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December 11, 2014     Lovell Chronicle
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December 11, 2014
 

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4 I The Lovell Chronicle December 11, 2014 CHRONICLE iiii iii iiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiii i ii iiiii ! i !i i i!!iiiii!ii!iiii!iiii!!! !i!i!!i!ii!iii!i!i ' It is much easier to manage a full reservoir than an empty res- ervoir. That must be the basis of all management decisions made by the Bureau of Reclamation when it comes to lake levels and downstream releases at Big Horn Lake. The Bureau is taking public comments on operating criteria for the lake through Jan. 16, and it is imperative that citizens in northern Wyoming rise up and voice their opinion in support of the balanced approach to lake management that has worked well for many years now. Using a system called the rule curve, the Bureau has worked with a number of stakeholders - the Friends of Bighorn Lake, Big Horn County Wyoming, the Town of Lovell, Wyoming Game and Fish, National Park Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Crow Tribe and supporters of the downstream trout fishing industry in Montana - to carefully manage the lake, using snowpack, runoff and precipitation estimates to manage releases in the best inter- ests of the lake users as well as the fishermen. It's a true balancing act, and since the Friends of Bighorn Lake formed in 2006, giving a voice to the recreationists who use Big Horn Lake for boating and fishing, the Bureau has bent over back- wards to be fair. But fair is apparently in the eye of the beholder. The trout fish- ermen in Montana have been squawking lately about wanting a stronger and more steady flow for the trout fishery, even if that flow comes at the price of lowering the lake level and threatening boat launching at Horseshoe Bend and, thus, the already short summer season for the lake. The fisheries interests have loud voices, represented by sever- al special interest groups, and the Friends of Bighorn Lake are im- ploring citizens in northern Wyoming to make their voices be heard just as loudly and explain what this lake means to the economy of Wyoming. There's no doubt that 2014 was a difficult year for lake man- agers. Anticipating a high runoff, the Bureau increased the water release in the spring, which didn't allow boats to be launched at Horseshoe Bend by Memorial Day. Releases were cut to fill the lake, but then when the runoff picked up, the release had to be drastically increased, creating too flow for the river fishery. Thatsee-saw of water releases didn't please either river or lake users, but one tough year is no reason to scrap a system that has worked well for so many years. The North Big Horn County economy has slowly been climbing back from the drought years earlier this decade, and for the sake of our local economy, it is imperative that we fight for strong lake levels under the current management methods. That means a lake level of 3,620 by Memorial Day and full pool (3,640) by July, then lake levels of 3,635 to 3,640 through the end of November to support waterfowl and lake fishery health. The effort to maintain lake levels, coincidently, matches a mem- orandum of agreement between the National Park Service and the Bureau signed in 1964 and updated in 1972. Let your voice be heard. Pick up a form at the Chronicle or Chamber, or follow the link http //www.usbr.l ov/gp/mtao/yellow- taiVoperating criteria.html on the Internet. .--David Peck Letter to the editor you to Dear Editor, To the law enforcement per- sonnel of the town of Lovell, the county of Big Horn and the state of Wyoming: I commend you and I thank you for what you do, day in and day out, to protect the pop- ulation of our communities and our great state. To you all, thank you for your daily sacrifice as you go about in public in the performance of your duties. May the Lord bless and keep you safe during your own day of unseen and shifting dan- gers as you work to protect me and my family. Dan Garrett ( YEP, ! STOR'I> LAST YEAR'S TREE WITH TH'TRIN /V IN'S ON IT--THINK WE'RE SAVIN;.. Letters to the editor THINK OF= IT-- BUT I>ON T Dear Editor, Recreation Area, told us Horse- management with possible minor It seems that some folks have shoe Bend was a dinosaur, a dead tweaks be continued. the wrong idea on who controls horse and was going away. We I would like to compliment the lake levels for Bighorn Can- told him that was unacceptable! the NPS, Town of Lovell, sher- yon National Recreation Area. Due to the cooperative workiffs office, search and rescue and The Bureau of Reclamation with the Bighorn River System the fire department on the co- (BOR) has full control of lake Issues Group (BOR, NPS, county, operation this year that made levels and stream flow manage- states, river folks, MFWP, Wy-the annual fireworks display so ment. The BOR and the National oming Game and Fish, etc.) we successful. Park Service (NPS)have a Mem- now have a workable lake lev- I would like to congratulate orandum of Agreement that was el stream flow management sys-Jennifer Schneider for the grants signed in 1964 and updated in tem called the Rule Curve. Moth- she has obtained to hire our youth 1972, which says, "The service er Nature was unkind to us this to work on programs improving shall determine optimum and past year and the lake and theour park. The youth gave a pre- minimum pool levels desirable for river suffered. Our managementsentation of their accomplish- public recreation use and provide plan cannot work perfect all the ments this fall at the visitor cen- the Bureau with this information time, but it is working well. ter that was very informative. I for consideration in carrying out At our annual meeting this enjoyed the presentation and was the purposes of this paragraph." year the river folks voiced their able to learn more about the pro- We appreciate the NPS's frustration very vocally, insist- gram. I hope next year the pre- strong support of lake levels suf- ing on changing management to sentation will be better attended. ficient for recreation. Their re- better fit their 51 million dollar- My wife and I took the oppor- quest for a minimum lake level of a-year fishery economy. We only tunity this fall to go to the Lock- 3620 and request for 3640 during wish Bighorn Canyon National hart Ranch. I was very impressed the recreation season is very Recreation Area could have been with the improvements that have supportive of our needs, and we fully developed so we could enjoy been made restoring this histor- thank them for that support. In this kind of economy. The BOR ic ranch. If you haven't availed 2006 when we started to investi- has requested that folks com- yourselves of this opportunity gate the lack of lake water in Wy- ment on their opinion of the lake you should! oming, Darrell Cook, Superinten- management. I would suggest Keith Grant dent of Bighorn Canyon National that folks comment that current Big Horn County Commissioner County needs to take applications for new position Dear Editor: merits. They replaced Hinman's million pigpen at the fairgrounds. The new public lands position vacant seat with another commis- Nora Marie Lewis,Basin proposed by county commission- sioner, leaving south Big Horn Editor's Note: The commis- ers deserves applications from County unrepresented. They ap- sioners have one representative the public, and not just approval pointed a library board from a from south Big Horn County, Jer- of one prospect. Remember that choice of candidates, without a ry Ewen of Shell. The Library this position will have to be fund- representative from the south. Board has one south representa- ed annually. The proposal to pay They appointed a replacement tive, Ted Menke of Greybull. New his salary from a fund (of$16,000 at the Big Horn County Library library director Donna Capellen funded for possible litigation) without considering promotingwas thelibrarymanagerinLovell seems to be a misappropriation of existing personnel from appli- and was promoted as the interim funds, cants who applied, and now permanent director for The county commissioners If this public lands position is the Big Horn County Library sys- have already proven themselves so important it should have been tern. The manager at the Big Horn incapable of serving all of Big considered before the commis-County Library in Basin is Chris- Horn County with their appoint- sioners gave their approval to a $1 tina Greenfield of Basin. Dear Editor: benefits, and travel expenses,filled by -- only one candidate. It There was a time when an in- These friends would have usis the good o1' boy network at its cumbent who ran for re-election believe that there exists nobody finest. A little sleazy, but it's the and lost would fold his tent and else with the qualifications to way things seem to be done now- ride offinto the sunset. No golden serve as liaison with federal and adays. It keeps the candidate's parachute (maybe a gold watch state entities regarding public benefits intact, gives him a vis- awarded for his service), lands in the county, and that they ible post within county govern- Not so these days. A sitting need him in order to better under- ment and probably more power county commissioner, having stand issues as they arise, than the electorate might like to lost to a worthy opponent, is now The job is NOT to be posted so see, considering that the citizens about to be presented a brand that other persons with expertise chose to vote for another man. new job, created by his friends on might apply. It is, instead, a fait Just sayin'... the board, complete with power, accompli, created for -- and to be Paula Dee, Lovell Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Lovell Chronicle, USPS 321-060 234 E. Main, Lovell, Wyoming 82431 (307) 548-2217 Published every Thursday Periodical postage paid at Lovell, Wyoming Editor and Publisher: David Peck Reporter: Patti Carpenter Staff: Pat Parmer, Dorothy Nelson, Marwyn Layne, Teressa Ennis, John Lafko, Ana Baird, Leonora Barton. www.LovellChronicle.com Dear Editor, Not being a constitutional law- yer or a person of higher learn- ing, I get confused when I read my copy of the Declaration of Indepen- dence and the Constitution and it raises many questions in my mind about the founding fathers' frame of mind. In the Declaration it is stat- ed that all men are created equal so the founding fathers must not have considered women to be equal as it took about one hundred years for women to get the right to vote. Also, some of the founding fathers owned slaves so slaves must not have been considered as equals. The Declaration also states that all men are given the unalien- able rights of life, liberty and the or minority pursuit of happiness by their cre- ator. However, it does not state the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed so by my thinking you may pursue happiness but if you do not achieve it don't be a sore head and bring a lawsuit to try to achieve your happiness. This country's government is based on a majority rule system and to amend the Constitution it requires two thirds of both hous- es of Congress, so why when a few people of some complaining group such as atheists or other minori- ty or environmental organization voice an opinion against some law or majority principle does a coun- try based on a majority rule fall to its knees to satisfy such a few dis- rupting the entire country? Judg- es and the Supreme Court should take into account the wishes of the majority as long as a law passed by Congress is not violated. These complaining groups are pursuing their happiness but not getting it and members of Con- gress don't have the guts or ca- jones to oppose them for fear of los- ing votes and be out of their cushy jobs with unbelievable perks and retirement. That is why I believe in term limits such as placed on the presi- dent to avoid the president becom- ing a monarch, but the members of Congress think of themselves as lifelong princes of the country. That is why I very seldom vote for the incumbent at election time. Jim Szlemko