Flathead Indian Irrigation Project (FIIP)

Cooperative Management Entity (CME) MEETING MINUTES



Held:    October 10, 2012FJBC Office, St Ignatius, MT                              Approved:  Nov. 14, 2012 by Chairman Hughes



Members Present:  Steve Hughes, Chair; Leonard Gray, Vice-Chair; Lloyd Irvine; Ron Trahan; Leroy (Sonny) Dumontier; Kerry Doney; Walt Schock; Trent Colman.


FIIP-CME:  Gordon Wind, Project Manager; Pete Plant, Asst. Manager; RaLynn Brown, Administrative Assistant.


Staff: Alan Mikkelsen, Mike Brown, CSKT Safety of Dams Program.


Meeting called to order at 1:00 p.m.


Steve Hughes, Chair, introduced Tari Shaw, Recording Secretary, who will be taking minutes for the FIIP-CME meetings.


The FIIP-CME Meeting Minutes for September 12, 2012, were presented for approval.


Motion by Sonny Dumontier to approve the FIIP-CME Meeting Minutes for September 12, 2012, as presented.  Seconded by Kerry Doney.  Carried, 5 for; 2 abstained (Ron Trahan & Leonard Gray); 1 not voting (Lloyd Irvine out of the room).


Mike Brown, CSKT - SOD Coordinator, presented an update on the Black Lake Project.  He stated that they would be able to fill it to the old restricted level as it was before.  The walls will be on the dissipater box next Tuesday then the area will be filled.  The construction crew is now working Fridays, which is overtime hours.  Gordon (FIIP crews) provided heaters in the tents covering the structure for the crew throughout the weekend.  He said they would continue to work as long as the weather permits which would hopefully be November 10th.


Mike Brown also mentioned that the Lower Dry Fork Project is still on schedule.  He also informed the Board that he would like to borrow Gordon Wind, CME Project Manager, to go to Denver with him to assist in the design review process of the Project.  The trip is scheduled for a week and the SOD Program will fund his expenses.


Steve Hughes, Chair, asked Mike Brown for an update on Crow Dam.


Mike Brown responded that there are no plans for the Crow Dam Project this construction season.  He stated that he had visited with the BIA SOD Program and that it was indicated that there “was money coming our way” for repair of the gate.  He said they still needed to complete a specific “issue identification” on the project, which would indicate what is wrong and what needs to be fixed.  He feels that should be done in a year’s time and thinks it will be an expensive project.


Sonny Dumontier stated that if there was concrete to pour on the Jocko Lake Project, that they better get it done as the weather is supposed to change.


Mike Brown responded that the concrete should be poured next Wednesday.


Pete Plant, FIIP – CME Assistant Manager, presented a Hydrology Report, which reflected the FIIP’s reservoir storage data as of 10/9/12.  He expects a moderately                                   dry season thru January 2013.


Gordon Wind, FIIP – CME Program Manager, also stated that it is a dry season and recommended against providing stock water.  He would like to end the season                                   on Monday, October 15, 2012.  He mentioned that last year that canal was shut off in early October.  He also recommended November 1, 2012, as a target shut off                                   date for the Mission Valley.


Kerry Doney agreed with Gordon Wind’s recommendation.


Steve Hughes, Chair, asked how the Board might notify the public of the “shut off” date.  He also recommended dropping the water level prior to a complete shut                                   down.


Gordon Wind explained that the stock water is supposed to be ordered at this time anyway so ditchriders should be able to contact those that had requested it.


The Board discussed how to proceed with notification.


Gordon Wind will follow up on a public service announcement through local radio stations.


Sonny Dumontier recommended the ditch-riders contact all the water users.


Gordon Wind provided an update on O&M including:


He informed the Board that the Flathead River pumping plants were shut off this morning with levels right at 12,000 af.

Report on weed spraying activities at Ninepipe Camp and vegetation removal from valley dams.  He stated that Pablo Reservoir hasn’t been tended to for 10-15 years, so they would be working on removing that vegetation for a month or so.

Crow Pump Canal siphon should be finalized over the winter.

Upper S Canal and Upper J Canal headworks diversion structure have grant opportunities that require a completion of a scope of work.  He is working with an engineering firm in Missoula (Morrison Maierle) to complete the scope of work that is required.  It is a renewable resource grant for two (2) $100,000 grants.


Steve Hughes, Chair, asked if the FIIP–CME was intending on applying for grants for the upcoming legislative session.


Gordon Wind responded that they would have to wait until the legislative session next year as the deadline to apply for this year’s session had since passed this last May.  He also mentioned returning a $5,000 grant received and re-requesting for a $20,000 planning grant instead.


Ron Trahan asked about returning grant recipient money or if it could be used next year.


