Project 2105 License Group (2105LG) Approved Meeting Summary – January 27, 2003


Call to order: Patti Kroen, Facilitator at 9 a.m.


Attendees:  See Attachment 1 for list of attendees. Attendees approved the January 27, 2003 draft Agenda without change and the December 18, 2002 meeting summary with one addition: add ‘cultural’ to list of issues on bottom of page 3. 


Protocols Discussion:

Participants discussed the revised draft protocol dated January 17, 2003 that was distributed to the participants in advance of the meeting for review (Attachment 2 of this summary).  The group discussed the intent of the sentence “Silence will not be construed as agreement.” and agreed to insert an additional clarifying sentence to be provided by Wayne Dyok.  Participants also agreed that the meeting summary should be distributed within seven days of the meeting and participants will in turn provide comments or revisions to the summary within seven days of receipt of the summary.  Participants expressed a desire to complete the protocols and move on to other substantive business of the collaborative and expect the protocols to be final after these minor revisions.



·        The facilitator will provide a draft, meeting summary within seven days of the meeting.  Participants will provide comments and/or revisions to the summary within seven days of receipt from the facilitator.


q      Action Item 3:  Mike Taylor of the Protocols Sub-Committee will accept revisions agreed to during this meeting and further revise the document with the minor changes agreed to in this meeting.  Wayne Dyok will provide additional proposed language. 

Due Date:  February 13, 2003


Report from LAWLAF Committee:

Mike Taylor, chair of the Lake Almanor Water Level and Flow (LAWLAF) Committee reviewed the meeting summary from the committee’s first meeting on January 14, 2003. The LAWLAF Committee January 14th meeting summary is provided as Attachment 3 to this summary.  The Committee decided to break the 2105 Project area into logical geographic elements to develop ecosystem and management attributes or drivers appropriate to each element.  If aggregation appears to be appropriate at some later date, geographic elements may be grouped in kind.  He presented for review two geographic elements of the 2105 Project for which the Committee developed ecosystem and management attributes: Seneca Reach representing a riverine stretch, and Lake Almanor representing a reservoir element. 


The 2105LG participants discussed the draft tables developed by the Committee and provided some comments related to format.  The participants suggested that the narrative describing the rationale for including a particular attribute could be provided separately rather than on the matrix itself so the matrix would be easier to read.  The LAWLAF Committee acknowledged that the lists are not complete because the social attributes had not been added and also noted that some attributes may eventually be deleted if found to be unimportant.  Mike Meinz provided a companion matrix indicating spawning and migration times for nine species within the Lake Almanor fishery along with supporting information from pages E3.1-35 and E3.1-36 of the PG&E Application documents.  He noted that Lake Almanor historic operations have enhanced the habitat because the spawning cycles for these species occur in the spring when the lake levels are high.


Participants expressed the need to consider recreational attributes for Lake Almanor that extend beyond the shoreline.  Mike Taylor responded that ‘Lake environ recreation’ was intended to cover recreation that occurs both at the shore and in the vicinity of the Lake.  There was also a suggestion for consideration of shoreline erosion protection and the need for a historic or interpretive attribute.  These were added to the Lake Almanor matrix.  The Committee will continue their efforts to describe attributes for other geographic elements, develop the rationale for drivers selected, add social issues to the matrices and define the Hamilton Branch as a separate piece.


The Facilitator asked participants to help identify attributes that may not be included on the two sample matrices but that may be important or unique for the other geographic elements identified but not yet itemized.  The following additional attributes by geographic element were suggested:


Mountain Meadows

·        Waterfowl breeding and resting

·        Grazing

·        Warm water fishery – no cold water pool

·        Pre-historic site conservation

·        Heritage site interpretation

Hamilton Branch

·        Groundwater

·        Springs (in-stream)

·        Warm/cold water mixing in Lake Almanor

·        Diversion at Walker Spring by Westwood water rights

·        Chinook Spawning

·        Nutrients

·        Gravel recruitment

·        Fish screens (at diversion points)

