This chapter is the baseline description of the existing environment in terms of the physical, biological, and human resources, and conditions that may be affected by the Proposed Action and alternatives to it. The description is structured by resource. The purpose of Chapter 3 is to describe the environment of the area(s) affected by the alternatives under consideration. CEQ regulations direct agencies to clearly describe the environment that could be affected, which are associated with the importance of the impacts (40 CFR 1502.15). The topics are discussed in the same order in Chapter 3 and 4 to provide straight-forward comparisons.
The Project Area for the Environmental Assessment includes private and National Forest System lands from the waters edge to the adjacent State or County paved highway.
3.1.1 Setting and History
Ogden Valley, originally called Ogden's Hole, was the hunting grounds for the Shoshone Indians and became a favorite spot for trappers who first came to the valley around 1826. The valley, river and nearby city bear the name of one of the famous trappers, Peter Skeen Ogden of the Hudson Bay Company.
Mormon pioneers used the valley for cattle and sheep grazing and a source of timber after the settlement of Ogden in 1855.
The first settlement in the valley was in 1860, under direction of Jefferson Hunt of Mormon Battalion fame. The 25 settlers established the community of Huntsville.
During 1914, 13 wells were drilled in Ogden Valley to supply the expanding culinary water needs of Ogden City. A few years later that number grew to 47. The area became a popular tourist attraction because of its beauty and the artesian wells. It was called Artesian Park. Wells under the present reservoir are now capped.
Six new wells were developed at Froerer (now commonly known as Browning) Point adjacent to Pineview Reservoir. They are now on National Forest land under special use permit to Ogden City. These wells are in operation and replace the original 47 wells.
In 1937, an earth and rock dam, 103' high and 550' long, was constructed in Ogden Valley under the direction of the Bureau of Reclamation. The purpose of the dam was to control and store Ogden River flood waters. This created Pineview Reservoir with a storage capacity of 44,175 acre-feet (acre-foot equals one foot of water covering an acre). In 1957, an enlargement to the original structure was completed. The 132' high and 600' long dam increased the capacity to its present 110,000 acre-feet.
The Forest Service began management of the recreation facilities at the reservoir when a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Reclamation was drawn up September 21, 1940.
On August 19, 1963, Senate Bill S.1388 was signed and became Public Law #88-99. This added Federal lands in and around Pineview Reservoir to the National Forest System.
Pineview Dam spillway is situated at 4900' elevation above sea level. It has depths in excess of 80'. Because it is a manmade reservoir, its has flooded once fertile farm land along the stream courses of the North, Middle and South forks of the Ogden River, which all converge at the reservoir. The contours of the surrounding valley lead to a three fingered appearance of the reservoir. Local nomenclature for these features of the reservoir are the North Arm, Middle Arm, South Arm indicating the forks of the Ogden River and the Neck leading into Ogden Canyon and the dam.
3.2 PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
Pineview Reservoir is 8 miles east of Ogden, Utah. It is a 2,874 surface acre reservoir when full, with approximately 1063 acres of National Forest land bordering the land between the main roads and high water line. There is additional National Forest System Land to the west (Lewis Peak) and southwest (Wheeler Creek) that are affected by the recreation activities from Pineview but are not included as a part of this analysis. Surface acres of the reservoir drop substantially as the water level drops. Table 1 indicates the surface acres on the reservoir at various water levels. The acres of land exposed as the water drops is an important component of the affected environment for wildlife and recreation.
Surface Acres at 10' water level drops
The greatest part of the Ogden Valley floor is situated on the Fowkes Formation and on the Bonneville Lake bed sediments. The land types grade from relatively flat sediment plains to moderately steep, rounded foothills.
The soils are deep, grading from loam to clay in texture. Several of these soils have gravelly surfaces with gravel continuing on down through the profile. Clay layers are also quite common, especially in the lake sediment soils around the reservoir. The permeability of these soils is moderately slow and they do not present an erosion hazard except where steep banks are undercut by the reservoir water action, or heavy impacts from camping and fishing exist.
Two distinct soil profiles line the shores of Pineview Reservoir. The north shores, starting at Port Ramp Marina around past Middle Inlet Swim Beach and Cemetery Point to the South Fork of the Ogden River inlet consist mostly of 6 to 10 foot high cut banks measured from high waterline. The soils in this area have in their upper parts materials ranging from a silt loam surface to sub-surfaces with fine sandy loams interspersed with gravelly layers. Subsurface soils grade from fine sandy loams to clay loams that overlie dark colored course sands.
The south shorelines, starting around Anderson Cove Campground proceeding west and around to Port Ramp Marina, consist of 10 to 20 foot high steep banks with soils that are generally fine textured. The profiles in this area show many different soil horizons including materials related to lakes. These profiles grade into silty clay loam subsoils that are 16 to 18 feet deep and overlie tan colored medium to fine sands. These soils are mainly derived from precambrian rock as contrasted to the north shores which are derived from schists, gneiss, and quartzite and have courser textured banks.(USFS, 1974)
3.2.2 Water Resources
The upper Ogden River watershed, including Pineview Reservoir exhibits unique water quality and lake processes due to lake morphology, regulated seasonal stream flows, groundwater flows, diversion for irrigation and release of power.
The surface water sources of the Ogden Valley include the three forks of the Ogden River and several smaller tributary streams. Surface water is stored in three reservoirs in the valley. Utaba, a small irrigation storage reservoir located in the North Fork of the Ogden River, Causey, located in the upper South Fork drainage, and Pineview.
Seasonal inflow to Pineview annually averages 122,000 acre feet, adjusted for upstream storage in Causey Reservoir. Total storage capacity in the reservoir is 110,000 acre feet. Pineview is managed in conjunction with Willard Bay Reservoir resulting in large releases in years when Pineview fills to capacity. This practice creates upstream storage space for the following year spring runoff. In drought years Willard Bay is pumped by Weber Basin Water Conservancy District to conserve water allotments in Pineview. However, Pineview Water Users Association annually releases their allotment of 44,000 acre feet to meet downstream irrigation requirements.
The 1990 Clean Water Study (Weber Basin Water Quality Management Council, 1988) is a complete study of the hydrology and hydro-geology of the upper Ogden Valley. The conclusion of the study indicated that there is not a high degree of water quality degradation occurring in the Ogden Valley drainage system or Pineview Reservoir at that time. However, detailed analysis of the soil types and geohydrologic characteristics of the lake basin indicate that contamination of the shallow groundwater aquifer surrounding the reservoir poses the greatest threat to water quality degradation in Pineview. The shallow groundwater aquifer contributes more that 20,000 acre feet of water to the reservoir during the summer high use period.
Extensive monitoring of groundwater flows to the reservoir indicated that the shallow aquifer was not contaminated at that time. Because of the geologic relationship of the shallow aquifer to Pineview Reservoir, the reservoir is extremely vulnerable to contamination from groundwater sources. Reasons for lack of contamination include low groundwater velocities, large volumes of dilution water flowing through the Ogden Valley, and the fact that most development, at that time, is currently located in areas protected by upward gradients and silt confining layers.
Water quality problems observed in Pineview which cause concerns for fishing and recreationalists are not caused by the inflow of sewage from septic tanks. Analysis of seasonal water quality conditions in Pineview show that the summer seasonal algae bloom is directly related to the development of anoxic (absence of oxygen) conditions in the hypolimnion, (the layer of water in a thermally stratified lake that lies below the thermocline (temperature decreases with depth), and is non-circulating, and remains perpetually cold) during summer stratification. This condition releases nutrients to the surface waters in early August when the summer stratification in the reservoir breaks up prematurely due to releases downstream for irrigation.
3.2.3 Air Quality
The National Clean Air Act requires that airsheds be designated under one of three classes. At present, the entire Wasatch-Cache National Forest is designated Class II - Permitted moderate deterioration. The only part of Weber County that is in non-attainment is Ogden City. This is described as affected areas generally below 6,500 feet in elevation that because of vehicle emissions, industry, and residential heating activities are classified as non-attainment. This is a recent designation for Weber County. In the past, the entire Wasatch Front was designated as a non-attainment area.
The air quality in and around Pineview Reservoir is a result of the surrounding topography of the valley and how air is allowed to move in and out. It exhibits typical mountain-valley dynamics. This ability of the atmosphere to disperse air pollution is a function of the wind speed and direction, atmosphere stability and mixing heights. The valley is characterized by arid to semi-arid conditions with wide seasonal and diurnal (day to night) temperature and resulting wind variations. The common wind directions come from the west, Ogden Canyon, or south from Weber Canyon. The valley has air flows in and out of the Ogden Canyon daily that have a dominant affect to the air quality.
During the morning, a layer of fog is common on the surface of the reservoir. This fog normally disperses as the temperature rises during the day. Morning down canyon and afternoon up canyon winds contribute to the mixing of the air around the reservoir.
Any pollution in the valley is the result of local minor sources. These cause intermittent air quality problems year round. These local sources are wood stoves, forest or range fire smoke, agricultural burning of fields and ditches, and mobile sources such as cars, trucks, boats, and snowmobiles. Smoke from campfires at Anderson Cove and Jefferson Hunt Campgrounds occur nearly every night during the summer.
Increasing noise pollution is a concern of the local communities in Ogden Valley. Noise has been defined as unwanted sounds. Besides being a nuisance, it can, under some circumstances, create health and safety hazards, such as found in cases of long-term exposure to high levels of construction or traffic noise. Use of the reservoir nearly 24 hours each day by motorboats is common during the summer. The loud constant sound of a motor running at maximum speed travels across the valley. During the quietest hours of early morning or late evening, this mechanical noise is more noticeable by the locals living in the Valley. Utah State Parks and Recreation has a noise limit regulation that is enforced. It is measured by a sound meter held three feet from an idling engine on the assumption that an engine idling quietly will operate at high speed with less noise.
Seasonal activities change the level and overall composition of the noise. Winter months tend to be very quiet around the reservoir other than an occasional snowmobiles but there is still periodic noise from other sources such as avalanche control measures at the local ski resorts.
The greater Ogden Valley area has a great deal of on-going residential or commercial construction or operations which add to the local noise level concerns.
3.3 BIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT
3.3.1 Aquatic Biology
Pineview Reservoir is managed as a sport fishery by using a warm and cool water species complex. It is close to the Wasatch Front and subsequently needs to sustain high angling pressure. This can best be accomplished through the use of self-sustaining populations of warm water pan fishes. Problems arise, however, when these populations reproduce and recruit too fast resulting in large numbers of sexually mature but small fish (stunting). Large predators are used to help keep the assemblage in balance. Predator numbers are maintained through the use of special (usually more restrictive) regulations.
Fish species present in Pineview:
Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
Yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
Green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)
Bullhead (Ictalurus spp.)
Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui)
Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)
Tiger Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy x E. lucius)*
Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Brown trout (Salmo trutta)**
Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki)
* (numbers maintained through stocking)
** (rare and seasonal migrants from upstream tributaries)
During any given sampling event the perch and crappies comprise from 70 to 90% of the catch, smallmouth bass from 5 to 25% and the remainder of the species collectively from 1 to 10%. Trout are very rare and probably few if any are year-round residents.(DWR, 1998)
The parasite, Myxobolus cerebralis, is which carries Whirling disease. It has been first found in the headwaters of the Ogden River in the early 1990's.
