General Membership Meeting
Saturday, July 12th, 2003 at 10:00 a.m.
Canyon Cove Motel in Garden City, UT
President Dick Motta - called the meeting was to order at approximately
10:00 a.m. He introducede the Board members.
Merlin Olsen - introduced Ron Jensen and Conrad
Our first issue is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application
for the relicensing of the three damns downstream. Is Bear Lake going
to be considered in the relicensing? FERC decided that Bear Lake would
not be included. BLW challenged this and our challenge was rejected.
We were also turned away a second time at the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals. We still feel that we are right and are still willing to fight
Settlement Agreement Amendment. When Bear Lake Watch sued the Corp.of
Engineers in 1993, Bear Lake Watch became a voice for Bear Lake. The
1995 Settlement Agreement between PacifiCorp, the Irrigators and the
Bear Lake groups was the beginning of an evolving relationship. Because
of this we now have a working relationship with the irrigators. We have
continued to press for greater accountability. We now have a single
model that is used for all of the states, where
before, each was doing their own thing. There are inadvertant losses
of about 8,000 acre feet of water and transportation losses of about
15,000 acre feet of water that were not accounted for in the original
modeling. The Settlement Agreement needs to be rewritten to account
for these losses. PacifiCorp handed us an agreement and asked us to
sign it. We had no previous notification that 60% of the language of
settlement agreement would be changed. The irrigators
wanted some changes. We were left completely out of
the loop. We signed an extension for this year only.
The agreement must be renegotiated and our requests
put into the agreement.
Jim Kimbal -Water Quality - Geologists tell us that the water from the
Bear River has entered Bear Lake twice. The
diversion of the Bear River has advantages and disadvantages. Bear Lake
Watch is committed to maintaining the water quality of Bear Lake. So
what is happening to our water quality? The Bear River Basin is an impaired
watershed. It is dumping the equivalent of 185 dump truck loads of material
into the lake
everyday. So far, the lake is processing this material . We suspect
that this balance will not continue.We want a model to see what is happening
to the quality of the lake and its water.
This lake is 6,000 years old and will probably be here for another 6,000
years. In the 90's we had an abundance of phosphate and it looked like
it could continue to increase. Since 1978, six months out of 12 months
the phosphate level has been exceeding the manageable
level. The resulting algae bloom and plant growth will eventually sink
to the bottom of the lake and decay thereby depleating
The model that we are working towards is being
supported by the Irrigators, however, not by PacifiCorp.
Communications - The BOD of Friends of Bear Lake have agreed to merge
with Bear Lake Watch. Their members vote on this proposal on Aug. 30th.
Their members would
become members of Bear Lake Watch for the first year at no cost. We
are eagerly looking foreward to the results of their vote.
Dick Strong - A motion was made and seconded to leave
the officers intact as is. The vote was unanimous with approval.
David and Claudia announced that next year's meeting
will be held on the same Saturday in July. July 10th, 2004. It will
be posted on the website and this will make it easier for
everyone to be aware.
There is much concern about all of the vehicles,
ATV's, dogs, and horses on the beach. Judy Holbrook at the
Bear Lake Regional Commission Tourism Bureau is aware of the issues
and agrees now it is just the funds
that are lacking. The Dept. of Parks and Recreation
had presented a proposal to the sovergien lands to get
the funds to hire people to patrol the beaches. Idaho currently
has only one person. The County Commissioners and Bear
Lake Regional Commission worked together to put the
rules and pamphlet together regarding the uses of the exposed beaches.
Bear Lake Watch will write a letter to Soverign Lands, Dept of Parks
and Recreation and to the Bear Lake Regional Commission on this issue.
Public Relations - We need to get the word out to our
neighbors and make sure that we, ourselves, and our
children are members. We are planning to divide the
areas around the lake and we are asking people to
visit their neighbors and tell them about Bear Lake
Watch. We will be having a table at Raspberry Days.
Calendar - July 30 and 31st there is a Western States
Water Council meeting in Logan, UT at the Sherwood
Hills. August 7,8, and 9 Raspberry Days in Garden
City, UT. Sept 3,4, and 5 there is a Bear Lake
Symposium. Each of the three states: ID, UT, and WY
will be represented. There will be seminars wil each
states DEQ, water resource board, tour of the lake,
and presentations each day. There is a charge and the
space is limited so you need to make arrangements if
you would like to attend.
Meeting was dismissed.