LAND AND SHORELINE
MANAGEMENT PLAN

December 2002

Volume 1
Sections 5 through 9


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


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Section 5 – Implementation Strategies

A. Introduction
B. Land Management Philosophy
C. General Implementation Policies
D. General Procedures and Standards
E. Endangered Species Protection


Section 6 – Recreation Plan

A. Introduction
B. Lake McConaughy
C. Lake Ogallala
D. The Supply Canal System
E. The Supply Canal System / Lincoln County
F. Jeffrey Reservoir
G. The Supply Canal System / Dawson County
H. Gallagher Canyon Lake
I. Plum Creek Canyon Lake
J. Johnson Lake
K. Supply Canal System / Gosper County
Table 6-1 Lake McConaughy Recreation Facilities
Table 6-2 Central Recreation Facilities and Activities


Section 7 – Plan Amendments and Updates

A. Introduction
B. Amendments to this Plan
C. Periodic Plan Update Reports


Section 8 – Public Comments and Agency Consultation

Agency Consultation and Comments
Public Consultation
Summary of Public and Agency Comments by Resource Topic


Section 9 – Maps and Figures


 

Section 5 – Implementation Strategies

A. Introduction

This implementation section 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.

B. Land Management Philosophy

This Plan is a tool for fulfillment of Central’s responsibilities under its FERC license. Pursuant to its license obligations, Central will review all proposed uses and changes in use for compliance with the terms of the license and this Plan. Central will follow the provisions of each paragraph of Article 422 when determining whether the proposed use requires prior agency consultation and/or FERC approval. This Plan will be used as baseline information to evaluate developmental proposals and recreational needs at the project.

Consistent with its obligations under the license and pursuant to federal and state law and regulations, Central must provide for reasonable public recreational access to the lands and waters of the Project, and for the protection of existing uses and wildlife habitat. While meeting these requirements, Central must also retain the flexibility to respond to economic growth within the region and resulting changes that may affect land and recreational use within Central’s Right of Way.

To guide its efforts, Central has adopted the following land management goals.
Central will:

· 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.


C. General Implementation Policies

The following policies are designed to further Central’s established land and shoreline management goals by establishing the fundamental framework for day-to-day management of Project lands.

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) or unless the structure or facility adversely impacts the environment or operations of Project facilities.

A number of structures and facilities were constructed or placed by Central, NGPC and other organizations and individuals holding long-term leases in the years preceding the implementation of this Plan. Central will “grandfather”, meaning “allow”, all structures and facilities which have been properly permitted by Central and which are otherwise legal to remain in place until such time as they become unsafe, need to be replaced or need major repair, defined as more than 50% of the structure or of its value, as determined by Central. Materials used for repair or replacement of these “grandfathered” structures, must be those approved for such use by Central or local, state and/or federal agencies at the time of the repair or replacement. Information will be available at Central’s offices regarding currently approved materials. All illegal or potentially unsafe structures or facilities, such as gas tanks, and water lines and pumps that do not meet the requirements of local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and ordinances and/or have not been permitted must be removed upon notice by Central to the owner, operator, or lessee of the property on which they are located.

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.

The leases in place at the time of Plan implementation contain provisions making those leases subject to provisions of this Plan and to federal, state and local regulations.

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.

Requests for new leases for public recreational access structures and facilities or commercial recreational structures and facilities will be evaluated based on the proposal’s compatibility with the Plan as well as applicable federal, state and local regulations, and based on a demonstrated need for the proposed public recreation use at the site proposed. Requests for new or renegotiated residential leases will be evaluated based on compatibility with the Plan as well as applicable federal, state and local regulations. Requests for new wildlife leases will be evaluated for compatibility with the Plan and the need for lands reserved for wildlife use.

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.

All new uses, structures and facilities on Project lands are subject to a Permit to Construct approval procedure. Central will administer the Permit to Construct approval procedures in an effective, efficient and impartial manner. All applications will be evaluated to ensure compliance with the Plan and with all applicable federal, state and local regulations. Certain uses and occupancies may require consultation and additional permits from other entities and may also require prior FERC approval.

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.

Maintaining appropriate setbacks from Central’s Right of Way and the Project’s shorelines allows public access to the lands and waters without imposing undue hardship on adjacent leaseholders or landowners. Central also will advise developers or landowners proposing development adjacent to Central’s Right of Way, who wish to use Project lands, regarding appropriate lot-line setbacks. Central will propose reasonable setbacks from Project lands to local governments and advise them further as requested.


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.

Shoreline protection and enhancement is important to Central, its lessees, licensees and permit holders to ensure that the integrity of the shoreline and its recreational viability is maintained. When necessary, as part of the issuance of a license, permit, conveyance or other use authorization, approval may be contingent upon meeting specific shoreline stabilization or protection requirements. Central will undertake periodic evaluations of its shorelines and determine what actions are necessary to ensure the integrity of project operations. If necessary Central will meet with adjoining landowners to address any erosion issues and take such actions as are necessary to comply with Central’s license and to carry out its responsibilities to the public in a manner that minimizes impacts/changes to land use on adjoining properties.

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.

Central has and will continue to provide reasonable public recreational access to the lands, shoreline and waters of the Project to the greatest extent practicable.

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.

To effectively operate its Project, Central must maintain control over all areas that can be impacted by Project operations. Central will continue to make all reasonable efforts to obtain such ownership or easements as appropriate. Permits, leases, conveyances and other authorizations for access across Central’s Right of Way or to use Project lands where properties are known to be susceptible to erosion, flooding or flowage will not be granted without addressing these issues.


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.

Protection of endangered species and their habitats and other lands for wildlife is a high priority for Central. Specific environmental and wildlife protection measures included in this Plan are found in Section 5E below.

D. General Procedures and Standards

This section describes the standards for the land management activities and approvals contemplated by this Plan.

1. Permits to Construct

All proposals for new or replacement structures and facilities within Central’s Right of Way (whether or not in a Future Development Zone) are subject to Central’s “Permit to Construct” approval process. That process requires commitments from the applicant to pursue the construction process with due diligence, to carry out appropriate environmental, wildlife or aesthetic protections, not to impair public use, and to comply with applicable federal, state and local regulatory requirements and assurances that the work will meet the requirements of this Plan. Central may also require bonds or other assurances to be posted to insure that construction is completed in compliance with the Plan and due diligence. Central will advise all applicants, as well as local governments and interested state and federal agencies, to establish reasonable and appropriate setbacks and to promote reasonable public access to public lands and waters. Within the Project Boundary and within Central’s Right of Way, Central will require a setback suitable to the type of structure or facility proposed and compatible with the location, terrain, erosion, and public use. Setbacks for new construction within existing residential or cabin lot areas will also consider setbacks on neighboring lands. Where new construction is planned outside of currently established residential areas on private property adjacent to the Project, and access across Project Lands to Project Waters may be requested, Central will require a minimum setback from the normal high water mark of 50 feet, including Central’s property and portions of the private property as necessary, for structures and facilities other than those intended to access the beach or water. Deeper setbacks may be required depending on local conditions such as terrain, erosion, public use, and safety and operational considerations. The “Permit to Construct” approval process also evaluates potential cultural resource impacts, implementing Sections 6.6.1.1 and 6.6.1.2 of Central’s Cultural Resource Management Plan (CRMP). A copy of the CRMP is available on Central’s website at cnppid.com or by request from Central’s administrative offices in Holdrege.


Because most Project lands are already utilized for recreation, residential or wildlife purposes, Central anticipates that most new or replacement structures and facilities will be constructed or installed by existing lessees who apply for a Permit to Construct by contacting Central’s offices and obtaining a copy of the procedure and an application form. In the event Central proposes to construct structures or facilities within the FERC Project Boundary for its own purposes, it will apply the same standards to determining whether it is appropriate to proceed and, if so, what additional consultation and approvals are required.

Central may charge fees to cover the administrative costs of permitting and inspection of facilities or sites under this procedure, as well as for the administrative costs of agency consultation and preparation and filing of any necessary application for FERC approval. Annual and/or one-time lease fees may also be imposed based upon the size, type and use of the structure or facility and potential impacts to Central’s operations.

The “Permit to Construct” approval process may be amended by Central from time to time, but will at all times be consistent with the framework and standards set forth below.

a) Applicability

The following are considered “structures and facilities” subject to the Permit to Construct approval process:

· Landscape plantings that may affect lake views of other residences, result in destruction of aquatic habitat or present potential safety concerns (e.g., planting of water grasses).

· Fences in residential areas that will or might block the lake view of neighbors – e.g., over 42″ tall and/or extending beyond the lakeward sides of residential structure.

· Retaining walls, other structures, rip rap or plantings for erosion control.

· New homes, garages, storage buildings, gazebos, decks, and other buildings that require footings or foundations.

· Metal, brick, concrete or wood stairways and walkways.

· Modifications to existing structures that change or increase the “footprint”, square footage or elevation of the existing building.

· Replacement of buried utilities, such as sewer, electric, gas, communication lines or cables, or poles or structures for above ground utilities, water pipelines (cooling, discharge/storm/waste).

· New or replacement septic systems, drain fields or wells.

· Any commercial structure.

· New or replacement docks, piers, dikes, boat ramps, boat railways, boat houses and any other structures, facilities or devices that may be permanently placed in or adjacent to Project waters.

· Ground disturbing activities in previously undisturbed areas, including digging, compacting, or erosion of soil, such as:

– New or significantly wider13 road, e.g., typically, one changing from one lane to two lane or increasing more than 4 feet in width, (infrequent off?road use by light weight vehicles, 3/4 ton pickup truck or smaller, is not considered to be ground disturbance).
– New or significantly larger parking lot, trail, or sidewalk.
– New or significantly larger irrigation or drainage ditch.
– Creation of new crop land (plowing, etc.)
– First time grazing.
– New or significantly expanded structures, such as pipelines or utilities (both above and below ground),
– New camping areas, or picnic shelters.

The following are examples of activities that do not require Permits to Construct for those lessees, licensees or permittees with current leases, licenses and/or permits that authorize such construction. (Other individuals and entities must obtain a lease, license, or permit to access or occupy Central’s property authorizing the specific activity before they may proceed.):

· Seasonal14 docks under 150 feet in length, which do not have enclosed sides to obstruct cross vision.

· Removable shore stations or other seasonal boat docking/lift facilities

· Flowers and small shrubs near homes.

· Gravel or wood-chipped pathways to the shore less than four feet wide.

· Seasonal mooring devices or structures less than 150 feet from the shore.

· Playground equipment. Diving boards are NOT permitted under any circumstances.

· Repair, maintenance or replacement of dams and dikes, bridges, culverts, and low water crossings.

· Spreading gravel, installing vehicle gates, and mowing on and within existing road and trail rights-of-way.

· Constructing new boundary or interior fences in other than residential areas, including installation of gates, and repair and maintenance of existing fences, except where lake views might be affected.

· Use, replacement, repair and maintenance of existing waterfowl blinds, parking lots or security lights.

· Use, repair and maintenance of boat docks that do not have enclosed sides.

· Normal lawn care activities such as fertilization and mowing.

· Installation and maintenance of artificial nest boxes and platforms.

· Major cleanup activities not associated with buildings or structures, such as removal of junked automobiles, farm equipment, and fence and trash piles that are less than 50 years old.

· Emergency firebreaks: plowing or roto-tilling strips.

· Wildlife Watering Devices: repair, replacement and maintenance of existing structures, and installation of new structures. The watering devices are freestanding, temporary, and usually mobile units.

· Repair and maintenance of existing man-made soil and water conservation terraces and waterways on farmland.

· Agricultural Use: plowing, tilling, planting, fertilizing, weed and insect control, harvesting, where the land has previously been plowed, and grazing.

· All operational, maintenance, repair, or replacement activities on the canal (including its structures and roads), as well as the installation of additional structures within a canal.

· Replacement of buried irrigation pipeline.

· All other activities designated in Appendix B of the Cultural Resources Management Plan as not causing ground disturbance.

b) General Standards for Approval

Prior to issuing a Permit to Construct for any structure or facility, Central must make the following findings:

· The proposed use and occupancy is consistent with the Plan and with purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational and other environmental values of the Project.

· The applicant provides for multiple use and occupancy of facilities for access to Project lands or waters to the extent feasible and desirable to protect and enhance the Project’s scenic, recreational and other environmental values, and to the extent appropriate for the type of structure proposed.

· The applicant will maintain the land, facilities or structures in good condition and repair.

· The permitted uses and occupancies comply with all applicable requirements of state law, local ordinances, and federal law, including specifically the Federal Power Act and regulations, the FERC license and this Plan.

The Permit to Construct application approval process is designed to elicit information that will assist Central in evaluating the proposal based on each of these four standards. Completing the application is not a guarantee that a request for a Permit to Construct will be granted. Central may require additional information from applicants as needed before reaching its determination, and the process will not be complete until all the information appropriate for a particular proposal has been fully submitted and considered.

c) Evaluation Criteria

To meet the general standards for issuing a Permit to Construct, a proposed structure or facility must meet the following criteria:

· The property is zoned for the type of structure or facility to be built, if applicable.

· The structure or facility is compatible with adjacent and surrounding land uses.

· The structure or facility is compatible with the designated area Land Use classification assigned under this Plan.

· Existing or anticipated future public use opportunities, including formal public recreation areas, will not be adversely impacted, or sufficient similar public use opportunities are available nearby so that any impacts are minimal, or, where commercial structures or facilities are to be built, public opportunities will be diversified or enhanced so that any adverse impacts are considered to be offset.

· Where commercial structures or facilities are proposed, the estimated number of additional recreational users of Project lands and waters is compatible with existing area recreational and boating use, or with the applicable Land Classification and reservoir uses set forth in this Plan; or a change in the applicable Land Classification and map is proposed and justified.

· The aesthetic resources of the area, including lake views from the properties of others, are not unacceptably adversely impacted by the proposed access and facilities.

· Environmental and wildlife resources in the area will be protected consistent with Section E below and will not be unacceptably impacted.

· Cultural resources in the area will be protected, or any adverse impacts will be mitigated consistent with the provisions of Central’s Cultural Resources Management Plan.

· The physical terrain of the shoreline or lakebed will not be impacted in a manner that will affect Project operations or increase the likelihood of erosion.

· A significant strip of public shoreline will be maintained or provided for public access and to meet operational needs.

