31 March 2014

Carter Lake Water Pumping Comments

This is a copy of an email sent March 12th to Robert Stubbe, Director of Omaha Public Works, and Jean Stothert, Mayor of Omaha. There has been no response received, despite at least two phones calls asking for a response, and a followup email indicating the lack of a response.

Thank you for your time on the phone yesterday. My point continues to be that Public Works and Carter Lake officials are making decisions which are not known to the public. There is no information available as to how decisions are made to initiate pumping, the extent of water being pumped, whether or not the extent of pumping adheres to the state of Nebraska permit and how pumping is being done in a manner considerate of all uses of the lake.

Based upon my hundreds of visits to the lake, research and findings, the focus seems to be that the City of Omaha satisfies the needs of home owners and boaters. I have not perceived and consideration of wildlife, especially birds. Even the vegetation harvesting is being done in a manner detrimental to visiting birds.

Until there is a realization of multiple use, and a thorough consideration of multiple uses, use of city funds and operation of the pump will continue to be an issue.

Attached is just one picture which indicates how Carter Lake waters are important to certain birds. In this case, trumpeter swans which have lingered during the winter, and apparently are from Minnesota, or at least one was which had a wing marker earlier in the season. This unique presence has been reported in the Omaha World-Herald, and numerous birds have enjoyed their occurrence, as well as other waterfowl. Myself and others have done multiple surveys to document the extent of bird use, and if you or others in Public Works would care enough to learn about the species, numbers, dates of record, significance, I'd be glad to provide a presentation.

The city of Omaha needs to adapt to interests of the entire community. I look forward to hearing how Public Works will make such an effort in association with the management of Carter Lake.