County commissioners take issue with Deer Flat management plan

County commissioners take issue with Deer Flat management plan

County commissioners take issue with Deer Flat management plan

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by Justin Corr and KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Updated Thursday, May 16 at 6:23 AM

NAMPA -- The controversy centered on Canyon County's Lake Lowell continues.

The Fish and Wildlife Service continues to piece together a new management plan for the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge which completely surrounds the man-made reservoir.

However, because of possible negative effects to nesting birds, the plan would limit some types of recreation on and near the Lake.

See the refuge's latest plan here.

The process has been underway for several years, and continues to meet resistance from some members of the public, along with elected officails.

Canyon County Commissioners and other county officials signed a letter formally protesting some of the refuge's new policies on Wednesday. It states that they believe the refuge has no right to tell them how to manage the lake since the water belongs to irrigators.

Caldwell Representative Brandon Hixon was among those who signed it.

"We've actually managed Lake Lowell very well, I think, for the past 100 years," Hixon told KTVB. "And now we have some of the federal Fish and Wildlife Service coming in saying we have to manage it a different way because of some of the wildlife around the lake. While we're sympathetic to that need, it doesn't necessarily mean we need to give up our recreational rights at the same time."

The refuge director says her staff will now take all public comment into consideration when drafting their new management plan.

Here's a link to a study the refuge conducted in 2010 discussing the various types of recreation on the lake.

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