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Lake Whatcom Reservoir
Your Bellingham Drinking Water
Mirror Lake Page
speak to us: tig@lakewhatcom.org
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Spring 2007:

Blue Canyon,
Blue Canyon (top-left of the area-map - click-here), is near the end of the dead-end of Blue Canyon Road, northwest of the old Wickersham rail-barn at the intersection of Lake Whatcom Blvd and Park Road. The area is under the jurisdiction of Whatcom County.

You can see by the photos that there has been earth-moving in that area, possibly improper. The black plastic sheets only partially cover large piles of exposed earth. The runoff control treatments may also be improper and inadequate, thus creating conditions for increased runoff, probably carrying contaminated soil and other materials into the reservoir. While distant from the drinking water intake, the lake is a single entity, and floating or disolved contaminants may reach any area, starting from any source-point.

map of Blue Canyon area    map of presumed parcels

North panorama of presumed parcel:---
North panorama of presumed parcel

Main upper parcel being cleared. See the creek at far right:---
Main upper parcel being cleared. See the creek at far right

Lower shoreline parcel being cleared, much too close to the creek:---
Lower shoreline parcel being cleared, much too close to the creek
(photos: March 20 2007, by tig)

We ask for greater diligence on the part of the County, to issue proper permits, inspect, and direct those responsible to operate such projects properly and to maximize the protection of the reservoir.

Mirror Lake (far right, center) is at the head of Anderson Creek, the tributary at the extreme south-east arm of the lake. It's natural condition, until the late 1950's, was as a stable pond; from from about 1957 it became the discharge point of the tunnel from the MiddleFork diversion, so Mirror Lake and Anderson Creek carry the river water into the lake. Thus, it serves as a sedimentation basin (along with others associated with the tunnel). With the major reduction of the flow through the diversion, it is unclear how Mirror Lake will respond, and whether the sediments, now becoming stagnant, will react with chemical or biological changes not seen while it got regularly flushed. Park Road enters the watershed from State Highway 9 at Wickersham (far right), runs along the right bank of Anderson Creek, then dead-ends to the north at Blue Canyon. There is no roadway along the north-east shore of the lake. Rehabilitation of Park Road by the County in 2001 has caused numerous problems with runoff sedimentation during winter, 2001-2002.

North-west of Mirror Lake is the Blue Canyon area, on the south-east shore of Lake Whatcom. Topography here is steep, so erosion is great and fast from any land disturbance like forest roads for logging, heavy-vehicle recreation, logging itself, and urbanization. Rita Foley, a Blue Canyon resident, has been an outspoken advocate of watershed protection for decades. She can cite and point out many places where things have been done wrong (or NOT done when they should have been), regarding just about every human activity imaginable, by land-owners, visitors, construction work and government agencies.

The southern shore of this arm of the lake has a gentler topography, but because the roadway is a through route between State Highway 9 and Bellingham, traffic load and the push for urbanization are both high - not good for the lake. Substantial private logging has been going on both in Blue Canyon and here, continuing in recent years in spite of the clear concerns for the impact of logging on water quality.

What more, that you would not want in your tap-water, lurks near or in the Reservoir?

mirrorlake map
click on map for LARGER image
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The Initiative Group -- Whatcom
360.738.3151 -- tig@lakewhatcom.org
this is the Mirror Lake page:

edited  2002.01.18 - and - 2007.03.22.    mgb