· The planned structures or facilities will not adversely affect navigation or present other shoreline utilization or safety issues.

d) Additional Standards and Procedures

The following additional standards and procedures apply to certain types of structures and facilities. An applicant for a Permit to Construct must coordinate with Central to complete or satisfy these requirements before Central can make a determination that the general standards have been met.

1) Erosion Control Structures

Central has the delegated authority under license Article 422 15 to issue certain permits for retaining walls or similar structures for erosion control without prior FERC approval. Retaining walls or similar structures for erosion control may, however, require a Programmatic General Permit from Central or an individual Section 404 16 permit from the Corps and/or other federal, state or local agency permits. Pursuant to its obligations under Article 422, Central will inspect each site of a proposed retaining wall or erosion control structure to determine whether the proposed construction is necessary, whether a less intensive erosion control measure could be substituted, and to ensure that the work will not alter the basic contour of the shoreline. Central will then advise the individual or entity proposing to build the erosion control structure to assure that all applicable regulatory requirements are met.

All proposed erosion control structures or devices will be reviewed during the Permit to Construct approval process for compliance with design restrictions applicable to the planned structure. Central will provide a list of restrictions to the applicant, which may vary from reservoir to reservoir, and which Central may revise from time to time based on experience, revised regulations or regulatory guidance, and changing uses of its reservoirs.

2) Non-commercial Structures or Facilities

Permits to Construct are required for any new or replacement non-commercial docks, piers, dikes, boat ramps, boat railways, boat houses and any other structures or devices that may be permanently placed in or adjacent to Project waters for use by permittees, licensees, or lessees of cabin lots. Applications to construct new facilities or replace existing facilities are encouraged to propose multi-user docks and may be required to demonstrate their efforts to contact immediate neighbors regarding a multi-family facility. Central will periodically review potential dock proliferation and will evaluate the need to add or revise incentives for using shared structures at its five-year review intervals (See Section 7).

All applications for proposed non-commercial docks, piers, dikes, boat ramps, boat railways, boat houses and other permanent structures or devices will be reviewed pursuant to the Permit to Construct approval process for compliance with design restrictions applicable to the planned structure. Central will provide a list of restrictions to the applicant, which may vary from reservoir to reservoir, and which Central may revise from time to time based on experience, revised regulations or regulatory guidance, and changing uses of its reservoirs. In some cases a proposed activity may require a Programmatic General Permit from Central or an individual Section 404 permit from the Corps and/or other federal, state or local agency permits. If so, Central will advise the individual or entity proposing to build the structure to assure compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements.

3) Commercial Facilities

Permits to Construct are required for any new commercial docks, piers, dikes, boat ramps, boat railways, boat houses and any other structures or devices that may be permanently placed in or adjacent to Project waters for use by members of the public, including lessees of cabin lots or residents of communities adjacent to the Project, to gain access to Project reservoirs. This process must be completed whether the commercial applicant plans to operate a public concession on leased Project lands, or is seeking to provide access across Project lands for the public or for a particular subdivision or development. Applications to construct commercial facilities pursuant to this section must demonstrate a need for such facilities, and must address issues relating to how public parking, impacts on public access and other evaluation criteria set forth in Section c. above, will be accommodated. The applications must be accompanied, as appropriate, with applications for water access or copies of valid and currently effective permits for water access or concession sub-leases. Where an applicant proposes building a commercial facility to provide services similar to those offered by another commercial facility located within ½ mile, the applicant must demonstrate that the existing commercial facilities are overtaxed and/or are otherwise not fully meeting the needs of the general public.

All proposed commercial docks, dikes, boat ramps, boat railways, boat houses and other permanent structures or devices will be reviewed during the Permit to Construct approval process for compliance with relevant design restrictions. Central will provide a list of restrictions to the applicant, which may vary from reservoir to reservoir, and which Central may revise from time to time based on experience and changing uses of its reservoirs. In some cases, a proposed activity may require a Programmatic General Permit from Central or an individual Section 404 permit from the Corps and/or other federal, state or local agency permits. If so, Central will advise the individual or entity proposing to build the structure to assure compliance with all applicable regulations.

The following specific conditions will be included in any Permit to Construct for a commercial facility under this section:

· A significant strip of public shoreline must be maintained by the developer within Central’s Right of Way along the shoreline, or, where applicable, on private land between the limits of the development and the edge of shoreline to provide public access.

· All structures and facilities offering mooring facilities for more than 25 boats, or accommodating boats longer than 24 feet with sanitary facilities, must provide adequate waste pumping and treatment facilities.

· The public shall have access to restroom, water, and other such facilities as may be provided.

If a commercial boat dock will contain more than ten slips, prior FERC approval is required. Central will assist17 the Applicant in the necessary agency consultation and in preparing and submitting an application to FERC based on the applicant’s request for a Permit to Construct and in consultation with the applicant. If additional related facilities are to be located within Central’s Right of Way, the evaluation process will be used to develop terms to be included in a new or modified concession lease for the facility. (See Section 5.D.3 below.)

4) Other Commercial Structures or Facilities

Commercial facilities such as campgrounds, restaurants and stores built on land adjacent to the Project but not owned or controlled by Central may impact the use of Project lands but are beyond Central’s ability to directly regulate or restrict. If and when such facilities are proposed to be built on Project lands, they will be evaluated based on the demonstrated need for such facilities, and how public parking, impacts on public access and other evaluation criteria set forth in c) above, will be accommodated. The evaluation process will be used to develop terms to be included in the new or modified concessionaire’s lease for the facility. (See Section 5.D.3 below.)

2. Permit for Special Water Access Across Project Lands

A Permit for Special Water Access across Project lands, as provided for in this section, is required for individuals or entities who want to build, install or replace equipment or facilities that aid in access to the water, such as walkways, marinas, docks, and mooring devices. A Permit for Special Water Access is needed before any temporary or permanent equipment or structure can be installed – whether or not a Permit to Construct is also required. When an applicant is seeking a Permit for Special Water Access across or on land Central already leases to the NGPC, consultation with NGPC is required.

The typical applicant for a Permit for Special Water Access is a property owner with land adjacent to Central’s Right of Way, seeking access for such things as walkways, marinas, docks, and mooring devices from a new or existing single family home, planned subdivision, development or resort. Existing lessees are already granted a broad right of access to the adjacent reservoir, permitting the installation of an array of temporary and permanent facilities, subject to other federal, state and local requirements as well as to the Permit to Construct approval process described earlier. New or replacement structures or facilities will, however, be subject to the Permit to Construct approval process.

All new or modified grants of water access must be requested from Central under the Permit for Special Water Access procedure (as it may be revised over the life of the Plan). The “Permit for Special Water Access” process may be changed by Central from time to time as experience is gained, but will at all times be consistent with the framework and standards set forth below.

Central may charge fees to cover the administrative costs of permitting and inspection of facilities or sites under this procedure. Annual and/or one-time lease fees may also be imposed based upon the size, type and how the access is exercised (types of temporary structures or facilities).

a) Applicability

Permits for Special Water Access are available only for access from contiguous parcels of land immediately abutting FERC Project lands. A parcel is considered contiguous if it is merely separated from Central’s Right of Way by a public road. Any residential lot, subdivision, development, campground or resort that does not abut FERC Project lands is not eligible for a Permit for Special Water Access under this component of the Plan. Access from individual residential lots will be considered only if the residence is not part of a subdivision or development that has applied for, or is expected to apply for, a Permit for Special Water Access.

b) General Standards for Approval

Prior to issuing a Permit for Special Water Access, Central must make the following findings:

· Access is consistent with the Plan and with the purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational and other environmental values of the Project.

· The applicant provides for multiple use and occupancy of facilities for access to Project lands or waters to the extent feasible and desirable to protect and enhance the Project’s scenic, recreational and other environmental values, and to the extent appropriate for the type of structure proposed.

· The applicant will maintain the land, facilities and structures in good condition and repair.

· The proposed uses and occupancies will comply with all applicable requirements of state law, local ordinances, and federal law, including specifically, the Federal Power Act and regulations and the FERC license.

The Permit for Special Water Access application process is designed to elicit information that will assist Central in reaching a determination on each of these four standards. It is anticipated that in many cases an application for a Permit for Special Water Access will be accompanied by an application for a Permit to Construct. In such cases review of the applications will be coordinated. A complete application may involve required submission of additional information that Central deems necessary to fully evaluate the proposal.

c) Evaluation Criteria

To meet the general standards for issuing a Permit for Special Water Access, proposed special water access facilities must also meet the following criteria:

· The property that will be served by the Special Water Access Permit has already been developed as, or is zoned for residential, campground or other resort development at the time the application for a Permit for Special Water Access is filed.

· The access requested is compatible with adjacent and surrounding land uses.

· The access requested is compatible with the Land Use classification for that area assigned under this Plan, or with existing land and water uses in the area.

· Current or future public use opportunities, including formal public recreation areas, will not be adversely impacted, or sufficient similar public use opportunities are available nearby that such impacts are considered minimal, or where commercial or community facilities are to be built, public opportunities will be diversified or enhanced such that any adverse impacts are considered to be offset.

· Where commercial or community facilities are proposed, the estimated number of additional recreational users of Project lands and waters is compatible with existing area recreational and boating use, or with the applicable Land Classification and reservoir uses set forth in this Plan, or a change in the applicable Land Classification and map is proposed and justified.

· The aesthetic resources of the area, including lake views from the properties of others, are not unacceptably adversely impacted by the proposed access and facilities.

· Environmental and wildlife resources in the area will be protected consistent with section E below and are not unacceptably impacted.

· Cultural resources in the area will be protected or any adverse impacts will be mitigated consistent with the provisions of Central’s Cultural Resources Management Plan.

· The physical terrain of the shoreline or lakebed will not be impacted in a manner that will impact on Project operations or increase the likelihood of erosion.

· A significant strip of public shoreline will be maintained or provided for public access and to meet project operational needs.

· The planned facilities will not create navigational safety hazards or present other shoreline or public safety issues on the lake.

d) Additional Standards and Procedures

The following additional standards and procedures may apply depending on the type of structure or facility proposed and the category of applicant. An applicant for a Permit for Special Water Access must coordinate with Central to complete or satisfy these requirements before Central can make a determination that the general standards in Section b) above have been met.

1) Access for New or Existing Single Residence Applicants

Individuals seeking special water access from a single residence may seek a broad Single Residence Permit for Special Water Access. If granted, this permit would accommodate installing a range of seasonal or temporary facilities without a Permit to Construct, such as certain seasonal docks, removable shore stations, gravel pathways and seasonal mooring devices or structures. Central will provide the applicant a list of the equipment, installations and facilities that are typically authorized in a Single Residence Permit for Special Water Access when the Permit for Special Water Access process is initiated. This list may vary from location to location, and may be revised from time to time based on experience, revised regulations or regulatory guidance, and changing uses of Central’s Right of Way.

An individual requesting a Single Residence Permit for Special Water Access may also concurrently seek approval to build a dock, pier, dike, boat ramp, boat railway, boat house and any other structure or device that may be permanently placed in or adjacent to Project waters. An application for a Permit to Construct will be required in addition to the Permit for Special Water Access required under this section.

Central will also consider applications to place erosion control structures, devices or plantings in whole or in part on Project lands by those holding Single Residence Permits for Special Water Access through the Permit to Construct approval process. No Permits to Construct for any other type of structure or facility on Project lands will be granted to persons holding a Single Residence Permit for Special Water Access.


2) Access for New Residential Developments or Commercial Resorts or Campgrounds

Commercial and residential development outside Central’s Right of Way, but adjacent to Project lands, is not subject to this Plan, but is governed by the applicable federal, state and local laws. New means for residents of new subdivisions or developments or guests at campgrounds or resorts to access Project lands and waters are, however, subject to the Permit for Special Water Access approval process. New means of access could include construction of multiple-user shore stations, boat ramps, boathouses, docks, dikes, piers, pathways, roads or parking areas.

Developers proposing lake or shoreline access to Project facilities for the residents of new subdivisions or developments, or guests at new resorts or campgrounds, must meet the standards set forth in the Permit to Construct requirements in d)1) above and the additional conditions identified below. Even if a development is potentially eligible for approval of access across Central’s Right of Way, permission for such access may be denied due to environmental, safety, or cumulative impact reasons, agency or local government concerns, or other legitimate reasons.

· Access facilities serving a subdivision or other residential development must be available to all residents.

· The public shall be afforded access to any boat ramps and the other boat launch and docking facilities for which Central has granted access to the development or subdivision, at the same cost as residents of the community. “Cost”, as it is used in this context, does not include lake association dues or special assessments, but means the public may be only be charged an actual per use or per access charge on the same basis as the residents of the community are charged per use or per instance of access.

· To the maximum extent feasible to provide full use of the access facility, roads and parking will be located outside Central’s Right of Way.

3. Conveyances of Project lands

This Plan anticipates that Central may from time to time convey interests in Project lands to others in the form of a fee simple interest, a lease, an easement, a grant of right of way, or another grant of a right of occupancy or use. Conveyance of any interest in Project land is subject to the requirements of Article 422 of Central’s license.


a) Applicability

As discussed in Section 4, most of Central’s Project lands were under long term leases at Plan inception. Under this Plan Central, for the remainder of the lease term, will manage specific parcels of leased land in accordance with the provisions of the lease in effect at Plan implementation, including the renewal provisions contained in the lease (as such provisions may be interpreted by the courts after all appeals have been exhausted).

The leases in effect at the time of Plan implementation contain express language making them subject to provisions of this Plan and to federal, state and local regulations, as appropriate18. At the time any lease expires, and renewal is sought, Central will review the lease to ensure that all of the provisions continue to comply with the Plan in effect at that time, as well as applicable federal, state and local regulations. If necessary, changes will be made in the lease. Renewal or minor modification of a lease will not be considered a conveyance of an interest in Project lands, and will not be subject to the FERC reporting or approval processes described below for new leases, easements or other conveyances of interests in Project lands.

b) General Standards for Conveying an Interest in Project lands

Any conveyance of an interest in Project lands must:

· Be consistent with the purposes of this Plan of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational and other environmental values of the Project;

· Include terms, provisions or covenants reflecting Central’s continuing responsibility to supervise and control activities on the lands conveyed for so long as they are within the Project Boundary.

