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Colorado River Headwaters Connectivity Project

Year Awarded: Fiscal Year 2017

USDA Funding: $8 Million

Project Timeline: 5 Years (2018 – 2022)

Conservation Program Funding: Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Watershed Authority (PL566)

Colorado Counties: Grand

Lead Partner: Trout Unlimited (TU)

Sponsors: Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and Trout Unlimited

Project Description

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with the project sponsors (Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Trout Unlimited, and Grand County), is proposing to partially fund through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law [PL] 83-566), the Colorado River Headwaters Connectivity Project near Granby in Grand County, Colorado. Modifications are being proposed at three locations within the Windy Gap Watershed to improve fish passage and enhance aquatic habitat.  Two structures that are currently hindering fish passage (Fraser River Flow Measuring Weir and Granby Diversion) are proposed for modifications to improve fish passage. Modifications are also proposed at Windy Gap Dam and Reservoir to allow fish passage and more natural stream flow conditions.
 
NEPA Analysis
 
NRCS, as the lead federal agency, is initiating National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis in the form of a Watershed Plan and Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA) to analyze impacts to the environment from this project. The Plan-EA will comply with the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations at 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508 which require an evaluation of potential environmental impacts associated with federal projects and actions.
 
Current Status
 
The project will go through a Scoping comment period where the public, organizations,
and agencies are invited to provide comments on the proposed project. The Scoping comment period will be open and a Scoping Open House will be held as indicated below.