Recreation at Lake Nighthorse: BOR Releases Draft EA

At the end of March the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR or Bureau) released a much anticipated and awaited draft environmental assessment (EA) for a recreation plan at Lake Nighthorse, also known as the Animas-La Plata (ALP) Project. This is a very big deal for southwest Colorado, whose residents have been waiting for the facility to open for recreation since the reservoir filled in 2011!

The EA is available online at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/progact/animas/index.html. According to the BOR’s press release, the EA includes one ‘no action’ and three ‘alternative action’ plans. The alternatives provide different scenarios for recreation at the facility while also protecting cultural aspects and water quality that are compatible with the primary purpose of the project—industrial and municipal use. Comments from Ed Warner, Area Manager of the BOR Western Colorado Area Office, indicated that the Bureau has been “working as quickly as possible to make sure we address everyone’s concerns, follow regulations and requirements, and consider public safety. We are looking forward to recreation becoming a reality on ALP Project lands in the future.”