· Require that Project lands and any facilities or structures thereon are maintained in good condition and repair by the grantee.

· Comply with all applicable requirements of state law, local ordinances, and federal law, including specifically the Federal Power Act and regulations and the FERC license.

Requests for an interest in Project lands, including a new lease, will be evaluated using the following criteria:

· The conveyance requested is compatible with adjacent and surrounding land uses.

· The conveyance requested is compatible with the Land Use classification for that area under this Plan, or with existing land and water uses in the area.

· Current or future public use opportunities, including formal public recreation areas, will not be adversely impacted, or sufficient similar public use opportunities are available nearby that such impacts are considered minimal, or where commercial or community facilities are authorized under the conveyance, public opportunities will be diversified or enhanced such that any adverse impacts are considered to be offset.

· Where commercial or community facilities would be authorized under the conveyance, the estimated number of additional recreational users of Project lands and waters is compatible with existing area recreational and boating use, or with the applicable Land Classification and reservoir uses set forth in this Plan, or a change in the applicable Land Classification and map is proposed and justified.

· The aesthetic resources of the area, including lake views from the properties of others, are not unacceptably adversely impacted by the proposed conveyance.

· Environmental and wildlife resources in the area will be protected consistent with section E below and are not unacceptably impacted.

· Cultural resources in the area will be protected or any adverse impacts will be mitigated consistent with the provisions of Central’s Cultural Resources Management Plan.

· The physical terrain of the shoreline or lakebed will not be impacted in a manner that will affect Project operations or increase the likelihood of erosion.

· A significant strip of public shoreline will be maintained or provided for public access and to meet project operational needs.

Central will consider requests to convey lands for recreational or commercial recreational facilities when there is a demonstrated need for the identified recreational facility or opportunity at the site proposed.

c) Supervision and Control of Activities on Project Lands

Central has an ongoing responsibility to monitor and control activities on Project lands, and has obvious motivation for supervising uses of other lands within Central’s Right of Way. Article 422 of Central’s license, provides that:
the licensee shall … have the continuing responsibility to supervise and control the uses and occupancies for which it grants permission, and to monitor the use of, and ensure compliance with the covenants of the instrument of conveyance for, any interests that it has conveyed, under this article. If a permitted use and occupancy violates any condition of this article or any other condition imposed by the Licensee for protection and enhancement of the Project’s scenic, recreational, or other environmental values, or if a covenant of a conveyance made under the authority of this article is violated, the Licensee shall take any lawful action necessary to correct the violation. For a permitted use or occupancy, that action includes, if necessary, canceling the permission to use and occupy the Project lands and waters and requiring the removal of any non-complying structures and facilities.19

License Article 422 also requires that instruments conveying Project lands for any other purposes include covenants running with the land that: the use of the lands conveyed shall not endanger health, create a nuisance, or otherwise be incompatible with overall recreational use20. These instruments must also require that the grantee take all reasonable precautions to “ensure that the construction, operation, and maintenance of structures or facilities on the conveyed lands will occur in a manner that will protect the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the Project; and the grantee shall not unduly restrict public access to Project waters.”21

This Article imposes responsibility on Central to assure that all activities which occur on Project lands are consistent with the terms and conditions of the license, including compliance with any plans developed and implemented to fulfill Central’s license obligations. Central has the ultimate responsibility for compliance and cannot delegate it as far as FERC is concerned, regardless of whether the land is leased to NGPC, a concessionaire, or otherwise transferred to a public or private entity. Central binds its Permittees, Licensees, Lessees and Grantees to the terms of FERC-approved plans by specific restrictions and conditions in the authorization agreement (lease, permit, license, easement or other conveyance). These lease restrictions are general in nature so that the Lessee is bound by approved plans in whatever form they may take during the effective term of the lease. Under these restrictions and conditions, Lessees are committed to the provisions of this Plan, as well as to successive modifications and amendments, which have received the requisite approval.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (“NGPC”) leases most of the Project land that is designated for public recreation or wildlife use. NGPC’s leases have been or will be amended to include (with minor variations) the language below:

LEASED PREMISES SUBJECT TO REGULATION. It is understood and agreed that the lands owned by CENTRAL are subject to regulation by the United States Government, through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and by the State of Nebraska and local governments thereof. The leasehold herein demised, and use of the LEASED PREMISES by the COMMISSION, and all other rights hereto granted the COMMISSION, are expressly subject to any statute, law, rule, or regulation, now or hereinafter imposed by any governmental body having jurisdiction over the activity of CENTRAL, and may be altered or curtailed to the extent the same may affect the LEASED PREMISES.

Central’s leases with NGPC also address Compliance with the Land and Shoreline Management Plan:

PROTECTION OF SCENIC, RECREATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES. The COMMISSION shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure that construction, operation and maintenance of structures or facilities on the LEASED PREMISES will occur in a manner that will protect the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the Kingsley Dam Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 1417. The use of the LEASED PREMISES shall not endanger health, create a nuisance, or otherwise be incompatible with the overall recreational use of said Project, including particularly the Recreational Plan and the Land and Shoreline Management Plan, as required by the FERC. CENTRAL retains the right to enforce these provisions by any reasonable means, including without limitation, entry upon the LEASED PREMISES to perform inspections, to implement a permitting system, to ensure cessation of inappropriate land use or to remove inappropriate structures, and to terminate this Lease.

Central will periodically informally brief and update NGPC site managers to assure that they are familiar with NGPC’s obligations under its leases and this Plan.

Central leases portions of its lands to individuals and other groups, mainly as cabin lots. Leases executed after this Plan is implemented will contain the language shown below. Leases effective at the time this Plan is approved have also been, or will be, amended to include (with minor variations) the following provisions.

GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. It is understood and agreed that the lands owned by the District are subject to regulation by the United States Government, through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and by the State of Nebraska and local governments thereof. The Leased Premises, and use of said premises by Tenant, and all other rights hereto granted Tenant, are expressly subject to any statute, law, rule, regulation or order now or hereinafter imposed by any governmental body having jurisdiction of the activity of the District, and may be altered or curtailed to the extent the same may affect the real estate leased herein.

PROTECTION OF SCENIC, RECREATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES. Tenant shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure that construction, operation and maintenance of buildings, structures or improvements on the Leased Premises will occur in a manner that will protect the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the Kingsley Dam Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 1417 (Project). The use of the Leased Premises shall not endanger health, create a nuisance, or otherwise be incompatible with the overall recreational use of the Project, as set forth in the FERC license for the Project and any amendments thereto. The District retains the right to enforce these provisions by any reasonable means, including without limitation, entry upon the Leased Premises to perform inspections, to implement a permitting system, to ensure cessation of inappropriate land use or to remove inappropriate structures, and to terminate this Lease.

d) Categories of Central’s Land Use Permits and Land Conveyances

Central typically authorizes uses and occupancies of the lands it owns in one of two ways: 1) It issues a permit to a person or entity that wishes to use or occupy Project lands; 2) It conveys22 a property interest in the land. In most cases, the conveyance executed by Central will be a lease subject to specific conditions, but an easement or a transfer of all interest (“fee title”) in the property, subject to Central’s retention of the necessary legal rights to operate and maintain the Project, may also be used. When these transactions involve Project land, Central is obligated to comply with the provisions of this Plan, once approved, and the standard land use article, which specifies certain requirements23, consultation and approvals that must be fulfilled contingent upon both the nature of the transaction and the proposed use. Any use or occupancy of Project land not addressed in the Standard Land Use Article requires, in addition to Central’s review and preliminary approval, agency consultation and express FERC approval prior to taking effect.

The material below briefly discusses the primary categories of Project land permits and conveyances Central anticipates it may execute in the future.

1) Recreation Leases

Much of Central’s lands suitable for public recreation use are leased to the NGPC. These leases will remain in effect until they expire, or until the leases are terminated under their respective provisions, or until FERC requires that they be terminated. New leases with NGPC or with any other entity for public recreational purposes will be consistent with the provisions of this Plan.

Central has the authority delegated by FERC to execute leases or other conveyances for recreational development of Project lands consistent with this Plan, subject to the provisions of Article 422. Pre-filing consultation with the appropriate resource agencies and FERC review and approval or in some cases, FERC’s receipt of the filing and inaction, are required before the lease, easement, or other instrument of conveyance may become effective. In those cases24, the agency consultation record and other information pertaining to the application must be filed with FERC at least 60 days before the lease is formally executed or becomes effective. FERC may, if it responds within 45 days of that filing, deny Central the authority to execute the lease, require changes in the proposed facilities, amendments to the instrument of conveyance, or otherwise request and evaluate additional information. If FERC does not respond within that 45-day period, Central may execute the lease. Full consultation and prior FERC review and approval are also required for easements, leases or other conveyances authorizing uses which are not consistent with in the approved Plan Land Use Maps, or which do not meet other standards prescribed in Central’s license or FERC regulations.

Nothing in this Plan precludes Central from charging rent or reasonable fees for processing applications or administering leases or other authorizations of occupancy and use under this provision.

2) Concession or Commercial Leases

Most of the commercial leases within the Project Boundary are subleases through NGPC consistent with Central’s agreement with NGPC. Central does, however, and will continue to, execute other leases or authorizations for commercial use of Project lands consistent with its license obligations.

Central’s authority over Project lands includes the authority to convey, subject to agency consultation and filing with FERC 60 days before the conveyance is executed, an interest in Project lands for recreational development consistent with Central’s Recreation Plan25 as approved by FERC at the time of the lease, and for public or commercial marinas with slips for not more than 10 watercraft and located a minimum of 1/2 mile from other commercial marinas. Under the Article, Central also has delegated authority to approve conveyances for limited other reasons, so long as the total amount of Project land in one year is not more than 50 acres, individual parcels are 5 acres or smaller, and the lands conveyed are more than 75 feet from the shoreline26.

Concession or commercial leases will be used to authorize, supervise and control commercial activities on Project lands including, but not limited to, public marinas, commercial boat ramps, campgrounds, yacht clubs and food service facilities. Consistent with the terms of its lease with Central, NGPC’s subleases with concessionaires will contain appropriate terms for managing concession and related sublessee activities. As it deems appropriate, and subject to the provisions of this Plan, Central may lease its other lands directly to concessionaires. All existing concession leases will continue to be effective, subject to the specific terms of each lease, until they expire without renewal or are terminated. All leases for new concessions or commercial development must comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related state and federal laws and regulations regarding accessibility of public facilities for the disabled.

Any change in concessionaires or a proposal to add a concession facility or to augment existing services is subject to the provisions of this section and will require an application to Central. An applicant for a new concession lease must demonstrate a need for the proposed service at the chosen location. Concession leases will be allowed only where the lands to be used are designated for recreational use in the approved Plan Land Use Maps. (See Section 9.) At the time this Plan was submitted to FERC for approval, unleased lands potentially eligible for concession or commercial leases were located at the following lakes and reservoirs:

· Lake McConaughy
· Jeffrey Reservoir
· Central Midway Lake
· Plum Creek Canyon Lake
· Johnson Lake

Central will consult with federal and state agencies and local government entities as appropriate when considering concession or commercial lease applications. Applications for concession leases are subject to the process, standards, and evaluation criteria of this Plan. The application process is designed to elicit specifications and details for proposed facilities, structures and services, hours of operation, fees, and all other information necessary for a thorough evaluation of the application under the standards and criteria of this Plan. Central may revise the application process from time to time, but it will at all times be consistent with the framework and standards in this Plan.

Nothing in this Plan precludes Central from charging rent or reasonable fees for processing applications or administering leases or other authorizations of occupancy and use under this provision.

3) Residential Leases and Other Conveyances

At the time this Plan was implemented, the majority of the Project lands designated on the Plan’s land use maps for residential or recreational cabin use were subject to long-term individual leases. These leases contain renewal provisions and are freely assignable. Upon transfer of a lease, the parties will, however, execute a replacement lease with Central. Only a few cabin lot areas identified on the Plan’s land use maps were not leased at the time this Plan was implemented.

New leases or significant future modifications to existing leases for cabin lots are subject to review by FERC.

Central may consider, in limited circumstances, executing a special lease to single residence lot owners whose land abuts Project lands that were developed prior to the implementation date of this Plan. These leases will, however, require agency consultation and prior FERC approval before becoming effective. The leases will permit water access and grant the Lessee the authority for exclusive (i.e., non-public) use of leased lands only if they are approved by FERC. This type of lease will be preliminarily approved by Central and referred to FERC for approval only upon a showing that: (1) the Project lands between the applicant’s lands and the shoreline at full pool are extremely narrow (generally less than 25 feet), making public recreational use difficult without encroaching on the privately held land; (2) substantial opportunities remain for public access to that reservoir; and (3) substantial shoreline areas are available at the same reservoir for public recreation.

Nothing in this Plan precludes Central from charging rent or reasonable fees for processing applications or administering leases under this provision.

4) Wildlife Leases

Article 422 authorizes Central to permit use of its Project lands for food plots and wildlife enhancement. Leasing or conveying lands requires a higher level of approval, depending on the use and the size of the land conveyed. In most cases, this would involve agency consultation and filing with FERC.

At the time this Plan was implemented, the majority of the Project lands designated (on the Land Use Maps) for wildlife use were leased to NGPC under long-term leases. These leases may be renewed without prior FERC approval under the same terms, or with minor modifications, consistent with this Plan. In some cases, Central has used less formal arrangements to allow use and occupancy of some Project lands by wildlife groups to manage food plots or cover. Extensions of these agreements or similar arrangements do not require FERC review or approval. Likewise, contracts to manage areas within the Project Boundary for wildlife uses do not require FERC approval.

New leases or significant modifications to existing leases for use and occupancy of Project lands for wildlife purposes will be consistent with the provisions of this Plan and would require pre-filing consultation and submittal to FERC before they may become effective. Applications for use of Project lands for wildlife or related purposes, whether for wildlife leases or wildlife uses, are subject to the “Wildlife Use” application process. These applications will not be approved unless the use is consistent with recreational or other designated uses of the land under this Plan.

Nothing in this Plan precludes Central from charging rent or reasonable fees for processing applications or administering leases or other authorizations of occupancy and use under this provision.

