Category Archives: Chris Shutes

Report on Oroville Describes Urgent Dam Safety and Flood Lessons

Much of California’s dam and flood infrastructure is obsolete and falling apart.  It needs to be fixed now, says a report entitled “The Oroville Dam Spillway Incident and Lessons from the Feather River Basin.”  The authors of report are from … Continue reading

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CSPA and Coalition Recommend Flows and Habitat for Lower Yuba River

In a hundred-plus page filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on August 25, 2017, CSPA and other members of Foothills Water Network coalition filed recommendations for improving flow and habitat conditions in the lower Yuba River.  The filing … Continue reading

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Oroville Dam Relicensing – Letter to FERC Requests Delay in New License

CSPA has joined a broad-based ad hoc coalition of entities in an August 8, 2017 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that requests a delay in the issuance of a new hydropower license for the Oroville Facilities Project.  … Continue reading

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CSPA comments on scoping for relicensing the Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project

CSPA presented oral scoping comments on June 28, 2017 for the relicensing of the Potter Valley Project in Mendocino and Lake counties.  The small 1900’s-era hydroelectric project generates power with water that is piped from the upper mainstem Eel River … Continue reading

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PG&E Completes Recreation Access Site on NF Feather River

On June 13, 2017, PG&E and a group of stakeholders including CSPA dedicated the Rock Creek Bench recreation access and parking area just downstream of Rock Creek Dam on the North Fork Feather River.  The facility will provide safe access … Continue reading

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CSPA Talks Hydropower Relicensing at Water Agency Conference

Chris Shutes, CSPA’s hydropower advocate, gave a presentation about hydropower relicensing at the conference of the Association of California Water Agencies on May 10, 2017, in Monterey.  He appeared as part of a panel that included the relicensing leads for … Continue reading

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CSPA, FOR and Others Request Release of Information and Public Involvement at Oroville

CSPA joined Friends of the River and three other groups in an April 19, 2017 clarification and public process request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concerning repairs of the damaged spillway works at Oroville Reservoir.  The letter asks … Continue reading

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Broad Coalition Says Hit the Brakes on Centennial Dam

CSPA has joined a broad coalition in recommending that the Army Corps of Engineers delay work on an Environmental Impact Statement for Centennial Dam, proposed for construction by Nevada Irrigation District on the Bear River near Colfax.  A Comment Letter … Continue reading

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Chris Shutes Named “Restorationist of the Year”

The Salmonid Restoration Federation (https://www.calsalmon.org/) named Chris Shutes – me – “Restorationist of the Year” on the concluding day of its 2017 annual conference in Davis.  It is recognition that I did not expect and that I value very greatly. … Continue reading

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CSPA Comments on San Joaquin River Flow and Salinity

CSPA filed extensive comments March 17, 2017 on the State Water Board’s plan for improving flows in the lower San Joaquin River and for allowing more salinity in the southern Delta during the growing season. CSPA supports the Board’s approach … Continue reading

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180,000 People out of their Homes: Oroville Spillway Was Someone Else’s Problem

In 2005, Ron Stork of Friends of the River warned in a Motion to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the “ungated, unarmored spillway” at Oroville Dam needed to be made into a real spillway with real concrete.  The … Continue reading

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PG&E Withdraws License Application on Butte Creek: Future of Spring-Run Salmon Uncertain

By Chris Shutes (CSPA) and Dave Steindorf (American Whitewater) In a surprise move, PG&E announced on February 2, 2017 that it was withdrawing its application to relicense the DeSabla – Centerville Hydroelectric Project on Butte Creek and the West Branch … Continue reading

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rebuffs Idaho Power’s Attack on Clean Water Act

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has dismissed a petition by Idaho Power Company that sought to limit the right of states to enforce water quality requirements when FERC relicenses hydropower projects.  In a January 2 post, we described the … Continue reading

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CSPA Defends the Clean Water Act Once Again

One of CSPA’s many strategies in the past several years has been to defend the federal Clean Water Act from attack.  Much of this defense has been in the context the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) relicensing of hydropower projects.  … Continue reading

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CSPA Testifies on San Joaquin River Flow and South Delta Salinity

On December 16, 2016, CSPA’s Bill Jennings and Chris Shutes made presentations to the State Water Board regarding the need to increase flow from the San Joaquin River into the Delta.  The hearings held in Stockton are part of Phase … Continue reading

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CSPA Testifies in Hearing on Proposed Delta Tunnels

On December 1, 2016, CSPA provided testimony before the State Water Resources Control Board in the hearing on the proposed Delta tunnels, known inaccurately as the “California WaterFix.”  CSPA joined in presenting testimony with witnesses from the California Water Impact … Continue reading

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Sites Reservoir: Many Promises, Many Problems

On November 17, 2016, CSPA’s Water Rights Advocate Chris Shutes joined a panel discussion on the proposed Sites Reservoir.  The panel was held at a conference in Chico produced by the north state non-profit AquAlliance, and also featured Jim Watson … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allies Protest Water Rights Application for Big New Dam

CSPA and allied groups in the Foothills Water Network (FWN) filed an extensive protest of Nevada Irrigation District’s (NID) application to construct a large new dam on the Bear River near Colfax.  FWN protested the application for “Centennial Reservoir” on … Continue reading

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CSPA and Friends of the River Defend Clean Water Act and CEQA

CSPA and Friends of the River (FOR) have filed an amicus brief arguing that the procedures of state law are not preempted by federal law in California’s application of the federal Clean Water Act.  The brief argues in favor of … Continue reading

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In Memoriam: “Striper Mike” McKenzie

Mike McKenzie, plier of Delta waters for striped bass over many decades, moved on to purer waters on September 25.  Striper Mike was well known as a superb striper fisherman, but fished for all kinds of fish all over California … Continue reading

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