Friday, June 21, 2024
49.0°F

Intervenors support Energy Keepers on Flathead Lake levels

| April 23, 2024 7:00 AM

As an intervenor on behalf of Flathead Lake in Northwest Montana, the National Organization to Save Flathead Lake (NOSFL) recently commended Energy Keepers, Inc. (EKI), the operators of the Seli'š Ksanka Qlispe' Dam in Polson, Montana, for adapting their management of the lake level in anticipation of a potential drought this summer.

EKI recently filed its report to federal regulators and stated in writing, “… during the spring months, we will manage the lake elevations as part of regional flood risk mitigation to manage runoff, meet Article 56 minimum flow objectives, and refill the Lake (near 2,893 feet) for summer recreation.”  

Their latest forecast of inflows and outflows and Flathead Lake level projects that the lake level will be at 2,893 feet for the entire summer recreation season.

“We are pleased that EKI and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe (owner of the Dam) are making efforts to balance all stakeholders’ interests including the environment, hydroelectric power, agriculture, recreation, fisheries and tourism, and to preserve the economy of Northwest Montana,” said Carole James, NOSFL President.

“They plan to limit the drawdown to ensure the Lake’s level is maintained at or near full pool for the summer,” said James. “Such actions are consistent with NOSFL’s requests and former owners’ Lake management. However, further steps may be required to maintain the 2,893-foot level.” 

As an official intervenor, NOSFL will continue to research the facts, offer solutions and hold EKI accountable for keeping the lake full at 2,893 feet from June 15 to Sept. 15.

To participate and follow NOSFL’s research and actions, visit FillTheLake.com

NOSFL is a local 501(C)(4) non-profit foundation that intervened as a non-partisan citizens advisory group to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process of the operations of the Polson Dam in 2004 and before that, in the relicensing process of the same, in the early 90s.

NOSFL engaged in the 2010 Environmental Impact Statement for the Drought Management Plan (DMP), which is a guide on managing drainage flows in and out of Flathead Lake in drought years.