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).
Secretary Salazar Announces Additional Water Releases from Upper Klamath Lake to Klamath Irrigators
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that 35,000 acre-feet of additional water may be available for release this year from Upper Klamath Lake for delivery to irrigation contractors. Current modeling estimates the additional water will be available because Upper Klamath Lake surface water elevations are higher than previously anticipated due to a cooler-than-normal spring resulting in lower evaporation rates and reduced irrigation demands above the lake and on the Klamath Project lands.
The Bureau of Reclamation's 2010 Operations Plan for the Klamath Project previously indicated that 150,000 acre-feet of water would be available for irrigation contractors; however Reclamation's modeling currently estimates that up to an additional 35,000 acre-feet could be made available during this irrigation season—for a possible total of 185,000 acre-feet. The actual amount of additional water available above the 2010 Operations Plan may change depending on conditions as the irrigation season progresses.
“This additional water is good news,” said Secretary Salazar, “but the Department of the Interior will intensify our efforts on behalf of all stakeholders because the Klamath Project is still receiving less than 50 percent of its historical average. Communication among stakeholders continues to be vital during the current drought.”
Secretary Salazar said that the Department, through its Bureau of Reclamation, will continue to work closely with irrigators, state and federal agencies, and Tribes to monitor the conditions closely with the goal being to satisfy Biological Opinion requirements, meet Tribal Trust responsibilities, and ensure that available water is used beneficially within the Klamath Project.
The irrigation districts will determine how best to use the additional water. Possible options for using the additional water include extending the irrigation season, providing water to lands not currently receiving Klamath Water and Power Agency support, or reducing the reliance on groundwater pumping.
Authorized in 1905, the Klamath Project, located in southern Oregon and Northern California, is one of the oldest projects of the Bureau of Reclamation. The Project's facilities include the Link River, Gerber, Clear Lake, and Anderson-Rose Dams as well as nearly 142,000 acres of wetlands and wildlife refuges.