SVG

Stakeholders

The GCDAMP is comprised of a variety of stakeholders with disparate interests. They range from federal and state agencies, Native American Indian Tribes, the Colorado River Basin States, electrical utility consortia, recreational groups, and environmental groups.

Members of the AMWG (Stakeholders) as stipulated in the original 1997 GCDAMP Charter

  • Secretary’s Designee, who serves as chairperson for the AMWG.
  • One representative each from the 12 cooperating agencies and tribe:
    1. Bureau of Reclamation
    2. Bureau of Indian Affairs
    3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    4. National Park Service
    5. Western Area Power Administration
    6. Arizona Game and Fish Department
    7. Hopi Tribe
    8. HualapaiTribe
    9. Navajo Nation
    10. San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe
    11. Southern Paiute Consonium
    12. Pueblo of Zuni
  • One representative each from the seven basin states:
    1. Arizona
    2. California
    3. Colorado
    4. Nevada
    5. New Mexico
    6. Wyoming
    7. Utah
  • Two representatives each from:
    1. Environmental groups (Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, National Parks Conservation Association)
    2. Recreation interests (Trout Unlimited, Grand Canyon River Guides)
    3. Contractors who purchase Federal power from Glen Canyon Powerplant (Colorado River Energy Distributors Association-CREDA, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems)

The role of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary’s Designee

Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt created GCDAMP in January 1997 in response to the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Glen Canyon Dam operations. Since then, it has been the Interior Secretary’s responsibility to operate Glen Canyon Dam in accordance with the Grand Canyon Protection Act (GCPA), while also satisfying various statutory requirements for Colorado River management. For advice in this endeavor, the Secretary receives formal recommendations on dam operations and management actions from the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) through the Secretary’s Designee who serves as the liaison between AMWG and the Interior Secretary.

The Secretary’s Designee—usually the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science–monitors Department of the Interior (DOI) compliance with its obligations under GCPA and the Record of Decision for the 1995 EIS. The Designee also ensures the DOI’s trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes with interests or assets affected by GCDAMP are being fulfilled.
The Secretary’s Designee acts as the AMWG Chair and is nominally responsible for calling and attending meetings of AMWG and its subcommittees, preparing meeting agendas, and chairing the meetings themselves. In practice, however, many of these administrative details are handled by delegated staff from the Bureau of Reclamation and the Interior Department.

A crucial role of the Designee is to facilitate consensus among participants at AMWG meetings as they develop recommendations for the Secretary of the Interior. AMWG recommendations are subject to review and modification by the Designee, who then forwards approved recommendations to the Secretary within fifteen working days of the meeting, along with any necessary background information. In cases where the AMWG recommendation was not the result of consensus, or where the Designee anticipates adverse consequences arising from a unanimous recommendation, the Designee has the authority to facilitate formulation of a DOI response. The final DOI response is due in writing within forty-five working days of the AMWG meeting, with the Designee providing a written status report in the event of a delay.

GCDAMP Membership

While many organizations have interests in the Grand Canyon river corridor and the impacts of Glen Canyon Dam on downstream resources, there is a limited set of official “member” organizations and agencies in the adaptive management program. Pages 3-4 of the original GCDAMP Charter of 1997 specified the interest groups that would make up the membership of GCDAMP. They included five federal agencies, six tribes, the AZ Game and Fish Dept, one representative from each of the seven Colorado River Basin states, and two representatives each from environmental groups, recreation interests, and purchasers of federal hydropower from Glen Canyon Dam.

The term “stakeholders” is sometimes used to refer to these member groups, but it is an inexact term that can include interest groups that are not formal members of the GCDAMP.

The original membership list has changed very little since 1997, although the specific organizations and individuals representing those interest groups has changed over time. Here is the membership list specified in the 2019 GCDAMP charter re-authorization:

  • Secretary’s Designee, who will serve as Chairperson for the AMWG.
  • One representative each from the following entities:
    1. The Secretary of Energy (Western Area Power Administration)
    2. Arizona Game and Fish Department
    3. Hopi Tribe
    4. HualapaiTribe
    5. Navajo Nation
    6. San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe
    7. Southern Paiute Consonium
    8. Pueblo of Zuni
  • One representative each from the seven basin states:
    1. Arizona
    2. California
    3. Colorado
    4. Nevada
    5. New Mexico
    6. Wyoming
    7. Utah
  • Representatives each from the general public as follows:
    1. Two from environmental organizations
    2. Two from the recreation industry
    3. Two from contractors who purchase Federal power from Glen Canyon Powerplant
  • One representative from each of the following DOI agencies as ex-officio non-voting members:
    1. Bureau of Reclamation
    2. Bureau of Indian Affairs
    3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    4. National Park Service

While other tribes have a declared interest in the Grand Canyon, not all have a representative on the GCDAMP. The Havasupai Tribe in particular, whose reservation is contained within the Grand Canyon and extends to the river corridor, has not participated in the adaptive management program and is not specified as a GCDAMP member.

The representatives of the basin states are nominated by each states’ governor and they normally represent the state’s water interests.

The “environmental organizations” category has seen the most variation in representation. In the early years, the two environmental representatives came from the Grand Canyon Trust and American Rivers. Other environmental groups lobbied for representation but those were the two groups chosen by the Secretary of Interior to send a representative. Around 2004, American Rivers dropped out and was replaced by the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council. Around 2011 the Grand Canyon Trust dropped out and was replaced by the National Parks Conservation Association.

The groups representing recreational interests and hydropower interests have been stable. Grand Canyon River Guides and Trout Unlimited have represented recreation interests since the beginning, while the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (CREDA) and the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) have represented federal hydropower purchaser interests since the beginning.

The individuals who represent the member organizations serve renewable three year terms. Normally the interest groups or agencies will designate a representative, who is vetted and forwarded by AMWG to the Secretary of Interior for appointment. Occasionally an interest group will nominate a representative that the Secretary will reject. To avoid this, nominations tend to be vetted internally before they are formally recommended to the Secretary. Members of both AMWG and TWG are appointed in this manner.