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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." (

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:

"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], 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] or by mail to the address below. The Draft Feasibility Report is available on Reclamation’s website at

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]

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

For more information about the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, go to:

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Comment Preferences

  •  how does this not violate both the ESA and the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    old wobbly, LinSea

    Antiquities Act?

    Or does it, and the BoR is proceeding regardless?

    Has there been a formal biological opinion written by Bureau fisheries biologists or by Fish and Wildlife Service biologists?  (BoR and FWS of course being sister agencies under the Department of Interior)

    Are any of the traditional sacred and ceremonial sites located on federal land?  That would seem to trigger Antiquities, yes?

    Or perhaps....

    This being a 'Draft Feasibility Report' does this mean that NEPA has yet to be triggered, but will in the future should the BoR decide to move beyond 'feasibility' into an actual proposed action?

    I can't see it not requiring an EIS.  And I can't see it not involving a decade or more of litigation, should they attempt to proceed.

    Lot's of questions, I know.  Sorry.  

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shuksan Tahoma, LinSea

    for keeping us updated on this.

  •  Save the McCloud River from Bigger Shasta Dam (0+ / 0-)

    What's left of the McCloud River is a prescious resource. In it's upper reaches it was dammed so that water could be sent to the Pit River for power generation. It's lower reaches have been inundated by Shasta Lake. Despite that, the portion between the two remains incredibly beautiful and one of the most storied trout fishing rivers in the entire world. In fact, many rainbow trout fisheries around the world were seeded with fish from the McCloud River. Raising Shasta Dam will destroy more of the poor McCloud.

    Westlands Water District, the primary benificiary of raising Shasta Dam, has already purchased the lands surrounding the portion of the McCloud that will be covered by the raised lake. To give you an idea about how they view that land and the river and Shasta water and you, they have made an arrangement that limits fishing and other access to those who are willing to pay a $500 yearly fee, plus either $4,000 or $7,000 per week to fish one of two stretches of the river. I

    Raising Shasta Dam isn't about protecting salmon and steelhead, it isn't about improving downstream ecosystems, it's about making money for Westlands and other business interests in Southern California.

  •  Added tag "water" to your diary (0+ / 0-)

    Since we all know whisky is for drinking, and water is for fightin' over.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:48:20 AM PST

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