Butt Valley Reservoir

·        Entrainment of Pond Smelt from Lake Almanor

·        Snags – not effective for habitat

·        Fish passage – upstream from Butte Valley Reservoir

·        T&E species - osprey

·        Pre-historic site conservation

·        Heritage site interpretation

Lake Almanor

·        Stover Creek water rights issue

·        Fish habitat (include small mouth bass, northern large mouth bass, Sacramento sucker, Sacramento perch, pike minnow, Wakasagi, Rainbow trout – Eagle Lake strain, brown trout and Chinook salmon)

·        Bass spawning

·        Pre-historic site conservation

·        Heritage site interpretation

·        Shoreline erosion

Belden Reach

·        Non-native plant encroachment (blackberries)

·        Whitewater boating

East Branch – Yellow Creek Reach (lower Belden Reach)

·        Water temperature

·        Sediment transport – turbidity

Butt Valley Creek (ABC tunnel to Butt Valley Powerhouse)

No additional attributes identified

Butt Valley lower

·        Springs – accretion flow

·        Mollusks

·        Trout spawning habitat


Mike Taylor noted that the LAWLAF Committee has scheduled a number of additional meetings to continue this effort.  The Committee will meet on February 11th and February 26th in the Sacramento area and on March 10th in the Oroville area.


q      Action Item 4:  LAWLAF will continue to develop Resource/Time Matrices for each geographic element within the 2105 Project to include ecosystem and social/economic drivers related to lake level and flow and will provide 2-3 sentences on each explaining why included.  Further, the Committee will use a representative lake and river reach to step through the complete process as a test of this approach and report back to the full 2105LG.

Due Date:  March 27, 2003


Hamilton Branch Discussion:

Tom Jereb outlined the schedule for the draft amendment application to FERC requesting the addition of the Hamilton Branch as follows:

Draft amendment application due to FERC:         February 2003

90 day review period:                                         March – May 2003

Final amendment application to be filed:               June 2003


Tom indicated that PG&E intends to meet with those that provide comments during the review period. 


Scott Tu briefly discussed that water quality aspects of the Hamilton Branch.  He indicated that the water quality impacts in Mountain Meadows are related to input from tributaries.  He noted that water temperatures in Hamilton Branch above Walker Springs is over 20º C. while below Walker Springs it is approximately 14º C. 


The group discussed the impact of the old Westwood Mill site on Robbers Creek to water quality.  PG&E noted that the flow in this creek is very low in the summer so an individual sample taken in this location may not be representative.  To date no data indicates Robbers Creek is a source of mercury.  PG&E has sampled below Indian Ole Dam and feels this is representative of reservoir water quality because the reservoir is so shallow and does not stratify.  Participants suggested that sampling near the public use areas might provide a different result than observed below the dam.  No samples have been taken below the Westwood sewer ponds but they also may influence coliform levels.  It is unclear if the ponds are lined. 


Representatives from Lassen County provided PG&E with copies of letters received by the County from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension generated in response to a letter drafted by the Mountain Meadows Conservancy to PG&E regarding meadow condition, wildlife habitat and watershed management.  Lassen County noted that input from these specialists suggests the watershed lands are currently being managed correctly.  The County also included a copy of Lassen County Resolution No. 02-067 supporting continuation of a 1989 agreement to protect Mountain Meadows Reservoir.  These documents were not provided electronically so they are not included as attachments to this summary.  Copies will be provided to interested participants at the next 2105LG meeting. 


Stu Running provided information related to the fisheries studies conducted on Hamilton Branch including IFIM, amphibian and mollusk surveys, spawning barriers, and other aquatic studies.  He reported that the largest concentration of trout appears to be below the diversion dam due probably to a spring that provides cold water habitat.  He reported that a species of Asian clam was not found however a participant reported observing beds of this species located in the upper reaches of the reservoir.  Stu reported that no USFS amphibian target species were found.


