Meeting Minutes

Oct. 12, 2017 Riverdale

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Terry Fleck. Present were Bob Valeu, Ron Stromstad, Marie Johnson, Corey Paryzek, Eric Jaeger, Blair Ihmels and Kelly Sorge and guest Kaitlyn Kline (Congressman Kevin Cramer's staff).

Approval of the May 5 and July 19 minutes was made on a motion of Valeu, seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried.

Johnson reviewed the 2017 financials and the ANS financials. Thus far $60,050 has been spent on ANS of the $75,000 Game & Fish grant with more advertising running in October. The 2017 ending checking account balance is $28,722. Motion to approve both statements made by Paryzek, seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried.

Johnson updated the board on the expenditures of AEDs: White Earth, Indian Hills, McKenzie Bay, Van Hook. Johnson will talk to Dakota Waters to see if they have an AED. Jaeger will talk to Tobacco Gardens owners about whether they have an AED. Valeu will check on New Town Marina; Fleck will visit with The Rooster owners at Skunk Bay. Denning Gackle will get a proposal together on signs that could be placed to let people know there is an AED and that the Friends contributed to it.

The board talked about doing a bus trip around the lake, possibly for the next meeting. Jaeger encouraged the other board members to visit all the sites around the lake. It was tentatively discussed as a possible August meeting.

Johnson reviewed the additional work that is required to place the ANS grant. Jaeger made a motion to give $1,000 each to Fleck, Denning Gackle and Johnson. Seconded by Romstad. Motion carried.

The board discussed various issues:

Fish cleaning stations

Jaeger talked about fish cleaning stations. Mountrail County has an abundance of fish, which means there are a lot of fish guts that need to be disposed. He said Game & Fish cost shares. Originally it was $2,000 a year. In 2015 it was moved to $3,500 per year per county per station; the cleaning stations have to apply for the funds. Parshall and Van Hook have two cleaning stations; there are three others in the county. There are 60 in the state. Mountrail County spent $200,000 in six years at five stations, not including grinder expenses; G&F provided $61,000 to offset that expense.

Game & Fish will cost share with an entity to construct a fish cleaning station. After it's up and going, Jaeger said the entity is responsible for maintaining it.

Stromstad said the fish cleaning station in White Earth was down for two weeks in August. Grinders have to be purchased in California, rather than ones that can be repaired locally.

Paryzek talked about Williams County having similar difficulties .He said G&F paid $2 a fish to bury the pallid sturgeon fish guts.

Johnson said Dakota Waters has fishermen using their fish cleaning station, without doing business at the resort.

Fleck said the idea of a fish collections business was considered to create fertilizer but it was not considered feasible. Valeu said there may be an entrepreneurial opportunity for a public-private partnership.

Jaeger said Parshall Bay had an hour meter on its fish cleaning station: June 1 – Aug. 1, 110 hours one station, 4,400 times someone pushed the button and let it run. He said that translates to 78 times in a day that somebody pushed that button. White Earth and Van Hook now have hour meters.

Valeu made a motion to hire a consultant to compile a study to help us rationalize the Friends' goal to create a more financial equitable environment for the fish cleaning station maintenance and development. The study would provide the foundation for development of a proposal to Game & Fish. Seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried. Jaeger will present a proposal to the Friends' board before beginning the study; a fee to hire Jaeger for $1,500 was agreed upon by consensus.

(Later in the meeting, Greg Power, G&F fishery chief, was informed about the disparity between a county's cost and G&F's. He said there are 21 workable stations on Lake Sakakawea. Historically, half a million has been spent on stations statewide; it would be $1.1 million today. New stations are $40,000 - $60,000; all season stations are triple that amount.)

Sorge reported that the Indian Hills road resurfaced. She said additional power had to be added by Mountrail Electric Cooperative to supply the campgrounds and resort. She said the board and members need to be aware that low water levels, which could happen again, greatly impact the future of the resort and others.

Paryzek reported on Reunion Bay access, an issue that was discussed at the last meeting. He said he visited with Game & Fish and there wasn't a lot of interest in developing that area. Fleck said he thinks it is a safety issue. He said he thinks something should be done to develop that area. The land is Corps, but leased to the Game & Fish. Denning Gackle expressed frustration that it was discussed with a passionate area resident, Jay Sandstrom, at a May 2017 meeting but no action was taken and no contact has been made with Sandstrom again. The Access Committee volunteered to work with Sandstrom. Valeu said a public entity for the most part are not going to be proactive, not reactive. He said it's important to get them to see the importance of developing this area. Denning Gackle will apologize to Sandstrom for not responding; Jaeger will be the contact who will work with Sandstrom. Contact information will be shared between the two.

Johnson said Rep. Vickie Steiner recently called a meeting with Congressman Kevin Cramer to review access at Blue Ridge. A boat ramp is not allowed because it is Game & Fish land below about 100 cabins. She is going to the Department of Interior to try to get the land “rezoned” to allow access.

Three oil companies have used White Earth Bay to do oil spill preparedness drills, according to Jaeger. Oil spill companies will give “in lieu” funds to be used for improvements to the area.

Ihmels reported that salmon numbers are good. He said the ANS campaign in 2018 will be: Clean, Dry, Drain, a phrase used nationally. Minnkota Power came to an ANS committee meeting last week; he said that was huge to have a power company at the table in the ANS discussions. He said the Cargill plant in Wahpeton has zebra mussels but there is no public access.

Greg Power, chief of fisheries for North Dakota Game & Fish, joined the meeting and said four inspectors were added in the state to inspect boats. Board members talked about forming a coalition to address ANS. Power said Devils Lake guides and avid fishermen would be interested in being part of the discussion. Ihmels said industry needs to be involved. No action was taken, although board members agreed a coalition would be helpful. Denning Gackle said the Friends could be helpful in planning a meeting but were not staffed to handle administration for a coalition.

Board members asked Power about the idea of raising fishing license fees. North Dakota is the second lowest fishing license fees in the United States, behind Delaware.

Melissa Baker, new park and rec director, joined the meeting. Valeu updated her on how the Friends worked closely with the Corps and state regarding the future of federal parks. He said he would hope the state would look at on how some of the federal parks could be moved to state management. She has been involved in discussion with the Corps on the issue; she said there would have to be a discussion with the state lawmakers. Valeu said he would like to see the congressional delegation push for a trust fund or funding pool that could facilitate a transfer of management of the federal parks. She said the Friends will be a resource to her as she moves forward in discussions.

A meeting regarding the Little Missouri River Commission and how much water will be taken out of the lake was discussed with Baker. (She will be given email addresses for notification of future meetings.) The commission is an advisory commission that has no force of law. State engineers issue water permits to oil companies and others.

Fleck said we want to know the role of VHF radios in the modern world. Baker said she would look into it and also inquiry of the Coast Guard about the responsibility of the state. She will also find out if there are AEDs at the state parks.

Power gave a report on the fishery. Walleyes 15-22 inches are very abundant. Bass and catfish still doing well, although overlooked. Northern Pike production remains strong. In the past nine years, the fishery has changed significantly to a premiere fishery. Smelt make the difference; other fisheries in the reservoir system are not as strong as here. He said 1832 – 1846 msl is the best for the coldwater habitat. Sakakawea had a spring rise two of the past three years. He said length restrictions have been considered; although there is no need at this time, he said a 20 inch fish is far more important to the fishery than the 25 inch fish. He said the resource is there for people to catch, rather than catch and release.

Power described policies for tournaments. He talked about the 10 percent conservation fees; once a project is named, then money goes back to the geographical location.

Valeu requested a mid-November meeting of the Access Committee.

Mary Boyd, Pat Drown, Diane Johnson represented the Pick City playground in receiving $2,000 Gifts for Greatness. Already $27,000 has been raised toward the $64,000 playground project.

The Kerzman family was presented The Tolly, for Larry Kerzmann, former board member who died in 2017.

Johnson suggested that we continue to work with Beulah Bay to establish a marina. She continues to have conversations.

Stromstad will ask Dennis Johnson about joining the Friends of Lake Sakakawea board for Dunn County. Sorge will ask Ken Tupa about being a board member representing cabin sites.

Jaeger will get a picture of the Parshall Bay road paved to the boat ramp for a news release about funds used from the Special Roads Fund.

Stromstad asked for a meeting of the financial development committee in mid-November.

Meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

May 5, 2017 New Town City Hall

Chairman Terry Fleck opened the meeting at 10:05 a.m. Board Members present: Michael Gunsch, Ron Stromstad, Blair Ihmels, Bob Valeu, Corey Paryzek, Larry Kerzman, Daryl Hill, Marie Johnson and Jill Denning Gackle. Guests were: Todd Lindquist and Skip Stonesifer of the Corps of Engineers, Royce (Pete) Johnston, Eric Grubb, Jaye Sanstrom, Bill Lannoye, Mark Zaun and Devin Dorval. Board Members Absent: Eric Jaeger, Kelly Sorge, Jim Mossett and Shirley Brentrup.
The board approved the minutes of the Oct. 7, 2016. Motion by Stromstad, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
Johnson, treasurer, highlighted the financial report for the Friends. The balance at the end of April was $19, 221. She reviewed the ANS financial report of 2016. She said she will change the financial report to Jan. - December, which is the Friends’ tax year. Motion to approve Gunsch, seconded by Paryzek. Motion carried.
Johnson asked for the board’s approval for the Gifts for Greatness program. Denning Gackle will begin the promotion. Johnson reported on the donation to the Riverdale Ambulance last year for improvements to its building, which is heavily used throughout the year to serve a large area, including the lake community. She reviewed previous donations. Ihmels made a motion to give $3,000 in Gifts for Greatness in 2017 with a July I deadline and applicants who were previous recipients are encouraged to apply. Seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried. The group talked about how to promote. The word will be spread through the E-Newsletter. The Tolly, an award for the “can do” of the late Tolly Holtan, will be promoted, too.
Lindquist was asked to speak to the group. Letter of land transfer was signed Nov. 17, 2016 and took affect that date. He said they had several meetings with the Tribe. He said the letter of transfer included several conditions. He said that he is trying to convey to his district that they are still responsible for shoreline below 1854. Cultural, weed, etc. are still the shoreline issues. He said “I’m trying to emphasize to our Corps superiors that we just moved the Corps line from the take line of the grazing land and now its at the 1854 elevation line, which could create unique challenges in managing the land retained by USACE.” Conditions in the transfer included future development of habitable and non-habitable structures on the transferred land. The board asked Lindquist to be helpful in promoting meetings that may be open to the public. Valeu noted that the Corps’ responsibilities may increase because of the access below 1854. Lindquist said a challenge of the future will be educating the public about the conditions/restrictions of the land. Fleck asked Lindquist if the congressional delegation has been involved in the conversations; he said no. Fleck said “Colonel Henderson said nothing is going to change.” He said this means recreation, vegetation management and wildlife management are to remain the same.
Lindquist spoke about the Corps’ rec budget. He said they are doing pretty well. He said they have cut back on mowing and frequency of cleaning restrooms at the federal parks they manage. Corps is going to a new budgeting process, a completely different way to budget by being able to tie assets to expenses. He said the system is not ready to be used yet. He said the region’s challenge of low visitation and short season makes it tough to compete with large areas of the country. Valeu asked where the fees go; they still go back to the treasury's general budget. Lindquist said the federal park management will remain the way it is currently until at least 2020. Valeu said he fears that after that the parks will be dispensable.
It was considered a good idea to meet with the new state parks director to discuss options of the state taking over the federal parks. Valeu suggested this may be a perfect time to elevate public-private partnerships. Fleck said the Friends should be involved in meetings to promote recreation and how public-private partnerships could enhance the state. If not at meetings, Fleck suggested Lindquist background the state park director on the Friends’ involvement.
Lindquist said they have been able to leverage in lieu funds from pipeline projects and geotechnical investigations, from companies in the area. The in lieu of funds were used to rehab comfort stations, shower stations and and additional funds to pave into East Totten Trail Recreation area . Stonesifer added that the Corps’ encourages partnerships; he was encouraged to let us know of opportunities.
Regarding contamination/prevention, he said the water quality studies will include hydrocarbon research. He said the information will provide a baseline in anticipation of a potential contamination event.
Lake level report was reviewed. The basic scenario shows 1848 mean sea level in July, and 1843 in August. He said they are monitoring for ANS. Stonesifer said his staff is monitoring areas that flow into North Dakota with the hopes of early detection. He said the Corps is trying to do more education and outreach. Denning Gackle will share with Skip what the Friends’ ANS efforts are. Lindquist said the contamination committee could meet with his staff. Stromstad said he’s concerned about ANS showing up soon; he said he is less than assured that there is a reaction plan in place when ANS shows up. Lindquist said once they are there, they are hard to control. Lindquist said they working with the Bureua of Reclamation to develop a plan once ANS is the reservoir but the Corps' efforts are largely focused on the impacts to their operations and their power plant. Eric Grubb interjected that hunters with duck boats and smaller crafts are a grave concern. He suggested check points at the border. Fleck said a portion of the G&F's ANS budget is being dedicated to waterfowl; he said there may be money shifted into the fall education plan in the future. Valeu asked why we’re not pushing for more dollars for stronger preventive efforts. Fleck said that because Game & Fish is funded by sportsmen’s dollars, it has not been possible to secure enough funds – or general funds – to be used for the ANS efforts. Fleck said the Friends could do a formal letter to the Game & Fish asking for stronger efforts. Fleck said we will have conversations with ND Sportfishing Congress. Valeu said we should get with other groups and form a coalition to push for enhanced pro-active efforts. Valeu said government agencies are geared to react, rather than be proactive. Lindquist suggested that we get information in the water resource boards’ and cities’ newsletters.
Lindquist said a lot of work has been done on pipeline oversight. He said they are working on an oil and gas management plan. He said GISA and GPS date has been extremely helpful in staff efforts. He reported that Hess wants to do maintenance on a line that isn’t adequately covered. He said they wanted to use Little Beaver Rec area to run maintenance activities out of there; they were denied by the Corps.
He said Casey Beuchler of his staff is working on reclamation of old sites. The Blacktail spill into Little Muddy Creek was now turned over to a federal Natural Resources Damage process and the mitigation costs will be passed on tothe responsible party.
Jaye Sandstrom talked about Reunion Bay improvement efforts. He said in February 2014 they requested of the Corps a lease for a boat landing, parking lot and eventually some shoreline access. Last February he had a meeting with the Corps and Big Bend Township Board. He said a plan was denied because of 1) lack of experience in recreation management, 2) because it’s a wildlife management area and 3) because the group wouldn’t have enough money. Valeu said the Friends should make Reunion Bay access a priority. Gunsch said it appears the Corps would not be able to rezone it from wildlife management to recreation. It was learned that Game & Fish is in discussion with taking over that area and putting in two boat ramps. The board encouraged Sandstrom to work with Game & Fish. The board discussed the safety concerns about finding an access location when a storm moves in. Fleck encouraged him to work with the Mountrail County Parks Board and the Mountrail County. Fleck said he would like the Friends of Lake Sakakawea and the Corps and Game & Fish to meet to try to move along this effort to create an access point at Reunion Bay.
Valeu made a motion that the Friends establish a committee to work with the township, FOLS, Mountrail County Board and New Town Fire Department to establish a strategy. Seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried.
Fleck discussed the history of HCR3019. Rep. Terry Jones, a sponsor of the resolution and a New Town resident, was invited to speak to the group. He was out of town but talked to Fleck about the resolution and expected it to be a slam dunk. The resolution would return the excess lands to the original owners. Terry said there will be a lot more push back than he anticipated. The board remains opposed to returning lands to original owners.
Gunsch reported for the Access Committee that there is $900,000 to be spent this biennium. The availability and application information will be promoted through the E-Newsletter. Ihmels reported for the Contamination/Prevention Committee regarding ANS. He said there is an extensive email regarding Montana’s ANS issue that he will share with anyone interested. He said that the ANS effort is understaffed. He said we need to encourage G&F to strengthen its efforts.
Stromstad reported for the Financial Development Committee that a grant request will be proposed to the Leach Foundation.
Hill did not have a report from the PR Committee.
Minutes of the April 15, 2016 meeting were approved on a motion of Hill, seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried.
Motion for a unanimous ballot of the officers: Fleck – chairman, Gunsch – vice chairman, Denning Gackle – secretary, Johnson – treasurer, Stromstad by Ihmels. Seconded by Kerzman. Motion carried.
The board moved to the the Bison Room at the Casino to meet with Tribal Chairman Mark Fox. These are the notes from that meeting:
Tribal Chairman Mark Fox welcomed the board members. CEO Al Nygard, Environmental Scientist Lisa Lone Fight, and four other members of his office and the Natural Resources Department.
Friends Chairman Terry Fleck thanked the chairman. He said what happened in all of this was a difficulty to get an answer to any of our questions. We found it difficult when we turned to the congressional delegation or state agency to get any answers on behalf of our constituents. Again, again and again we heard, “Nothing will change.” We’re looking for sonic assurance that “nothing will change.”
Asked about the license reciprocity agreements between Game & Fish and TAT. “It wasn’t too many years ago” that wasn’t the case. Fleck said we hope nothing will change and that we will have the same reciprocity agreement.
Chairman Fox said in many respects we are in the same boat as you. We know the law. We know that the land transfer has been worked on for decades but through it all it is not as though we have been part of all discussions because the land transfer is between two federal agencies. One agency is responsible for putting it into trust so there will be beneficial use of that land. It’s a reserve trend because of what is happening to our people since 1851 from 13.1 million acres to a million acres with less than half in trust. Reduction was the result of treaties, federal laws such as homesteading/Pick Sloan, executive action, Fox explained.
He said they celebrated a reserve trending by the federal government by following a law that was in place since 1984. Transfer came with restrictions/conditions that the federal government said were not done with any other tribe. A lot of our people won’t understand that but we’re glad there was a transfer for some usage. Fox said it is our full intent that we adhere to restrictions/conditions that one agency said need be adhered to by another agency. We will weigh in on our interpretive of the conditions.
Access. Fox: Somehow people think that the Tribe is wanting to limit access by non-tribal members. I tell you that with this council and where we stand today, that is contrary to our policies of development. Talked about peninsula – public beach area at the expense of the Tribe, huge water park at the expense of the Tribe. Why? Because it is our goal that people come from other states and counties –just like Wisconsin Dells – to spend some time, some money and that’s business. Business doesn’t thrive if you are locked up in policies of not enticing people to share what we’ve got. Boat/yacht will replaced with a paddleboat like one in Bismarck on Missouri River. We are making a lot of improvements strategically, economically and commercially. At the core of all is to promote people to come here and for access. While we’re doing our best to enhance access and make investment up and down the lake. He said he expects partners in recreation areas to embrace the same policies – Indians and non-Indians alike. This is a demo project. Maybe we’ll be able to put other designated beach areas – like Parshall with a concession area, beach and parking lot. We are willing to work with a lot of other areas. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t look at enhancing some of the rec areas that you’re at, too.
Let’s get over this of any denial of access to anyone. The facilities should be top notch with everyone enjoying them.
Did not clarify fees/licenses although said G&F was a positive model. “If it’s working, then don’t fix it.” He said he’s a big believer in MOUs and MOAs. Meetings like this are productive – working meetings. He expressed concerns about noxious weeds and original species that were on the Plains back in the day. Can’t tell us point by point on the transfer conditions. We’re going to do everything going
together to find common ground. We know no hard structures – but we said would you consider a beach or a boat ramp a hard structure.
Public meetings? Possibly. Like working sessions. The ability to sit down, have dialogue is really key. Even if entities don’t agree, you understand their perspective and where they’re at.
Larger scale marina for larger boats/safety when weather conditions warrant? Yes, want more slips. We’re not asking the Corps to do it; we will pay for it, but it’s still difficult to make happen.
Fleck complimented Fox on “speaking our language.” He said it was the first time to have an audience with the Three Affiliated Tribes. Fleck told Fox he hoped we would have the same relationship with the Tribe as we have with the Corps, state agencies and congressional delegation. He talked about how the Friends strive to develop public/private partnerships.
Oil Development? Fox said: we want responsible development. BLM came to federal partners meetings and asked the Tribe if we would consider a policy throughout Fort Berthold that no drilling within 1,000 feet of the lake. Council approved. We have a policy that you can’t put in an oil well within a half mile. But after the policy BLM approved one within a half mile, so TAT is appealing. He is concerned about companies that are not here for the long haul; you see a difference in mentality and willingness to work with the partners. He said at some point the area may host just two or three major companies. Rapid development is concerning; we can’t sacrifice for our future because of short-term development. He said is developing a liaison office that works with the state, federal agencies; he wants that started within the next 30-60 days.
Fox said water is more valuable than oil. Fleck said it seems like it has taken forever to develop the lake for recreation and tourism. Fox said we didn’t ask for the flooding, social/economic poverty, health challenges, but the tribe is trying to make lemonade from lemons. Fox: we have to now take advantage of the lake and make lemonade.
Mutual respect. Fox: I am trying to set the policy and the tone of respecting the rights of everyone involved. He gave the example of Muto Bay. He said there was an effort on his staffs part to improve access and the congressional delegation is pleased.
He said he wanted more work sessions like this. We want to get the mutual respect for what we’re trying to do as a Tribe. He said we have to recognize that even though we are different cultures, we can respect each other in future working sessions.
Fox introduced Lisa Lone Fight, environmental scientist, who joined his staff to do more to protect the lake and water quality. The meeting adjourned after an hour.
The board moved to view the Torpedo Well pad developed by Slawson Exploration above the Van Hook boat ramp.
The board completed their agenda at 3 p.m.

October 7, 2016

The meeting was called to order at 11 a.m. by Chairman Terry Fleck. Present were: Michael Gunsch, Marie Johnson, Bob Valeu, Shirley Brentrup, Eric Jaeger, Blair Ihmels, Ron Stromstad, Daryl Hill and Jill Denning Gackle. Guests: Jason Matthews of JM Strategies, Greg Power of Game & Fish and Kristen Hamman of U.S. Senator Hoeven's office. Absent: Corey Paryzek and Jim Mossett.
Minutes of the April 15, 2016 board meeting were approved on a motion of Hill, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
Johnson reviewed the 2016 financial report and the 2016 ANS financial report. Ihmels made a motion to approve, seconded by Hill. Motion carried.
Gunsch gave a report for the Access Committee. He said the committee met with the Corps earlier in the year. He said there may be a conference call with the committee before the end of the year. He said there are concerns regarding the cuts to services to Corps recreational areas.
The issue was raised about whether we should access funds from the legislature through the Special Roads Fund. Fleck said he thought with the amount of work that has been done in the past, that efforts should continue. Gunsch said he will talk to the Department of Transportation to see what the budget includes in the area of roads to recreation. Valeu suggested a face-to-face meeting to encourage funding. Fleck encouraged all to build relationships with county engineers. Valeu said we should communicate how successful the previous efforts were and to put pressure on state legislators.
Greg Power gave a report on the status of the fishery. In 2015 Lake Sakakawea was the #1 lake in the state for participation and fishery. Salmon fishing should be good based on hatchery reports. Coldwater habit is ideal between 1832 and 1846 mean sea level with a spring rise of two to three feet April 20 to May 20. Lake Sakakawea is the preferred lake in the rise between Oahe and Peck this year. Wind is also tough on smelt production.
In 2014 and 2016 the spring rise was ideal for 45 days, which creates excellent classes of fish. Most of the walleyes in the lake are the product of natural reproduction, not stocking. Hatchery is in good shape, although funding is challenging because of federal funding. Recreational fishing is currently not a priority of the administration.
Fleck reported on the Corps' Annual Operating Plan Oct. 6. There was a discussion about ANS; the state Game & Fish will be asked to include the Corps in future ANS meetings.
Kristen Hamman reported on the land transfer. From Hoeven's perspective, he opposes it unless all the access and easement issues are addressed. She said the Corps recognizes that there are issues that have not been addressed. She said their office is receiving little information, although she said Hoeven has tried to get information. The plan is for the transfer to be completed by the end of the year.
Valeu asked if there will be constraints placed on the Bureau of Indian Affairs like a covenant for how the land can be used. Fleck said there is a lot of angst on the reservation about the land becoming the property of the Three Affiliated Tribes. There are concerns leases will be handled differently and tribal politics will control the outcome. There has been discussion about lawsuits that will result. Fleck said the Department of Interior and the Corps are disputing the outcome. He said it shouldn't matter who owns it as long as the use of the land doesn't change.
Valeu said the Friends should look at what other alternatives should be looked at to make sure access for non-Native people is available. He suggested we should look at how to make sure there is reasonable access – maybe other access areas that would be managed by the state. He told Hamman he thought there should be ways to get the Department of Interior to accept the same rules the Corps manages the land under. Fleck asked Hamman if the Memorandum of Understanding overrides the Flood Control Act; he asked if the federal government is going to continue to provide recreation at the level it is at now.
The Tolly was presented to Emanuel Stroh by Kelly Sorge.
Brad Thrall and Carol Ash of the Riverdale Ambulance received a check for $4,000 presented by Marie Johnson for the crew housing handicapped ramp as part of the Gifts for Greatness program.
Fleck talked about the Van Hook torpedo pad, a 13-well pad near the Van Hook ramp. It was proposed to be 300 feet from the Corps lake boundary. Oil under the lake is federal property, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The land is private. Now the pad is to be 1,000 feet from the Corps boundary and 500 feet from the nearest house. Stromstad reported on the meeting with Slawson Oil this week. The Slawson Oil reps met with Fleck and Stromstad near the well site. When asked about what to do if there is a blowout, company officials said they have a $120 million insurance policy. If necessary, they said their emergency plan is to go to the Mountrail County Sheriff's Department and the New Town Police Department. Stromstad said the Department of Mineral Resources and the Industrial Commission did a dereliction of duties by approving it. The well site will have laterals 3 ½ miles under Lake Sakakawea.
Stromstad made a motion that we as an organization send a letter to the Industrial Commission asking that the permit be put back on the table and rehear it for the health and safety of Lake Sakakawea. Seconded by Ihmels. Valeu said, regardless of whether this is right, he is concerned about a precedent and he is concerned that a letter won't have results; he said a lawsuit asking for an injunction would get better results. Gunsch said administrative rules should be revised to provide for a designated setback from the Corps boundary line. Stromstad said he didn't make his motion without a great deal of thought to the precedent; he said he thought it was necessary because of how important these issues are to our members. Ihmels said he supports the motion because the wells are far too close to the most heavily used boat ramp on the lake. Motion carried.
There was discussion that the letter will be followed by an effort to get letters of petition from Mountrail County Park Board, County Commission and the Van Hook Association.
Fleck updated the group on a Lake Oahe land transfer issue. He read a piece from conservation and recreation communities opposing the transfer. Congressman Cramer recently introduced legislation to transfer ownership of all land in question to the state or the tribes.
The board reviewed a proposal for APT contract for lobbying services. Motion by Daryl to have the executive board hire a lobbyist after a conversation about the fee and responsibilities, seconded by Jaeger, motion carried.
Daryl Hill of the PR Committee reported, along with Jason Matthews of JM Strategies. ANS, access and water quality are the three concerns mentioned in a survey of fishermen around the lake. He said there is an opportunity to not just for advocacy for also to be a force for betterment of the lake.
Ihmels and Johnson reported for the Contamination Committee. He said he will pursue the opportunity to increase the ANS grant.
Stomstad reported for the Financial Development Committee. Among the ideas is to come up with a vision plan for the lake in 2020.
Brentrup reported on the Lake Sakakawea Ferry Crossing Feasibility Study.
Daryl Hill moved to pay Fleck, Denning Gackle, and Johnson $1,000 as a stipend for the ANS work and pay a stipend of $500 to Stromstad for the work done to re-classify the organization's tax status. Seconded by Gunch. Motion carried.
Sorge asked the committee about working with Ken Tuppe, former lobbyist, and possibly consider him for a board position. All were in agreement. Fleck and Denning Gackle will review the bylaws to see what could be done.
Meeting adjourned at 3:35.

