital funds deficit shown in FY 98 work plan budget table(1)
- 70.8K Cost over-run on Ouray pond valve replacement: expenditure approved by Management Committee.
+ 780.0K Grand Valley Water Management (Reclamation does not anticipate being able to obligate more than $1.0M of the $1.78M identified for this project in FY 98, and even then, they can only obligate the $1.0M if the biological opinion on the 15-Mile Reach is completed.)
+ 921.0K Floodplain acquisition FY 1997 carry-over, still "on the bubble."
+ ??????K FY 97 capital funds unliquidated obligations (cannot be determined until contracts closed, but not expected to be a large amount).
+ ??????K Difference between the previously estimated 17.65% and 10% actual overhead charge on Reclamation capital funds transferred to FWS in FY 98 (amount still being determined).
=2,214.9K Remaining. The Management Committee deferred allocation of remaining capital funds until the propagation facilities needs plan is complete. (The draft is due from Program Director's office to Biology Committee on February 15; so the Management Committee should be able to make a decision in March or April.)
>When the Program Director prepares this for the Management Committee's next consideration, he should clearly identify: 1) funds already committed; 2) technical committee recommendations; and 3) decision items.
+126.8K ISMP re-programming (and dropped PIT-tag readers). Two portions removed from the current ISMP package because they are not long-term monitoring activities: 1) larval drift scope of work [$76.8K]; and 2) verification of Colorado squawfish young-of-year population estimate and catch-per-unit-effort [$45K]. A portion of the first study and all of the second one are now separate studies (see below).
+ 50.0K Program Director's office FY 97 carry-over
- 10.0K Duchesne coordinated reservoir operations (CUWCD and Reclamation are preparing the scope of work). Similar to Colorado's coordinated reservoir operations, this activity will assist in providing flows for endangered fishes in the Duchesne River. The actual cost is not yet known; additional costs ($20K) may be funded from section 7 funds.
- 27.5K Redlands evaluation (Additional work to place radio tags in Colorado squawfish that ascend the ladder in 1998 and follow them upstream to find spawning locations and/or other Colorado squawfish aggregations in the Gunnison River. Also includes sampling for squawfish that passed through the ladder in 1997 and may still be in the Gunnison River above the ladder.)
- 62.1K Effects of selenium on larval razorback suckers (Development of empirical relationships between larval razorback growth/survival and levels of selenium in both water and food. The study will be conducted in the laboratory beginning immediately, ending in September 1998, with a report is due December 1998.)
- 45.0K Catch per unit effort of young-of-year Colorado squawfish and young-of-year survival (Sampling to determine overwinter survival [$18K] will be funded in FY 99.)
- 25.0K Yampa River larval Colorado squawfish drift (This work will provide information needed for operation of Flaming Gorge dam -- when to decrease flows from the dam to provide nursery habitat for larval Colorado squawfish.)
- 15.2K Gila hybridization study (Utah to fund remaining cost of $16.8K.)
+ ~ 8.0K Reduced overhead on Reclamation funds transferred to FWS in FY 98.
6. Presentation of reasonable and prudent alternatives in the Duchesne biological opinion - The Committee discussed the reasonable and prudent alternatives in the draft final opinion, which were previously posted to the listserver. Tom Pitts asked if the detailed tasks under Historic Depletions, 1.D.2., are in the current RIPRAP. If not, then it should probably be a proposed addition to the RIPRAP. Committee members provided some minor wording changes. Robert Wigington said he will need to examine the project description in order to really understand the RPA. Chris Karas said she thought either >Reclamation or one of the other consulting parties would post the full draft opinion to the listserver pretty quickly after they receive it. Robert Wigington said he can't make an informed judgement on the opinion until: 1) he sees the rest of the opinion; 2) he understands why certain RIPRAP items were selected and others weren't; and 3) he understands what "the Recovery Program should consider" means. However, the Service has provided the necessary information to the Management Committee and can go ahead and issue the draft opinion.
7. Approval of floodplain issue paper (Phase I ) - The Issue Paper has been approved by the Biology Committee. The paper discusses the merits of restoration of floodplain habitat, priority geographic areas for acquisition and restoration, major floodplain issues within the priority geographic areas, and identifies gaps in the current floodplain restoration program. Phase II will identify restoration tools and approaches available to the States and the Recovery Program. This will identify options and develop strategies for priority geographic areas. Actual implementation will occur during Phase III. Tom Pitts noted that the January 1998 deadline on page 2 needs to be replaced (should say December 1998). Tom also asked that the language on page 3 reflect priority for "areas that flood in years with average or less than average flows." John Shields asked if the funding for Phase III (to be identified in Phase II) fits with our long-term funding projection. Henry said we'll live within our funding caps and make necessary adjustments as we go along. The report was approved, no further Management Committee approval is needed to proceed with Phase II. >Pat Nelson will convene a small work group to implement Phase II and hire the necessary contractors.
8. Discussion of annual reports - The Biology Committee noted that the FY 97 annual reports received either little or no review this year other than by individuals and that questions on the adequacy of several reports were raised. They recommended that: 1) any specific questions or discrepancy in the FY 97 annual reports be sent to the Program Director's Office by 1/30/98, who will then seek a response from the Principal Investigator; and 2) a better review by the Program Staff or other entities is needed in the future to ensure quality control. The Management Committee asked >the Program Director to make recommendations for a better process (timeframes, report format, review procedure) by mid-year. >The Program Director's office will compile a list of concerns/questions on FY 97 reports and send this to principal investigators asking them to correct problems in their reports (this memo also will be posted to the listserver). >The Program Director's office will update the Management Committee on the status of principal investigators' responses by the next meeting.
