Board Meeting Minutes
PVCC Mtg Room
Sept 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm
Call to order and Welcome – Bob C
Approval of August email updates: Motion by Joe Second by Lynn
Welcome: Craig Kenyon new Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
Valerie and Karen from the BICA Visitor Center in Lovell
After introductions Craig shared with us his vision for the PVCC and the Big Horn Basin area. He assisted in forming a Big Horn Basin Chamber of Commerce Directors council. This group's purpose is to encourage all the communities to work together for the common good, being able to build on each community's strengths. They are developing a Heritage Corridor plan that will benefit all areas. They will be meeting next in Greybull on October 4. FOBHL has encouraged this process for many years and are excited that the wheels are now in motion! As the process moves forward many different organizations will be ask to join the effort!
Valerie then addressed the board, thanking FOBHL for another great year of volunteering at BICA. She presented us with a Certificate of Appreciation and some “favors “ that can be given to volunteers that went the extra mile this year! She encouraged us to keep up the good work since it makes BICA a more awesome recreational area!
We were informed that Chris Wilkinson, Chief of Interpretation for BICA has taken a new position with NPS in Missouri. Chris has been a dedicated professional among us for the past 2 years in developing programs, improving relationships with area educational institutions and in enhancing the BICA web site! Chris we salute you for a great job well done and wish you the best in your new position!
Karen spoke to us about the changes in the way BICA will handle entrance fees if approved by NPS. There will be a plastic annual BICA card given to those who desire a BICA only entrance card. This card is good for 12 months from date of purchase and still costs $30. This replaces the vehicle windshield stickers used for many years. For more details on entrance fees in BICA see this website link:
The fees collected for this BICA pass are kept here and used for local improvements to the park. As an example all the additions to the Horseshoe Bend Area in recent years were largely funded from this fee money. We also encourage you to buy your other NPS park entrance fee cards here too. since 80% of that money stays at BICA for local improvements. She also indicated some changes in the commercial use permits for the working dude ranches using BICA, these will be effective in 2012.
The web cam project at Horseshoe Bend is still stalled at the Shoshone River due to troubles with the horizontal drilling rig.
The bid for the Credit card fuel system at the Horseshoe Bend Marina came in very high. FOBHL feels the money would be better spent on other improvements at BICA. We thank the BICA professionals for a lot of effort expended to try an provide boat fuel at the marina.
An SOP for recreation at BICA is being discussed so there is a more definite plan as to when and how operations will be carried out. A SOP for snow removal was developed last winter as well.
The loss of some evergreen and cottonwood trees from the Horseshoe Bend Campground was discussed with BICA. The loss is a result of weather and wildlife damage.
Projects funded in 2010 and 2011 by the Wyo boat gas tax money grants, but not yet done, will be discussed by a committee made up of Wyoming Game and Fish, BICA and FOBHL. There will need to be some decisions made concerning funds needed and present funds available. This meeting should occur in November.
Since the log boom at Horseshoe Bend needs replaced consideration is being given to what style to use; wood or synthetic material. As the wood water logs it floats lower in the water and is less effective at stopping wave action where as the synthetic stays buoyant.
Several possible driftwood cleanup projects are to be considered that could be done in February or March. During our fall tour of BICA discussion will be held to determine a priority list for this project. Due to the large size of much of this driftwood, equipment will be needed to pile the wood.
FOBHL has suggested that a BICA management group tour be held again this fall. These combined tours where all can see and discuss issues has worked well in the past.
Lynn reported that the aerial photos taken in July using a helicopter were very good. Lynn and Ken were on board with Lynn doing the camera work. Over 100 shots were taken and will be very useful for future meetings FOBHL and BICA will attend. A CD of the photos was given to each board member, WGF in Cody and BICA in Lovell. The lake elevation was at the high point of 3655 feet, 15 feet into the flood pool.
The new trails and access plan is progressing thru the public input phase. There has been public meetings at Ft Smith and Lovell this past week. The public comment period ends on Sept 18.
There is concern about the future of the Marina and tour boats since this high water year made it very difficult for them to operate a normal schedule. FOBHL will do all we can to assist them in continuing to operate!
The Montana USBR informed us on the weekly conference call that a contractor is working on the Afterbay dam gates below YT Dam. This project will be completed by April 2012 or sooner depending on the weather in the coming months. It will not affect the flows into the river.
We discussed the need to update our FOBHL web site. A new look would be nice! We must decide what changes are possible and within our budget. Some have also suggested we need to have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Whatever we do must not be time intensive, for none of us have unlimited time. We are getting some quotes in order for us to know what a new web site face will cost us. Those who know have told us that we must be able to update Facebook and Twitter all most daily for it to be of any help in informing visitors......
In reviewing the 2011 Bighorn Lake Celebration several suggestions were given by BICA folks that need to be looked at. Like, more volunteers for the Triathlon, improved signage during the event, do we need more restrooms available, keep runners and watchers separated for safety sake. We will pass these suggestions on to Ben to consider for 2012.
Bob C spoke at the August Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce members meeting about FOBHL and Bighorn Canyon issues. He also attended the September LCC board meeting to discuss how they could take over more of the promotion of BICA to visitors, both local and away. Several ideas were discussed and some very positive commitments were made by both groups. The working together of all the cities and towns in the Basin is very important. We hope to design a new vinyl sign for the large billboard at Rockvale, MT promoting our winter activities!
There have been inquires concerning not having the Devils Canyon and Medicine Creek rest rooms on the lake this summer. The answer is the high water prevented them for being setup.
Aquatic Invasive Species work this year went well except the number of inspections was down for most of Wyoming waters. Inspections: Standard 42,805; High Risk 115 and decontamination 14.
The board moved: “How to proceed with a possible regulation variance for the 2012 Celebration interest event” to next meeting.
As board members we need to review the “membership - not paid list” Jerry L gave us in order that we can keep an up to date list of active members.
Jerry L presented the financial reports as of September 12 and answered our questions.
Joe and Jerry L will attend a Wyoming Tourism meeting at noon in Lovell tomorrow for FOBHL. They are trying to help area folks get more use from their very nice tourism web site.
Joe will check with the Town of Lovell as to why we have not yet received the check for the tourism tax dollars. We use the money for tourism advertising.
The Fall Bighorn River Issues Group Meeting will be held in Billings on Oct 13 - 9am to 2pm. All are invited to attend any of the day. A detailed schedule will be emailed out later. The reps for the special sedimentation sub committee chaired by Jerry Case will meet with Lenny and Stephenie of the USBR following this meeting.
The next FOBHL Board Meeting will be on Oct 11 at 6:30pm in Lovell at BH Federal meeting room.