The vegetative communities around Pineview Reservoir are human-induced habitats subject to seasonal flooding and concentrated human use. These communities are not usually classified in the general forest cover types that are used for other National Forest lands, so a new classification specific to the area was developed (USFS, Smith, 1998). This new classification includes the unique influences which have resulted in these different cover types.
In outlining these new vegetative or cover types, general conventions were followed. The plant communities are characterized by one or more obvious, prominent woody species, or by ecological site and the resulting influences (such as mud flats - created by seasonal inundation). On the date the inventory was conducted, the understory and herbaceous vegetation was not readily identified because of the early season. Therefore, these type classifications are broadly based on the dominant woody vegetation and information from previous surveys. Areas smaller than approximately one-half acre are not classified or identified on map (for example, small areas of cattails in the cottonwood/willow type).
Vegetative Cover Types at Pineview Reservoir:
1. Wet Meadow (WM) - no woody vegetation, high water table, may be seasonally flooded, dominated by cattails, grasses (mainly Phalaris arundinacea ), sedges, rushes and water groundsel (Senecio hydrophilis).
2. Mud flat (MF) - below reservoir high water mark, often inundated for a significant portion of season, rapidly colonized by quackgrass ( Elymus repens) and water smartweed (Polygonum amphibium). Acreage varies between years depending on the reservoir water level.
3. Tree Parkland (TP) - characterized by introduced, planted and native (cottonwood- Populus angustifolia) mature tress with a non-native grass and forb or lawn understory.
4. Native shrubs and small trees (NST) - dense woody community occupying steep upland slopes around reservoir, species include box elder ( Acer negundo), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), willow ( Salix sp), Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), bigtooth maple ( Acer grandidentatum) and blue elderberry (Sambucus caerulea).
5. Cottonwood/willow (CW) - characterized by the cottonwood over story and willow-dominated understory and the location, most commonly occurring just above high water mark and along riparian corridors; varies from dense stands of small trees along lake edge to mature stands; over story tree density and cover varies considerably within the type, but general plant composition and ecological site is consistent; the cottonwood/willow community at the North Arm and at South Fork has greater diversity in woody understory, with a variety of trees and shrubs such as water birch (Betula occidentalis ) and thinleaf alder (Alnus incana).
6. Sagebrush/grass (SG) - big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ) community, one small area observed on Cemetery Point, the type may be more extensive around reservoir.
7. Grass (G) - meadow openings generally within tree parkland type, contains native and introduced species.
8. Oak/maple (OM) - occurs on slopes above the highway along reservoir on west end, a native community dominated by Gambel oak and bigtooth maple with conifers on north exposures and in stream drainages.
Two plant surveys (conducted 8/10/94 and 8/7/97) of the North Arm area of Pineview supply a list of predominant species: Grass community dominated by dense stands of introduced, rhizomatous species including Phalaris arundinacea - reed canary grass, Elymus repens - quackgrass, Bromus inermis - smooth bromegrass, and Carex sp. - sedge.
Seasonally flooded areas have quackgrass and dense mats of Polygonum ampibium - water smartweed as well as Typha - cattail and Senecio hydrophilus - water groundsel. Observed numerous marsh wren nests in this area. In stream channel, dominant species are Nasturium officinale - water cress and Mimulus guttatus - common monkey-flower. Green line dominated by weedy species such as Sonchus sp. - sow-thistle, Isatis tinctoria - Dyer's woad, Cirsium arvense - creeping thistle, Arctium minus - burdock. In the understory of the cottonwood (Populus angustifolia ) and boxelder (Acer negundo) stands, there is also Heracleum lanatum - cow parsnip, Dipsacus sylvestris - teasel and dense stands of reed canary grass.
The drier upland flats east of Anderson Cove are dominated by introduced species of grasses; Elymus hispidus - intermediate wheatgrass, Poa pratensis - Kentucky bluegrass and smooth brome in the open understory of large cottonwoods. Observed one stand of Elymus cinereus - Great Basin wildrye. Numerous deer beds observed in this area.
3.3.3 Wetland and Riparian Areas
Wetlands are defined in Executive Order 11990 - Protection of Wetlands, 1977 (Federal Register, Volume 43, Number 29, February 10, 1878) as "areas that are inundated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and under normal circumstances
does or would support, a prevalence of vegetative or aquatic life that requires saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction."
National Wetland Inventory maps (USFWS 1990 a, b, and c) identify and classify several wetland and aquatic communities in the project area. Pineview Reservoir is identified as an impoundment relating to lakes and their deep waters, unconsolidated shore, seasonally-flooded and unconsolidated bottom, and intermittently exposed shore regions. There are also some wetlands where branches of the Ogden River as well as other intermittent streams enter the reservoir. They are classified as shrub/scrub related to marshy conditions, emergent or aquatic bed wetlands that range from seasonally to semi-permanently flooded (PacifiCorp, 1997). Land exposed as the reservoir level drops will be considered wetland and protected as directed by the Executive Order.
In recognizing the importance of wetlands, the Executive Order 11990 orders all federal agencies "to avoid to the extent possible the long and short term adverse impacts associated with the destruction or modification of wetlands and to avoid direct or indirect support of new construction in wetlands wherever there is practical alternative." National Forest policy to meet the goals of E.O. 11990 state that proposed federal actions "must preserve the resource benefit of wetlands. The resource benefits of wetland include their ability to produce abundant and diverse biota, buffer water quality, and recharge ground water."
A variety of animals are found within the project area. Common animals include the mule deer (Odocoileus hermionus), moose (Alces alces ), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), raccoon (Procyon lotor ), porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), Uinta and Townsend chipmunks ( Eutamias umbrinus, and E. townsendi), chickaree (Tamiasciurus douglasi ), several species of mice including the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus ), thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Citellus tridecemlineatus), and rock squirrel (Citellus variegatus). Large predators, such as coyote ( Canis latrans), mountain lion (Felis concolor), and bobcat ( Lynx rufus), live in the area but are seldom seen.
Avian life abounds in the area. Common passerine birds include wrens ( Troglodytidea), chickadees (Paridae), thrashers (Minidae ), kinglets and thrushes (Muscicapidae), waxwings (Bombycillidae ), vireos and wood warblers (Vireonidae), and juncos and sparrows ( Emberizidae). Birds of prey occurring in the area include the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus), goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), golden eagle (Auuila chrysaetos), sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus ), and Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperiri). The project area is suitable habitat for the American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum), but it has not been found there.
Around the reservoir, California gull (Larus californicus), belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), cliff and barn swallows (Hirundo pyrrhonota and H. rustica), Canadian geese (Branta canadensis), and mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) can be seen.
Several types of amphibians are found in the reservoir include the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) and chorus frog (Oseudacris triseriata triseriata)(PacificCorp, 1997).
3.3.5 Threatened, Endangered and Candidate Species
Federal agencies, in consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service, are required to ensure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out will not adversely affect a federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Endangered Species Act requires a Biological Assessment if federal actions (decisions) associated with the authorization or funding of a project could potentially affect the continued existence of a federally listed species, or result in the destruction or adverse modification of its critical habitat. A Biological Assessment was prepared for this project and is on file with appropriate government agencies.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has identified the following plants and animals that are threatened, endangered, and candidate species of concern:
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus Threatened
Peregrin Falcon Falco peregrinus Endangered
Ute Ladies' -tresses Spiranthes diluvialis Threatened
Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus Candidate
Ogden Rocky Mountainsnail Oreohelix peripherica wasatchensis Candidate
3.4 HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
Pineview Reservoir is the heaviest used, for its size, recreation/irrigation reservoir adjacent to the Wasatch Front urban area. Ninety-five percent of the visitors to the reservoir live in a five county region around Pineview. Those counties are: Weber, Box Elder, Davis, Morgan and Salt Lake (northern). The diverse attitudes, beliefs and values of these visitors make categorizing them difficult.
Those who live in the Ogden Valley look at the reservoir as a part of their neighborhood or setting of their homes. Recreation by these residents tends to be limited in duration and may be scheduled to less crowded periods such as midweek. The key concerns of the local residents are based around the increased traffic and demands on emergency services that occur from recreation visitors from outside the valley.
For the majority of the recreation users of Pineview, they are leaving the urban setting of the front range cities to play and recreate around the water. Use of the reservoir peaks during the summer weekends and holidays and is heaviest at the boat ramps, beaches and campgrounds, putting pressure on adjacent areas. Many own or have access to a boat, recreational vehicle, or other means of motorized recreation. Use at the swim beaches is common practice of gatherings of school or college kids. Ice fishing is a popular winter activity, although parking problems are associated. Traffic flowing into the valley increases each day when normal work hours end and citizens head to Pineview for a few hours of play. The key concerns of visitors to the Ogden Valley at the reservoir are restrictions of access they enjoy now, social conflicts, and the quality of the experience.
Both groups share a concern for how regulations are enforced at the reservoir and the relationship of safety and security to law enforcement. They also share an interest to maintain the rural setting around the reservoir which includes natural environments with associated wildlife, waterfowl, and vegetation.
3.4.1 Heritage Resources
The Ogden Valley continues to have the ties to its historical and cultural roots. (see section 3.1.1). This is easily felt when you leave the urban sprawl of the Front for the Valley. It is blessed with a rural lifestyle and natural beauty surroundings that mentally take you back in time to the pioneer heritage of the mid 1800's.
Any prehistoric evidence, in particular Native American were probably along the shorelines of the now flooded tributaries of the Ogden River near Huntsville. It is easy to find evidence of the agricultural history of the valley. Rusting farming implements are commonly found scattered throughout the homes and farms contributing to the Valley's charm and character. The area of the Ogden Valley has several sites that play an important role in the local history but none of these are located on federal lands. No known historic sites or pre-historic sites have been identified within the project area which is the shorelines of the reservoir.
3.4.2 Land Use and Plans
The area in the vicinity of the reservoir and proposed projects is a mix of public and private land supporting multiple uses of residential, commercial, and recreational nature.
Weber County has been in the process of developing a General Plan since the spring of 1995. Weber County Commission, with the Planning Commission and the Ogden Valley Planning Central Committee sponsored five meetings with over 350 residents of the Ogden Valley attending. Following these public meetings, the topics and comments were reviewed by the contract planning consultants and Weber County staff and a draft of the General Plan was completed in June of 1996. This draft plan reflects the results of a concerted community effort, technical analysis, and the decisions of the Weber County Planning Commission and County Commissioners.
The lands immediately surrounding Pineview Reservoir are part of National Forest System lands administered by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest (WCNF), Ogden Ranger District. Consistent with agency policy, the WCNF manages lands under its jurisdiction for a variety of recreational and commercial uses through the Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (1984) and various laws and regulations. The use of National Forest System lands by commercial or private entities is managed through the issuance of permits and contracts. The WCNF has issued permits for recreation services (operation and maintenance of the campground, swim beaches and marinas at Pineview), private marinas (Ogden Pineview Yacht Club), utilities (Ogden City Water wells on Browning Point and a portion of the Water Treatment Facility below the dam), and short-term recreation activities (Water skiing Derby, commercial film and photography, etc).
