DLNA Offers A Path Forward

Path-ForwardAs a community we are very much aware that the public’s interest in the lake and the activities of DLWID are at an all time high.  The District received 1.5 hours of testimony in its last board meeting attended by approximately 140 citizens and participated in a 5 hour workshop with nearly 60 present.

Following these public meetings DLWID board members and members of the DLNA board mutually reached out to each other and participated in series of meetings with the intent to find a path forward.  In those discussions we discovered that the District and the public agree on much more than they disagree.  Generally all parties expressed a common sentiment that the best outcome from recent events would be to harness the enhanced public awareness into a positive outcome that would benefit the lake and the community.

To that end, the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association has outlined a path forward that we feel can accomplish these simple goals.  Our ask is simple; convert six inches of water into the catalyst that builds an engaged community that is supportive of the Districts efforts as described below.  At the conclusion of our discussions last week we felt hopeful that the District would view this as an option that deserved a chance.

Today we provided the DLWID board our Path Forward for Devils Lake. We have requested they review the material presented below, and act positively on our recommendations.  We want to make 2014 the reference year for a new beginning. Let’s create a strong foundation where great things can happen on Devils Lake.

A careful observer can see that our prescribed path is primarily derived from the Devils Lake Plan. We believe that together the District and the citizens it represents can make a difference for the future.  The potential is too great to let this opportunity pass us by, let’s make a difference!

A Path Forward for Devils Lake

We request that the DLWID Board take the following action:

  1. Resolve to exercise the maximum impoundment right of 9.53’ by installing the dam structure by May 15th and placing the center section only after the lake level drops below 9.53’continuing full impoundment through October 15th.
  2. Join the City of Lincoln City in recognizing the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association with the hope of working together toward the common goal of bettering the lake.
  3. Change the messaging on septic systems while working with the DLNA in the creation of a campaign based on the Oregon DEQ Septic Smart program that sensibly moves toward voluntary septic inspection in the UGB areas and work together on potential sewer extensions.

Based on the good will that will result from the above actions the residents of Devils Lake with the support of the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association will make significant progress the following elements of the Devils Lake Plan:

  1. Implement a revamped SOS program
    1. Slight modification to expand acceptable plant types
    2. Deliver 10 additional projects within a year
  2. Develop a voluntary phosphate reduction program
    1. Abandoned no lawn promotion
    2. Develop and promote low impact yard maintenance guidelines
    3. Promote Non phosphate fertilizer
    4. Educate on alternates to garden chemicals
    5. Water usage education
  3. Implement a Septic Inspection Program Outside Lincoln City Limits
    1. Encourage voluntary septic inspections
    2. Develop Realtor program encouraging pre-sale inspections
    3. Negotiate discount program for members of DLNA
    4. Promote responsible septic ownership education
    5. Develop a septic repair grant program
  4. Erosion control project
    1. Select two residents with apparent erosion issues
    2. Develop a best practices resolution to their issue
    3. Install the project on two residences
    4. Monitor project on ongoing basis and share data with District
  5. Deliver an improved dialog between District and residents
    1. Consolidated comments at Board Meetings
    2. Buffering of extreme opinions
    3. Available for board to board consultations
    4. Development of action plans
    5. Participation where public support is required

The Devils Lake Neighborhood Association supports the following ideas recently promoted by the DLWID Board and recommends the District invoke them as soon as possible:

  1. Emergency Measures
    1. Dredge D River on the East side of dam to 8.0′
    2. Construct dam and fully impound
    3. Consult ODFW to design a proper fish passage (notch)
    4. Next year beginning April 15th as a trial
      1. Construct dam and fully impound
      2. Once lake is to 9.53′ remove boards to flush lake
      3. Repeat if water available permits a second flush
      4. Replace board and fully impound for balance of summer
  1. In Lake Treatment
    1. Hire consultant other than Joe Eilers to assist in assessment
    2. Receive proposals for three treatment options
    3. Determine best path forward for near term treatments
    4. Engage provider for in lake treatment only if required by water quality
  2. Enhance in Lake Monitoring
    1. Begin regular monitoring for nutrients in lake to inform concerned public
    2. Begin nutrient monitoring in lake and publish online
    3. Research new nutrient monitoring point sources for ongoing attention (Golf Course)
    4. Establish nutrient reduction goals and specific measures to accomplish
  3. Thompson Creek Project
    1. During SCDC restoration project discover and resolve Thompson Creek eColi issue

Recommendations for the District existing long term projects

  1. Continue work on projects that required longer periods for results
    1. Grass carp application and potential restocking
    2. Sewer system expansion
    3. Rainwater runoff mitigation
    4. East Devils Lake Road solution support
    5. Outreach and education

Recommendations to the District of projects which should be abandoned

  1. Projects to abandoned or avoid
    1. CAFE (union 50)
    2. Active involvement in zoning (city UGB)
    3. Jumping straight to legislated and mandatory measures
      1. Septics
      2. Fertilizer
      3.  Development restrictions

2 Comments

Filed under DLWID, Lake Level

2 responses to “DLNA Offers A Path Forward

  1. Tom Rice

    Very nice job. These are reasonable actions, to be sure, and will definitely improve the condition of Devils Lake.

  2. Richard Danielson

    Please accept my apology if any of my postings upset you in any way. My intent was not to degrade anyone but to shock and awe to bring attention to the problems we face in Devils Lake. It seems the DLWID is and has been aware of the dam’s impact on the quality of the water, and they have the ability to have the dam removed in it’s entirety. The DLWID has only given lip service to the removal of the dam. My hurdle and yours if you choose is too pressure the district into removing the dam in it’s entirety and dredge the lake from the bridge at 101 inland 100 yards or so to allow the lake to be able to flush continuously. Some on the board are in total agreement with this plan yet for unknown reasons have not yet acted on it. Looking forward I doubt very much the DLWID will do anything about the removal of the dam. The DLWID plans on keeping the dam in place. They are currently planning on spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a bubble system to add oxygen to the lake to help balance the chemistry. Like a bubbler in an aquarium but on a large lake wide scale. Aquatic plant life at one time served the purpose of oxygenation. The plant life was deemed by the DLWID to be a nuisance to recreational boating. Since 1986, over 32,000 Chinese Grass Carp have been planted in Devils Lake. This was an act by the DLWID. There is virtually no aquatic plant life in the lake and there hasn’t been since the early ’90s. A metal web structure similar to a cyclone fence was built where the current dam is, around the time the first carp were first introduced into the lake. This structure soon was replaced with a containment dam that not only contained the carp from going out to sea but also the lake water itself. The impact from this dam is the nightmare we see when we look at Devils Lake today.

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