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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

The Platte River EIS Office
44 Union Blvd. Suite 100
Lakewood, CO 80228

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Contact: Curt Brown
                Mark Butler
                Lynn Holt
                303-445-2096

3/12/04

COMMENT PERIOD FOR PLATTE RIVER DEIS EXTENDED

The notice of availability for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was published in the Federal Register on January 26, 2004 (69 FR 3600), with the public review and comment period originally scheduled to end April 2, 2004. It was the intent of the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) that the comment period for the DEIS overlap with the release of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, entitled, "Endangered and Threatened Species in the Platte River Basin" that was expected January 30, 2004. Because the NAS report has been significantly delayed, Reclamation is extending the review and comment period for the DEIS to June 2, 2004, to allow the public the opportunity to have both reports available during the DEIS review and comment period.

Reclamation and the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) have prepared this DEIS to analyze the impacts of the First Increment (13 years) of a proposed Recovery Implementation Program (Program) to benefit the target species (whooping crane, interior least tern, piping plover, and pallid sturgeon) and their habitat in the Platte River Basin and to provide compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for certain historic and future water uses in the Platte River Basin in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. The habitat objectives of the proposed Program include: improving flows in the Central Platte River through water re-regulation and conservation/supply projects; and protecting, restoring, and maintaining at least 10,000 acres of habitat in the Central Platte River area between Lexington and Chapman, Nebraska. The DEIS analyzes the impacts of four alternatives to implement the Program.

The programmatic DEIS focuses on impacts that the Program may have on hydrology, water quality, land, target species and their habitat, other species, hydropower, recreation, economics, and social and cultural resources. Subsequent National Environmental Policy Act and ESA documents required for implementation of specific Program actions will be tiered off of this document.

 


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