Gordon Wind responded that if they turned it back, they could maybe be next in line for a $15,000 grant instead.  Next week, Pam Smith (Renewable Resources Grant Coordinator with MT-DNRC) is expected to be at a meeting in Helena and they are going to work with the consultant (Morrison Maierle) to seek advice on how to proceed.


Steve Hughes, Chair, asked Gordon Wind about Lake County Weed Control.


Gordon Wind responded that he has been contacted by Lake County Weed Control who is requesting a letter from FIIP–CME, that includes an estimate of what amount has been spent on weed control.  LCWC uses those figures as a match amount to be used for their contribution in their required cost share.  This year they are targeting the Yellow Iris.  Gordon stated that they are also providing spray (chemicals) for the spray crews and every little bit helps.


RaLynn Brown, FIIP – CME Administrative Assistant, presented the FIIP–CMI Financial Report as of September 28, 2012.


Gordon Wind stated that the brush head attachment for the excavator has been ordered and will be paid for after it arrives.


Les Everts, CSKT Fisheries, presented an update on the Tabor Reservoir.  He stated that the water is currently down to the Bull trout minimum.  He will be going up there in the next week or two to conduct test pitting investigations.  He recommended the Board schedule a trip to the Reservoir before snow falls, now being the prime time.  He explained that the Bull trout have traditionally spawned there, but that the environment is hostile (difficult to access).  He thinks a solution would be to build an artificial spawning channel.  This would include the construction of a stream that goes on the south side and enters the Reservoir about mid-reservoir, which is at a different location.  It may require some bedrock and blasting.  The logistics of the project is what would be the most complex, but the Bull trout would have a better chance.  The channel could also be covered for protection against predators.

He also informed the Board that another problem is poaching.  The Bull trout spawn in the September-October time frame.


Sonny Dumontier asked how the artificial channel would deal with high water.


Les Everts explained that the overflow would be diverted to the natural canal.


A sign-in sheet was sent around for the Board to provide their contact phone numbers for scheduling a trip to Tabor Reservoir.


Gordon Wind provided updates on:


New Business:  noted that he plans on contacting an engineer from Morrison & Maierle to see the cost of two grants just as a FYI.


Old business:  presented an update on the Harley Tanner cattle crossing.  He stated that Harley was supposed to provide the pipe.  Pete Plant, Assistant Manager, said the CSKT DOL was supposed to purchase the pipe, and that’s where it was left.


Steve Hughes, Chair, asked Kerry Doney to contact Harley Tanner to find out if he got the pipe.


Kerry Doney agreed to follow up with Harley Tanner.


Policy Items:


Steve Hughes, Chair, informed the Board that they are currently operating by the CFR as they have no current set of policies.  He spoke to Ranald McDonald, CSKT Managing Attorney, and Ranald told him that he would talk to Rhonda Swaney, CSKT Attorney, to see if she could assist with FIIP items, but it would probably be in January.  He also mentioned having someone from the FJBC also work with the FIIP-CME to complete the policy.


Public Comment:


Ted Hein complimented Pete Plant and asked him if they would be able to catch water in January.


Gordon Wind surveyed the area last week and will be working on that project after the grant questions are resolved and the Crow siphon project.


Ted Hein also asked about Mission Valley Power having power poles in the ditch banks.


Gordon Wind responded that he would work with MVP to have those poles removed and to recommend not placing poles in the ditch banks in the future.


Gene Erb asked when FIIP started allowing the use of siphons.


Gordon Wind responded that they do not allow that, and that he was aware of what someone had done (in piping a siphon over a lateral) and that it had already been taken care of.


Gene Erb also questioned Trent Colman, Board member, on his personal water usage.


Gordon Wind responded that he thought there was a headgate further up on that parcel, but the problem is that it was not adequate in size to meet the delivery demand (due to a previous water user restricting it by connecting a direct pipe to the turnout for use with a gravity sprinkler line). Trent Colman also responded that the ditch rider could not deliver the water that had been ordered due to the physical restriction at the turnout.  This will be resolved before the next irrigation season.


Ted Hein & Gene Erb expressed their concern that usage needs to be managed.


FIIP-CME Board met in executive session to discuss personnel issues.


FIIP-CME Board reconvened into regular session.


MOTION by Ron Trahan to approve contract with Westwater Consulting, which includes studying an alternate route for Bull Trout passage to Dry Creek above Tabor Reservior.  Seconded by Sonny Dumontier.  Carried, unanimous (8 present).


Ron Trahan asked if approval was needed for the FIIP-CME Financial Report that was presented by RaLynn Brown earlier in the meeting.


MOTION by Kerry Doney to approve the FIIP-CME Financial Report.  Seconded by Lloyd Irvine.  Carried, unanimous (8 present).


Meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m., and is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.



Submitted by Tari Shaw