April 15, 2016 Riverdale Lodge

The meeting was called to order at 12:10 by Chairman Terry Fleck. Present were Board Members Michael Gunsch, Marie Johnson, Larry Kerzman, Blair Ihmels, Bob Valeu, Jim Mossett, Kelly Sorge, Eric Jaeger, Corey Paryzek and Jill Denning Gackle. Absent Board Members: Shirley Brentrup and Daryl Hill. Also present were Ross Keys representing Sen. Heitkamp, Kaitlyn Kline representing Congressman Cramer and Kristen Hamman representing Sen. Hoeven; Aaron Carranza, ND Water Commission; Tim Sandstrom of New Town; Jason Matthews of JM Strategies; Terry Steinwand, ND Game & Fish Commission and Stu Merry, McLean County Independent. Two representatives of the ND Sportfishing Congress also joined the meeting, Richard Brickman and Mike Anderson.
The minutes of the Sept. 18, 2015, meeting were approved with a correction from Jason Mitchell to Jason Matthews. Motion by Johnson, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried. The minutes of the Dec. 14, 2015, meeting were approved on a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried.
Fleck opened the discussion of the planned land transfer to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation by asking Ross Keys why Heitkamp didn't sign on a letter of Sept. 14, 2015 to the Army Corps of Engineers opposing the proposed transfer. The letter was signed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Sen. John Hoeven. Ross said he wasn't aware of the reasoning and said the senator's position is that all parties need to discuss how to make this plan move forward.
The letter followed a Memorandum of Agreement in May 2015 signed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Indian Affairs outlining the process for transferring jurisdiction. The MOA did not include any funding authority until recently.
Lindquist with the Corps requested $390,000 to be used in 2017 and 2018 for the transfer. Only $250,000 was received thus far for 2016-17. He said Hoeven recently met with the Corps' colonel and pushed for public meetings, which the colonel agreed, although the meetings would take on an informational tone, not a chance for public input.
Fleck asked Lindquist why the land wouldn't revert to non-Indian former land owners in the same fashion it would not revert to Indians. He mentioned the public meetings in 2005 and 2006, which caused a “great deal of heartburn” with the feedback being moot. He also said the efforts of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee spent eight years in efforts to restore the river's natural habitat. He said the financial impact and the environmental impact need to be given serious consideration.
Mossett said he opposed to land transferring to individuals because individuals can impede access. He assured the board that that is no need to be fearful of a transfer.
Fleck said the federal government should not be relieved of its responsibility of the Flood Control Act of 1944 and its responsibility to recreation. Valeu expressed concerns that the land transfer could limit possibilities for expanding recreation in the western part of the lake.
Tim Sandstrom encouraged the board to remember that lands in question would not just impact fishing, but also hunting and activities on vegetation management areas. He questioned the statements from several years ago by the Corps that there were no excess lands and asked about the economic impact the move would have.
Fleck said, “What's important here is that this land is owned by the people of the United States. Let's not forget whose land this actually is – it is the people's.” Gunsch agreed: “You're basically giving away public property.”
Kristen Hamman said Hoeven's office asked the Corps several times for the Corps to give details on the number of acres and where they are but has yet to have a response from the Corps. The most recent details say 30,000 acres are to be transferred. Valeu said he recalled from previous discussions over the years that specific land was difficult to determine because of the poor original surveying.
The board discussed the idea of covenant to be signed granting free access to the general public in perpetuity.
Gunsch asked how the tribe was going to afford to take care of the new land parcel. He also questioned if the master plan could be re-examined to determine if there are areas on the Fort Berthold Reservation that should be retained for future development.
The congressional delegation representatives left and the board members continued to discuss the land transfer. Each board member was given an opportunity to express his/her opinion; all but Mossett expressed concerns about the transfer.
Sorge said she was concerned that people would drive across private land at Indian Hills to get to tribal land. “And who I going to call?” Mossett assured her those concerns were unfounded.
Mossett said he spoke to the tribal chairman and was assured that the “fears are unfounded, access would not be affected.” He said that when all the fighting is done, “we still have a nice recreation area.”
Johnson told Mossett we all want to know that access will continue to be available and dollars are available to continue those services. Mossett said the tribal chairman is willing to meet with the group.
Gunsch made a motion that the board go on record again as opposing the land transfer and direct the Friends' chairman to follow the processes to carry our position forward. The motion carried on a second by Johnson. Nay votes came from Valeu, Mossett and Kerzman.
Valeu made a motion that the the chairman form a subcommittee to look into the development of a task force of the Friends, Three Affiliated Tribes, Corps, BIA, State Parks & Rec, State Game & Fish to effectively implement a Memorandum of Understanding with regards to access and enhanced recreation, including environmental issues. Motion was seconded by Stromstad. Motion carried.
Lindquist reviewed the lake level forecast and updated the board on pipeline activity. Regarding previous discussions about the state taking over federal parks, Lindquist said there has been no activity. Valeu said more conversation should take place with state lake legislators and possibly result in a 2017 study resolution.
The board discussed with Lindquist the idea of a drought plan for future access improvements. The idea of a low water restoration fund with Friends' matching funds was discussed. It could be similar to a legacy fund that could be funded trough private and public donations. Lindquist suggested that there may be a way for “in lieu of” funds from oil companies to go to the restoration fund.
The ND Sportfishing Congress representatives discussed the idea of sharing a lobbyist in the 2017 session. They spend from $3,000- $6,000 a session and would like to share the cost of a lobbyist. The board took no action but will continue the discussion in the future.
Johnson gave the treasurer's report. The Friends have $32,044 in the bank as of April 15, 2016. Memberships are at more than $10,000. The report was accepted on a motion of Valeu, seconded by Gunsch. Motion carried.
Gunsch made a report from the Access Committee. He said the distribution of Special Road Fund dollars to four projects in the Lake Sakakawea region for $511,245 was a good start. Many of the committee were at a meeting earlier in the day to discuss access with the Corps. Another meeting will be planned in the future. Denning Gackle said she will check with the Corps to see who is on the mailing list for the access meetings.
Ihmels and Johnson reported on the Contamination Prevention Committee. The committee has a list of oil/gas/pipeline concerns that were drafted as a template to use when writing letters regarding development. He noted that Jesica Howell is the ANS state coordinator. Ihmels remains the rep for Game & Fish.
Stromstad reported on the reorganization to Friends of Lake Sakakawea of North Dakota to obtain 501c status. He said the Friends now have a new tax id number and new articles of incorporation. The new bylaws were adopted on a motion of Stromstad, seconded by Johnson. Motion carried.
Jason Matthews made a presentation to work for the Friends in developing a messaging campaign to gain awareness and new members. On a motion of Valeu, seconded by Denning Gackle, a contract was adopted to work with Matthews May 1 – Dec. 31 at a rate of $1,500 per month with bonuses based on membership increases.
Fleck, the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee representative, said there are many issues on the table, including an alternative that would call for a huge release to create emergent sandbars.
Gunsch and Paryzek reported on formation of the Missouri River Stakeholders.
Denning Gackle said the Gifts for Greatness and The Tolly will be announced shortly.
The annual meeting was begun with approval of the April 27, 2015 annual meeting minutes on a motion of Gunsch seconded by Johnson. Motion carried.
On a motion of Ihmels, seconded by Paryzek, the following slate of officers was re-elected:
Chairman Terry Fleck
Vice Chairman Michael Gunsch
Secretary Jill Denning Gackle
Treasurer Marie Johnson
Motion carried. Fleck said he appointed Stromstad to the executive board.
The meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

Minutes of Friends of Lake Sakakawea Conference Call
Dec. 14, 2015

A conference call of the Friends of Lake Sakakawea Board of Directors was called to order Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. On the call were: Blair Ihmels, Bob Valeu, Corey Paryzek, Daryl Hill, Eric Jaeger, Marie Johnson, Shirley Brentrup, Ron Stromstad, Jill Denning Gackle, Michael Gunsch and Jim Mossett. Board members absent were: Larry Kerzman and Kelly Sorge. Jason Matthews of JM Strategies was also on the call.
Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order after a roll call vote. Jason Matthews reviewed the draft of the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, which was developed at the fall board meeting. Matthews asked for any corrections or changes. Wording changes were made. The title Resource Development was changed to Financial Development.
The Strategic Plan outlined the following:
Mission
The mission of the Friends of Lake Sakakawea is to build on the recreational, economic, and environmental opportunities of Lake Sakakawea.
Vision
The Friends of Lake Sakakawea is dedicated to protecting Lake Sakakawea, advocating for sensible policies that benefit the greatest number of lake residents and users, and educating the public about the recreational, economic, and ecological importance of Lake Sakakawea.  
Values
Serving as the premier water policy and outdoor recreation organization in North Dakota.
 
Protecting Lake Sakakawea from all threats that will endanger the ecological, recreational, and economic health of the lake.
Advancing sensible policies that strengthen and improve the quality of place and quality of life for those living on, living near, or using Lake Sakakawea.
Working to ensure as much access to Lake Sakakawea as possible.
Building and cultivating partnerships with government and other groups in common cause of protecting Lake Sakakawea.
Hill, Valeu and Brentrup signed up for the Public Relations Committee. Denning Gackle and Fleck will act as liaisons on the this committee. Hill will be the chairman.
Issue: Public Relations
Goal 1: Strengthen the FOLS’ public relations initiatives to increase awareness of issues impacting the lake, raise the organization’s profile, and increase memberships.
Priority Level: Immediate
Objectives:
Establish a FOLS Public Relations Committee.
Develop a master narrative for the organization, which tells the FOLS’s story.
Develop a public relations plan for the organization, which establishes a strategy, identifies tactics, and targets key stakeholder groups and audiences.
By the end of 2016, increase primary (individual, family, public, and quasi-public) membership by twenty percent (20%).
Valeu, Johnson and Stromstad volunteered for the Financial Development Committee. Denning Gackle and Fleck will act as liaisons on this committee. Stromstad will be the chairman.
Issue: Financial Development
Goal 2: Developing and implementing a financial development strategy and funding plan, which will ensure the financial stability of the organization.
Priority Level: Immediate
Objectives:
Establish a FOLS Financial Development Committee.
Examine the organization’s tax structure to see if there are opportunities to better benefit the FOLS, which may improve the group’s appeal to potential donors and members.
Pursue grant opportunities and private donations from various groups and individuals.
Pursue and develop long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with other groups and businesses.
By the end of 2016, increase corporate membership by three (3) to five percent (5%).
Gunsch, Jaeger and Paryzek volunteered to be on the Access Committee. Denning Gackle and Fleck will act as liaisons on this committee. Gunsch will be the chairman.
Issue: Access
Goal 3: Develop and promote strategies and solutions that expand access to Lake Sakakawea.
Priority Level: Long-Term
Objectives:
Create a FOLS Lake Access Committee.
Be proactive in developing and promoting a long-term plan and strategy for retention of existing and new ramps and recreation areas.
Be proactive in developing and promoting a strategy pertaining to the issue of land transfers.
Gunsch, Johnson, Ihmels and Mossett volunteered to be on the Contamination Prevention Committee. Fleck and Denning Gackle will serve as liaisons to this committee. Johnson and Blair will be co-chairs on the committee.
Issue: Contamination Prevention
Goal 4: Step up internal and external efforts to pressure state and federal policy makers to develop strategies on preventing and containing potential contamination of Lake Sakakawea.
Priority Level: Long-Term
Objectives:
Establish a FOLS Lake Contamination Prevention Committee.
Acquire and review a copy of the Corps of Engineers (COE) Best Management Practice Standards for the lake. Hold discussions with the COE on promoting these practices.
Publicly call for policy makers to conduct an Industry Risk Assessment (IRA) and apply pressure through membership and public relations initiatives until a study is conducted.
Work with other groups and third parties, sponsor (and/or co-sponsor) studies examining the impacts of contamination.
Develop a set of position papers on the issue of contamination focusing on steps that can be taken to prevent and address contamination along with highlighting the ecological, recreational, and economic impacts of contamination.
Testify before all state and federal government hearings regarding the citing and permitting of pipelines into and around Lake Sakakawea.
Kelly Sorge and Larry Kerzman will be contacted to learn what committees they would like to join.
Gunsch informed the board that the deadline is Dec. 31 to nominate individuals to the Missouri River Board of Directors. On a motion of Valeu, seconded by Johnson, Fleck was nominated for recreation, Gunsch for flood control and Paryzek for fish and wildlife. Motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 2 p.m.

Friends of Lake Sakakawea Board of Director's Meeting
Sept. 18, 2015, ND Game & Fish Department

The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m. by Chairman Terry Fleck. Present were Michael Gunsch, Marie Johnson, Larry Kerzman, Daryl Hill, Bob Valeu, Shirley Brentrup, Eric Jaeger and Jim Mossett. Absent: Blair Ihmels and Corey Paryzek. Guest: Ron Stromstad.
The minutes of the Oct. 9, 2014 meeting were approved on a motion of Hill seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
The focus of the meeting was strategic planning with Jason Matthew of JM Strategies.
Other topics were discussed:
Johnson gave the 2015 ANS financial report. The Friends administered a ND Game & Fish grant of $75,000 in an effort to educate the public about Aquatic Nuisance Species. The grant was spent on radio, print, TV, billboards and web advertising. On a motion Gunsch, seconded by Hill, a $1,000 stipend will be paid to Johnson, Fleck and Denning Gackle for their on the grant. Motion carried.
Johnson reviewed the Friends' finances, which showed a $29,827.27 bank balance with a $10,000 grant payment still outstanding from ND Game & Fish.
Gunsch explained the special roads fund increase in funding for recreational, tourism and historical road improvement use. A $2 million allocation was provided for the 2016-2017 biennium because of lobbying efforts of the Friends in the 2015 Legislative session. Letters detailing the application process will be provided to members, counties, cities and park boards in the hopes that entities will find the funding to be a benefit to their roadway access improvement efforts.
Gunsch reviewed the weed control proposal he shared in May 2015 with the Corps of Engineers, which would allow for a contractual arrangement between the Corps and the state to address additional weed spraying. The Corps' legal counsel agreed the proposal is possible through their challenge grant program. The Board agreed the next step is to work with the state weed board to move forward with a possible proposal.
Johnson reported on the Gifts for Greatness applications. An application from Beulah Park District was approved for $1,000 for four kayaks for Beulah Bay use on a motion of Johnson, seconded by Denning Gackle. Motion carried. Signage will be provided along with the grant that recognizes the Friends donation. Automated external defibrillator grants of $1,500 each were approved for McKenzie Bay Club and White Earth concession building, pending the receipt of formal applications from both on a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Hill. Motion carried. Denning Gackle will solicit other locations around the lake to determine if there is a need for other AEDs around the lake. Signage noting the Friends' donation to this effort would be provided to accompany each AED. Consideration will also be given to seeking other matching contributions for a lake wide effort.
Gunsch outlined the Recreational District process that was successfully used at Spring Creek Recreational Service District. Details on the process used were supplied by the District. On a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Johnson, the board will seek an attorney's review of the revised process documents before sharing with others who may be interested in doing the same in their region.
Gunsch updated the board on the Corps' lack of funding available to continue to support its campgrounds and parks. He is facilitating meetings and communication between the ND Parks and Rec Department and the Corps. There was a discussion about the ranges of quality and services available at parks and campgrounds throughout the region nd how to strive for uniformity and better information about the services to members.
On a motion of Hill, seconded by Gunsch, Ron Stromstad joined the board as an economic development representative. Motion carried.
The proposed transfer of land to the Three Affiliated Tribes was discussed. The Friends have opposed the transfer of any of these lands since 2006. A recent letter from the governor, U.S. Senator John Hoeven and Congressman Kevin Cramer was reviewed.
The board learned that the Corps' Riverdale staff invited the board to come to a meeting to learn more about the infrastructure and impacts of oil and gas development. A fall meeting will be planned. The board was also informed that Darren Snow, an engineer with the Bakken Link pipeline, contacted the Friends to share information about the pipeline's impact to water quality and environment. A meeting will be arranged.
Denning Gackle made a motion for Michael Gunsch to represent the Friends of Lake Sakakawea on the Missouri River Advisory Council. Seconded by Brentrup. Motion carried. Denning Gackle will send a letter on behalf of the Friends to nominate Michael Gunsch for a position on the governing council or board of directors representing recreation, flood control or water supply, in that order of preference.
The board received copies of the current membership. Matthews was thanked for his assistance. The meeting adjourned at 3 p.m.

Friends of Lake Sakakawea Board of Directors Meeting
April 27, 2015, 10:30 a.m. Game & Fish headquarters, Bismarck

Meeting called to order by Terry Fleck, chairman. Board members introduced themselves: Larry Kerzman, Corey Paryzek, Kelly Sorge, Shirley Brentrup, Marie Johnson, Michael Gunsch, Daryl Hill, Blair Ihmels and Eric Jaeger. Absent: Bob Valeu, Jim Mossett. Guests were Ken Tupa (lobbyist), Todd Lindquist (Corps), Jason Matthews (PR consultant), Russell Hoggarth (member from Ziegler's Landing), Greg Power (Game & Fish), Ryan Norell (Missouri River Stakeholders), Brian Kalk (public service commissioner) and Kristin Hamman (U.S. Senator Hoeven's office).
The minutes of the Oct. 3, 2014 meeting were approved on a motion of Ihmels, seconded by Jaeger. Motion carried.
Greg Power, ND Game & Fish fisheries director, showed a power point on the status of the fishery. “The good old days are back,” he said. Record fishing license sales with them expected to be more than 230,000 in 2015. He said the department continues to keep a tough stance on ANS requirements. He said ANS will have a new look in signage and posters.
He said there is a concern that we are moving toward lower lake levels. “There's always a concern about lack of water. In this state we're there way too often.” Although he said this year doesn't concern him a great deal, “It doesn't take long for things to go south fast.” He said Lake Sakakawea continues to be a premiere fishery: 33 out of 35 past years it was the #1 fishery in the state. He said since 1990, 42 percent of the whoppers came from Lake Sakakawea. Last year was a record breaking year for smelt. But he said, “Sometimes when there are lots of groceries in a lake, fishing can be slow.”
Power said the department is concerned about oil spills. He said those under the ice are particularly problematic. “We're doing a lot to learn from Alaska about how to handle an oil or brine spill under ice,” he said.
Walleye spawning is nearly complete. A creel survey of the Missouri River system will be completed for the first time in six years beginning May 1. Boat ramps are not a concern for the short term. WMA roads in Audubon, Steinke and Douglas Bay were improved after 10-20 years of neglect. Salmon stocking levels are twice what they were in the past.
Kelly Sorge said she's worried about access in the event of a drought. She asked Power about a plan for lower water access. She said that she took over Indian Hills Resort ownership in 2003 and the next five years there was no access to the water because of low lake levels. She said the only reason she is in business is because of a low water boat ramp the Corps put in. She said there isn't a plan and a security blanket. “It could sneak up on us in a couple of years again,” she said.
Michael Gunsch said like the 2011 flood we weren't prepared for a flood, but we are better prepared now. Corps would be a likely source to discuss the scenarios because they have all the data but they don't have the staff to accomplish the task. Fleck pointed out that as an authorized purpose the federal government should guarantee recreational access. If Todd doesn't have the staff and the money, and the federal government doesn't have the money, who do we look to? Who's lake is it when it's generating millions in revenue? Do we go to the Heritage Fund? Fleck complimented the Corps on how they worked to help with access during previous droughts. Lindquist explained that there was a congressional “add” that offered a 50-50 match for infrastructure improvements. Kelly: “If that piece of the puzzle is missing, what are we going to do?”
Fleck suggested we need to go to Parks & Rec, Heritage Fund, congressional delegation, corps, G&F to develop a plan of action. It was suggested that efforts be made to get money for the Corps to develop the plan. Todd Lindquist said the Corps began to develop a plan a few years ago; that plan could be resurrected. Oct. 1 is the deadline for the Heritage Fund; possibly low water emergency funds could be requested for future use. Kristin Hamman asked if the improvements are permanent. Roads leading to low water ramps are sometimes washed out. Low water ramps were poured concrete or metal grates and it won't be known until lake levels drop.
Gunsch agreed to work with Lindquist, Power and the delegation. Eric Jaeger, Jill Denning Gackle and Paryzek will look at local needs.
Brian Kalk, public service commissioner, spoke to the group about the Friends' concerns about oil spills. Fleck said, “It's not a matter of it we will have oil in the lake, it's when. To me, that's unacceptable, even if it's one barrel.” Kalk said he's also concerned. “You can't have energy security if you don't have clean air and water.”
He said “We have to have the state of the art response plan for lakes, rivers and streams.” But he cautioned: “No amount of engineering is going to stop some yahoo from putting a backhoe through a pipeline.”
He said there are efforts with fly overs, drones and increased inspections. He said the state has positioned itself to be able to respond to emergencies. He said each county's emergency management plans would be something to look into. He said companies should be required to have additional shut off valves and at least double walled pipes.
Kalk said his great concern is gathering lines that lead to the pipelines, because they have the least management over them. There is currently no requirement for inspection of gathering lines.
Gunsch said there are gaps in the system's jurisdictional. He said implementing new technology on old pipelines is essential. He asked if there is a point that they go back in and do an inspection or have a plan for upgrades?
Kalk said the state doesn't have an underground map of all the underground infrastruture in the state, but Homeland Security doesn't want to develop that.
Kalk said he wished more people attended public hearings. The hearings are publicized through public notices, news releases and on the web. The Friends will get on the mailing list for hearings and share significant ones with members. He also encouraged people to call to report exposed pipelines.
Ken Tupa reported on the 2015 legislative session. About 25 bills were watched, some closer than others. Funding for Special Roads Fund for recreational roads was our biggest bill. The fund generally has about $20,000/month in the Special Roads Fund. We asked for $20 million before the revenue picture for the state changed. Gov put $5 million in his budget for the fund. He said there was a lot of pressure to continue to reduce state spending. It was reduced from $5 to $1 million in the House. Senate moved it to $3 million and then it was moved to $2 million. This is the first time new money for roads ended up in this fund. It now provides an ongoing opportunity for funding. He said: “We now have an opportunity to build on that, create a track record of the need and the projects themselves. Over time you create this understanding of the need for this funding,” He said it was especially significant that it was funded at the level it was, given the tight budget funding.
FOLS will try to get submittal documents for the 2-3 successful applications to send to members. Fleck said our charge is to educate and outreach for legislators.
Ryan Norrell of the Missouri River Stakeholders talked about the history of HB1249, which would have created a Missouri River council. He said there was concern that it created another government committee and there were already current avenues to influence the Corps of Engineers.
HB1456 was also discussed. It would have made the governor talk to the Corps to negotiate an excess lands transfer of land and mineral rights in Emmons and Morton counties.
Norrell also encouraged the board to be aware that the State of Kansas is looking for water because the Ogallala Aquifer is being depleted. Kansas is proposing a 360 mile pipeline from the Missouri River to Kansas; other state partnerships are being sought because the pipeline would cost $18 billion. He said, “Keep your eyes on this project in the future. There will be an effort to form a coalition of basin states to keep the water in the basin.”
Jason Mitchell reported on PR activities during the year. There were 196 Facebook fans Jan. 1; there are 1,632 fans today. Mitchell outlined the two campaigns. He said the best results were from an ANS campaign that reached 19,432 people. Unfortunately those numbers have not translated into memberships.
He said, “You have a huge base of people who have now been introduced to the Friends of Lake Sakakawea, you now have an invaluable resource of people and you have a great way to connect with them and them to connect with you to share experiences about the lake.”
He suggested strategic planning at the fall meeting. He also suggested that we survey members to see what their interests are and gauge their awareness of this organization.
He pointed out that we're victims of our own successes – our successful advocacy and good relationships with officials – have made it something that isn't necessary for people to join.
Mitchell will provide a proposal for the board to consider for future PR efforts.
Fleck complimented Todd Lindquist. He said we appreciate the relationship with Corps and the Riverdale office.
Lindquist reported on federally managed rec areas near Lake Sakakawea. He said the conservation with the state will continue. Currently the Corps has enough money to manage the rec areas. Fleck told Lindquist that maybe the Corps needs to close two parks to get the public to realize the seriousness of the situation.
Regarding runoff/drought, Lindquist said all indications are that we're going into a drought. If the lake falls below 1825 msl, grates will be in place to protect the cold water habitat.
He said the Riverdale office has 10-12 positions unfilled, about 20 percent of the available positions.
Regarding oil/gas: He said when pipelines cross more than one federal land, it falls under the jurisdictional authority of the Bureau of Land Management. He said the public comment is scarce and the BLM is moving forward on projects when there aren't many comments.
He said there are currently four requests to cross the lake with pipelines: Bakken Link, Bakken Bridge, Dakota Access and Enbridge. Bakken Link is proposing to sink a line across the lake, another is proposing to bore 100 feet below Lake Sakakawea. Lindquist said, “It's a race to see who can first get a transmission line across the lake because it would be very lucrative.” The Corps' Oil and Gas Management Pipeline management plan calls for the impact confined to corridors. Another option is to for them to request and area, but to require boring.
The state is working on plan for spills from pipeline, trucks, trains. The philosophy is that the company is responsible. He said his greatest concern is produced water (frac, brine, etc.) The group discussed some innovative measures that are being done to find ways to recycle water for industrial use.
The group decided to request that BLM have a pubic hearing on the Bakken Link line.
The group said we need to ask for the highest level of protection of Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River.
Fleck updated the group on the idea of having a Reconomics Conference in September-October 2016. “The very people who get rich. They need to be called upon” to step up to support efforts on behalf of Lake Sakakawea. He said a conference would be a chance to get people involved, but the group discussed the logistics of how to get people to attend. Shirley Brentrup suggested that every boat dealer include a membership to the Friends with a sale.

