The Lake Manager – Todd Walker
Several years ago the Hayden Lake Watershed Association recognized that its leadership was unable to keep up with the many activities and issues raised by the public concerning the lake and in its watershed. Association officials and Board members are busy like everybody else with the demands of family, businesses, careers and the enjoyment of the place where we live. Still the Association’s leadership at that time saw a need for and individual to be the Association’s “eyes and ears” on and around the lake, a conduit to which the public could bring its concerns and a disseminator of information on the lake and how it can be protected. The Association lobbied the Hayden Lake Recreational Water & Sewer District to create a lake manager position to perform these functions for both the District and the Association. The Association argued that the District collects a fee from all properties around the lake within its District, but furnishes sewer and water service to a much smaller group of properties around the lake and in its watershed. The Association prevailed with the argument that some of these funds should be expended to support a lake manager position as a resource for all the residents and property owners around the lake. The District hired the manager and supported the position for about two years, until it changed its priorities to sewer operations and away from providing this resource for the property owners. The Association never agreed with this shift in District priorities, but true to its belief the lake manager is a valuable resource to the Association and the public, has maintained the manager as an independent contractor primarily with generous donations of its members.
The lake manager is primarily there as a resource for the public living around the lake and in its watershed. If you have concerns or issues about the lake or activities along its shore or in its watershed that you feel could be harmful, contact the manager at 771-0525. Over the years Todd Walker has ably carried out the lake manager work for the District and the Association. He has been out on the lake observing activities occurring along the shore; many reported to him by the public. If an activity appears harmful, he investigates and makes every attempt to educate the party responsible. Most often, this is all that is necessary. If a resolution is not possible, he reports clear infractions of the rules to the appropriate regulators with whom he has developed an excellent working relationship over the years. He works with the agencies or county to assure the lake is protected. Todd has assisted water quality monitoring efforts on the lake, assisted aquatic weed control efforts, and assisted lake cleanup efforts removing abandoned docks and debris from the lake. He has answered numerous questions the public has and been out on the water talking to the lake users about the lake’s protection. He has worked closely with districts and agencies whose activities make a big difference in the quality of our lake and its watershed. Agencies like the Forest Service and districts like the Lakes Highway District and the water & sewer district are among the many with which he has worked over the years.
Our lake manager is on and around the lake as a resource to you and your lake, but only as long as the Associations can raise the contributions to keep him there. We hope in the future to find a means to fund this valuable service in a more equitable manner by all the property owners around the lake and in its watershed. Until that can be achieved, we will continue to need your financial assistance.