WAPA project postponed until October

FOBR is pleased to share the following announcement with all the Friends of the Bighorn River. Reclamation Announces Project to Relocate High-Voltage Lines at Yellowtail Dam BILLINGS, Mont. — The high voltage lines that connect the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) Yellowtail powerplant to the Western Area Power Administration (Western) switchyard near the top of Yellowtail Dam are being relocated under a contract administered by Western. The current location of the lines has made them susceptible to potentially dangerous ice damage during the winter months.Reclamation and Western are both federal agencies, with Reclamation responsible for hydropower generation and Western responsible for transmission and marketing of that hydropower.The relocation project is scheduled to begin on or about October 15, and should take approximately two weeks to complete. The relocation project was originally scheduled to begin August 13, but an unseasonably hot and dry July has increased environmental risks associated with the project.I applaud our hydropower partners at Western for their sensitivity to the potential ramifications of the outage associated with the relocation project, said Dan Jewell, Area Manager for Reclamation’s Montana Area Office. While these types of maintenance events are never risk-free, delaying the work until later in the year will help reduce that risk.For additional information, please contact Paula Holwegner with the Bureau of Reclamation at 406-247-7300. Special thanks to the board and members of the Bighorn River Alliance and Magic City Fly Fishers, our friends Gary Hammond, Ken Frazer, and Mike Ruggles of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, our U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Testor and their most excellent staff, and last but not least, the strong shoulders of Bruce Farling and the staff of Montana Trout Unlimited and Laura Zeimer and Pat Byorth of Trout Unlimited. MOST OF ALL, a heartfelt thanks to you, the angler, guide, outfitter and concerned citizen, for taking the time to write and help make a difference. Thanks so much!