9. Discussion of tracking system proposal from the Program Director's office - The group discussed their expectations for what needs to be tracked. Most participants felt the primary need is for a system that allows the Program Director's office to track Program deadlines, and thus improve accountability within the Program. Such a system would require considerable data input at the beginning of each fiscal year, then should be able to automatically generate monthly reports after that. Ray Tenney noted that the software provided by Primavera's free training could easily handle these tasks. John Shields said he would like to see a web-based system that would not only track deadlines, but also make information generated by the Program easily available (to include such things as scopes of work, annual reports, project schedules, upcoming deadlines, Program calendar [meetings, review dates, deadlines, Program staff calendars], Section 7 consultation tabulations, etc). The Colorado Legislative home page is an example of the latter. The group agreed that the immediate need is for a tracking system for the Program Director's office (>Program Director to develop), but we have a longer-term need is for a larger web-based system, which will be considered for inclusion in FY 99 guidance (although there's not enough time to include this in the Program Director's draft FY 99 guidance recommendations, it will be included through the Management Committee process).
10. Discussion of how to remedy delayed billing by contractors - Reclamation offered a proposal for preventing delayed billing on capital funds, which not only causes problems in tracking Program funds, but also makes it appear that we are not performing with the funds appropriated to us. Each Management Committee representative and Program coordinator is to contact their principal investigators for the projects on the list provided by Reclamation to determine whether/when the funds will be expended. Larry Crist said he thinks there may be other ways to resolve this problem with regards to annual funds, and >he will prepare a separate proposal for that. Proposal accepted.
11. 1998 River Trip - The Program Director offered two options for the Committee's consideration: a) a day trip between Flaming Gorge and Brown's Park for Recovery Program participants; or b) a 3-day Yampa River trip from Deerlodge to Echo parks in early to mid-June for Recovery Program participants. The Committee discussed these options and decided that >Tom Pitts and Barry Saunders should draft a proposal for a ground tour (could include a short river trip) that would allow Program biologists and staff to learn more about water management facilities and for other Program participants to interact with Program biologists, etc.
12. 1999 depletion charge and scheduled budget contributions (based on 1997 Consumer Price Index) - The Program Director's office distributed the table of scheduled annual budget contributions for FY 99 (totaling $3,248,500) and the FY 99 depletion charge ($14.13 per acre foot). Although not shown on the table, as noted in the FY 98 work plan, Utah's FY 99 contribution will be reduced by $18,500 per Management Committee agreement regarding FY 94 and 95 funding obligations for research related to Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
13. Next meeting - February 17th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Stapleton Plaza Hotel, 3333 Quebec Street, Denver, CO, telephone number (303) 231-3500. They do have a shuttle from DIA to the hotel and return. Agenda items will include: 1) review of technical committee recommendations Program Director's recommended RIPRAP revisions and FY 99 Program Guidance (which are to be discussed and approved by the Implementation Committee on March 6); 2) the Service's draft sufficient progress assessment; 3) approval of final IMO documents; 4) D.C. briefing trip meeting schedules; 5) status of responses to Program Director's request to correct annual reports.
ADJOURN: 4 p.m.
Colorado River Management Committee, Salt Lake City, Utah
January 27, 1998, Meeting Attendees
Management Committee Voting Members:
Brent Uilenberg Bureau of Reclamation
Chris Karas Bureau of Reclamation
Peter Evans State of Colorado (via conference call)
Tom Pitts Upper Basin Water Users
Kathleen Clarke Utah Department of Natural Resources
Barry Saunders Utah Department of Natural Resources
Frank Pfeifer for Larry Shanks Fish and Wildlife Service
Robert Wigington Environmental Groups
John Shields State of Wyoming
Clayton Palmer Western Area Power Administration
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
Pat Nelson U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Larry Crist Bureau of Reclamation
Wayne Cook Upper Colorado River Commission
Leo Lentsch Utah Department of Wildlife Resources
Keith Rose U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Bob Muth U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Milo Barney Utah Department of Water Resources
Robert King Utah Department of Water Resources
Ray Tenney Colorado River Water Conservation District
Gene Shawcroft Central Utah Water Conservancy District
Mail Stop 65115
February 4, 1998
To: Management Committee
From: Assistant Director, Colorado River Recovery Implementation Program
Subject: January 27, 1998, Draft Meeting Summary.
I have attached the subject group memory for your information. Note that the summary of our discussion of the FY 98 capital funds budget (under item #5) is a little different than what I recorded on the flip chart at the meeting. Unlike the flip chart, the summary correctly reflects that $300K for Price-Stubb and Roller Dam fish passage pre-construction and $330.6K for growout ponds under CAP-7 were already included in the FY 98 budget table. The result is that we may have up to $2.2M capital funds remaining to be allocated rather than $1.6M.
If you have any comments on the meeting summary, you may provide them at the next Management Committee meeting (February 17 in Denver).
cc: Management Committee Consultants
and Interested Parties
Biology, Water Acquisition, and
Information & Education committee members
bcc: CR file, circ rf
1. The funding table in the FY 98 work plan includes the following line items that were added to the FY 98 capital projects list after the Management Committee's November 13, 1997, meeting:
$300.0K Price Stubb and Grand Valley Project fish passage pre-construction activities
$330.6K CAP-7 "place-holder" increase. As of the Committee's January 27, 1998, meeting (and per Biology Committee recommendation), this amount, plus funds identified in the CAP7 scope of work for Green River grow-out ponds has been committed to constructing growout ponds at Wahweap (for a total of $550.0K committed to growout ponds at Wahweap).