A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Reclamation Announces Recovery Act Award for Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region has awarded a $21 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project. The work includes the construction of a bridge, siphon, and water conveyance channel to connect the headworks of the Tehama-Colusa and Corning Canals to a future fish screen and pumping plant. The complete facility is designed to improve fish passage through the existing Red Bluff Diversion Dam (Dam). The new diversion facility will be located on the Sacramento River about a mile upstream of the Dam and 2 miles southeast of Red Bluff, California.
With this ARRA award, Reclamation is initiating the first construction phase of the project. The award was issued to West Bay Builders, Inc., Novato, Calif. due to their competitive price offered to complete the contract work. The work consists of constructing an operation and maintenance bridge over Red Bank Creek to connect the existing operation and maintenance facility to the site of the new pumping plant and fish screen; constructing a siphon under Red Bank Creek; and constructing associated open channels to deliver water from the new pumping plant to the canal headworks stilling basin. Red Bank Creek is a tributary to the Sacramento River and joins the Sacramento River about a half of a mile upstream of the Dam.
The new pumping plant facility is designed with a capacity to deliver 2,500 cubic feet per second of water from the Sacramento River into the Tehama-Colusa and Corning Canals to irrigate 150,000 acres of high-valued crops in Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, and northern Yolo counties. The initial installed capacity of the pumping plant will be 2,000 cfs.
“The construction of a bridge and siphon to connect the existing canal headworks facilities and the new pumping plant is a significant step toward diverting water in a way that allows unimpeded passage for salmon and green sturgeon,” said Secretary Salazar. “The construction will provide employment and help alleviate a long-standing fish passage concern while still providing water necessary for crop production,” said the Secretary.
The ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy, create and save jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the Country can thrive in the 21st century. In development of the stimulus package, priority was given to funding relatively large projects which would create lasting value for the public. Funds from ARRA will allow Reclamation to make a significant contribution to the recovery and stabilization of the economy of the United States in a short time.
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency that President Obama has set.
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit Reclamation's website at www.usbr.gov.