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Federal agencies seek rule changes to Roosevelt Lake environmental plan

By Ron Dungan
Published: Tuesday, August 8, 2023 - 4:43pm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Army Corps of Engineers have proposed environmental rule changes for Roosevelt Lake.

The proposal came about in part because of last year’s wet winter.

The changes will give Salt River Project more flexibility in flood management when the lake fills to capacity. Although the extra water can be put to use, it can also flood potential habitat and send non-native fish into Tonto Creek.

That can pose problems for animals protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Current regulations allow SRP to keep the lake full for 20 days.

Chuck Paradzick of SRP said that dam managers would like the option to keep water in the lake longer.

"What we’re asking for there, is to have more flexibility to put that water to beneficial use for our customers and then others within the state that could potentially use it. So, allow us 100 days instead of 20 days," he said.

He said that SRP frequently works with the Fish and Wildlife Service on habitat and species recovery projects.

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