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 The voice of California's rivers

Stop Shasta Dam Expansion

McCloud above Shasta Res 1-23-2013


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comments on a proposed raise of Shasta Dam and expansion of its reservoir that would flood segments of the McCloud and upper Sacramento Rivers. The agency has released for public review and comment the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation (SLWRI) Draft Feasibility Report (DFR) and Preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The public has until Monday, January 28, 2013 to submit comments via email or in writing.

The Bureau is examining up to an 18.5 foot raise of Shasta Dam that would periodically flood nearly 1.5 miles of the McCloud and upper Sacramento Rivers. Both streams were identified by the Forest Service as potential National Wild & Scenic Rivers and the McCloud is protected under state law from dams and reservoirs. At stake are the rivers’ nationally significant wild trout fisheries, as well as outstandingly remarkable scenic, geological, and Native American cultural values (particularly for the McCloud).

In addition, the project will drown thousands of acres of National Forest land managed for recreation and wildlife, and permanently destroy habitat for dozens of protected wildlife and plant species. The project will also modify flows downstream in the lower Sacramento River, with potentially significant impacts on the river’s riparian ecosystem and its wildlife. The project will also further reduce fresh water flows into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, increasing the mortality of the Delta’s native but endangered fish.

Your email is needed TODAY to convince the Bureau that this project should be eliminated from any further consideration.

Scroll down to send your comment email to the Bureau of Reclamation by Jan. 28, 2013! 

Background: (click here to learn more)


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Re: Comments in response to the SLWRI Draft Feasibility Report and DEIS

Dear [Decision Maker],

Thank you for soliciting public comments in response to the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation (SLWRI) Draft Feasibility Report and Preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DFR/DEIS).

I strongly oppose Alternatives 2-5 that propose to raise Shasta Dam and expand what is already the largest reservoir in California. This costly project will not significantly increase our water supply reliability. The largest raise considered will increase the state's overall water supply by less than .3%. The Bureau's own draft feasibility report admits "significant uncertainties" associated with hydrology, climate change, water supply reliability and water demand.

Given that the existing Shasta Dam and Reservoir in the last 40 years has been primarily operated to benefit federal water contractors and not the environment or the general public, it is outrageous for the Bureau to claim that 61% of the benefits of this more than billion dollar project will go to the environment and will be charged to the public.

The significant and unavoidable impacts of this project identified by the Bureau are simply unacceptable. These include harming the Native American cultural heritage of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, flooding of McCloud River and upper Sacramento River segments eligible for National Wild & Scenic River protection, violating state law protecting the McCloud River, drowning of thousands of acres of National Forest land (including three supposedly protected roadless areas) that provide important recreation and wildlife benefits, and the permanent loss of habitat for numerous protected wildlife species.


Another potential impact is the modification of downstream flows and harm to the riparian ecosystem of the lower Sacramento River. The Adaptive Management Plan proposed to mitigate this impact fails to guarantee that the river ecosystem will have priority for fresh water flows over deliveries to water contractors. Similarly, the dam raise/reservoir expansion will reduce fresh water flows into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, causing harm to the Delta's endangered fish.

I urge the Bureau to reject this budget busting and culturally and environmentally destructive project once and for all.

Thank you.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]


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