The Sierra Club Lake Group will host a discussion on the Potter Valley Project, a project in response to PG&E’s intention to step away from its small hydroelectric facility at Lake Pillsbury, at their next community meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 6:00 P.M. The project proposal leaves the future of Scott Dam and Lake Pillsbury very much in doubt. The discussion will be held via Zoom video conference and live-streamed on Facebook. The meeting is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.
For many years Pacific Gas & Electric has operated a small hydroelectric facility consisting of Scott and Cape Horn dams, a small hydroelectric plant, and a system of pipes diverting water to the Russian River basin where it is used for irrigation. PG&E now intends to step away when its license expires in 2022, leaving the facility’s future in doubt and potentially presenting significant risks and liabilities to local communities and the environment.
To fill this void, a working group composed of California Trout, Humboldt County, the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Round Valley Indian Tribes has developed a decommissioning plan that would open the main stem of the Eel River to endangered salmon and Steelhead trout while maintaining water deliveries to Mendocino and Sonoma counties. The proposal also includes removal of Scott Dam and the elimination of Lake Pillsbury, a 2000-acre reservoir in northwestern Lake County used for boating, fishing and camping.
What would this mean for local recreational users and property owners in the Lake Pillsbury area? What would replace the lake’s function as a fire-fighting resource? What would be the impacts to surrounding wildlife, such as the large resident herd of Tule Elk? What can be done to make sure Lake County’s best interests are included in any proposed project?
These are just some of the questions that will be explored at the club’s regular meeting with moderator Victoria Brandon, Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club Lake Group.
“This project will have a large impact on both wildlife and people living in the area for generations to come,” noted Brandon. “It’s important we have a full understanding of the details, explore our options and make the best choice.”
The event will be presented live and will be interactive via Zoom video conference. You can register for the event at the Sierra Club Lake Group’s website: https://www.sierraclub.org/redwood/lake by choosing “Potter Valley Project Presentation” in the calendar. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link via email shortly before the event.
The meeting will also be live-streamed on the Sierra Club Lake Group’s Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/sierraclublake.
The Sierra Club Lake Group represents more than 400 Sierra Club members living in Lake County and is part of the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club that represents the northwest region of California. The group works to preserve Lake County’s wild heritage; protect and restore Clear Lake and its watershed; and promote smart growth, sustainable practices and environmentally friendly development. It also fosters a meaningful connection to the environment for the community to value and enjoy through guided hikes and community events. For more information about the Sierra Club Lake Group, visit www.sierraclub.org/redwood/lake or call 707-994-1931.
Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. With more than three and a half million members and supporters, their charge is to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. Through activism, education and outdoor activities, the Sierra Club plays an important role in influencing conservation policy and environmental history. For more information on the Sierra Club, visit www.sierraclub.org.