History and Products

Leading to the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program                       


 

July 1997    A Three-State Cooperative Agreement is signed by the states of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to develop and implement a Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (Program) to maintain, improve and conserve habitat for four threatened and endangered species that use the Platte River in Nebraska: whooping crane, piping plover, interior least tern, and pallid sturgeon.

1997-2003    Various Recovery Program strategies are developed and evaluated by Program stakeholders, including the DOI Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Team. 

Jan 2003     The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is contracted by the Department of the Interior to evaluate the science underlying the central Platte River habitat needs and flow recommendations for the target federally-listed species. 

Jan 2004    A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is released by the Department of the Interior.  Various deficiencies in the proposed Program are identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Apr 2004    The NAS releases a draft report addressing the scientific aspects of (a) the processes and methods used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in developing central Platte River instream flow recommendations; (b) characteristics described in the U.S. fish and Wildlife habitat suitability guidelines for the central Platte River; and (c) the Department of Interior’s conclusions about the interrelationships among sediment movement, hydrologic flow, vegetation, and morphology of the central Platte River channel.  (The final NAS report was published in 2005).

Jul-Aug 2004    Public hearings are conducted on the DEIS by the Department of the Interior, and public comments are solicited through September 20, 2004.

2004-2006    Program stakeholders work to resolve remaining deficiencies identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to craft a Program that will meet requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

May 2006    A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is released by the Department of the Interior, evaluating the impacts of the Governance Committee’s proposal and three other alternatives for a Program.  The FEIS identified the Governance Committee Alternative as the Department’s preferred alternative.  The FEIS provided responses to public comments received during the DEIS public-comment period.

June 2006    A Final Biological Opinion on the proposed Program is released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The opinion concludes that the water uses to be covered by the Program can be continued without jeopardizing the survival of the target species

Sept 2006    A Record of Decision (ROD) for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program is signed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.  This confirmed DOI’s participation in the Program proposed by the Governance Committee, subject to required Congressional authorizations and appropriations.

Oct-Nov 2006    The Program Agreement is signed by the governors of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, and by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Jan 2007    The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program officially begins.

May 2008    Legislation to implement the federal share of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program is signed into law by President Bush as part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008.

 

 

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