Phone: (308) 995-8601

December 2002

Volume 1
Sections 1 through 4


KINGSLEY DAM PROJECT
(FERC Project No. 1417)


The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District
Holdrege, Nebraska

NOTE: The December 2002 Plan
was Approved on March 4, 2003 by the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District
FERC Project No. 1417


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Executive Summary

Organization of the Plan

Terms Used in this Plan

Section 1 – Introduction

A. Overview
B. Project Description
C. Purpose of the Land and Shoreline Management Plan


Section 2 – Planning and Consultation Process

Section 3 – Shoreline Management / Responsibilities And Activities

A. Central’s Responsibilities in Developing a Shoreline Management Plan
B. Central’s Shoreline Management Activities at Plan Inception


Section 4 – Land and Shoreline Use

A. Land Use Classifications
B. Lake McConaughy
C. Lake Ogallala
D. The Supply Canal System / Lincoln County
E. Jeffrey Reservoir
F. The Supply Canal System / Dawson County
G. Gallagher Canyon Lake
H. Plum Creek Canyon Lake
I. Johnson Lake
J. The Supply Canal System / Gosper County

APPENDICES



Executive Summary

Central Nebraska Public Power District operates the hydropower generating facilities associated with Central’s Kingsley Dam Project subject to the Federal Power Act and associated regulations and pursuant to the express terms and conditions of Central’s Project license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 1998. Central’s responsibilities include: irrigation, power generation, public recreation, shoreline and land use management, natural resource conservation, environmental protection, and public land stewardship. Central is obligated to comply with the terms and conditions of its FERC license. Those license conditions establish limitations and criteria and require specific actions and approvals that directly affect Central’s administration of the lands it owns within the FERC Project Boundary, which can be roughly described as a line surrounding all of the project reservoirs, canal, dams, and other critical project equipment and facilities.

This Plan was developed to meet Central’s responsibilities and objectives as a FERC licensee and as a landowner. For that reason, the Plan addresses lands within Central’s Right of Way, that is, lands in the Project vicinity owned by Central, as well as those lands which are located within the defined FERC Project Boundary which is shown in the Project FERC license documentation and is evident on the maps in this Plan. By this definition, Central’s “Right of Way” as used in this Plan includes all the lands within the hydropower project boundary. When the term “Project Boundary” appears in this Plan, it refers only to those lands that are actually circumscribed by the boundary line in the FERC license.

The Plan sets forth goals, policies, general procedures and standards developed to support consistent land management actions and decisions and to function as an information and management tool for Central and for individuals, organizations or agencies that may wish to develop land or facilities or to change specific land uses, including recreation, within Central’s Right of Way. The Plan protects the existing resources, uses and values of the Project by establishing a comprehensive framework for the processes, procedures and standards to which Central will adhere when changes in recreation, land or shoreline use are proposed.

Central developed this Plan in active consultation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and local governments and people. The Plan development process was initiated in mid-1999. Central met with interested parties including shoreline property and homeowners, local governments and resource agencies. Meetings were held to identify issues and concerns and to enable Central to consider the perspective of various interested parties. The Plan reflects the outcome of that consultation process. The agency comments regarding the initial draft Plan, and Central’s responses to them, are included in this document.

The Plan is organized into nine sections and three Appendices. Section 6 of the Plan is also designed to serve as the Project Recreation Report for FERC license compliance purposes and is separable from the rest of the document. The Plan discusses the process Central used to develop this Plan; describes and categorizes Project land uses at Plan inception; identifies development constraints and opportunities within the Project Boundary; defines Central’s fundamental land management philosophy and implementation strategies; and offers guidance on the standards for evaluating and conditioning authorizations for use of Central’s lands in the future. The Appendices to the Plan are intended to be supporting documents, not subject to the Amendment process. The reference information in the Appendices will be updated appropriately as changes occur over time.


In the Plan, Central describes the overall goals it has adopted to guide its land and shoreline management efforts as to:

· Ensure continued reasonable public access to the lands and waters of the Project.

· Provide for a diversity of public recreational opportunities throughout the Project.

· Protect and manage the significant existing natural and man-made resources of the Project, including environmental resources and recreation opportunities.

· Evaluate the potential impact of all proposals for land use change on surrounding Project and non-Project lands, and balance potential benefits and impacts with the benefits and impacts of existing uses.

· Evaluate all proposed changes in use and/or occupancy of Central’s lands to assure they are consistent with the purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational, and other environmental values of the Project.

· Support and provide, where consistent with the other goals, economic development opportunities within the Project and region.


The Plan is based on the classification of land uses within the Project Boundary according to specifically developed categories. These categories reflect the unique land use patterns of this Project and are listed below.

“Concessionaire” – Includes those areas where either Central or the NGPC has leased or subleased land for the provision of public commercial recreational services.

“Open Space” – Includes all of those areas within Central’s Right of Way that are open to public recreational access and are not designated for a specific recreational use, such as a state recreation area.

“Outside FERC Project Boundary” – This designation on the Land Use Maps refers to properties that lie outside the FERC Project Boundary that may be owned by Central or by private individuals. Their use may impact the lakes.

“Overlay Zones” – Overlay zones are classifications that overlay the existing land use of a site. Overlay zones generally indicate either a specialized use or protection of a land area for a specific reason and may imply an additional layer of regulation. The overlay zones shown on the land use maps include the Future Development Shoreline Facility/Services, Species Protection Zone, Day Use and Non-Motorized Vehicle Areas.

“Future Development Shoreline Facility/Services” – Areas likely, based upon the best available current information, to be considered for development of commercial or community marina or other facilities. Designation does not imply approval.

“Species Protection Zone” – This designation is an overlay zone, to be applied to land areas that merit special protection due to the presence of endangered, threatened or significant plant or animal species and/or their habitats. Regulations regarding the use of or development near, this designation will be developed through agency consultation subsequent to FERC approval of this Plan. Regulation requirements may range from general to very specific based on the species concerned and its use of the area.

“Day Use Area
– Areas designated as not available for overnight use. The Day Use Area overlay will be used on an “as needed” basis to address protection of specific areas for habitat, species, or cultural resources, conflicting land use issues, and other needs as they arise.

“Non-Motorized Vehicle Areas” – Areas accessible only on foot or by non-motorized vehicle. The Non-Motorized Vehicle overlay will be used on an “as needed” basis to address protection of specific areas for habitat, species, or cultural resources, conflicting land use issues, and other needs as they arise.

“Project Works” – This designation includes areas occupied by the dams, powerhouses, and other structures that are essential to Central’s operations and to which, due to safety, operational, or other constraints, public access may be legitimately restricted.

“Residential” – This designation includes areas of existing residential development either within or adjacent to Central’s Right of Way.


The Plan also establishes the fundamental framework for furthering Central’s land and shoreline management goals in its day-to-day management of Project lands by implementation of the following general land management policies. These policies are discussed in Section 5 of the Plan

1. Facilities and Structures in Place at Plan Implementation

POLICY: Central will allow all legal and permitted structures and facilities in place before Plan implementation to remain in place until such time as the structure or facility becomes unsafe, needs replacement or requires major repairs (more than 50% of the physical structure or of its value, as determined by Central).

2. Leases Existing at Plan Implementation

POLICY: Central will manage specific parcels of leased land in accordance with the provisions of the leases in effect at Plan implementation, (as such provisions may be interpreted by the courts after all appeals have been exhausted), for the remainder of the lease term.

3. New Leases

POLICY: Central will enter into new leases when so doing supports providing a diversity of recreational opportunities, benefits wildlife or otherwise is consistent with or will enhance achievement of the objectives of this Plan.

4. New Structures and Facilities

POLICY: Central shall continue to permit new legal uses, structures and facilities when such uses, structures and facilities are in compliance with the Plan and with all applicable federal, state and local requirements.

5. Building Setbacks

POLICY: Central will require suitable setbacks from the shoreline for all future residential or commercial development on Project lands to promote reasonable public use and access to the Project lands and waters.

6. Shoreline Protection and Enhancement

POLICY: Central, where necessary, will support activities to protect shorelines from excessive erosion and will require its lessees, licensees, and permit holders to provide adequate shoreline protection on the land areas they use under the terms of a permit, lease, easement or other conveyance or other authorization.

7. Public Recreational Use Opportunity

POLICY: Central will continue to make the lands, shorelines and waters of the Project not subject to a lease open to the public for recreational use, except where operational, safety, environmental resource protection needs, or other uses are incompatible with public access or safety objectives.


8. Project Operations

POLICY: Central will retain ownership of all project property covered by the license, lands, shoreline and waters necessary to its hydropower, irrigation and related operations or will assure it has the rights to occupancy and use or necessary easements.

9. Environmental and Wildlife Protection

POLICY: Central will fully consider the protection of wildlife and endangered species and their habitats on Project lands in all land use and recreation management decisions and Plan implementation.


Organization of the Plan

The Plan is organized into the following sections:

Section 1. Introduction – The introduction to the Plan includes an overview of the regulatory basis for the Plan, a description of Central’s Kingsley Dam Project area, a basic discussion of the purpose of the Plan, and this general outline of the main elements of the Plan document.

Section 2. The Planning and Consultation Process – This section discusses Central’s overall approach to and schedule for the public and agency consultation used to develop the Plan.

Section 3. Shoreline Management / Responsibilities and Activities – This section describes Central’s regulatory and stewardship responsibilities for the Project and the roles and responsibilities of other agencies and local governments.

Section 4. Land and Shoreline Use – This section describes the project shorelines, land development and ownership patterns, development opportunities and constraints, proposed developments, and the process to obtain approval for a new development or a change in use on Project lands.

Section 5. Implementation Strategies – This section describes Central’s overall land and shoreline management philosophy, specific “Shoreline Management Strategies” and management standards and procedures.

Section 6. Recreation Plan – This section identifies existing and proposed public and private recreation opportunities within Central’s Project Boundary. This section is also intended to serve as the Project Recreation Report.

Section 7. Plan Amendments and Updates – This section discusses fulfillment of the requirements for periodic evaluation and reporting on the least tern and plover nesting protection, bald eagle nesting and roosting, and aquatic resource protection measures described in the license, the development and filing of updates to the Land and Shoreline Management Plan, and the specific procedures and consultation that will be undertaken to amend or modify the Plan once it has been initially approved by FERC.

Section 8. Public Comments and Agency Consultation – This section includes a summary of the resource topics and comments received from the agencies during consultation and raised at the public meetings. Summaries of the comments and recommendations received during formal agency review and the public hearings are also included, as is a discussion of Central’s response to those comments and recommendations. Copies of written comments or summaries of transcribed oral comments are included in Plan Appendix II.

Section 9. Maps and Illustrations – This section includes maps and drawings illustrating the resource utilization classifications,


Terms Used in this Plan

“Agency” – Refers to one or all of the following: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC); the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Island Field Office (USFWS); and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kearney Office, (Corps).

“Canyon Lake” – Refers to the water bodies that were created by existing canyons during construction of Central’s Supply Canal system.

“Central” – Refers to the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District.

“Central’s Right of Way” – Refers to the boundary marking all of Central’s land ownership, both within and outside the FERC Project Boundary; also referred to as “Central ROW” on the Land Use Maps.

