Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

Program overview

The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP) facilitates integration of Glen Canyon Dam operations, downstream resource protection and management, and supporting monitoring and research in an effort to improve Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park.

The development and implementation of the GCDAMP are guided by two key documents: the Grand Canyon Protection Act (Public Law 102-575) and the 1996 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam.

To address concerns regarding impacts from the operation of Glen Canyon Dam, in 1982 the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation initiated a multi-agency interdisciplinary Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Studies program and in 1996 completed an EIS for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam. The resources analyzed in the EIS include: water, sediment, fish, vegetation, wildlife and habitat, endangered and other special status species, cultural resources, air quality, recreation, hydropower, and non-use values. Meanwhile, the 1992 Grand Canyon Protection Act, intended to protect and enhance the Grand Canyon, describes a process of “adaptive management” whereby the effects of dam operations on downstream resources would be continually monitored and assessed. The EIS incorporated the adaptive management concept.

In 1997, the Secretary of the Interior established the GCDAMP Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG), a federal advisory committee to provide an opportunity for public involvement in the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and downstream resources.

Water being released from the river outlet works of Glen Canyon Dam for a High Flow Experiment.
Water being released from the river outlet works of Glen Canyon Dam for a High Flow Experiment (HFE). Photo ©U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Colorado River Board activities

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