Minutes of Board Meeting
Oct. 9, 2014 Wild Winds, Fort Stevenson State Park

Vice Chairman Michael Gunsch called the meeting to order at 11:05 a.m. Chairman Terry Fleck arrived at 11:20 to continue the meeting. Present were Michael Gunsch, Bob Valeu, Eric Jaeger, Daryl Hill, Marie Johnson, Jill Denning Gackle, Larry Kerzman and Kelly Sorge. Absent: Corey Paryzek, Jim Mossett and Blair Ihmels. Guests: Ryan Norrell and Jason Matthews.
Motion to accept minutes of April 24, 2014 minutes by Jaeger, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
Ryan Norrell, executive director of the Missouri River Stakeholders, explained the formation of the organization. The newly formed organization focuses on the Flood Control Act and the impact and fulfillment of promises to North Dakota. The organization is planning a meeting Nov. 20 to discuss Missouri River issues. The organization is seeking input on policies, concerns and interests in the state to give clear direction to the congressional delegation and Washington.
The organization is currently funded by the ND Water Users and Garrison Conservancy District. Norrell fielded questions about the relationship with organizations like the Friends. Fleck encouraged the board to attend the meeting on Nov. 20.
Fleck introduced Tupa as the 2015 lobbyist for the Friends. Hill made a motion, seconded by Johnson to hire Tupa. Tupa has a lake home at Indian Hills Resort and expressed his passion for issues impacting Lake Sakakawea. He owns and operates APT Solutions, a firm representing many businesses and organizations. Motion carried. His fee will be $1,500 a month for December-April. The board decided on a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Hill, to register additional lobbyists with the state: Denning Gackle, Sorge, Johnson and Fleck. Motion carried.
Matthews was introduced as a potential public relations consultant for the Friends. He will work with Tupa and the Friends board on assistance with the legislative efforts and on a membership campaign. He was hired on a motion of Hill, seconded by Gunsch. Motion carried. Matthews will provide a contract with the Friends for $4,000.
Johnson, Gunsch, Tupa and Fleck reported on a recent meeting with the congressional delegation and Corps. The discussion was on the Corps' recreation budget. Fleck said the Friends discussed the amount of revenue generated from hydropower, oil leases and recreation. The message was that if the Corps wants to relieve themselves of the authorized purposes of recreation, then it must be done in Congress. The Friends encouraged the congressional delegation to recognize the economic importance of Lake Sakakawea. “This project generates millions and millions and millions of dollars,” he said. The Friends pushed for the congressional delegation to make funding for the Corps' recreation budget a priority.
The meeting also focused on weed control, which isn't adequately funded. Fleck said public-private partnerships are a likely way to go. The Corps need changes in its processes to be able to bid weed control in a more efficient manner. Johnson said the congressional delegation recognized that they need to be creative. Valeu said possibly Sen. Hoeven may be helpful through the Senate Appropriations committee with congressionally-directed language and in deciphering where the weed funding is in the federal budget. Johnson said the BIA and tribal officials need to be included in weed control efforts. It was also suggested that we ask for more dollars from the state for weed control. The idea was discussed of forming a coalition of counties, ag grounds and weed boards to put pressure on the state for weed control and to possibly increase the mills for weed control.
Gunsch reported on the 2015 legislative plans and a recent meeting with Ron Rauschenberger, the governor's chief of staff. The Friends will pursue funding for roads to statewide recreational sites. There is a 10 percent increase in visitations to rec sites on Lake Sakakawea between 2009 and 2012. Usage at paved sites is 2.4 times higher than unpaved sites. Tupa said the governor was initially supportive of funding and will work with the governor's staff. Fleck said the Friends said the needs statewide are estimated to be at $168 million, although that amount was considered unattainable. The initial amount that was discussed was $20 million into the Special Roads Fund. Other possibilities are the Heritage Fund and the initial Surge Bill. The Friends will brand the message as “Rec-economic Development.”
Fleck suggested that the Friends meet with the Association of Counties, League of Cities, Association of General Contractors and other organizations that may be helpful.
The meeting also included some discussion on ND Game & Fish's budget for ANS. They asked that the budget of $350,000 be moved to $500,000, with the additional funds coming from the general fund since it is not just a fishing and hunting issue.
Fleck shared a letter from Mike Anderson of the ND Sportfishing Congress asking if the Friends and that group could share a lobbyist. Fleck suggested a conversation with the Congress to discuss how a partnership might work. The meeting will be arranged with Valeu, Hill, Fleck and Denning Gackle to determine their goals and if it works. Tupa and Matthews will also be invited to attend. A mid-November meeting was discussed.
The tribal salt spill this summer near Mandaree was discussed. Concern was expressed over the proximity of the wells to the lake. State and tribal set backs are not sufficient, board members agreed. Gunsch said it's important to have a relationship with the producers. Public awareness has increased since the ice up in the western part of the lake that caused an oil spill and then after the recent brine spill, but the board thought the preparedness was inadequate.
Johnson reviewed the treasurer's report. ANS expenditures were complete; the Friends appropriated a $75,000 grant from Game & Fish for the education of the public about ANS. The Friends' balance is $27,302.39, and another $10,000 is anticipated from Game & Fish in revenue. Membership efforts were discussed. It was suggested that we get a mailing list of all Sakakawea Area Spill Response LLC members to solicit for membership.
Gunsch made a motion to accept the treasurer's report, seconded by Jaeger. Motion carried.
Fleck updated the board on a grant request to ND Energy Forum for $75,000 to be used for ANS outreach and education. The Friends will know more about the status of the grant later this year.
Vacant board positions were discussed. Valeu and Fleck will work on a new board member for McKenzie County; Denning Gackle is working on someone from Dunn County (McKenzie Bay).
Valeu made a motion to approve $1,000 to Johnson, Fleck and Denning Gackle for ANS grant work. Motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 3 p.m .

Board and Annual Meeting
April 24, 2014 Bismarck Game & Fish headquarters

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Terry Fleck at 10:30 a.m. Present were: Marie Johnson, Blair Ihmels, Eric Jaeger, Emanuel Stroh, Jim Mossett, Corey Paryzek, Daryl Hill, Bob Valeu, Jill Denning Gackle and Michael Gunsch. Kelly Sorge arrived at noon; Mossett left early. Absent: Clarence Weltz, Larry Kerzman and David Johnson.
The minutes of the Oct. 31, 2013 annual and board meetings were reviewed and approved on a motion of Ihmels, seconded by Jaeger. Motion carried.
Board members and guests introduced themselves. Guests included Bob Dundas, Richard Fink, Josh Ruffo of Enerplus Resources, Kathleen Jones, Brian Gehring of the Bismarck Tribune, Stu Merry of the BHG newspapers, Jeb Williams and Terry Steinwand of ND Game & Fish, Mike Jensen of ND Tourism, Larry Janke of Congressman Kevin Cramer's office, Greg Power of ND Game & Fish, Ryan Norrell and Jackie Nye of the Missouri River Stakeholder Program. Stroh announced that this will be a last meeting and he will assist in finding a McKenzie County representative.
Greg Power of Game & Fish talked about how the state had record license sales: 218,000 in 2012. Trends over the last decade showed 20,000 more boats and 43,000 more licensed anglers. NDSU economic impact survey showed that $425 million was spent fishing annually in North Dakota; almost a billion dollars in total economic impact from secondary sources as well. Lake Sakakawea is considered #1 in fishing participation. He said the fishery is strong: abundance and size structure is good. Statewide there will be a return of trophy pike. Catfish are popular in the western part of the lake and popular to new residents from other states. He said some of the weeds are good habitat for fish when flooded. He demonstrated that point by showing a shoreline, which had been grazed next to a shoreline with weeds. He said there are 23 permitted tournaments on Lake Sakakawea for 2014 thus far. He said it is unknown at this time what impact the recent oil spill in the Williston region had on the lake.
Fleck presented Power with a plaque of appreciation from the board.
Mike Jensen gave a report for ND Tourism. He said outdoors is the #1 driver of people to the state. The marketing campaign will continue to promote the parks and outdoor recreation. He attended six sports/outdoor shows this past winter: Billings, Denver, Milwaukee, Sioux Falls and Minneapolis. He said there are challenges educating the public that there is room at campsites and motels.
Todd Lindquist was unable to attend. He provided a written report and Fleck gave a verbal report from a recent meeting with Lindquist. Among the topics: noxious weeds control is not fully funded; environmental stewardship budget was flat; rec budget is declining despite the demand. Fleck said we need to set up a separate meeting with the congressional delegation because of the continuing decline in the federal budget. He said the Corps wants to get out of recreation because of limited funding, although the demand is great for this federally authorized purpose. “We may need to look to each other, rather than the federal government, to see how to fund recreation,” Fleck said. Lindquist said in his report that the rec budget is down 7 percent since 2010, while costs to pump vault toilets and fish cleaning stations increased 337 percent.
Valeu said we need to have a long term strategy going forward. He said he doubted we will see an increase in recreational needs funding through the Corps. He said he thinks we need to talk more with the state about transferring federal parks to the state and to work toward getting more funding for road access. Fleck said there has been some interest in getting ND Sportfishing Congress, Voices of Oahe and Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce to discuss common needs. “The constituency needs to rise to tell the congressional delegation and the state leaders what the needs are.” Valeu said the meeting needs to be a chance to instruct with knowledge; we need to take the knowledge and get eyeball to eyeball.
Lance Gaebe of the ND Land Department spoke about HB 1338, “excess land study.” He explained that the bill gave the land board the right to study the land adjoining Lake Sakakawea. Fiscal note attached to the bill was $50,000. He said the study is to identify concerns, to identify solutions and list the steps to reach those solutions. He said there will be a meeting June 11 in Bismarck. He assured that there was no predetermined outcome. Fleck and Denning Gackle pointed out to Gaebe that there was a bill sponsor and legislator who lobbied at the survey for his position. Gunsch said he will be interested to hear the results because he had some concerns about the survey. Fleck said there are a lot of people who will be disappointed when they find out there is no way that their land will be returned to them.
Jeb Williams explained that there is no land that is considered to be “excess land” based on the 2011 flood
Rob Holm described the hatchery's budget crunching issues. His said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife director said his focus is going to be more on native fish. He said recreational fishing is not as high a priority. He said the hatchery works closely with Game & Fish in stocking walleye, salmon, pike and rainbow trout. He said the future of the hatchery is still uncertain because of budget limitations and priorities: threatened and endangered species, imperiled species, tribal trust, native species and non-native species (i.e. salmon). He said those limitations are creating upset fishermen, businesses, G&F agencies and congressmen. There were temporary changes but he is concerned about future directives that will impact hatchery support for recreational fishing programs.
Holm said the Leadville, Colo., and Spearfish, S.D., hatcheries were proposed for closure. Hatcheries receive 5 percent of the total federal fish and wildlife budget. Of the total $63.4 million hatchery budget, only $27.9 million goes to the hatcheries; the rest goes to support centers. The Garrison and Valley City hatcheries budget is about $475,000 a year.
Fleck asked Power if the possibility exists that the state take over the hatchery. Power said the hatchery's staff are artists producing fish, although it is trending toward needing more federal funding. The board adopted (on a motion of Valeu, seconded by Gunsch) a resolution supporting the hatchery's efforts to send to the state and federal leaders. He said we need to inoculate our fish hatcheries against any potential closure. Valeu said we also need to look at ways to access more state dollars to help fund Game & Fish efforts. He suggested we create a vehicle where the Game & Fish could be a more enhanced partner with the hatchery, without taking away from the current funding or the federal government's responsibility.
Fleck presented an award to Rob Holm for his efforts at the hatchery. Jeb Williams received an award for Kent Luttschwager who was the Game & Fish official who protected the land and lake near Oxbow in a recent oil spill.
Josh Ruffo of Enerplus Resources was recognized as a Platinum Business member after a $1,000 membership investment.
Carmen Miller of the Ducks Unlimited spoke on the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment. She described the initiative effort to set aside a portion of the oil and gas revenue toward parks, recreation, conservation efforts, natural floor control and noxious weed control. It would call for 5 percent of extraction taxes to be used. About 55 organizations have endorsed the initiative. She said the efforts of the Outdoor Heritage Fund have given a good taste of how great the needs are.
Bob Dundas of the Sakakawea Area Spill Response spoke about SASR's efforts. Currently there are 11 members: Slawson Exploration Col, Hess Corp., Whiting Oil and Gas, Marathon Oil, Bridger Pipeline LLC, Enbridge Pipelines LLC, WPX Energy Williston LLC, Continental Resources, Enerplus Resources, Bakken Link Pipeline LLC and Halcon Resources Operating Inc. He said SASR hopes to add 2-4 members this year. He said they added a winter spill response trailer with equipment. They are working to create (within the next couple of months) an agency agreement for when the state can't identify who is the responsible party and oil spill equipment may be used by the state. “That bridge would be available to them as well,” Dunas said. Fleck asked if we learned from the recent ice jam and oil spill. Dundas said sometimes it is very difficult to shut down production. He said every time the industry learns from spills. “It's unfortunate if we don't learn from it.” SASR was not involved in the recent spill; spiller was not a member and the member did not request the use of the equipment.
Fleck asked when the organization will begin promoting itself. Dundas said if we know of companies who aren't members, invite them. He said there are 1-2 inquires a month from interested companies. Paryzek encouraged Dundas to get permission from whoever manages the boat ramps around the lake to have prior approval for use of boat ramps before a spill. Valeu said if we're permitting wells in vulnerable areas we should make sure there are conditions on permits for spill response. Dundas said any producing company is obligated to have a spill response plan in place. The plan has to be available if EPA requests. Fleck said if there is a big spill there will be a great wrath from people in the state.
ND Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem spoke about extraordinary places initiative. He quoted from his boy scout handbook that said “never let it be said and said with shame that things were better before you came.”
He said the Industrial Commission is entrusted with no thornier issue than where to place those oil rigs. He said he's for the development of oil, but wants to assure the public that attention is being paid to environmental concerns. His proposal was quite simple – to set forth in writing some of the areas that we want to pay particular attention to protect. Some of this is already done through mediation and the regulatory process. “I thought it was the right thing to do, and I still do.” He said the proposal is not an assault on individual's land rights; he said it is only to provide an opportunity to be heard.
The proposal calls for a ½ mile protected area around designated areas. He said most of those areas are around Lake Sakakawea and the Little Missouri. About oil spills he said: “we don't like it when we hear about oil spills.” He said perpetrators need to be criminally prosecuted, heavily fined and put out of business.
Dennis Fewless and Dave Glott of the ND Environmental Services division of ND Health Department spoke to the group. Glott said he hoped the department would be prepared for a big spill, but a healthy paranoia is good. He said the equipment, the resources and the companies' alertness is critical. Training exercises involved the EPA, Corps and tribal members. He said with the amount of activity going on, accidents will happen and they will get to the lake. He said the challenges come from massive oil development, pipelines and drilling close to the lake. “If anything is released up there, it's going to move quick.” Glott said reservation land is a challenge because the state doesn't have the control. Fleck asked if the state has enough people and resources and what can we do to put the pressure on the people who have the money. Dundas said if you would have asked British Petroleum before their spill if they were prepared, they would have said they had adequate resources. He said it's all on response time and minimizing the impact on the lake. He said weather and terrain are factors. He said some people think we've gone too far, others think we haven't gone far enough. “Yeah, we could use more staff,” but spill response is the most important. Once it gets off the oil pad, it's the responsibility of the health department. Valeu asked if anyone is reviewing spill response plans; he said no, He said the companies' philosophy is generally, “never spill a drop.” He said flood plain berms are going to be required to be built higher. Dundas added that the industry is learning; he said a few years ago spill response equipment wasn't on site and berms weren't higher or as all inclusive. He said the effort is stronger in ND than many of the other states they do business in. Glott said the water haulers shouldn't get paid until the delivery is completed, not before it is delivered. He said the truck driver's need to be held responsible as well as the companies.
Daryl Hill said he would head up efforts to hire a lobbyist. Paryzek said the United Sportsmen organization is looking for a lobbyist.
Gunsch updated the group for road/ramp improvements at Reunion Bay and Douglas Bay.
Gifts for Greatness will be funded for $5,000 on a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
The treasurer's report was given by Fleck. The reporter, with an ending fund balance of $24,410, was approved on a motion of Paryzek and seconded by Hill. Motion carried.
Jeb Williams complimented the group on the meeting and lineup of guest speakers. He said the citizen movement is the way to get work done.
Valeu suggested a fish fry for the oil industry to develop relationships and build awareness. Fleck said there is an opportunity at Four Bears in July to do this. More details will follow.
Fleck said he would talk to Mark Zimmerman to have Parks & Rec more involved with us. It was also decided that a meeting should be planned with other sports groups to make sure we're working together.
Officers were elected on a motion of Ihmels, seconded by Valeu: Chairman Fleck, Vice Chairman Gunsch, Secretary Jill Denning Gackle and Treasurer Marie Johnson. Motion carried.
The meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.

Minutes
Oct. 31, 2013 ND Game & Fish Headquarters

Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 11:10 a.m. Present were: Clarence Weltz, Jill Denning Gackle, Blair Ihmels, Eric Jaeger, Cory Paryzek, Kelly Sorge, Michael Gunsch, Jim Mossett, Bob Valeu and Marie Johnson. Guests were: Don Larson of U.S. Sen. Hoeven's office, Jason Tuhy of Sakakawea Area Spill Response LLC, Todd Lindquist of the Corps, Greg Power, Terry Steinwand and Duane DeKrey of the ND Game & Fish, Ken Tupa and Ross Keys of Sen. Heitkamp's office.
Power reported it was a good year for walleye. He said good years are ahead with a strong class in 2010 and 2012. He said there will be “big time trophy fishing in years to come.” Smelt and salmon production was also strong. He said 4.2 million walleye were stocked this year. Lake Sakakawea has surpassed Devils Lake as the #1 fishery. Fleck thanked the Game and Fish staff for the work they do.
Powers was asked if a pipeline running under Lake Sakakawea broke and spilled 900,000 gallons of oil (similar to incident by Tioga), what impact would result. He said a lot would depend on the time of year, wind speed, location and ability to react. He said, “There's no denying that the oil development is in a very critical area of the lake.” Powers said some of the areas that concern him are near Trenton, heavily irrigated areas or areas like Parshall or Shell Bay that are critical to the smelt production.
Valeu said he is as concerned about oil as he is about production waste water (salt water and chemicals used in fracking).Tuhy explained that all spills are reported to the state. He said peer groups have been implemented within the industry, aside from the SASR efforts, which currently has 10 members. Mossett said the impact to the lake is a grave concern. He said there are oil trucks that are dumping along the road or they tip and spill. He said, “The oil is going to ruin the lake.” Gunsch said there is a balance that needs to be struck. “I don't want the pendulum to swing too far because that hurts the industry.” Valeu said he thinks oversight by the state has failed and that the state needs to be questioning the practices of drilling, production and shipping. Fleck said, “You drop 200,000 gallons of oil in that lake and it will be the flashpoint.” Fleck said once there is a big spill, people will be outraged and they will see the lake in a “way they have never seen it.”
Power said the state has been virtually free of ANS thus far. He said there were only two small infestations in the eastern part of the state. Fleck said somehow the legislators and people in a position of power think the enforcement is the role of Game and Fish. Enforcement should be the state's responsibility, not just one group of users. He said, “It's not just a sportsmen's responsibility. This will be a statewide industrial problem when and if it occurs.” Fleck thanked Game and Fish officials for working with the Friends on a grant for outreach and education. “We need to create a much larger pool of dollars to put the peddle down on education and enforcement.”
Lindquist reported that the federal agencies are struggling with recruiting. He currently has eight vacancies, including a lake manager position. Positions are hard to fill because pay has been frozen for three years, layoffs are threatened and housing is costly. He said there is no additional money for noxious weeds ($125,000 was allocated) and no money for high/low water access issues. Fleck said the project generates enough to sustain itself but the money goes to the general fund. Lindquist said with everything going on in western North Dakota, he should be hiring and ramping up services.
Lindquist said the issues facing the Corps have grown as the area has boomed. He said encroachment is a problem. Water lines, oil lines and roads are all going in “with the mentality of catch us and we'll pay the fine.” He said the Corps has gone to citations, fines and directions to remove. “We're taking a harder stance on a lot of issues.” He said some of the industry appreciates and respects the resource, but there's an equal amount who don't.” BLM and Corps are going to work with the tribe and then go to the state to try to get more uniform best management practices. “We're making progress, but it's difficult.”
Lindquist said he is unaware of any further discussion with the state on a proposed federal park land transfer. Valeu made a motion that a letter be sent to the governor to ask that a task force be formed to look at this issue. Seconded by Johnson. It was suggested that we offer to lead the task force. No action has been taken on a federal transfer of land to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation either.
Keys and Larson reported for the congressional delegation. Larson said the congressional delegation is concerned about the staffing challenges of federal agencies. Keys reported that a House appropriations bill is in the pipe that would prevent the Corps from charging for water.
Lindquist reported that there has been an 18 percent increase to 1,931 campsites around the lake. The group discussed a few issues around the lake where access, namely docks and ramps, have been denied. He said there are 39 limited development areas next to 32 wildlife management areas. He said there are instances where the restricted access, because of the wildlife management areas, is ignored.
Valeu encouraged the board to consider trying to get some dollars that could be pumped through Game and Fish to assist the Corps to review its master plan, which lays out the development and wildlife management areas. Valeu said we want to make sure there are some resources there to protect and advance the process. He said as the Corps loses resources, recreation will take a hit. Johnson said we have to support public access.
Provisions of the Outdoor Heritage Fund were discussed. The fund has $30 million for access, improvements, development and conservation. It was discussed that boating or shorefishing access would most likely qualify.
Tuhy said SASR now has 10 members with the newest member being Bakken Link Pipeline of Bismarck. He said there were three training sessions in 2013 – with the EPA in Riverdale, and in New Town, Williston. Member companies can use the equipment to train themselves for their company employees. SASR also purchased winter spill response equipment. He said they are considering the purchase of some smaller jon boats to access wetland areas. He said they are working with the state on an agreement where the state can use the equipment. Non-members can use the equipment for a fee and an agreement to join.
The group decided to form a task force to discuss with state agencies about the state's level of spill preparedness. Dennis Fewless of the Health Department and Greg Wilz of the Department of Emergency Services were mentioned as two people to approach first. It was learned that the Health Department is putting together a Region 8 Response Plan that is expected this spring. Gunsch, Denning Gackle, Valeu and Jaeger volunteered to be on a task force. Tuhy said he would check with SASR to see if it would be appropriate to participate.
Minutes of the Oct. 18, 2012 meeting were approved on a motion of Johnson, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
Treasurer's report was accepted on a motion of Johnson, seconded by Ihmels. ANS report showed a $71,000 grant with expenses of $63,092.20. The balance from the general fund is $21,353. Sorge suggested to set memberships at $25 individual and $55 family. Weltz said more efforts need to be made to increase member participation. Board members said it's important to talk to organizations in the state and encourage membership. Fleck emphasized that we have to ask for membership. Value suggested that we obtain mailing lists. Others suggested that we ask member organizations to forward our E-Newsletter or invitation to join. Sorge said she'd send to the people who get her fishing report. Jaeger suggested a Paypal option on the website.
The board decided to take no position on the Clean Water Wildlife and Parks Amendment.
The board decided to draft a proposal to hire a professional lobbyist for the 2015 legislative session. The board said it would be important to find out who else the potential lobbyists are representing to avoid conflicts. Gunsch said he would help on the proposal. DeKrey suggested we run the candidate's name past legislators to get an impression.
Gifts for Greatness 2013 grant program was reviewed. Parshall Bay received $1,500 for pavilion blinds, Indian Hills $1,500 for an Automated External Defibrillator, Van Hook Association $1,500 for playground improvements. Motion Jaeger, seconded by Clarence, to continue the program in 2014 for $4,500.
Board members considered the current board. Weltz said he is resigning in 2014; Johnson volunteered to be the treasurer. Johnson will talk to Stroh to see if he is moving from Dunn County. Fleck will talk to David Johnson to see if he is still interested in serving for McKenzie County.
The meeting adjourned at 3 p.m.
 
