Meeting: Colorado River Management Committee, Salt Lake City, Utah
Date: September 2, 1997
Attendees: See Attachment 1
Assignments are highlighted in text
(Note: this meeting was a continuation of the Management Committee's August 14, 1997, meeting. As such, the Committee did not review action items from recent meetings nor review the August 14, 1997, draft meeting summary.)
CONVENE: 9:00 a.m.
1. Review/modify agenda and time allocations, Appoint a time-keeper (Evans) (5 min)
2. Continue review and approval of draft FY-98 work plan
Review of budget uncertainties:
1) Additional Reclamation capital funds to make up whatever portion of the $1.149M shortfall that they can.
2) FY 97 capital funds carry-over (Brent Uilenberg reported that as of July 31, ~$1M of FY 97 capital funds were not obligated (mostly Grand Valley Water Management) and ~$3M were unexpended.
3) FWS 97 Ouray carry-over (Service funds, flood relief funds).
4) FY 97 annual funds carry-over (Angela Kantola said she expects to have at least $40K carry-over, but this is being held as a "hedge" for possible increase in FWS overhead.)
5) FWS overhead charge (+ or -).
6) Additional pond reclamation matching funds from CDOW.
Continued discussion of items of concern identified at 8/14 meeting:
CAP17a - no additional items to discuss.
CAP15 - resolved: MC agrees to fund project write-up in FY 99 if the study is funded for only 1 year.
Mosquito abatement - Kathleen Clarke reported that USU is revising the scope of work and that Utah will have something out as soon as possible, $5K left in budget.
ISMP - no additional items to discuss.
Larval ID - no changes necessary.
CAP7 - FY 97 FWS carry-over (from hatchery funds and from flood relief funds) is still uncertain, but any additional funds will go into road and pond construction. So, Ouray probably won't require $1M in FY 98, but we don't yet know how much money will be needed. Tom Czapla recommended $1.6-$1.7M for CAP7 with growout ponds being acquired through the land acquisition program to get public involvement and buy-in (as opposed to growout ponds at permanent facilities). (See decision under CAP6.)
CAP6 - Pat distributed a flooded bottomlands budget summary, and the Committee reviewed the details for over an hour. Roughly $922K of FY 97 funds is expected to remain at the end of FY 97. Reclamation said they've been assured that FY 97 carry-over capital funds will remain in the Recovery Program. Brent recommended $2.023M of FY 98 funds for CAP6 plus any FY 97 carry-over. He then recommended a budget for Grand Valley Water Management of $1.4M in FY 97 funds and $780K in FY 98 funds to balance the budget FY 98 budget (IF the Service will agree to move the Grand Valley Water Management completion date to FY 00.) FWS, Western, and the water users didn't support that. The water users proposed $2.0M for CAP6 (floodplain restoration) and $2.0M for CAP7 (hatchery construction), with anything over that going on the contingency list. Instead, the Committee agreed to first use these projects' FY 97 carry-over on their respective FY 98 activities, then split the FY 98 budget deficit evenly between the two projects. The final FY 98 budgets for these projects will be determined at a mid-year review; meanwhile they should proceed as if funded.
I&E - Linda Lee provided an overview of I&E projects.
Flaming Gorge public involvement - Brent had proposed a $0 budget at the I&E meeting based on consistency with Aspinall (which doesn't receive Recovery Program funding); but said he now recognizes the need for the Recovery Program to fund this work. However, FY 98 activities can be funded with dollars earmarked, but not expended in FY 97 (due to a communications breakdown). After some discussion, the Committee agreed to use the unexpended FY 97 funds for the FY 98 work, effectively providing 50% of the project funding over the FY 97-98 period.
Kathleen Clarke said Utah plans to become more proactive in public involvement.
John Shields requested that WAPA name someone to serve on the Information and Education Committee. WAPA will look into that; and perhaps coordinate with CREDA in appointing someone.
Additional work plan items discussed:
Grand Valley Water Management - CAP11 - Brent said he foresees two problems: 1) the water users want certainty with regards to what they're getting out of this project, the 15-Mile Reach programmatic biological opinion is the vehicle for that, and he doesn't think it will be done in time to spend all of the FY 97 carry-over funds plus the $1.78M in FY 98 funds; 2) Reclamation had planned to give these construction funds to the Grand Valley Water Users Association to do the construction and/or contracting, but it turns out that Reclamation has no authority for this kind of cooperative agreement, unless it's specified in either the FY 98 appropriation language or in the long-term funding legislation. Therefore, between the FY 97 carry over and the $1.78M earmarked for FY 98, Brent thinks its reasonable to defer $1M to balance the budget. The Committee did not agree; so the FY 98 budget remains at $1.78M. This project also will be reviewed mid-year. At that point, it's not expected to be able to perform on the $1.4M of FY 97 funds and the $1.78M of FY 98 funds, then the funds may be reprogrammed. >Meanwhile, Colorado & Utah will do whatever they can to get item #2 (above) resolved in Congressional FY 98 budget language.
Current FY 98 project contingency list (no priorities implied):
- Selenium studies - $100K place-holder (the 8/14 meeting summary should reflect that this was moved to contingency list). BC #2..
- Gila hybridization - $32K - BC #3.