5) Utility and Road Easements, Rights of Way and Leases

Central has authority to grant, subject to specific conditions27, easements, rights of way or leases for specific types28 of roads and utility facilities. Consideration and authorization of these activities will be subject to Central’s “Right of Way authorization procedure,” as it may be revised over the life of this Plan. That process is designed to elicit information about the requested access, construction methods and facilities so that Central may evaluate the application under the criteria set forth in Section D.1.b “Permits to Construct” and determine whether the easement, lease or right-of-way area requested will be granted.

Nothing in this Plan precludes Central from charging rent or reasonable fees for processing applications or administering conveyances or authorizations for use of Central’s lands made under this provision.

E. Endangered Species Protection

Under this Plan, protection of endangered plant and animal species is a Project land management priority, and is a particular consideration whenever a change in land or water use is proposed. The components of this Plan that specifically address wildlife issues are: 1) the lease of certain areas within the Project Boundary to NGPC as Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and Central’s designation of certain Project lands as Species Protection Zones (SPZ); and 2) the endangered species protection measures implemented by Central on all lands within its Right of Way. This Plan does not address management of the Jeffrey Island Habitat Area, which was acquired and managed pursuant to License Article 418, the North Platte River habitat area, acquired and managed pursuant to License Article 419, or tern and plover habitat areas managed pursuant to License Article 420. These acquisitions are managed pursuant to plans that comply with those other terms and requirements of Central’s license.

1. Wildlife Management Areas and Species Protection Zones

This Plan’s Land Use Classification maps identify areas where the principal use designation is “wildlife protection.” These areas are designated as either WMAs or SPZs. SPZs may be managed either by NGPC or directly by Central.

a) Wildlife Management Areas

Central leases these lands to the NGPC, which manages them specifically to benefit wildlife, including endangered species. Central’s long-term leases to NGPC require that the Lessee manage the WMA lands for wildlife purposes, but NGPC’s rules and regulations dictate the management of the properties. Generally these lands are managed to provide habitat for a wide range of species as well as to provide public recreation in the form of hunting, fishing, bird watching, primitive camping and other non-consumptive recreational activities. Areas such as portions of the Clear Creek WMA are designated as refuges and are managed solely for wildlife protection, and public use or access is limited accordingly.

b) Species Protection Zones

Central applies this designation to lands that need special protection due to the presence of endangered, threatened or significant plant or animal species and/or their habitats. Where NGPC leases lands for an SRA from Central, and parts of those lands are identified as an SPZ by Central, NGPC defers the management of endangered species to Central’s endangered species plans.

Currently, SPZs are designated at Lake McConaughy, Lake Ogallala, Johnson Lake and the areas below the powerhouses at the J-I and J-2 hydro plants. Central may designate SPZs using the following criteria:

· Documented use of the area by endangered or sensitive species.

· Conflicts between public use, recreation activities, residents, or development and the species of concern.

· Resource agency requests for designation of an area.

Designation of an area as an SPZ enables Central, without notice to the public, to restrict any or all activities on all or part of an SPZ to protect endangered species or endangered species habitat.

i. Recreational Use of an SPZ

Except for localized restrictions imposed as described above or in Part 2 of this section, general recreational activities are permitted in SPZs. If activities disturb the species in the area, Central will, after consultation with the appropriate agencies, impose any restrictions necessary (including closure of an area) as described above to an area large enough to prevent disturbance.

ii. Permits to Construct

In addition to the normal procedures to obtain a Permit to Construct, construction of any structure or facility within or adjacent to an SPZ will require development of an impact assessment and an appropriate mitigation plan addressing any impacts to the SPZ. Such impact assessment and mitigation plan shall be prepared in consultation with Central and the appropriate agencies. Central will review this plan for adequacy and, if it concurs with the proposal, will submit it to the necessary agencies for their review and approval. The approving agencies may require mitigation activities that range from nominal to very extensive, depending upon the species affected, its use of the area and the anticipated impacts of the proposal.

2. Endangered Species Monitoring and Protection Strategies

a) Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers

License Article 421 requires Central to evaluate the need for, and include in this Plan, measures appropriate to address the protection of least tern (Sterna antillarum) and piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nesting sites at Lake McConaughy. Based upon this evaluation, a “Management Plan for Least Tern and Piping Plover Nesting on the Shore of Lake McConaughy” (Management Plan) is made part of this Plan as Appendix III. In addition to the measures identified in the Management Plan, site-specific tern and plover protection measures may be developed in consultation with the resource agencies for implementation at any site on Project lands. Central may immediately apply the constraints of a “Species Protection Zone” to an identified area without awaiting formal FERC approval of changes in the Land Use Classification Maps or this Plan.

Review

Every three years Central will prepare a report on the success of the activities described above in protecting least tern and piping plover nests on the shore of Lake McConaughy, and will update this Plan and/or the Management Plan as necessary, to provide a similar level of protection for nesting terns and plovers as that existing in 1998 when the Kingsley Dam Project license was issued. This report and reassessment will be completed in consultation with the USFWS and the NGPC, as discussed in Section 7 of this Plan.

b) Bald Eagle Roosting and Perching Areas

Wintering bald eagles regularly feed at Lake Ogallala, below the Johnson No. 2 powerhouse, and at other areas throughout the Project, because of the availability of open water. Typically, an area with large trees where bald eagles roost or perch is located near each open water area frequented by these birds. SPZs have been designated for bald eagle roost and perch habitat at Lake Ogallala, on an island in Johnson Lake and in the areas below the J-1and J-2 powerhouses.

i. Public Education

Central will continue to provide public opportunities to observe eagles and other wildlife each winter at the “Eagle Viewing Building” at Lake Ogallala and at the J-2 powerhouse near Lexington, Nebraska. Central will also provide informational brochures about bald eagles and their use of Project Lands.

ii. Monitoring

Central will survey Project lands each winter to determine eagle numbers and locations, and will analyze this data to determine if new or different SPZs are necessary or appropriate. Central will continue to monitor bald eagle roost sites and to monitor Project lands for any nesting activity. Central will provide this information to the agencies in its periodic monitoring reports.

iii. Protective Measures

Trees larger than four inches in diameter cannot be cut within the Species Protection Zones designated for bald eagle roost and perch protection at Lake Ogallala and Johnson Lake. NGPC is bound by the terms of its lease to the provisions of this Plan, including the limitation on cutting trees. No tree cutting restrictions have been placed on other Project lands because tree removal is often a maintenance and safety requirement near the dams and canals. If roosting and perching trees within an SPZ are lost to fire or storms, Central will replant trees in the area.

iv. Review

FERC License Article 421 requires that bald eagle perch and roost site protection be reevaluated every three years. The procedure that Central will follow for this evaluation is included in Section 7 of this Plan.

 

Section 6 – Recreation Plan

A. Introduction

This Recreation Plan documents existing and potential recreational development and opportunities at each of the lakes, and on the canal system at the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s (Central) Kingsley Dam Hydro Power Project, FERC Project No. 1417 (Project). Central’s FERC License Article 421 29 specifies the following requirements for this Recreation Report, which is a component of the Land and Shoreline Management Plan (Plan).

1. A recreation component of this Plan shall address use of Project lands and shorelines designated for public recreation use and the recreational use of Project waters.

2. The recreation component shall include designation of Project lands and waters for campgrounds, recreational vehicles, fishing, hunting, boating and canoeing.

While this Recreation Plan is included as Section 6 of the Land and Shoreline Management Plan, it has been prepared to serve also as an independent and separable document. For this reason, some information presented here, such as the physical descriptions of the lakes and canal system, is redundant of other sections of the Land and Shoreline Plan.

As a general policy, Central considers all of its shorelines adjacent to the lakes and canal system open to public access, unless an operational safety concern, natural hazard, or environmental protection issue requires access restrictions. Central has leased much of the land within the FERC Project Boundary and adjacent to the lakes to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC), for use as State Recreation Areas (SRA’s) or Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s). As a result, the majority of existing public park, camping, and water access facilities on the lakes are managed by the NGPC, pursuant to the terms of their leases with Central. Concessionaires providing public marina type and related recreation facilities on Lake McConaughy sublease these sites from the NGPC. On Johnson Lake, concessionaires lease the sites inside the FERC Project Boundary directly from Central. At the present time (summer 2000) no concessions have been authorized on other Project lakes. Central also leases Project lands for agricultural uses when doing so is compatible with Project operations and with Central’s public recreation objectives.

The residential and seasonal cabin properties that exist in proximity to the lakeshores are located on private property or on land leased from Central. These leased sites within Central’s Right of Way are both within and outside the Project Boundary. The Land Use Maps in this Plan (located in Section 9) indicate whether particular sites are on leased land or private property, and whether the property is inside or outside the Project Boundary.

The Recreation Facilities Inventory maps found in Section 9, Table 6-1 Lake McConaughy Recreation Facilities and Table 6-2 Central Recreation Facilities and Activities found at the end of this Section 6 illustrate significant existing recreational facilities, such as boat ramps, campgrounds, picnic areas, and concessions supporting public recreation needs.

B. Lake McConaughy

Lake McConaughy, the largest reservoir in the system, provides the most diverse public recreation opportunities within the Project area, and is one of Nebraska’s most popular recreation attractions, according to the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism. The lake, and the surrounding shoreline and lands, are used for a wide variety of recreational pursuits, from sail boarding to waterfowl photography.

The lake is the site of the annual Governor’s Cup Sailboat Regatta, nationally sanctioned powerboat races have been held on its waters, air shows have occupied the sky above the lake, and marathons have been run on the land around the lake. “Women’s Sports and Fitness” magazine rated Lake McConaughy as one of 10 world-class sail boarding destinations, including sites in California, Florida, the Caribbean and Italy. During the winter months, outdoor-recreation enthusiasts enjoy iceboat wind sailing, as well as ice-skating and ice fishing. These diverse recreational opportunities, combined with the media recognition, contribute to the fact that this lake, located in a relatively sparsely populated area of Nebraska, is so well known. Although the closest major metropolitan area, Denver, is 200 miles away, the lake is very popular with people from that locale. According to NGPC staff, Lake McConaughy can provide recreational opportunity for over 720,000 visitor days in a year.

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 winding 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.

High steep clay bluffs border approximately five miles of the south shore of the lake, beginning at the Dam. 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.


1. Existing Recreation Use

Lake McConaughy provides diverse recreation uses and opportunities along the shoreline, including residential development, fully developed campgrounds and recreation areas, primitive camping areas, and commercial marinas, as shown on the Lake McConaughy Recreation Facilities Inventory map (see Section 9) and detailed on Table 6-1 Lake McConaughy Recreation Facilities.

All of Central’s land within the FERC Project Boundary surrounding Lake McConaughy, as well as some areas outside the FERC Project Boundary, with the exception of the Dam area and four residential lease areas, are leased to NGPC either for public recreation or wildlife management purposes. NGPC subleases parcels of its leased recreation land to private concessionaires who operate recreation-related businesses around the lake. 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. NGPC also subleases some parcels, within the Clear Creek WMA at the western end of the lake, for compatible agricultural purposes.

Lake McConaughy provides excellent fishing and boating, as well as other water-based activities, including hunting, sail boating, windsurfing, swimming, picnicking, ice-boating, water-skiing, SCUBA diving, spear fishing, bird watching, camping, sand volleyball, primitive camping, developed camping, power boating, jet skiing, ice skating, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Fishing opportunities exist throughout the year. Game fish available in the lake include rainbow trout, channel catfish, walleye, northern pike, white bass, smallmouth bass, and tiger muskie. A few large striped bass still remain in the lake from stocking in the 1970s and 1980s. Recent stocking of wipers, a white bass/striped bass hybrid, has provided anglers with memorable tackle-testing challenges. Fishing tournaments are frequently held in the lake, and SCUBA divers search the waters for trophy fish in the Nebraska State Spearfishing Championships.

A variety of game animals are drawn to the Clear Creek WMA by the plentiful food and ample cover. These, in turn, draw hunters, birdwatchers, nature photographers and hikers to the management area. A portion of the WMA is managed for public hunting and other activities, while the rest is managed as a refuge with restricted public access. Game animals include white-tailed and mule deer, wild turkey, ducks, geese, pheasant, quail, prairie chicken, grouse, rabbits, antelope, and squirrels. Additional bird watching opportunities exist during the spring and fall migrations, with white pelicans and sandhill cranes, and an occasional whooping crane has been recorded. Wildlife shrub plantings have created a haven for songbirds.

While much of the shore of Lake McConaughy is undeveloped, there are several developed recreation areas and numerous private concessionaires. The recreation areas along the north shore, the south shore, and the leased cabin areas are discussed briefly in the following sections of this report. A summary of existing recreation facilities is provided in Table 6-1.

THE NORTH SHORE

The following recreation areas and facilities are located, moving from west to east, along the north shoreline of Lake McConaughy.

Omaha Beach – An NGPC public recreation area, Omaha Beach has picnic facilities, primitive campsites, trash receptacles, and a boat ramp. Drinking water and toilet facilities are also available. The Marina Landing concession, located just east of Omaha Beach, offers hunting, fishing, camping, and boating supplies, as well as groceries, gas, state hunting and fishing permits, a motel, a self serve laundry, guide service, and a restaurant.

Cedar Vue – This NGPC public campground facility is designed for campers who don’t want to “rough it.” The campground provides diverse amenities, including all-weather camping pads, electrical hookups, a shower-latrine building, two low-water boat ramps, a sandy beach, an observation point, two playgrounds, drinking water, a pay telephone, grills, picnic tables, fish-cleaning station, trash receptacles, a trailer dump station, and blacktop roads. Nearby concessions provide a wide range of services and supplies. This area is handicapped-accessible.

Otter Creek – Sometimes referred to as “the fisherman’s headquarters,” the NGPC Otter Creek recreation area has one boat ramp, in a sheltered cove, which facilitates mooring near primitive campsites. This camping area also offers picnic tables, a fish-cleaning station, primitive toilets, trash receptacles, a cookout area and hiking trails.

The Otter Creek Lodge, adjacent to the recreation area, owns and operates rental cabins and trailers, in addition to retail fishing and camping supplies, gas, and groceries. The Lodge also offers dining facilities, a guide service and boat launching services.

Spring Park – The NGPC Spring Park is a rustic campground providing picnic tables, grills and playground equipment within a stand of mature cottonwood trees. The facilities also include a boat ramp and an observation point. Road access to the area is via Public Road No. 9 off Highway 92.