Participants discussed recreational use and the potential for additional access and day use facilities.  Lassen County favors new facilities closer to Westwood to better serve the recreation needs of the community.  PG&E described their plan to improve the existing day use area and the current launch that is sited within the deepest part of the lake and to add a day use area on the upper east end of the lake.  Their desire is to manage the existing use rather than promote additional use of the resource.  Lassen County supports the planned improvements but would like an additional site closer to town.  The County has recently completed a final amendment to their General Plan (November 2002) and has communicated with landowners near town to determine an appropriate general location for additional facilities.  PG&E agreed to look into any easements they might hold related to lands near Westwood, in particular near Section 17 but reiterated their desire to maintain current uses rather than promote new ones through the development of additional facilities near town.  In response to a concern regarding cultural sites along the north shore, the County explained that due to such potential cultural resource constraints, the current General Plan maps lack a specific site designated for additional access.


PG&E concluded the discussion regarding Hamilton Branch amendment by noting that they anticipate no increase in instream flow and expect to continue the existing DFG agreement and to maintain existing operations.  It was noted that FERC has been very strict on schedules recently in an effort to get licenses granted on time so it would be preferable to include Hamilton Branch discussions within the collaborative. However, if that becomes impossible, the Hamilton Branch would go along a separate FERC path.


q      Action Item 5:  PG&E will investigate easements currently held within and near Section 17.

Due Date:  March 2003


Additional Studies Discussion:

Tom Jereb reported that 11 comments letters have been received and FERC is currently reviewing them.  PG&E has expanded the component of fish tissue analysis for mercury at the request of the SWRCB.  He noted that fish tissue analysis is also underway for the Hamilton Branch.  Some additional water quality analysis will include a dissolved oxygen component.  Tom added that within the comment letters the requests for additional field studies are minimal while requests for additional analysis more significant.


Focus and Prioritize 2105LG Activities:

Plumas County will lead the recreation and access discussion at the February 13th, 2003 meeting.  PG&E will bring a recreation map and discuss access, timing and triggers for improvements.  This discussion will address Lake Almanor and downstream areas but will not include the Hamilton Branch since the draft report will not be out by then.  The 2105LG will focus the recreation discussion to develop a concise list of agreements and remaining areas of dispute.  PG&E noted that all of the sites proposed for recreation development in its 2105 application have been screened for potential impacts to threatened and endangered species, rare plants, and cultural resources.  USFS noted that these screens should be considered preliminary surveys as no public review process has yet taken place. 


PG&E asked Chico Paddleheads representative Dave Steindorf to confirm that American Whitewater is not advocating white water flows on Seneca Reach.  Dave confirmed that is correct, assuming pulse flows determined to be necessary for biological resource needs would be available for recreation use on the Seneca Reach. 


Participants agreed that the recreation/access discussion would likely be continued at the February 28th 2105LG meeting and include discussion of safety issues such as the Memorandum of Understanding related to hazard signage currently under development between Plumas County and the Sheriff’s Department.  The February 28th meeting will also include an update on LAWLAF Committee progress at taking a representative lake and river reach through the complete process.


Water quality (including temperature) and erosion are scheduled for discussion at the March 13th, 2003 meeting after Prattville modeling is available (due in February).  SWRCB and Plumas County are jointly responsible for leading the discussion on water quality and erosion.  Scott Tu will provide additional intermediate flow analysis requested by USFS and an update on the physical model development.  The participants agreed to consider holding the March meetings of 2105LG in Chester.



Attachment 1:                 List of Attendees


Marvin Alexander               2105 Comm.

Joe Bertotti                         County of Lassen

Michael Condon                 USFS

Bill Dennison                      Plumas Co. Sup.

Jerry Duffy                          Dyer Mtn.

Wayne Dyok                       MWH

Christi Goodman                 Plumas Co.

Robert Hughes                    DFG

Tom Hunter                         Plumas Co.

Tom Jereb                           PG&E

Patti Kroen                         Kroen

Ken Kundargi                     DFG

Bruce McGurk                    PG&E

Mike Meinz                         DFG

Nancee Murray*                 DFG

Jeremy Peconom                Honey Lake Maidu

Bob Pyle                             Lassen Co. Sup.

