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RBC I The public is invited to attend three area meetings in mid-October to discuss development of an endangered fish management plan for the White River.
The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program (Recovery Program) will host the meetings at the following locations and times:
The Rangely meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Weiss Room at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely.
The Craig meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 16 as part of the Yampa/White Roundtable at the American Legion Shadow Mountain Clubhouse, 1055 County Rd. 7 in Craig.
The Vernal, Utah, meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the Department of Natural Resources Building, 318 N. Vernal Ave. in Vernal.
The Recovery Program wants to engage stakeholders in discussions concerning an endangered fish recovery management plan for the White River basin. This approach has been used by the Recovery Program in other basins to ensure that current and future water needs are met for people and endangered fish.
The White River management plan will identify existing and some level of future water depletions; develop current hydrology and projected depletions to identify the effects of past and future water development on endangered fish habitat; identify the role of the White River in recovery of endangered fish; identify flow recommendations for endangered fish habitat in the White River; and identify a broad range of recovery actions to be carried out by the Recovery Program to support a recovered endangered fish population in the White River.
A federal-state cooperative (or similar) agreement to implement the resulting management plan will constitute a “federal action” that will become the basis for Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
This consultation is expected to culminate in a White River “Programmatic Biological Opinion” (PBO). The PBO provides additional certainty for ESA compliance by existing and future water projects in the White River basin.
A similar document developed in 2005 for the Yampa River is found at: www.coloradoriverrecovery.org /documents-publications/section-7-consultation/yampa-river-pbo.html .
For more information about the meetings, please contact Jana Mohrman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by phone: 303-969-7322, extension 268, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program is a cooperative partnership of local, state and federal agencies, water organizations, power customers and environmental groups established in 1988 to recover the endangered fishes while water development proceeds in accordance with federal and state laws and interstate compacts.