Admiral’s Cove – This NGPC public recreation area provides primitive camping and picnic facilities. The Admiral’s Cove concession offers cabin, boat, and jet ski rentals, camping supplies, permits, gas, groceries and other marina- related items.

North Shore – This NGPC recreation area offers a primitive campground, a small area with picnic tables, RV parking, grills, and a boat ramp. The adjacent concessionaire, North Shore Lodge, offers overnight lodging facilities, fishing and camping supplies, a marina, boat and cabin rentals, gas, groceries, a trailer park with full camper hook-ups, showers, fish-cleaning station, trash receptacles, and a restaurant.

Sandy Beach – This appropriately named NGPC public recreation area is popular for swimming. It also serves as a sailboat launching, wind surfing, and day-use location. The west area features picnic tables and primitive campsites. NGPC has recently improved the east area with the addition of new facilities and paved roads. Camping on the beach is also permitted here.

Arthur Bay – This is another recently improved NGPC public recreation area and offers paved roads and a sandy beach. Facilities are varied, with both primitive or developed campsites and showers and flush toilets or primitive toilets available. Additional amenities in this area include trash receptacles, a pay phone, an information area, and picnic tables. The newly developed area includes facilities accessible for the handicapped.

Little Thunder Bay – This newly developed NGPC public campground area provides paved roads and camping pads, recreational vehicle hook-ups, showers, flush toilets and facilities accessible for the handicapped.

Martin Bay – Located next to the Dam along the north shore, Martin Bay is one of the most heavily used NGPC public recreation areas on Lake McConaughy. It offers a wide array of facilities and services that are popular with anglers, pleasure boaters, water skiers, sailors, wind surfers, jet skiers, and swimmers. In the winter months, this location offers ice fishing and skating. This area is handicapped accessible. These recently improved facilities include: paved roads, low-water boat ramp, sandy beach, sanitary disposal station, ample tree shade, playgrounds, picnic tables, improved campsites, fish-cleaning stations, and flush toilets and showers.

THE SOUTH SHORE

Moving from east to west, the following recreation areas and facilities are located along the south shoreline of Lake McConaughy.

Spillway Bay – Located at the southeastern corner of the lake, this NGPC public recreation area serves anglers interested in fishing the area near the Dam and the rocky points off the south shore. It features two low-water boat ramps, block-and-tackle equipment for sailboat masts, toilet facilities, picnic tables and a pump-out station for boats (floating). At the present time, the NGPC area headquarters are located off Highway 61 at Spillway Bay, and offers information on the lake and region to the public. When the Lake McConaughy Visitor & Water Interpretive Center, south of the Spillway Bay area, is completed in late 2000, both NGPC and Central will move their offices to the new location. Central donated its (non-Project) land to the NGPC for this purpose.

Kingsley Lodge is a full service concession, located off Highway 61 that looks out over the lake and offers cabin and boat rentals, dining facilities, camping and fishing supplies, groceries, and gasoline. An additional nearby concession is the Hilltop Inn, a restaurant and lounge providing a panoramic view of the lake.

Divers Bay and Million Dollar Bay – These two bays provide sheltered coves where nearby residents store their boats. Million Dollar Bay has a variety of individual and cluster docks, covered boathouses, as well as boats moored off shore, as does Divers Bay.

Ogallala Beach – This access area includes a primitive campground, toilets, water, picnic tables and a wide, sandy beach.

Lakeview – This NGPC public recreation area has a primitive campground, boat ramp, playground, picnic tables, toilets and fish-cleaning station.

Van’s Lakeview Fishing Camp is currently the only lakeside concession on the south side of Lake McConaughy. Van’s offers boat and cabin rentals, trailer camp sites with electrical and water hookups, a shower house, boat ramp and boat launching services, gasoline sales, drinking water, a sanitary dump station. Adjacent to Van’s, and outside of Central’s Project Boundary, is a large, densely populated, residential subdivision.

Eagle Gulch Cove – This NGPC public recreation area provides primitive camping, picnic tables, water, and a boat ramp. Hunters and fishermen seeking a more remote area of the lake frequent this area.

LEASED CABIN AREAS

Central has entered into a master lease with the Lake McConaughy Lessees, Inc. (LMLI) for the purpose of managing and subleasing the four cabin lease areas on the lake. Three relatively small cabin lease areas (K-2, K-3 and K-4) are located along the length of the north shore, near the east and west ends of the lakes, and near the center of the north shore. The fourth cabin area (K-1) is fairly large, and is located on the bluffs of the south shore, on one of the peninsulas near the Dam. K-1 has numerous facilities on the shoreline and in the water, including private docks, covered boathouses and a cluster pier. Designated as “Private Cabin Areas K1, K2, K3, and K4,” these areas contain a total of 126 permanent residences and summer vacation cabins.

2. Potential Future Recreation Development and Uses

As mentioned earlier in this report, the NGPC has recently completed an extensive recreation facility improvement Project along the east end of the north shore of Lake McConaughy. These improvements include several miles of paved roads, updated restroom and shower structures with handicapped-accessible facilities, and new campsites with paved pads and electric and water hook-ups.

When completed, NGPC’s Lake McConaughy Visitor & Water Interpretive Center will enhance recreational opportunities at the Project. As noted above, completion of this facility and relocation of NGPC’s and Central’s regional offices are anticipated to take place later in 2000.

C. Lake Ogallala

1. Existing Recreation Use

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 Boundary30. With the exception of the areas that are restricted for safety reasons in the power operations area, the entire shore is open for public recreational access (see the Lake Ogallala Recreation Facilities Inventory map in Section 9). The NGPC leases all of the shoreline within Central’s FERC Project for recreation or wildlife management, except for the Dam and Project operations area. The southeast portion of the lake is a mature wetland area.

The NGPC has developed and manages recreation facilities in the vicinity for camping, picnicking, and fishing, including two campgrounds near the lake. The east-side campground is highly developed and offers 82 all-weather camping pads, 18 electrical hookups, flush toilets, hot showers, and fire grates. Picnic tables, water faucets, and trash receptacles are available throughout the site. There are also campsites and restrooms with showers that have been designed and built to accommodate wheelchair access and use. Recently added handicapped-accessible facilities include a fishing dock and a short bridge across the cove at the north end of the lake. The west side of the lake offers camping and boating access facilities, including two boat ramps, fish-cleaning stations, primitive camping facilities, toilet facilities, trash receptacles, and playground equipment.

Central constructed a multi-purpose structure and eagle viewing facility on the west side of the Lake near the Project operations area in 1998. The continuously flowing water from Lake McConaughy keeps the portion of Lake Ogallala immediately below this plant open in the winter, providing prime fishing opportunities for numerous bald eagles and other bird species. The viewing facility is free to the public and offers an up-close view of eagles, coyotes, and other wildlife. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are located at the site, and there are 1.8 miles of hiking trails.


2. Recreation Opportunities and Constraints

The cold water, drawn from the bottom of Lake McConaughy, flowing into Lake Ogallala creates an ideal habitat for trout, and as a result the lake is a popular fishing venue. NGPC regularly stocks trout in Lake Ogallala because there is no natural reproduction. Aeration systems have been installed in part of the lake to ensure sufficient dissolved oxygen to meet state water quality standards, and for that reason it has been designated as a “no boat anchor” lake. Lake Ogallala has also been designated as a wakeless boating lake. The lake also supports sport fish species such as yellow perch, channel catfish, white bass, and walleye.

During the winter the lake becomes a popular site for ice fishing. Waterfowl hunting is also an attraction at Lake Ogallala. Because of the cool water temperatures, swimming is not generally a popular activity.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

The shoreline is fairly well developed for camping and day use. No additional recreation developments or improvements are currently planned for Lake Ogallala, although the residential area outside the FERC Project Boundary has been platted for several individual home sites.

D. The Supply Canal System

Central’s 75-mile-long Supply Canal system flows east through the Platte River Valley and canyonland country. The canal’s Diversion Dam is on the Platte River 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 Central’s project. 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).

1. Existing Recreation Use

Central’s Supply Canal system is generally open to the public recreational access, with the exception of operational areas where safety concerns are a priority. Fishing is the most popular activity on the canal, especially around the Diversion Dam and below the outlet where the canal flows back into the Platte. The canal system has been designated as a wakeless boating area, with boat speed not to exceed 5 mph. Recreation uses include fishing, hiking, and canoeing on the canal.

2. Recreation Opportunities and Constraints

Central allows public access to the banks and waters of the Supply Canal system for fishing and boating within the confines of the wakeless boating designation, and has also provided bank-fishing facilities at the Diversion Dam. However, many areas of the Supply Canal have steep banks that are susceptible to erosion. These areas will be monitored to determine if fishing or related shoreline activity is causing additional erosion or slumping. If problems are apparent, Central will consult with interested agencies to identify reasonable and effective site-specific options to address the issue.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

No additional recreational developments or improvements are currently planned for the Supply Canal system.

E. The Supply Canal System / Lincoln County

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. When the Project was originally constructed, dams were often built across the north ends of the canyons, creating the canyon lakes. The majority of the lakes throughout the Supply Canal system are canyon lakes that were formed by this activity. 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 steep banks.

The canyon lakes in Lincoln County are similar in nature but differ in size. They all have long arms, steep banks and little or no adjacent development. While there are several canyon lakes in Lincoln County, this Recreation Plan will discuss only Boxelder Canyon Lake (22 surface acres) (see the Boxelder Canyon Lake Recreation Facilities Inventory map in Section 9), Cottonwood Canyon Lake (33 surface acres) and Snell Canyon Lake (53 surface acres), all of which have adjacent or nearby road access.

1. Existing Recreation Use

Of the three lakes (Boxelder, Cottonwood, and Snell), only Cottonwood has a public recreation facility, and it consists of a graveled boat ramp. A variety of recreational activities are available at these lakes, but they are generally land-based, due to the steep banks around the lakes. Dove and waterfowl hunting are among the most popular activities, with picnicking, hiking, fishing and nature photography also occurring in the area.

2. Recreation Opportunities and Constraints

All of the canyon lakes are small in size, and have been designated as wakeless boating lakes. The steep banks present slumping or erosion concerns that affect the feasibility of providing lakeside recreational facilities.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

Concerns about slumping, erosion, and other potential adverse impacts of increased shoreline activity at these small lakes precludes proposing additional lakeside recreational facilities.

F. Jeffrey Reservoir

Jeffrey Reservoir is a canyon lake with 575 surface acres and 25 miles of shoreline, and is the westernmost impoundment along the Supply Canal with waterside residential development. (See the Jeffrey Reservoir Recreation Facilities Inventory map 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.

All of the shoreline and waters of this canyon lake are open for public recreational access, except where access is limited for safety, environmental or other reasons.

1. Existing Recreation Use

The dam and Central’s operations area on the north end of the lake incorporate a powerhouse, a permanent boat dock facility, several small residences and one large residential structure that Central uses for conferences and meetings. Central’s employees may also request and use these facilities for personal activities. NGPC leases one small area as a WMA. The WMA contains the only public boat ramp on Jeffrey Reservoir, and a pit toilet. The remainder of the land around the shore is residential, agricultural or open space.

Residential development is located on the north side of Jeffrey Reservoir at the west end of the dam, and along much of the eastern shore. The development is accessible by Highway L56D and county roads. Most of these cabins and homes are located within Central’s Project Boundary.

2. Recreation Opportunities and Constraints

The west side of Jeffrey Reservoir is almost inaccessible due to steep bluffs rising from the shoreline and the lack of roads. However, waterfowl hunting is very popular in this area, and private waterfowl blinds on the west edge of the lake take advantage of the large numbers of migratory birds that frequent the lake in the fall. Other recreational activities supported by Jeffrey Reservoir include fishing for white bass, walleye, channel catfish, and crappie, as well as primitive camping, picnicking, canoeing, boating, hiking, and hunting. Water skiing, power boating and jet skiing are also popular on Jeffrey Reservoir.

As described in Section 4.E.5, one of the developmental constraints at Jeffrey Reservoir is the sedimentation that has occurred at the mouth of the Supply Canal at the northern end of the reservoir. As part of its ongoing programs to promote public use of its waters, Central will, as part of this Plan, dredge portions of the sediment deposits to open a more easily traversable waterway between the north and south portions of the reservoir. Specifically, subject to regulatory approval by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, and any other jurisdictional agencies, Central will dredge a channel to permit recreational boating access between the north and south parts of Jeffrey Reservoir. The channel shall be approximately as shown on Figure 1-3 (see Section 9) that is approximately 1800 feet in length and approximately 70 feet wide at the top with an approximately 40 foot bottom. Assuming timely regulatory approval of this Plan and of the necessary regulatory requirements, Central will complete the dredging no later than June 1, 2004.

Central shall deposit the dredged material into one or both of the nearby bays as shown on Figure 1-3. The bay or bays will be blocked by an earthen dike or dikes constructed by Central to prevent the removed material from returning to the reservoir. Central shall place broken concrete on the lakeside of the dike(s) to protect against erosion.

Central shall maintain the dredged channel during the term of its FERC license by, if necessary, redredging the channel to the length, width and depth described above, every ten years from the date of completion of the initial dredging project.

3. Potential Future Recreation Development and Uses

Two areas of Jeffrey Reservoir have been designated as possible future development locations. Central anticipates that future residential development will occur on private land in one of the cove areas along the northwestern shore. This cove area may not be suitable or adequate to provide individual docks or shore stations for all of the homes; thus Central believes only one or two docks or a community dock facility may appropriately be permitted in this area of the reservoir.

The second area designated for future recreation development lies on the eastern shore of the reservoir, just below the NGPC WMA. No development is proposed at the present time, but several factors, such as road access and the scenic view from the top of the reservoir bank, make this area potentially desirable for future recreation development. Central does not, however, anticipate any additional recreation development on this reservoir in the foreseeable future.


G. The Supply Canal System / Dawson County

1. Existing Recreation Use

The canyon lakes of Dawson County are very similar to the canyon lakes in Lincoln County, except that the banks surrounding several of these lakes are very high as well as steep. While there are several lakes on this stretch of canal, this Recreation Plan will focus on the lakes with convenient public road access. These include Hiles Canyon Lake and the Midway Lakes. (See the Midway Lakes Recreation Facilities Inventory map in Section 9.) The smaller lakes in this chain have limited access, no facilities or development, and are designated as wakeless boating only. Consequently there are no plans to add any facilities at the smaller lakes. These lakes are generally open for public use, although access to some of them may be practical only on foot or by canoe.

