Today the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and the California Water Impact Network (CWIN) issued a media release documenting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s opposition to the Bureau of Reclamation’s proposed $1.1 billion project to enlarge the Shasta Dam.
The Bureau of Reclamation is attempting to claim that 61% of the “economic justification” for the project is a larger cold water pool behind the dam to improve Sacramento River salmon survival during critically dry years. In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated in its recent draft report that the Shasta dam enlargement is not justifiable because it provides no net benefits to salmon, and will result in negative environmental impacts that cannot be mitigated. Further, several options besides enlargement of the dam would have been considered if salmon restoration was a true priority.
Bill Jennings, the executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, notes that the report is only a revised draft, and that it could be steamrolled by BOR and politicians controlled by corporate agriculture. “Given the political implications of the report, CSPA is very concerned that it may be rewritten by Obama Administration political appointees who support enlargement of Shasta Dam,” he said.