Carolyn Rech                      DFG

Steve Robinson                   MMC

Stuart Running                    PGE

David Steindorf                  Chico Paddleheads

Sharon Stohrer                    SWRCB 

Mike Taylor                         USFS

Eric Theiss*                        NMFS

Scott Tu                              PG&E

Janet Walther                      PG&E

Harry Williamson                 NPS

Bill Zemke                           PG&E



* Participated via teleconference



Attachment 2:  Protocols



Upper North Fork Project, FERC No. 2105

Relicensing Collaborative Protocols



Subject of Collaborative


            The subject of the collaborative process is the Upper North Fork Feather River Project and its impacts.


Goal of Collaborative


            On October 22, 2002, PG&E filed an application for new license for the Upper North Fork Feather River Project.  The current license will expire on October 31, 2004.  PG&E is following an “enhanced traditional” process for obtaining a new license.  Through the collaborative process, all participants will seek to reach a settlement agreement supported by sound scientific data, which resolves all relevant resource issues in support of issuance of a new license for the Upper North Fork Project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  It is the intent of the participants that such settlement agreement will be used as the basis for all regulatory approvals needed for license issuance.




            a.  Collaborative Participants: The initial participants, most of whom attended the first collaborative meeting on October 28, 2002, are:  PG&E, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Game, California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), California Waterfowl Association, Honey Lake Maidu, National Park Service, 2105 Committee, Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Forest Community Research, Plumas County, Dyer Mountain Associates, American Whitewater, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Chico Paddleheads and Shasta Paddlers.


            b.  Additional Participants and Public Involvement:  Collaborative meetings will be publicly noticed and open to additional participants that may include agencies, Tribes or members of the public.  Each additional participant will be asked to respect these protocols, and its continued participation after such request will be considered acceptance of such protocols.


            c.  Attendance at Meetings:  Participants will make a good faith effort to have a representative attend or teleconference with every meeting of the full collaborative or any subgroup of which the participant is a member.  If a participant is unable to attend a meeting, the participant will to the extent possible, provide input prior to the meeting.


d.  Participant Representation:  Each participant will identify one primary representative in any given action or decision by the collaborative.  The representative will have the necessary authority to speak on behalf of the participant.  Each representative will keep its agency, organization, or constituency informed of the status and actions of the collaborative.  Agencies with statutory or regulatory authorities preserve such authorities while participating fully in the discussions.  Although attendance in person is encouraged, a conference call connection will be made available for each meeting for those that cannot attend.


e.  SWRCB Participation:  Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary in these protocols, the following describes SWRCB participation in the collaborative process.  It is the policy of the SWRCB to promote voluntary settlements among the parties to adjudicative proceedings before the SWRCB, and to assist applicants and members of the public by providing them with information concerning requirements applicable to SWRCB approvals.  The SWRCB will participate in the collaborative process in order to help guide the parties towards a settlement that is likely to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals.  Participants recognize that the requirements for the SWRCB to avoid bias, prejudice, or interest in contested matters subject to its approval prevent the SWRCB from making any prior commitment as to the outcome of the SWRCB’s decision-making process.  The participants anticipate, however, that a settlement agreement, or relevant portions thereof, is likely to form the basis of approval by the SWRCB if the settlement agreement, or relevant portions thereof, takes into account any concerns raised as part of the collaborative process by SWRCB staff, and all other participants approve the settlement agreement.  See Attachment A for the SWRCB Collaborative Process Participation Statement.


f.  Compliance:  Each participant will abide by these protocols.