West Midway Lake, 116 surface acres, is used primarily for hunting and fishing because it is very shallow. Access to the lake is limited, as the only access is by unimproved road through private property. The adjacent property owner has leased some trailers near the lake to others in the past, but no development or facilities exist inside Central’s Project Boundary.

Central Midway Lake is large, with 341 surface acres, and convenient road access to several sections of the lake. These waters are used for fishing, boating, water skiing, waterfowl hunting and other recreational pursuits. There are two residential developments inside Central’s Project Boundary. Central has leased these to the Midway Wildlife and Recreation Club on the express condition that the Project lands and waters remain open to public use.

Camp Comeca is a Methodist conference center that occupies private land near the east side of Central Midway Lake. The Camp is popular and has several buildings, 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 access to the lake, visitors to the camp frequently use the lake as part of the Camp activities and programs.

East Midway Lake consists of two lakes connected by a short span of canal. The western lake is approximately 82 surface acres, while the smaller adjacent lake contains 22 surface acres. These waters are used for fishing, boating, water skiing, waterfowl hunting and other recreational pursuits. One small area of leased cabins is located within Central’s Project Boundary on the north edge of the western lake.

2. Recreation Opportunities and Constraints

One property owner requested and received permission from Central for lake access via an electric conveyor platform, and for a retaining wall and boat dock. Central will continue to monitor use along these lakes and if slumping or erosion is identified as a use-related problem, will consult with interested agencies to define solutions.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

Although the steep slopes around these lakes discourage most public recreational access, development of individual homes on private property near the shore in this area may well continue. Central is not aware of any current development proposals for this area.

H. Gallagher Canyon Lake

1. Existing Recreation Use

Gallagher Canyon Lake has 182 surface acres of water, has 15 miles of jagged shoreline, including one mile-long arm. (See the Gallagher Canyon Lake Recreation Facilities Inventory map in Section 9.) The NGPC has leased land within Central’s Project Boundary, on the north boundary of the lake, for an SRA. This public park area is forested with evergreen and cottonwood trees and has primitive camping sites, a boat ramp, grills, toilets, and playground equipment.

2. Recreational Opportunities and Constraints

Even though the lake is a fairly large, due to its shallow water and narrow channel it is designated for wakeless boating only. For that reason, most of the water recreation involves fishing, canoeing and swimming. Hunting is popular, as are numerous hiking trails in the area. In the winter, the area and its many trails are popular with snowmobile users and cross-country skiers. Game fish in the lake include white bass, crappie, drum, catfish and walleye.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

No additional recreation facilities are proposed in the foreseeable future.

I. Plum Creek Canyon Lake

1. Existing Recreational Use

Plum Creek Canyon Lake has 252 surface acres, and while it has steep hill banks, they are not as high as those found on the Midway Lakes. (See the Plum Creek Canyon Lake Recreation Facilities Inventory map in Section 9.) Plum Creek Canyon is a shallow, long and narrow lake, often frequented by water skiers. The NGPC leases a small WMA on the south shore and provides a boat ramp facility at that location. A second public boat ramp is located on the north end of the lake at the inlet to the lake. The recreational activities on the lake and surrounding area are similar to the other canyon lakes, including fishing, hunting, boating, picnicking, water skiing, and relaxing. The water and shoreline of this lake are generally open for public recreational access.

Homes occur on private property and on Central owned lands, both within and outside the Project Boundary. Central allows boating access for all of the leased homes on Plum Creek Canyon Lake. In many cases property owners have constructed boathouses, boat docks, and/or steps down the bank to the water.

2. Recreational Opportunities and Constraints

Recently a new residential subdivision was platted on private property adjacent to the lake.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

The remainder of the land area around the lake has been designated as open space, and no recreation development proposals have been discussed with Central.

J. Johnson Lake

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. Unlike the other lakes in the system, which each lie within one county jurisdiction’s, 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. Johnson Lake is reachable by Highway 283 and county roads; a blacktop county road with many gravel access roads encircles the lake. (See the Johnson Lake Recreation Facilities Inventory map in Section 9.) Public recreational access is provided on the entire shoreline within the FERC Project Boundary. Summertime activities cover the entire spectrum of recreational activities, including boating, picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking, sailing, golfing, wildlife viewing, and hunting. Wintertime activities include ice fishing, ice-skating, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

1. Existing Recreation Development

The NGPC leases two parcels of Central property for SRA’s on Lake Johnson. The SRA adjacent to the western inlet canal is heavily used for fishing and boat access. The south side of the inlet has a modern camping area with gravel camping pads, electrical hookups, and modern restrooms. There is a boat ramp and a fish-cleaning station, as well as a handicapped-accessible fishing pier. The north side of the inlet offers primitive camping only, portable toilets, drinking water, and another handicapped-accessible fishing pier. The second SRA is located at the southeast end of the lake and has extensive campground facilities, including 81 gravel camping pads with electrical hookups, excellent facilities including restrooms and shower buildings with access to the facilities for the handicapped, and a dump station. A modern fish-cleaning station was recently added to the site. A swimming beach, marked with buoys during the summer months, is located near the intersection of Highway 283 and the lake road.

The four recreation concessionaires on the Lake lease directly from 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 the Project works and several small and different use leases. Adjacent to the lake at the dam is the Lakeside Country Club’s 18-hole golf club, which is open to the public. The golf course lies downstream of the dam, and all but a few acres are within Central’s Project Boundary.

2. Development Opportunities and Constraints

The shoreline adjacent to Johnson Lake is “built out.” No new land or recreation uses are anticipated in the foreseeable future. Existing public access for boating to the lake is provided at numerous locations around the lake at the NGPC recreation site and at the concessionaire’s facilities. Central requires the concessionaires to provide free public boat access to the water.

Both residents and visitors have used Johnson Lake for hunting waterfowl for many years. The trend towards using lake homes as year-round or every-weekend residences has created occasional conflicts between residents and hunters. Numerous residents would like to see the lake designated as a no hunting zone, but hunters object to the loss of a convenient hunting area. The State of Nebraska has a 200-yard safety zone around residences, within which no hunting can occur, and additional signage has been posted. One area of the lake has been designated as a Species Protection Zone because of bald eagle and migratory waterfowl use, with a second area located just below the J-1 Hydro Facility.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

At the present time, no additional uses or expansions of use are anticipated at Johnson Lake, except for the possible replacement of the smaller cabins and trailers with larger homes on the residential lots.


K. Supply Canal System / Gosper County

The Supply Canal system in Gosper County travels through Phillips Lake, East Phillips Lake and Little Knapple Lake. (See the Phillips Lake Recreation Facilities Inventory map in Section 9.)


1. Existing Recreation Use

Of these three lakes, only East Phillips Lake has shoreline recreational facilities, although Little Knapple does have three houses near the shoreline on private property. East Phillips Lake has a surface area of 142 acres and three long arms that reach south from the main body of the lake. The NGPC has leased land for a WMA within Central’s Project Boundary. This 13-acre site provides a boat ramp, primitive camping sites, picnic tables, and a well for recreationists. These lakes are generally open to the public for recreation. This area of the Supply Canal system is used for hunting, as well as fishing and other land and water-based recreational activities. The surrounding lands are used for hunting waterfowl, upland game, and mule deer.

2. Recreation Opportunities and Constraints

Phillips Lake has been designated for wakeless boating due to its size.

3. Potential Recreation Development and Use

No additional recreation facilities are proposed at any of these lakes.

 

Table 6 – 1 Lake McConaughy Recreation Facilities

Information and/or
Visitors Center
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Concessionaire
X
X
X
X
X
Restaurant or Food
X
X
X
X
Groceries
X
X
X
X
X
Trailer Park
X
X
X
X
X
Modern Campground
X
X
X
X
X
Camping Pads w/
Electrical Hookups
X
X
X
X
Primitive Campground
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Rental Cabins
or Motel
X
X
X
X
X
Marina
X
X
X
X
X
Boat Rental
X
X
X
X
X
Marine Supplies
& Service
X
X
X
X
X
Boat Launching
X
X
X
X
X
Boat Ramp
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Fish Cleaning
Station
X
X
X
X
X
Fishing Supplies
X
X
X
X
X
RV Dump Station
X
X
X
Toilets
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Drinking Water
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Picnic Tables
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Fire Grates
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Observation Point
X
X
X
Handicapped Accessible
X
X
X


Table 6 – 2 Central Recreation Facilities and Activities

Lake McConaughy
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Lake Ogallala
X
X
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
X
Central Supply Canal 
 
X
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Boxelder Canyon  
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Cottonwood Canyon  
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Target Canyon  
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Snell Canyon  
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Jeffrey Reservoir
 
 
X
 
X
X
 
X
 
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Hiles Canyon
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
West Midway
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Central Midway
 
 
 
 
 
X
X
 
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East Midway
 
 
 
 
 
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Gallagher Canyon
 
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Plum Creek Canyon
 
 
 
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Johnson Lake
 
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Phillips Lake
 
 
 
 
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East Phillips Lake
 
 
 
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Little Knapple Lake
 
 
 
 
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Section 7 – Plan Amendments and Updates

A. Introduction

The Land and Shoreline Management Plan may be amended from time to time. Amendments may be necessary to address: a) changes in the use of Central’s Project lands resulting from changes in the use of adjoining lands; b) requests by other parties for changes in the use of Project lands; c) the need to conform administrative procedures to be responsive to FERC, the agencies or public; d.) changes arising from the required periodic (5-year) Plan update reports to FERC or the periodic (3-year) reevaluation of the tern and plover nest protection and bald eagle perch and roost site protection components of this Plan. Formal amendments will not be necessary to update the Appendices to the Plan, and periodic changes or additions may be made to reflect concomitant changes to related federal, state, or local regulations, processes, and contracts.

Procedures and processes for accomplishing the required Plan updates and achieving any necessary associated Plan changes are defined in Section C, below. Procedures for amending this Plan at times and for reasons not directly associated with the periodic Plan updates appear in Section B, below.

B. Amendments to this Plan

1. Changes in the Use of Adjoining Lands

Step 1- Determination. If Central determines that changes or proposals for changes in the use of lands adjacent to the Project Boundary, are sufficient to warrant a change in the land-use designation of an area or parcel, Central will prepare an application to amend to this Plan. If the changes are on, or adjacent to, lands leased to NGPC for recreational purposes, Central will consult with the NGPC prior to preparing the amendment application.

Step 2 – Agency Review. If the proposal may potentially impact endangered species, cultural resources, public recreation, or waters under Corps jurisdiction, Central will forward the draft amendment application to the appropriate agency or agencies and/or affected local governments, requesting review and comment within thirty days.

Step 3 – Notice of Request. If the proposed amendment results in a change in the land-use designation of more than five acres or 2,500 lineal feet of shoreline, Central will post the proposed amendment on its web site, and publish a notice of the proposed amendment in a newspaper of general circulation closest to the impacted area, soliciting public comment. Central will also notify adjoining landowners that may be impacted by the amendment.

Step 4 – Comments. Comments received will be considered, and potential revisions to the proposed amendment identified. If public comments cannot be handled by a general response, or if members of the general public so request, Central will schedule a public meeting to discuss the proposed amendment.

Step 5 – Response to comments. After the comment period, and public meeting, if any, Central will consider revising the proposed Plan amendment as appropriate based upon the substance of the comments from the agencies or the public. Central will then prepare a final amendment application.

Step 6 – Review by the Board of Directors. The completed amendment request and the staff recommendation will be presented to Central’s Board of Directors for review and approval or denial.

Step 7 – Submittal to FERC. The completed amendment application will be filed with FERC for review and consideration.

Step 8 – Implementation. Changes to this Plan cannot and will not be implemented until FERC has formally issued an order approving the amendment.

2. Requests for Changes to Land Use Classifications or for Modification of this Plan

Step 1 – Determination. An individual or entity requesting a change in land use classification or other provision of this Plan should contact or meet with Central’s Real Estate Administrator (Administrator) to discuss the proposal. If the Administrator determines that Central is willing to consider the change and that the proposal would require an amendment to this Plan, the Administrator will inform the applicant of the process and forms required.

Step 2 – Submittal. The information submitted by an applicant for consideration of changes to the Plan must contain specific details regarding the dimensions, materials, and use of any facilities to be constructed or detailed facts and reasons supporting any proposed alteration to the shoreline or lands within Central’s Project boundary, or other specific information necessary for full consideration of the request.

Step 3 – Review by Central. Central staff will review the applicant’s submittal to determine its preliminary position on the proposal and to ensure that it is consistent with all of the current laws and regulations governing the proposed measure. Central will prepare31 a draft amendment application for agency and FERC review.

Step 4 – Agency Review. If the proposal may potentially impact endangered species, cultural resources, public recreation, or waters under Corps jurisdiction, Central will forward the draft amendment application to the appropriate agency or agencies and/or affected local governments, requesting review and comment within thirty days. Central will advise the applicant of changes requested by the consulting agencies.

Step 5 – Notice of Request/ Comments. Central will post the draft amendment (or revised draft amendment) request on its Internet web site and advertise a notice of the proposed amendment in local newspaper(s), allowing a thirty day comment period for the public. Central will also notify adjoining landowners that may be impacted by the amendment.

Step 6 – Informal public meeting. If the proposed amendment will directly affect more than five acres or 2,500 lineal feet of shoreline, if comments from the public, agencies or local governments cannot be handled by a general response, or if requested by a member of the public, coincident with Step 5, Central will notify affected parties and advertise an informal public meeting to discuss the proposed amendment. At the meeting the applicant may present the proposed Plan amendment to the attendees and respond to their questions and comments.

Step 7 – Applicant Revision. After the comment period and public meeting, if any, the applicant may revise the application, with Central’s assistance if necessary, based upon any new information.

Step 8 – Prepare Recommendation. When the comment period, public meeting, and applicant revisions, if any, are complete, Central’s staff will consider the applicant’s proposal (or revised proposal) and the comments received, and will prepare a recommendation to grant or deny the amendment request.

Step 9 – Review by the Board of Directors. The completed amendment request and the staff recommendation will be presented to Central’s Board of Directors for review and approval or denial.

Step 10 – Submittal to FERC. The approved amendment application will be finalized and filed with FERC for review and approval.

Step 11 – Implementation. Changes to this Plan will not and cannot be implemented until FERC has formally issued an order approving the amendment.

