[env-trinity] Redding Record Searchlight 10 13 09

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Tue Oct 13 14:16:16 PDT 2009


Thursday talk to address ways to live without Lake Red Bluff

Redding Record Searchlight-10/13/09

By Janet O'Neill 

 

Zach Whitten's ties to Tehama County go back generations. Ninety years ago,
his family started a little farm west of town, and he lives next door with
his wife and children.

 

But when it comes to what should be done about the loss of Lake Red Bluff,
he opposes dwelling on the past and supports preparing for the future.

 

"Now's the time to start planning when we have about two years ahead of us
when we still have the lake," Whitten said. "The main thing is to try to get
people talking."

 

Whitten, 31, will share his ideas at 7 p.m. Thursday, when the Sacramento
River Discovery Center launches its monthly program series for the year with
"Life Without Lake Red Bluff."

 

Legal challenges to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, which over decades has
annually diverted water for irrigation while forming a temporary lake, have
culminated in its planned replacement by a pumping station scheduled for
completion in 2013. A popular Memorial Day drag boat event has been one of
the casualties, and the city has estimated that losing the lake means a $4
million hit each year.

 

But Whitten believes discussion about the problem has been too narrow,
focusing too much on past mistakes. He'd like to see a series of workshops
that come together in a conference with economic, recreational,
environmental and quality-of-life issues addressed.

 

"We'd like to solicit as many different ideas and voices in the community to
really get people talking about how we take advantage of these new
opportunities, rather than bemoan what was lost," he said.

 

When he's not working at Whittenberg Farms, which sells pasture-raised pork
and lamb, Whitten is substitute teaching, directing summer camps at the
center where he began as an intern in 1996, and leading the youth group at
his church.

 

"This is really the first time I'm putting it out there," he said of
Thursday's talk. "It's helpful to try to bring the disparate conversations
under one roof."

 

The nonprofit discovery center offers numerous educational programs and sits
within Mendocino National Forest's Red Bluff Recreation Area, with support
from 48 government agencies and private groups.

 

"Lake Red Bluff affects everybody," said Carlene Cramer, the center's
manager.

 

 

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 cell

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
(secondary)

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 

 

 

 

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