Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finalizes Roosevelt Dam Habitat Conservation Plan Amendment for Imperiled Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized an amendment to the Salt River Project’s Roosevelt Habitat Conservation Plan and associated incidental take permit for several listed and protected species. 

The amendment updates the Salt River Project’s plan, originally completed in 2003 for conservation storage operations, by adding normal flood control operations and a planned deviation as covered activities. The amendment adds the northern Mexican gartersnake as a covered species under the plan’s incidental take permit and expands the permit area for currently authorized incidental take of the western yellow-billed cuckoo, southwestern willow flycatcher, and bald eagle.

The Salt River Project operates Modified Roosevelt Dam and Lake in Gila and Maricopa counties, Arizona, under a 1917 contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior and conducts flood control operations through the Army Corps of Engineers Water Control Manual and a 1997 agreement. If approved by the Corps, the planned deviation covered by the amendment could extend water duration in five feet of the flood control space for a total of 120 days in three out of five years, beginning in 2024.

The Service finalized this amendment after the completion of an environmental assessment, consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act, in conjunction with the Corps. A 30-day public comment period for the proposed amendment and environmental assessment was announced in the Federal Register on August 4, 2023. The final Roosevelt Habitat Conservation Plan amendment, environmental assessment, and associated documents are available on the Arizona Ecological Services Office website.

Habitat conservation plans are voluntary conservation tools designed to minimize and mitigate anticipated effects to listed and at-risk species in response to private development or actions. Under a habitat conservation plan and its associated incidental take permit, non-Federal landowners receive authorization for take of listed species when it occurs incidental to otherwise lawful activities, and assurance that their actions are not in violation of the Endangered Species Act. In return, species covered by the plan, and their habitats, receive long-term benefits.

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Habitat conservation
Riparian areas