3. Administrative Changes to this Plan

Step 1- Determination. If Central determines that changes in this Plan are necessary to conform this Plan to FERC regulations, or to modify or conform administrative procedures to be appropriately responsive to FERC, the agencies or public, Central will prepare an amendment to this Plan.

Step 2 – Notice of Request. If the proposed amendment involves substantive changes any of the procedures, processes or regulations in this Plan, Central will post the proposed amendment on its web site, and publish a notice of the proposed amendment in a newspaper of general circulation, soliciting public comment. The comment period shall be thirty days from the date of publication. Central will also send copies of the proposed amendment to the USF&WS and NGPC for comment. If the proposed amendment does not involve substantive changes to this Plan, Central will send notice of the proposed amendment to the Agencies, local governments and affected Lessees of Project lands, simultaneously with filing the application to amend the Plan with FERC.

Step 3 – Comments. Comments received will be considered, and potential revisions to the proposed amendment identified. If public comments cannot be handled by a general response, or if members of the general public so request, Central will schedule a public meeting to discuss the proposed amendment.

Step 4 – Response to comments. After the comment period, and public meeting, if any, Central will consider revising the proposed Plan amendment as appropriate based upon the substance of the comments. Central will then prepare a final amendment application.

Step 5 – Review by the Board of Directors. The completed amendment request and the staff recommendation will be presented to Central’s Board of Directors for review and approval or denial.

Step 6 – Submittal to FERC. The completed amendment application will be finalized and filed with FERC for review and approval.

Step 7 – Implementation. Changes to this Plan will not and cannot be implemented until FERC has formally issued an order approving the amendment.

C. Periodic Plan Update Reports

1. 5-Year Plan Update Reports

License Article 421 requires Central to provide updated reports on this Plan every five years after FERC’s initial approval of the Plan. Changes in the use of Central’s Project lands and shorelines since the last update must be highlighted and summarized at the beginning of the update report. The following process will be used to develop the update reports.

Step 1 – Review. Central will review this Plan and its implementation after each five-year period this Plan is in effect to identify known changes, if any, in land or recreational use. Central will also identify any modifications or amendments that appear to be necessary to accommodate anticipated changes in the ensuing five years.

Step 2 – Agency and Local Government Consultation. Central will meet with the agencies and local governments to discuss any proposed changes to this Plan or issues that the agencies and local governments regard as pertinent to the Plan update.

Step 3 – Public Information Meetings. Central will advertise and hold public information meetings throughout the region to provide information to the public regarding this Plan and its implementation during the prior five years, and to receive input regarding any proposed changes to this Plan or issues that the public regards as relevant to the Plan update.

Step 4 – Evaluation of Input Received. Central will review the comments received from the public, local governments and agencies, and determine if changes to the land-use maps or other parts of this Plan are warranted.

Step 5a – No Change to Plan Warranted. If no changes to the existing Plan are warranted, Central will develop an “update report” for FERC. The update report will state that, based upon its review and the comments received, no changes to this Plan are proposed at that time. The report will be forwarded to FERC, the agencies, local governments, and other interested parties and will be posted on Central’s Internet web site.

Step 5b – Update to Plan Necessary. If, based on the comments received, Central determines that changes to this Plan are necessary, Central will accordingly prepare an “update revision” to this Plan.

Step 6 – Agency and Local Government Review. Central will forward the update revision to the local governments and agencies for a thirty-day review and comment period.

Step 7 – Public meetings. After the changes proposed by the agencies or local governments are addressed in the update revision, Central will advertise and hold a public meeting(s) based upon the scope of the revision. The update revision will be posted on Central’s Internet web site at least one week prior to that public meeting.

Step 8 – Prepare Final Document. After the public meeting, Central will prepare the final update revision document, including responses to the comments made at the public meeting.

Step 9 – Review by the Board of Directors. The completed update revision document will be presented to the Central Board of Directors for review and approval.

Step 10 – Submittal to FERC. The approved update revision document will be forwarded to FERC for filing.

Step 11 – Implementation. Changes to this Plan will not and cannot be implemented until FERC has formally issued an order approving any revisions to the Plan.


2. 3-Year Endangered Species Reevaluation

License Article 421 requires Central to reevaluate the endangered species component of this Plan every three years. This reevaluation requires consultation with the USF&WS and NGPC on the endangered species aspects of this Plan. The process for the endangered species update is outlined below.

Step 1 –Consultation. Central will consult with USF&WS and NGPC regarding the reevaluation of the tern and plover nest protection and bald eagle perch and roost site protection components of this Plan to determine if any changes to this Plan are warranted.

Step 2a – No Change to Plan Warranted. If no changes to the endangered species component of this Plan are necessary, the report will state that, based on consultation with the USF&WS and NGPC, no changes are necessary at the present time. The report will be filed with FERC, the agencies, local governments, and other interested parties, and will be posted on Central’s Internet web site.

Step 2b – Revision to Plan Necessary. If, based on the comments received from USF&WS or NGPC, Central determines that revisions to the endangered species component of this Plan is necessary, Central will consider those comments and draft an appropriate revision to this Plan.

Step 3 – Agency Review. Central will forward the draft plan revision to USF&WS and NGPC for a thirty-day review and comment period.

Step 4 – Public Meeting. After any additional changes proposed by USF&WS and NGPC are addressed in the draft, and if the proposed revision results in direct impacts to more than five acres or 2,500 lineal feet of shoreline, Central will forward a copy of the draft revision to the local governments, and Central will advertise and hold a public meeting or meetings, based on the scope of the revision, to explain the changes proposed to this Plan. The proposed revision will be posted on Central’s Internet web site at least one week prior to the public meeting(s).

Step 5 – Prepare Final Document. After the public meeting(s), Central will prepare the final proposed revision of this Plan and provide a copy to the agencies for their concurrence.

Step 6 – Review by the Board of Directors. The proposed revision will be presented to Central’s Board of Directors for review and approval.

Step 7 – Submittal to FERC. The approved proposed Plan revision will be filed with FERC for approval, with copies of the revision provided to the agencies.

Step 8 – Implementation. Changes to this Plan will not and cannot be implemented until FERC has formally issued an order approving the revised Plan.

Section 8 – Public Comments and Agency Consultation

Beginning in August, 1999, Central initiated numerous discussions with federal, state and local agencies, and solicited ideas and concerns from local citizens in the Project area to determine appropriate focus and priorities in the development of the Plan, as discussed in Section 2.

Following the formal public meetings held June 13, 14 and 15, 2000 and the distribution of the draft Plan to the agencies on June 1, 2000 (received by the agencies on June 3, 2000), Central received the following written comments from the USFWS and NGPC.

Agency Consultation and Comments

1. Agency Comments on Draft Plan

In response to Central’s request for review of the Draft Plan in June, 2000, USFWS and NGPC filed comments that are summarized below and included in Plan Appendix II. Central’s responses to those comments are shown in Italics and denoted as “CR:”

a) USF&WS, Nebraska Field Office Comments

· General recommendations about report format

CR: Changes implemented.

· A full map depicting all properties within the Project Boundaries would be helpful

CR: Changes implemented.

· Least Tern and Piping Plover Measures:

– “ Existing measures” for terns and plovers referred to in the Draft Report should be defined or a reference to where the information can be obtained should be given.

CR: The text has been amended to reference the approved Tern and Plover management plan and the plan appears in Plan Appendix III.

· Specify the monitoring information that will be provided to the USF&WS.

CR: This has been done.

· Permanently designate SPZ’s as “non-motorized use” and “day use” areas during the tern and plover nesting season (May-August), instead of on an “as-needed basis”.

CR: We have referenced and attached the Tern and Plover management plan and have clarified the language in the paragraph. Nest sites of least terns and piping plovers are restricted from all motorized vehicles and any camping or day use. Wider restrictions within the SPZ’s will be enacted only as necessary.

· Provide a better explanation of the protective measures that will be taken before the nesting season.

CR: The language has been clarified to indicate the three sites are at Lake McConaughy. The sites will either be within or adjacent to an SPZ. Central will designate any area set aside for nesting as an SPZ.

· Add to the end of the last sentence appearing on page 37 in the Draft “and in accordance with Endangered Species Permit PRT-704930.”

CR: This has been done.

· Bald Eagle Roosting and Perching Areas

– Tree recruitment and tree replacement after catastrophic events should be addressed. Permission to remove trees above 4 inches is a concern.

CR: Central will replant roosting and perching trees damaged by fire or storms in SPZs.

· Plan Amendments and Updates

– Would like land use changes within a 1/4-mile zone around eagle SPZ to require agency notification.

CR: Central recognizes the concerns of the Service regarding land use changes near SPZs. Unfortunately, Central is not always apprised of development on private property adjacent to Central’s FERC-licensed Project Boundary, unless the developer has asked for access to Project lands. As stated in the Plan, Central will consult with the agencies on all changes in the land use designation of Project lands where those changes may impact wildlife and habitat resources whether or not they are within an SPZ.

· SPZs and WMAs should require agency notification before any changes or modifications in land-use that may affect listed species.

CR: Step 4 of the procedure has been modified to specifically include SPZs and WMAs.

· Add to Step 5 “and provide a copy to the agencies for their concurrence that none of the proposed changes would result in adverse changes to listed species”, and to Step 7 “with copies of the revision provided to the agencies.”

CR: This has been done.

b) NGPC Comments

· Threatened and Endangered Species

– What will be done if there is no place to move a nest (water level is to vegetated area)?

CR: Central’s Tern and Plover management plan has been included in Plan Appendix III to further explain protective measures for least tern and piping plovers. In the past, Central has moved nests of these species successfully. Unfortunately, if water levels rise to the point where there is no “open” beach, the nests are much more likely to be lost to predators or abandoned by the adults. Before moving a nest Central’s biologists make a judgment based upon the predicted reservoir elevations as to whether moving a nest has the likelihood of success. If it is unlikely that moving a nest will significantly improve the chances of nest survival, Central does not move the nest in the hopes that the birds will re-nest in a better location earlier than if the nest were moved. The plan was modified to reflect this comment.

· Recommend monitoring of bald eagle night roosts and nesting sites to determine if new or different SPZs need to be established.

CR: Central currently surveys and monitors night roosts of bald eagles both on and off project lands as part of its monitoring program under Article 423. We also currently monitor for any bald eagle nesting activity that may occur on or near project lands. The Plan, and license Article 421, currently requires revising the endangered species portion of the Plan every three years. Central will provide any new information on roosts sites and nesting sites to the agencies for evaluation as to whether species protection zones need to be added or increased in size. The Plan was modified to reflect this in the “Monitoring” paragraph of Section E.2.

· Access/Management

– Will NGPC be consulted regarding permits for water access/special water access that will cross land leased to NGPC?

CR: Central will consult with NGPC on any access granted across lands leased to NGPC and will consult on any impacts those permits might have on NGPC leases. The Plan has been modified to clarify that point.

· If annual fees are assessed for this access, how will this be addressed in Central’s lease agreement with NGPC for the same property?

CR: Central will consult with NGPC on the types of fees to be assessed.

· How will unauthorized access/trespass be monitored and managed? Will Central take the lead in closing/removing unauthorized accesses and prosecuting violations?

CR: Central will be the lead agency in resolving any issues of trespass on properties leased to NGPC. NGPC has agreed to notify Central of any violations and cooperate with Central on any actions legal or civil that are required to remedy the trespass. The Plan has been modified to address this issue.

Other Concerns

· Concern that urbanization on Central’s property and related possibilities of habitat loss, increased wildlife depredation and disease, potentially resulting in unwanted hunting and fishing regulations. Providing buffer areas, educational literature, and presentations to the public regarding the issues would help.

CR: There are no plans for “urbanized” development on project lands. Any plans for development on project lands leased to Nebraska Game and Parks Commission would be subject to consultation. Increased development on private property adjacent to the project especially at Lake McConaughy is of concern to Central. Central hopes that the Shoreline Management Plan serves as a major vehicle managing access from private off-project developments to project lands and to minimize adverse impacts to habitat and other existing project uses. Central’s land management policies developed in this Plan emphasize public education as part of the permitting process. Central will continue to provide public education on wildlife habitat and other project values as it has demonstrated in its filings under license Article 424. As part of its permitting process Central gives buffers a high priority for those who wish to use or access its public property.

Public Consultation

The broad scope and number of comments voiced in the public meetings in August 1999 and January 2000 were a good indication of the diverse interests represented by the public interested in and affected by this Plan. Central was not able to provide definitive answers to all of the questions offered in the public meetings. In many cases, the comments made or questions asked were answered in the public meetings because they related to factual, regulatory, or procedural matters independent of this Plan. In other cases, the Plan was amended to reflect the stated concerns, or Central’s position on the issue is explained in subsection C, below, under the related resource topic. Still other comments were not addressed in this Plan because, although they are of interest in the Project area, they do not relate to the Plan, the FERC requirement or its objectives, or because they pertain to matters not subject to Central’s jurisdiction. Correspondence received from the public regarding the development of this Plan is attached in Appendix II.

Summary of Public and Agency Comments by Resource Topic

This section is organized by the resource topics raised during the public meetings on the Plan or in agency and local government consultation. The discussion of each of the resource topics in this part is presented based upon whether the comments and or concerns were raised during 1) the public meetings, or 2) agency and local government consultation.

1. Wildlife

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

Several comments were received regarding wildlife. Members of the public, including some cabin owners, raised the idea of using this Plan to protect existing wildlife and habitat. Other individuals at the meetings expressed concern regarding the loss of hunting opportunities due to increasing numbers of permanent residents on the lakes and new private residential developments proposed on land adjacent to the Project. A related topic, the signing and enforcement of hunting regulations in areas adjacent to residential development, was also raised.

b) Agency/Local Government Input and Perspective

The NGPC and the USF&WS are both concerned about the protection of wildlife and habitat. In Nebraska, the NGPC is responsible for developing hunting regulations, determining the seasons for the various species hunted in the state, and issuing hunting permits. The NGPC has leased numerous WMAs within and near the Project, and manages these lands for wildlife.

The NGPC and the USF&WS are both interested in and concerned about continuing to provide sufficient wildlife habitat within, and adjacent to, the Project to ensure the continuation of the existing species located in the region or species that migrate through the region. NGPC staff expressed concern regarding proposed developments on private property adjoining the Project, which might cause loss of wildlife habitat, especially on Lake McConaughy.

