Arrow-right Camera

Eye On Boise

Wed., May 15, 2013, 11:23 a.m.

Canyon commissioners threaten defiance over bird-protection rules on Lake Lowell

Canyon County commissioners now say they won't help enforce new on-water regulations that might be enacted by federal authorities on Lake Lowell at the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and won't abide by federal rules until federal agencies prove the federal government has jurisdiction over the irrigation water that fills the lake. Click below for a full report from the Idaho Statesman and the Associated Press.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March released a new draft plan for proposed changes at the refuge that includes significant alterations to a 2011 draft plan, as the agency attempts to balance its responsibility of managing a wildlife refuge with the recreational desires of local residents. The new plan eliminates many proposed no-wake zones by attempting to preserve bird populations by closing small portions of the lake where the birds gather for part of the year. Those closures would be based on identifying areas where eagle, osprey, heron and grebe gather.

The county posted on its website a petition that area residents can sign as the federal agency takes comments heading toward a final decision.

SW Idaho officials bristle at Lake Lowell limits

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — Canyon County Commissioners in southwest Idaho say they will not use local legal resources to enforce on-water regulations that might be enacted by federal authorities on Lake Lowell at the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.

The commissioners on Tuesday said they will not abide by federal rules until federal agencies prove the federal government has jurisdiction over the irrigation water that fills the lake.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March released a new draft plan for proposed changes at the refuge in southwest Idaho.

The plan includes significant alterations to a 2011 draft plan as the agency attempts to balance its responsibility of managing a wildlife refuge with the recreational desires of local residents.

The new plan eliminates many proposed no-wake zones by attempting to preserve bird populations by closing small portions of the lake where the birds gather for part of the year. Those closures will be based on identifying areas where eagle, osprey, heron and grebe gather.

The county, though, contends that irrigators and the state control the water on the 9,000-acre Lake Lowell. Commissioners said that if federal enforcement personnel are brought in, the commissioners will take additional measures.

"Canyon County will immediately cease its provision of parks assistance and labor," commissioners said. Those workers help with the refuge's cleaning and maintenance services.

The county posted on its website a petition that area residents can sign as the federal agency takes comments heading toward a final decision.

___

Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise
Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: