Feds Want To Save Native Fish

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A draft environmental assessment prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the U.S. Forest Service calls for native fish restoration in Fossil Creek.

Driven by the decommissioning of the Childs/Irving Hydroelectric Facility and the likelihood of non-native fish being introduced through the transportation of Central Arizona Project (CAP) water to the Gila River basin, the draft assessment recommends construction of a single concrete fish barrier, renovating the stream between the Fossil Springs diversion and that barrier, and restocking with native fish that would be removed prior to renovation.

Native Arizona fish are among the most endangered group of aquatic species in the United States, according to the assessment. Twenty of 35 native fish species are federally listed as endangered or threatened.

Following a public comment period that ends Jan. 28, the two federal agencies will render a decision on implementing this plan, pursuing an alternative plan, or taking no action at all.

Public comments are requested, and should be submitted to: Ms. Nora B. Rasure, Forest Supervisor, Coconino National Forest, 2323 East Greenlaw Lane, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 or fax: (928) 527-3620

Oral comments should be directed to the Coconino National Forest supervisor's office during normal business hours at (928) 527-3600. Electronic comments should be sent to comments-southwestern-coconino@fs.fed.us.

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