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea
April 12, 2013 Board Meeting, Bismarck

Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 11 a.m. Board members present were: Bob Valeu, Kelly Sorge, Bill Butcher, Marie Johnson, Emmanual Stroh, Jill Denning Gackle, Blair Ihmels, Eric Jaeger, Michael Gunsch and Cory Paryzek. Absent were Clarence Weltz, Jim Mossett, Larry Kerzman and David Johnson. Others present were Mike Jensen, ND Tourism; Todd Lindquist, Corps; Greg Power, Game & Fish; Ross Keys, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's office; Jason Tuhy, Whiting Oil and Sakakawea Area Spill Response; Gary Hartman and Derrill Fick, ND Weed Control Association; Richard Fink, Bismarck Reel & Rec; Rep. Vicky Steiner, Dickinson; and Don Larson, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven's office.
Greg Power reported there are minor issues on Lake Sakakawea, primarily drought related access issues, although walleye are at record numbers. Elevation is OK, although far from good.  Last year the fish spawn was earliest on record – in 50 years. He said there may be a lottery on paddlefish next year. He referred to the Hunter and Angler expenditure report that shows that Expenditures associated with resident fishing were estimated at $384 million. Non-resident fishing generated $40.5 million in direct expenditures.
Mike Jensen reported that tourism numbers are up about 24 percent statewide. The number reason people travel to North Dakota is the outdoors. He said 22 percent of the visitors came for hiking, backpacking, 10 percent came for camping. Out-of-state sports shows showed that people are hearing positive stories about fishing on Lake Sakakawea. He said the response to fishing was stronger this year than any of his previous years of working shows.
Todd Lindquist spoke on noxious weed control. He said $375,000 was budgeted for weed spraying, but that's not nearly enough to do what we want to do. He said the Corps Riverdale office spends $300,000 - $500,000 in a typical year and could easily spend $1 million. He said that budget only allows for the worst steps to be treated and to try to keep the noxious weed problem at a management level. “We could easily spend well over a million but it's just not there.”  Lindquist said he is budgeting two years ahead so it's difficult to know the lake levels and whether weeds during low water years or erosion and protection of cultural remains during high water years will be the issue.
Lindquist said budget cuts meant initially that campgrounds would be closed but it appears that all will be open. He said he is preparing for $400,000 – 500,000 in cuts, including $335,000 taken out of the  hydropower budget and $20,000 out of recreation. He said a $300,000 elevator replacement at the power plant was included in the $335,000 in cuts. He said the Corps recreational budget has been challenged by maintenance expenses. He said the cost to pump vault toilets went up 30 percent. He said there have been improvements to the campgrounds through “in lieu of funds” from oil companies. He explained that if an oil company owes $15,000 for a lease, then the company can do $100,000 worth of improvements that benefit the Garrison project directly. He said the “in lieu of funds” have been used to remodel comfort stations and improve campgrounds. He said the budget is restricting: “If we go to a drought situation and need money to chase ramps, it's not there.”
Fleck questioned Lindquist about where the revenue from recreation and power plant generation goes. Lindquist said it goes directly into the U.S. Treasury. The only revenue that comes directly to the Riverdale project would be hay leases and “in lieu of funds” efforts, Lindquist explained. Valeu suggested that in kind improvements to the recreational sites around the lake be explored with oil companies.
It was suggested that we identify in kind opportunities around the lake and work with Game & Fish to develop a plan. Jason Tuhy explained that Whiting Oil has a social impact committee that works on projects in communities they impact. He said he would talk to others in SASR about if they have a similar program and if we work with SASR or Whiting to use that as a model for in kind projects around the lake.
As weed control issues continued to be discussed, Lindquist explained about the out granting practices the Corps uses with counties. History shows cooperation between Corps and some counties. Some counties don't want to work with the Corps. Stroh said he's seen good results when the counties are responsible, especially when there is a local person who shows them around.
Fleck asked Darrell Fick to discuss how counties could work together around the lake. Funding from the Corps to the counties helped before; now the counties are frustrated with the Corps because the money isn't there. Canada thistle continues to be a problem. Counties will cooperate if they have clear direction and funding, Fink said. Weed boards are funded by a mill levy from the county, dedicated only to weed control. Some money from the state ag department – $4,000 – for equipment, personnel. Fleck and Gunsch suggested the development of a Memoradum of Understanding could be a template between counties and Corps.
Keys reminded that going for other sources of funding doesn't relieve the federal government of its responsibilities. He said Heitkamp was involved in the surplus water issue. Don Larson added that creative solutions demonstrate the passion for the lake interests.
Lindquist said the Corps does not intend to close rec areas, although he said that because of tight federal spending the plan at federal parks nationwide is to minimize service to an acceptable level of complaints. He said there will be some automated staffing. The board and Lindquist discussed the state's conversations with the Corps about taking over the facilities the Corps manages through a lease arrangement. Lindquist said his superiors favor the idea and the state continues to express interest. Although the Friends expressed concern in October that the plan would not serve its stakeholders well, Valeu said that management by the state may rival the management by the Corps, given the limited recreation budget the Corps faces. “Long term we'll be better off with the state managing those sites.” Lindquist said the transfer could be part of the 2015 state's budget. Lindquist said the conversations began a couple of years ago when the state wanted to lease the Downstream Campground. The Corps came back with the offer that the state take them all. A tentative arrangement would be that fees (state would charge admittance to those parks) would go to the state and the Corps would continue to take care of repair and maintenance.
Fleck will contact Mark Zimmerman of the State Parks to set up a meeting. Others who offered to be at the meeting were Blair Ihmels, Marie Johnson, Lindquist and Denning Gackle. Butcher suggested that Sara Otte Coleman be invited to the meeting or at the least, be kept informed of the plans.
The board discussed a renewed interest in a 2005 transfer of land to the tribe. Jaeger asked, if a transfer is approved, if land originally purchased from the Tribe would be returned to the Tribe. Lindquist didn't have the answer. He said the impact to recreation areas is also unknown. The board voted on a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Paryzek, to send a letter to our congressional delegation and the governor asking for a congressional inquiry into the conversations regarding a transfer of 24,000 acres of land to the Tribe. (It is unknown at this time if 24,000 acres are the amount being considered. The number of acres was considered in 2005.) The board decided that a congressional inquiry will force the issue to become a transparent and public issue with public meetings, like the earlier effort in 2005-2006. Valeu said, “This conflict is of such a public nature that we need to have public hearings.” The letter will be crafted immediately by Denning Gackle, Fleck and Valeu. It will be forwarded to other organizations and on the E-Newsletter to awaken members and interested parties to the issue.
In 2006, the Friends testified against the proposed transfer based on the fact that there was no plan for how the 24,000 acres would be developed or cared for. The Friends said then, “When the fisherman and the tourists stop coming, or when the weeds obscure and encroach on the lake, businesses don’t grow.  Main Streets dry up. We don’t add jobs and people aren’t employed. The TAT elders have horror stories about the impact that the lake has had on their culture and survival.  But we, too, have our stories of the devastation that has been caused up and down Main Streets of many of our communities because of the less than stellar management of Lake Sakakawea. Without a clear plan for the developing the lands under consideration, we fear that development of new access and maintenance of existing access is in serious question.  This uncertainty will make Lake Sakakawea a less appealing destination for recreationalist and those who would make facility investments.” Fleck said TAT Chairman Tex Hall contacted Washington leaders the day the North Dakota bill was introduced to return “excess” lands to the state to manage. Fleck gave the example of Van Hook fish cleaning station and boat ramp that are currently on Reservation land; Sorge said a portion of Indian Hills Resort is on Reservation land.
Jason Tuhy updated the group of Sakakawea Area Spill Response LLC. Currently there are 10 members, including the two newest Enerplus and Bakken Link Pipeline. He said there will be a training with the EAP on June 3.  The members are: Slawson Exploration Co., HESS Corp., Whiting Oil and Gas Corp., Marathon Oil Co., Bridger Pipeline LLC, Enbridge Pipelines (North Dakota) LLC, WPX Energy Williston, LLC, Continental Resources, Inc, Enerplus and Bakken Link Pipeline LLC. He said the organization will be purchasing a 28 foot trailer containing winter spill response equipment from a Canadian company. He said the equipment will allow them to remove ice and contain a spill. He said they are also working with the state on a contract that would allow them to be able to use the SASR equipment.
Fleck asked what the railroads are doing in the event of a rail car spill. He suggested that Burlington Northern and Canadian Pacific be invited to a future meeting to talk about their spill clean up plans.
It was suggested that the organization have Friends of Lake Sakakawea Day at the State Capitol's Great Hall 2015 to educate the legislators and public about roads to recreation efforts, oil spill prevention efforts and about the Friends.
The minutes of the Oct. 18, 2012 meeting were approved on a motion of Johnson, seconded by Ihmels. Motion carried.
The 2012 treasurer's report was approved on a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Stroh. Motion carried.
The 2013 treasurer's report was approved on a motion of Stroh, seconded by Gunsch. Motion carried.
The ANS budget was considered. Board members were shown a sample of the gas pump signage that will be part of the educational campaign this year.
Bill Butcher gave the 2013 Legislative Report, reviewing:
1) HB1338, which will involve a study by the Board of University School Lands into whether excess land should be returned to the state and the tribes;
2) HCR 3010, which is a resolution urging the Corps to ensure that access to Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe for agriculture, commerce, energy and water development, and recreation is not inhibited by unreasonable regulations and to address proper funding for all project purposes and weed control on Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe. Gunsch said, although the resolution is unnecessary, it can be used in  our future conversations to show the state's commitment to the rec areas.
3) HB1019, which provides for marina funding for the purchase of Sakakawea State Park concessionaire's docks.
4) SB2221, which was the roads to recreation bill that was defeated by the House. Fleck suggested we work with the Association of Counties next session. Gunsch said he learned that DOT was involved in the crafting of the language in the bill and was supportive. He suggested that we survey our members in the next year to have specifics about what our needs are around the lake.
A plan to give up to a total of $3,000 in Gifts for Greatness was approved on a motion of Sorge, seconded by Paryzek. The program will be announced immediately with a June 1 deadline. Applications will submit a one page letter of application, describing the project and the timetable. Johnson and Denning Gackle will review the applications and get final board approval before dispensing the grants.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.

Friends of Lake Sakakawea, Annual Meeting, Bismarck, April 12, 2013

Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 3:11 p.m. Board members present were: Bob Valeu, Kelly Sorge, Bill Butcher, Marie Johnson, Emmanual Stroh, Jill Denning Gackle, Blair Ihmels, Eric Jaeger, Michael Gunsch and Cory Paryzek. Absent were Clarence Weltz, Jim Mossett, Larry Kerzman and David Johnson.
The minutes of the March 30, 2012 meeting were approved on a motion of Johnson, seconded by Ihmels. Motion carried.
A slate of officers of Chairman Terry Fleck, Vice Chairman Michael Gunsch, Treasurer Clarence Weltz and Secretary Jill Denning Gackle was elected on a motion for a unanimous ballot by Ihmels. Seconded by Butcher. Motion carried.
Butcher, who is resigning from his position on the board, was thanked for his work on behalf of the board and presented a gift.
A new board member will be sought. Dennis Hill of Bismarck was suggested. The board was restructured in the following fashion:
The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea Board Meeting
Oct. 18, 2012, Garrison Golf Club

The meeting was called to order at 11 a.m. by chairman Terry Fleck. Present were guests: Kelly Casteel, ND Water Commission, Nathan Busche, Ryan Newman and Wade Spooner, Corps' Riverdale office, Keith Witt, Garrison, Julie Fedorchak and Becky Dohrmann, U.S. Sen. Hoeven's office, Greg Power of ND Game & Fish, and Dennis Rolfs, Sakakawea Estates. Board Members attending were: Blair Ihmels, Larry Kerzman, Kelly Sorge, Jim Mossett, Marie Johnson, Emmanuel  Stroh, Clarence Weltz and Bill Butcher, Terry Fleck and Jill Denning Gackle.  Bob Valeu and new board member Eric Jaeger were unable to attend because of family emergencies; Michael Gunsch had a previous commitment. David Johnson also did not attend.
 
Minutes of the March 30, 2012, meeting were approved on a motion of Butcher, seconded by Johnson. Motion carried.
Weltz gave the treasurer's report. The balance is $32,915 in the checking account. He said memberships are holding steady or down slightly. The report was approved on a motion of Ihmels, seconded by Sorge. Motion carried.
 
Newman began his report by presenting the national 2011 Excellence in Partnership Award to the Friends. In a letter from John R. McMahon, brigadier general of the Army and division commander: “I want to personally congratulate the Friends of Lake Sakakawea as Northwestern Division's nominee for the National 2011 Excellence in Partnerships Award, recognizing your exceptional contributions to the Recreation and Environmental Stewardship programs at the Garrison Project/Lake Sakakawea. Your valuable efforts in improving community involvement and engaging new stakeholder groups have enabled the Corps of Engineers to build valuable relationships to address recreation and natural resource issues that are important to us all. I sincerely thank you for all your efforts and contributions to make Lake Sakakawea a better place for all of us.”
Newman made a report on the Corps recent efforts. He said noxious weeds are a concern, as well as getting as many ramps ready for spring. He said they are requesting at least $75,000 for the spraying of noxious weeds and said reports of weed issues can be reported to the Corps.  He said the forecast is for the lake to dip to 1827-1832 in February and are not anticipating any increases. Busche said there are currently 54 usable ramps on the lake. Ramps are being improved – beginning west to east – to improve low level ramps. Some ramps have created some challenges and unknowns because of the high water and ramps that now are silted in.
 
Fleck asked about the cooperative relationship between the Corps, Game & Fish and the local leaseholders. Fleck said it seems that the Corps is trying to minimize its recreational role. Fleck said one of the authorized purposes for the lake is recreation and a diminished focus is disturbing. Newman said there were conversations with the ND Parks & Rec about adding another state park or two on the lake, particularly East Totten Trail or Downstream Campground. If the Corps would do that, the usage numbers for the recreational sites on the state would be cut substantially, which means less dollars for  the Corps to direct toward recreation, Newman said. Newman said it would probably have to be all the rec areas transferred to the state, or none.
 
Fleck reminded everyone that all the mineral rights owned by individuals were lost when the dam was built. He expressed concern about the Corps' Lake Sakakawea recreational budget, which should be receiving money generated from the oil activity and should be coming back to the lake. Fleck said if the state would take over all the recreational sites, there should be federal funds that are directed to the state.
 
Newman explained that the Corps has been able to enhance the recreation sites through  “in lieu” funds from oil companies. These funds are a result of payments owed by oil companies for pipelines or access on Corps' land. The “in lieu” funds pay for vault toilets, picnic tables and campground improvements, etc.  Denning Gackle encouraged Newman to share information about those projects so the public is more aware of activities impacting recreation. Newman said usage at all the rec sites is up and “demand is through the roof,” according to Newman.
 
Kerzman expressed some concern that if the state would take over all federal recreation sites on the lake that they would put their efforts into larger money-making sites and close ones like Wolf Creek. He said he favored the federal government maintaining what they have and have the state establish new locations. Fleck said, “Recreation is the most incredible value added economic engine in the state” and often overlooked by the state for its potential. Butcher added that the state has mineral rights in and around Lake Sakakawea and that most of the revenue from the leases go to the ND Parks & Rec. budget.
 
Casteel reported on the ND Water Commission projects. She said one of the issues is the surplus water issue or the selling of surplus water. She said their department met with the Corps to discuss allocation of municipal and industrial water. She said the battle over water will not be decided quickly; Fedorchak said the state and the congressional delegation are in agreement on the policy about selling water but said it could be years before it is decided. She outlined some other projects relating to the Flood of 2011. More emergent sandbar is available now than the biological opinion requires. Board members were told that there is an effort to remove lease tern from the endangered species list.
 
Fedorchak said Dorhmann will be a good contact for docks, permitting, etc. She said Hoeven appreciates the lake and wants to support the developmental use of the lake for recreational purposes. The recreational budget for the Corps was discussed; she said the rec budget is part of the operational budget for the Corps so it is difficult to determine what is being spent on recreation.
 
Kerzman showed a picture from Wolf Creek of a dock on dry land surrounded by weeds. Newman said the policy is that if a dock or structure is not being used it can't be left on Corps property. He said it is a problem during a drought when more shoreline is exposed. He said permits are sometimes issued when the lake is at 1850 msl feet and then the dock is unusable at a lower msl.  The Shoreline Management plan is reviewed every five years allowing for a public comment period;  Newman said a discussion could be held on considering the plan more often. (Following the meeting, Newman and Kerman met to reach an exception for the dock.)
 
Johnson told about dock issues with Dakota Waters Resort and Beulah Bay. She said there are others around the lake that are in a recreational zone area that are not permitted to add docks. LakeShore Estates, adjacent to Dakota Waters Resorts, is trying to find an avenue to be able to use its 27 docks. Newman responded that third party agreements have caused multiple problems and having multiple uses in an area – wildlife management, limited development and recreation – cause difficulty. Newman said the solution is to work with Beulah Park Board, the managing partner. If the Beulah Park Board owns the docks, they become public docks. Rezoning was discussed. He suggested Beulah Park Board buy the docks over time, but the docks would be public. Fleck suggested the Estates donate the docks to the Park Board, allowing the docks to be leased as a first right of refusal.
Rolfs of Sakakawea Estates brought up the inconsistencies of the Corps properties adjacent to the landowners. Sakakawea Estates is between Sakakawea State Park and Bay Point. He said he wants to see some standards put in place.  Newman explained that conflicts among people often trigger changes in shoreline management. He said the public wants consistency but the lake and its shorelines are dynamic and varying. Rolfs said a solution would be to allow golf carts. Newman said some policies are hard and fast, while others can be worked through with some district intervention.
 
Sorge said she has run into a Corps policy that says no new access through Corps property. She wanted to expand her campground. The campground would be developed on private property but access would be through Corps land. Sorge said there is other land within the lease that could be developed, but the topography doesn't lend itself to camping and development. Newman said the road in and out would be public use and the private property could change hands over time. He said because the Corps is managing for the future of the lake, policies need to be enforced.
 
Newman said he was willing to set up more meetings with the public to discuss shoreline access issues. Denning Gackle said she would talk to Newman to establish a plan for the meetings. He said he would like the meetings to include the ND Parks Department and Game and Fish.
 
Noxious weeds were discussed. Newman said the Corps budget is limited but appreciates reports of weeds along the shoreline.
 
Luke Franklin of Marathon Oil explained the Sakakawea Area Spill Response efforts, which is a consortium of eight oil companies. He said two more companies are considering joining. The group is one year old.  First member training is at the facility near New Town Oct. 19, 2012. He said the budget is about half a million. Materials and personnel/contractors are available to the state, tribe and individual companies.
 
Denning Gackle asked if it was possible to set up one telephone number (like 645 – OIL) where the public could report spills or oil-related concerns. Franklin said spills are currently reported to the ND Industrial Commission, ND Health Department and the federal Bureau of Land Management. Fleck suggested that ND Petroleum Council may be willing to underwrite a telephone number.  Franklin said Bridger and Enbridge are the two pipeline companies who have the most pipelines under the lake.
 
The Game & Fish report from Greg Power was read, since he had to leave early. He said ANS efforts continue. Regarding fish production he said, small mouth bass fishery is good, while Big Pike should  provide a world-class fishery in the next 3-5 years. He said there may be some new regulations regarding paddlefish in the future. Walleye production was good until the rapid rate of water evacuation. Smelt production is OK. Salmon numbers are very good with a more questionable future.  Young walleye numbers are down, salmon is up but Big Pike world-class fishery. ANS efforts continue; Power will be asked to give a more detailed report on ANS efforts. The expenditure study conducted by NDSU will be out in early next year. He said there is a high number of new anglers. In the upper half of Lake Sakakawea, there were 300+ cases of fishing without a license. Stark, Williams and Ward counties had over two years of doubling of the number of new resident licenses – from 3,873 to 7,597. He said there are wildlife management issues because of squatters.
 
Butcher reported on the roads to recreation efforts. He said the interim state transportation committee was supportive but said it couldn't conduct a study. They recommended that we go to another state department. He said the Commerce Department and Parks and Rec are supportive; we were encouraged to get it in the governor's budget.  Butcher met with the governor's staff and was assured that the governor is supportive of quality of life improvements.  Butcher said if there was an appropriation – of $30 million – to the State Road Fund, that board could provide funds for historic, tourist and recreational roads in the state. Butcher said additional pressure will be put on within the next few weeks.
 
The Gifts for Greatness granting program was discussed.  Weltz expressed concern that the Friends doesn't have enough money to give away large sums of money. The group decided to go ahead with the plan to give grants for greatness, although a dollar amount wasn't determined. Motion by Butcher to form the perimeters, seconded by Kerzman.  Motion carried. Weltz, Johnson and Denning Gackle volunteered to serve on the committee.
 
Fleck encouraged the board to spread the word about the the Friends efforts. Sorge suggested that the Friends of Lake Sakakawea form a marketing engine to promote the lake and its members. Fleck will speak at the Van Hook Association meeting. He encouraged others to do the same.
 
Butcher said he would be willing to lobby for $2,000 a month for three months of the legislative session. Bob Valeu, who was unable to attend the board meeting, told Denning Gackle he would be willing to help, she reported. Motion by Ihmels, seconded by Johnson, to hire Butcher. Motion carried. Butcher did not vote.
 
Johnson reported on Vicky Steiner's efforts regarding Corps land and access. Steiner shared with Butcher and Johnson that Steiner is encouraging Sen. Hoeven to introduce federal legislation to move control of some of the Lake Sakakawea shoreline away from the Corps and move it to the state. Docks and water access issue would be dealt with by the state. Steiner has experienced dock and water access issues at Blue Water Ridge, north of Beulah. Again, the board discussed that moving control from the federal government to the state would only be beneficial if the budget were enough to support current activities and development. It was noted that a similar step took place in South Dakota and funding by the state was inadequate.
 
In other business, the board agreed to have oil company applications reviewed by Michael Gunsch and proposed action will be forwarded to the board. Motion by Kerzman, seconded by Butcher. Motion carried.
 
The board talked about the importance of working with county commissioners, county park boards and legislators to emphasize the economic potential of Lake Sakakawea.
The meeting adjourned at 3:42.
 
 

The Friends of Lake Sakakawea Annual Meeting
Bismarck, Game & Fish Headquarters
March 30, 2012

 
Terry Fleck, chairman, welcomed the members and guests at 10:40 a.m. Present at the meeting were: Board Members Clarence Weltz, Michael Gunsch, Blair Ihmels, Kelly Sorge, Bob Valeu, Ardell Horob, Marie Johnson, Bill Butcher and Jill Denning Gackle and Guests Greg Power of North Dakota Game & Fish, Jason Tuhy of Whiting Oil, Monte Rauser of U.S. Senator Hoeven's office, Sara Otte Coleman of North Dakota Tourism, Marty Boeckel of Senator Conrad's office, Luke Franklin of Marathon Oil, Clark Williams of ND Sportfishing Congress and Jesse Hanson of the ND Parks & Rec.
 
Minutes of the March 30, 2012 annual meeting were approved on a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Ihmels. Motion carried.
 
Michael Gunsch made a presentation on the recreational roads study. He said two presentations have been made to the legislative subcommittee and the Department of Transportation. He said the FOLS have made it clear that this is a study for roads statewide, not just in the Lake Sakakawea region. FOLS were directed to work with the Department of Commerce to potentially put dollars in the governor's budget. Gunsch said the likelihood of funding is greater if it's in the governor's budget. Sara Otte Coleman said there are some question about where the program fits – in Commerce or DOT – but the Department of Commerce if supportive of the efforts. The study would be of recreational, tourism and historic roads, which fits under Commerce efforts, but its for roads, which is under DOT's responsibilities, Gunsch explained. Gunsch said study funding is more likely to be approved if under Commerce's budget.
 
Board members weighed in on how pleased they are with the legislative response.  Butcher said legislators favored the idea of the project under the Commerce budget. Valeu said it's important that we turn up the heat on legislators through our members., when the time is right. Fleck said the lake has been an “odd fit” for the state since 1955; he said someone in leadership needs to embrace the importance of the lake. Valeu said maybe it's time for the state to develop a master plan for the lake's future.  Otte Coleman said there was one done in the 1980s and she will get a copy to the Friends. Valeu said an economic development master plan should be developed with the Department of Commerce. He said it's important that we get public needs prioritized.
 
The board members talked about how the Special Roads Fund is considered “broke,” and needs to be repaired because it is inadequately funded or a new fund needs to be developed specifically for recreational roads. Otte Coleman said it's important to look at the recreational opportunities for new and transient workers to enhance their experience here.

Board members favor funding to initiate a road demonstration project or two that would show a recreational road that can be built for less money than typical paving options. Fleck said the projects have to be supported by counties because they would have to continue upkeep, once the roads are built. Otte Coleman said the state favors pilot projects and said the project could win support.
 
Valeu questioned whether there is a way to derive some nominal revenue from the public that could be allocated to operations and maintenance of the roads. Fleck said oil companies have expressed interest in paving recreational roads. The idea of a local public-private partnership allowing for building, operations and maintenance with a turnover clause back to the public entity was considered.
 
Marty Boeckel gave the example of how to model in a fashion similar to the day care efforts for the western part of the state. She said the pilot project was an economic effort that was funded in the commerce budget.
 
The group discussed Measure 2 and how it would impact these efforts.
 
Otte Coleman said there are some community grants and this might fall into a larger community effort. She said the time is right to pursue this because quality of life is a priority. She said she will communicate with the FOLS next week about when a meeting should be established. Gunsch, Valeu, Butcher and Boeckel volunteered to work on the plan.
Fleck briefed the board on the 2020 Chamber meeting. More than 1,000 ideas were submitted including an initiative to further develop Lake Sakakawea for lodging, camping and recreation. 
 
The discussion moved to the Lake Sakakawea Area Spill Response.
 
Jason Tuhy of Whiting Petroleum described SASR. He thanked the group for letting him speak of the new efforts by the oil industry to respond to a potential environmental disaster. The industry recognizes that Lake Sakakawea is a good outlet for recreation for its workers, he said.
SASR is a consortium formed to bring in materials and equipment. He said SASR was formed in Sept. 2011 as an LLC. The goal was to gather money together to purchase equipment to respond to a spill on the lake, and also to train employees on the equipment so they would be able to respond to a spill on the lake until additional resources could be assembled.
Each member company pays an equal share to join. Eight companies have joined. He said equipment is purchased cooperatively and companies have their spill cleanup equipment. He said SASR will work cooperative with each other, in the event of a spill. He said they are developing a map with primary and alternate contact.
He said the equipment is for the member companies' use. But if there is a release and a company is not a member, there is will be able to for them to use the equipment, join SASR and return the equipment.  Luke said, “This is truly a sharing of equipment.”
 
The equipment includes two flat bottom boats, one 28 foot and another 22 foot. There are also enclosed trainers, booms, absorbent material and tools. They are still working on a secure warehouse to house the equipment. There will also be a contractor hired who will maintain the equipment and train employees. He said Clean Harbors of Minot has been hired for that role; the company has a large spill response team of more than 40 people. team if a large spill occurred.
 
Tuhy said, “This is in the event of an unprecedented event that can't be contained by individual companies. Hopefully this equipment just sits there.”
 
Fleck said, “The membership and this board appreciate what you folks have done. This is huge. We appreciate your efforts.”
 
The oil representatives talked about drilling under the lake. They said, once permitted by the Corps, they drill two miles down and two miles out, just like they do on land. The issue of drilling in the lake is no more dangerous to the environment than drilling on land, they said.
 
Board members asked if they could assist in promoting SASR and recruiting new members.  Fleck said, “We would be happy to let the public know that you are good stewards and you are taking steps to protect a valuable resource.”
 
SASR representatives said they want the public to know what they are doing and welcome the participation of more companies. Since they are a limited liability corporation they are unable to solicit for new members. Fleck said, “That doesn't prevent us from soliciting members for you.”
 
Tuhy said, “The public isn't aware of what is in place to respond. “
 
In reports, Boeckel reported for Sen. Conrad's office. She said Conrad is concerned about the Missouri River Authorized Purposes study not being funded. “It's dead at this point, which is unfortunate.” Sen. Conrad would like a decision on the taking of water from Lake Sakakawea.
 
Monte Rauser spoke for Hoeven's office. She said Hoeven supports a review of the entire river system. She said Hoeven believes in the state having a right to the lake's water.  She said he also hopes to see continuing funding for the fish hatchery.
 
Valeu suggested that the senators' staff get with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife and state G&F and make sure the US. Fish and Wildlife is appropriately funding hatcheries at Valley City and Riverdale. Greg Power said, “The whole hatchery system is underfunded.” Fleck said large sums of money have been used to restore the river system south of North Dakota. He said the Rifle Range boat ramp at Hazelton should be enhanced with federal efforts. “I'd like to see some of that money flow this way.”
Board members discussed how Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan funding was tabled.
 
Board members discussed whether the users of the state's water should be charged. Gunsch said water that is put to beneficial use by a consumer shouldn't be charged, but someone who turns around and sells the water solely for personal financial gain should be charged because it isn't for the individual’s benefit and it is the state's water. Valeu said the state has the legal right to have conditions on the use of the water. Fleck encouraged the roads subcommittee to consider using the water sales as a way to fund recreational road improvements. 
 
Jesse Hanson of ND Parks & Recreation reported that attendance was up in the state park system. He touched on projects and development within the state parks. The department is requesting a 40 campground addition. Fleck asked if there is anything that can be done, the Friends are interested in supporting the efforts. The board decided a letter to the governor will be drafted. It was suggested that we demonstrate the return on investment.
 
Hanson was asked about the slip rates at Fort Stevenson. He said they were lowered, from the rates initially set, and frozen for three years. Butcher asked if the rates at Lake Sakakawea State Park will be raised to be in line with Fort Stevenson. Hanson said that decision will come next year.
 
Valeu suggested that we look at the economic viability of marinas to see what kind of strategies to make these marinas economically feasible for the vendor and the user. He suggested a committee look at potential marinas as part of a state master plan for the lake. He said we need to assess the viability of marinas or the state is going to push the costs back to the users.
 
Otte Coleman said the tourism conference is April 23-25. She said that state isn't seeing the new recreational offerings crop up in the past few years, like they anticipated. She plugged the grant programs and how they're encouraging communities to apply.
 
Greg Power spoke about the Game & Fish efforts. Access on Lake Sakakawea is good. The boat ramp near Williston is out of commission and he said he's uncertain what will be done. In regards to the fishery, he said sauger is doing well, paddlefish reproduction up, although the sauger are eating the young paddlefish. Health of the walleye – numbers and size – is phenomenal. He said there are concerns about the forage base caused by the flood or post-flood. Once the spillway gates were closed, the smelt loss was substantial. South Dakota estimated that 90 percent  - 40 percent adult - of the smelt was lost. 53 percent of the South Dakota salmon caught were identified as coming from North  Dakota.
The flood was significant to the lake but the drought is far, far worse to the fishery, Power said. He said a creel survey starts April 1 from Pollock, SD to Fairview, MT. A statewide expenditure survey of hunting and fishing will also be conducted.
 
Power said Fred Ryman is moving to Riverdale and he will be the ANS coordinator. Fleck said he wants the state to get its arms around budgeting for education, outreach and enforcement through general funds, rather than sportsmen and Game & Fish. The board talked about the impact ANS would have on water systems and communities.
 
Todd Lindquist spoke on Corps issues. He spoke about the flood and restoration, the new lake manager, Ryan Newman, who replaces Linda Phelps, who retires May 1.  He said there were funds from oil and gas leases being used to make improvements on Corps projects. He said they were working the state to turn over Corps camping areas to the state. Valeu said this is a potentially a big issue from the federal and state level; he said we should get on this so the federal government could do like they did in South Dakota and give to the shoreline to the state, along with a reserve fund. He said we can learn from the South Dakota model. Lindquist said snowpack was about normal. March forecast is 1843 msl in July and 1835 in August.
 
Clark Williams of the North Dakota Sportfishing Congress spoke about that organization. He said the organization is concerned about ANS. Sixty percent of the fisherman at Devils Lake in June are from out-of-state. They also have lots of Fargo and Grand Forks residents who fish Minnesota lakes and then fish Devils Lake. He said enforcement issues are going to be critical to keep ANS out.
 
Election of officers for 2012-13 was conducted. The following were: Chairman Terry Fleck, Vice Chairman Michael Gunsch, Treasurer Clarence Weltz and Secretary Jill Denning Gackle. Ihmels made a motion for a unanimous ballot, seconded by Johnson. Motion carried.
 
Board Member Meeting followed
 
Present were: Kelly Sorge, Michael Gunsch, Blair Ihmels, Clarence Weltz, Jill Denning Gackle, Marie Johnson, Ardell Horob and Bob Valeu. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Terry Fleck.

The minutes of the Aug. 19, 2011 meeting were approved by motion of Weltz, seconded by Gunsch. Motion carried.
 
Kelly Sorge suggested that open houses be held at locations around the lake to talk about Friends of Lake Sakakawea. Jill Denning Gackle said she'd put a plan together to pursue the idea.
 
Marie Johnson updated the group on Dakota Waters Resort. It will be close this year because of legal issues occurring July 24. The current concessionaire has until April 30 to vacant the building. An estimated 100 campsites are at risk.
 
Gunsch said he would like to see a membership numbers comparison. There are about 500 members representing individuals, counties, chambers.
 
Weltz gave the financial report. The organization has about $36,000 in reserves. Horob made a motion to approve, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
 
The board discussed the idea of Gifts for Greatness, a granting program for projects that would help make "a good lake great," a motto of the Friends. A concept was considered. Johnson and Denning Gackle will work on the idea.
 
Compensation for board members was discussed. The secretary's pay was raised to $750 on a motion of Johnson, seconded by Weltz. Motion carried. Denning Gackle made a motion to reward the treasurer $590, seconded by Johnson. Motion carried. On a motion of Weltz, Fleck will receive $590, seconded by Gunsch. Motion carried.
 
A membership drive was discussed and a strategy was considered. Valeu was recruited as a membership chair. He said he'd look at the board list and make a recommendation on a co-chair and/or committee.
 
Fleck read a letter to send to restore funding to the Missouri River Ecosystem Recovery. Board members favored sending the letter but discussed some changes.  The letter will be emailed to Valeu for him to review and rewritten before sending out.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m. 
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea
August 26, 2011 Garrison Cenex Meeting Room

The meeting was called to order at 11:22 p.m. by Chairman Terry Fleck. Present were: Ardell Horob, Jim Mossett, Clarence Weltz, Kelly Jo Sorge, Bob Valeu, Jill Denning Gackle, Terry Fleck, Blair Ihmels, Bill Butcher and Michael Gunsch. Marie Johnson is the newest member, replacing Mike Hammerschmidt, and representing Mercer County. Absent: David Johnson, Larry Kerzman, Manny Stroh and Herman Backhaus.
Minutes of the March 25, 2011 meeting were approved on a motion of Valeu, second by Gunsch. Motion carried.
On a motion of Gunsch, seconded by Ihmels, the financial statements presented by Treasurer Clarence Weltz were accepted.  Motion carried.  Treasurer Clarence Weltz presented the reports including the Aquatic Nuisance Species fund. Fleck gave the background on the ANS funds for the past three years.

Ihmels made a motion to distribute payment to Fleck, Denning Gackle and Weltz for ANS work. Seconded by Butcher. Motion carried.
There was a motion by Valeu, seconded by Butcher, to print 5,000 brochures or a quantity that represents the most economical break. Brochures will be provided to members to fill racks in convenience stores and to share with potential members. The group discussed later and agreed on some new wording: Champions for Lake Sakakawea. No matter the level, good times for everyone.
Fleck said there is a lot of concern about recreation and lake levels following post-flooding efforts. He reminded everyone that recreation continues to get the leftovers. Recreation doesn't waste any water, he also pointed out.
The group discussed concerns about governors' efforts to take control of the Missouri River basin lakes. Butcher said there will be a lot of pressure on the Corps to release water. The Master Manual, adopted five years ago, gave more recognition to recreation. Valeu said political forces will be putting more emphasis on flood control, which could impact recreation.
Gunsch said after researching the numbers he concluded the flood could not have been prevented. Butcher said the master manual allows for flood prevention, not flood control.
Valeu said this is a good opportunity to have the Friends assess their role. He said he thought the group should be about – no matter at what level the lake is at – making sure the lake is at its best for recreation. He encouraged the group to adopt that platform that “we may be challenged at every level but we are the champions to make sure the lake is the best it can be for recreation.” He said he thinks the secondary role should that recreation doesn't be shafted in the multi-purposes set forth in the master manual.
The group agree to ask the Corps to develop an inventory of the lake's ramps before fall so the lake is ready for access this fall and spring. The board members expressed concerns about shoreline erosion and said a request should be made of the Corps to give an assessment of shoreline erosion, parking lots and facilities. There was also discussion about contacting the Coast Guard about safety issues (such as buoys and warnings) for breakwaters. It was suggested that we be on the front line for navigational maps using Google Earth and GPS.
Fleck said water in its stored capacity is where it has its real value and it depreciates as it is released. “What people are forgetting is that it wasn't too long ago that we were at 1804 msl. We've never opposed flood control,” he said.
Fleck reminded everyone that the issues are complex but commended the board members for taking on the challenge of understanding the issues.
Board members also talked about how navigation has the biggest impact on the Missouri River system at the wrong time of the year. It was suggested that Congress should be direct the Corps to change their forecast methods to allow for “more forward thinking.”
A meeting will be planned for early October to meet with state agency officials (game & fish, parks & rec, tourism, governor's office and water commission) to collaborate our message to the public, Corps and congressional delegation to meet the needs of Lake Sakakawea.
Butcher talked about the interim state transportation committee meeting Sept. 21. The committee will look at the resolution calling for a statewide study of recreation, tourism and historical roads in the state. Gunsch added that we need to emphasize that the issues we face are the same issues faced statewide. The study would inventory the needs (paving, gravel, etc.) and how to be addressed. Gunsch and Sorge will speak at the hearing. The board decided to have a map created that will show the roads around and to the lake and the road quality.
Mossett raised some issues about the quality of the water in the lake and said the Friends should be concerned about that.
The board agreed they want to be at the table with the state health department for the development of a Lake Sakakawea Oil Spill Prevention plan. The Friends will ask questions of the health department about the water quality as well. The Friends will ask the congressional delegation who has the responsibility in the event of an oil spill and who is responsible for developing oil spill prevention measures.
Valeu suggested we talk to the Corps to encourage them to review the master plan to see if new recreational development opportunities could be developed to accommodate the increased number of new residents. He also suggested the board considering a public forum with state agencies to address some of these questions about the oil spill prevention. Denning Gackle, Fleck and Valeu agreed to work on the issue.
The board reviewed the membership levels and raised the single family membership to $20 from $15 on a motion of Butcher, seconded by Valeu. Motion carried.
The meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

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Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Annual Meeting
March 25, 2011

Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 12:40 p.m. Present were board member Clarence Weltz, Jill Denning Gackle, Bill Butcher, Kelly Sorge, Emmanual Stroh, Blair Ihmels, Larry Kerzman and Corey Paryzek for Herman Backhaus. Also at the meeting were Judith Roberts for Congressman Rick Berg's office, Sara Otte Coleman and Mike Jensen (Tourism), Michael Gunsch, Lee Klapprodt (Water Commission), Greg Power (Game & Fish) and Tim Moore (Sen. Kent Conrad's), Dennis Fewless (Health Department). Board members absent: Bob Valeu, Mike Hammerschmidt, Jim Mossett, Ardell Horob and David Johnson.
Fleck thanked the board and the visitors for attending.
Butcher made a motion, seconded by Stroh to approve the March 4 annual board meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Greg Power talked about the federal fish hatchery at Riverdale and the anticipated federal cuts. Power said the fish hatchery generates approximately $10 million in economic impact. Letters will be mailed to protest cuts in funding.
The possibility of developing an oil spill lake protection plan was considered by board members and agency representatives. The Friends suggested that a Lake Protection Plan be developed and offered to help educate the public about who to call if there are concerns.

Tourism report. Sara Otte Coleman introduced Mike Jensen, outdoor marketing manager. She said the region has experienced good media coverage as they continue to pitch the fact that the lake has rebounded. Jensen talked about tourism's use of social media to reach the public. Jensen said he had many favorable comments about the lake at the sport shows.
Game & Fish report. Greg Power reported for Game & Fish on the productivity that Lake Sakakawea is experiencing because of the growth of plaxton, nutrients and smelt. He said the number of fish, weight and length of the fish are increasing. He said the bank sloughing from lake levels up and down is a problem.
Water Commission report. Lee Klapprodt said the Water Commission continue to be involved in such issues as the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study scoping document reflects the Missouri River concerns. The next meeting is March 29.
Corps of Engineers report. Todd Lindquist reported that snow pack at Fort Peck is above the 30 year historic level. Power expressed concern that not enough water is being released at Gavins. The Corps recreation budget is supposed to be cut $275 million. Fleck said the Corps – as an agency nationwide – should brand themselves as a recreational organization. Fleck asked what would have to be done to create another Van Hook at Douglas Creek; Lindquist suggested a private investor has to work with a governmental entity as a leaser.
Tim Moore reported for the congressional delegation. He said funding remains difficult and Sen. Conrad continues to try to save what can be saved in continuing resolutions.
Bill Butcher, the Friends lobbyist, gave a report on the 2011 legislative session. The report follows. The next step on HCR 3032 is to encourage legislators to select the study among other resolutions as a sanctioned study during the interim.
Fleck appointed Michael Gunsch as a board member. Ihmels made a motion, seconded by Butcher, to elect Terry Fleck as chairman, Michael Gunsch as vice chairman, Clarence Weltz as treasurer and Jill Denning Gackle as treasurer. Motion carried. Denning Gackle said she would contact Mike Hammerschmidt to see if he wants to continue as a board member.
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Board Meeting
March 25, 2011 

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m. Present were Corey Paryzek, Blair Ihmels, Terry Fleck, Clarence Weltz, Jill Denning Gackle, Kelly Sorge, Emmanuel Stroh, Michael Gunsch and Larry Kerzman. Board members absent: Bob Valeu, Mike Hammerschmidt, Jim Mossett, Ardell Horob and David Johnson.
Minutes of the Sept. 23, 2010 meeting were approved on a motion of Weltz, seconded by Stroh. Motion carried. The Friends received a packet of materials: DVDs, brochures, business cards, and information to encourage membership. Board members are encouraged to find an alternate if they are unable to attend.
Butcher talked about the DAM Yacht Club folding. He presented a check for $1,127.50 of the organization's proceeds. The board expressed its appreciation.
Weltz reviewed the 2010 financial statements and the ANS expenditures. The Friends have a Dec. 31, 2010 balance of $47,122.08. On a motion of Butcher, seconded by Sorge, the financial statements were approved. Motion carried.
Weltz reviewed the 2011 expenditures thus far, that showed a balance of $22,114.64. On a motion of Ihmels, and a second by Stroh, Fleck, Weltz and Denning Gackle received $1,000 additional compensation for their efforts on ANS education. Motion carried.
Denning Gackle made a motion to pay Jim Olson $7,000 for the DVD updating, seconded by Butcher. Motion carried.
Discussion was on who could deliver the March 29 MORST meeting. Gunsch volunteered to deliver the Friends message.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.
 

Meeting of the
Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Sept. 23, 2010
Holiday Inn, Minot

 
Action Items:
1. Request ANS funding for education from Game & Fish in March.
2. Send a representative or two to the Oct. 19 meeting in Bismarck of agencies and organizations who share an interest in North Dakota. The plan is to develop a cohesive message from North Dakota that could be used when it comes to the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study, a look at the contemporary uses of the lake and to make sure navigation doesn't receive a higher priority than recreation, hydropower, irrigation and water supply.
3. Identify a board member or member to carry the Friends' message to the Oct. 19 Corps' Annual Operating Plan meeting in Bismarck.
4. Be part of a future meeting with U.S. Senator Jon Tester to assure the continuation of the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study.
5. Proceed with plans for a new logo, brochure, redesign of the web site (sakakawea.com) and signage for the sports shows.
6. Set up a meeting of a legislative committee to identify our agenda on the state level. The same committee will review the 2009 legislative efforts on recreation roads and refine the plan. Then a meeting with state agencies will be set up to work towards a study of recreational roads in western North Dakota.
7. Encourage a study by Game & Fish on the economic impact of the lake.
8. Send a letter to all legislators in November-December about the Friends and our interests.
Chairman Terry Fleck welcomed the board members: Manny Stroh, Herm Backhaus, Bob Valeu and Jill Denning Gackle. Fleck reported that there were several absences based due to illness and unexpected work conflicts. Guests: Lee Klapprodt (Water Commission), Mark Zimmerman and Dick Messerly (Parks & Rec), Lee Kaldor (Dorgan's office), Tim Moore (Conrad's office), Mike Gusch (Houston Engineering), Greg Powers (Game & Fish).
Fleck opened the meeting by mentioning the absences and asked that board members try to find a replacement if they are unable to attend. He reported that Brad Thrall has stepped down as vice president because of other commitments. Fleck said the board is going through a time of renewal and potential new members who share the passion will be sought.
The treasurer's report was presented by Fleck. The opening balance on Jan. 1, 2010 was $44,750.26. Memberships were $13,660, which Fleck noted was strong. Expenditures for the year were $29,874 with a balance of $28,535. The Friends are administering an ANS grant of $75,000. We have received $65,000 and spent $40,655.97 thus far.
Fleck and Denning Gackle reported on the ANS efforts that the Friends have undertaken. Fleck said the radio spots came at a cost of $30,000 and a value of $75,000 to $80,000. Fleck said everywhere you turned people are hearing and reading about the importance of ANS prevention.
Klapprodt spoke about the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study, which is a look at the contemporary needs of the Missouri River system. He said that navigation is virtually non-existent on the Missouri River, although it still is strong on the Mississippi River. He said bringing Mississippi's interests into the study is a bit troubling.
The Water Commission is involved in establishing a team of stakeholders across North Dakota. The first meeting will be Oct. 19 to make sure the message presented in the MRAPS study is consistent in North Dakota. Klapprodt said the Commission wants to remind the public that the Missouri River needs to be used in North Dakota before it travels out of the state: “We need to put that water to beneficial uses in North Dakota.” He said the Missouri River is very important to the future of North Dakota and we need to plan creatively for the future.
Valeu suggested that the group try to get a concurrent resolution in the state legislature. Fleck said he was concerned that the loss of U.S. Senator Dorgan will create a challenge to have strong advocates for the future of the lake. Valeu said the MRAPS may lose its federal funding if some strong support isn't encouraged. He suggested U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana as a possible supporter; Kaldor said Tester has already been approached and is willing to be a champion for the cause. Valeu said it might be a good idea for members of this group to meet with Tester. Kaldor and Moore offered to be helpful.
Klapprodt said studies like MRAPS come and go, but he said North Dakotans need to come together to identify their uses for the Missouri River and “use it or lose it.” Klapprodt said that the current use and planned development use of Lake Sakakawea for oil extraction amounts to about 1 inch of Lake Sakakawea a year. Fleck said the state's residents have struggled with North Dakotan's understanding of the impact of the water intakes and now the oil developments. He said is actually like a thimble in a swimming pool.
Fleck said the next Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee meeting is in Sioux City. He said the water releases were down this summer because of piping plovers nesting below the dam. He said that releases at now at about 27,000 CFS and will be that high until spring, or until the lake is down to about 1835 fmsl. He said the Friends will be watching the lake levels and snow pack carefully to make sure the lake is not impacted adversely.
Denning Gackle talked about development of a new logo, brochure, mailing materials and some verbiage that identifies the mission of the Friends. Later board members gave their opinion on the logo they liked. Work will proceed. The web site will be redesigned and some new sport show signage will be purchased. Also, the DVD will be redone to represent the current issues facing the Friends stakeholders.
She presented a a piece defining the Friends for the upcoming brochure and asked for suggestions for changes.
Question: Friends? What are we all about?
Answer: POLICY
Policy that impacts recreation, economic and environmental resources
If you're interested in preserving and developing a long-term fishery, then you will be interested in:
* ANS. We are the most effective organization working in a peer-to-peer attempt to control ANS from reaching Lake Sakakawea. We are the organization that is entrusted by the state's Game & Fish Department to reach the public with this important message.
* Our relationship with ND agencies like the Game & Fish, Water Commission, Commerce and federal agencies like the Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife. We're consulted, informed and working together to come up with policies and regulations that work for the lake's stakeholders.
* Our role at the table on the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study and Missouri River Implementation Committee. We're there to make sure that recreation, water supply, water quality, hydropower and fish & wildlife are not overshadowed by navigation. Our board members' commitment to these causes gives us a strong foothold to protect our recreational interests.
If you're interested in access, then you will be interested in:
* Public policy development. We're at the table when the access policies are developed by the Corps of Engineers. We're ask the tough questions when road closures are discussed, park fees are considered and when releases are scrutinized.
* What we've learned. We've been through two droughts during the Friends' existence: the tale of one and six years of another. We're older and wiser. We know how to fight to keep the lake at a liveable level. We know where to go to protect our fishery.
* The fact that we'll lobby to keep track of state bills impacting Lake Sakakawea. We'll track legislation, testify and lobby for better roads and funding for recreational development. We've learned how to compromise while protecting our interests.
If you're interested in being knowledgeable about Lake Sakakawea, you will be interested in:
* The E-Newsletter. Members and potential Friends receive the newsletter at least bi-weekly. It's our way of sharing the news about water-related issues that impact or could impact Lake Sakakawea. During the past two years, the E-Newsletter has also served as an excellent way to inform readers about the threats of ANS.
* Being part of the organization that bring agencies and stakeholders together, working toward making a good lake great.
The board agreed to ask Bill Butcher to be our lobbyist again. Valeu raised the question of how to best influence decisions or how to take advantage of legislation. Valeu said on the federal level that there may be a discussion on commercialization of the dams, which would mean the energy production of the dam would no longer have local control. He agreed to lead a legislative committee to meet in October to determine an agenda for the state legislature.
Valeu suggested a congratulations letter should go out to all winning legislators and incumbent legislators prior to the session. He also suggest that the Garrison marina should be considered a flagship marina for this organization. Messerly said the public needs to be reminded that recreation is economic impact. Powers said that a new study on the impact of hunting and fishing will be conducted by Game & Fish.
Power said the highest fishing license sales were in 1982. He said that record sales are inching toward the new record and should be up there in the next few years. He said the fishery's '09 class of smelt was good. He said the fishing has been good and salmon fishing has returned. The forage base is excellent. Garrison Dam Hatchery is still the outstanding hatchery in the nation. He said the Game & Fish wants to put $300,000 into new plumbing.
He said a new ANS rule is that there should be no water left in live wells and bait buckets. Power said he was willing to entertain a proposal in the spring from the Friends about the future ANS educational program and a grant.
Klapprodt said the water commission is studying what constituents state land and what is local land, an issue that has arisen because of new oil and housing developments. He shared a letter from the Corps of Engineers to the water commission starting that the Corps will not allowing temporary allowance for the diversion of irrigation to industrial purposes supporting oil and gas exploration.
A water availability study has been completed by the water commission. The study looks at water available for energy development and is available on the water commission's web site.
Kaldor updated the organization on the congressional delegation's efforts. He said an water allocation study is critical to the state's energy production. Kaldor said future meetings with the Corps are in the works. Kaldor said another problem is the NAWS project and a potential hold up of as much as 15 years. He reported that it is unlikely for the federal Water Resource Development Act to be reconsidered this year.
The board reviewed some questions from members for the Corps and for the state water commission. One question had to do with water permits and water meters required at developments. Another question was about rumors that Wolf Creek Campground's west part will be closed. The water permit question will be directed to the water commission and the Wolf Creek question will be sent to the Corps.
The board discussed a thank you plaque for Sen. Dorgan. Valeu said the Garrison marina should be considered the flagship effort that the Friends supported. He suggested a plaque with an aerial picture of the marina and a picture of the August marina event Dorgan attended.
Shane Goettle, Department of Commerce commissioner, joined the meeting, as did Sara Otte Coleman, tourism director by speaker phone, joined the meeting. Michael Gunsch updated Goettle on the previous roads to recreation efforts of the Friends. Stroh talked about the Dunn County concerns. There is only one marina left in Dunn County. He described a three mile stretch of road at McKenzie Bay as terrible. Three years ago the McKenzie Bay marina club improved three miles of road at a cost about $700,000. He said three miles connecting to it are on tribal land and some funding would be helpful.
Valeu said that we recognize that recreation is not at the top of the priority list. He said he favors a different classification of roads to see how between state, federal and private stakeholders a collaborative strategy could be developed to determine how to address the roads' needs. He said since we've spent several millions of dollars to improve ramp access and been through the construction of one marina, we should get a task force engaged to examine how to fund road development.
Goettle said the goal is to quantify what the needs are and how to address. He said the relevant issue is how many miles of roads and how much it will cost. Gunsch said the roads have been identified during the last legislative session and now the dollar amounts would need to be updated. Goettle said this is the same approach that is being taken with the oil field so this approach would work for tourism as well.
He noted that $237 million will be spent on U.S. 85, and N.D. 12, 8, 23 and 22. He said the improvements will important to oil and local traffic as well as tourists. “If we put together those entry points and identify the costs, we will be able to develop a plan to address those.” He suggested a possible forum and then a committee that comes out of that.
He said a study of the impact of oil and gas to the region is being conducted. It will be completed in December and available to lawmakers for policy development. He said the information will be relevant to tourism as well since some the same roads are impacted.
Goettle said some the roads, in for example, Mountrail County, were cement and were torn up and are now gravel. He suggested that the roads be kept as gravel until the drilling is complete and then to improve them for the production phase.
Messerly asked if Department of Transportation Roads to Recreation funding is available. Gunsch said the fund is active but there isn't enough money to fund the needs. Gunsch also reported that a group in western North Dakota is considering the development of a western water system, which would lessen the traffic on the roads and supply water to oil development.
Gunsch suggested that we work towards finding funding for a transportation improvement study based on the oil and energy impact model. Goettle asked for a copy of the map used during the 2009 legislative session and said the map would be helpful in a meeting with agencies. Valeu said at the October legislative planning meeting, the group could review the map to make any changes and refine our interests and then work with the Department of Commerce and other state and federal agencies. Goettle said he would be willing to meet with the Friends in the future on the subject.
The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
 

Meeting of the
Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Holiday Inn, Minot

Action Items:
1. Request ANS funding for education from Game & Fish in March.
2. Send a representative or two to the Oct. 19 meeting in Bismarck of agencies and organizations who share an interest in North Dakota. The plan is to develop a cohesive message from North Dakota that could be used when it comes to the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study, a look at the contemporary uses of the lake and to make sure navigation doesn't receive a higher priority than recreation, hydropower, irrigation and water supply.
3. Identify a board member or member to carry the Friends' message to the Oct. 19 Corps' Annual Operating Plan meeting in Bismarck.
4. Be part of a future meeting with U.S. Senator Jon Tester to assure the continuation of the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study.
5. Proceed with plans for a new logo, brochure, redesign of the web site (sakakawea.com) and signage for the sports shows.
6. Set up a meeting of a legislative committee to identify our agenda on the state level. The same committee will review the 2009 legislative efforts on recreation roads and refine the plan. Then a meeting with state agencies will be set up to work towards a study of recreational roads in western North Dakota.
7. Encourage a study by Game & Fish on the economic impact of the lake.
8. Send a letter to all legislators in November-December about the Friends and our interests.
Chairman Terry Fleck welcomed the board members: Manny Stroh, Herm Backhaus, Bob Valeu and Jill Denning Gackle. Fleck reported that there were several absences based due to illness and unexpected work conflicts. Guests: Lee Klapprodt (Water Commission), Mark Zimmerman and Dick Messerly (Parks & Rec), Lee Kaldor (Dorgan's office), Tim Moore (Conrad's office), Mike Gusch (Houston Engineering), Greg Powers (Game & Fish).
Fleck opened the meeting by mentioning the absences and asked that board members try to find a replacement if they are unable to attend. He reported that Brad Thrall has stepped down as vice president because of other commitments. Fleck said the board is going through a time of renewal and potential new members who share the passion will be sought.
The treasurer's report was presented by Fleck. The opening balance on Jan. 1, 2010 was $44,750.26. Memberships were $13,660, which Fleck noted was strong. Expenditures for the year were $29,874 with a balance of $28,535. The Friends are administering an ANS grant of $75,000. We have received $65,000 and spent $40,655.97 thus far.
Fleck and Denning Gackle reported on the ANS efforts that the Friends have undertaken. Fleck said the radio spots came at a cost of $30,000 and a value of $75,000 to $80,000. Fleck said everywhere you turned people are hearing and reading about the importance of ANS prevention.
Klapprodt spoke about the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study, which is a look at the contemporary needs of the Missouri River system. He said that navigation is virtually non-existent on the Missouri River, although it still is strong on the Mississippi River. He said bringing Mississippi's interests into the study is a bit troubling.
The Water Commission is involved in establishing a team of stakeholders across North Dakota. The first meeting will be Oct. 19 to make sure the message presented in the MRAPS study is consistent in North Dakota. Klapprodt said the Commission wants to remind the public that the Missouri River needs to be used in North Dakota before it travels out of the state: “We need to put that water to beneficial uses in North Dakota.” He said the Missouri River is very important to the future of North Dakota and we need to plan creatively for the future.
Valeu suggested that the group try to get a concurrent resolution in the state legislature. Fleck said he was concerned that the loss of U.S. Senator Dorgan will create a challenge to have strong advocates for the future of the lake. Valeu said the MRAPS may lose its federal funding if some strong support isn't encouraged. He suggested U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana as a possible supporter; Kaldor said Tester has already been approached and is willing to be a champion for the cause. Valeu said it might be a good idea for members of this group to meet with Tester. Kaldor and Moore offered to be helpful.
Klapprodt said studies like MRAPS come and go, but he said North Dakotans need to come together to identify their uses for the Missouri River and “use it or lose it.” Klapprodt said that the current use and planned development use of Lake Sakakawea for oil extraction amounts to about 1 inch of Lake Sakakawea a year. Fleck said the state's residents have struggled with North Dakotan's understanding of the impact of the water intakes and now the oil developments. He said is actually like a thimble in a swimming pool.
Fleck said the next Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee meeting is in Sioux City. He said the water releases were down this summer because of piping plovers nesting below the dam. He said that releases at now at about 27,000 CFS and will be that high until spring, or until the lake is down to about 1835 fmsl. He said the Friends will be watching the lake levels and snow pack carefully to make sure the lake is not impacted adversely.
Denning Gackle talked about development of a new logo, brochure, mailing materials and some verbiage that identifies the mission of the Friends. Later board members gave their opinion on the logo they liked. Work will proceed. The web site will be redesigned and some new sport show signage will be purchased. Also, the DVD will be redone to represent the current issues facing the Friends stakeholders.
She presented a a piece defining the Friends for the upcoming brochure and asked for suggestions for changes.
Question: Friends? What are we all about?
Answer: POLICY
Policy that impacts recreation, economic and environmental resources
If you're interested in preserving and developing a long-term fishery, then you will be interested in:
* ANS. We are the most effective organization working in a peer-to-peer attempt to control ANS from reaching Lake Sakakawea. We are the organization that is entrusted by the state's Game & Fish Department to reach the public with this important message.
* Our relationship with ND agencies like the Game & Fish, Water Commission, Commerce and federal agencies like the Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife. We're consulted, informed and working together to come up with policies and regulations that work for the lake's stakeholders.
* Our role at the table on the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study and Missouri River Implementation Committee. We're there to make sure that recreation, water supply, water quality, hydropower and fish & wildlife are not overshadowed by navigation. Our board members' commitment to these causes gives us a strong foothold to protect our recreational interests.
If you're interested in access, then you will be interested in:
* Public policy development. We're at the table when the access policies are developed by the Corps of Engineers. We're ask the tough questions when road closures are discussed, park fees are considered and when releases are scrutinized.
* What we've learned. We've been through two droughts during the Friends' existence: the tale of one and six years of another. We're older and wiser. We know how to fight to keep the lake at a liveable level. We know where to go to protect our fishery.
* The fact that we'll lobby to keep track of state bills impacting Lake Sakakawea. We'll track legislation, testify and lobby for better roads and funding for recreational development. We've learned how to compromise while protecting our interests.
If you're interested in being knowledgeable about Lake Sakakawea, you will be interested in:
* The E-Newsletter. Members and potential Friends receive the newsletter at least bi-weekly. It's our way of sharing the news about water-related issues that impact or could impact Lake Sakakawea. During the past two years, the E-Newsletter has also served as an excellent way to inform readers about the threats of ANS.
* Being part of the organization that bring agencies and stakeholders together, working toward making a good lake great.
The board agreed to ask Bill Butcher to be our lobbyist again. Valeu raised the question of how to best influence decisions or how to take advantage of legislation. Valeu said on the federal level that there may be a discussion on commercialization of the dams, which would mean the energy production of the dam would no longer have local control. He agreed to lead a legislative committee to meet in October to determine an agenda for the state legislature.
Valeu suggested a congratulations letter should go out to all winning legislators and incumbent legislators prior to the session. He also suggest that the Garrison marina should be considered a flagship marina for this organization. Messerly said the public needs to be reminded that recreation is economic impact. Powers said that a new study on the impact of hunting and fishing will be conducted by Game & Fish.
Power said the highest fishing license sales were in 1982. He said that record sales are inching toward the new record and should be up there in the next few years. He said the fishery's '09 class of smelt was good. He said the fishing has been good and salmon fishing has returned. The forage base is excellent. Garrison Dam Hatchery is still the outstanding hatchery in the nation. He said the Game & Fish wants to put $300,000 into new plumbing.
He said a new ANS rule is that there should be no water left in live wells and bait buckets. Power said he was willing to entertain a proposal in the spring from the Friends about the future ANS educational program and a grant.
Klapprodt said the water commission is studying what constituents state land and what is local land, an issue that has arisen because of new oil and housing developments. He shared a letter from the Corps of Engineers to the water commission starting that the Corps will not allowing temporary allowance for the diversion of irrigation to industrial purposes supporting oil and gas exploration.
A water availability study has been completed by the water commission. The study looks at water available for energy development and is available on the water commission's web site.
Kaldor updated the organization on the congressional delegation's efforts. He said an water allocation study is critical to the state's energy production. Kaldor said future meetings with the Corps are in the works. Kaldor said another problem is the NAWS project and a potential hold up of as much as 15 years. He reported that it is unlikely for the federal Water Resource Development Act to be reconsidered this year.
The board reviewed some questions from members for the Corps and for the state water commission. One question had to do with water permits and water meters required at developments. Another question was about rumors that Wolf Creek Campground's west part will be closed. The water permit question will be directed to the water commission and the Wolf Creek question will be sent to the Corps.
The board discussed a thank you plaque for Sen. Dorgan. Valeu said the Garrison marina should be considered the flagship effort that the Friends supported. He suggested a plaque with an aerial picture of the marina and a picture of the August marina event Dorgan attended.
Shane Goettle, Department of Commerce commissioner, joined the meeting, as did Sara Otte Coleman, tourism director by speaker phone, joined the meeting. Michael Gunsch updated Goettle on the previous roads to recreation efforts of the Friends. Stroh talked about the Dunn County concerns. There is only one marina left in Dunn County. He described a three mile stretch of road at McKenzie Bay as terrible. Three years ago the McKenzie Bay marina club improved three miles of road at a cost about $700,000. He said three miles connecting to it are on tribal land and some funding would be helpful.
Valeu said that we recognize that recreation is not at the top of the priority list. He said he favors a different classification of roads to see how between state, federal and private stakeholders a collaborative strategy could be developed to determine how to address the roads' needs. He said since we've spent several millions of dollars to improve ramp access and been through the construction of one marina, we should get a task force engaged to examine how to fund road development.
Goettle said the goal is to quantify what the needs are and how to address. He said the relevant issue is how many miles of roads and how much it will cost. Gunsch said the roads have been identified during the last legislative session and now the dollar amounts would need to be updated. Goettle said this is the same approach that is being taken with the oil field so this approach would work for tourism as well.
He noted that $237 million will be spent on U.S. 85, and N.D. 12, 8, 23 and 22. He said the improvements will important to oil and local traffic as well as tourists. “If we put together those entry points and identify the costs, we will be able to develop a plan to address those.” He suggested a possible forum and then a committee that comes out of that.
He said a study of the impact of oil and gas to the region is being conducted. It will be completed in December and available to lawmakers for policy development. He said the information will be relevant to tourism as well since some the same roads are impacted.
Goettle said some the roads, in for example, Mountrail County, were cement and were torn up and are now gravel. He suggested that the roads be kept as gravel until the drilling is complete and then to improve them for the production phase.
Messerly asked if Department of Transportation Roads to Recreation funding is available. Gunsch said the fund is active but there isn't enough money to fund the needs. Gunsch also reported that a group in western North Dakota is considering the development of a western water system, which would lessen the traffic on the roads and supply water to oil development.
Gunsch suggested that we work towards finding funding for a transportation improvement study based on the oil and energy impact model. Goettle asked for a copy of the map used during the 2009 legislative session and said the map would be helpful in a meeting with agencies. Valeu said at the October legislative planning meeting, the group could review the map to make any changes and refine our interests and then work with the Department of Commerce and other state and federal agencies. Goettle said he would be willing to meet with the Friends in the future on the subject.
The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
 
Annual Meeting, March 4, 2010, Game & Fish Auditorium
Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. Attendees introduced themselves. Board members present were: Clarence Weltz, Bill Butcher, Larry Kerzman, Brad Thrall, David Johnson, Bob Valeu and Blair Ihmels. Guests were: Marty Boeckel, Lee Kaldor, Todd Lindquist, Terry Steinwand, Mike Gackle, Cherri Weyrauch, Ron Kraft, Morris Hummel, Reinold Kellar, Greg Power and Mark Zimmerman.
Minutes of the Jan. 22, 2009 were approved on a unanimous vote.

Reports were made by federal and state entities:

Lee Kaldor of Senator Byron Dorgan's office spoke for the congressional delegation. He said since Dorgan is chairman of the energy and water committee it is a consuming process this year. The intense oil development and the demands for water have raised new issues.
Fleck asked about the review of the federal Water Resource Development Act. Valeu said there may be opportunities for us to talk to the congressional delegation about concerns. Kaldor said he will work with Valeu on the process and Valeu will keep the board informed.
Valeu said access and our road needs might be able to be included in language to help address our needs. He said another issue might be how to use fees, if there are going to be fees, that could be channeled to local needs. The board discussed, with input from Todd Lindquist, COE, about the allocation of water and the fees charged for storage of water. A typical customer “buying” water would be a power plant or an oil company. Valeu said a nuclear power plant might be a possibility in the region, which would also have water needs.
Todd Lindquist of the Corps of Engineers spoke about the oil and gas development and the upcoming environmental assessment study that is ongoing. Fleck encouraged Lindquist to have additional meetings since some people were not aware of previous meetings. The Friends offered to publicize future meetings and comment periods. He said there are cases of entrepreneurs looking to sell water and irrigators who aren't irrigating but are selling water to oil companies.
The Corps has asked the oil and gas industry to provide details on how much water they will need and where they will need access. He said they are involving the rural water industry to update their equipment and plants. He said there will be no intakes at wildlife management areas; he said the truck traffic could break down recreation roads quickly. Marty Boeckel (from Sen. Conrad's office) said the penalties for draining aquifers are small and that should be considered. Valeu said in the 70s the process was aided by collaborative permitting; he said the Corps, counties, communities have the potential to get caught in the middle. Valeu said we should be prepared to work to revise state and federal legislation so we aren't victimized.
Valeu suggested a letter to encourage the state of ND that there be a pro-active aggressive, collaborative effort in working with the Corps and other state agencies to take a position to consider all of the social, economic, environmental and culture issues. Valeu, Denning Gackle, Butcher and Fleck will work on drafting a letter.
Fleck said there are concerns about what is the state's water plan. He said as an organization we need to be as proactive as possible.
Cherri Wayrauch said she was concerned about the impact to the roads, the countryside, the noxious weeds. She said 100-500 salt cedar plants were found coming off the Yellowstone River.
Johnson said a letter should be written to the Corps to describe concerns regarding the roads. Kerzman and Weyrauch volunteered to help with the letter to the Corps.
Lindquist said the current forecast is 1845.3 mean sea level by May 31 under the most likely scenario.
“We're going to be at fairly low releases coming out of Garrison,” he said because of widespread flood controls below. Snow pack above the dam is currently at 71 percent.
He said recreation and natural resource funding has been limited. He said the money from oil and gas pipelines has been used for local improvements like comfort stations and fish grinders. He encouraged the Friends to let them know if we have ideas; Valeu said the improvements should be recognized with publicity and the Friends can be helpful with that.
Lindquist talked about the kids' water safety program. He said the boundary surveying on Audobon is complete and the surveying around Sakakawea is ongoing.
He said the recreation model that compares the efficiency of recreational programs nationwide doesn't bode well for Lake Sakakawea; Valeu said we should work with Lindquist to see that there be revisions done to the model.
Greg Power reported for the Game & Fish Department. Power said $900,000 of federal stimulus funds were used to improve the fish hatchery. Fleck encouraged Power to have a press conference on the improvements to the hatchery. He said fishing for walleye wasn't that good on Lake Sakakawea, although some areas west were better than average. Pike and sauger had excellent reproduction. He said there was actually too much flooding of vegetation. Perch production was the best reproduction since 1997. Smelt improved modestly. G&F is stocking 4 million walleye, the first since 2005. Salmon reproduction increased to 200,000 eggs. Paddlefish reproduction was poor.
2009 boat ramps are featured on the Game & Fish website.
He said the ANS threat continues to get closer. He updated the group on grant to the Friends from the Game & Fish for a media campaign. A $75,000 grant was completed in 2009 and another $75,000 grant will be done in 2010. Fleck thanked Power for allowing the Friends to administer the Friends grant.
Mark Zimmerman spoke on the Tourism Department efforts. He said the mission of tourism is to bring in new dollars and is the third largest industry (behind ag and oil) in North Dakota. He said the #1 reason people come to ND is an interest in the outdoors. He said the ndtourism web site details the spending in each ND county. He said they're doing a lot of promotion at sport and travel shows and advertising. Fleck asked for the Commerce Department to recognize and imagine what could happen at the end of more paved roads.
David Johnson talked about MRRIC efforts. Missouri River Recovery Implementation Commission is a committee formed by the Corps, after direction of Congress, to guide the development of the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan and to provide guidance to the Corps. The next meeting is April 27-29; the assistant secretary of the army is going to be here to observe. Fleck said his goal is to say that the lake will never go below 1823.7 mean sea level; that level eliminates access problems and is easier to assure successful economic development.
Johnson said another issue on the table is how to eliminate our sedimentation issues.
Butcher said we need to communicate to the South Shore Association about the Friends efforts. (The South Shore Association is a member.) Fleck said he would be happy to speak to that organization or the Hazen or Beulah Chambers.
He reported on plans for the legislative session to increase funding for roads. A committee met last month and decided to increase funding for the State Roads Fund to anyone statewide who applies to improvements to recreation, tourism and historic roads. Fleck said requests to the SRF have far outweighed the amount of dollars.
The board conducted the election of officers. The following were re-elected: Chairman Terry Fleck of Bismarck/Van Hook; Vice Chairman Brad Thrall, Pick City; Treasurer Clarence Weltz, Van Hook; and Secretary Jill Denning Gackle, Garrison. Directors are: Bill Butcher, Bismarck; Ardell Horob, New Town; David Johnson, Watford City; Kelly Sorge, Bismarck/Indian Hills; Blair Ihmels, Bismarck; Herman Backhaus, Toiga; Larry Kerzman, Wolf Creek; Bob Valeu, Bismarck; and Emmanuel Stroh, Manning.
 

Board Meeting, Immediately following, March 4, 2010

The board meeting was called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m. Present were: Larry Kerzman, Clarence Weltz, Bill Butcher, Brad Thrall, Bob Valeu, Blair Ihmals, Terry Fleck and Jill Denning Gackle.
Minutes of the Oct. 6, 2009 meeting were approved on motion of Weltz, seconded by Ihmels. Motion carried.
Weltz reviewed the financials. The Friends have a balance of $44,165. The ANS grant spending was reviewed; Fleck said the value of the media promotion was $325,000 – 350,000. Financials accepted by Butcher, seconded by Thrall. Motion carried.
Fleck asked Butcher to work with Johnson and Valeu in forming a legislative agenda for 2011. The Friends have decided to try to get the Special Roads Fund increased for any historical, historical or tourism road in the state.
He said he was critical that we get Michael Gunsch from Houston Engineering to meet with ND Department of Transportation. Valeu encouraged us to work with the legislators, the governor and county commissioners around the lake to build a consensus.
Fleck said MRRIC's meeting in Bismarck may require the Friends to commit $500 toward the meetings in Bismarck April 27-29.
The board reviewed the plans for the Minot and Bismarck sport shows. A rod and reel, free memberships and a $300 guided fishing trip on will be given away as a membership enticement.
Denning Gackle said there is interest in a new resort, Journeys End, at Douglas Creek Recreation Area.
The meeting adjourned at 4 p.m.
 

Board of Directors Meeting
Oct. 6, 2009
Cenex, Garrison

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Terry Fleck at 12:45 p.m. Attending were board members Clarence Weltz, Jill Denning Gackle, Brad Thrall, Blair Ihmels, Ardell Horob, Manny Stroh, Herman Backhaus and Bob Valeu. Guests were Dick LeClair, Michael Gunsch, Phil Brown, Marvin Diede, Greg Power, Todd Sando, Mark Zimmerman and Lee Klapprodt.
Ardell Horob, the newest board member, was introduced.
Fleck opened the meeting by talking about the future of Friends of Lake Sakakawea. He said the group's emphasis once focused on the drought and its impact. He said the organization could easily fall back into a lulled position and asked board members to share their ideas.
Valeu said he hoped the organization doesn't let down its guard on lake levels. He said now the group can work on recreation, access, master plan and to make the lake the “diamond” it can be. He said this is the time to develop some strategies for cabinholders and those who want to use the lake for recreation. He said he hoped we would be involved in improving lake road access.
Thrall said he thought more could be done to encourage and support shore fishing.
Ihmels said he thought promotion of the resource is important. Valeu agreed and said we should find ways to empower the communities around the lake so they can leverage the appropriate officials to help them promote Lake Sakakawea. He said the only time he really sees promotion of the lake is usually at the home or sport shows in Bismarck and Minot. Valeu suggested that understanding the fishery would be helpful when sharing the message. He said the federal Water Resource Development Act is coming up for review in Congress and it may be an opportunity to develop some language and identification that may be helpful.
Stroh said the Corps and Game & Fish have helped the lake with ramps and now the emphasis should switch to roads. Backhaus agreed and talked about the Beaver Bay campground growth.
Fleck and Denning Gackle said they hoped the Friends would continue to be the best source of information on the Missouri River basin.
Weltz talked about the Van Hook improvements, including a playground and rural water. He said he wished there were ways to charge an access fee to raise some funds.
Fleck suggested that the group build a relationship with the ND Petroleum Council and the oil industry because its employees are becoming full-time residents, use the lake and roads. Brown explained that 80 percent of the mineral rights of the Corps land are privately owned. Valeu suggested that the coal fired plants should be alerted to the Friends' efforts. He said the Friends should be aware that bottom ash could be used for road improvements.
Another goal of Fleck's was to get a board member from the Three Affiliated Tribes to fill the tribal position. Klapprodt suggested that by promoting the goals of the Friends, it will be easier to sell our membership.

Minutes of the Jan. 22, 2009, meeting were discussed. The minutes were accepted on a motion of Thrall, seconded by Weltz. Motion carried.
Weltz reviewed the treasurer's report. There is a balance of $24,224 in the general account. So far $46,206 has been spent of a Game & Fish grant for Aquatic Nuisance Species. Denning Gackle made a motion to chip in $645.65 and Stroh seconded to settle the MRRIC account. Thrall motion to accept the treasurer's report, seconded by Backhaus. Motion carried.
Denning Gackle gave a membership report. She provided a report by town and encouraged board members to seek new members. Weltz added that there 222 members paid in 2009 and 68 that paid last year toward 2009, for a total of 290 members.
Michael Gunsch made a report on the road improvement project, “Paving the Way to Lake Sakakawea.” (See the plan at www.lakesakakawea.com under Activities.)
Denning Gackle made a motion that the plan be accepted and that Michael Gunsch be hired to review applications at a cost of up to $500 per application. Thrall seconded. Motion carried. Backhaus made a motion to amend the motion to put a cap on of $10,000, seconded by Weltz. Motion carried.
Fleck explained the Missouri River Recovery and Implementation efforts and the Missouri River Authorized Purposed Study. Sando of the Water Commission spoke about the importance of the public engaged in MRAPS because recreation and the fishery need to remain high priorities.
Power reported on the Game & Fish. He talked about ANS concerns and efforts to educate the public. He said there are concerns about Minnesota lakes and reports of infestations. He said access was good at all locations. Fishing was challenging because of changed conditions but there was good forage production.
Phil Brown said the Corps is working on controlling seasonal grazing. He said the release rate will grow to 19,000 cfs, although it was as high as 34,000 cfs in the past. There will be public meetings coming up regarding oil and gas exploration requests; the Corps is readying for 700 to 1,000 requests for oil wells on Corps property, however the Corps will not necessarily have the mineral rights. He said there may be off shore drilling requests, too. Plywood on the trash racks are being removed to improve efficiency of the power production. Three-year pilot program of long term camping is still under review before it can be implemented permanently; nine concessionaires use the program. He explained about why Deepwater camping was slow to open up.
Denning Gackle reported on ANS efforts and showed the notebook containing all publicity that went into the ANS effort.
Klapprodt asked if the New Town marina plans were still a priority. Fleck answered yes and others were in agreement.
Zimmerman talked about the Tourism Department's efforts to promote the lake at sport shows. He asked the Friends to encourage a member or two to work the shows and promote Lake Sakakawea.
Meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.
 

