CME Meeting

June 9, 2011

St. Ignatius, MT


Present: Kerry Doney, Leroy Dumontier, Lloyd Irvine, Steve Hughes, Walt Schock, Dan Emerson, Leonard Gray


FIIP: Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff: Alan Mikkelsen


Visitors: Roy Lake, Paul Hunsucker, Ted Hein, Larry Krein


The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm by Chairman Steve Hughes. Ron Trahan was not present due to attending an inter-tribal bison meeting out of state.


Walt Schock moved that the minutes be approved as presented. Kerry Doney seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Hughes opened the floor for nominations to reorganize the CME. Leonard Gray nominated Ron Trahan for Chairman. Lloyd Irvine seconded the motion. Walt Schock moved that the nominations be closed and that the secretary be instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for Ron Trahan for Chairman. Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Leonard Gray nominated Dan Emerson for vice-chairman. Walt Schock seconded the motion. Dan Emerson declined the nomination. Leroy Dumontier nominated Steve Hughes for vice-chairman. Dan Emerson seconded the nomination. Leroy Dumontier moved that the nominations for vice-chairman be closed and that the secretary be instructed to cast a unanimous ballot. Lloyd Irvine seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Steve Hughes continued to chair the meeting as vice-chairman in the absence of Ron Trahan.


Lloyd Irvine moved that Alan Mikkelsen be reappointed secretary (non-voting). Kerry Doney seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The Project report begin with Pete Plant delivering a hydrology report. Due to delayed runoff, current snowpack ranges from 250%-290% of normal for this date. The .95 acre foot quota for the Mission Valley will remain in effect until further notice. The Camas quota has been set at .70 acre foot and will be re-evaluated in July.


Gordon Wind delivered the O&M report. 37 miles of ditch were sprayed this spring. Gordon said that right of way and access problems prevented more spraying. He noted that the spray crews needed to travel two miles to spray a quarter mile of ditch in some instances. He discussed several situations, including the Placid Canal break, a Pablo Feeder Canal leak on the dike of the original Pablo Reservoir, unauthorized pumping from Project canals, Valley View canal repairs, and an overtopping of the Post F canal from Mission B&C flows. The Mission B&C canals picked up enough runoff flows from natural events that they filled the Post F canal, which was receiving no diversions, and overtopped the canal in two locations. Gordon said the Project was forced to put some of the Mission B&C canal flows into Post Creek to remedy the situation. Mission B&C canal were receiving only minimal diversion from Mission Creek, approximately 3-5 cfs. In response to questions, Gordon said that spraying was done until fall, due to rain and other Project work.


Gordon Wind said that Safety of Dams (SOD) was delaying Black Lake work until next year. SOD expects to lower the crest on Hellroaring Reservoir this fall. This should mitigate the need for FIIP to constantly monitor Hellroaring during runoff events.


Gordon Wind discussed O&M delinquencies on trust land in 2010. He said that there were approximately $31,000 in delinquencies, which is apparently normal. He said that trust delinquencies in 2011 were currently approximately $110,000, but anticipated that number would fall to the $30,000 range as soon as people started asking for irrigation deliveries. There is little the Project can do to collect on trust delinquencies, other than deny water delivery. Gordon said he will have to budget for the $30,000 shortfall in his annual budgets in the future.


Gordon Wind discussed access challenges for the Project on both trust and fee property. One trust access issue was successfully handled this past month, but there are several feel access issues that need to be dealt with, also. Landowners are locking gates or preventing Project access to canals and turnouts. Gordon said he will be getting law enforcement, including the U.S. Marshall office involved in future fee land issues, due to the federal nature of the irrigation project.


Gordon Wind discussed building maintenance on the headquarters building. He is soliciting bids for window replacement, which will be partially paid for under Mission Valley Power energy conservation programs. He is also soliciting bids for stucco repair and paint for the headquarters building.


RaLynn Brown delivered the financial report. The May 31 balance for FIIP is $768, 473.82. She discussed a possible flex plan and re-distributed information on that plan for a CME decision in July. The FIIP does not qualify for a health savings account program under current law. RaLynn announced that the $1 million dollars in BIA BiOp mitigation money had been received and has been placed in a dedicated account at Eagle Bank.


Gordon Wind discussed access issues. Ditchriders have been instructed to leave gates open where there are no livestock present. Gordon discussed sprinklers blocking access and landowners blocking access. Steve Hughes suggested that the ditchriders carry a letter detailing access policy and regulations.


Alan Mikkelsen discussed Implementation Committee (IC) and ESA issues, including the need for the Project to minimize stockwater deliveries and operate irrigation deliveries on a demand basis only. That means that little or no water will be placed in ditches until ordered.


Gordon Wind suggested charging cfs for dedicated stockwater deliveries and cfs for incidental stockwater deliveries. Leroy Dumontier and Kerry Doney said this was not needed in the Jocko, since there is not a quota delivery system, but a rotation system instead, in times of shortage. Larry Krein said that he was informed that he would be charged for stockwater delivery and said that irrigators needed more time to solve the stock water problem. Alan Mikkelsen said that there were various programs available to help landowners with stockwater and suggested that Lynn Ducharme of Tribal Fisheries might be a good resource to get information from.


Leonard Gray suggested that the FIIP use this season to have ditchriders, supervisors and managers try to determine the scope of the stockwater problem. Alan Mikkelsen said that information would help in the water rights process, also.


Dan Emerson moved to charge cfs for all stockwater deliveries in the Mission Valley. Walt Schock seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Gordon Wind discussed disposal of a swing arm mower that the Project does not use. He has an offer of $3500 for the unit. Lloyd Irvine moved to sell the swing arm mower as discussed by Gordon. Dan Emerson seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


In public comment, Ted Hein questioned full or part time employment for employees. Gordon Wind said he remained flexible on the issue. Roy Lake expressed his concern about irrigators taking their own spills from pumps.


The CME went into executive session at 4:25pm to discuss personnel issues. The meeting resumed in open session at 5:05 pm with no action taken. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm.