SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

California | Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections

Bureau extends public comment period for Shasta Dam raise proposal
by Dan Bacher
Saturday Dec 8th, 2012 10:56 PM
"An 18.5 foot dam raise would damage or flood about 40 of our sacred sites, and permanently submerge our Coming of Age ceremony site," said Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. "Help our efforts to protecting sacred sites, clean rivers and healthy salmon runs! Tell them you support the protection of Winnemem sacred sites and our freedom of religion!"

Photo of Shasta Dam courtesy of Bureau of Reclamation.

Bureau extends public comment period for Shasta Dam raise proposal

by Dan Bacher

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday an extension of the comment period for the Draft Feasibility Report on the "Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation," the controversial plan to raise Shasta Dam to increase the reservoir's capacity, to Monday, January 28. The public comment period was originally scheduled to end on Friday, December 28.

"Reclamation initially released the Draft Feasibility Report in February 2012," according to Pete Lucero, Bureau spokesman. "Any additional comments from interested individuals, agencies and organizations will be accepted through January 28. All comments received will be considered as we complete the remaining engineering, environmental, economic, and financial studies and related reports."

The raising of Shasta Dam is opposed by the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, fishing organizations, conservation groups and environmental justice advocates for a multitude of reasons. It would flood many of the Tribe's remaining sacred ceremonial sites on the McCloud River that weren't already flooded by Shasta Dam.

The dam expansion project, in tandem with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build to build the peripheral tunnels, would also hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species.

The announcement took place just one day after it was revealed that the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California will vote December 11 on a proposal including the raising of Shasta Dam as a "state legislative action priority." (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/05/1167557/--MWD-to-vote-on-support-for-legislative-action-to-raise-Shasta-Dam)

The MWD staff recommends support for "administrative/legislative actions to remove existing prohibition for state funding to raise Shasta Dam."

See page 3 of the MWD document at: http://mwdh2o.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=12&event_id=208&meta_id=66253

"An 18.5 foot dam raise would damage or flood about 40 of our sacred sites, and permanently submerge our Coming of Age ceremony site," said Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. "Help our efforts to protecting sacred sites, clean rivers and healthy salmon runs! Tell them you support the protection of Winnemem sacred sites and our freedom of religion!"

What can you do?

First, contact MWD Executive Officer Jeff Kightlinger, (213) 217-6139 and OfficeoftheGeneralManager2 [at] mwdh2o.com, indicating your opposition to the Shasta Dam expansion.

Second, send your written comments regarding the Bureau's proposal to raise Shasta Dam via email to BOR-MPR-SLWRI [at] usbr.gov or by mail to the address below. The Draft Feasibility Report is available on Reclamation’s website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/slwri/index.html.

Katrina Chow, Project Manager
Bureau of Reclamation
2800 Cottage Way, MP-720
Sacramento, CA 95825-1893

For questions, contact Katrina Chow at 916-978-5067 or fax your request to 916-978-5094. To request an electronic copy of the draft documents, contact Louis Moore at 916-978-5106 (TTY 916-978-5608) or by email at wmoore [at] usbr.gov.

Copies of the documents may also be viewed at Reclamation’s Regional Library, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, by calling 916-978-5593.

For additional information about the "Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation," please visit http://www.usbr.gov/mp/slwri/index.html.

For more information about the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, go to: http://www.winnememwintu.us

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Beeline
Sunday Dec 9th, 2012 5:38 PM
I think people should consider the following when commenting on the above project proposal. I think that it is clear that the Winnemem Wintu tribe has not been treated fairly by the federal government. They should be a recognized tribe. Flooding their remaining sacred sites would essentially erase their culture. This is what the government has done in the past. Remember Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River. The media condemned those who wanted to protect the little snail darter fish and was careful never to mention that the ancient Cherokee holy city of Chota would be totally submerged so that the Cherokee people could not come back to where their ancestors were buried.

There are rare species in the foothills surrounding Shasta lake which have received little media attention, that would be impacted by higher water levels.

The north state is an earth quake active zone. Check out http://www.earthquaketrack.com . Here are the magnitudes of a few of the past quakes. Klamath Falls 6.0; Oroville 5.8; Red Bluff 3.8; Anderson 3.5; Redding 2.8; Shasta Lake 2.5, 2.7 & 3.2; Medicine Lake (east of Shasta Lake) had six in the last 24 years ranging from 2.8 to 4.1 in magnitude. No dam is totally fool proof or and shake proof.

The water temperature is plenty cold enough for the chinook salmon under the present type of management. Water temperature is not the major limiting factor for the fishery.