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 about the recent world premiere of the short documentary film “Without Water,” and learn how to get involved in the fight to keep the Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power from drying up important meadows in Mono County.
Have a listen to this in-depth interview in anticipation of the World Water Day 3/22/22 online premiere of “Without Water,” a short documentary film from the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition. Register here. It’s FREE! CORRECTION: One of our followers, John Klusmire, listened to the interview and wrote to let us know that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power actually began buying up water rights in the Owens River Valley in 1905, at the behest of Fred Eaton, mayor for the city of Los Angeles. By 1907 the land was acquired and construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct…
In this issue, you will read an interview with Matt McClain, Keep Long Valley Green Coalition member and former Executive Director of Mammoth Lakes Recreation, for an in-depth look into the Coalition’s new film, “Without Water,” which will be debuting for FREE online at 6:30 p.m. on March 22, World Water Day. Learn about the film and how you can RSVP to attend. And help us spread the word!