- Yampa catfish removal ($25K) BC #4
- Chemoreception - $77.2K - BC #5
- Spawning site ID
- O&M costs for delivery of flows from CUP for Duchesne River study - Section 7, FY 88, or annual funds.
- CAP4b (Redlands passage eval. radio tracking) - $29.41K
- Accelerating Price-Stubb fish passage
- Additional pond reclamation
- Land acquisition (to make up the cuts made to balance the $1M cap funding shortfall)
- Hatchery facility/growout pond construction (to make up cuts made to balance the $1M cap funding shortfall)
- Additional low-flow data as part of NEPA on Yampa Mgmt. Plan (if get low flows in FY 98) ($50-$75K).
>Committee members will caucus within their agencies, then submit their rankings via e-mail to Angela Kantola by COB Friday (ranking 1-7 on annual projects and 1-5 on capital projects, with #1 being the highest priority). >Angela will post the foregoing lists to be prioritized to the listserver Wednesday morning.
3. 15-Mile Reach Strategy Work Group report - Peter Evans reported on progress to date; noting that the work group is not trying to renegotiate the Recovery Program, rather, they're just trying to determine what's needed to get Colorado water user support for proposed Recovery Program actions. If they were to consider anything that would change existing Program agreements, they would bring that discussion to the whole Program. They are working to resolve some differences among themselves and bring a report to the Implementation Committee on September 17.
3. Selection of new Management Committee Chair - John Shields was elected chair with Kathleen as vice-chair, both for a 1-year period, beginning October 1.
4. RIPRAP Discussion
a. Wolford Mountain Reservoir - The Service advised the Committee that the language in the current RIPRAP isn't in line with their draft MOU on Wolford (which was distributed). >The Service will send Committee members copies of the biological assessment and the draft MOU. The Committee believes it's fine for the Service to go ahead and finalize the Biological Opinion. The provisions of the MOU have the approval of the project proponent, so the Committee will not act on a RIPRAP change at this time, but will decide how best to incorporate the change into the RIPRAP (be it in the explanatory text or in the table itself) during the winter '98 RIPRAP revision.
b. Importance of tributaries - Referencing Keith Rose's recent posting to the listserver regarding the Price River, Tom Pitts suggested that the Management Committee needs to discuss the policy issues surrounding adding additional tributaries to the RIPRAP before this is considered by the Biology Committee. The Committee agreed to advise the Biology Committee that the Price/tributary debate is premature until we have Management Objectives and a clearer picture of what's needed for recovery. Meanwhile, the section 7 consultations should proceed along their established time lines.
Speaking of the Management Objectives, the Program Director provided a proposed schedule for their approval. Larry Shanks noted that he'll do a Federal Register notice on the MO's because they constitute a change to the recovery plans. Tom Czapla said Leo said he can't guarantee that the Biology Committee will approve the MO's on 9/29-30, and Tom noted that they'll need a follow-up conference call if they do not approve them at that time.
5. Review revised capital project cost estimate for long-term funding authorization - Brent explained the tables, noting that the biggest difference between the RIPRAP funding table and this one is the cost for adult screening. The Committee agreed that Program management should be called "capital program management." At some point, >Brent and Angela should reconcile the difference between Program documents (like the Washington, D.C. briefing booklet) that say we've spent $22M to date and this table which says we've spent $18M. We need to add the $1.5M FY 98 shortfall somewhere within FY 99-04, so our total is $80M, not $78.5M. The Committee was reasonably comfortable with these numbers with the $1.5M added in.
6. Develop proposed agenda for September 17 Implementation Committee meeting - The Committee made minor revisions to the draft agenda. The Committee asked >Angela Kantola to update the section 7 table for the Implementation Committee meeting, if possible, but by this fall at the latest.
7. Stocking razorback suckers above the Roller Dam on the Colorado River in FY 98 - No stocking is planned there in the near future (will only occur on the Gunnison River). The plan is to get the takings issue resolved prior to FY 99 so stocking can occur as we have more fish available.
8. Next meeting - November 13, Denver, Fish and Wildlife Service office, 9:30a.m.-4:30p.m. (Utah participants will schedule their departures on the 5:45 p.m. flight). Presentation of the Management Objectives will be on the agenda, as will discussion of where we stand on FY 98 budget uncertainties.
ADJOURN: 5:30 p.m.
Colorado River Management Committee, Salt Lake City, Utah
September 2, 1997, 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
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:
Pat Nelson U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Angela Kantola U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Tom Czapla U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Dave Soker U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Linda Lee The Nature Conservancy/Chair, I&E Committee
Robert King Utah Division of Water Resources
Gene Shawcroft Central Utah Water Conservancy District
Larry Fluharty Bureau of Reclamation
Joe Hunter Colorado River Energy Distributors Association
Cliff Barrett Colorado River Energy Distributors Association
Calvin D. Nelsons Retired CEO, Silver Cup Fish Feed, Nelsons and Sons
John Hamill U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mail Stop 65115
September 5, 1997
To: Management Committee
From: Director, Colorado River Recovery Implementation Program
Subject: September 2, 1997, Draft Meeting Summary.
I have attached the subject group memory for your information. If you have any comments, you may provide them at the next Management Committee meeting (November 13, 1997).
cc: Management Committee Consultants
and Interested Parties
Biology, Water Acquisition, and
Information & Education committee members
bcc: CR file, circ rf