Let me explain the facts:
The Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission (Mitigation Commission), the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Central Utah Project Completion Act Office (CUPCA), and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD), on behalf of the June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program (JSRIP), have jointly prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review on a proposed stream channel and delta restoration project for the lower Provo River and its interface with Utah Lake. The JSRIP is a multi-agency cooperative effort that has been intended to coordinate and facilitate the recovery of the endangered June sucker (Chasmistes liorus). The EIS will be prepared under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S. C. 4321 et seq.) and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508).
In 1986 the June sucker was listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The June Sucker Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan), a requirement of the Endangered Species Act, was finalized in 1999. June sucker are native to and occur naturally only in the Utah Lake system. The lower Provo River, representing the only known spawning location for the species in its native habitat, was designated as critical habitat at the time of listing. Habitat alteration, presence of nonnative fishes, and water development were identified as the major threats to the June sucker. By 1998 the wild June sucker population was estimated at only approximately 300 individuals.
Here is the Scoping Summary Report: http://www.mitigationcommission.gov/native/pdf/low_pro_scoping_2010.pdf
The purpose of the Provo River Delta Restoration Project is to restore, create, and enhance the ecological character of the historic Provo River delta and Utah Lake interface to support survival of June sucker(Chasmistes lioru), a federally listed endangered fish native to Utah Lake. This would be accomplished by developing a new river channel that would provide suitable instream habitat and sufficient slope to transport young fish to a developed bay, or delta, at Utah Lake with depths and vegetation cover suitable for June sucker rearing and recruitment. The project is intended to help recover the endangered June sucker by re-establishing essential habitat through restoration of the lower Provo River ecosystem to a more natural condition, as has been identified in the June Sucker Recovery Plan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1999).
Well here the problem with this project. Utah County residents never wanted this project in the first place and felt it was a waste of tax payer dollars. Now the Local, State, and Federal Officials proceeded with the project anyway in the best interest of Government. Now all of Utah County residents are feeling the impact of the Federal Government regulation now. Local, State, and Federal Officials were met with a barrage of complaints and confusion last Thursday, January 12, 2012, when they surprised everyone by presenting five options for closing the last mile and a half of the Provo River. Those who were able to get a seat in the meeting, which was immediately closed because of overflow crowds, were given conflicting information.
On Friday, the biggest question looming over the project was: Is the "do nothing" option that State and local officials were offering on Thursday. Is this really an option? What are the consequences, and why weren't they presented to the public?
When pressed at length on Friday by the Daily Herald, federal and state officials admitted they have until now withheld information from the public about the real-world cost of refusing to close the last mile and a half of the Provo River.
If the lower Provo is not closed off forever, the water supply in both Salt Lake and Utah counties would be entangled in a mammoth legal snarl leading to a "train wreck situation" that water officials are desperate to avoid, said Mark Holden of the Utah Reclamation, Mitigation and Conservation Commission. State and local agencies would be in violation of at least two multibillion-dollar contracts for water development made with the federal government. Those contracts legally require that the lower Provo be closed so the water can be diverted to create a delta to save the June sucker, one of the world's most endangered fish.
If those contracts are breached, disputes could lead federal courts to take over legal authority for at least some existing and future drinking and irrigation water in both Utah and Salt Lake counties. In addition, two huge pipeline construction projects to provide water out of Spanish Fork Canyon to both Salt Lake County and south Utah County would immediately be in legal jeopardy.
These are some of the public comments I have found from my friends online:
“Transparency at it's finest. It makes it harder to trust government when you find they've left out the details that help you understand the whole issue.”
“So who is the brilliant manager that signed those federal contracts without making these consequences known years ago?”
PLEASE do not cut the water from the lower Provo River! Our family and friends have so
many shared memories and experiences of canoeing on the lower river. We still continue to
do so today. It is a beautiful part of our city, and it would be a shame to lose it. Please
review ALL options before making any changes!!!! Ashley Whimpe
“The biggest problem in Utah Lake is carp. They eat all the water plants that would otherwise hold the lake bottom mud in place, so it becomes murky. This ruins the June sucker habitat and makes the lake undesirable for people to want to be in or around it. Problem is how to get rid of the carp?”
Provo River Delta Restoration Project Map
I await the upcoming months as these government agencies work together in lock step to “attempt” to control the situation. This is going to be candidate vetting question for any future elections in Utah. And that is why Governor Herbert should get involved and solve this problem before it costs him his re-election, because we all know that David Kirkham, Morgan Philpot, and Ken Sumsion are fighting hard to take his job.
I would like to thank the following articles for information:
-http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/billions-of-dollars-at-stake-in-closing-lower-provo-river/article_26c8476a-d4ce-5d42-943c-3afdb2cf6ae0.html - http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705397106/Provo-River-restoration-workshop-set-for-Thursday.html