The community is invited to a meeting regarding the drawdown delay. A presentation and Q / A will follow.
Community Meeting Regarding Delayed Drawdown: Friday, August 3, 2018 @ 7:00 PM. Lake View Center.
2018: Drawdown Delayed
The Little Rock Lake Association a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to restore and maintain the Little Rock Lake Watershed was advised by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources that the planned drawdown for August 1st, 2018 will be delayed.
The drawdown of Little Rock Lake and the Mississippi River north of Sartell will be postponed for a year due to a need for a further review to satisfy federal requirements, according to the Minnesota DNR. Because the Sartell dam that would be opened to allow the drawdown is a hydropower dam overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a thorough review of potential impacts to cultural and historical resources is required before the project can proceed. Due to miscommunications, the historical-cultural review that was done did not meet strict federal requirements.
Large projects always have many moving parts in them. Federal review of projects (Due to FERC) becomes even more complicated. The Sartell Dam is a FERC regulated dam. As such, any changes in operational procedure require extensive Cultural resource review. The State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) needed unanticipated, additional consultation from several cultural resources, for the project to go forward. While all approvals were met for a normal state run project, the federal process is lengthier and some levels of miscommunication were also present. As a result, the drawdown for 2018 has been postponed until the same time frame (August 1-September 15) in 2019. This will allow FERC, Eagle Creek, MNDNR, SHPO Little Rock Lake Association and Benton SWCD to obtain adequate review of this project for 2019.
“For a couple years now, a lot of agencies and people have been working toward the goals of better water quality and habitat that this drawdown would bring about, so this delay is certainly disappointing,” said Eric Altena, the DNR fisheries supervisor who has spearheaded the project. “It’s only a temporary setback, though. We’ll be back next summer with everything in order and set to go for the same timeframe.”There are efforts being made to still try and accomplish some portions of the project. However, plans have not been solidified. We will do our best to keep residents and users informed.
Your volunteer Little Rock Lake Association Board of Directors remain committed to better watershed health and will continue to be involved in the drawdown and advocate for Little Rock Lake. Please watch the Little Rock Lake Association web site and Facebook for continued updates.
2018: PICNIC Results
A very successful picnic this year! The silent auction, live auction, donated glass picture raffle, lunch and water donations and T-shirts/hat sales and membership drive were a big hit! Fund raising continues to reach our goal of $60,000+.
We'd like to thank EVERYONE for contributing and coming to the picnic and enjoying the afternoon. A big thank you to our Picnic committee for a job well done, fantastic!
Congratulations on board elections:
Corrine Jacobs for her re-election to the board as a director, Kellie Gahllager re-elected as President, and our two new secretaries who are going to split the position; Renee Seviola and Amy Claude !
A special thank you to our large and corporate donors:
$30,000 Eagle Creek Renewable Energy
$10,000 Rice Sportsman's Club
$10,000 Benton Communications
$10,000 East Central Electric Grant (pending)
$ 5,000 Sauk Rapids Sportsman's Club
$ 3,000 Watab Township
$ 2,000 Langola Township
$ 1,000 Go Fund Me
$ 1,000 Carp Contest
$ 500 St Stephen's Legion
$ 500+Sheppard of the Pines Church
$ 500 Community Donations
Please also thank our partners who have contributed time and materials to the drawdown:
AIS Task Force: $25,000 for plants
Score Grant: $10,000 for clean up
Totally Stitchin': T-shirts for the clean up crews
Pizza Ranch: for the Picnic Food
Rice Fire Department: Emergency department services and T-shirts
Community Members: for donations to feed the Boy Scouts
Benton County: Use of the Campground and Lakeview Center
The farming community for continued progress on BMP's.
Eric Altena (MNDNR), Amanda Guertin (Benton SWCD)
Thank you !! The LRLA Board of Directors thanks you for your support !
Results of the Drawdown hearing
We had a great turnout for the drawdown hearing March 28th, More than 150 people showed up to learn the latest information and ask pertinent questions about the process, funding, plant growth and fish concerns, among several others. A summary of the most common questions and concerns can be found on the drawdown website www.mndnr.gov/sartell-drawdown Video clips from the meeting are available here on the Little Rock Lake Association Facebook Page.The cooperative project with Benton County Soil, Water and Conservation district (SWCD), Little Rock Lake Association, Eagle Creek Energy and MNDNR has been described in the news several times and will take place August 1-September 15 - 2018. Please feel free to contact Eric Altena using the information below if you have further questions.
Eric AltenaMNDNR Area Fisheries Manager Little Falls
For more information and to read about specific issues discussed click on this link:
There will be no December 2017 Board of Director or Membership meeting due to the holiday
The Board of Directors and the Membership Meetings are cancelled for December 2017. Updates will be put in the December newsletter.
Little Rock Lake Community 2018 Drawdown Information Sessions
Come and Learn about the proposed Little Rock Lake 2018 drawdown and have your questions answered by the experts. The LRLA will be hosting two informational sessions on Friday, August 11th, 7pm, and Wednesday, September 27th, 7pm, both sessions will be held at the Watab Township Hall. The DNR, LRLA, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy and Benton County Soil and Water will be on hand to present and answer your questions. Join us for coffee, conversation and let's talk about what is on your mind and what questions you might have.
Join Us For the Annual Community Picnic Saturday August 12th
The annual Picnic will be at the Benton County Pavilion again. Each member will receive 2 tickets for lunch and non-members will be charged $5 for their lunch. Children under 4 will be free. Members will receive their tickets day of the picnic so you don’t have to worry about losing them! Those who that renew their membership at the picnic will get a LRLA Can Cooler (As long as supplies last) and the lunch tickets.
Lunch served from 11:30am - 1pm
Draw down LRLA strategy and Draw down update and update 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Annual meeting 1:45pm -2:15pm
Little Rock Lake-Sartell Pool Drawdown Project Information
A proposal to consider a summer drawdown at Sartell Dam 2018
Recent meetings with Eagle Creek Energy suggested we may need to consider some alternatives to a system-wide longer term drawdown. Maintenance requirements, loss of significant revenue and complexities with FERC licensing made it worthwhile looking at other options. One of which may be operation of the dam at a lower level (IE 2ft below full pool instead of 3ft). Another potential option may be a temporary coffer that would isolate the lake using water inflatable tube dam. Several manufacturers make the products. A potential option may include the use of a temporary dam and pumping after a short (4-5 day) drawdown for a longer term drawdown, within Little Rock Lake and the channel area. In either case, options are available and funding can be acquired to make the project happen. We will be working closely with Little Rock Lake Association and Benton SWCD to put a grant proposal in for the project timeline of Summer 2018.