“Consultation” – Refers to the formal or informal process of review and comment of a proposal by interested parties, individuals, or state, federal, and local agencies. In many circumstances, approval of a non-project use of lands located within the defined boundary of a FERC licensed hydropower project cannot be made until comments are sought and considered through a specific consultation process.

“Conveyance” – As used in this document, refers to the transfer of a legal interest in land, either by easement, lease or in fee title.

“CRMP” – Refers to the Cultural Resources Management Plan for Central’s Project. The CRMP appears on Central’s website at CNPPID.com or may be requested from Central’s main offices.

“Encroachment” – As used in this Plan, refers to an unauthorized use of Central’s property. Central will take appropriate action to correct encroachments.

“FERC” – Refers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a federal government “agency” with jurisdiction over non-federal hydropower projects such as Central’s Kingsley Dam Project. FERC issued the license authorizing power generation at this Project, and has oversight over project operations as well as over Central’s administration of Project lands and waters.

“FERC Project Boundary” – Hydropower projects licensed by FERC include “all water-rights, rights-of-way, ditches, dams, reservoirs, lands, or interest in lands the use and occupancy of which are necessary or appropriate in the maintenance and operation of such unit.”1 While Central owns the land on which the project is situated, FERC has jurisdiction over the use of that land if it is included within the Project Boundary, which is roughly a boundary line circumscribing the project features. Central’s Project Boundary is evident on the land use maps contained in this Plan.

“Leased Lands” – This designation pertains to the lands, inside Central’s Right of Way, leased for specific uses to federal, state or local units of government, individuals, organizations, or businesses. In some cases these uses are administered through subleases from NGPC. Examples of leases and leased lands are:

· “State Recreation Area Lease”
· “Wildlife Management Area Lease”
· “Concessionaire Lease”
· “Agricultural Lease”
· “Residential Lease”

“Local Governments” – The local governments referred to in this document are Dawson, Gosper, Keith and Lincoln Counties.

“Major Repair” – For the purposes of this Plan, major repair to an existing structure is defined as repair which Central regards as involving more than 50% of the physical structure or more than 50% of its value. Central reserves the right to make this determination. Major repairs are distinguishable from normal and predictable routine maintenance activities.

“NGPC” – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, a Nebraska state agency.

“Permit” – As used in this document, a permit for use of project property is distinguished from other authorizations that involve a transfer of interest in the property. A permit allows the use of Central’s property for a specific and limited use and period of time and does not convey any legal interest in the land.

“Permit to Construct” – A permit issued by Central authorizing construction of structures along the shoreline or in the water, including boat houses and docks, permits for alteration of the shoreline including placement of rip rap or construction of retaining walls, and all other activities that involve construction or placement of materials on land, including submerged land, owned by Central. A sample Permit to Construct appears in Plan Appendix I. Central may amend the Permit format from time to time.

“Plan” – Refers to this Plan, the Land and Shoreline Management Plan required by Article 421 of Central’s FERC License.

“Project” – Refers to land, equipment, structures and facilities identified in Central’s FERC license and located within Central’s Project Boundary.

“Project Lands” – Include those properties Central owns that lie within the FERC Project Boundary defined by Central’s Project license. Any use of these Project lands is subject to federal oversight and compliance with all relevant federal, Nebraska state, and local laws and regulations, the provisions of the FERC license and its relevant implementing documents. These documents include but are not limited to:

· Land and Shoreline Management Plan and associated contracts and regulations,
· Cultural Resource Management Plan, and
· Plans or regulations for the protection of endangered species or habitat.
· Terms and conditions of specific permits and leases

“Project Waters” – Refers to the lakes, reservoirs, and canals included within Central’s Project boundary. Any use of project waters is subject to federal agency oversight and compliance with all relevant federal, Nebraska state, and local laws and regulations, the provisions of the FERC license and its implementing documents. Federal, state, and local navigational safety standards also apply to activities, facilities, and structures on these waters.

“Standard Land Use Article” – Article 422 of Central’s license. This license condition is generally included in all FERC hydropower licenses and defines Central’s obligations and the limits of its delegated authority to permit uses of or to convey interests in Project lands. The text of this Article appears in Plan Appendix I.

“State Recreation Area (SRA)” –Lands that Central has leased to the NGPC for public recreational use. Central’s lease terms provide that the land use shall be consistent with its obligations under the FERC license. Use of these areas is otherwise governed and restricted by NGPC regulations for SRAs.

“Supply Canal” –Central’s main canal system, which runs from a diversion dam on the Platte River east of North Platte to a return east of Lexington. The Supply Canal lies within Central’s Project Boundary.

“Wildlife Management Area (WMA)” – Lands that Central has leased to the NGPC for wildlife management. Public use of these areas is governed and restricted by NGPC regulations for WMAs.

Section 1 – Introduction

A. Overview

The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central) is a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, authorized as a “public power & irrigation district.” Central is also a hydropower licensee of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and operates the hydropower generating facilities associated with Central’s Kingsley Dam Project No. 1417 (Project) subject to the Federal Power Act and associated regulations and pursuant to the express terms and conditions of the Central’s license issued in 1998. Central’s responsibilities include: irrigation, power generation, public recreation, shoreline and land use management, natural resource conservation, environmental protection, and public land stewardship. Central is obligated to comply with the terms and conditions of its FERC license. Two of those license conditions, designated as license Articles 421 and 422, establish limitations and criteria and require specific actions and approvals that directly affect Central’s administration of Project lands. In addition, Central is subject to other regulations and license conditions that more generally constrain its use and management of Project lands and waters.

Pursuant to Article 422 of its FERC license, Central has the authority delegated by FERC to authorize use or convey interests in Project lands in specific circumstances and under certain conditions identified in the Article. Central has continuing responsibility to supervise the occupancies and uses it authorizes and to ensure compliance with the terms of the authorization or conveyance. The terms of the license require Central to take any lawful action necessary to correct a violation of those terms. Authorizing uses or conveying interests in Project lands not specifically addressed in the Article requires prior consultation with interested agencies and prior FERC approval. This process can be very burdensome and time consuming for all concerned, but is not optional. Failure to comply with the criteria identified in the Article constitutes a violation of the Central’s license terms.

Central’s properties throughout south central Nebraska provide numerous recreational, residential, and economic benefits. They offer diverse habitats that support the plant, animal and fish species found in the region, including species that are designated by state and federal agencies as threatened and endangered. The Platte River region also has a rich historical and cultural heritage, as evidenced by the numerous identified historical and archaeological sites. The entire area is increasingly attractive as a place for outdoor recreation, home sites and the support services associated with these activities. Continued regional growth and development and the gravitation of homeowners to waterside areas will place increasing demands on the lands and waters of the project. These lands and waters are a unique and valuable resource that, if managed effectively, can continue to provide hydropower, irrigation, recreation, and community living benefits to future generations in the region. To accomplish this, close attention must be given to preserving shore lands with unique or special qualities, properly managing and conserving the natural resources of the shoreline, and protecting and balancing different uses so they can be enjoyed by the public in the years to come. In its role as a steward of public land, Central must balance the increasing, and often conflicting, recreational, residential and commercial uses of that land and shoreline, while ensuring that legitimate and appropriate existing uses and valuable habitat are protected.

B. Project Description

Central’s Kingsley Dam Hydroelectric Project, authorized in the 1930’s and completed in 1942, consists of two distinct segments. (See Figure 1-1.) The first segment is comprised of Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala. Lake McConaughy, formed by Kingsley Dam, has a surface area of 30,500 acres at full pool and is roughly twenty-one miles long. Lake Ogallala was created where the North Platte River was dredged and pumped to form the eastern slope of Central’s project. The Kingsley Hydropower plant, built in 1984, abutting Central’s project, discharges into Lake Ogallala and is authorized to generate 49.97 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity.

Lake McConaughy provides diverse and popular public recreational opportunities. Kingsley Dam is at the east end of the lake, while an expanse of wetland defines the west end. Except for the areas occupied by project facilities and four cabin areas, all of Central’s Project lands at Lake McConaughy are leased to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) as a State Recreation Area (SRA). Developed campsites, marinas, vacation rentals, residential properties and water access areas are dispersed along its north and south shorelines. The majority of shoreline along Lake Ogallala is a State Recreation Area (SRA) managed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) on lands leased from Central for that purpose. The public recreation areas located within Central’s Right of Way at both lakes, including those occupied by recreation concessionaires, are provided by the NGPC. Fishing, camping, boating and other recreational uses, as well as winter “bald eagle viewing” are popular activities on the lakes.

The second segment begins at the Central (or Tri-County) Diversion Dam, located 50 miles downstream of Central’s project, at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers. The Dam diverts water into the 75-mile-long Supply Canal, which flows through 27 canyon lakes of varying sizes and 3 hydroelectric power plants before the water is returned to the Platte River east of Lexington. The three hydroelectric power plants along the Supply Canal are the Jeffrey Hydro plant (18 MW), south of Brady, Nebraska; Johnson No. 1 Hydro plant (18 MW), and Johnson No. 2 Hydro plant (18 MW), both east of Johnson Lake.

The Supply Canal also delivers water to three irrigation canals that serve an area covering more than 105,000 acres in Gosper, Kearney and Phelps counties in south-central Nebraska. An additional 7,000 acres are irrigated directly from the Supply Canal as it flows east through Lincoln and Dawson counties.

The sizes of the water bodies impounded along the Supply Canal vary from less than 1 surface acre to more than 2,500 surface acres. Most of the shoreline along the canal and around these lakes is accessible for public recreation use. This report focuses only on those lakes greater than 20 surface acres in size, with public road access. Lincoln County, where the Supply Canal is diverted from the Platte River, contains ten lakes associated with the project. These include Boxelder Canyon Lake (22 surface acres), Cottonwood Lake (33 surface acres), Snell Lake (53 surface acres) and Jeffery Reservoir, with 575 surface acres. Boxelder Canyon Lake and Jeffery Reservoir both have small Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) and Jeffery Reservoir provides boating access. Jeffery Reservoir is the only lake on the Supply Canal in Lincoln County with residential homes adjacent to the shoreline. Most of these homes are located on land owned by Central and leased to a lake association that manages much of the day-to-day administration of the leased area. Some of the homes are located within Central’s Project Boundary; others are located on lands owned by Central outside the Project Boundary.

Dawson County is the next county the Supply Canal enters on its way east. The lakes of note along this stretch of canal are Hiles Canyon Lake (19 surface acres), the Midway Lakes (ranging from 48 to 341 surface acres), Gallagher Canyon Lake (182 surface acres) and Plum Creek Canyon Lake (252 surface acres). Plum Creek Canyon Lake has a small WMA providing boating access to the Lake. Housing is scattered on private and project lands along its steep banks. Gallagher Canyon Lake has an SRA, which provides facilities for camping, picnicking and boating access. Two of the Midway Lakes have small areas of residential property along the shoreline. The majority of this housing is also on land leased from Central and similar to Jeffrey, homes lie both within and outside Central’s Project Boundary.

Johnson Lake, the largest lake on the canal, has the distinction of being the only lake to lie within two counties. The northern portion of the lake lies in Dawson County and the southern portion of the lake and the canal system is in Gosper County. Johnson Lake is also the only lake in the system with its entire shoreline developed for residential, marina or public recreation use. There are two SRA’s at Johnson Lake, which offer a variety of public recreational opportunities, including handicapped-accessible fishing facilities, camping, picnicking and swimming. There is a public golf course, operated under a lease with Central, located within the Project Boundary just below the dam. There are a few small canyon lakes on the Supply Canal in Gosper County. The WMA located at East Phillips Lake (142 surface acres) provides access for fishing and a public boat ramp. Three homes are located on private property located adjacent to the Central’s Right of Way at Knapple Lake (38 surface acres).

Central will be reviewing the FERC Boundary and evaluating whether it is necessary to add or remove any lands to the FERC Boundary as described in the Plan for Reviewing FERC Boundary that is in Plan Appendix I.

C. Purpose of the Land and Shoreline Management Plan

The purpose of this Plan is twofold. First, it is designed to comply with the requirements of Central’s FERC Central’s license. Second, the Plan will guide Central in making decisions regarding the future use of its land within Central’s Right of Way. The Plan provides a clear statement of how Central will manage its land and shoreline by identifying specific uses and procedures. The Plan will help minimize land use conflicts and will improve Central’s ability to administer its land policies in a fair and consistent manner.

The license for Central’s Project, issued July 29, 1998, contains several specific license conditions governing the management of lands and waters within the defined Project Boundary. The conditions most directly related to this Plan are contained in license Articles 421 and 422. The license also contains more general standard provisions pertaining to management of FERC licensed Project lands and waters, including Articles 3, 5, 18, & 21. The verbatim text of all of these Articles, also referred to as “License Conditions”, is presented in Plan Appendix I. A discussion of the requirements of Articles 421 and 422 follows here.


ARTICLE 421 SHORELINE MANAGEMENT PLAN REQUIREMENT

Pursuant to the requirements of Article 421 of the license, Central is directed to file a “Plan to manage the lands and shorelines of the project” area, within 24 months of the issuance of the license. The objective of this Plan is to meet that requirement and other related legal and regulatory conditions, while providing a rational and consistent approach to the management of Project lands and waters consistent with the District’s objectives and responsibilities.

Pursuant to the terms of Article 421, the Shoreline Management Plan must:

· Identify Project lands and shorelines that are and will be reserved for present and future wildlife, public recreation, residential, agricultural and other uses.

· Identify any proposed change in the use of Project lands from uses in existence at the time the license was issued.

· Be updated every five years after the Plan is approved.

· Be prepared, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and a report must be filed every three years following initial Plan approval reflecting the periodic re-evaluation of the tern and plover nest protection and bald eagle perch and roost site protection components of the Plan.

· Evaluate the need for, and identify appropriate measures to address:

– protection of least tern and piping plover nesting sites at Lake McConaughy similar to programs existing at the time the license was issued.

– suitable protection for bald eagle perch and roost sites on Project lands that were in existence when the license was issued.

– controlling aquatic vegetation and sedimentation in project reservoirs.

· Address the use of Project lands and shorelines designated for public recreational use under the Land and Shoreline Management Plan, and the recreational use of project waters


The recreational component of the Plan, referred to above, must also:

· Designate Project lands and/or waters for campgrounds, recreational vehicles, fishing, hunting, boating and canoeing.

· Be consistent with wildlife protection measures required by the license (See License Articles 417-420, Plan Appendix I).


ARTICLE 422 STANDARD LAND USE ARTICLE

In addition to the requirements of Article 421, Central is also subject, under the terms of its FERC license, to other constraints on its authority to authorize non-project uses of Project lands. Under the terms of FERC’s “standard land use Article”, which appears in the Central’s license as Article 422, Central has limited delegated authority from FERC to permit uses or to convey interests in Project lands only under certain conditions. To understand this Article and the relative levels of delegated authority, it is important to distinguish between use authorizations such as permits or licenses to use lands and conveyances, such as an easement, lease, or grant in fee title, which transfer a legal interest in the property.

Verbatim text of Article 422 appears in Plan Appendix I. Because Article 422 is long and complex, a general overview of its requirements is also presented here.

This Article identifies four levels of authority delegated to FERC licensees, each level applicable only for specific categories of use, and each level subject to specific standards and requirements. Any uses authorized under the terms of the Article must also conform to the requirements of the approved Shoreline Management Plan. Any non-project uses of lands within the Project Boundary not authorized under the terms of Article 422 must receive express prior approval from FERC. That approval process requires pre-filing consultation with agencies and can take as long as 12 months, or even longer, to complete.

Central’s broadest level of delegated authority is to permit three specific categories of use. In general, Central may grant permits, without obtaining prior FERC approval, for:

· Landscape plantings, food plots and wildlife plantings;

· Non-commercial piers, landings, boat docks, or similar structures and facilities that accommodate no more than ten watercraft at a time and are intended to serve single-family type dwellings; and

· Embankments, bulkheads2, retaining walls3, or similar structures for erosion control to protect the existing shoreline (See referenced footnotes for particular requirements for bulkhead and retaining walls).

When Central does grant authority for such uses, they must meet all of the following criteria:

· The proposed use and occupancy must be consistent with the purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational, and other environmental uses of the project;

· Central must require multiple use and occupancy of facilities for access to Project lands or waters, unless this is infeasible or will not further goals of protection and enhancement of the project’s scenic, recreational and other environmental values;

· The permitee must maintain permitted uses and occupancies in good condition and repair;

· All uses and occupancies must comply with all applicable requirements of state law, local ordinances, and federal law, including the Federal Power Act, Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the terms and conditions of the FERC license4, including this Plan.

Article 422 also enables Central to grant easements and leases for Project lands, and in some cases convey land in fee5. If Central does grant such rights in Project lands, it is obligated to do so only subject to all of the following conditions:

· Proposed use and occupancy must be consistent with the purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational, and other environmental uses of the project;

· As feasible and desirable to protect and enhance the project’s scenic, recreational, and other environmental values, Central must require multiple use and occupancy of facilities for access to Project lands or waters;

· Permittee must maintain permitted uses and occupancies in good condition and repair;

· Uses and occupancies must comply with all applicable requirements of state law, local ordinances, and federal law, including the Federal Power Act, Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the terms and conditions of the FERC license6;

· All rights necessary to provide for operation of the project are reserved;

· Central must consult with federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, as appropriate, and the State Historic Preservation Officer;

· Central must determine that the proposed use is not inconsistent with an approved Recreation Plan (Section 6 of this Plan or approved update), or, if there is no approved Recreation Plan, that the lands to be conveyed do not have recreational value.

If Project lands are conveyed under the authority of Article 422, the instrument of conveyance must include covenants running with the land, which will ensure that:

· Use will not endanger health, create a nuisance, or otherwise be incompatible with overall project recreational use, and

· Grantee or lessee will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that construction, operation, and maintenance of structures/facilities on the conveyed lands will occur in a manner that will protect the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the project.

Central must report any conveyance of Project lands to FERC. The reporting requirement is based on the type of use authorized by the conveyance. In some cases, Central must inform FERC 60 days prior to executing the conveyance. If FERC does not respond within 45 days of the filing, requiring an application for prior approval, Central may subsequently execute the conveyance. Other categories of conveyances are simply reported once a year to FERC. The complexity and number of categories involved make it necessary to refer the reader to the text of Article 422, in Plan Appendix I. As noted earlier, all permits to use or conveyances of Project lands not categorically identified in Article 422 are subject to pre-filing consultation and prior FERC approval.


Section 2 – Planning and Consultation Process

During the last two years, pursuant to the requirements of Article 421, Central undertook to identify and inventory Project land uses, and to consult with the USFWS and NGPC regarding the desired elements of the Shoreline Management Plan and their particular concerns about land use and land management in the Project area. Central also met with local government officials and initiated a program of public meetings and information dissemination, which was not required by the license, to assure that public concerns and local issues were fully considered in the development of the Plan. The planning and consultation process was initiated in May, 1999. During 1999 and the first part of 2000, Central distributed Plan-related materials and sought agency and public input regarding the Plan. Central met with representatives of federal and state agencies and local governments, and sought public input in a series of public notices and meetings. Initial public comment7 was vigorous; in part due to an apparent misunderstanding of the focus and objectives of the Plan and the mistaken impression that Central was divesting lands for private development. Final public meetings were held in June, 2000, and written comments were requested on or before July 7, 2000, to allow Central to consider them and revise the Draft Plan as appropriate before submitting it to FERC for approval in late July. The USFWS and NGPC did file timely and useful comments and those comments, and Central’s response to them, are summarized in Section 8 of the Plan. Copies of the agency letters are in Plan Appendix II.

Step 1 — Identification and Inventory of Project Resources

A. Review of Existing Resources

The initial step in the planning process was to identify and review existing sources of information about Central’s Project, including maps, historical records, and literature.

B. Consultation

Central initiated consultation with both the NGPC and the USFWS in August of 1999 to determine their interests and concerns about the management of the lands and shorelines within Central’s Right of Way. The NGPC is responsible for the stewardship of the state’s fish, wildlife, park, and outdoor recreation resources. The majority of the shorelines of both Lake Ogallala and Lake McConaughy, as well as large areas of land adjacent to Lake McConaughy, are leased to the NGPC for public recreation and wildlife habitat enhancement purposes. The NGPC also leases Central’s lands for recreation and wildlife areas on Gallagher Canyon Lake, Johnson Lake, East Phillips Lake, Boxelder Canyon Lake, and Jeffrey Reservoir. The USFWS is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitat. Central’s license requires consultation with the USFWS regarding migratory bird and endangered species protection plans for the least tern, piping plover and bald eagle, as well as provisions for creating habitat for migratory waterfowl and the endangered least tern and piping plover.

During the initial consultation phase, in August of 1999, Central also met with representatives of Dawson, Gosper, Keith, and Lincoln Counties to inform them of the planning process, to obtain information about existing and proposed zoning and building code requirements, and to determine their interests, concerns and recommendations regarding the Land and Shoreline Management Plan.

To determine the needs and interests of the region as a whole, Central also consulted local residents, cabin owners, and recreational users at this stage of the planning process. Three public information meetings were held in August of 1999 where the mechanics of the planning process were presented, and Central staff encouraged discussion of resource topics. While interested persons could attend any or all of the meetings, the eastern meeting, held in Lexington, focused on Johnson Lake and Plum Creek Canyon Lake. The meeting held centrally, in Gothenburg, focused on Jeffrey Reservoir and the Midway Canyon lakes; while the Ogallala, or westernmost, meeting focused on Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala. Each of these meetings was advertised in local papers and through Central’s existing mailing lists of customers, lessees, permittees, and attendees of earlier related public meetings.

C. Land and Shoreline Use Inventory

The initial inventory process involved a reconnaissance flight over the entire project, to gain an understanding of the project as a whole. The system, the lands and uses within Central’s Right of Way and within the Project Boundary, and the shoreline, were then surveyed by road and from the water.

Step 2 – Analysis and Application of Land Use Categories

Following the information review, inventory and initial public, agency, and local government meetings, Central developed a unique land use classification system for the lakes and canal system, suited to the needs of the land and shoreline in the region. Specific land use categories were defined (See Section 4 of this Plan) and applied to the various identified existing uses. These were mapped utilizing a Geographic Information System (GIS). Maps reflecting the result of these efforts appear in Section 9 of this Plan.

Step 3 – Preliminary Discussions with Agencies and Local Governments

Central met individually with federal and state agencies and local governments in late 1999 and early 2000, to discuss their preliminary ideas and topics of interest relating to the proposed Plan.

Step 4 – Presentation of Resource Topics and Draft Land & Shoreline Use Maps

During January of 2000, Central held three regional public meetings. After a general update on the planning process and the status of the Plan development project, a summary of the topics and issues identified at the earlier meetings was presented. After pictures were shown to illustrate the lakes in the region, the land use classifications were identified and defined and the initial draft land and shoreline use maps were described. The classifications and initial land use maps generated discussion at each of the meetings, Central noted the expressed concerns and addressed them to the extent it was practical to do so during the meetings.

Central also met with the NGPC in Lincoln, and with the USFWS in Grand Island, during January of 2000. At each of these meetings, the proposed land use classifications, draft land and shoreline use maps and implementation strategies of the Plan were discussed; with emphasis on public recreational use and species protection goals and values.

Central met with the Corps8 in Kearney. At that time, Central had applied to the Corps for a Programmatic General Permit that would delegate a limited degree of Corps authority9 to Central, allowing Central to permit specific uses that now require authorization from both the Corps and Central. Central presented the land and shoreline use maps in the meeting with the Corps. The meeting focus was, however, on discussing proposed shoreline implementation strategies and to provide the Corps the opportunity to offer comments or suggestions on proposed strategies that might impact the exercise of its responsibilities in the region. This focus on Plan implementation was driven by Central’s application to the Corps for a Programmatic General Permit.

The Corps issued Central a Programmatic General Permit (General Permit 99-04) on July 29, 2001. For bank protection projects that meet the eligibility requirements of this permit, Central is allowed to issue Programmatic General Permits at the following lakes: Lake McConaughy, Jeffrey Reservoir, Central Midway Lake, East Midway Lake, Plum Creek Reservoir, and Johnson Lake. However, bank protection projects whose shoreline length is greater than 300 feet for an individual or 500 feet for a lake association, or are not located at one of the eligible lakes listed above, will continue to require a Permit to Construct from Central and an individual Section 404 permit from the Corps. For more specifics on which type of projects are eligible for a Programmatic General Permit, see the copy of General Permit 99-04 in Plan Appendix I. The Application form to use for requesting a Programmatic General Permit from Central is also included in Plan Appendix I.

During January 2000, Central met jointly with representatives of Dawson and Gosper counties to present the land use maps and discuss implementation strategies that specifically related to zoning and building regulations. A meeting was also held with Lincoln County representatives, while the Keith County Commissioners and representatives attended the public meeting Central held in the western region at Lake Ogallala.

Subsequent consultation efforts are described in Steps 6 and 7, below.

Step 5 – Balancing and Development of the Plan

After receiving comments and suggestions from the agencies, local governments and public, Central modified the land and shoreline use maps and prepared and disseminated an initial Draft Plan for comment. All comments and concerns were considered and balanced to the extent possible in the initial Draft and successive pre-filing revisions of the Draft Plan. A discussion of the resource topics raised and the comments received during consultation appears in Section 8 of this Plan, and copies of written comments are included in Plan Appendix II. In the discussion, comments are categorized by resource topic and grouped by source (whether they were submitted by state or federal agency or local government, were voiced by a member or members of the general public, in writing or in a public meeting).

Step 6 – Agency and Local Government Review

The Draft Plan was sent to the agencies and local governments in June 2000 for review and comment, accompanied by a notice of the public meeting dates. Central requested review and comment on the Draft Plan from NGPC, USFWS, Corps, and Dawson, Gosper, Keith and Lincoln Counties. Central revised the Draft Plan based on the comments and suggestions, and provided explanations where requested changes were not made to the Plan. The comments are included in Plan Appendix II and discussed in Section 8.

Step 7 – Public Presentation of the Plan and Comment Period

Three regional formal public meetings to receive comments on the Draft Plan were held in June 2000. The meetings were advertised in local newspapers and radio stations. Notice also was mailed directly to all lessees. Copies of the Draft Plan were available for public review before the meetings on Central’s Web site, at Central’s Offices, and at public libraries, and copies were forwarded to the lake associations. Central requested final comments on or by July 7, 2000. The public meetings were recorded, and the comments, both oral and written, as well as Central’s response to them where appropriate, are summarized in Section 8 and copies of the written comments are included in Plan Appendix II.

Step 8 – Central Board Review

After revisions to the Draft Plan were completed, it was presented to Central’s Board of Directors for review and approval prior to being submitted to the FERC.

Step 9 – Filing the Plan with FERC

Following the approval of the Plan by the Central Board of Directors, the Plan was submitted to the FERC for review and approval.


Section 3 – Shoreline Management / Responsibilities And Activities

A. Central’s Responsibilities in Developing a Shoreline Management Plan

As discussed in Section 1 C of this Plan, Central’s FERC License contains both specific and general provisions regarding Central’s responsibilities for management of Kingsley Project lands, shorelines and water. Articles 421 and 422 appear in Plan Appendix I, and these provisions are discussed in detail in Section 1 of this Plan.

Central’s license also contains other general “standard” conditions that impact Central’s land and shoreline management program and practices. The complete text of these articles is also included in Plan Appendix I.

Article 3 provides in pertinent part:

Minor changes in project works, or in uses of project lands and waters, or divergence from such approved exhibits may be made if such changes will not result in a decrease in efficiency, in a material increase in cost, in an adverse environmental impact, or in impairment of the general scheme of development; but any of such minor changes made without the prior approval of the Commission, which in its judgment have produced or will produce any of such results, shall be subject to such alteration as the Commission may direct.

Article 5 requires Central to:

Retain the possession of all project property covered by the license as issued or as later amended, including the project area, the project works, and all franchises, easements, water rights, and rights or occupancy and use; and none of such properties shall be voluntarily sold, leased, transferred, abandoned, or otherwise disposed of without the prior written approval of the Commission, except that the Licensee may lease or otherwise dispose of interests in project lands or property without specific written approval of the Commission pursuant to the then current regulations of the Commission.

Article 18 addresses availability of Project lands and waters for public recreation with this language:

So far as is consistent with proper operation of the project, the Licensee shall allow the public free access, to a reasonable extent, to project waters and adjacent project lands owned by the Licensee for the purpose of full public utilization of such lands and waters for navigation and for outdoor recreational purposes, including fishing and hunting: Provided, That the Licensee may reserve from public access such portions of the project waters, adjacent lands, and project facilities as may be necessary for the protection of life, health, and property.

Article 21 reinforces the jurisdiction of FERC and the Corps over certain activities within the Project Boundary:

Material may be dredged or excavated from, or placed as fill in, project lands and/or waters only in the prosecution of work specifically authorized under the license; in the maintenance of the project; or after obtaining Commission approval, as appropriate. Any such material shall be removed and/or deposited in such manner as to reasonably preserve the environmental values of the project and so as not to interfere with traffic on land or water. Dredging and filling in navigable water of the United States shall also be done to the satisfaction of the District Engineer, Department of the Army, in charge of the locality.

In addition to these “standard articles”, the license contains other specific license conditions, which are described below. The complete text of each of these conditions appears in Plan Appendix I.

As noted earlier, Articles 420 and 421 require Central to provide habitat for least terns and piping plovers (LT/PP)10. Article 423 requires monitoring of endangered species and their habitats, and Article 424 requires Central to participate in public education programs, such as the operation of the eagle viewing sites and least tern and piping plover programs. Article 425 requires Central to implement cultural resources protection actions or activities that are consistent with the “Programmatic Agreement” entered into by the FERC, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Officer for Managing Historic Properties to ensure the protection of the historic and culturally significant areas within the Project. Copies of the Programmatic Agreement may be obtained on Central’s website (cnppid.com) or by requesting it from Central’s main office.

B. Central’s Shoreline Management Activities at Plan Inception

Increasing national and regional interest in shoreline management and related environmental issues over the last several decades has resulted in heightened public focus on these aspects of land ownership and development for both public and private entities. Similarly, Central has placed increased priority over time on appropriate management of project lands and waters, including the project shoreline. FERC, too, has responded to this issue by imposing land management or shoreline management plan requirements in virtually all new licenses.

At the time this Plan was initially submitted to FERC for approval, Central’s shoreline management activities generally involved a “Permit to Construct” approval process for construction, shoreline disturbance, or other activities on lands within Central’s Right of Way. Central anticipates formalizing the process upon approval of this Plan. The majority of broader scope shoreline management responsibilities have typically been implemented through long-term leases with lake associations or state agencies. In some cases, lake associations executed these leases. The provisions of those leases generally obligate the lake association to establish a management group or board responsible for ensuring each home or cabin resident complies with the terms and conditions of the lease, both on their own site and in common areas.

In 1999, Central executed a long-term lease with the NGPC for wildlife management (WMA’s) on Project lands. Central is currently negotiating a long-term lease with NGPC for public recreation on lands at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala, and anticipates formally executing that lease in late 2000. The terms of the recreation use lease will specify that the NGPC also has responsibility11 for subleases and management of recreation concessionaire use on Lake McConaughy lands. The basic provisions of these leases are described below.

Central has also executed leases with individuals and organizations for agricultural uses such as farming and pasture, as well as for uses for golf course and meeting facilities. The general provisions of these leases are also described below. Central contemplates that it will continue to engage in such leases under appropriate circumstances, and future leases will contain provisions that effectively implement the approved Shoreline Management Plan.

1. NGPC/Central Recreation Lease — Lake McConaughy & Lake Ogallala

This lease between the NGPC and Central is for recreational use of Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala lands. The lease also authorizes NGPC to sublease to concessionaires.

The NGPC has designated these lands as SRA’s. Central does not charge any fee to NGPC for this lease. NGPC requires a fee-paid Park Entry sticker for access to the designated SRA’s, and the entrances to such areas are signed. NGPC charges additional fees for camping facilities and special use permits. All fees collected by the NGPC are used for SRA facility operation and maintenance. The lease specifies that it pertains only to the surface use of the land, that NGPC must maintain the recreation areas in good condition, that the uses and rights conveyed are subordinate to use and rights of Central and subordinate to all FERC rules and regulations, and penalties for termination for breach of lease.

2. NGPC/Concessionaires Sublease — Lake McConaughy

NGPC charges concessionaires a rental fee under the terms of its sublease. The sublease also enumerates goods and services that the concessionaire must make available for sale on the site, including:

· Food, refreshments and related items,
· Sporting goods, fish bait and related items,
· Motor boat fuel and lubricants,
· Camping and picnic supplies, and
· State hunting, fishing, trapping and Park permits and Habitat stamps.

The subleases also identify other goods and services, which a concessionaire may elect to provide on the site, with prior written permission from NGPC. These include:

· Boat motor and related item sales or rentals,
· Service, repair and maintenance of privately owned watercraft,
· Boat transportation of passengers for hire,
· Dry storage facilities for watercraft, trailer and related equipment,
· Seasonal mobile home site rentals,
· Overnight camping site rentals with 14 day limit,
· Vacation cabin rentals,
· Boat, motor, and related item rental
· Sale and rental of boat docks and lifts.

The concessionaire is required to conduct all aspects of operations and business in a manner acceptable to the NGPC and in accordance with best business practices. The concessionaire is obligated to treat customers in a polite, respectful, responsive and non-discriminatory manner. The sublease also requires the concessionaire to provide and maintain electric service, water facilities, toilets, sewage and garbage disposal facilities.

Additional items within the sublease relate to:

· Liability
· Site and structure maintenance requirements
· Reasonable hours of operation
· Fire fighting
· Construction specifications
· Lease term extension
· Lease termination.

3. NGPC/Central State Recreation Lease – Gallagher Canyon Lake, Plum Creek Canyon Lake, Johnson Lake Inlet, Johnson Lake Outlet, and East Phillips Lake

This is a 99-year (expires September 26, 2044) lease for tracts of land adjacent to the noted reservoirs at no charge to NGPC. There are no provisions in the lease permitting NGPC to sublease the property. The Lessee must improve and maintain the tracts of land, designated as SRA’s, for recreation purposes for the term of the lease. NGPC requires that visitors to these sites, which provide public facilities for camping, boating, and fishing, obtain a park entry permit

4. NGPC/Central Wildlife Management Area Lease

This lease addresses NGPC’s utilization of lands along Central’s system as WMA’s. The 25-year lease, executed August 27, 1999, authorizes NGPC to use the following areas:

· Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area – Lake McConaughy – 6,118 acres
· Boxelder Canyon Wildlife Management Area – Boxelder Canyon Lake – 26 acres
· Jeffrey Wildlife Management Area – Jeffrey Lake – 4.6 acres

Central does not charge NGPC for leasing these parcels. However, NGPC does pay Central a nominal use fee for agricultural land that NGPC subleases to local farmers within the Clear Creek WMA. These agricultural lease fees are based on Central’s usual fees for private agricultural use of its property.

5. Central/ Lake McConaughy Lessees, Inc. – Cabin Lease

Central has entered into a master lease with Lake McConaughy Lessees, Inc. (LMLI) for the purpose of managing and subleasing the cabin lots in the K-1, K-2, K-3 and K-4 cabin areas on Lake McConaughy. The lease provides for an annual rental fee and stipulates that authorized use of the cabin lease land area is strictly for recreational use, and that no commercial, business or industrial use of the land will be permitted. The lease does not have a specific termination date, but does include a clause requiring thirty years notice prior to cancellation. Lease terms also provide that the lease may also be cancelled by Central if it is necessary for Project operations or for breach of the lease terms. Pursuant to the terms of the Master Lease, Central has established a “two tier” rental system that distinguishes between lots that are immediately adjacent to the main lake and lots that are not. The lease prescribes the required height above the high water line for permanent construction and includes requirements for in-water facilities and/or boathouses. The individual site Lessee is responsible for maintaining the property and structures, and LMLI is responsible for trash removal from all four residential areas. LMLI enters into individual subleases with each cabin owner. The subleases are modeled directly from the master lease.

6. Central/Midway Wildlife and Recreation Club – Cabin Lease

This lease is between Central and the Midway Wildlife and Recreation Club (Corporation), which is the lake association for the cabins constructed on Central’s property on Midway Lake. This lease may be terminated for Project operational purposes upon written notice to the Corporation allowing a “reasonable” time period for removal of the homes and structures. Pursuant to its terms, the Corporation may sublease the individual lots as designated for residential cabins. The Corporation and Central must both approve any development or construction and any changes to the shoreline on the individual lots. The lease further specifies that the officers, directors and/or authorized personnel of the Corporation are responsible for enforcing the regulations of the lease and for making and enforcing any additional rules or regulations deemed necessary for the management of the entire leased area. At the time this Plan was submitted to FERC, lawsuits were pending: 1) In the Nebraska Court of Appeals, regarding Central’s ability to charge a reasonable lease fee for the use of lots within Central’s right-of-way, and 2) In the District Court of Lincoln County, challenging Central’s exercise of requirements for Permits to Construct within the Project Boundary at Jeffrey and Midway Lakes.

7. Central/Jeffrey Lake Development, Incorporated – Cabin Lease

Aside from the property description, this lease is virtually identical to the Midway Wildlife and Recreation Club lease described above. At the time this Plan was submitted to FERC, lawsuits were pending 1) In the Nebraska Court of Appeals regarding Central’s ability to charge a reasonable lease fee for the use of lots within Central’s right-of-way and 2) In the District Court of Lincoln County challenging Central’s exercise of requirements for Permits to Construct within the Project Boundary at Jeffrey and Midway Lakes.


8. Central/Johnson Lake Development Incorporated, including Plum Creek Cabin Owners

On Johnson Lake and Plum Creek, Central typically enters into an individual lease with each cabin owner. Although no termination dates are specified, there is a thirty-year cancellation clause, and leases may be cancelled earlier if necessary for project operational needs or for breach of the lease terms. The leases contain provisions for annual rental fees and specify that the cabin area is strictly for recreational use. No commercial, business or industrial use of the land is authorized or allowed. For this area, Central has established a “five tier” rental system, which classifies lots based upon distance to the lake and view. Any and all construction on the leased lots must meet Central’s requirements and be approved in writing prior to initiation of construction. Central has entered into a “Management Agreement” with the Johnson Lake Development, Inc. (JLDI). Pursuant to this Agreement, the JLDI serves the functions of a property management company, including: mowing common areas, trash removal, maintaining a directory of lake residents, assisting in lot surveys, resolving disputes between cabin owners, and maintaining 911 emergency access notification addresses. JLDI is also the lake association for both Johnson Lake and Plum Creek Canyon Lake.

9. Central/Johnson Lake Concessionaires

Central has individual leases for each Concessionaire on Lake Johnson. These leases are generally for a five-year term and are renewable for an additional five years. The leases have a six-month cancellation clause, within which time the concessionaire must remove their facilities. Each lease contains specific requirements concerning construction of facilities, site use, handling of hazardous wastes and sanitary facilities. Each lease also specifies shoreline or waterfront use and maintenance requirements. Consistent with FERC license requirements, the leases also state that the Lessee must operate and maintain the facilities for the protection of the scenic, recreational and environmental values of Lake Johnson. The leases specify the commercial activities and goods and services authorized for a site as including, but not limited to:

· Overnight camping and RV sites
· Boat, motor and related item rental
· Food, refreshment and related item sales
· Sporting goods, fish bait and related item sales
· Motor boat fuel and lubricant sales
· Camping and picnic supply sales
· State hunting, fishing, trapping and Park permit and Habitat stamp sales
· Sale of beer, wine and liquor for on-site consumption
· Sale of beer, wine and wine coolers for off-site consumption only
· Mobile home sites and vacation cabins
· Any other use consistent with Tenant’s current operation with prior approval


10. Central/Farm and Agricultural leases

Central owns several small tracts of land, ranging from approximately 1 acre to 142 acres in size, that are leased, at a fee, directly to individuals for dry land farming, irrigated farming and/or pasture. The annual rental charges are consistent with the fair market values in the area, as determined by the Central Board of Directors. The typical term for this type of lease is three years. Lessees are responsible for fencing, noxious weed control, waste, and any damage to the property. The leases are expressly subject to Central’s operational needs and to the right of the public generally to enter upon the leased land in the vicinity of the lakes, canals, and waterways for recreational purposes, without charge.

11. Specific Use Leases

These leases allow for various specific uses to occur on lands that Central has leased to federal, state or local units of government, individuals, organizations, or businesses inside Central’s Right of Way. Leases in this category at the time the Plan was submitted authorized the following uses.

· “Golf Course”
· “Airstrip”
· “Emergency Medical Services” and “Emergency Warning System”
· “Meeting Facility”

These leases stipulate that public access must be provided, the type of facilities and structures that may be built on the property, and other requirements and conditions pertinent to the specific authorized use.

Section 4 – Land and Shoreline Use

This section defines land use classifications, provides a brief physical description of each area of the Project, and identifies the land and shoreline uses on the Land and Shoreline Use Maps as they existed when the land and shoreline inventory was conducted in Fall, 1999 (See Section 9 for maps). This section also identifies potential outside influences on land use or management, existing development opportunities and constraints, and describes the process for requesting a change in use of lands within Central’s Right of Way.

A. Land Use Classifications

The following land use classifications were developed to categorize areas of Central’s land and shoreline. This unique set of classifications describes the distinctive land use and ownership patterns found in this Project. This section includes only the description/definition of the land use categories. Land Use Maps and descriptions applying these categories to the actual parcels of land within Central’s Right of Way are found in Section 9 of this Plan, while the identified recreation uses are found in the Recreation Use Report, Section 7.

“Concessionaire” – Includes those areas where either Central or the NGPC has leased or subleased land for the provision of public commercial recreational services.

“Open Space” – Includes all of those areas within Central’s Right of Way that are open to public recreational access and are not designated for a specific recreational use, such as a state recreation area.

“Outside FERC Project Boundary” – This designation on the Land Use Maps refers to properties that lie outside the FERC Project Boundary that may be owned by Central or by private individuals. Their use may impact the lakes.

“Overlay Zones” – Overlay zones are classifications that overlay the existing land use of a site. Overlay zones generally indicate either a specialized use or protection of a land area for a specific reason and may imply an additional layer of regulation. The overlay zones shown on the land use maps include the Future Development Shoreline Facility/Services, Species Protection Zone, Day Use and Non-Motorized Vehicle Areas.

“Future Development Shoreline Facility/Services” – Areas likely, based upon the best available current information, to be considered for development of commercial or community marina or other facilities. The designation is used to highlight areas where potential future development outside the Project makes it likely that development of commercial or community marinas or other facilities may be sought, and to identify areas where development may impact or conflict with the management of lands within the Project. Designation does not imply approval or exempt a developer from the requirements of the Permit to Construct and Permit for Access approval processes, or from any Species Protection Zone protections. No new areas will be designated as “Future Development Shoreline Facility/Services” without prior FERC approval.

“Species Protection Zone” – This designation is an overlay zone, to be applied to land areas that merit special protection due to the presence of endangered, threatened or significant plant or animal species and/or their habitats. Regulations regarding the use of or development near, this designation will be developed through agency consultation subsequent to FERC approval of this Plan. Regulation requirements may range from general to very specific based on the species concerned and its use of the area. Additional Species Protection Zones may be designated on a temporary or permanent basis. No new areas will be permanently designated as “Species Protection Zones” without prior FERC approval. Temporary designation is a tool for providing immediate, short-term protections for endangered species and does not require prior FERC approval.

“Day Use Area” – Areas designated as not available for overnight use. The Day Use Area overlay will be used on an “as needed” basis to address protection of specific areas for habitat, species, or cultural resources, conflicting land use issues, and other needs as they arise. The temporary “Day Use Area” designation is a tool for providing immediate, short-term protections for endangered species and does not require prior FERC approval.

“Non-Motorized Vehicle Areas” – Areas accessible only on foot or by non-motorized vehicle. The Non-Motorized Vehicle overlay will be used on an “as needed” basis to address protection of specific areas for habitat, species, or cultural resources, conflicting land use issues, and other needs as they arise. The temporary “Non-Motorized Vehicle Areas” designation is a tool for providing immediate, short-term protections for endangered species and does not require prior FERC approval.

“Project Works” – This designation includes areas occupied by the dams, powerhouses, and other structures that are essential to Central’s operations and to which, due to safety, operational, or other constraints, public access may be legitimately restricted.

“Residential” – This designation includes areas of existing residential development either within or adjacent to Central’s Right of Way.


B. Lake McConaughy

1. Physical Description

Lake McConaughy, 21 miles long and up to 4 miles wide, is the largest of the lakes in the Project, with 30,500 surface acres and 76 miles of shoreline. (For comparison, Johnson Lake, the largest lake on the canal system, has 2,500 surface acres.) The Lake McConaughy area includes the most diverse physical terrain and land and recreation uses. (See Land Use Map “A” in Section 9.)

The western portion of Lake McConaughy is shallow, with the North Platte River moving in winding streams through a vast wetland area. The lake reaches its maximum depth of 135 feet near the control structure of Central’s project. The dam is three miles long and forms the eastern border of the lake. The east-west orientation of the lake, with wetlands on the west and the dam to the east, has forced development and lake access and recreation areas to occur along the north and south shores.

The north shore of Lake McConaughy is dominated by grassy sand hills. The grasses that cover the sand hills hold much of the sand in place, but the absence of grass on sections of the lakeshore exposes fine white sand beaches. Cottonwood trees line sandy beach pockets along the shoreline.

Approximately five miles of the south shore of the lake, beginning at the dam, is bordered by high steep clay bluffs. The bluffs have been sculpted by wind and waves into steep cliffs with unusual formations. Houses can be seen resting atop these dynamic formations. As the bluffs gradually decrease in height, terrain becomes similar to that of the north shore, with sandy grassland, rocky outcrops, and occasional sand beaches. As with the north side, this sandy terrain gradually gives way to the mature wetland of the Clear Creek WMA.

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

Lake McConaughy supports diverse land uses along the shoreline, including residential development, fully developed campgrounds, primitive camping, commercial marinas, and a wildlife management area, as shown on Land Use Map “A.” One of the distinctive features of the north side of the lake is the railroad track that runs parallel to the entire north shoreline of the lake. The majority of the recreation and concessionaire development lies between the water’s edge and the railroad. Road access to the north shore is via Highway 92, which also runs parallel to the lake, but direct road access to the water’s edge is limited by the railroad tracks. Central’s ROW generally extends to the railroad right-of-way, except in two areas. These areas are occupied by private residential subdivisions, and are shown (pink) on the Land Use Map. Three small cabin-lease areas lie within the Project Boundary on the north side of the lake. One is located adjacent to the wildlife management area (green stripe), the second is just west of North Shore Marina near the middle of the lake, and the third occurs in the cove closest to the dam. The only other leased residential site within Central’s Right of Way is located near the dam on the south side of the lake.

Central has leased the remainder of its property around the lake to NGPC. The NGPC manages these lands either for public recreation (red) or for wildlife management (green stripe). The wildlife management area is the Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area. As authorized by its lease with Central, the NGPC has subleased land for compatible agricultural purposes inside this area. The recreation areas managed by NGPC on the north shore range from primitive camping sites with no amenities to fully developed campgrounds with paved camper pads, electric and water hook-ups, restroom/shower buildings with hot water, and facilities accessible to the disabled. On the south shore, there is a narrow band of land between the water’s edge and Central’s Right of Way. There is limited road access to the water’s edge via Highway 26, which lies anywhere from two to five miles from the shoreline. The area between Highway 26 and the water’s edge is pasture and farm land. As a result of the narrow strip of available land and the lack of road access, fewer NGPC recreation facilities have been provided on the south shore of the lake.

NGPC subleases parcels of its leased recreation land to private concessionaires who operate recreation-related businesses around the lake (orange on the map). There are five concessionaires on the lake: three on the north shore, the fourth by the dam, and the fifth in the middle of the south shore. A sixth concessionaire operates a restaurant located on the hill above the dam in the Project Works section of the map (this site is too small to appear on the Land Use Map) pursuant to its lease with Central. Other businesses are located near Central’s property. Most of these businesses are clustered near the intersection of Highways 92 and 61, just north of the lake. Others, including several restaurants and stores, are located at intervals along Highway 92. Some of these are seasonal and are open only during the summer months.

The Project Works area (gray), located at the eastern end of the lake, includes Kingsley Dam, the powerhouse, offices, maintenance buildings, emergency spillway and other structures necessary for Central’s operations in the area. Housing for Central employees is also located in this area, as is the concessionaire restaurant mentioned above. A few small residential subdivisions are located on private property on the hills above both sides of the lake. Otherwise, these hills contain a random scattering of individual homes.

3. Potential External Influences on Project land Use or Management

At the time this Plan was initially developed there were four large residential subdivisions at various states of development, adjacent to, but outside Central’s Right of Way on Lake McConaughy, which may impact Project land use and/or management. These developments may have significant impacts on surrounding land use, result in changes in traditional recreation uses within the Project in these areas, and affect the wildlife habitat both inside and adjacent to the Project. These areas are shown on the Land Use Map as red vertical stripes. The four developments indicated interest in obtaining water access across Central’s Right of Way for their residents, with the requests varying from a boat ramp with a few docking areas to a full service marina. Two of the subdivisions proposed to provide golf courses, and one of these two subdivisions began construction of its golf course in 1999.

4. Development Opportunities

The area on the north side of the lake, between the railroad tracks and the water’s edge is “fully developed,” with either residential, recreational, or wildlife management use. However, beyond Central’s Right of Way, the sand hills across Highway 92 are experiencing intensified residential development, as mentioned above. Additional future development in this area is possible. The residents will have access to the lake via railroad crossings and the recently improved interior park roads provided by the NGPC along much of the north shore. There are wide expanses of land outside of, but adjacent to Central’s Right of Way available for development on the south side of Lake McConaughy. Central’s Right of Way is fairly narrow, and with the steep banks along much of the land outside of the Clear Creek WMA, very little additional land inside the Project Boundary is available for future development.

5. Development Constraints

Several circumstances constrain development around the lake. Access to the lake is limited to (7) seven crossings of the two sets of parallel railroad tracks along the north shore of the lake. The Union Pacific Railroad has proposed installing a third set of tracks along this stretch, which would significantly increase the already heavy use of these tracks.

Due to the geology of the area, the availability of an adequate supply of fresh drinking water for potential developments proposed on the south side of the lake is a concern. Providing enough water for drinking, fire protection and wastewater treatment plants is an issue that will become increasingly important as residential density increases.

A significant environmental constraint to development along the shoreline is the presence of nesting sites for the endangered least tern and piping plover. Areas of the lake with nesting sites have been designated as Species Protection Zones and are indicated on the Land Use Map (see Section 9) by black lines. Since there is limited tree cover on the lake, bald eagle use of the lake is random and sporadic, and no areas of the lake have been designated for bald eagle habitat protection. There are also several sites of cultural or historical resource significance covered by the Cultural Resource Management Plan for the Project, which is also part of the FERC license obligation.

The Day Use Area and Non-motorized Vehicle Area overlays will be used on Lake McConaughy on an “as needed” basis to address protection of specific areas for habitat, species, or cultural resources, conflicting land use issues, and other needs as they arise. New developments requesting access to the lake may be required to implement specific mitigation requirements before authorization will be granted. (See Section 5.E.)

The erosion of the high cliffs, caused by the prevailing winds and wave action on the south side of the lake, constitutes an additional development constraint. Individual docks will not be permitted in areas where erosion has or is anticipated to occur. Any developer requesting access for new residential developments adjacent to the lake must submit proposals for joint use facilities, such as boat docking facilities or “commercial residential” access to the lake, which will require prior approval from Central, NGPC, and also may require approval from FERC, pursuant to the terms of Central’s License.


6. Process for Review and Approval of Proposals for Development or Change in Use

Development on property adjacent to Central’s Right of Way on Lake McConaughy is already occurring. At the time the Plan was submitted to FERC for approval, four known proposals for development adjacent to the project on the south side of the lake were in the preliminary stages of development, with one of the residential golf courses under construction. Central requested that these developers defer requesting recreational access to the lake across Central’s Right of Way until the Plan is implemented.

Several criteria will be evaluated for each development. The initial review of requests for access will include the evaluation of the environmental, cultural, and physical characteristics of the lands within Central’s Right of Way and the lake areas to be impacted. The size and scope of the development and the proposed facilities will be evaluated. If the request is for structures or facilities that are beyond the scope of Central’s delegated authority to approve under the terms of its FERC license, Central will prepare12 and forward an application including its own recommendations on the request, and the results of consultation with the appropriate agencies, to FERC for approval. If the request is for less than ten slips, but is part of a commercial venture, such as a boat rental business, FERC approval is required. Consultation with other federal, state and/or local entities, as well as other permits also may be required before the application can be submitted to FERC for approval.

Developers are advised to discuss their proposals with Central well in advance of platting the land. In many cases, pre-filing consultation with interested agencies may be required, and additional requirements may be a condition of a proposal’s approval. Prescribed measures may entail any number and/or types of activities, including but not limited to, additional setbacks (from Central’s Right of Way) to ensure the protection of an endangered species, the safety of the residents of the development, and erosion control measures.

C. Lake Ogallala

1. Physical Description

Lake Ogallala lies below Kingsley Dam and was created when sand was pumped from the riverbed to form the downstream side of the Dam. (See Land Use Map “B” in Section 9.) The lake is relatively shallow, covers 650 surface acres at full capacity and has approximately four miles of shoreline within Central’s Project Boundary. Only the “north-south” or the “western half” of the lake is within the Project. The eastern arm of the lake is part of the Nebraska Public Power District’s FERC Project 1835, as shown on the map. Because Lake Ogallala is fed by cold water drawn from the bottom of Lake McConaughy, the lake has gained the reputation of being one of the finest trout fishing sites in Nebraska. Aeration measures have, however, been initiated to ensure sufficient dissolved oxygen to meet state water quality standards.

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

The majority of the Lake Ogallala shoreline has been developed as an SRA and is maintained by the NGPC (red on the map). An eagle viewing center constructed by Central, just east of the Kingsley Hydroelectric plant, is a popular attraction from mid-December through February, since large numbers of bald eagles come to feed on fish in the open water flowing through the Kingsley generating facilities. A point of land extending into the lake on the eastern shore contains a small grove of trees used by bald eagles for perching and roosting. The area across from the point is a mature wetland and has been left by the NGPC in its natural state (red stripe). Both of these areas have been designated on the Land Use Map as species protection zones (black stripe). One small area of residential development (pink) exists adjacent to the lake outside Central’s Right of Way. Recently a fishing pier accessible to the disabled and a bridge were added at the north end of the lake.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

The entire shoreline of Lake Ogallala within Central’s Right of Way is designated for uses either as “Project Works” or an SRA. No additional development is expected near the lake for the foreseeable future.

4. Development Opportunities

There is no additional land within Central’s Right of Way available for future development on Lake Ogallala and no proposed changes of use were known at the time the Plan was submitted to FERC for approval.

