[env-trinity] Trinity Journal- River dwellers share views at Lewiston meeting
jpborruso at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 21:39:01 PDT 2012
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On Apr 12, 2012, at 12:50 PM, Tom Stokely <tstokely at att.net> wrote:
> River dwellers share views at Lewiston meeting
> By Amy Gittelsohn The Trinity Journal | Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:15 am
> Appreciation of the Trinity River and its wildlife was a common theme last week at the second in a series of outreach meetings, this one held in Lewiston, to get public input on the Trinity River Restoration Program.
> A small group of about a dozen people attended the meeting April 4 at One Maple Winery put on by the Trinity County Resource Conservation District, under contract with the restoration program. The meeting was run by RCD employees Alex Cousins and Donna Rupp, and contractor Jeff Morris, who made clear they were not representatives of the restoration program but were there to bring concerns and questions back to agencies involved in the program.
> From Napa, Al Lilleberg said he has been visiting Lewiston four to five days a month since he was a teenager, and the river was basically his biology lab in college majoring in biology. The river has declined since construction of Trinity and Lewiston dams in the early 1960s, according to Lilleberg.
> "I quit fishing because the river is dead," Lilleberg said. "I know people fish in it all the time, but it's dead by comparison."
> Lilleberg said when the sun went down and fish were jumping for food, "you couldn't count fish fast enough … You might not see one now."
> Several residents expressed concerns about restoration program activities.
> Tom and Diane Gannon questioned the planting of willows which make the river less accessible.
> "Somebody -- in my estimate -- is insane," Tom Gannon said, noting that at one time the program goal was to push the vegetation back.
> "They did that," he said, "and now they've replanted where they pushed it back."
> "Pre-dam there weren't all the willows they just planted," he said.
> Describing herself as a "river lifer," Lewiston resident and County Administrative Officer Wendy Tyler said, "The river is the lifeblood of our county."
> She spoke of the importance of the river for recreation and economic development, saying, "restoration is important – but it must be balanced."
> Her husband, Bob Tyler, shared a concern that has come up repeatedly over the past year – that spawning gravels added to the river have filled in holes adult fish use.
> Bob Tyler said he's fished along the river since childhood (the late ‘70s to early ‘80s), and "you'd come home with five salmon or two or three steelhead."
> Below the Lewiston Bridge the hole was so deep, he said, "you used to be able to jump off the bridge into that hole. You can't do that anymore."
> Others said the river is "not dead" and continues to support a variety of wildlife — particularly in comparison to other rivers.
> "This is one of the best rivers left. We have a chance," said Dale Davey, who lives part time in Lewiston.
> Davey said the Trinity River Record of Decision which increased Trinity River flows is the most important way to restore the river.
> Under the Record of Decision river flows are determined based on water-year type, but over multiple years 49 percent of inflow to Trinity Lake is to be released to the river and 51 percent available for diversion and Central Valley Project use.
> "That's the thing we can never let bury," he said. "That's what's helping recover the river and recover the fish."
> "Let the water flow do it," Davey said. "Eventually, we've got to stop bulldozing and injecting gravel and say, 'We're going to stop man-ipulating the stream.'"
> Regarding the river flows and the Record of Decision, Lilleberg said, "We are facing a challenge. The four biggest farms in California can crack that law."
> Supporters of the river must be "rabid" about how rivers function, he said.
> The audience also asked about goals of the program, what time frame the program is attempting to recapture in the river's history, and if there will be an endpoint to the mechanical restoration projects. County Sup. Judy Pflueger requested that the answers be "in terms we understand."
> From the RCD, Morris said written answers to the questions would be provided within 30 days.
> Also, several more outreach meetings in communities along the river are planned. The locations, dates and times will be announced.
> The outreach meetings began after the Trinity River Guide Association and California Water Impact Network requested a moratorium on channel restoration projects until a scientific review of earlier projects is complete. Gravel injections were of particular concern to the guides, and the restoration program has since announced that no gravel injections are planned for this year.
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