News

11/26/2002 Volunteers lengthen list of LORP DEIR/S issues
"Lower Owens River Project Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement" (LORP DEIR/S) takes a long time to say and--if you have a copy of itómuch longer to pore over. Nevertheless, the project, which will rewater more than sixty miles of the Lower Owens River, deserves copious contemplation. With that in mind, concerned LORP DEIR/S readers met November 21 with Mark Bagley to discuss what to look for in the hefty document and to delegate tasks to people whoíve volunteered to help evaluate, process, and publicize the LORP DEIR/S. The resulting list of important issues and focus areas appears below.

If you havenít signed up yet, and if 1) you would like to help critique, process, or publicize the LORP/DEIR/S, or 2) you donít want to read the LORP but still want to help (weíve got plenty of tasks available, including photocopying and distributing flyers), or even 3) you donít want to help but would like to receive one of our upcoming how-to-comment brochures on the LORP/DEIR/S,
please e-mail us at lorp@ovcweb.org. Include your name, address, and phone number, and tell us whether you prefer to be contacted by phone or by e-mail. For more information about the LORP or the DEIR/S, see other news items and the issues list below or follow the LORP links in the "Issues" section of our website.

The people who are chairing each of the main issues (in capitals below) are responsible for comments on that issue. They should analyze it with input from the other folks signed up for a particular sub-issue, seek help from other volunteers when needed, incorporate comments from others who send it, and prepare the first (rough) draft for submittal to the chairperson for document preparation no later than Dec. 12. This early date for the first draft is so we can use that information in preparing a flyer for public distribution by the end of December.

We encourage other input. If you have not signed up for any issues or if you have comments on issues other than the ones you signed up for, please send your comments to the appropriate Chair for each issue youíre commenting on. (E-mail lorp@ovcweb.org if youíve misplaced your list of issues, names of Chairs, and contact numbers.)

The main items (in capitals below) cover the four physical areas of the LORP and chapter or subchapter heading in the document. For each of the first four main items and some of the others we need to look at the project description (Chapter 2), impact assessment and mitigation measures. In looking at the project description portion we need to analyze how the project described corresponds with the project as described in the MOU. We need to pay close attention to the goals for the project as stated in the MOU and determine if the project proposed is likely to meet those goals.

RIVERINE RIPARIAN SYSTEM
Water quality issues
Flow release regime and potential fish kills
Fish management; talk with CDFG to see what their concerns are
Seasonal habitat flows: release from intake only vs. augmentation of flow from downstream spillgates--how might this affect the ability to achieve project goals?
Beaver control
Tule control
Land management along and adjacent to river
Habitat indicator species (not mentioned in DEIR?)
General Wildlife discussion (not mentioned in DEIR)
Cultural resources; coordinate with tribes to see what their issues are
Where does the water come from? Will wells be used directly or for "replacement water"?
Roads: (Access) where will they be?
Burn Policy
What levels/standards will be used to trigger changes to management? Lack of criteria in DEIR

DELTA HABITAT AREA
Habitat goals: What are DWPís goals here? What is in MOU?
Present conditions: what are they?
Baseflows; water budget to maintain present conditions
Pulseflows
Seasonal flows
Pump station alternatives; will the fight for a 50 cfs pumpback delay project?
Transition area to brine pool; what are flows and management issues?
Impacts to existing wetlands due to lower flows
Wildlife and habitat indicator species
Cattle drift and grazing management
What levels/standards will be used to trigger changes to management? Lack of criteria in DEIR

BLACKROCK WATERFOWL HABITAT AREA
Habitat goals
Flooding regime
Inflows; where does the water come from?
Outflows; where does the water go?
Management of flow in and out for pupfish and tui chub
Wildlife and habitat indicator species
Land management: grazing, recreation, etc.
Weed control
Controlled burns? Burn policy is vague
Tule control
Cultural resources; coordinate with tribes to see what their issues are
What levels/standards will be used to trigger changes to management? Lack of criteria in DEIR

OFF-RIVER LAKES AND PONDS
Wildlife and habitat indicator species (not mentioned in DEIR)

DIVERSION, PUMP STATION, POWER LINE AND ROAD SURFACING
o Pump station design: is the 50 cfs station really 50 cfs? Do both station designs have the capacity to properly release adequate flows to the delta? Can they adequately gauge the flows? Why donít they have as complete a design for 50 cfs as the 150 cfs station?
Impact of muck in pumpback forebay Ė will there be dredging and where will spoils go?
Impacts on air quality
Impacts on fish; talk with CDFG to see what their concerns are
Impacts on wildlife
Impacts on vegetation
Cultural resources; coordinate with tribes to see what their issues are
Impact of weeds

T & E SPECIES MANAGEMENT
Plants
Wildlife
Amphibians

RECREATION PLAN
Plan is vague
Day use only?
Hunting allowed
Ask for no plinking
How many people without crowding?
Sustainability is important
Trash/potties
Boating? Motorized vs. non-motorized
Address long term use
ORV use?
Mosquito control
Equestrian use?
Where are figures for different uses?

LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN
Grazing
Woodcutting
Road access; get rid of some, improve others
Mosquito control

MONITORING AND ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT
Lack of reporting?
How will they report to the public?
Where does the money to monitor come from?
Consider impact of discontinuation of monitoring
Look at the MOU (including Attachment A: LORP Ecosystem Management Plan, Action Plan and Concept Document)
Organizational structure? Who monitors?
What does Inyo County pay for vs. DWP: 50/50?
Are lack of money arguments valid, given expenditures in other areas?
Make cumulative argument about their attempts to breach agreement
What levels/standards will be used to trigger changes to management? Lack of criteria in DEIR

IMPACTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LORP AS A WHOLE (Ch. 10)
Recreation
Socioeconomics
Public health and safety
Noxious weeds
Water Supply Impact
Energy
Growth inducing effects, including indirect impacts
Impacts due to funding shortfalls

ALTERNATIVES (Ch. 11)

CUMULATIVE IMPACTS (Ch. 12)
Related to pump station size; possible impacts from new wells, growth inducing impacts, financial analysis

CONSISTENCY WITH INYO COUNTY GENERAL PLAN (Ch. 13)

OTHER FEDERAL IMPACT CONSIDERATIONS (Ch. 14)



Contacts:  lorp@ovcweb.org Phone: