Steinhagen Reservoir

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Morning mist on Steinhagen Reservoir, Martin Dies Jr. State Park, Texas Martin-Dies-Jr-State-Park.jpg
Morning mist on Steinhagen Reservoir, Martin Dies Jr. State Park, Texas

B A Steinhagen Reservoir is located near the town of Jasper, Texas in the east Texas Piney Woods at 30.85 North Latitude and 94.19 West Longitude. The borders of Tyler County and Jasper County are defined by the bed of the Neches River, and therefore bisect the lake on a North/South line. The lake was created as part of a project that focused on creating lakes for recreation, power generation, and water conservation on the Neches River and the Angelina River. For many years, locals have referred to both the lake and dam as "Dam B".

Jasper, Texas City in Texas

Jasper is a city and the county seat of Jasper County, Texas, in the United States. The population 7,590 at the 2010 census, down from 8,247 at the 2000 census. Jasper is situated in the Deep East Texas subregion, about 130 miles (210 km) northeast of Houston. Jasper holds an annual Butterfly Festival the first Saturday in October to celebrate the migration of the monarch butterflies.

Piney Woods

The Piney Woods is a temperate coniferous forest terrestrial ecoregion in the Southern United States covering 54,400 square miles (141,000 km2) of East Texas, southern Arkansas, western Louisiana, and southeastern Oklahoma. These coniferous forests are dominated by several species of pine as well as hardwoods including hickory and oak. Historically the most dense part of this forest region was the Big Thicket though the lumber industry dramatically reduced the forest concentration in this area and throughout the Piney Woods during the 19th and 20th centuries. The World Wide Fund for Nature considers the Piney Woods to be one of the critically endangered ecoregions of the United States. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines most of this ecoregion as the South Central Plains.

Tyler County, Texas county in Texas

Tyler County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 21,766. Its seat is Woodville. Tyler County is named for John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States.

Contents

The lake is bisected by U.S. Highway 190 very near its center-most point. Martin Dies, Jr. State Park is located on this lake.

From the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Town Bluff Dam and B.A. Steinhagen Lake, originally identified as "Dam B", was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1945 (Public Law 14, 79th Congress, 1st Session). Construction was started in March, 1947; deliberate impoundment began April, 1951; with completion of the dam in June, 1953. Cost was $8,000,000 with $2,000,000 contributed by the Lower Neches Valley Authority. The Robert D. Willis Hydropower Project construction started in March, 1987 and the hydropower facilities became available for commercial operation on 17 November 1989. The hydropower project is a first-of-its-kind partnership between private enterprise and the U. S. Government in that the Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency (SRMPA) paid for the entire project in advance, rather than reimbursing the Federal Government over the life of the project. [1]

The Lower Neches Valley Authority was established in 1933 by the state legislature as a district to store, control, conserve, and utilize the water of the lower Neches River valley in Texas. The LNVA, the second river district created by the state of Texas, is currently one of 23 river districts in the state. It includes all of Jefferson, Hardin, and Tyler counties and parts of Jasper, Liberty, and Chambers counties.

Hydropower energy derived from falling or running water

Hydropower or water power is power derived from the energy of falling water or fast running water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower from many kinds of watermills has been used as a renewable energy source for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as gristmills, sawmills, textile mills, trip hammers, dock cranes, domestic lifts, and ore mills. A trompe, which produces compressed air from falling water, is sometimes used to power other machinery at a distance.

The project is one of four reservoirs authorized in the Angelina-Neches Rivers basin. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, formerly known as McGee Bend Reservoir, was completed in 1965. The other two projects, "Dam A" and "Rockland" are classified as deferred. In July, 1967, "Dam B" was renamed Town Bluff Dam and B. A. Steinhagen Lake. Town Bluff Dam is derived from being in the close proximity to the community in Tyler County of that name. B. A. Steinhagen was a prominent citizen of Beaumont, Texas who was active in initial planning, authorization, and other water conservation activities. The Robert D. Willis Hydropower Project is named in memory of Willis who served as executive director of SRMPA from May 1980 to May 1988. [1]

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is a reservoir in the United States in Deep East Texas, 70 mi (110 km) north of Beaumont. The reservoir is fed by the Angelina River, the major tributary of the Neches River. The reservoir's capacity is 3,997,600 acre feet (4.9310×109 m3), and is the largest lake wholly within the state of Texas. The reservoir is operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth district.

Beaumont, Texas City in Texas, United States

Beaumont is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, Texas in the United States, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located in Southeast Texas on the Neches River about 85 miles (137 km) east of Houston, Beaumont had a population of 117,267 at the time of the 2010 census, making it the thirtieth-most populous city in the state of Texas.