2. Endangered and Threatened Species

License Article 421 requires that this Plan address an evaluation of the need for, and measures appropriate to address, protection of least tern and piping plover nesting sites and bald eagle perch and roost sites throughout the Project, and to reevaluate the resulting measures every three years.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

Several comments were received at the initial round of public meetings in August 1999 regarding the protection of the endangered species in the Project and the region. At the January, 2000 public meetings, when the land use overlay classifications were presented, citizens raised concerns regarding the limitations on recreation use that may be imposed for the large areas of shoreline and beach areas (land under the water at normal full pool) that were proposed to be designated as “Species Protection Area,” “Day Use Area,” and/or “Non-motorized Vehicles Area,” if endangered species were present, particularly on Lake McConaughy. (It should be noted that the “Day Use Area” and “Non-motorized Vehicle Area” classifications, were created for several reasons, only one of which may be the protection of endangered species. (See Section 5 for the definitions of these overlay classifications and criteria for their use.)

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

During Central’s consultation with the resource agencies, both the NGPC and the USF&WS expressed interest in seeing endangered species habitat protected within this Plan. Both the NGPC and the USF&WS were supportive of using the designations “Species Protection Area,” and/or “Day Use Area,” to restrict public use in areas where endangered species are present. During consultation with the NGPC, a suggestion was made to require leashes for all pets, cats or dogs in piping plover and least tern nesting areas, during the nesting season.

3. Recreation Use of Shoreline and Lakebed

Historically, no restrictions on recreation use of the shoreline (when the water levels fell below normal full pool, exposing the sandy lake bottom for recreation use) have been imposed. The only exceptions in recent years are the areas fenced off for the protection of endangered species habitat, and limited restriction of camping on the lakebed in front of specific improved NGPC campgrounds.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

Several comments were received regarding recreation use of the shoreline. Citizens commented during public meetings that there should be no changes in the existing recreational use of any and all shoreline areas (lands covered by water during normal full pool). Citizens questioned why regulations are needed now after individuals have recreated on the lakes for decades without any regulations. Others commented that additional restrictions were needed near private cabin developments and residences to regulate public access and types of permitted activities.

At the January public meetings, the “Day Use Area” category received both strong opposition and support. The support was generally from cabin or home owners, as this overlay zone does not limit recreational uses such as fishing, hiking or driving when the lake is down, or even just relaxing in the areas. The only use restricted is overnight camping. These supporters acknowledged that they did not want camping directly in front of their cabin or home, which disrupts their view and quiet enjoyment of the lake. The opposition took the position that the lakebed has always been open for camping when the water level was down, and they saw this classification as an infringement of their recreational access and use rights. There was some opposition to the use of the “Non-motorized Vehicle Area” designation, also in terms of limiting what has previously been an accepted recreational use.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

The introduction of the “Day Use Area” and “Non-motorized Vehicle Area” land use classifications were well received by the NGPC and the USF&WS. As mentioned above, these categories were introduced in part to protect sensitive habitats, as well as to minimize the potential for conflicting uses in certain areas, both of which the agencies supported.

4. Aesthetic Resources

License Article 421 does not specifically require Central to evaluate aesthetics within this Planning process. However, License Article 422, which defines the types of use and occupancy which Central may approve and those that require FERC approval, requires Central to evaluate each request as to whether the request is “consistent with the purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational, and other environmental values of the Project.”

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

The concern raised at the public meetings was the protection of views from individual cabins and homes. People value the view of the lakes from their cabins and homes and do not want their views reduced. Others indicated that preserving the open “natural” areas of the Project was important, and that some areas needed to remain underdeveloped.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

Local governments were also concerned about the protection of individual home views, because the existing setbacks from the water do not necessarily protect the views of adjacent or even nearby homes, as older homes were torn down and newer, larger homes built. One of the counties has required the individual replacing or adding to an older home to obtain signed statements from the adjacent property owners that they were not opposed to the new home or addition.

5. Cultural Resources

The FERC license requires that Central implement the “Programmatic Agreement for the Kingsley Dam Project” signed by FERC, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Officer. The Programmatic Agreement contains procedures for the protection of the historic and cultural resources of the Project. Protection of historic and cultural resources was also raised as a topic of concern during the public meetings. While the actual site locations for cultural resources are kept confidential to protect the resource, several of Central’s designations have been designed to assist in the future protection of these areas.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

During the public meeting, citizens raised the issue of preservation of historic resources, and working with historic preservation agencies and groups. Generally, the public accepted that historic resources would be protected from disturbance or development unless mitigation measures were taken.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

Agencies and local governments supported the measures proposed by Central in keeping with the Programmatic Agreement. They supported Central’s proposal to require review of cultural resources in the area of any proposed land use or recreation use change or any development. The agencies also supported the potential for use of the “Day Use Area” and “Non-motorized Vehicle Area” overlay classifications as tools for the protection of these resources, if necessary.

6. Aquatic Habitat

License Article 421 requires Central to include measures for controlling aquatic vegetation, as necessary, in this Plan.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

No comments were received at the public meetings regarding control of aquatic vegetation.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

No specific comments were received from agencies or local governments regarding aquatic vegetation.

7. Soils, Sedimentation and Erosion

License Article 421 indicates that this Plan must evaluate the need for measures controlling sedimentation in Project lakes, as appropriate.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

Shoreline erosion was a topic raised during the public meetings as it related to areas adjacent to cabins or residences. It was suggested that previous erosion control programs that Central has coordinated with cabin owner associations be continued into the future. Sedimentation at Jeffrey Lake and Johnson Lake was an additional concern of lake residents.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

Neither agencies nor local governments raised sedimentation or erosion issues during the consultation process.

8. Design Standards

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

Numerous individuals discussed the need for regulations that would provide consistency and minimize the impact on adjacent properties when a shoreline area is disturbed, or structures placed near or in the water

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

Standards to control new development and redevelopment were raised during consultation with the local governments. Local governments were interested in consulting and working with Central as implementing documents and regulations are developed regarding design standards or shoreline development or redevelopment, to ensure consistency with regulations. The Corps was interested in reviewing the draft of this Plan to see how Central is proposing to deal with shoreline development and possible disturbance. The Corps was especially interested in criteria or proposed regulations for the review and evaluation of requests for disturbance or alteration to the shoreline.

9. Future Development Activities

Several concerns raised under this theme are discussed in some of the other topical categories of this section of the Plan.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

One of the comments expressed a concern about the potential impacts of the proposed large developments on recreation use and on services around the lake region, especially on Lake McConaughy.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

Discussions in consultation with the agencies included concerns about law enforcement and public access in areas of heavy development.


10. Land Use and Private vs. Public Water Access Rights

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

Several comments were made concerning the use of the shoreline in front of residences. Campers, fisherman, hunters and picnickers wanted to insure continued access to the shoreline, recognizing in most cases that they would not want to use highly developed areas for their activities. Cabin owners/developers on private land accepted that public access was a high priority on the Project lands between their property and the water, but desired restrictions, if, in the future, user “conflicts or issues” arose. Cabin owners who lease Central’s Project and non-Project lands were concerned about their “quiet enjoyment” of the areas they leased and wanted a clarification of their rights.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

NGPC desires reasonable public access to the shorelines and waters of the lakes. They expressed concern regarding enforcement of laws and regulations (especially at Lake McConaughy) in areas where high levels of development might occur on private land adjoining NGPC-leased Project lands.

11. Water Safety Enforcement/Patrol

Concerns about water safety, particularly during peak recreation seasons when there is a great deal of activity on the water, were raised in the public meetings. Water safety regulation and enforcement are subject to the jurisdiction of federal, state and local agencies and are not regulated under this Plan.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

Comments were made about the increased use of jet skis and powerboats over the last several years, which have created additional traffic on the waters of the Project.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

During the public informational meetings, NGPC representatives noted that private citizens can support enforcement of safety standards by documenting and reporting violators and being available to testify in legal proceedings about their observation of the violation.


12. No-Wake Zones

Several wakeless boating areas were established throughout Project waters for protecting operational areas, for preventing erosion and to provide areas for more passive recreational pursuits.

a) Public Comments and Recommendations

A concern was raised that boaters often ignore no-wake zone designations, endangering other boaters and causing excessive wave action on the shorelines. Several individuals asked about the creation of no-wake zones to protect individual docks, shore stations and the shoreline from boat and jet ski wake disturbance. A number of individuals expressed concern regarding the number and safety of jet-skis.

b) Agency/Local Government Comments and Recommendations

NGPC will enforce no-wake zone regulations if violations are reported. Nebraska statutes do not provide for discriminating between jet-skis and other powered watercraft.


Section 9 – Maps and Figures


In this section there are a total of 24 maps and figures:

– Three Figures (Fig 1-1 through Fig 1-3)

– Twelve Land Use Maps (Land Use Map A through Land Use Map L)

– Nine Recreation Facilities Inventory Maps (Lake McConaughy through Phillips Lake)

Go to Sections 1 through 4.

 

Footnotes (cont.)
13. Central reserves discretion over this determination.
14. “Seasonal” in this section means placed seasonally, not used seasonally.
15. The requirements of Article 422 are discussed in Section 1 of this Plan and the complete text of the Article appears in Plan Appendix I.
16. Materials and contacts to assist an Applicant in obtaining a Corps permit are located in Plan Appendix I.
17. The Applicant may be required to pay the administrative costs of preparing and submitting the application.
18. Where Central leases property to NGPC for either recreational or wildlife purposes, Central retains the primary responsibility for prosecuting trespass, whether such actions are criminal or civil. NPGC will notify Central of any violations and assist Central in all related actions.
19. Standard Land Use Article, (a).
20. The wording in the Article is: “… The instrument of conveyance must include the following covenants running with the land: (i) the use of the lands conveyed shall not endanger health, create a nuisance, or otherwise be incompatible with overall Project recreational use; (ii) the grantee shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the construction, operation, and maintenance of structures or facilities on the conveyed lands will occur in a manner that will protect the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the Project; and (iii) the grantee shall not unduly restrict public access to Project waters.”
21. Standard Land Use Article.
22. As distinguished from a mere permit or license to use Central’s land, a “conveyance” refers to a legal instrument that confers a legal interest in the land conveyed. Transfer of an interest in “fee title” is typically described as “the whole bundle of sticks”, although this is not completely accurate in the case of Project lands since Central must retain sufficient interest in the lands to meet Project objectives and to fulfill its license obligations. Less comprehensive interests are conveyed by means of easements, which allow or retain a particular right to use a piece of land in the long term, or leases, which typically allow broader utilization of the property, albeit for a specific purpose, and which are typically finite in term.
23. Any conveyance of Project lands must meet the minimum criteria: (a) Easements and leases may be conveyed only if the proposed use and occupancy is consistent with the protection and enhancement of the scenic, recreational, and other environmental values of the Project. (b) To the extent feasible and desirable to protect and enhance the Project’s scenic, recreational and other environmental values, the licensee must require multiple use and occupancy of facilities for access to Project lands or waters. (c) The uses and occupancies for which the licensee grants permission must be maintained in good condition and repair by the Grantee or Lessee. (d) The permitted uses and occupancies must comply with all applicable requirements of state law, local ordinances, and federal law, including specifically the Federal Power Act, Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the FERC license. (e) Before conveying the interest, the licensee must consult with Federal and State fish and wildlife or recreation agencies, as appropriate, and the State Historic Preservation Officer. (f) Before conveying the interest, the licensee must determine that the proposed use of the lands to be conveyed is not inconsistent with an approved recreation plan or, if there is no approved plan, that the lands to be conveyed do not have recreational value. (g) The instrument of conveyance must include covenants running with the land adequate to ensure that: (i) the use of the lands conveyed shall not endanger health, create a nuisance, or otherwise be incompatible with overall Project recreational use; and (ii) the Grantee or Lessee shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the construction, operation, and maintenance of structures or facilities on the conveyed lands will occur in a manner that will protect the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the Project.
24. See Paragraphs C and D of Article 422, in Plan Appendix I, for an enumeration of the conveyances/uses in this category.
25. Central’s Recreation Plan is an integral part of this document, and follows these Land and Shoreline Management Plan materials.
26. The language in the license Article is: “from surface waters at normal elevation.”
27. The conditions are: (1) Before conveying the interest, the Licensee shall consult with federal and state fish and wildlife or recreation agencies, as appropriate, and the State Historic Preservation Officer. (2) Before conveying the interest, the Licensee shall determine that the proposed use of the lands to be conveyed is not inconsistent with any approved exhibit R or approved report on recreational resources of an exhibit E; or, if the project does not have an approved exhibit R or approved report on recreational resources, that the lands to be conveyed do not have recreational value.(3) The instrument of conveyance must include the following covenants running with the land: (i) the use of the lands conveyed shall not endanger health, create a nuisance, or otherwise be incompatible with overall project recreational use; (ii) the grantee shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the construction, operation, and maintenance of structures or facilities on the conveyed lands will occur in a manner that will protect the scenic, recreational, and environmental values of the project; and (iii) the grantee shall not unduly restrict public access to project waters. These easements and leases are then reported to FERC annually.
28. These are: (1) replacement, expansion, realignment, or maintenance of bridges or roads where all necessary state and federal approvals have been obtained; (2) storm drains and water mains; (3) sewers that do not discharge into project waters; (4) minor access roads; (5) telephone, gas, and electric utility distribution lines; (6) non-project overhead electric transmission lines that do not require erection of support structures within the project boundary; (7) submarine, overhead, or underground major telephone distribution cables or major electric distribution lines (69-kV or less); (8) water intake or pumping facilities that do not extract more than one million gallons per day from a project reservoir; (9)construction of new bridges or roads for which all necessary state and federal approvals have been obtained; (10) sewer or effluent lines that discharge into project waters, for which all necessary federal and state water quality certification or permits have been obtained; (11) other pipelines that cross project lands or waters but do not discharge into project waters; (12) non-project overhead electric transmission lines that require erection of support structures within the project boundary, for which all necessary federal and state approvals have been obtained.
29. Full text of this Article and other related provisions appear in the Appendix to this document.
30. 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 maps in Section 9 of the Land and Shoreline Management Plan.
31. The individual or entity proposing the change may be responsible for the administrative costs of preparing, reviewing, and filing the application.