Snake River Canyons Park Board

Open Meeting Minutes

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Blue Lakes Country Club, Jerome, Idaho

Attending Board Members: Chairman Bill Bridges, Jeff Pierson, Steve Paulson, John Weston, Mark Reyes, Brenda Weekes, Greg Moore and Sue Williams arriving late. Not present: Alan Clawson

Guests: Mike Tilka as Advisor, Aaron Utz with Idaho Power, Randal Brunmeier with Idaho Department of Lands, Larry Hall with Jerome 20/20, Becky Dean with Jerome County, Codie Marten with BLM, and Rebecca Wildman taking minutes.

Bill called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. with a quorum present.

Minutes: Steve motioned to approve the Minutes from February 8, 2024, Board Meeting, Greg seconded, motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: $11,352.20 less $674 recent reimbursement. Civil Science has billed $24,755 so far but anticipate $100k-$200k when done. Broken Bridge project has spent $130k out of the $158k quatoed. RV Park figures to be explained later. IT has budgeted $5k with $200 spent so far. This fiscal year budget has spent $3,290 of $60k ending September 30, 2024.

Camping and Horse Corrals: Second vault toilet is installed with the concrete portion delayed due to supply delays. Leveled ground and parking lot looks great. The corrals are to be built by the Outdoor Horsemen group April 19-20. Fundraising for tent camping project. Many signs will need to be re-set when ground is less soft.

RV Camping has a five-day max. Recent use has been five to six campers with one moving site to site. BLM has a 14-day max rule then campers must move more than 25 miles away. IDL has a 10-day rule with Fish & Game enforcing. Greg suggested follow-up to confirm the camping ordinance has been properly adopted by the County and Becky agreed to look into it.

Website: Jerome IT has not worked on the website yet; Bill will check in with Commissioners next week.

Broken Bridge: Brenda has been querying trail hikers/bikers about what they would and would not like to see. Most responses were against a road-like trail, especially among mountain bikers as they like obstacle challenges. Suggestions to incorporate benches, lookouts, and a bridge across the culvert by Mermaid Hole, the area shares a boundary with Jerome HOA. Recommends moving the dog bag dispenser to the entrance gate with signage requesting owners to clean up after dogs.

Brenda reported seeing someone dump a brown liquid into the river and Randal believes it was for mosquito abatement. Discussion about gate lock on Twin Falls side to keep unapproved people out. Brenda suggested considering more trail improvement, widening and addressing drainage issues, and placing benches, etc.

Heard concerns it will be a high run-off year and the park needs the option to lay the bridge rails down for high water times. Brenda noted two rock fall areas that can impact trail safety and suggested trail widening there. Discussed First Responder access aside from helicopter, BLCC through fish farms, and South side access.

CSI Professor Mark Wasden offered to help gather suggestions from user groups, possibly with a QR code activated survey at the Twin Falls side, trail entrance and even at the RV Park. John suggested shoring up the road/trail to guard against future 25 to 100-year floods. Engineers suggested a third culvert.

Discussed pros and cons of graffiti removal on the bridge and restrictions due to river proximity. Bridge still needs a name and suggestions include: Auger Falls Bridge, Yingst Bridge, Larry Hall Bridge, John Crozier, Jeff French Connection, Doris Peterson Barnes Unity Bridge  noting Doris kept the area from becoming privately owned. Encouraged decision by next month.

Shooting Range: John assessed the Park for possible placement of a range, noting it requires a minimum 1.5 miles of fallout, and concluded there is not enough space South of the Interstate. The consensus is it would need to be placed outside the park and North of the Interstate. Discussion about proceeding to use the grant funding from Fish & Game to assess that area. Bill recommended moving forward with the study for the area North of the Interstate and John will pursue with Jerome Commissioners. Codie shared BLM’s shared interest in building a range in North of the Interstate as it has favorable natural features noting BLM’s current limited capacity and need for collaborative support and neighbor outreach.

Idaho Power Substation Relocation: Call in from Ed Koysdar with Idaho Power who informed the Cliff substation in the canyon is susceptible to rock fall and has reached its end of life. Idaho Power will re-locate the substation on the bench and re-route transmission lines. Discussed specifics with proximity to planned Shoshone Falls Overlook noting the new substation will consist of fewer power lines and will likely improve the view areas for the Overlook. Aaron Utz noted his involvement in the project and Ed requested the coordinates for the Overlook once they are determined.

Shoshone Falls Overlook: Larry said Civil Science is done with drone and drilling work and should have a final report within the next few weeks. Access and parking should not be impacted but the actual overlook may need to be precisely located on existing outcrops, which would require less steel, and will utilize the natural topography. Larry will arrange a site visit for those interested.

