Big Payette Lake Water Quality Council

Our Mission. Our Team. ​

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, led by Peter Johnson, organized to address a range of threats to lake water quality. BPLWQC was tasked with developing a lake management plant that would establish a testing program for water quality and regulations for the lake. The original legislation can be found here.

BPLWQC at that time consisted of representatives of certain governmental agencies and interest groups, including representatives from the City of McCall, Valley County, land managers, and retailers, as well as two at-large members, Peter Johnson and Diane Plastino-Graves.

BPLWQC engaged the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) to initiate water quality studies through Dr. Paul Wood. After extensive testing of water quality in the lake and its inlets by the USGS, BPLWQC created the Lake Management Plan (the Plan), which was enacted by the Idaho State Legislature in 1998. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) ultimately took over testing from the USGS.

While IDEQ was responsible for water quality testing, BPLWQC spearheaded collaborative meetings and educational efforts including:

  • Hosting an annual meeting of a Technical Advisory Group made up of about 12 members of City, County, and Federal agencies to discuss their efforts in protecting water quality;
  • Hosting an annual public meeting presenting the results of the annual water quality studies;
  • Creating and producing education brochures for lake users and property owners on how to protect lake water quality and a map of Payette Lake with prominent features and information on how boaters can protect the lake;
  • Creation of the Lake-A-Syst program, a program for lakeside homeowners that identified issues that could negatively impact water quality and actions that could be taken to limit negative impacts from building sites.

The original BPLWQC “sunsetted” seven years after passage of the Lake Management Plan. However, lake monitoring and management issues remain. 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. As our resident and visitor population continues to grow, environmental pressures on the lake and watershed also increase. Eutrophication, sediment and shoreline erosion, pollution, defense and control of non-native and invasive species, and algal growth are all environmental problems facing Payette Lake. Today, the BPLWQC is once again working to reinvigorate efforts to engage the community to protect the lake and its water quality for current residents and future generations.

David Simmonds

David Simmonds


David was a member of the original Big Payette Lake Water Quality Council from 1993-2004. He joined the re-established Council in 2019 after retirement. He has worked on water quality and public land management issues in Idaho since the 1980’s, and served several terms on the board of the Idaho Conservation League.

David enjoys flying Idaho’s mountains and canyons, boating, backpacking and birding. He has been an area resident for most of his life, and, of course, drinks the water from Payette Lake. He lives in McCall with his spouse, Jamie.

 Deb Fereday

Deb Fereday


Deb is a lifetime resident of McCall with family ties that run deep – four generations on the Wallace, paternal side. With abiding reverence for the gem which is Payette Lake, Deb is interested in the mission of BPLWQC and working with others in bringing education

and awareness about the status and health of Payette Lake, which provides the City with its sole source of drinking water and vitality to the community, is an essential part of the economic base and a popular source of recreation, and ultimately, our source of health and wellness.

Deb taught Physical Science, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Science at McCall Donnelly High School, retiring in 2015. As an Environmental Science teacher at McCall Donnelly High School for 23 years Deb enjoyed taking students to many natural “outdoor laboratories” in our area – the lakes and streams, the forests, and The Taylor Ranch located in the Frank Church Wilderness. Deb currently serves on the City’s Environmental Advisory Committee.

Deb has a granddaughter, Sybil Irene Fereday, born in 2017 – and she believes Sybil’s generation deserves a healthy Payette Lake too.

Bios coming soon . . .
​Tom Tidwell, Vice President
Gary Lyons
Susan Bechdel
Scott Harris

 Laura Shealy

Laura Shealy


Laura, a Boise Resident, has been a community volunteer serving on several non-profit boards over the past twenty years. Her most recent involvements have been with The Children’s Home Society of Idaho where she served for nine years and as President in 2010-2011.

She was the Chairperson on the East End Neighborhood Armory Committee and was successful in saving the historic Reserve Street Armory from demolition. She currently serves as President of her Homeowners Association, Morningside Heights HOA.

Her father, Peter Johnson, initiated the Big Payette Lake Water Quality Council in 1993 and served as the Chairman until 2005. Out of the Council’s effort came the Lake Management Plan passed by the Idaho Legislature in 1998 and the Lake-A-Syst Program. Over the years, Laura assisted her father in his efforts to keep Big Payette Lake clean.

Paul Street

Paul Street

Paul Street is a lawyer practicing with the law firm of Hawley Troxell in an of-counsel role. He currently also serves as interim General Counsel of Healthwise Incorporated. Paul’s practice focuses on corporate legal matters and corporate governance.

Paul has practiced law for over 45 years, half of which was spent in private practice at Moffatt Thomas. In 1999, he became General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Building Materials Holding Corporation – a publicly held lumber and building materials distribution company. In 2015, it merged and became BMC Stock Holding, Inc. (Nasdaq BMCH) and Paul became General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the merged company. Paul transitioned from his role as General Counsel on September 15, 2017.
Paul graduated form The College of Idaho with a BA degree in 1970. He graduated from the University of Washington School of Law with a JD degree in 197

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