Events

12/4/2001 Supervisors to Consider General Plan
This Tuesday, December 4, 2001, at 10:05 am, the Inyo County Board of
Supervisors will be holding a public hearing on the adoption of the new
General Plan. The new General Plan contains some land use designations
that will make it easier for DWP to get out of its responsibilities to
mitigate for on-site impacts from their water export activities since
1970. The 1991 EIR covering the Inyo/LA water agreement contains
commitments by DWP to mitigate impacts on about 1,000 acres of land
throughout Owens Valley, plus the rewatering of the Lower Owens River
and the creation of another 1,000 acres of wetlands. If the board sets a
precedent that DWP can get out of its mitigation obligations, every bit
of these hard-won mitigation measures will be at stake. By its action on
Tuesday, the Board could be taking the first step in letting DWP off the
hook.

Two actions are desirable.

First, all members should call Supervisors and urge them to require that
the General Plan be made consistent with the Water Agreement, 1991 EIR,
and MOU. This will cover aspects of the General Plan that we may not be
aware of that are inconsistent with the Agreement, etc. It is important
that each Supervisor hears from as many Owens Valley residents as
possible before Tuesday's board meeting. A sample message that conveys
the main concerns is shown below. For your convenience, the phone
numbers and address of the five board members are provided at the end
of this message.

Second, if at all possible, attend this Public Hearing. Even if you
don't feel comfortable speaking at the hearing, your presence can make a
difference.


Here's a sample statement that you can make to your supervisor and to as
many of the other board members that you can call (or write a letter
to):

"Hello, I'm calling (or writing) to express my concern that the county
stand firm in holding DWP to all of its commitments in the Inyo/LA Water
Agreement and EIR. I'm especially concerned that the county not waver
from making sure DWP implements all of the mitigation it has promised to
the county. The mitigation will fix many of the impacts DWP caused in
the past and will improve the valley's environment. Don't let DWP off
the hook!!! I hope the board of supervisors will make it a high priority
to see that the mitigation measures are implemented and maintained.
Every word and action by the board, including the county's general plan,
should send a clear message to DWP and the citizens of the county that
the board has every intention of seeing that the mitigation measures and
all the other commitments in the water agreement come to pass."

Here are some additional points that you can make when you call the
board members.

1. Don't let the DWP off the hook. They are required to implement ALL
mitigation measures. We are playing into their hands by making it
easier for other uses to be on these lands. The DWP would be delighted
if they didn't have to do any mitigation.

2. If Inyo County doesn't require DWP to perform all the mitigation they
promised, then a precedent will be set that puts at risk every bit of
mitigation required in the 1991 EIR, including over 1000 acres of
revegetation and the Lower Owens River Project.

3. A deal is a deal. The citizens of Inyo County were promised by LADWP
that all mitigation will happen as described in the EIR. The Court
approved this mitigation when they approved the Agreement in June 1997.
The mitigation is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT. The citizens of the valley
supported the Agreement in the belief that its promises would become
reality.

4. On-site mitigation is repair of vegetation damage where it has
happened. It is not acceptable to move an on-site mitigation measure
and say that it is accomplishing the same thing at a different location.

5. If a lawsuit happens over any unimplemented mitigation, and the DWP
wins, it would be very bad for both the Owens Valley and the rest of the
state. It would make it easier for a project proponent to get out of
mitigating for environmental damage.

6. All departments of the County should be working together to make sure
the Agreement, EIR and MOU remain intact. We face a determined and
powerful adversary in the LADWP, and we must have a unified front that
is committed to upholding all of the provisions of the Agreement and
EIR.

7. We have plenty of DWP land in and around the towns for residential
and commercial development. It is not necessary to risk the entire
Agreement by zoning mitigation measures as housing and industrial.

8. The General Plan should reflect existing uses and legal
requirements. The EIR has identified lands that are to receive
mitigation. The new General Plan should acknowledge this in its zoning.

9. The General Plan should be supportive of and consistent with the
Agreement, EIR and MOU in all respects. The Board should consider adding
a statement to the Resolution adopting the General Plan that affirms
that the General Plan is intended to be consistent with the Agreement,
EIR and MOU.

Michael Dorame - 876-5086
Butch Hambleton - 938-2313
Ervin Lent - 872-0917
Julie Bear - 873-6852
Linda Arcularius - 387-2692

Mailing Address: PO Box N, Independence, Ca 93526

Contacts:  Jack Pound jp [jp3906gold@QNET.COM] Phone: