Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What’s the difference between the Advisory/Working Groups?

Valley County Waterways Management Plan – SC, TAG and Stakeholder Groups

For the purposes of this planning effort (March 2021-Septemeber 2022), the planning team has organized a Steering Committee, Technical Advisory Group, and ad hoc stakeholder groups. For more information on these groups or to sign up for the stakeholder groups click here. 

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee (SC) will inform and serve as an advocate for both process and the plan. They will provide high-level policy direction and fatal flaw reviews and are the ultimate adopters of the Plan. Last but not least, the SC will also help with the outreach process by encouraging community members to get involved. This group will consist of the Valley County commissioners and city council representatives.

Technical Advisory Group

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is made up of the many agency partners that are involved in the day-to-day management of the reservoir and lakes, and have a role in management or oversight of the properties. They will provide technical input to the development of the plan, bringing together agency best management practices and a holistic view of the waterways management. This group will have overlap with the Valley County Soil and Water Conservation District Working Groups efforts.

Stakeholder Ad Hoc Groups

The groups are generally grouped in three primary interests – recreation, land/homeowner, and natural resources. They will consist of recreational individual users and groups, marina owners, adjacent landowners, Chamber of Commerce, resource interest groups, etc. Meetings will occur as needed and may further be refined by waterway for discussions on specific waterways.

Soil and Water Conservation District – Watershed Working Groups

In response to the various challenges facing water quality in the North Fork Payette River watershed, the District organized a Watershed Summit Webinar Series, held virtually in early 2021. The Summit resulted in the creation of five Working Groups: land management; waves, erosion, and sedimentation; wetlands, aquatic vegetation, and fish habitat; wastewater: sewer, septic, and urban runoff; and lake storage. Information can be feedback to DEQ and other The Working Groups will meet continually to discuss these various resource concerns. Sign ups for the working groups can be found here:

Valley County – Waterways Advisory Committee

The Waterways Advisory Committee as appointed by the Valley County Board of Commissioners (The Idaho Safe Boating Act, Idaho Code Section 67-7012).


Idaho Department of Environmental Quality – Watershed Advisory Groups and Basin Advisory Groups

Basin Advisory Groups

Basin advisory groups (BAGs) are comprised of citizens, appointed by DEQ’s director, that advise on water quality objectives within Idaho’s six basins. By statute, membership must be representative of the industries and interests directly affected by implementing water quality programs within the basin and members have a demonstrated interest or expertise that will benefit the work of the group.

Watershed Advisory Groups

Watershed advisory groups (WAGs) are comprised of interested citizens who provide local public input and guidance to DEQ during the development of water quality improvement plans or total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for water bodies that fail to meet water quality standards. TMDLs are designed to reduce the levels of pollutants, such as bacteria and sediment, in impaired water bodies. There are no active TDML or 5-year updates currently being written in Valley County. The Implementation Plans developed for the Cascade Reservoir/North Fork Payette are currently being carried out by SWCD and others. SWCD’s Working Groups could play a key role in implementing the TMDLs and DEQ will participate in those efforts.              

Big Payette Lake Water Quality Council

In 1992, the Idaho State Legislature established the original Big Payette Lake Water Quality Council (BPLWQC) under Idaho Code Title 39, Chapter 66, after concerned citizens organized to address a range of threats to lake water quality. BPLWQC was tasked with developing a lake management plan that would establish a testing program for water quality and regulations for the lake. The original BPLWQC “sunsetted” seven years after passage of the Lake Management Plan. The BPLWQC has reorganized under Idaho Code Title 30 as a non-profit corporation, and continues to have the same focus and mission as the original BPLWQC. New water quality councils for Payette Lake and Lake Cascade have been proposed in the State Legislature (House Bill 113) in 2021. Each water quality council can identify their geographic area of interest and what topics to address.

What roles do the various jurisdictions plan in waterways management?

The primary land and resource managers working in Valley County include:

Valley County

Plays various roles from planning and zoning review, building permits, stormwater management, sewer districts, and public safety enforcement within unincorporated Valley County and public waterbodies. Regulation authority is outlined in the Code ordinances to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents and visitors.

City of McCall

Similar to the County, within City limits McCall has jurisdiction to zone and permit various land uses and infrastructure. The City Parks and Recreation department manages recreational facilities and concessions on city owned land adjacent to Payette Lake.

Idaho Department of Lands

Land manager, recreation manager of launch facilities

Idaho State Parks

Land manager, recreation manager (Lake Cascade)

Idaho Fish & Game

Land manager, resource manager – health of recreational fisheries, establishes rules and seasons for hunting and fishing.

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Resource manager – protection of air, land and water; implements state environmental programs /federal protection laws  for the US EPA.

Bureau of Reclamation

Water management (Lake Cascade, Deadwood Reservoir) for hydroelectric power production and irrigation.


Land and resource manager, multi-use management direction

For more information:

Reach out to the project management team:

Kristina Kachur, Logan Simpson, Consultant Program Manager,

Cynda Herrick, Valley County, Project Manager,

Michelle Groenevelt, City of McCall, Project Manager,