[env-trinity] C-WIN, CSPA Press Release : US Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Report Opposing the Enlargement of Shasta Dam

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Wed Jan 28 08:34:39 PST 2015

Oops, I sent the wrong url for the Shasta Dam press release. It should be this one

Tom Stokely
Water Policy Analyst/Media Contact
California Water Impact Network
V/FAX 530-926-9727
Cell 530-524-0315
tstokely at att.net

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 7:49 PM, Tom Stokely <tstokely at att.net> wrote:


January 28, 2015
For Immediate Release
US Fish and Wildlife
Service Issues Report Opposing the Enlargement of Shasta Dam
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service has issued a revised draft report on the proposed enlargement of Shasta
Dam, stating that it will harm salmon populations.  The agency concluded that it cannotsupport any of the proposed action
alternatives presented by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which controls and
operates the dam.
The Bureau of Reclamation
(BOR) issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement on dam enlargement in 2013.   The project must be approved by Congress,
and justified by both economic and environmental rationales. Taxpayers would
pay for two-thirds of the $1.1 billion project.
In an earlier cost/benefit
analysis, BOR determined that payments by Central Valley Project water and
power customers alone would provide minimal justification for the project
economically.   Consequently, 61% of the “economic
justification” now touted by the agency is a larger cold water pool behind the
dam to improve Sacramento River salmon survival during critically dry years.
In response, the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (USFWS) stated in its recent draft report that the project
is not justifiable because it
provides no net benefits to salmon, and will result in negative environmental
impacts that cannot be mitigated.  
“This report documents the
Bureau of Reclamation’s own data that shows the project will not benefit salmon
in the Sacramento River,” said Tom Stokely, water policy analyst for the
California Water Impact Network.   “We
knew all along that the Bureau of Reclamation had a phony economic
justification to enlarge Shasta Dam.  Now
we have another federal agency agreeing with us.”
Stokely said it is clear
that any water that would result from the enlargement of the dam “is intended
for the poisoned lands of the Westlands Water District south of the Delta.  This is just another deception by BOR to
provide more subsidized water under the guise of a public benefit.”
The USFWS report further stated
that the Bureau of Reclamation would have considered several options that were
removed early in the consideration process if salmon restoration had been a
true priority.
Those actions include
repairing the multi-million dollar Shasta Dam temperature control device; restoring
the riparian corridor along the Sacramento River; operationalchanges to Shasta Dam to increase cold
water storage and increase minimum flows; increasing water use efficiency in
local canals; and considering conjunctive use of other existing and planned
water storage facilities in the Central Valley.
“It’s instructive to note
that all these actions would cost a fraction of dam enlargement,” said Bill
Jennings of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. “This isn’t just
an environmental and fisheries issue. It’s about the squandering of taxpayer
dollars. It’s about pork barrel politics, about public money flowing from the
public coffers to the handful of corporate farmers in the San Joaquin Valley
who control water in California.”
Jennings noted that the
report is only a revised draft, and that it could be steamrolled by BOR and
politicians controlled by corporate agriculture.
 “Given the political implications of the
report, CSPA is very concerned that it may be rewritten by Obama Administration
political appointees who support enlargement of Shasta Dam,” he said.
The Bureau of Reclamation’s
egregious dishonesty in spinning the “benefits” of enlarging Shasta Dam also calls
into question the economic justification for other new or enlarged dams planned
for California, including Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat.  Both these projects may be eligible for
funding under Proposition 1. But the evidence is increasing that they’re
economic and environmental boondoggles, and will provide little if any benefit
in mitigating the state’s water crisis. 
“The Stanford Woods
Institute recently came out with a study stating that underground storage is
six times more cost effective than surface storage,” Stokely said.  “Obviously, destructive and expensive
infrastructure projects are the wrong track. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
had the guts and integrity to say as much. We applaud them for it.”
Tom Stokely                                                                                Bill
California Water Impact
Network                               California
Sportfishing Protection Alliance
530-926-9727   cell 530-524-0315                              209-464-5067 cell 209-938-9053
tstokely at att.net                                                                    deltakeep at me.com 
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Revised Draft
Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report on the Shasta Lake Water Resources
Investigation can be found at http://www.c-win.org/webfm_send/466 
The San Jose Mercury News article on the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service Report can be found at http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_27406666/plan-raise-shasta-dam-takes-hit-after-federal 
The Stanford Woods Institute report on underground
storage costs compared to surface storage can be found at http://waterinthewest.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Storing_Water_in_CA.pdf
The California Water Impact Network (C-WIN, online at www.c-win.org) promotes the just and environmentally sustainable
use of California's water, including instream flows and groundwater reserves,
through research, planning, media outreach, and litigation.
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance is a non-profit
conservation and research organization established in 1983 for the purpose of
conserving, restoring, and enhancing the state's water quality and fishery
resources and their aquatic and riparian ecosystems. www.calsport.org 
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