Canyon County commissioners propose keeping Lake Lowell open during govt shutdown
Joe Decker, Canyon County PIO
The Canyon County Board of Commissioners reached out to Idaho’s federal delegation on Friday with an offer to keep the recreational areas around Lake Lowell open during the ongoing shutdown of the federal government with a simple solution: to leave things as they’ve been for over a century. Commission Chair Steve Rule said, “Lake Lowell is a local resource, and the local community is the best choice for its efficient and open administration.”
The Board of County Commissioners sent a letter requesting that the State’s federal representatives review the extremely limited impact of the government shutdown on the actual administration of the Lake. “The only thing that’s changed is that now we’ve got multiple reports from local citizens going for simple walks around the Lake being trespassed off this public property by federal law enforcement officers or employees,” said Commissioner Craig
“The actual work at the Lake – from the public safety service our local law enforcement agencies provide to the local community, to the annual removal of County-owned docks by County employees in the fall – is still being done,” said Rule.
The Commissioners’ letter references Friday's news that the State of Utah agreed to use over $1.5 million in state funds to reopen eight national park areas for at least 10 days. “We applaud
the efforts in Utah for local communities to provide solutions to the federal government’s problem,” said Commissioner Kathy Alder, “but Canyon County is in an even better position because it won’t cost our taxpayers an additional nickel. The necessary services are already being provided by the local community.”
In addition, the letter emphasizes the Commissioners’ belief that various State, County, and City agencies, along with local universities and colleges, could develop a wildlife management
plan that would preserve the purpose of the Refuge in balance with the historic recreational uses of the area without compromising the absolute right of local irrigators to the waters of Lake Lowell.