East Canyon Watershed Committee - April 17, 2008

East Canyon Watershed Committee
Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District Office
April 17, 2008

Meeting Minutes

Dave Tripp – Committee Chair
Brendan Waterman – Kamas Valley Conservation District
Ray Loveless – Mountainland Association of Governments
Julie Howe – Stantec Consulting
Karen Nichols – Stantec Consulting
Nell Larson – Swaner Nature Preserve
Jack Wilbur – Utah Dept. of Agriculture and Food
Mike Luers – Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District
Scott Peterson –Weber Basin Water Conservancy District
Steve Noyes – Bureau of Reclamation
Kari Lundeen – Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality/Division of Water Quality
Amy Dickey – Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality/Division of Water Quality
Craig Schaugaard – Utah DNR/Division of Wildlife Resources
Paul Dremann – Trout Unlimited
Mary Perry – Friends of East Canyon Creek/High Country Fly Fishers
Barbara Carey – Uinta Head Waters RC&D/NRCS
Ross Hansen – Utah Dept. of Natural Resources/Division of Water Rights
Barbara Gardner – Utah Dept. of Natural
Resources/Forestry Fire and State Lands
PJ Abraham – Utah Dept. of Natural Resources/Forestry Fire and State Lands
Mike Bertelsen – Trout Unlimited

-Dave Tripp called the meeting to order and initiated a round of introductions. The minutes from the January 17 meeting were approved by the committee.

-Nell Larson reported on Swaner Preserve's 2008 restoration plans for the East Canyon Creek corridor. A volunteer work crew has harvested over 1400 willow cuttings. The cuttings will be planted along East Canyon Creek near the Glenwild trailhead this spring. Christmas trees have been collected to use as brush revetment along unstable banks on the creek. These will be installed this summer. Swaner will be hosting the 4th annual Nature Festival on June 21 at the Basin Recreation Field House. Volunteers and vendors should contact the Swaner office to register for the event. Construction of the new Swaner EcoCenter is moving along. The facility is expected to open this fall and will feature multiple interactive exhibits.

-Kari Lundeen provided an update on the East Canyon Creek and Reservoir TMDL revisions. Nutrient loading models for the reservoir are currently being calibrated. Utah State University is working on a nutrient cycling study for the creek. DWQ was not ready to disclose the findings of these studies. An in depth review of the studies and TMDL recommendations will be presented to stakeholders at the next East Canyon Watershed Committee meeting.

-Ray Loveless gave an update on the progress of the congressional earmark funded restoration project. The environmental assessment (EA) that was produced by Stantec Consulting has been submitted to NRCS for review. NRCS has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact statement and the EA is currently open for public comment. If all goes well, the EA process should be completed in late May, at which point the East Canyon Watershed Technical Advisory Committee will initiate the selection process for a consultant to complete the restoration work.

-Jack Wilbur reported on the education component of the earmark funded project. Using the results from focus group studies conducted last fall, print and radio ads focusing on the importance of proper disposal of pet waste were produced and featured on KPCW and in the Park Record. A second round of advertisements will be produced this summer.

-Brendan Waterman informed the committee that a $1,000 cash donation has been received from the Resource Renewal Institute. The donation is to be used by the committee to assist us in our watershed protection efforts.

-Brendan Waterman informed the committee about a capacity building mini-grant program that is currently available through the Utah Watershed Coordinating Council (UWCC). The UWCC mini-grants have a $5,000 funding limit and will be issued to eligible watershed groups throughout Utah. The funds are intended to assist watershed groups with capacity building and outreach programs. Brendan will submit a UWCC mini-grant proposal on behalf of the East Canyon Watershed Committee. This proposal will seek funding for improvement of the East Canyon Watershed Committee website, long term hosting of the website, and promotional materials featuring the committee's logo and website address. The previously mentioned $1,000 donation from the Resource Renewal Institute will be used as cash match for this proposal. Additional in-kind match will be generated through non-federal participation in the East Canyon Watershed Committee activities. Mini-grant proposals will be reviewed and selected at the July UWCC meeting.

-Dave Tripp mentioned that he had received a letter from Park City Mayor Dana Williams thanking the East Canyon Watershed Committee for its financial support of the new web-based GIS/environmental data viewer and the middle Silver Creek Bio-Cell project.

-Mary Perry thanked those who submitted letters to the State Engineer's office in support of a proposed in-stream water right donation. The proposed action would result in a privately owned in-stream water right of approximately 2.3 cfs from Thaynes Canyon Creek being transferred to DWR for in-stream flow protection in McLeod and East Canyon Creeks. The state Water Board will meet in August to discuss this proposed transfer.

-Steve Noyes reported that the Bureau of Reclamation has resumed work on the proposed East Canyon Pipeline project. This project may consist of construction of a pipeline to bring water from East Canyon Reservoir back up to the Snyderville Basin area. An in depth presentation by both the BOR and Summit Water Distribution Company was proposed for a future East Canyon Watershed Committee meeting.

-The next East Canyon Watershed Committee meeting will be held on July 9 at 9:30 am in the Sheldon Richins Building.