While the Forest Service is the only manager of public lands under discussion in this EA, other agencies and offices have a jurisdictional interest in the proposals.
Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, has the authority to enforce boating regulations on the surface of the water and shares with the Forest Service management responsibility for the designation of wakeless and non-motorized areas. The State has a full time enforcement manager who is responsible for 1 to 3 boats patrolling with State personnel. Auxiliary Coast Guard and Weber County Sheriff Deputies often ride with the State during enforcement duties. The State of Utah also has Division of Wildlife Resource officers who patrol the reservoir enforcing fishing regulations and administering the fish populations.
Weber County has authority for law enforcement and emergency services at Pineview. The Sheriff has deputies patrolling in county-owned vehicles 7 days per week during the summer. These deputies are assigned strictly to Forest Service facilities. The deputies are funded in part by Forest Service cooperative law enforcement agreements.
Bureau of Reclamation has jurisdiction of the dam and assists in bank stabilization. In 1994, a large amount of clean fill was removed from an area north of the Yacht Club, which we now call the BOR fishing parking, and transported to the downstream side of the dam. This additional earth fill was designed to make the dam more earthquake proof.
188.8.131.52 Private Lands
A number of large parcels of privately owned land and other various smaller parcels are found adjacent to the reservoir. The Weber County General Plan identifies zoning of lands within 1000' of the shoreline as sensitive land with specific development strategies which include adopting quality development standards addressing development location, siting, materials, height, and color. Agricultural and grazing activities, as well as fence lines and undeveloped lands are also considered.
Proposals for development of shoreline lands have been submitted to the Weber County Planning Commission for years. These developments include single family homes and housing subdivisions, high density condominium developments, and seasonal recreation campgrounds. Some of these developments have been approved and completed, especially single family homes adjacent to National Forest Land around the reservoir, including some within the Town of Huntsville.
The growing population of the Ogden-Salt Lake City area creates heavy demand for recreational opportunities. The Wasatch-Cache National Forest supports numerous recreational activities on the lands around Pineview. Use of the forest is most intensive on weekends and holidays, and the areas accessing the water are the most popular. During the 1997 season, the Ogden Ranger District reported 481,972 Recreation Visitor Days (RVD) (1 RVD = twelve hours of recreation activity) and 2,232,145 visits (one person for any amount of time) just at Pineview Reservoir. The entire Ranger District reported 1.24 million Recreation Visitor Days and 6.77 million visits.
Many facilities around Pineview Reservoir were built before the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and do not meet current access standards. When older facilities are remodeled or new facilities built, the act requires that reasonable access be provided for persons with disabilities.
Facilities are evaluated and rated based on the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards and the guidelines presented in Universal Access to Outdoor Recreation, based on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. See the accessibility rating in the appendices.
People of all ages and abilities visit Pineview Reservoir. Different levels of accessibility gives visitors choices for experiencing the outdoors, based upon their particular needs, skills, and interests.
184.108.40.206 Customer Survey
During the summer of 1993, the Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness Assessment Group (ORWAG, 1993), a research unit of the Forest Service's Southeastern Forest Experimental Station, conducted a survey to provide information about the recreation visitors to Pineview. This survey was part of an effort to provide information for site-level managers, but also used at regional and national level to develop plans and strategies.
Activity groups were identified to survey at the reservoir. These groups were: Angling/quiet boating; Motor boating/waterskiing; Camping, Day use; and, Personal water craft. Visitors involved in these activities were interviewed with a 20-minute-long on-site survey. In addition, each visitor was asked if he or she would fill out two additional mail-back questionnaires. A total of 576 surveys were done at different recreation facilities around Pineview and 245 mail-back questionnaires returned. Seventy-eight surveys and 44 mail-backs were for trail use only but of these 78, forty-two percent of these surveys were done around Pineview.
Participants of the survey were categorized into the activity group based on their main activity at the reservoir. The most frequent secondary activity is noted for each to illustrate the crossover of activities by all recreation users of Pineview.
Angling/quiet Boating: 13% of the participants; 48% were warm water fishing, 25% were cold water fishing (trout), 21% were boating with other vessels (rafts, rowboat), and 5% were canoeing and kayaking; Picnicking was the most common secondary activity (24% of participants).
Boating/waterskiing: 18% of the participants; 73% were motor boating, 20% were waterskiing, and 7% were sailing; Sunbathing was the most common secondary activity (19% of participants).
Camping: 18% of the participants; 97% were developed camping, 3% relaxing; Picnicking was the most common secondary activity (16% of participants).
Day Use: 21% of the participants; 33% were picnicking, 29% were sunbathing, 22% were windsurfing, and 16% were swimming; Relaxing was the most common secondary activity (18% of participants).
Personal Water craft: 17% of the participants; 100% were using personal water craft; Sunbathing was the most common secondary activity (28% of participants).
Trail Use: 14% of the participants; 89% were day hiking, 5% were doing miscellaneous hiking activities, and 6% were nature study or walking. Picnicking was the most common secondary activity (32% of participants).
The Customer Survey included questions regarding demographics (gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, employment, household type, household income, group type, group size, and physical or mental impairment).
220.127.116.11 Developed Recreation
Pineview Reservoir has a long history of water based recreation activities. The Bureau of Reclamation built the recreation facilities at the reservoir as mitigation for the dam and its later expansion. Most of these facilities are actively used today. These developed sites are listed in the following table:
Developed Recreation Facilities
Bluffs Swim Area Swim Beach, Picnic
Middle Inlet Swim Beach Swim Beach, Picnic
Anderson Cove Campground Camping, Beach, Picnic
Jefferson Hunt Campground Camping
Port Ramp Marina Launch, Gas, Supplies
Bluffs Marina Launch, Food
North Arm Trailhead Parking
Pineview Trailhead Parking
*Paot is People At One Time, a measure of capacity.