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Annual Meeting
Jan. 22, 2009
Beulah Grand View Restaurant

Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 4 p.m. (MT). He welcomed Marion Houn, representing the congressional delegation, Mark Zimmerman, Tourism Department and Myra Axtman, Hazen Chamber. Present was also Board Members Bill Butcher, Brad Thrall, Kelly Jo Sorge, Cory Paryzek (for Herm Backhaus), Mike Hammerschmidt, Clarence Weltz and Jill Denning Gackle.
Fleck reviewed the 2008 Accomplishments. Fleck said the list fills one with pride. He said the group continues to accomplish great things. He thanked Jim Olson of KXMC-TV for the excellent job in creating the Friends' DVD.
On a motion of Klapprodt, seconded by Thrall, recommendations of the IRS were approved: 1) the mission of building on recreational, economic and environmental opportunities of Lake Sakakawea; 2) the current goals of building on federal, state and private partnerships, developing and improving quality lake access and opportunities; and
setting the stage for many future years of quality recreation and enjoyment and 3) approved the size of the board: 4 officers and representatives: 1 tribal, 2 recreation, 2 economic development, 2 cabin sites and 6 representatives of the six lake counties. The IRS is stiffening up not-for-profit regulations so there may be more politices and regulations coming down. Motion carried.
On a motion of Butcher, seconded by Klapprodt, a unanimous ballot was approved of Chairman Terry Fleck, Vice-Chairman Brad Thrall, Treasurer Clarence Weltz and Secretary Clarence Weltz. Motion carried.
Butcher made a legislative report. The thrust of the session is to pave roads to Lake Sakakawea. HB1514 is to change the amount that can be transferred form interest earned by monies in the Highway Trust Fund to the Special Roads Fund from 40 percent to 100 percent. Counties could apply for SRF funding to have roads leading to or within recreational, tourist or historical areas improved or built. This would make money available for lake road access improvements.
HB1515 is an appropriation of $30 million for seven paving projects around the lake: Camp of the Cross/Triangle Y Camp (6 miles), Indian Hills (4 miles), McKenzie Bay (6 miles), Reunion Bay (8 miles), White Earth Bay (10 miles), Wolf Creek Recreation Area (5 miles) and Little Beaver Bay (3 miles).
Butcher explained who is sponsoring the bills and how the bill will progress. He said there may be matching dollars that might be awarded under the federal stimulus packages that we hear about.
He detailed other bills relating to the oil and gas production taxes and bills for noxious weed and pest control and road repairs.
Another bill that the Friends have supported is HB1379, a bill to authorize $300,000 for a feasibility study for a marina, Sanish Marina, near New Town, and to allow Game & Fish to pave a road to the marina. The marina would be under the control of the New Town Park Board.
Klapprodt suggested that we put together a packet of support materials and our positions on the bills we're following to present to the governor.
Mark Zimmerman of the Tourism Department reported that he has been on the sports show circuit. He's had a good response. He will provide further updates to the board via email.
Fleck appointed that following board members to the 2009 slate. The list below includes the officers who were previously elected:
Board Members 2009:
Chairman Terry Fleck
Vice Chairman Brad Thrall
Treasurer Clarence Weltz
Secretary Jill Denning Gackle
Mercer County: Mike Hammerschmidt
Dunn County: Emanuel Stroh
McKenzie County: David Johnson
Williams County: Herman Backhaus
Mountrail County: Clarence Weltz
McLean County: Kelly Jo Sorge
Tribal: Mervin Packineau
Recreation: Bob Valeu, Blair Ihmels
Local Businesses: Ardell Horob, Jill Denning Gackle
Economic Development: Brad Thrall, Bill Butcher
Cabin Sites: Larry Kerzman, Terry Fleck
The annual meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Board Meeting
Jan. 22, 2009
Beulah Grand View Restaurant

 
Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 5:20 p.m. The minutes of Oct. 30, 2009 meeting were approved on a motion of Weltz, seconded by Butcher. The minutes were approved.
Clarence gave the treasurer's report, which was approved on a motion of Thrall, seconded by Hammerschmidt. Motion carried.
The 2008 income was $70,113. Expenses were $42,142, for an ending balance of $27,970. Membership income for the year amounted to $17,763 -- $15,620 for 2008, $2,145 for 2009. Of the memberships, 2 were for $1,000; 24 for $250; 46 for $100; 48 for $50; 4 for $25; 2 for $20; and 175 for $15. Denning Gackle said that the organization lost 60 members in 2007, but gained 57 new ones. She encouraged the board to consider the materials provided that breakdown membership by town and work to get new members, particularly from cities, counties, fishing groups, cabin sites, economic development groups and water boards.
Fleck thanked Weltz for his help on the membership and treasury work. Fleck said more membership efforts need to be made through personal contact. He said more members wil be needed as the organization needs to hire engineers or lobbyists and fund its goals.
Klapprodt said the agencies have been impressed with the Friends' efforts, and particularly Fleck's efforts on water issues, He said the agencies were also improcessed with the Friends' contribution toward funding Fleck's MRRIC travel.
Phil Brown reported for the Corps. He said the last time the lake got above 1830 msl was July 2002. The forecast pushes the lake into the 1830s. He said there are shoreline access meetings coming up. He said all ramps should be usable this summer. Since 2001, $6.5 million has been spent on boat access improvements. Brown said the $500,000 congressional add on is still tracking through Congress.
Dick Messerly reported on the Parks & Rec Department. He said a new contractor will be finishing the Fort Stevenson marina and is expected to done by March. He said a concessionaire will be sought for one or both (referring to the old marina) marinas.
Marion Houn reported that the government stimulus package is in the works. She said the $500,000 add on is still alive and the congressional delegation will work hard to make it happen.
Klapprodt outlined U.S. Governmental Accountability Office report that found the majority of materials shipped on the lower Missouri River is sand and gravel moved less than 10 miles. He said we're sacrificing our river to support a sand and gravel operation downstream. Klapprodt asked that we send a letter to congressional delegation to thank them for requesting the GOA Report.
Fleck leaves for another set of MRRIC meetings Monday. The committee is still involved in developing the organizational structure. The committee is charged with reaching a compromise between the upper and lower basin states on the issues. The Friends board and members will receive reports in the future.
Mike Hammerschmidt made some observations on his joining the board.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Board of Directors
Oct. 30, noon, Garrison Cenex meeting room

Chairman Terry Fleck welcomed the board. Present were: Bill Butcher, Clarence Weltz, David Johnson, Kelly Sorge, Blair Ihmels, Herman Backhaus, Larry Kerzman, Lee Kalpprodt and Brad Thrall. Additional guests were: Dick Messerly, Stu Merry, Kenton Onstad, Todd Lindquist, Warren Larson, Greg Power and Mike Gunsch. Absent were: Clayton Folden and Manny Stroh.
During introductions Messerly updated the board on the marina, the new trail system, ramps and camping attendance. Butcher talked about the sailing article in Boat USA magazine, which gives significant recognition to Friends of Lake Sakakawea. Backhaus talked about some improvements at Little Beaver Bay. Mike Gunsch explained that he attended the meeting on behalf of the New Town Marina. Sorge said activity at Indian Hills was good and described the Lewis and Clarke legacy trail system. Weltz said Van Hook just completed its eighth concrete ramp. He said the oil activity has meant more full-time residents at Van Hook and more permanent residences have been built.
The board reviewed the May 13, 2008 board minutes. The minutes were approved on a motion of Butcher, seconded by Thrall. Motion carried.
The financial statements were reviewed by Weltz. The balance is $34,191.86. We received 26 pre-payments for 2009, resulting from the brochure and DVD mailing. Weltz said he would like to see more cities, counties and business memberships. Fleck said he doesn’t think enough people appreciate what the Friends have done; he encouraged the board to talk to more people about joining. The treasurer’s report was approved on a motion of Johnson, seconded by Butcher. Motion carried.
Lindquist updated the board on the Federal Lands Recreation Improvement Act. The act allows the revenue from the passes to go directly to the agency that sold it, but not to the Corps. SB3305 has been introduced to include the Corps. The Friends have gone on record in support of it. He said a Senate appropriation bill has $1.7 million for the Williston pumping plant and $100,000 for mosquito control and $500,000 for lake access improvements. He reviewed the lake levels, which is currently at 1825.86 msl. The forecast for summer should be 1827 to 1833 msl. He said the flooding downstream benefited the lake tremendously. He said the new Master Manual provided the Corps with the authority to cut releases and to bring the lake up to a more reasonable level. He complimented the group on having large attendance at AOP meetings; he said the attendance at the October meeting was one of the larger in the entire basin region. Lindquist said the new levels should be better for fish spawning. Lindquist said there was no official word on the tribal land transfer.
Rep. Onstad talked to the group about the 2009 legislative session. He said he would like to see some legislation that would channel $10-15 million for western water development. Fleck said in the 57 years of the lake nothing has been done to develop roads around the area. He asked how we approach our legislative bodies, agencies and members to get roads improved. Onstad said the county roads should be placed on the state highway system or the Association of Counties should get involved to see development. Klapprodt suggested the more specific the requests (where, cost estimates, traffic counts, etc.) the better the results.
Johnson suggested that a map of road priorities needs to be developed for future funding sources. Gunsch said he would be willing to develop a preliminary road plan. Onstad said he would be supportive of legislation that would address the road issue.
Johnson made a motion that the Friends develop a map and initial cost estimate for road improvements around the lake. Seconded by Backhaus. Motion carried.
Onstad said other legislation that may impact the lake has to do with fire and ambulance districts.
Denning Gackle asked him if he thought a questionnaire of legislators to gauge their interest in the lake and water projects would be helpful. He agreed and said legislators will be willing to fill the surveys out between the election and the pre-session.
Power reported on the Game & Fish Department issues. He said the fishery prefers the lake to be 1837 to 1850 msl and never below 1825 msl. He said the Corps has come a long ways in their understanding of the state’s issues. Garrison has had an increase in recreational visits, particularly in interests beyond fishing. He said the smelt spawn was poor; he said keeping the lake above 1825 msl and half a foot to one foot rise in late April, early May will help. The salmon fishery was a pleasant surprise. Paddlefish reproduction, he said, was phenomenal.
He said the ANS program is in place. He said Lake Sakakawea has curly leaf pond weed. There is concern for Eurasian Millfoil. No tickets were issued yet while the department works to educate the public. He said there have been occasional checks at the border and of duck hunters. Klapprodt asked if Game & Fish had considered doing grants to organizations to allow them to help spread the word. The Friends will develop a request letter to the Game & Fish for funding of efforts to publicize the ANS issue.
Messerly said the state parks’ 2009 budget proposal includes equipment updates and continuing noxious weed efforts. August was a huge month for state parks. He described some local park improvements.
Warren Larson, Sen. Dorgan’s deputy state director, said a funding contingency resolution continues. He said Sen. Dorgan continues to have the lake’s best interests at heart. He said allocations will be tougher in the future because of the U.S. financial situation. Larson said Sen. Dorgan wants to know of the organization’s plans.
Fleck was nominated by the Friends and represents recreation on the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC). Johnson represents the state on the committee. Fleck said the expenses on the first meeting were about $2,500. He said there is a meeting on Nov. 10 at the water commission to discuss how his participation will be funded. Various water user groups and Garrison Diversion will be at the meeting. He asked that his expenses for the first two meetings of approximately $4,000 - 5,000 be funded by the Friends. Tentatively the Water Commission is funding 50 percent of his expenses in ’09; Garrison Diversion will pay 25 percent and the balance will be paid by water boards.
MRRIC’s primary purpose is to provide input to the Corps, tribe and federal agencies on the restoration of the Missouri River ecosystem. The spring rise is one feature that the committee reviews, a function that could require large amounts of water to be released.
Thrall made a motion for approximately $4,800 to pay for Fleck’s expenses at the ’08 meetings. Seconded by Denning Gackle. Motion carried.
No additional weed dollars are available, it appears. Greg Power said a detailed lake map is being developed that will be printed and also available on the web. More DVDs are available for members to use to sell memberships. Sorge and Denning Gackle reported on how www.sakakaweacountry.com is available. Klapprodt suggested that the lake’s businesses and amenities be documented on Google Earth.
The group discussed whether it’s the Friends role to be involved in a marketing effort for businesses around the lake. Fleck said he thought the Friends could facilitate tourism efforts but it may not be our mission. Sorge said she thought including marketing in our efforts would bring more people into the organization. Fleck said the Friends will continue to be a conduit.
Steve Stenehjem’s resignation was accepted. Butcher made a motion to appoint Mike Hammerschmidt to a Mercer County post and to move Brad Thrall to an economic development post. Seconded by Thrall. Motion carried.
The board discussed when to hold an annual meeting, possibly the third week in January, in Beulah.
Mike Gunsch made a report on the progress on the New Town marina, which is north of New Town at a location just north of Sakakawea Point. He said at some point the Friends will be asked to write a letter of support for the marina. He said funding of the $16 million project is a challenge that they are trying to overcome. Gunsch said he appreciates the Friends’ continued support.
Denning Gackle, Klapprodt, Fleck and Butcher were appointed to a legislative committee to work with Butcher on legislation.
Meetings: Nov. 5 is the meeting to develop a plan for congressional improvements. A meeting Dec. 3 will be to discuss winter access issues. Both meetings are at 10 a.m. at the Riverdale office.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m. on a motion of Denning Gackle, seconded by Butcher. Motion carried.
 

Board Meeting
May 13, 2008
Cenex Meeting Room, Garrison

Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. Attending the meeting were: Clarence Weltz, Blair Ihmels, Brad Thrall, Kelly Sorge, Herman Backhaus, Jill Denning Gackle, Bill Butcher and Lee Klapprodt. Guests were: Greg Power of Game & Fish and Todd Lindquist of the Corps. Absent: Mervin Packineau, Manny Stroh, Clayton Folden, Larry Kerzman, David Johnson and Steve Stenehjem.

Board members shared their experiences since they’ve been on the board and what issues face the areas they represent. Sorge said she promotes the Friends through the Indian Hills resort and through her summer fishing reports. She suggested that we spread the word that we’re about more than legislation.

Butcher said he’s been a member since inception. He was involved with the Dam Yacht Club that was active in legislation. The Friends took over that role, he said. As a former executive director for National Federation of Independent Businesses, he said he remains committed to economic development.

Backhaus said his work with the Friends began several years ago when he was active with Little Beaver Bay. He said he solicited membership at the Williston boat show recently.

Klapprodt joined when he was active with the salmon fishery and access issues first became challenging. He said the Friends have been able to influence where federal funding can best be used on the lake. Today he said the Friends have become an outspoken and effective voice for the lake’s interests.

Power said he hopes that his office has done a good job of explaining the forage issue to the public. He explained the G&F position that G&F dollars should support areas where access is free since it’s paid for through fishing licenses, gas tax, and retail excise taxes on fishing equipment, etc.

Lindquist said he hopes the group can explain that the Friends focus on issues lake-wide. He said he appreciates the work the Friends have done with the congressional staff and his staff. He said there has been good communication between his office and the Friends.

Thrall said he has encouraged people to join, including his cabin site group. He said the e-newsletters are helpful communication.
Weltz said the counties have gained through a lobbyist at the state legislature and weed control. He said the Van Hook Association and their newsletter have been very helpful to the Friends.

Denning Gackle said she’s seen the group grow from a small group of passionate individuals to an effective organization. She said she’s interested to see where the future will take this organization.

Fleck said the group has become an effective organization that has become a force to be reckoned with. He said he appreciated the role that Duaine Ash, former chairman, played in this organization and he hopes that he can bring him and the Sportsfishing Congress to back into the group. He said he thinks by working together we can have more leverage with the congressional delegation in the future. He said by working together we could build more super marinas on the lake.

Minutes of the Dec. 12, 2007 meeting were reviewed and approved on a motion of Butcher, seconded by Sorge. Motion carried.

Weltz reviewed the current financial report and the 2007 report. The Friends currently have $46,914 in the bank. 2008 memberships amount to $13,645. The financial report as accepted on a motion by Klapprodt to approve, seconded by Thrall. Motion carried.

The members reviewed the 2008 memberships. Fleck encouraged members to solicit for businesses, communities and organizations to join us. He said we shouldn’t be bashful about asking for memberships. He said it’s good to ask people: “What would have happened without the Friends?”

Thralled asked that that list be sorted by county, type of membership.

Fleck said he has been encouraged by power plant and mine workers to get their companies to join.

Power reported on the fishery. He reminded everyone that ANS is the law. He reminded the board of the rules. Fish cleaning stations, docks and toilets are the focus of development efforts this year. He said it remains a challenge to explain to the public why they aren’t stocking walleye. They are stocking 50,000 salmon in Lake Sak this spring and 15,000 in the fall. Spawning is complete. Fish quality (condition) at White Earth and Van Hook improved a fair amount from last year and lake-wide conditions might be a little bit better than last year. Access should be about the same as the past four summers.

Lindquist reported that snowpack is 110 percent of normal, releases will peak at 15,000 cfs this summer, current releases are at 11,000 cfs and Lake Sak continues to benefit from being the preferred lake in the system this year. Most ramp improvements should be completed by Memorial Day. He updated the board on the federal lands recreational improvement act that left the Corps out of the act; the Corps will not be able to sell passes and use revenue from the sales for improvements.

The proposed federal land transfer is still on the table, he said. He said the next step he is aware of is a meeting planned with congressional representatives and the Corps. Our congressional delegation and the governor continue to be opposed to the federal land transfer to the tribes, the board discussed.

Lindquist said nationally the Corps is finding it difficult to get recreational funding. He said he expects a push to out grant Corps recreation areas to other organizations as budgets are expected to continue to decline.

Fleck reported on a meeting with the ND Department of Transportation about the lack of a road plan for the lake. He said there is acknowledgement that the roads are often in poor shape although we invite people to the lake and that they should have good road access. The board agreed it is important to focus on this as a priority.

He reported on a meeting with Pam Gullickson, who recently took over the position that Bob Valeu held at Sen. Dorgan’s office.

Fleck said we should have informational meetings with our county commissioners, legislators and area residents to inform them about the Friends’ interests and how we can all make a difference. A preliminary list of needed road improvements could be presented to the public to get weigh-in for local cost sharing. Klapprodt suggested that we piggyback on road improvement proposals that will be suggested because of oil activities. Power said historically people involved in the oil activity are big users of the lake.

Klapprodt suggested a questionnaire to legislative candidates with the results published to membership. Butcher said he has had some experience in creating questionnaires. Denning Gackle will work with Butcher to develop the questionnaire.

Fleck said Warren Anderson will be working in Dorgan’s Bismarck office.

Denning Gackle outlined the DVD plans. The board agreed, on a motion of Klapprodt , seconded by Thrall, to hire Jim Olson of KXMC-TV to produce the video for $5,000 - $7,000. The DVD will focus on encouraging the public to realize they can make a difference.

Klapprodt suggested that the DVD be shown to potential members and also shown on Cable TV outlets. It could be shared with media statewide and regionally.

Fleck said that that Missouri River Joint Water Board is discussing Thursday the possibility of contracting for a Missouri River coordinator. Klapprodt said it will be important to establish a budget and responsibilities.
A vacancy on the McLean County Water Board remains, Fleck said. Denning Gackle will find it who is on the board and to identify someone who would be able to serve.

Bill Butcher agreed to be a lobbyist for the Friends in 2009-2010. Motion by Thrall, seconded by Weltz. Motion carried.

Sorge updated the group on interest to joint market Lake Sakakawea. She showed examples of the North Dakota Travel guide. She said you have to look hard to find Lake Sakakawea in the guide. She said a page is about $3,000 - $4,000. She said that it’s hard to get in the publications individually. She thought a marketing collaborative effort would be helpful. Sorge has visited with the South Shore Association and attended a meeting with concessionaires around the state.

Dakota West Adventures is an organization that is a web site of web sites, which is what she would like us to model our efforts after. The board discussed the idea of setting up a separate web site and a separate mission statement, possibly seeking grants to get the idea started. Denning Gackle said she will work with Sorge to develop a plan.

Klapprodt reported on the Flood Control Act. South Dakota has called for the act to be reviewed, North Dakota hasn’t taken a strong position. Should we push for a review of the act? He cautioned that we could come out worse than we are right now.

The board considered whether to attend Water Day at the State Fair July 24. The board favored the idea of attending. Jill and Terry talked about attending. Klapprodt made a motion to be at Water Day, seconded by Backhaus. Motion carried.

The group talked about creating and selling a paper map. The group will research options before the next meeting.
Motion adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

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Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Board Meeting
Dec. 12, 2007
Up the Creek, Minot

Chairman Terry Fleck called the meeting to order at 11:30 p.m. Guests were: Todd Lindquist, Dave Fryda, Fred Ryckman, Gail Bergstad and Clark Williams. Board Members attending were: Fleck, Lee Klapprodt, Brad Thrall, Larry Kerzman, David Johnson, Corey Paryzek (for Herm Backhaus) Bill Butcher, Kelly Sorge, Duaine Ash, Clarence Weltz and Jill Denning Gackle.
 
Fleck introduced Gail Bergstad from U.S. Senator Conrad and Dorgan’s office, from the Game & Fish Department Fred Ryckman and Dave Fryda, Clark Williams from the ND Sportfishing Congress, and Cory Paryzek, who is here as the Williams County representative.
 
Fleck thanked the board and the officers for their efforts. He expressed his appreciation for their volunteer work and their undying love for the lake and their dedication to the people who share their love of the lake.
 
Fleck informed the board the he was recently elected to the ND Water Users Board.
 
The April 25, 2007 minutes were approved on a motion of Klapprodt, second by Butcher. Motion carried.
 
Weltz made a treasurer’s report. The organization ended December with an approximately $38,000 balance.
 
The board discussed that we will not receive any weed dollars for 2007-08.
 
Fleck reminded the board that 2006 was our highest membership year. He asked the board to go back to their organizations and cities to join in 2007. “We have to ask, people are not going to pick up the phone and call you,” he said. Membership letters and newsletters will be sent to existing members, Chambers, cities and counties around the lake, League of Cities members, Sportfishing Congress clubs and other cabin site owner groups. A county water management list from the State Water Commission was also suggested.
 
The board heard about the recent marina groundbreaking for Fort Stevenson marina. Fleck and Denning Gackle reported on the event. Fleck said Jerry Aftem has plans approved for the next marina at New Town.
 
Dave Fryda of the Game & Fish office talked with the Friends about the state of the fishery. He said 2007 was a big changing year for the walleye population. Fishing was good in 2006 – near record harvest, high yields, good weights. Smelt population was dropping since 2002. Smelt seldom live longer than four years. Below 1825 msl for several years is too long to sustain the smelt, he said. Fish are thinner with some of the lowest relative weights since smelt were introduced in 1971, which tells us there are some serious forage issues. He said: We can stock, introduce species, but it wouldn’t be productive because the forage base isn’t present. Until we see some improvements in smelt production, we won’t see any improvement. Fryda showed some charts to show the level of zooplankton, which is the smelt’s food. The charts showed a dramatic drop in zooplanton since 1997.
 
Sorge asked Fryda what level the lake would have to come up to improve the lake. He said the water level has to come up into the weeds, which would be at least 1823 msl.
 
He said the answer is better water management and more rains. He said the contemporary climatic issues need to be addressed in current water management. He said 18 of the past 40 years have been considered “drought” years and that the lake needs to be managed with that in mind.
 
Rckyman said the current master manual is better for the lake than the previous master manual. He said that system can’t be managed on hope and a prayer that abundant rainfall will bring the lake up overnight.
 
Klapprodt asked Fryda if there is anything that can be done for a quicker rebound on the lake. The example was given that in South Dakota there was a smelt die-off, the state promoted catch and keep and an increased limit.
 
Fryda said the department has suspended walleye stocking and reduced salmon numbers so they’re sustainable. He said the current walleye population is about half what it was in 2000 so there is not an over abundance of fish.
 
Todd Lindquist talked about the Williston pumping plant and how the Corps is struggling to meet capacity. The Corps has developed plans for a $1.3 million pumping plant. He approached the city and the water resource board to help in the funding. The Corps has it listed as an approved project but the full funding isn’t there. He said his preference is for the plant to be federally funded and then operated by the city. The board discussed the idea of letters to the congressional delegation and Gen. Woodley, but decided to not get involved until they are invited to participate in the discussion.
 
Rykman informed the group that the 9-mile dike and pumping station were built to protect Williston when the lake was developed.
 
Lindquist told the group about the federal lands recreational improvement act. The act left the Corps out of the plans so the Corps can no longer sell Golden Age park passes from their Riverdale office. Pass revenue used to come back to the areas where the passes were purchased. Passes can only be purchased in Bismarck now. Bergstad said a letter from the organization would be helpful. Denning Gackle will work with Lindquist to develop a letter. Several board members asked if there was a possibility of on-line purchases, something Denning Gackle said she would inquire about.
 
Lindquist said $950,000 had been earmarked by Sen. Dorgan for a congressional add-on for access improvements. He said reports he received were not looking favorable.
 
The master plan was reviewed. A sample of a user brochure was passed out to board members. He said the public involvement in the process was unprecedented nationwide. He said the success of that effort opened up opportunities for future efforts.
 
The group talked about changing the plywood intake structures to permanent intake structure. He said steel grates could be designed instead of plywood solutions. He said it will take a group of people getting together to discuss the options and agree on the solutions. Ryckman said the intake structure has made a significant difference. Lindquist said he had other issues along with the intake structures that he hoped we could talk about.
 
Fred Ryckman and David Johnson spoke about the MRRIC process. MRRIC is Missouri River Recovery Improvement Committee. MRRIC was formed to provide a basin-wide collaboration on recovery activities, ensure consideration of public values in recovery decisions, involve tribes, states, stakeholders and federal agencies, develop a consensus-based management plan and play a critical role in adaptive management.
 
Johnson said one of the benefits to the group could be delisting piping plover from the endangered species act. Both said if the group reaches consensus it could make a huge difference in the future of the Missouri River basin stakes. Johnson said a committee is now being formed. The board considered how to get a member on the committee. Johnson said the cost would be $6,000 - $8,000 a year to cover travel expenses. Johnson will put together a plan of action to share with the board. The board was asked to consider people who may be willing to serve on this commitment. Ryckman said the organization is an excellent opportunity to influence the lower basin states in recognizing the needs of the upper basin.
 
Lindquist and Bergstad said they are not aware of the status of proposed land transfer.
 
Strategies for 2007 were considered. Fleck read from the current Friends brochure with the list of goals: access, partnerships and completion of the master plan. The master plan is almost done; that committee will meet annually to discuss joint interests and to revisit the master plan process.
 
The board considered additional goals for 2008:
Access will remain.
Partnerships will remain with possibly the addition of meeting regularly with the Corps in a strong working relationship. Working on permanent intake racks was one idea that may be worked on. Working toward conservative water management was another issue the board made a top priority.
Person on MRRIC committee. Johnson’s name was considered although Fleck may also be a candidate.
More communication with member, more newsletters, more public awareness.
Consider how to encompass our interests with Missouri River and Lake Oahe.
Development of a DVD that will educate the public about the Friends’ efforts and the difference a collective voice can make.
More education on where their water comes from (map with tributaries and rural water sources)
Pursue joint marketing efforts. Dave Borlaug will be contacted by Kelly Sorge and Bill Butcher to talk to joint marketing efforts. Borlaug was/ or is the South Shore Association chairman.
 
The board revisited previous discussions of contracting with Fleck to work on Lake Sakakawea and Missouri River issues. The idea of a Missouri River position will be pursued, the board agreed. A letter will be developed that would go to the governor; it would outline the position, the goals, specific tasks and the expense. Klapprodt, Johnson and Denning Gackle will work on the letter. Johnson will work on the specific tasks that he gleaned from his work on the MRRIC formation process.
 
On a motion of Denning Gackle, seconded by Ash, Fleck will be paid $599 for travel expenses in 2007 and Weltz will be paid $599 for treasury work.
 
The board learned from Mark Zimmerman that the Tourism Department will be hosting the Outdoor Writer’s Conference June 21-24, 2008.
 

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Annual Meeting Immediately following

 
Additional guests were: Mark Zimmerman. On a motion of Butcher, seconded by Ash, the officers were elected: Chairman Terry Fleck, Vice Chairman Brad Thrall, Treasurer Clarence Weltz, Secretary Jill Denning Gackle.
 
The Tribal position and one of the Recreation positions remain open.
Ash is stepping down from the board after many years of service; Fleck thanked him for his work. The Sportfishing Congress has been asked to find someone from their organization who is a Lake Sakakawea user who would like to join the board.
 
Other board members are:
Mercer County: Brad Thrall
Dunn County: Emanuel Stroh
McKenzie County: David Johnson
Williams County: Herman Backhaus
Mountrail County: Clarence Weltz
McLean County: Kelly Jo Sorge
Tribal:
Recreation: Lee Klapprodt
Local Businesses: Clayton Folden, Jill Denning Gackle
Economic Development: Steve Stenehjem, Bill Butcher
Cabin Sites: Larry Kerzman, Terry Fleck
 
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.
 

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The Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Board Meeting
April 25, 2007
Garrison Otter Tail Power Community Room

The Friends of Lake Sakakawea met April 25, 2007, at 3 p.m. in Garrison. Calling the meeting to order was Chairman Terry Fleck. Attending the meeting were Duaine Ash, Kelly Sorge, Lee Klapprodt, Brad Thrall, Steve Stenehjem, Clarence Weltz and Jill Denning Gackle. Also attending the meeting were: Russ Papineau for Board Member Herman Backhaus and guests Greg Power of the Game & Fish Department, Bill and Joan Lanners, Art and Paula Mielke, Arden Eide, Dennis Rohlfs, Lem and Alvina Bregden, Gerald Aftem, Michael Gunsch, Christie Asperen, Susan and Jim Pross, Richard Cayko and Greg Power.
The minutes of the Feb. 9 meeting were approved on a motion of Weltz, seconded by Ash. Motion carried.
The treasurer’s report was presented by Weltz, treasurer. There is $29,854 in the checking and the Friends have $98,500 to spend towards the noxious weed control efforts before Sept. 30, 2007. He said we currently have 239 members: 1 at the $1,000 level; 16 at the $250 business level, 42 at the $100 silver business/family level, 42 at the gold family $50 level, 6 at the $25 family level, 2 at the $20 level and 130 at the $15 level. The report was approved on a motion of Ash, seconded by Klapprodt. Motion carried.
Kelly Sorge was nominated to the board to represent McLean County on a motion of Klapprodt, seconded by Thrall. Motion carried.
Fleck, Klapprodt and Denning Gackle described the master plan process over the past three years. Klapprodt explained that there are concerns that the draft did not include enough details about recreational development. That’s the reason for the Friends to ask the public to come forth with plans they have for the next 10-15 years.
Fleck said citizens have never been invited to participate in a master plan process of this kind. He said the master plan will also be helpful to those who are interested in creating successful high and low water development areas around the lake.
Klapprodt said if plans are not included in the master plan the developments will be more difficult. He said the master plan should reflect a vision for the lake’s shoreline future. Fleck said the master plan should reflect the public’s understanding that the lake is an excellent resource and economic engine. “We need to learn from what’s happened here,” he said.
The Friends fielded some questions regarding barge traffic, releases and public impact. Fleck encouraged the members to attend Corps’ Annual Operating Plan meetings to learn more and ask questions. Susan Pross of the Friends of Lake Audubon described that group’s efforts and success thus far.
Mike Gunsch of Houston Engineering and Jerry Aftem made a presentation on a proposed marina about 2 ½ miles north of New Town. Aftem started a corporation 1998 to develop land around New Town. The development is north of Sanish Bay. The proposed marina would have access to 1790 mean sea level The development includes 126 slips for boats, a playground, athletic fields, trailer parking, modern and primitive camping sites, trails, parking and a concession building. Total cost projections at this point are $20+ million, funded through grants, federal dollars and private investors. The marina is built on Corps’ land leased to the New Town park board and then subleased to Aftem. He has more than 70 lots sold and 43 homes built; the largest home is $500,000+.
Gunsch said the proposed marina has the support of the city of New Town and the Three Affiliated Tribes. He said the development may need a letter of support from the Friends of Lake Sakakawea at some point. He said it is hoped that work will begin within two years.
Klapprodt mentioned that Douglas Bay is losing the designation of some recreation areas to wildlife management. It’s an issue that may be mentioned in the review of the master plan. It was also suggested that if an area is designated for recreation, then hunting should be prohibited.
Fleck encouraged anyone with other plans for development on the lake to let the Friends know so we can help to include it in the master plan.
Bylaw changes were made on a motion of Klapprodt, seconded by Thrall. Russ Papineau represented Herman Backhaus on the vote. Motion carried. The changes included making the secretary/treasurer position into two positions, changing a quorum from 9 to 7 and allowing phone and e-mails to be considered meetings by the executive committee.
Greg Power updated the group on spawning and boat ramp improvements.
Duaine Ash, lobbyist, made a legislative report on the session. He described the efforts for a bill for state funding for the Garrison marina, a bill regarding fishing license fees and a resolution supporting shoreline access. Another bill was to require help for emergency water projects on the lake.
Fleck talked about the policy regarding areas around the lake that can’t charge access fees. He said changing the policy to allow groups to charge fees would fuel additional development. The board talking about meeting with Game and Fish officials to discuss the policy.
Sorge talked about development plans for Indian Hills. She said there will soon have five miles of trails at Indian Hills funded through the federal Legacy Trail funds. The group decided that it would ask the Corps that walking/hiking trails be included to a greater degree in the master plan.
Thrall said there is a development (Bay Point) across from the Lake Sakakawea state park marina developed by Curly Haugland and Bill Galvin. He said Pick City is interested in developing a large group of camp sites. Thrall said he wasn’t in favor of the competition with the state park, as well as for other reasons. Stenehjem said he saw it as economic development.
Fleck said Jim Olson, KXMC-TV, has offered to help with a DVD on the Friends. The DVD would be provided as information at meetings.
Fleck said he would have an answer to the group by May 15 about the issue of contracting with him to work on Friends’ efforts. He thanked everyone for their involvement and participation in the meeting.
Sorge questioned whether the group could make joint marketing of the lake a priority. Fleck encouraged her to talk to her legislators to ask why the state tourism guide is overpriced for individual businesses that want to promote their attractions. Klapprodt suggested that the Friends work on supporting the businesses around the lake. Sorge and Denning Gackle will work on the project.
The meeting was adjourned at 6 p.m. on a motion of Stenehjem, seconded by Sorge. Motion carried.
 
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Board Meeting
Bismarck Kelly Inn
Jan. 9, 2007 

 
The board meeting was called to order at 11:05 a.m. by Chairman Terry Fleck. Shawn McKenna of the North Dakota Irrigation Association and the North Dakota Wildlife Federation and Terry Steinwand of the Game & Fish Department were guests. Others attending the meeting were: Lee Klapprodt, Clarence Weltz, Duaine Ash, Brad Thrall, Bill Butcher and Jill Denning Gackle.
The minutes were reviewed. Minutes approved with clarification to the portion about temporary water intake structures. Approved on a motion of Butcher, seconded by Weltz. Motion carried. The board reviewed previous comments about municipal temporary water intake structures that could, if approved by the Corps, be constructed as permanent improvements. The board also talked about how they would like to see the temporary improvements to the water intake at Riverdale made more permanent.
Weltz reviewed the 2006 treasurer’s report. There is a balance of $21,213.43. Another $98,500 was received in weed dollars. He suggested that we consider investing our funds in a six month CD drawing 5 percent interest. Clarence will invest in a $100,000 CD at Lakeside State Bank in New Town. Motion by Klapprodt, seconded by Butcher. Motion carried. The board decided to rotate the purchase of a CD to other banks around the lake each year.
Ash reported on proposed bylaw changes. The changes encompassed making secretary/treasurer position into two positions – secretary and treasurer. The changes were reviewed and are pending approval of a quorum of the board.
Denning Gackle was asked to provide the board with information on the annual tax filing costs.
The board reviewed an earlier meeting of four people to consider how to contract with Terry Fleck to lead the Friends into the next phase. A committee of Fleck, Lee Klapprodt, Bill Butcher and Jill Denning Gackle met at 10 a.m. to discuss how to create a paid position to lead the Friends of Lake Sakakawea. Fleck said his primary concern of accepting a paid position is accountability to its members. He said if he accepted he would consider it to be great responsibility that he would take very seriously. Lee described the Devils Lake contracted coordinator position. Fleck said he would notify the board next week of his decision. Klapprodt said he would work on a proposal and budget, if Fleck accepts.
Klapprodt said he cautioned the group to budget for the position conservatively. The board agreed to budget for a $10,000 commitment -- $5,000 for salary, $5,000 from the Friends. Other groups and state agencies – Missouri River Joint Water Board, Water Commission, Game & Fish and Garrison Conservancy District -- are among those that would be asked to help fund the position.
Fleck said he would like to have a meeting with Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Marcus Wells. He said he would explain the board’s opposition to the land transfer based on the membership’s sentiments. Weltz said Mervin Packineau would like to continue on the board. Fleck said he will meet with Packineau and Wells.
Fleck welcomed McKenna and Steinwand to the meeting. McKenna said his employer, the North Dakota Irrigation Association, encouraged him to attend the meeting.
Steinwand said the $900,000 that was to be appropriated by Congress may not come through for ramp improvements this year. He said the Game and Fish office is asking for an add-on of a minimum of $500,000 (90/10 cost share with local users). Steinwand said they are still hoping to get some of the $900,000. He said the hope is to have 15 ramps is usable condition.
The board discussed Rep. Kenton Onstad’s interest in a disaster fund allocation for resorts or lake-based businesses.
The board discussed some challenges at the fish hatchery with water temperatures.
The board offered support to Steinwand and Game & Fish during legislative testimony or in any arena it may be needed.
Fleck encouraged everyone to watch the DVD, “Waterbuster,” that shows the impact of the Garrison Dam project. Denning Gackle will let the board know how to order a copy of the DVD.
On the legislative report, Ash said he is following the disaster declaration efforts of Rep. Kenton Onstad. Klapprodt suggested that some lake resort owners should be invited to voice support for the amendment to the governor’s budget for access improvements. The board agreed to adopt a concurrent resolution to emphasize the severe drought and its impact and to ask the federal government to fund disaster relief for businesses impacted by the low lake levels. Ash will also review the tourism and parks and rec budgets to see if there are bills for us to track.
The board discussed allowing local municipalities, cabin associations or park boards the option to charge for the use of facilities. Ash will look into this and report back to the board. Ash will provide a weekly report to the Friends of his lobbying activities.
The board talked about the adverse affect the lake levels will have on power generation and ultimately consumer prices.
Reviewed some changes in the brochure and reviewed the membership dues letter. The group decided to create a DVD that tells about the Friends of Lake Sakakawea. Fleck said he’d do the voice, Klapprodt and Denning Gackle will work on the script.
Fleck reminded board members of the projects they volunteered to work on.
Motion at 1:45 p.m. to adjourn by Butcher, seconded by Thrall. Motion carried.
 
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Annual Meeting
Nov. 30, 2006
Doublewood Inn, Bismarck

Chairman Terry Fleck introduced the panelists and thanked the group for attending. About 40 people were in the audience. Panelists were Phil Brown, Corps of Engineers; Doug Prchal, Parks & Rec, Todd Sando, ND Water Commission, Terry Steinwand, Game & Fish; Bob Valeu and Mylo Candee, congressional delegation; Lance Garbe, governor’s office and Sara Otte Coleman, ND Tourism.
The following reports were given by each about his department’s or agency’s efforts during 2006 and goals for 2007:
Steinwand said his department worked on: 24 operational boat ramps with summer that took a “pile of time and money,” monitored the health of the fishery and the forage base, tagged paddlefish to monitor their survival and monitored water quality and fall reproduction. He said almost 1 million walleye were caught on Lake Sakakawea this summer. He said there was another decrease in shoreline angler use. He said his department plans to sustain the fishery, work with the Corps on access issues, provide a user-friendly environment in managing this public resource and use our “can do” attitude to adapt to our conditions.
Otte Coleman offered the department’s programs: brochure program with Dept. of Transportation, travel/tourism booths, helping outdoor and adventure writers/media reps to publicize stories about the lake, featured Lake Sakakawea in four newsletter articles, funded $36,000 grants to three communities around the lake, worked with the PWT tournament, distributed 350,000 travel guides that feature state attractions, including Lake Sakakawea, paid television fishing ads on the Tony Dean network and others, 18 Lake Sakakawea events featured in news releases and offering learning based experiences including a Lund’s Landing package on birding. She admitted it’s a challenge to paint a pretty picture while dealing with the reality of access issues.
Candee and Valeu warned that budget bills may not be approved until January or February and then plans will need to begin for 2007. Candee said with Conrad as the chairman of the budget committee, he warned that there would be some austerity measures coming forth. He said, “Those three fellows are going to work hard to get the fairest shake for North Dakota.”
Gaebe said the state will continue to push for conservation and drought management measures and hope other states will do the same. He hoped the Friends would build stakeholders’ support in other states and work with the irrigation, ag coalition and electric cooperatives and power associations.
Brown said the Corps is planning for the worst and hoping for the best. They are currently planning for the spring. They are looking at new areas for off road vehicle use and policies that could be developed to balance use and compliance with federal laws.
Sando: He said the drought may continue and we need to plan for a continuing drought. He said working with other states is critical. He warned that there would be large power price increases in the coming years. He said impact of the drought is going to be felt Basin wide. “We’re going to keep the pressure on this coming year.”
Prchal said his department will continue with the completion of enhancements, marina and maintain access and continue to be a partner with all the groups.
Fleck presented “thank you” plaques to the panel members.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
 
 

The Friends of Lake Sakakawea
Board Meeting
Nov. 30, 2006
Doublewood Inn, Bismarck

 
The Board of Directors met at 5 p.m. Nov. 30. Present at the meeting were Chairman Terry Fleck, Duaine Ash, Clarence Weltz, Lee Klapprodt, Brad Thrall, Herman Backhaus, Larry Kerzman, David Johnson and Emmanuel Stroh. Guest was Rynee Kellar.
Weltz made the treasurer’s report. There is $22,691 in general funds, $4,290.51 remaining of weed dollars in 2005-2006 weed control dollars to transfer to the general fund and $98,500 was recently received for 2006-2007 weed control dollars.
Approved the minutes of the Sept. 26, 2006 meeting. Klapprodt motion, Johnson second to approve. Motion carried.
The goals of the Sept. 26 meeting were reviewed. Fleck encouraged the group to narrow the priorities to 2-4 issues that board could concentrate on.
Regarding a meeting with boat dealers, Fleck said some arrangements were already in the works. Regarding the ATv use areas, there are already plans in place for designated an off road area near the lake. (Klapprodt and Johnson agreed to continue to work on that effort.)
Klapprodt, Fleck and Denning Gackle volunteered to continue to work on master plan issues such as access/marina areas.
Regarding a stronger membership base on the south shore, Thrall said he would be committed to that issue.
Saving the fishery is considered another priority. Fleck said Game & Fish is doing a good job of informing the public about their decisions. The board discussed their continued commitment. Kerzman and Kellar will team up to work on this issue.
Working with South Dakota stakeholders on common issues was considered to be a challenge for the FOLS. The group agreed to ask the governor’s office how to develop stronger ties with our counterparts in Montana and South Dakota.
On the issue of lake access, Backhaus talked about the ice fishing access policy. He said would continue to work on the issue. Regarding the winter policy, Klapprodt made a motion, seconded by Backhaus that Denning Gackle should work with the Corps to disseminate the winter policy. Questions arose about the winter policy and the motion was tabled until after Corps clarification could be obtained.
Fleck encouraged the group to go to their county commissioners to enlighten them about the Friends, what we’ve learned, what we’ve encountered and what our goals are. Klapprodt encouraged the group to have more dialogue with the power associations and rural electric cooperatives. When asked for direction, Fleck said the purpose of the meetings is to develop partnerships to find remedies.
Denning Gackle suggested hiring Fleck to further the Friends’ causes. She said he has the knowledge, passion and desire. Klapprodt agreed that the time is right to further our interests through a paid position. Fleck said he would like to consider the idea. The group decided to have a subcommittee of Klapprodt, Johnson, Butcher and Denning Gackle to consider objectives and funding options.
Fleck asked Denning Gackle to talk to Ladd Erickson, states attorney, about the Corps’ budget funding.
Ash reviewed the bylaws and said that the election of officers should be held at the meeting following the annual meeting. A meeting will be held in January for an election and to consider other issues. A date will be selected soon and shared with board members.
Klapprodt said the Friends need to press for permanent water intake structures, rather than temporary improvements.
The meeting was recessed at 6:50 p.m.
The board reconvened at 8:45 p.m. to continue business. A vote was called on the earlier motion of helping the Corps to disseminate the winter shoreline access policy. The board agreed to do that.
The board, on a motion of Backhaus, seconded by Thrall, to pay Weltz $575 for his bookkeeping efforts during 2006. Motion carried.
It was agreed that the January meeting would focus on: Election, Bylaw changes, the possible hiring of a staff person for the Friends, discussion on coordination with other states and legislative issues. Klapprodt said he would work with others on possible funding assistance to fund a position through Game & Fish, Water Commission and Garrison Conservancy District.
The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
 
 

Friends of Lake Sakakawea Board Meeting
Sept. 21, 2006
Garrison, ND

The Friends of Lake Sakakawea Board of directors met Sept. 21, 2006 at the Otter Tail Power Community Room in Garrison. Present were: Terry Fleck, Brad Thrall, Emanuel Stroh, Larry Kerzman, Herm Backhaus, Barb and Duaine Ash, Jill Denning Gackle, Lee Klapprodt, Clarence Weltz, Jim and Mimi Handorff, Merri Moordian, Lynn Clancy, Todd Sando, Greg Power, Todd Lindquist, Linda Phelps, Stu Merry and Mike Gackle.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Terry Fleck. Minutes of the Jan. 19, 2006 meeting were approved on a motion of Lee, seconded by Brad. Motion carried.
The treasurer’s report was given by Weltz. The Friends have $25,771.56 in the bank. Weltz provided details on the spending of the weed dollars and expenditures since the first of the year. Fleck thanked Clarence for his hard work. The treasurer’s report was approved on a motion of Backhaus, seconded by Ash. Motion carried.
Fleck shared with the Friends board members that he is frequently asked about Lake Sakakawea and asked if the Friends’ efforts are successful. He reminded the board that if it hadn’t been for this citizen’s group a lot of good things wouldn’t have happened.
“It takes people like us to stay there and fight the fight,” he said. He reminded everyone that our efforts are about the management of the lake and that it is a fight worth fighting.
The board held a brain storming session. The board came up with the following priorities (not in order of priority):
Build an ag coalition (ND, MT, SD) of Farm Bureau, Cattlemen’s Association, Wheat Commission, etc. that understand and support the importance of Lake Sakakawea to their operations.
Get an audience in Washington, D.C.
Build an understanding among boat dealers/manufacturers to help fight for water in Lake Sakakawea. Arrange a meeting and make a presentation.
Concentrate on good access for ATVs and stakeholders. Arrange a meeting with Game & Fish, Parks and the Corps to designate more areas for public use.
Bring more access/marina areas to the Lake Sakakakawea Master Plan meetings. Consider #4 and get that as part of the master plan.
Build stronger membership base on the south shore. Arrange a meeting with county park boards and stakeholders.
Concentrate on saving the fishery. What needs to be done to preserve the lake as a premiere fishing location? (This was considered to be the #1 priority.)
Work with South Dakota stakeholders on common issues.
Work with the Corps on developing usable ramps. Join them in planning sessions, fight hard for spending to fund our efforts.
Partner with municipalities, rural electric and power associations.
Encourage the governor to hire full-time person to work on Missouri River issues. Funding could come from Missouri River Basin, Water Commission, Parks & Rec, Game & Fish, Tourism, Conservancy District. A person was hired to work on Devils Lake issues and the results were significant.
Work with the municipalities to assure that we have adequate drinking supplies.
Look into the Corps’ budgeting process to educate ourselves and to understand where our interests are funded and that they are funded.
Educate the public about the Friends of Lake Sakakawea efforts. What have we done and what are we doing.
Lynn Clancy from Sen. Kent Conrad’s office gave a report. He said no action on the proposed tribal land transfer. Assistant Secretary of the Army John P. Woodley will be in Bismarck Oct. 18 to meet with Gov. Hoeven and Chairman Tex Hall. Clancy said Woodley has advised both parties to work out their issues before a transfer will happen.
Senate version of the 2007 Energy and Appropriations has $900,000 earmarked for ramp improvements and $5 million to replace the marina at Garrison. He said the earliest he thought it would be voted on would be after the general election. He also said that the Corps’ budget is being cut back.
Fleck read a message from a member who asked why the congressional delegation never took a position so that the public could make informed decisions before going to the polls in November. Clancy said Sen. Conrad has stated that the legislation is not appropriate because it is not specific enough; he said Conrad doesn’t expect this legislation to succeed.
Klapprodt asked about the Missouri River Trust. Clancy said additional funding was included in the 2007 appropriations bill and there has been one meeting and another planned for this fall. The Trust is to work on sedimentation issues at the headwaters of Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe.
Kerzman said he wondered how committed Conrad is to the appropriations bill for $900,000 for ramps and $5 million for the Garrison marina. The Corps received $900,000 toward ramps in 2005 and none in 2006. Clancy indicated stronger support for the proposals but said it was too early to tell.
Greg Power of the North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the lake is four feet lower than two years ago. Twelve of 27 ramps are out of commission right now. Some carryover money for ramps from last year – about $50,000- $60,000 – will be used this winter to build more slide-in sections for four ramps this winter. Todd Sando reminded him that the projections from the Corps only go to March 1, whereas the lowest level usually comes in May. He said G&F and the Corps should plan for the lowest level possible.
Power talked about the fish hatchery. He discussed the recent loss of 500 of 60,000 trout during higher releases and warmer temperatures. He said it could have been much worse. He said the federal dollars that have come in for pond liners helped the development of walleye.
He said the salmon forecast isn’t good. Salmon are the first fish to be in the dire straights when the lake is low.
No news on Aquatic Nuisance Species, Power said. He said G&F looked at 50 lakes statewide and found Lake Sakakawea and many of the lakes clean.
Forage is at issue. The walleye will experience more natural mortality, he said. But, he said, 470,000 walleye were harvested during 1.1 million hours of fishing this past year. He said there a lot of young walleye, all they need is something to eat. Cisco, a forage fish that is more tolerant of warmer water, is showing up stronger at sampling sites. He said there is good reproduction of other fish. Fleck asked about gizzard shad and the possibility of using that. Power said they die each year so you’d have to stock adult shad each year. They’ve survived in Oahe because there is still open water many winters. He said costs are prohibitive and it would be difficult to find adult shad in the numbers that would be needed in Lake Sakakawea. In further discussion about the future of the lake, Power said a walleye fishery will be maintained, but we could lose the salmon fishery. He said we are not to the point of catch and keep policy that was introduced in South Dakota. He said South Dakota changes their fishing rules each year, which discourage fishermen. After discussion about introducing more Cisco into Lake Sakakawea, Power said he will provide information to the Friends on how much might be realistically needed, how much it would cost and whether it was a realistic plan. He said we’re in a lot worse situation on forage than the late 80s. “This is an arena we’ve never been to,” he said. Fleck communicated that the Friends would like to support G&F’s ideas and interests.
Ladd Erickson, McLean County State’s Attorney, talked about the Corps’ budgeting process and some theories he has. He said the budgets show no dollars budgeted for land use. He said the detailed budgeted gives dollars for i.e. dredged material disposal facilities program, but we’re not getting a line item for weed control. He said he thought there are some issues in the upper states that are not receiving funding or being addressed in the budget. He said he encourages an audit.
Todd Sando encouraged the Friends to have ongoing discussions and meetings with the congressional delegation and state agencies. Regarding water intake structures, he said Garrison is asking for cost sharing on its water plant improvements. He said Parshall is going to be in trouble again. White Shield, Four Bears, New Town and Williston are all going to run into some challenges, he said.
MORAST, Missouri River Association of States and Tribes, has been formed, Sando said. He said the group may be proactive on Missouri River issues and he is hopeful that it will make a difference.
The next spring rise is supposed to be in the spring, but Sando said he doubted there would be enough depth in the basin to have one.
MCRICC is a project to decide how to spend money to get endangered species off the list. He suggested that a member of the Friends would be good to have as a representative of recreation.
Merri Mooridian reviewed the preferred alternative of the Red River Project. She described the project that would move water, in the event of a drought, from Lake Sakakawea to Lake Ashtabula and the Red River valley. The cost is $600 million, which would be split between the state, the federal government and users, such as cities. The project is expected to have a “thimbleful” of impact on the lake. There will be public comment periods the last week in November. The earliest possible construction would be in 2009.
Linda Phelps of the Corps reported on the boat ramp improvements. She said it’s difficult to determine what to do when the elevations are uncertain. She asked if someone from the Friends could work with the Corps and Game & Fish. Fleck said Clayton Folden would be the rep with Manny Stroh and Brad Thrall as alternatives. Klapprodt made a motion to pay for gas of people who help on this project, Seconded by Jill Denning Gackle. Motion carried.
Phelps said she was told that we probably won’t get the full $900,000 for boat ramps. If the Corps doesn’t get that money, the Corps can only work on their ramps. She showed the 2005 improvement list and asked that the Friends share the list with its members for them to give feedback.
Fleck complimented Phelps and Todd Lindquist for their work on Lake Sakakawea.
Lindquist said the Corps’ budget is very complicated. A lot of the issues are identified, he said, but get cut in the final decision process. For example, $300,000 in proposed weed dollars were cut back to $81,000. He said he has argued since he’d been here that Lake Sakakawea is underfunded.
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