Msg 1 Posted: 04:42 AM 04/30/08 (CST)
I got this from another site. I hope this is ok to post here..|
Greetings Big Sandy Lake Lovers, here is the final draft of the position letter which was drafted by The Big Sandy Lake Association for the ROPE project. Please read it, pass along to all your neighbors
The Big Sandy Lake Association, its membership and many other residents of the McGregor, MN, and Big Sandy Lake area are greatly opposed to the proposed Reservoir Operating Plan presented by the Army Corps of Engineers and supported by the Forest Service and the Minnesota DNR. It is our contention that the decision was made by the Corps well in advance of the costly ROPE study. Our associations member, who participated in numerous ROPE meetings over several years, was never aware of the direction the study was heading as it relates to the proposed new operating rules. Thus, it is our further contention that the ROPE study was simply a façade to manipulate participants and substantiate a foregone conclusion.
Our specific objection centers on the Corps proposal to increase the water discharge rate, thereby decreasing water elevation on Big Sandy Lake beginning on July 15 rather than October 1 which has been the operating practice for many decades. While the action the Corps is proposing to take is clear, the purpose of such action is completely unclear. To this point the only reason we have been able to obtain relates to environmental issues on the Mississippi River. While such reasoning is sufficiently vague, we are eminently clear on the negative impact the proposed change would have on Big Sandy Lake and surrounding areas. We would suspect and expect that the Corps has a more clearly defined motive than that. We are hopeful that it would be related to the fish, fowl, deer and vegetation along the Mississippi between the Libby Dam and the Twin Cities, rather than unspecified commercial or political interests.
We are requesting further information in this regard.
While questioning the suggested reason, we request that the Corps consider the negative impact such action would have on Big Sandy property owners, business owners and the thousands of non-residents, who visit, use and enjoy the lake on a year around basis. Dry summers produce a number of impact issues for Big Sandy. Earlier, manipulated elevation management would increase and enhance those issues. Negative impact issues on Big Sandy are not limited to, but certainly include:
- Decreased property values due to reduced recreational opportunities resulting from lower water conditions beginning in early summer and continuing through lake freeze over.
- Inaccessible water areas for boaters, canoes, skiers, etc. due to lower elevation conditions.
- Increased number of water hazards to fisherman, boaters and other recreational users.
- Reduced fishing opportunity due to inaccessible areas.
- Increased difficulty in getting watercraft on and off of lift devices.
- Need for increased dock lengths in order to reach water of sufficient navigational depth.
- Increased financial stress on business owners and the local McGregor area economy due to reduced usage of the areas major recreational attraction.
- Decreased employment opportunities due to reduced recreational use of the area.
- Reduced habitat for loons, ducks, geese and other wildlife.
- Significantly increased weed growth due to mid-summer shallow water conditions.
- Interference with an in progress study related to the impaired water classification of Big Sandy Lake. High levels of phosphorus places Big Sandy into the eutrophic category of lakes. The MPCA is currently conducting a TMDL study. Water samples and sediment cores are currently being taken.
- Changing elevation of the reservoir will interfere with the water quality study.
- Significant increase in difficulty of accessing wild rice crops.
- Decrease in harvest production of rice due to inaccessible areas of the lake and incoming streams and rivers.
- Elimination of significant wetland areas including ditches, swamps, lagoons and ponds.
- By eliminating various wetland areas during mid-summer through spring, wetland inhabitants such as frogs, toads and turtles will be permanently eliminated from the affected area.
In conclusion we have several recommendations and requests:
1. We recommend that the proposed operating plan for Big Sandy Lake be abandoned.
2. We recommend that water elevation on Big Sandy Lake be managed as it has been for the past 50 plus years by existing rules and Mother Nature.
3. We recommend that such studies begin with a series of public meetings rather than culminate with such meetings. It is truly unconscionable that your plans have progressed to this point without significant and substantial public input.
4. We request that our questions and impact issues be addressed.
5. We request that one of your final series of public meetings be held in the McGregor area since the residents and the environment are so critically impacted.
For a variety of reason, scientists are predicting warmer, drier summers. Rainfall will likely be less than historical averages. Our impact issues are greatly enhanced during low water periods. This is the time to maintain our water level not to reduce it.
This letter will be presented to each township board surrounding Big Sandy Lake for there approval. The next step, if you agree, is to contact your township Rep.s and tell them to support the letter. After you have completed that, e-mail our Gov., State Rep.s,and Senators. All the addresses are listed below. In each of these they ask for your name and address so they know that you're there constituent.
Time is of the essence, so please try to do this within the next week. If we don't make a stand for Big Sandy, no one will. Thanks to all participants who contributed to this effort. See you on the Lake!
Shamrock township: email firstname.lastname@example.org or Charles Quale 218-426-3588
Turner township:email email@example.com or Russell VanGuilder 218-426-3108
Workman township email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Holton 218-426-3627
Libby township email: email@example.com or Micheal Hall 218-259-2670 or
Tom Anderson 218-426-4478
Norm Coleman's email:http://coleman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
--Gov.Tim Palenty email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep.James Oberstar's email: http://oberstar.house.gov/index.asp?Type=B_LIST&SEC=%7BAF74BAFF-6820-45D4-81A6-E450E544722C%7D
Sen.Amy Klobuchar's email: http://klobuchar.senate.gov/emailamy.cfm?contactForm=emailamy&submit=Go
Rep.Tom Saxhaug's email: email@example.com
Rep.Loren Solberg's email: firstname.lastname@example.org