KEEP LONG VALLEY GREEN
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) intends to de-water Long Valley. In 2018, LADWP notified agricultural ranch leaseholders in Long and Little Round Valleys in Southern Mono County that it intends to remove all irrigation water from future leases. The agency has not performed any study or analysis on this proposal’s impact on Long Valley’s environment, agricultural and recreational economies, the health and safety of local communities, or any other potential effect required by law.
In the 1940’s as part of its construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system, LADWP constructed Crowley Lake Dam destroying the pre-existing wetlands meadows. Following the destruction of the wetland meadows, LADWP allowed ranchers to irrigate areas around Crowley Lake. Since the early 1940s, ranchers have been allotted sufficient amounts of water to support their agricultural operations. This water also created and maintained wetland meadow habitats – habitats that were lost when LADWP created Crowley Lake. The water spread by ranchers mitigated – to some extent – the destruction of wetland meadows and environmental effects caused by LADWP’s creation of Crowley Lake. Learn more about what’s happening at the official Keep Long Valley Green coalition page…
The meadows provide significant environmental and community benefits. Today, the wetland meadows around Crowley Lake and Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain streams support a biodiversity that includes a variety of invertebrate, amphibian, and avian life, including the native Bi-state Sage Grouse, a species of special concern. The meadows also decrease the risk of wildfire and suppress dust for local communities, and sequester carbon to mitigate climate change impacts.
Meadows also support the local economy. Long Valley meadows are the basis for Southern Mono County’s ranching and recreation economies. Ranchers have stewarded these lands for generations, creating and maintaining habitat by spreading water for their operations. The meadows also support recreational tourism and activities such as world class fishing at Hot Creek and the beautiful viewscapes enjoyed by significant numbers of campers, hikers, bikers, and OHV’ers from around the world, including Los Angeles. Read more about the local economy and wildlife of the Long Valley at the official Keep Long Valley Green Coalition site…
Friends of the Inyo supports the litigation to stop LADWP’s de-watering, and plays a leadership role in the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition. Mono County, and the Sierra Club initiated litigation to stop LADWP’s dewatering of Long Valley. The litigation challenges LADWP’s failure to perform an environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The coalition consists of ranchers, environmentalists, recreationalists, local residents, and tribal governments, who oppose the dewatering proposal and believe that the drying of valley meadows will adversely impact to the natural environment and local economies. To mitigate these impacts the Coalition is advocating that LADWP reinstate irrigation flows and prepare an adequate CEQA review. Recently the Alameda Superior Court ruled against LADWP. Read more about the coalition’s victory in court and upcoming actions at KeepLongValleyGreen.org
Read how the people of Los Angeles are achieving targeted water savings a decade and a half ahead of schedule thanks to successful conservation efforts spearheaded by the L.A. Department of Water & Power. Well, if there are water savings to be enjoyed, should we not also enjoy these “conservation dividends” here in the Eastern Sierra, where a lot of L.A.’s water comes from, in the way of less extraction of our water? Our current piece considers this question. Happy reading…And if you like what you read, happy sharing!
EcoFlight Photos Show Why Long Valley Must Be Kept Green By EcoFlight Passenger Wendy Schneider, Executive Director of Friends of the Inyo On Tuesday, October 19th, the morning was cold and bright. Four hardy souls met at the Mammoth airport to go up in a small plane over Long Valley, in southern Mono County. The purpose of the flight was to create a video to be used as part of the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition’s campaign to protect Long Valley from the efforts of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to dry it out by disallowing historic…
Read how water ties all of us together, no matter what our backgrounds, and how California Natives taught Europeans in the 19th Century state-of-the-art irrigation methods. Happy reading…and if you like what you read, happy sharing!