Rapid Corps permit promotes Colorado, Utah species protection

Published Jan. 24, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Projects designed to save endangered fish species in Colorado and Utah continue to receive fast-lane processing through a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District office in Grand Junction, Colo.

“A regional general permit is one way we [Corps regulators] can streamline the process for obtaining necessary permits for projects that protect endangered species,” said Nathan Green, regulatory project manager in Grand Junction. First issued in 2008, Green recently updated Regional General Permit 57 (now titled Regional General Permit 4) for another five years.

The Hartland Dam Restoration Project on the Gunnison River was one of 15 projects permitted through Regional General Permit 57 during its first five years. A combination of public and private agencies constructed the Hartland Dam project in order to facilitate fish passage in the Gunnison River at an area blocked by an irrigation diversion dam. This successful project has the added benefit of improved boater safety and enhanced river recreation.

Endangered fish species in the region include bonytail, humpback chub, razorback sucker and Colorado pikeminnow, said Green.

“We help state and federal conservation projects maintain momentum by offering a permit like this,” said Green. “This type of permit can also be helpful for a private contractor planning a habitat mitigation project.”

Corps regulatory offices in Grand Junction and Durango, Colo., and Bountiful, Utah, serve an area of approximately 115,000 square miles in those two western states.

Robert Kidd

Release no. 14-003