February 14, 2021
Logan River Watershed Plan
Attn: The Langdon Group
466 N. 900 W.
Kaysville, UT 84037
Re: Logan River Watershed Project Environmental Assessment
Dear Langdon Group,
I am writing on behalf of the Bridgerland Audubon Society concerning the proposal to divert Logan River water below first dam and pipe it northward for irrigation uses. Our primary concern is that the project could greatly decrease flows in the Logan below the diversion point. This would create a host of environmental and recreation problems including: potential decreases in riparian vegetation which would impact birds; reduced opportunities for boating and fishing; warming of water that would impact aquatic organisms, and; decreased fish habitat including that of Bonneville cutthroat trout, a Species of Concern. Many of these uses of the river corridor are outlined in the Logan River Conservation Action Plan and the Logan River Blue Trail Master Plan which was adopted by the Logan Municipal Council.
The Logan River is increasingly used by recreationists and is a tremendous asset for the community. Dewatering it during droughts and seasonal low flows would greatly diminish its value. Consequently, we urge planners to leave as much water in the river as possible and to incorporate the Action Plan and Blue Trail Plan into the development of Logan River Watershed Project.
We recognize the need for irrigation water and this need could be met with minimal impacts to the environment if the diversion occurred as low as possible in the river. A low diversion might require pumping, but the environmental benefits would be great. The cost of the additional piping and ongoing costs of pumping could likely be found from environmental and recreation funding sources.
Development of the water conveyance in the valley also presents an opportunity to further develop the trail system in Logan and neighboring communities. Some trails exist along the Logan River and others along canals. Planners should consider purchasing right of ways and building trails along these corridors. The canals presently provide substantial riparian vegetation that benefit birds and hikers. Although we understand that one of the goals of piping is to reduce evapotranspiration losses, the environmental benefits of canal seepage need to be considered as well. Perhaps some sections of the conveyance could be left with open channels or drip irrigation could be installed to help maintain some of the vegetation.
Members of Bridgerland Audubon have a great deal of expertise in the area of conservation of birds and their habitat. We would be happy to work with the planners to help accomplish the
multiple goals that could be met with the development of the piping system in Cache County. Please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can help develop a plan that will benefit all of the residents of Cache Valley.
Wayne Wurtsbaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chair, Water Quality Committee