Trail from Bridge to Overlook: Jerome Commissioners sent a letter to IDL requesting consideration of an easement or lease for a trail from the Perrine Bridge to the proposed Shoshone Falls Overlook site. SRCP to meet at IDL Jerome office on March 21, 2024 at 10am.

Magic Valley Land Trust: Bill, Brenda and Sue met with MVLT and found they are primarily interested in farmland but seemed open and supportive of a trail. Suggested keeping the door open with them. Trevor George with MVLT has familiarity with trail processes and shared his willingness to assist.

Volunteer Service Awards, Off-Roaders: Greg Moore working to find who to present the award to.

Five Year Plan: Results for priory rank for the BLM:

  1. Yingst Grade Trail
  2. Shoshone Falls Overlook
  3. Rock Crawling Area Course
  4. Equestrian Campground on 700 E
  5. Zuck Arbor Expansion
  6. Future Primitive Campgrounds
  7. Equestrian ¼ Mile New Trail
  8. Dog Park
  9. Pickle Ball Courts
  10. East Park Trailhead/Vineyard Lake
  11. Springtown Wildlife Trail
  12. CSI Parcel Development (not on BLM land)

*Shaded items did not receive a majority of board votes and need to be prioritized.

SRCP Board to review this list and recommend to Jerome Commissioners the priority. Questions about Springtown Wildlife Trail and primitive campgrounds. Agreed to move Springtown Wildlife Trail up in priority as it is already established and helps with the parameter of the park’s East side. Brenda made a motion to reprioritize as shown below, Mark seconded, motion carried.

  1. Yingst Grade Trail
  2. Shoshone Falls Overlook
  3. Rock Crawling Area Course
  4. Equestrian Campground on 700 E
  5. Zuck Arbor Expansion
  6. Future Primitive Campgrounds
  7. Equestrian ¼ Mile New Trail
  8. Dog Park
  9. Springtown Wildlife Trail

Brenda added if a project is not getting the needed support from that user group then the next priority in line will move up. Greg expressed discouragement in difficulties with the Zuck Arbor and being located so far away. Twin Falls Commissioner Brent Reinke informed Bill they are working to connect trails from Dierkes to the Hansen Bridge. Rebecca added that she heard Twin Falls City’s Shoshone Falls road improvement project may close access to Shoshone Falls for the Summer of 2025.

Arbors, picnic tables and toilets: SRCP has two arbors and four picnic tables available to be placed in the park. Suggested locations are the bottom of Yingst Grade, the new equestrian campground, Don Zuck Arbor for a picnic table and the top of Yingst Grade for a table. Bill needs someone with a truck/trailer to help move them from the airport to Bill’s to refinish the wood. Greg suggested creating pad placement and anchor system for tables. Discussion about vault toilets cleaning and portable toilets with recommendation to continue with Western Waste and to move unit back to Disc Golf area by April 1st.

Media/PR: Bill was interviewed by Bill Coley on the radio and with KMVT on the Broken Bridge.

Security: Jerome Sheriff reported no recent issues at Yingst Grade and reminded to call if there are issues. Golf Course Road has a lot of litter on the sides and Jerome Sheriff said they’d start work detail cleanups soon. Randal met with Mr. Bunns about trespass on the Allen estate property adjacent to IDL property.

Vineyard Lake Access: Dave Elders is the owner of property that skirts BLM/park access. The BLM has approached him about creating an easement and he doesn’t want to encumber his property. Park Board has concerns about possible future issues including property damage or persons injured, and discussed possible solutions including bypassing private property with a north entrance, establishing parking, trailhead, and/or signage. No action is currently planned.

Speaking Engagements: Bill will speak to two Rotaries next week and will investigate Lions Club and Veterans groups. He will speak to SILT after their Falls to Falls run the end of April. He is deferring action on Summer Speakers inviting others to take it on if interested.

Maintenance: Anticipated to be part of next year’s budget and Bill recommends including a vault toilet cleaning.

Newspaper Articles: Still waiting to hear from Quagga Mussel person. May research the Doris Barnes Unity theme. Brenda will ask Jim Irwin to write something up.

Open Meeting Rules: Jeff requested to delay until the website is running.

Weed Abatement: Steve asked if the BLM could tackle it this year or if they can contract with an outside company, suggesting abatement in high use areas to help avoid transferring weeds out. Mike added that a sign at the end of Lexi Roth’s street  (600S) needs to be reset. No shooting sign by Devil’s Corral road needs reset.

Next meeting scheduled for April 11th and again at the BLCC.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:26 p.m.

Executive Sessions may be held pursuant to Idaho Code 74-206(1) as needed during time such sessions are called.

Note: Any person needing special accommodations to participate in the meeting should contact the committee secretary, 208-293-2426; 48 hours prior to the meeting.