Bluffs Swim Area
Bluffs is one of the most popular open water swim areas in the state. The site is located on the east shore of the reservoir accessed through Huntsville, Utah on an isolated peninsula locally known as Cemetery Point. There are thirty three picnic sites. Each has a table and grill, lawn grass, six vault toilets, and two paved parking areas. A small cove has been buoyed off to identify a swimming only beach to separate swimmers from water craft. The current fee is $4 per vehicle for parking. The restroom and drinking fountains are partially accessible. The beach is accessible with difficulty.
Middle Inlet Swim Area
Middle Inlet is located two miles north of the Bluffs Swim Area on a small peninsula. The area is in the early stages of development and presently has two vault toilets, grass, six picnic tables and a gravel parking lot. A small cove has been buoyed off to identify a swimming only beach to separate swimmers from water craft. Current fee is $4 per vehicle for parking. Facilities are partially accessible. The beach is accessible with difficulty.
Anderson Cove Campground
Anderson Cove campground is located on the south shore of Pineview Reservoir directly adjacent to SR 39 and is the only developed camping area directly adjacent to the reservoir. The campground has fifty-eight individual camping units, nine double units, one mini-group area and two large group areas. Each individual unit has an eight foot table, utility table and fire ring. The small mini-group area has four camp units and the large group units are comprised of tables for 100 people along with a serving table, grills and fire ring. One presently has a pavilion over the tables and the other is expected to get a pavilion during the 1998 summer. Much of this campground is reservable through the National Reservation Service, contracted to Biospherics, Inc. There are nine vault toilets to service the campground with approximately ten acres of managed natural grass. Culinary water is located throughout the campground with individual spigots. Irrigation water is pumped from the reservoir and distributed through a sprinkling system. A small cabin at the entrance is used as the Public Contact Station. Four full hookup HOST sites are provided near the entrance along with a site for a maintenance shed. Current camping fee is $11 for a single site; $22 for a double site; $105 for a large group area; and $6 for extra vehicles to each site or day-use parking. There is an additional charge to use the National Reservation Service. The facilities are fully accessible. The beach is accessible with difficulty.
Jefferson Hunt Campground
Jeff Hunt campground is located on the east end of the Reservoir, one half mile east of Anderson Cove Campground and just north of SR 39. In the past, this campground received minimal use. However, in 1992 the campground underwent an extensive overhaul. All of the 27 units were lengthened and equipped with new table pads, fire circles and tables. All sites are accessible for people with disabilities, as are two remodeled restrooms. Culinary water is located throughout the campground. The South Fork of the Ogden River flows along the south side of the campground providing fishing. The current fee is $9 for each campsite and $5 for extra vehicles. The toilets, water, and camp sites are accessible. The gravel road make travel within the campground difficult.
Port Ramp Marina
Port Ramp Marina is located on the west side of Pineview Reservoir and is the closest boat ramp available to boaters entering the area from Ogden Canyon. Port Ramp has a four-lane concrete ramp. The facility includes two restrooms, both of which were built after 1992 and are accessible for people with disabilities. There is also public drinking water available. Parking consists of one large paved area as well as an overflow lot located to the North of the main parking area on gravel and grass. The fee to launch a vessel is $4 each or a parking fee of $4. The restrooms are accessible but the docks, drinking water and waters edge is difficult to access.
The Bluffs Marina is located next to the Bluffs Swim area and is accessed through the town of Huntsville from 100 South Street. This ramp is used primarily by those staying in the campgrounds in South Fork and Anderson Cove Campgrounds or in conjunction with picnicking or swimming at Bluff Swim Beach. The facility includes a four-lane cement ramp, one restroom and two gravel parking areas. The larger parking area serves as an overflow lot for the Bluffs picnic area, which often fills for a time every weekend. The fee to launch a vessel or park a car is $4 each. The facilities are partially accessible. The docks and beach are difficult to access.
North Arm Trailhead
The North Arm Wildlife Viewing Trail has a trailhead parking lot built in 1997 to accommodate school buses or up to 35 cars. This trailhead is also used as a starting point for bike riding on the rural county roads around Pineview. The Wildlife Viewing Trail is a 0.8 mile easy path hardened for physically challenged users that winds through the riparian habitat where the North Fork of the Ogden River enters Pineview. This trail is fully accessible. There isn't a fee to use this trailhead.
This trailhead was built in the 1980's to access the Skyline Trail which goes up the mountains west of the reservoir. The trailhead has parking for 35 vehicles. Over the years, this site has become the favorite access point for windsurfing. Some beach access for fishing and swimming occurs here also. There isn't a fee to use this parking. The facilities are partially accessible. The beach is difficult to access.
18.104.22.168 Dispersed Recreation
Activities that occur around the reservoir outside of the developed facilities are considered dispersed recreation. These include fishing, hiking, horse riding, bicycle riding, hunting, power boating, non-power boating, swimming, bird watching, cross-county skiing, snowmobiling, and driving for pleasure on the State and County roads.
Fishing: Pineview Reservoir, its inlet tributaries in North fork, Middle Fork and South Fork, and the Ogden River below the dam, provide excellent fishing year-round. Shoreline fishing is commonly found at every point along the shore. Places where parking is available, either in separate parking areas or along the roadway are the most common fishing areas. Use of float tubes (belly boats) is now common near the steam and river inlets. Ice fishing activities have increased significantly during the last few years along with associated parking problems.
Hiking: A popular hiking trail exist on the National Forest to the west. This trail is known as the Skyline Trail and is a portion of the Great Western Trail that is expected to be nominated for designation as a National Scenic Trail. The developed access point to this trail is the Pineview Trailhead. There is also an access to another trail system directly below the dam in Wheeler Canyon. This trail is a closed gravel road that connected Ogden Canyon to the Snowbasin Road. It is known as Art Norde Drive and links the Skyline Trail and the Wheeler Creek Trail system near Snowbasin Ski Area. A very high standard 0.8 mile trail is found near the North Arm of the reservoir. The North Arm Wildlife Viewing Trail allows physically challenged access to the riparian ecosystem along the North Fork River.
Horse riding: Many local residents of the Ogden Valley own or have access to horses. Currently, all the trails mentioned as Hiking trails are also used for Horse riding. The Art Norde Drive and Wheeler Creek Trail system have become favorite riding areas. Horses are not recommended on the North Arm Wildlife Viewing Trail.
Bicycle riding: All the trails mentioned as hiking trails are also used for bicycling. Mountain bike use is growing at a tremendous rate each year. Road biking is common on the State and County Highways around the reservoir.
Hunting: Some hunting and recreational firearm shooting occurs. Local citizens have expressed their concerns to the Forest Service about the use of firearms near their homes. The typical hunting activity is waterfowl or game bird hunting in the stream bottoms and willows along the shoreline. Hunting deer has occurred in the willow flats after the reservoir has dropped in the late summer. Some target shooting occurs each year, usually by local residents. Weber County has a shooting range to the north in Liberty.
Power boating: Within this form of dispersed recreation are many versions. The most common is pleasure boating and personal water craft. Waterskiing and trolling are common activities for boaters. Use of the beach in isolated locations for picnicking or relaxing occurs on a regular basis by most boaters. Overnight camping, either on the beach or on a boat is becoming a popular activity.
Non-power boating: At nearly any given time when the reservoir is ice free, you can find someone using a non-powered floating device. Sailboats, catamarans, canoes, wind surfers, rafts, inner tubes, belly boats and kayaks are all used at the reservoir. These recreationists typically access the reservoir at existing parking areas or developed facilities.
Swimming: Swimming or wading occurs wherever people access the water for other recreational activities. The developed swim beaches have some of the best sand but acceptable beach can be found in other isolated locations. Otherwise, the shore tends to be mostly dirt and gravel making swimming less enjoyable. Swimming from boats, either powered or non-powered is a common practice.
Bird watching: This activity is most popular away from the developed recreation facilities in a more rural setting. The point where the North Fork of the Ogden River enters the reservoir is being managed as a wildlife viewing area, predominately for birds.
Cross-county skiing: This activity is not as common in and around the reservoir as it is in the mountains. The snow conditions during part of the winter do allow for some good skiing both on the shoreline and across the frozen ice. Anderson Cove Campground is identified in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest Plan as a potential cross-country center. It is probable that some snowshoeing occurs.
Snowmobiling: Use of snowmobiles on the shoreline and across the ice occurs on a regular basis. Most of the activity comes from local residents who leave directly from their homes and access the wide open Forest lands. Some snowmobiling occurs in conjunction with ice fishing. Currently, there aren't any restrictions by the Forest Service on the use of snowmobiles on the reservoir.
Driving for Pleasure: This activity has the highest amount of recorded recreation use on the National Forests nationwide and Pineview isn't an exception. Driving from the city to the Ogden Valley, then a trip around the reservoir, possibly stopping at parking areas or along the roadway, is a year-round activity. The combination of the rural setting, the activities on the water to watch or participate in, and the easy access by cars will continue to make this activity the most common at the reservoir.
22.214.171.124 Water based Recreation
A recent Utah Motorboat Survey (UDNR, 1995) of watercraft owners showed that on average they owned 1.4 vessels per household, have an average of 11 outings per year, and 44% of these boats are Personal Water Craft.
The records of entries at the two marinas, Port and Bluffs, for the last eight years have been fairly steady but on an increasing trend. On average based on actual counts, each vessels has 2.1 people.
Marina Entries (Vessels)
The swim beaches have seen similar trends in entries. Factors such as the overall weather during the summer affect the use at the swim beaches. We have used a number of 2.98 people per vehicle based on an average taken from actual counts. There were typically 45% males, 47% female, and 8% children.
Swim Beach Entries (cars)
Year 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 Bluffs 15,609 17,481 10,596 16,706 8,136 13,219 13,600 13,025 Middle Inlet 3,097 2,791 930 2,421 1,147 1,530 3,124 2,051 Total 18,706 20,271 11,527 19,127 9,283 14,748 16,724 15,076
Tourism is considered critical to economic development in the northern Utah region (Golden Spike Travel Region) but is considered a negative economic impact by some local residents of the Ogden Valley. In other similar documented cases (USFS, 1995), it was considered to be an additional tax burden to support the emergency services during the recreation season primarily for the users of the reservoir. The recreation use of the reservoir has lead to undesirable vehicle and pedestrian congestion in the immediate vicinity. Local residents express concern that visitors may crowd them out of local water based recreation activities. It is considered a threat to the local rural culture from the new residents moving in to the area partially because of the nearby recreation opportunities.
Economic benefits to the Ogden Valley tend to be small because of the limited commercial developments. Some seasonal employment occurs from the concessionaire who operates the campgrounds and the local businesses who staff extra because of the summer traffic. The largest commercial complex is in Eden which has convenience and groceries, commercial offices, recreation equipment rentals as well as eating establishments. Huntsville has a small grocery store, Bed and Breakfast, and a restaurant. Across from Anderson Cove Campground on the south shore of Pineview is a small gas station, conveniences, and restaurant. A commercial zoned area east of the reservoir is expanding with a new gas station, hardware store, and other small businesses.
