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Dec. 11, 2017
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Corps hosts stakeholder meetings

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
In mid-November, three groups of Lake Lanier stakeholders met with officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the beginning stages of input for the update of the Lake Lanier Recreational Master Plan. 
 
“This is the initial phase of what will take a couple of stages,” said Tim Rainey, project operations manager for Lake Lanier. “Our goal is to have this completed by 2019.” 
 
The Corps held three meetings over two days with three stakeholder/constituent groups – special interest groups, including the Lake Lanier Association, the organization promoting seaplane landings on the lake and others; commercial operators, including marinas and dock builders; and representatives from local government. 
 
“Their input is really for us to be attuned to the issues we need to look at,” Rainey said. “And from these meetings we’ll frame and categorize these issues for further study or to take action. In some cases these will be beyond the scope and authority of the Corps’ work, but we will help refer those topics to the appropriate groups. They will all be addressed in some way.” 
 
Rainey said that the next step in the process is holding public meetings to identify topics for further study. Those meetings are planned for the first quarter of 2018. In the summer, the Corps will do a carrying capacity study (number of boats, docks, etc.) to assess the water area and how lake usage can be managed going forward, using both fly-overs and boats. People in the parks will also be conducting surveys of visitors. 
 
Later in 2018, the Corps will meet with stakeholders again, then hold a second round of public meetings in late 2018 or early 2019 to review findings and continue the master plan process.
 
“Water is an important part of the plan update, and we’re also considering various aspects of land usage, including wildlife management and environmental stewardship,” he said. “Our intent is to gather science-based information and data to be able to make the best decisions for the next 30 years and what’s going to happen at Lake Lanier. The goal is to protect the lake for future generations and achieve the best balance to consider all aspects for the lake, environmental stewardship and the public.”

Posted online 12/1/17
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