Chief Sponsor: Scott H. Chew

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins


10     Committee Note:
11          The Legislative Water Development Commission recommended this bill.
12               Membership:     13 legislators     11 non-legislators
13               Total Vote:     12 voting for     0 voting against     1 absent
14               Legislative Vote:     12 voting for     0 voting against     1 absent
15          The Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee
16     recommended this bill.
17               Legislative Vote:     16 voting for     0 voting against     3 absent
18     General Description:
19          This concurrent resolution expresses support and recognition of the Green River
20     Stakeholders and the need to reduce the adverse effects of current Flaming Gorge Dam
21     operations to the local communities, recreational businesses, ranchers, farmers,
22     landowners, and individuals who work and live within the river corridor.
23     Highlighted Provisions:
24          This resolution:
25          ▸     describes the Green River Stakeholders and their concerns associated with the
26     management of the Flaming Gorge Dam;
27          ▸     describes an alternative method of managing the Flaming Gorge Dam;

28          ▸     describes the need for investigations and cooperative discussions related to
29     management of the Flaming Gorge Dam; and
30          ▸     supports the creation of a new management plan.
31     Special Clauses:
32          None

34     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
35          WHEREAS, the "Green River Stakeholders" is a group of local communities,
36     recreational businesses, ranchers, farmers, landowners, and individuals who work and live
37     within the river corridor associated with the Flaming Gorge Dam and who are adversely
38     affected by the current methods employed by the Western Area Power Administration, the
39     Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, and ultimately the Bureau of
40     Reclamation because of releases of water from the Flaming Gorge Dam;
41          WHEREAS, the Green River Stakeholders, wishing to reduce the physical and
42     economic impacts of current river flow management, propose an alternative method of
43     protecting the endangered fish species, while complying with Section 7 of the Endangered
44     Species Act, thus preserving the balance that has been desired in the Upper Colorado River
45     Basin water rights discussions;
46          WHEREAS, the Green River Stakeholders, from the dam to the confluence of the
47     Colorado River, propose partnerships with private landowners that provide for private
48     landowner benefits, such as compensation or shore recovery, and that also provide for recovery
49     of endangered fish in the river so that the fish would no longer be listed as endangered;
50          WHEREAS, the benefits of these partnerships with private landowners can be achieved
51     with more predictable flushes of the Green River each year, allowing the local stakeholders to
52     support and enhance the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program;
53          WHEREAS, the economic impact to the communities along the entire length of the
54     Green River is affected by the daily operations of the Flaming Gorge Dam dictated by the
55     Bureau of Reclamation as guided by the 2006 "Record of Decision";
56          WHEREAS, current flow requirements have resulted in what may be unintended but
57     are real consequences of the current management plan such as erosion of banks, issues with
58     sediment, the sub-saturation of private land due to high water levels, and floods over banks of

59     the Green River whenever highwater flows occur;
60          WHEREAS, it is essential that the government and private stakeholders participate in
61     an investigation of how to mitigate the harms of the highwater releases to address the
62     environment, recreation, and economic impacts related to these releases;
63          WHEREAS, private landowners may demonstrate loss of private property as erosion
64     creates a dynamic stream bed along the river corridor, which has impacts such as recreation by
65     the public on the sandbanks created by the erosion and on the adjacent private land and the loss
66     of agricultural viability of the land;
67          WHEREAS, the amount of water that is bypassed through the dam system without
68     going through turbines constitutes missed opportunities for producing low cost and carbon free
69     power; and
70          WHEREAS, a new management plan for the Flaming Gorge Dam should be developed
71     in the near future and would benefit from input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including
72     local communities, recreational businesses, ranchers, farmers, and individuals who work and
73     live within the river corridor associated with the Flaming Gorge Dam:
74          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
75     Governor concurring therein, supports the creation of a new management plan that allows
76     stakeholders to participate in the development and implementation of the plan and provides a
77     balanced approach to the release of water from the Flaming Gorge Dam.
78          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of the resolution be sent to the
79     Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation, the director of the Upper Colorado River
80     Endangered Fish Recovery Program, the administrator and CEO of the Western Area Power
81     Administration, and the executive director of the Department of Natural Resources.