The greater benefit is to the regional sales tied to recreation located in the Wasatch Front communities. This includes every type of service and sales from retail gasoline sales to motor homes and boats. Many of these economic benefits can be tied directly to the recreation opportunities at Pineview. The decision to expend money on recreation products and services is based on the nearby opportunities like Pineview. This is especially true of water based recreation products and services.
The revenues from the camping, launching and parking fees collected at the recreation facilities around Pineview and the complex of campgrounds in the South Fork Canyon along Highway 39 are a part of the economic benefits created by the recreation use. Each use has a State sales tax of 5.875%, a transient room tax on camping fee of 3%, and a Utah Transit Authority tax of .025%. The transient room tax is available for use in Weber County and typically goes to fund Travel and Tourism Council efforts by the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce.
Table 5 shows the annual gross revenues from 1990 to 1997. Note that 1993 was the year that the reservoir was drained for maintenance and visits decreased. In 1994, the fees were raised at all sites.
Gross Revenues from FS Facilities
The carrying capacity of existing routes and current traffic conditions into the Valley and Pineview reservoir was documented in the Draft Ogden Valley Plan. The traffic patterns of the residents of the Valley combined, at times with the recreation users, make the demands on the transportation systems a complex problem.
The existing year round access routes into the valley are Ogden Canyon (Hwy 39), Trappers Loop (Hwy 167), and North Ogden Pass (Hwy 162) . Ogden Canyon carries the highest volume of traffic for both valley residents and recreationists. In 1996 when the Ogden Valley Plan was written, Ogden Canyon had an average daily traffic (ADT) count of 6,745 vehicles or approximately 69% of the total measured traffic volume. Both Trappers Loop at 1,805 ADT (19%) and North Ogden Pass at 1,175 ADT (12%) carried considerably lower amounts of traffic. An average of the UDOT reported traffic counts for the monthly average vehicles per day in 1997 increased approximately 13% for Ogden Canyon since the Ogden Valley Plan was written.
At the time the Valley Plan was written, Ogden Canyon was operating at approximately 48% of its 12,000 to 15,000 ADT design capacity, on average. Trappers Loop was operating at 13% and North Ogden Pass was at 11% of design capacity. At various times of the season and week, the traffic volume is very near capacity, especially in Ogden Canyon. For example, the traffic count for Ogden Canyon from the Utah Department of Highway counter at mile marker 8.73 on Saturday August 23, 1997 was 14,643 average daily traffic. The average vehicle count for the entire month of August, 1997 was 9,210 ADT.
Traffic into Cemetery Point is through the Town of Huntsville on 1000 North. This road is primarily residential but the local elementary school and County library are adjacent to this route. The traffic during peak recreation periods is almost entirely to Cemetery Point. The posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour for this road. It is a common sight to see local law enforcement issuing tickets to recreationist for violating the speed limit. The Forest Service Huntsville Administrative Compound is also on this road and our vehicles travel to and from the site constantly year round.
3.4.6 Visual Quality
The scenery from Pineview Reservoir is visually diverse and provides a distinctive landscape character that attracts visitors to the reservoir. In the background is the high, rugged mountains around Snowbasin Ski Area to the south-west or Ben Lomond to the north-west contrasting to the shrub covered rolling hills in all other directions. In the foreground of the reservoir, the views are culturally modified rural landscape. This contrasting character of the landscape provides the visual blend the Ogden Valley is well know for. People visiting from the Wasatch front have a high interest for the scenic quality of the area. Their expectation of the scenic views is an important part of the overall recreation experience.
The reservoir is the most dominant feature in the valley and an important visual resource when viewed from Trappers Loop highway or the Snowbasin road, Highway 226. Even during the winter, the large expanse of an open flat area is visible.
The Visual Quality Objective (VQO) around Pineview was established in the Wasatch-Cache Forest Plan. The objectives were established using the following criteria:
Variety Classes - A classification of landscapes with different degrees of variety in landform and vegetation.
Sensitivity Levels - A measure of people's concern for scenic quality.
Distance Zones - The distance any given landscape is from an observer, ie. Foreground, middle ground, and background. The foreground is the most sensitive and background being the least sensitive.
The VQO's for the Pineview area are as follows:
Retention - permits management activities which dominate the original characteristic landscape, but appear natural. Vegetation or land form alterations and facilities such as roads, buildings, etc. should reflect the natural form, line, color and texture so that visual characteristics are compatible with the natural surroundings.
The National Forest lands around Pineview are all designated as retention. The guideline used in the Forest Plan mapping of VQO was for all lands within and visible from a developed recreation site should be classified as retention. The intent was to keep the views from our campgrounds and other recreation sites in a natural setting where the activities of man were not evident. However, this appears to be in conflict with the goals of the Forest Plan because of the amount of development around the reservoir. The Forest Plan standards only apply to the National Forest lands. Private developments immediately adjacent to the reservoir have changed the look of the hillsides from forested mountainsides to housing developments.
Partial Retention - permits landscape modifications which remain visually subordinate to the characteristic landscape, but permits changes that effectively fit into or repeat characteristics of the landscape even though they may be visible.
The National Forest on the highest points of the hillsides to the west and south- west of the reservoir are designated as partial retention VQO. These lands will be managed with subordinate activities. Any foreseeable future activities in these lands are expected to be minor (trails) in scope and not readily apparent from Pineview. The activities at Snowbasin Ski Area may be apparent but at a background distance.