The purposes of B. A. Steinhagen Lake are to reregulate the intermittent power releases of Sam Rayburn Dam, provide head for hydroelectric power and diversion into a water supply canal, and provide some water storage. The Southwestern Power Administration, U. S. Department of Energy, markets the power and energy generated by the hydropower plant to the Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency for distribution to its customers in Jasper, Liberty, and Livingston, Texas and Vinton, Louisiana. Water releases are utilized by the Lower Neches Valley Authority in Beaumont, Texas, for rice culture, salinity control, pollution abatement, municipal, and industrial uses. [1]

Southwestern Power Administration

The Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. Southwestern's mission was established by Section 5 of the Flood Control Act of 1944. The agency is a power marketing administration responsible for marketing the hydroelectric power produced at 24 United States Army Corps of Engineers multipurpose dams. By law, the power and associated energy are marketed to publicly held entities such as rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. Southwestern has over one hundred such "preference" customers which ultimately serve over 8 million end use customers.

Liberty, Texas City in Texas, United States

Liberty is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within Liberty County. The population was 8,397 at the 2010 census. It serves as the seat of Liberty County.

Livingston, Texas Town in Texas, United States

Livingston is a town in and the county seat of Polk County, Texas, United States. With a population of 5,335 at the 2010 census, it is the largest city in Polk County. It is located approximately seventy-five miles north of Houston and was originally settled in 1835 as Springfield. Its name was changed to Livingston and became the county seat of Polk County in 1846.

The Lower Neches Valley Authority (LNVA), an agency of the State of Texas, contributed $2,000,000 toward the construction of the Town Bluff Project. In return, LNVA is authorized to draw from the lake a maximum of 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). This water allotment is available to the agency whenever needed, and in the instances of demand, the water is taken directly through the Town Bluff Dam tainter gates. However, if the lake's normal pool capacity is not adequate to satisfy the requirements over an extended period of time, Sam Rayburn Dam can release conservation water into B. A. Steinhagen Lake, which will in turn release the water to meet downstream demands. [1]

In 2006 - 2007, in a cooperative effort with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the Lower Neches Valley Authority, and the Southwestern Power Administration, a summer drawdown was implemented in an attempt to control the noxious aquatic vegetation that was impacting most of the lake. As the lake waters receded in June 2006, the vegetation was exposed to summer temperatures and drying winds. The Texas Department of Transportation contacted the Town Bluff Office and requested that the drawdown continue through October, giving them the opportunity to make repairs to pilings on the US Hwy 190 bridge where it crossed the lake. Also during the drawdown, surface cracks and minor voids were detected in the Town Bluff embankment and spillway, as well as a retaining wall at the floodgates that had cracked and shifted, and the opportunity was taken to address these issues. This work, plus contract and weather delays, extended the drawdown into the late spring of 2007. By now, aquatic vegetation had been exposed to summer heat and winter frost, and it is expected that vegetation growth in the lake will be greatly reduced for several years. There are also plans to apply herbicide via airboat throughout the 2008 growing season, thanks to funding from LNVA. [1]

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Angelina National Forest is a United States National Forest, one of four located in Texas. The 153,180-acre (619.9 km2) Angelina National Forest is located in East Texas in parts of San Augustine, Angelina, Jasper and Nacogdoches counties. It is managed together with the three other National Forests in Texas from Forest Service offices in Lufkin, Texas. There are local district offices located in Zavalla. The forest lies in the Neches River Basin and on the north and south shores of Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Longleaf pine is the predominant cover type in the southern portion of the forest, while loblolly and shortleaf pine are dominant species in the northern portion and abundant throughout. Hundreds of wildlife species exist in the forest. Principal game species include white-tailed deer, squirrel, wild turkey, American woodcock, bobwhite quail, mourning dove and wood duck. The forest provides wintering habitat for the bald eagle. The red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species, is found throughout the forest.

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Martin Dies Jr. State Park

Martin Dies Jr. State Park is a 705-acre recreation area located along U.S. Route 190 on the banks of the Steinhagen Reservoir in Jasper and Tyler counties in Texas. The park is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department which leased the park’s land from the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1964, and officially opened it as Dam B State Park in 1965, renaming it to honor Martin Dies Jr. the same year. The park consists of three units; Hen House Ridge Unit, Walnut Ridge Unit and Cherokee Unit. Cherokee Unit is a day use area only, whereas the other two units allow camping.

Recreational Road 255 (RE 255) is a Recreational Road located in Tyler, Jasper, and Newton counties, in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Texas. The highway is approximately 56.6 miles (91.1 km) long, and travels through mainly rural areas in the northern portion of the three counties. RE 255 begins at an intersection with U.S. Route 69, in Tyler County, near the city of Colmesneil. The route travels through rural farmland in northern Tyler County, and crosses the Neches River into Jasper County. The roadway intersects State Highway 63 and US 96, and helps form part of the Sam Rayburn Dam. The route continues into Newton County, intersecting TX 87, before terminating at an intersection with Farm to Market Road 692, near the Louisiana border. RE 255 helps provide access to Angelina National Forest, the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and the Toledo Bend Reservoir, which give the highway its Recreational Road designation.

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from websites or documents ofthe United States Army .

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "History of Town Bluff Dam". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 1 September 2011.

Coordinates: 30°48′02″N94°10′18″W / 30.80056°N 94.17167°W / 30.80056; -94.17167