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Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense

EPIC Opposes Shasta Dam Expansion
by Amber Jamieson, EPIC
Wednesday Oct 2nd, 2013 5:40 PM
The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) opposes the Bureau of Reclamation's plan to raise Shasta Dam.
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http://www.wildcalifornia.org/blog/publiclands/epic-opposes-the-shasta-dam-expansion)

Freshwater ecosystems are the most endangered ecosystem type on the planet, and a growing body of science has determined that dams are one of the largest threats to these ecosystems, and the human communities that depend on them. The proposal to enlarge the Shasta dam goes against the best available science relating to conservation of the freshwater river ecosystems the proposed project would affect.

Expanding the Shasta Dam would result in flooding fish habitat in several rivers including the McCloud, Sacramento and Pit Rivers. The McCloud would lose its eligibility to be listed as a Federal Wild and Scenic River if the project goes forward. Additionally, most of the remaining sacred native American sites on the McCloud River belonging to the Winnemem Wintu tribe would be destroyed. These sites are of significant cultural value to the already displaced tribe, which has already lost 90 percent of their lands when the Shasta Dam was initially constructed.

The Bureau of Reclamation is not providing the public with information that describes how the Shasta Dam raising project is related to other statewide water infrastructure projects that are connected with the intention of sending water from Northern California to Southern California.

Of particular concern is the proposal by California Governor Jerry Brown and the State of California, along with the Bureau of Reclamation, to build the Twin Tunnels Project that would construct two large tunnels in order to divert large amounts of water to supply corporate agricultural farms and fracking operations in the Southern region of the state, at the expense of California taxpayers. The National Environmental Policy Act requires that cumulative impacts from the related projects should be evaluated, considered and disclosed to the general public. The current Draft Environmental Impact Statement does not reflect this mandatory process and is therefore inadequate.

This costly, unnecessary development would cause more environmental, cultural and economic problems than it would solve, benefiting a few farmers and power companies at the cost of California taxpayers, Northern California residents, indigenous communities and the environment on which they depend. EPIC is committed to upholding environmental standards and will continue to publicly support community based efforts stop the ill-conceived Shasta Dam expansion.

Click here to read EPIC’s comments on the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation EIS: http://www.wildcalifornia.org/?attachment_id=10960