This administrative history of the Grand Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP) includes government reports, oral history interviews and other relevant information about Colorado River law, environmental protection law, hydropower regulation, the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies that served as a precursor to GCDAMP, and the activities of the Adaptive Management Work Group, the Technical Work Group, and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center.

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Jack Schmidt Farewell

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2014-08-28

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Collaborative Management of Glen Canyon Dam: The Elevation of Social Engineering Over Law

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The operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River affects several downstream resources and water uses including water supply for consumptive uses in Arizona, California, and Nevada, hydroelectric power production, endangered species of native fish, recreational angling for non-native

The operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River affects several downstream resources and water uses including water supply for consumptive uses in Arizona, California, and Nevada, hydroelectric power production, endangered species of native fish, recreational angling for non-native fish, and recreational boating in the Grand Canyon. Decisions about the magnitude and timing of water releases through the dam involve trade-offs between these resources and uses. The numerous laws affecting dam operations create a hierarchy of legal priorities that should govern these decisions. At the top of the hierarchy are mandatory requirements for water storage and delivery and for conservation of endangered species. Other resources and water uses have lower legal priorities. The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program ("AMP") has substituted collaborative decision making among stakeholders for the hierarchy of priorities created by law. The AMP has thereby facilitated non-compliance with the Endangered Species Act by the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam, and has effectively given hydroelectric power production and non-native fisheries higher priorities than they are legally entitled to. Adaptive management is consistent with the laws governing operation of Glen Canyon Dam, but collaborative decision making is not. Nor is collaborative decision making an essential, or even logical, component of adaptive management. As implemented in the case of Glen Canyon Dam, collaborative decision making has actually stifled adaptive management by making agreement among stakeholders a prerequisite to changes in the operation of the dam. This Article proposes a program for adaptive, but not collaborative, management of Glen Canyon Dam that would better conform to the law and would be more amenable to adaptation and experimentation than would the current, stakeholder-centered program.

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2008-07-18

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Beyond Conjecture: Learning About Ecosystem Management From the Glen Canyon Dam Experiment

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This brief article, written for a symposium on "Collaboration and the Colorado River," evaluates the U.S. Department of the Interior's Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program ("AMP"). The AMP has been advanced as a pioneering collaborative and adaptive approach for

This brief article, written for a symposium on "Collaboration and the Colorado River," evaluates the U.S. Department of the Interior's Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program ("AMP"). The AMP has been advanced as a pioneering collaborative and adaptive approach for both decreasing scientific uncertainty in support of regulatory decision-making and helping manage contentious resource disputes -- in this case, the increasingly thorny conflict over the Colorado River's finite natural resources. Though encouraging in some respects, the AMP serves as a valuable illustration of the flaws of existing regulatory processes purporting to incorporate collaboration and regulatory adaptation into the decision-making process. Born in the shadow of the law and improvised with too little thought as to its structure, the AMP demonstrates the need to attend to the design of the regulatory process and integrate mechanisms that compel systematic program evaluation and adaptation. As such, the AMP provides vital information on how future collaborative experiments might be modified to enhance their prospects of success.

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2008-09-19

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Downstream: Adaptive Management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem

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The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center began long-term planning at its inception and, in May 1997, produced a Long-Term Monitoring and Research Strategic Plan that was adopted by stakeholder groups (the Adaptive Management Work Group and the Technical Work

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center began long-term planning at its inception and, in May 1997, produced a Long-Term Monitoring and Research Strategic Plan that was adopted by stakeholder groups (the Adaptive Management Work Group and the Technical Work Group) later that year. The Center then requested the National Research Council's (NRC) Water Science and Technology Board to evaluate this plan.

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1999