Author Archives: Chris Shutes

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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Major CSPA Victory as State Water Board Acts to Protect Spring-Run Salmon in Butte Creek

On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board took an important action to protect the spring-run Chinook salmon in Butte Creek.  Butte Creek contains the only run of spring-run Chinook in the Central Valley that is considered … Continue reading

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CSPA Files Objections to “WaterFix” Testimony and Exhibits Hearings on Delta Tunnels Begin July 26

CSPA filed objections on July 12 to testimony and exhibits that the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Water Resources (collectively, “proponents”) submitted in support of their “WaterFix” effort to construct tunnels under the Delta in order to move … Continue reading

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It is not too late for Delta smelt

Before the 2012-2015 drought, Delta smelt had a recovery period in 2010 and 2011. Now, in 2016, there remains an opportunity for some form of recovery, albeit small. What is needed is exactly what the US Fish and Wildlife Service … Continue reading

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CSPA Objects to Reduced San Joaquin River Flows

CSPA and allied groups California Water Impact Network and AquAlliance have filed an Objection to an April 19, 2016 Order that allows reductions of April-June flows in the lower San Joaquin River from the flows required in Water Rights Decision … Continue reading

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Coalition Sets High Bar for Analysis of Proposed Dam

CSPA and allies in the Foothills Water Network submitted 25 pages of comments today on the analysis Nevada Irrigation District (NID) must perform to inform decision making about a proposed new dam on the Bear River. NID’s proposes to build … Continue reading

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CSPA Says “NO” to Privatizing the Public Trust

Oral Comments of Chris Shutes, CSPA Water Rights Advocate, to the State Water Resources Control Board, April 5, 2016. Item 9: 2016 Operation of New Melones Reservoir on the Stanislaus River [based on notes as read; exact delivery was slightly … Continue reading

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What Caused the Impending Extinction of Delta Smelt?

CSPA’s fisheries biologist Tom Cannon gave a presentation entitled “Contributing Cause of Smelt Decline: Water Exports” at a symposium on March 29, 2016 at UC Davis. The theme of the conference, sponsored by the Delta Stewardship Council, was: “Delta and … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allies Defend Butte Creek Protections

Virtually everyone agrees that PG&E’s DeSabla – Centerville Hydroelectric Project on Butte Creek and the West Branch Feather River provides important benefits to salmon. Fortunately, the ten-year-long relicensing of this project is close to completion. In the most recent process … Continue reading

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We Need to Get Salmon Upstream of Central Valley Rim Dams

Since 2006, one of CSPA’s primary areas of effort has been to reintroduce salmon to historic habitat upstream of major Central Valley dams. Today, Central Valley salmon are confined to the valley floor: 5-10% of their historic habitat. In the … Continue reading

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CSPA and allies comment on Draft EIS for Merced River relicensing

CSPA and seven other Conservation Groups filed comments on May 29, 2015 on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the relicensing of the Merced River Hydroelectric Project and the Merced Falls Hydroelectric Project. These relicensings began in 2009. The Federal … Continue reading

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CSPA and very diverse partners working on salmon reintroduction to North Yuba River

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Trout Unlimited and American Rivers, along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Yuba County Water Agency, released a framework on May 7, 2015, that will guide negotiations whose … Continue reading

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CSPA supports cold water for NF Feather River and protections for Lake Almanor

CSPA and American Whitewater (AW) filed joint comments March 26, 2015 on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Water Quality Certification for relicensing of the Upper North Fork Feather Project. The State Water Resources Control Board issued the … Continue reading

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CSPA and Colleagues Push Back on FERC’s Yuba Analysis

CSPA, as part of the Foothills Water Network coalition, filed comments on February 9 on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the relicensing of the Yuba-Bear and Drum-Spaulding hydroelectric projects, located in Placer and Nevada counties. CSPA first engaged … Continue reading

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Irrigation Districts Agree to Study Tuolumne River Fish Passage

Modesto Irrigation District and Turlock Irrigation District, owners and operators of the La Grange and Don Pedro hydroelectric projects on the Tuolumne River, agreed November 21 to conduct studies related to passing salmon and steelhead past both projects. The Districts … Continue reading

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CSPA Dismisses Protest against North San Joaquin Water Conservation District

CSPA has dismissed its 2009 water rights protest against the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District. CSPA’s dismissal will allow the District to use time-restricted funding to complete a groundwater recharge project. North San Joaquin will report annually to CSPA … Continue reading

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San Francisco Can Do Better Than Just Say No to Tuolumne Flow

Since 2009, representatives of the City and County of San Francisco have consistently advocated against flow increases in the lower Tuolumne River. In proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the State Water Board, San Francisco’s advocates have argued … Continue reading

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CSPA Works to Make Delta Flow Work

The 2010 Delta Flow Criteria Report announced findings by the State Water Board that additional flow into and out of the Delta was needed to restore fisheries. The Report stated: “In order to preserve the attributes of a natural variable … Continue reading

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