Island Park Preservation Coalition
Minutes of Meeting
March 15, 2016
The Island Park Preservation Coalition held a working group meeting on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in the EMS Building in Island Park, Idaho. The meeting was called to order by Chairman, Ken Watts, at 6:00 p.m. Twenty-five people, including Ken Watts, Chairman, Greg Bitter, Vice Chairman, Fremont County Commissioners Stoddard, Miller and Baxter, 14 working group members, and 8 other interested persons.
Minutes: The minutes for the February meeting were reviewed and approved.
Financial Report: Terrie DeLong, Treasurer, reported that the current balance in the account is $2,718.02. A check was written for the website for $96.00. A deposit of $132.00 was made on February 25, 2016.
Website: Alynn Crapo reported that she registered our domain name. That name is islandparkpreservationcoalition.org. She continues to work on the Island Park tab and on the values. Alynn asked that members forward any information for the website to her. Greg Bitter asked that local businesses that wanted to partner with our link should let Alynn know. Ann Anthony has created a Facebook page that will be linked to our website. Connie’s Restaurant has a link to the website from her website.
Current Events: Chairman, Ken Watts, discussed relevant current events in the area, including:
Land and Water Conservation Fund – three year renewal. The budget line is $450,000,000 in the form of oil and gas leases. Designed for recreation and recreation access. $30,000,000 for High Divide operations over a two-year period. Forty percent of the appropriations go to federal land acquisition, 40% to state grants, easements, etc and other grants.
LWCF also refunded sunset September 15, 2015. Legislation has come from Congress Simpson and was attached to the Omnibus Funding Bill.
Antiquities Act – Senators Lee, Hatch and Boraso have introduced legislation to require Congressional approval of presidential national monument designations. Their legislation amendment that would have stopped national monuments where there was local opposition was attached to the Energy Bill and was defeated 48 to 47.
The Utah delegation has submitted legislation forbidding the take over of land in Utah without Utah being involved in all decisions regarding public land. Idaho is looking into similar legislation regarding federal land.
Vision and Mission Statements: After considerable discussion on the wording of the Vision Statement, it was decided that the wording should be as follows:
“Preserve and enhance multiple use in the Island Park Area.”
Leann Yancey made a motion that the mission statement above be approved, the motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
After considerable discussion on the wording of the Mission Statement, it was decided that the wording should be as follows:
“The Island Park Preservation Coalition is tasked by the community to use a balanced and inclusive approach to advocate for the values, resources, opportunities, character and lifestyle of the Island Park area.”
Connie Funkhouser moved that the above Mission Statement be adopted, it was seconded and unanimously approved.
Legislative Topics: Ken Watts gave examples of conservation topics that could be considered for the Island Park area, including:
Forest Health – wildlife mitigation
Range Health – restoration of grasses
Water Quality – Sediment redistribution
Open Spaces – land trust comprehensive plan
Trail Development – Island Park Community Trail
Human – Wildlife Conflicts – enhance the grizzly bear habitat
Connie Funkhouser reported that there will be several planned community hikes on the Island Park Community Trail this summer.
Commissioner LeRoy Miller reported that the county checks water quality on a regular basis. Commission Bill Baxter asked if water quality included river water. Ken Watts said that it did. Commission Miller reported that the Yale Creek has an elk problem and the Outlet has a cattle problem. A discussion was held regarding possible health problems.
Kathy Rinaldi reported that one of the projects the Greater Yellowstone Coalition was working on related to human-wildlife conflict – i.e. wildlife crossings on Highway 20. Open spaces was also discussed.
The working group also discussed endangered species, forest and aquatic wildlife, weed control, boat washing, invasive species, native species and water and land enhancement.
The Henry’s Fork Foundation is working on water quality, fish quality and endangered species.
Mike Bogden of the Chamber of Commerce, reported that the Chamber is trying to minimize footprints and not overuse the natural resources.
The working group discussed legislation and working with legislators. What is the goal of our legislation? Matthew Ward stated that we are competing for funding with organizations throughout the US. What should we advocate for? How can we support local entities and assist them in getting funding, ie. Harriman State Park, etc.
Commission Miller reported that the county has the tools to get some grant money for various projects to preserve the area as it is.
A discussion was held regarding the establishment of a Natural Resources Advisory Committee. Custer County has a NRAC which works with the BLM and the USFS. The Custer County NRAC has been very helpful in getting work done. It was decided that someone from our working group should approach the County Commission regarding establishing a NRAC.
It was recommended that we should begin the legislation process. It is important for us to have a consensus of agreement. We need to know what we are advocating for. We must have an agreement first. Federal, state and local approval is needed. The group is going through topics we think we need to address for the legislation and keep moving forward. The group discussed the importance of working together. The Group briefly discussed maintaining and enhancing multiple use.
Maintain & Enhance Multiple Use
(a) Preserve multiple use as it presently exists and enhance in the future.
(b) Balance multiple use.
(c) Be specific on use.
(d) Keep current activities and accept new ones that are compatible with Act.
(e) Multiple use gives everyone the right to use the area.
(f) Much of our multiple use has been denied by designating no motorized use.
(g) Tank Traps
(i) Grizzly habitat.
Reduce regulatory processes so multiple use can thrive.
Joe Sielinski discussed legislative topics from other legislation. Included in that discussion were the following:
Advisory and Science Council
Economic Development (Driggs/Victor)
Authorization of appropriations
Federal Advisory Committee Act
Steen Mountain Coop Management Act
The Group discussed the advantages of forming a NRAC in Fremont County. The goal is to enhance and preserve the area. Enforcement would be handled under advisory and science council. It was recommended that the Council work with the county on all projects. NRAC should have a budget for reimbursement of expenses of council members. The Group discussed severability.
Community Input: none
The next meeting of the Island Park Preservation Coalition will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the EMS Building.
The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Judy B. Koehly, Secretary