Press Release Jan 8, 2016

National Parks Group Responds to Release of Draft Long Term Experimental Management Plan for Glen Canyon Dam

Nearly 20 years in the making, the Department of Interior released its draft Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan, (LTEMP) which will impact Grand Canyon National Park.

Statement by David Nimkin, Southwest Senior Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association

“Today’s release of the draft Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan (LTEMP) marks the first time in nearly 20 years that recommendations have been updated for managing the dam. National Parks Conservation Association’s (NPCA) top priorities for the Colorado River Basin include protecting and ensuring adequate water flow, and guiding management policies that benefit the river system’s 11 primary national park sites and the environmental and recreational benefits they provide. A carefully-crafted, final LTEMP must ensure that these goals are achieved for the Grand Canyon.”

“NPCA has been working on this issue for years as a member of a multi-stakeholder working group. Our goal is to ensure that Grand Canyon National Park, one of the crown jewels of America’s National Park System, is protected.”

“While we acknowledge that it is impossible to replicate natural river system conditions under the constraints presented by Glen Canyon Dam, we anticipate that the preferred alternative identified in the draft LTEMP includes several strong measures to benefit the Colorado River system inside the Grand Canyon. We will be carefully reviewing details of the plan to develop our recommendations and responses throughout the public comment period.”

Background: Glen Canyon Dam was installed along the Colorado River in 1966, several miles upstream from the Grand Canyon. In the decades following its completion in 1966, Glen Canyon Dam profoundly damaged natural conditions inside the Grand Canyon. This precipitated the passage of the 1992 Grand Canyon Protection Act, which mandates that the dam be operated to minimize negative impacts to the park’s river ecosystem. Since then, the Department of Interior (DOI) has closely monitored conditions within the park and managed the dam under an adaptive approach. See additional information and the draft plan.

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About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.