5. Development Constraints

There are two Species Protection Zones on Lake Ogallala (black stripe). The first zone is in the wetland area managed by the NGPC; the second is on the point of the southern shore of the lake within the Project Works area. Bald eagles use tree cover on the point as perch and roost sites, particularly during the winter months. The land area necessary to ensure the integrity of project operations limits future development in a fairly large area of the lake shoreline.

D. The Supply Canal System / Lincoln County

1. Physical Description

Central’s Diversion Dam is located below the confluence of the North Platte and South Platte Rivers and east of the town of North Platte in Lincoln County, approximately 50 miles downstream of Lake McConaughy. The Diversion Dam diverts Platte River flow into the 75-mile long Central Supply Canal, which flows east through Lincoln, Dawson, and Gosper Counties and then empties back into the Platte River. The Supply Canal incorporates 27 dams and impoundments and three 18-Megawatt hydroelectric power plants (Jeffrey, Johnson No. 1, and Johnson No. 2). First opened in November 1940, the Supply Canal is in good condition. Central regularly monitors the canal and repairs areas as needed throughout the system.

Within Lincoln County, the Supply Canal originates in the flat Platte Valley bottomland, and crops are often planted adjacent to the canal and Central’s Right of Way. As the canal flows between the loess hills south of the Platte River, deep canyons and steep banks characterize the land. As the construction crews moved across the area, dams were often built across the north ends of the canyons, creating the canyon lakes.

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

Central allows public access to the banks and waters of the Supply Canal system for fishing and wakeless boating. Bridges cross the Supply Canal; several are associated with county and state roads, and the others provide access for landowners on both sides of the canal or to Central’s canal maintenance road. Other than a bridge, dam, siphonic spillway, water gate, irrigation pump, or other irrigation-related structure, no structures are permitted along the canals. Recreation uses include fishing, hiking, and canoeing on the canal. Several small agricultural leases for crops and pastureland are in this reach of the canal.

There are nine lakes on this stretch of canal between the diversion dam and Jeffrey Reservoir. The lakes differ only in size and accessibility. This part of the Plan will focus only on those lakes with surface areas greater than 20 acres and which are publicly accessible by land. The canyon lakes support diverse recreational activities, such as fishing and boating. However, land-based activities such as nature photography, hiking, hunting, and picnicking are more common due to the size and steep slopes of the banks.

Boxelder Canyon Lake is a small lake, only 22 surface acres, with adjacent road access. (See Land Use Map “C” in Section 9.) Except for the area adjacent to the road access, steep banks surround the remainder of the lake. Central has leased lands adjacent to the lake and inside Central’s Right of Way to the NGPC for a wildlife management area (brown). There is also an agricultural lease (yellow) inside Central’s Right of Way. There are no facilities adjacent to or within the lake.

Cottonwood Canyon Lake has 33 surface acres and direct road access from Highway S56A. (See Land Use Map “D” in Section 9.) One gravel public-access boat ramp is provided at the lake and the dove and waterfowl hunting are popular activities. There are two agricultural leases (yellow) within Central’s Right of Way.

Snell Canyon Lake is a slightly larger lake, with 53 surface acres. (See Land Use Map “E” in Section 9.) This lake is long and narrow, and the steep banks forming the shoreline make access difficult. There are no developments or recreation facilities on the lake.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

Some areas of the Supply Canal system, particularly those areas with the high steep banks, are highly susceptible to erosion. While Central does not currently limit public recreational use, these areas will be monitored and if excessive use results in additional erosion or slumping, limitations on use or consideration of other options may be necessary.

4. Development Opportunities

Due to the small size and shallow water of these lakes, no improvements are proposed. There are no opportunities for future development for residential use within this portion of Central’s Right of Way within Lincoln County and no changes in use were proposed at the time this Plan was submitted to FERC for approval.

5. Development Constraints

As mentioned above, the development constraints on the lakes in this area are their generally small size, steep banks and shallow waters. Access is an additional constraint at some of the lakes, which are accessible only on foot or by canoe.

E. Jeffrey Reservoir

1. Physical Description

Jeffrey Reservoir, with 575 surface acres and 25 miles of shoreline, is the westernmost impoundment along the Supply Canal with waterside residential development. (See Land Use Map “F” in Section 9.) This reservoir is long, with numerous land arms of varying sizes extending into the lake, and steep hillsides rising from the water. The northern end of the reservoir has been subject to deposition from the eroded shorelines, as well as sedimentation from the Supply Canal as the water slows upon entering this lake.

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

The Public Works area (gray), on the north end of the lake, incorporates the dam and powerhouse area, a permanent boat dock facility, several small residences and one large structure that is used by Central for conferences and meetings. Employees of Central may reserve these facilities as well. South of this area the NGPC leases a WMA (brown) that currently has a boat ramp, a pit toilet and several primitive campsites. The remainder of the land use around the shore is either Residential (pink & purple) or Open Space/Pasture (light, medium, and bright greens). (Note: The color tones indicate whether the land is inside or outside the FERC Project Boundary and whether within or outside Central’s ownership or “Right of Way”.)

Jeffrey Reservoir’s residential development is located at the northwest corner adjacent to the dam and along much of the southeastern shore. Cabin areas and the WMA are accessible by Highway L56D and county roads. While most housing is located on lands owned by Central, whether homes are actually located within or outside of the Project Boundary depends on their location in relation to the contour lines that define the boundary in this area. On the western shoreline, Central owns a significant amount of land outside the Project Boundary (medium green). Four agricultural leases located on the north, west and southern limits of the reservoir also lie within the FERC Project Boundary. The shoreline on the west is almost inaccessible due to steep bluffs rising from the shoreline and lack of roads. However, these conditions do not preclude waterfowl hunting in this area, and many private waterfowl blinds can be found on the west edge of the lake.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

Except as described below, there are no proposed changes in land use or management of properties within Central’s Right of Way on Jeffrey Reservoir.

4. Development Opportunities

Two areas of the Jeffrey Reservoir have been designated for future development (vertical stripe). A small area at the northwest end of the lake, adjacent to private property, may be developed as a water access point for use by cabin owners in that area. This cove area may not be suitable to provide individual docks or shore stations for all of the homes. Only one or two docks, or a community dock, may be permitted if, and when, development occurs in the area. That determination will be made based on the regulations effective at the time. The larger area proposed for future development on the eastern shore is reserved by Central for possible recreation use, although no development was proposed at the time this Plan was submitted to FERC for approval.

5. Development Constraints

One of the major constraints to development on Jeffrey Reservoir is the lack of access. No public roads reach within one mile of the western lakeshore. Sedimentation has occurred in the northern portion of the reservoir. Central has discussed a dredging operation for this area with local residents, but has never proceeded, as potential environmental impacts and costs outweighed benefits at the time.


6. Process for Review and Approval of Proposals for Development or Change in Use

Any proposed development requesting lake access will be subject to an application process, to be developed in consultation with the agencies and local governments upon FERC approval of the Plan. Any development proposal or any request for lake access will be required to meet the development review criteria discussed in the Implementation Section of this Plan, Section 5.

F. The Supply Canal System / Dawson County

1. Physical Description

Dams built across the north ends of the canyons also created the series of canyon lakes in Dawson County. These lakes vary in size, accessibility and facilities. While there are ten lakes on this stretch of canal, this report will focus on Hiles Canyon Lake, the Midway Lakes and Gallagher Canyon Lake. The smaller lakes in this chain have no facilities or development and are designated for wakeless boating only. There are no plans to add any facilities to these lakes. As with most of the lands and waters within Central’s Right of Way, these lakes are open for public recreational use, although access may be only on foot or by canoe.

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

Hiles Canyon Lake has 19 surface areas and is easily accessible by an adjacent road, which parallels this long, narrow lake. (See Land Use Map “G” in Section 9.)

The Midway Lakes may be considered six lakes, although only West Midway Lake, Central Midway Lake and East Midway Lake are labeled on Land Use Map “H” (Central, Recreation Resources and Facilities, 1991).

West Midway Lake, with 116 surface acres, is very shallow and is used mostly for hunting, fishing and more passive types of recreation. Access to this property is limited, as the only unimproved road access is through private property. The adjacent property owner leases some trailers on the private property near the lake.

Central Midway is the largest of these lakes, with 341 surface acres and convenient road access to several sections of the lake. There are two leased residential developments (purple) inside the Project Boundary. Recently, individual homes have been built near the shore on private land that abuts Central’s Right of Way. Central has not proposed development in the area, nor has any outside developer approached Central about potential development in the area. Camp Comeca is a Methodist camp that occupies an area near the east side of Central Midway Lake on private land. The Camp is quite popular and has several facilities, including a new hotel-style building, large gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, large dining hall, chapel and other structures and outbuildings. While the Camp does not have direct lake access, Camp Comeca uses the lake for many of its activities and programs.

East Midway Lake, as shown on the Land Use Map, appears as two lakes connected by a short span of canal. The western lake is approximately 82 surface acres, and the smaller, adjacent lake contains 22 surface acres. The western lake has one small area of leased residential cabins (purple) that are located within Central’s Right of Way on the north edge of the lake. The high steep slopes of the lakeside areas constrain development. Development of Project lands is not proposed by Central, nor has any outside entity approached Central about potential development in the area. Recently an adjoining landowner requested and received permission from Central to construct a retaining wall and boat dock. Due to the height of the steep lake bank, the property owner constructed an electric conveyor platform to access the boat dock. Although the height of these steep slopes discourages most access, development along the shore on private property in this area may continue.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

Some areas of the Supply Canal system, particularly those areas with high, steep banks, are highly susceptible to erosion. While Central does not currently limit public recreational use, these areas will be monitored, and if excessive use results in further erosion or slumping, limitations on use or consideration of other options may be necessary.

Due to the small size and shallow water of these lakes, no improvements are proposed.

4. Development Opportunities

There are no residential development opportunities within Central’s Right of Way available on this part of the Supply Canal system within Dawson County, and no known changes of use were proposed at the time this Plan was submitted to FERC for approval.

5. Development Constraints

The development constraints in this area are the small size of the lakes, steep banks, and shallow water. Lack of convenient access is an additional constraint at a few of the lakes, which are accessible only on foot or by canoe.

6. Process for Review and Approval of Proposals for Development or Change in Use

Any proposed development requesting lake access will be subject to an application process, which will be developed in consultation with the agencies and local governments upon FERC approval of this Plan. Any development proposal or any request for lake access will also be required to meet the development review criteria discussed in the Implementation Section of this Plan (Section 5).

G. Gallagher Canyon Lake

1. Physical Description

Gallagher Canyon Lake has 182 surface acres of water and 15 miles of jagged shoreline, including one mile-long arm. (See Land Use Map “I” in Section 9.)

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

The NGPC has leased land within Central’s Right of Way for an SRA (red). This SRA is forested with evergreen and cottonwood trees and features primitive camping sites, a boat ramp, grills, toilets, and playground equipment. Fishing and canoeing are popular activities. Central also has leased lands for agricultural use (bright green) inside the Central’s Right of Way. Even though the lake is fairly large, due to its shallow water and narrow channels it is designated for wakeless boating only.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

None.

4. Development Opportunities

There are no residential development opportunities within Central’s Right of Way available on this part of the Supply Canal system within Dawson County, and no known changes of use were proposed at the time this Plan was submitted to FERC for approval.

5. Development Constraints

As mentioned above, the development constraints on Gallagher Canyon Lake are the narrow, shallow channels of the lake and the proposed wakeless boating designation.

6. Process for Review and Approval of Proposals for Development or Change in Use

Changes in use or new developments are not proposed on Gallagher Canyon Lake, due to the narrow channels of the lake. Additional recreation structures or facilities or residential developments in the area could significantly alter the attraction of the forested and secluded nature of this recreation area. Any request for additional access to the reservoir would be subject to the application process and mitigation criteria identified in Section 5, Implementation.


H. Plum Creek Canyon Lake

1. Physical Description

Plum Creek Canyon Lake is 252 acres in surface area, and while it has steep banks, they are not as high as those found on the Midway Lakes. (See Land Use Map “J” in Section 9.) Popular with water skiers, Plum Creek provides diverse water-related recreational opportunities for the general public.

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

The NGPC leases a small wildlife management area (red) on the south shore and provides a boat ramp. A second public boat ramp is located on the north side of the lake, near the inlet canal. The residential homes (pink and purple) are scattered around the reservoir. Homes occur on private property and on Central owned lands, both within and outside the Project Boundary. Central permits boating access for all of the leased homes and homes on adjacent property of Plum Creek Canyon Lake. In many cases property owners have constructed boathouses, boat docks, and/or steps down the banks to the water. This is one of the few lakes on the system that has a large number of permanent, individual boat-dock facilities.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

Recently a new subdivision was platted on private property adjacent to the Plum Creek Canyon Lake and this area has been marked for future development (vertical lines). At the time of Plan development only one home site has been purchased and built, as shown within the future development area (pink). The remainder of the land around the lake has been designated as open space and no other development proposals have been discussed with Central.

4. Development Opportunities

While there are still some land areas around the lake adjacent to Central’s Right of Way that could be developed for residential use, no proposals had been made at the time this Plan was developed.

5. Development Constraints

The banks of this lake are steep and there is limited opportunity for additional access to the lake.

6. Process for Review and Approval of Proposals for Development or Change in Use

Central does not anticipate any additional development within Central’s Right of Way on Plum Creek Canyon Lake in the foreseeable future. Any proposed development requesting lake access will be subject to an application process, which will be developed in consultation with the agencies and local governments upon FERC approval of the Plan. Any development proposal or request for lake access will also be required to meet the development review criteria discussed in the Implementation Section of this Plan (Section 5).

I. Johnson Lake

1. Physical Description

Johnson Lake is the largest lake along the Supply Canal, with 2,500 surface acres, and it is the only lake in the system that lies within two counties. (See Land Use Map “K” in Section 9.) The northern half of Johnson Lake is located in Dawson County, while the southern half of the lake and the canal are located in Gosper County. Both Dawson and Gosper Counties have established building codes and zoning ordinances.

2. Existing Development

Due to the its location near Interstate 80, and its proximity to larger towns, such as Lexington, Holdrege, and Kearney, Johnson Lake has experienced intense residential development and has been “built out” for the past couple of decades. While the majority of residential homes around the lake are located on land leased from Central, both inside and outside the Project Boundary (purple), there are three areas in the northwestern portion of the lake where homes occupy private property outside Central’s Right of Way (pink). As can be seen from the large expanses of residential use on the land use map, residential development occupies the majority of the land developed adjacent to the Lake.

The NGPC has two recreation area leases (red) on Lake Johnson. The NGPC recreation area on the western inlet canal is heavily used for fishing and boat access, and handicapped fishing access has been added to the area. One side of the inlet has improved campsites and restrooms, while the other side provides primitive camping. The second NGPC recreation site is located in the southeast end of the lake. This site has an extensive campground with excellent facilities, including restrooms and shower buildings, electric hook-ups, and access to the facilities for the handicapped. A swimming beach is near the campground at the southeast end of the Lake, and is marked off with buoys during the summer months.

The four recreation concessionaires (orange) on the Lake all have leases with Central. One concession is a marina located on the north side of the eastern canal (outlet canal) offers a boat dock, boat ramp, gas, storage facilities, jet-ski rentals, and sells other items generally associated with a marina. Another concessionaire on the south side of the eastern canal (outlet canal) offers sailboat slip rentals. Also located in this area is a full service marina concession offering a boat ramp, dock, gas, boat rentals, cabin rentals, R.V. sites, a restaurant and sales of related items associated with a marina. The fourth concessionaire is located on the cove in the northwest portion of the Lake. This concession is also a full service marina offering a boat ramp, dock, gas, boat slip rentals, jet ski and boat rentals, R.V. sites, a restaurant, cabin rentals and sale of marina-related items.

The remaining areas around the lake are occupied by Project Works and several small and different use leases. The Project Works areas (gray) on the map include the dam on the south end of the lake, and the canal channels on the east and west sides of the Lake. The Johnson Hydro 1 Powerhouse is located in the outlet canal to the east of the Lake. A golf course (green with white dots and green vertical stripe) leases land within the Project Boundary on the downstream side of the dam. The agricultural leases, a meeting facility lease, emergency medical services lease and an airstrip lease, for an agricultural spraying service, are also within Central’s Right of Way and are indicated on the Land Use Map.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

The shoreline adjacent to Johnson Lake is fully developed. The current development around the lake reflects a change of use from weekend cabins and mobile homes into larger homes for the increasing number of year round residents. The increasing demand for water, heavier use of existing septic systems and greater volume of trash generated in the area are all expected to continue as a result of the growing number of full time residents. Systematic monitoring and assessment will be necessary to effectively manage the ongoing impacts of this change and to determine appropriate measures to ameliorate its effects.

4. Development Opportunities

As mentioned above, the shoreline of Johnson Lake is “built out”, or fully developed, so development within Central’s Right of Way will only occur with a change in use of an existing lot or development. However, open land surrounding the lake currently leased for farming could be used for future residential development, which would increase recreational use of the lake.

5. Development Constraints

One of the issues raised during the public consultation process was the fact that new, large homes are being constructed on the existing lots originally designed for weekend cabins and mobile homes. The footprint of the new structure often fills the lot, up to the required county zoning setbacks. This trend towards “big” often forces the homes to be located closer to the lot line, leaving less open space between the homes. In the meetings that Central has had with both Dawson and Gosper Counties, the two counties have agreed to advise Central to develop appropriate building setback requirements for the entire lake.

The majority of homes around Johnson Lake have individual septic tanks. As the small “cabin” lots are being developed into larger “home” sites, the ability to provide for an adequate septic field is restricted.

The Species Protection Zone classification (black stripe) has been applied to one area on Johnson Lake and to part of the outlet canal area near Johnson Lake. These two areas have been designated because of use by bald eagles and migratory waterfowl. The first site is the island in the southwestern portion of the lake, which has a few trees and is surrounded by shallow water. The second site is below the J-1 powerhouse east of the Johnson Lake outlet.

Both residents and visitors have used the lake area for hunting waterfowl for many years. The trend towards using the lake as a year round home or every-weekend residence has created occasional conflicts between residents and hunters. The State of Nebraska has a 200-yard safety zone around residences, within which no hunting can occur, and additional signage has been posted to help eliminate this conflict.

6. Process for Review and Approval of Proposals for Development or Change in Use

Central does not anticipate any additional development within Central’s Right of Way on Johnson Lake in the foreseeable future. Any proposed development requesting lake access will be subject to an application process, which will be developed in consultation with the agencies and local governments upon FERC approval of the Plan. Any development proposal or any request for lake access will also be required to meet the development review criteria discussed in the Implementation Section of this Plan (Section 5).

J. The Supply Canal System / Gosper County

1. Physical Description

The Phillips Lakes are small canyon lakes created by dams at the northern ends of the canyons. (See Land Use Map “L” in Section 9.) This area of the canal system is predominantly used for hunting, fishing and other land and water-based recreational activities.

2. Land Uses at Plan Inception

Phillips Lake is located just a short distance east of Johnson Lake below the J-1 powerhouse and is relatively small, with 32 surface acres. East Phillips Lake has a surface area of 142 acres, with 3 long arms that reach south, away from the main body of the lake. The NGPC has leased land within Central’s Right of Way at this lake for public access (red). This 13-acre public access site provides a boat ramp, primitive camping sites, picnic tables, and water for use by visitors.

The small water body above the J-2 powerhouse is often referred to as Little Knapple Lake and is the last lake inside Central’s Right of Way before the Supply Canal returns to the Platte River. Three homes are located adjacent to the lake and outside the Project Boundary.

3. Potential Outside Influences on Project

Private developers are exploring the possibility of subdividing private land adjacent to East Phillips. Intensive development near one of these smaller lakes may require an evaluation of the potential impact of continued development on the surrounding small canyon lakes. It will be necessary to evaluate the capacity of the lakes to handle increased recreation use and limits or restrictions may be implemented as a result of that assessment.

4. Development Opportunities

There are no residential development opportunities available within Central’s Right of Way on the Supply Canal system within Gosper County and no proposed changes of use were known at the time this Plan was submitted to FERC for approval.

5. Development Constraints

The development constraints in this area are the generally small size and steep banks of the lakes.

6. Process for Review and Approval of Proposals for Development or Change in Use

Any proposed development requesting lake access will be subject to an application process, which will be developed in consultation with the agencies and local governments upon FERC approval of the Plan. Additionally, any proposed development or any request for lake access will be required to meet the development review criteria discussed in the Implementation Section of this Plan, Section 5.

Go to Sections 5 through 9.


 

Footnotes
1. Federal Power Act, §3(11).
2. Before Central can grant permission for construction of bulkheads and retaining walls, it must: 1) inspect the site, and 2) Determine that vegetation planting or riprap will not adequately control erosion at the site.
3. See immediately preceding footnote.
4. Upon approval by FERC, the Shoreline Management Plan becomes part of the license and the licensee is required to comply with its provisions.
5. See Plan Appendix I, Article 422, Paragraphs (c) and (d), for a listing of the specific categories of use where Central may exercise this delegated authority.
6. Upon approval by FERC, this Plan becomes part of the license and compliance with its provisions is required.
7. See Section 8 of this Plan for a discussion of topics addressed during this consultation; copies of written comments from agencies and the public are included in Plan Appendix II.
8. The Corps has jurisdiction under federal law over work in the navigable waterways of the United States, including those occupied by licensed hydropower projects. The Corps regulatory program includes issuing permits under Section Corps 404 of the Clean Water Act for all dredging or disposal of dredged material, excavation, filing or any other modification of the water body. Pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, the Corps permits the placement of structures in or over a navigable water body, including: piers, boat docks, boat ramps, bulkheads, riprap, jetties, pilings, or any other obstacle or obstruction.
9. Limited authority to regulate shoreline projects (dredge and fill activities) on the lakes specified in General Permit 99-04. A copy of General Permit 99-04 is included in Plan Appendix I.
10. The approved tern and plover plan is in Plan Appendix III.
11. Note: under the terms of a FERC license and regulations, the Licensee retains primary responsibility for compliance with its license obligations pertaining to non-project use of Project lands.
12. Applicants may be responsible for the administrative costs of compiling the documentation necessary to seek agency comments and FERC approval.