Personal Conduct


a.  Respect: Participants will be afforded an opportunity to present their viewpoints.  Participants will listen to and be respectful of one another.


b.  Preparation:  Each participant will actively prepare for each meeting.  A participant will timely distribute any information it commits to provide, review all other information relevant to the agenda, and be prepared to effectively discuss each topic on the agenda.


c.  Commitments:  Each participant will keep its commitments.


d.  Disagreements:  All participants will seek mutual gain as the solution to each disagreement.


e. Communicating Interests:  Every participant will communicate its interests on topics under consideration.


f. Negotiation:  Participants who disagree with decisions, topics discussed or direction taken by the collaborative will not “try the proposal in the media” outside the collaborative process as a means of influencing decisions or discrediting collaborative participants.


g. Advice and Direction:  Participants may seek advice or direction from constituents or subject matter specialists within their organization on topics under discussion and keep constituents advised of topics discussed and decisions that have been reached,




a.  Facilitator:  The Participants will select an independent facilitator, to be paid for by PG&E, Plumas County, and the Forest Service on a percentage basis. 


b.  Role of Facilitator:  The facilitator will actively manage the collaborative process in a neutral manner.  The facilitator will assist in the development of draft agendas, chair full collaborative and subgroup discussions as appropriate, provide process oversights, and work to build consensus to meet the goal of the collaborative. 




a.  General Process: The collaborative will focus on interests rather than positions and will work toward a settlement agreement that satisfies the interests of all participants.  The general process the collaborative will follow will be: (1) set goals and protocols, (2) identify interests and needs, (3) gather and evaluate adequate scientific information on which to make decisions, (4) generate multiple options, and (5) reach consensus on a settlement agreement


b.  Meeting Notices and Locations:  Plumas County Supervisor Bill Dennison will send out meeting notices.  The collaborative will designate a list of agreed upon meeting locations.  PG&E will make arrangements for meeting locations at places on that list.


c.  Records: The collaborative will keep a written record of all meetings.  These notes will be prepared to concisely identify all major topics of discussion, decisions reached, open issues, action items and schedule.  Flip charts will be used during meetings to create a preliminary record.  The participants will review and confirm the accuracy of that preliminary record before the conclusion of the meeting.  PG&E and Plumas County staff will combine to write the meeting minutes in consultation with the facilitator.  Statements or comments attributed to a particular member or organization should not be included in meeting notes unless a member or organization specifically requests that their organizations comments be reflected in the notes.  Meeting notes and other documents prepared by the collaborative may be distributed by collaborative members to their constituencies after revisions suggested by collaborative members have been incorporated into the documents and the collaborative has agreed that the meeting notes or document in question is final or complete.


            c.  Caucus: A participant may call for a caucus at any time during any full collaborative or subgroup meeting.


            d.  Halting the Collaborative: The collaborative may be halted upon consensus of the participants.  The departure of one or more participants does not halt the collaborative if the remaining participants choose by consensus to continue.  If PG&E withdraws from the collaborative, PG&E will request the FERC not to proceed with the traditional process for a minimum of 60 days to allow participants to prepare to participate in the that process.


e.  Subgroups: The collaborative may form subgroup/s to address specific issues.  This procedure may be appropriate for issues that are of limited interest to the full collaborative, or issues that warrant in-depth discussion and subsequent recommendation to the full collaborative.


f.  Meeting Agendas: Unless otherwise agreed, each full or subgroup meeting will be conducted pursuant to a written agenda, which identifies specific topics, the presenter and their affiliation, allocated times for discussion, purpose of discussion (information or action) and the written agenda, together with any material requiring review or preparation for the meeting will be sent out at least one week prior to the meeting.  Unless otherwise agreed, the draft agenda will be prepared by Plumas County Supervisor Bill Dennison for a full meeting, and by the chair for a subgroup meeting.  At the start of the each meeting, the participants will review, revise as appropriate, and adopt the agenda they will follow for subgroup meetings will be developed by the subgroup chair with input and assistance by the subgroup members.


g. Scheduling of Meetings: The participants will adopt a meeting schedule.  Initial meetings of the full collaborative are scheduled for November 25 and December 18, 2002, and January  and 27, 2003.  Additional meetings will be scheduled as appropriate.  Each subgroup will schedule its meetings.


Decision Making


a.   Decisions by Consensus: The participants will make decisions by consensus.   Consensus means that the participants state that they can live with the decision.  If a participant cannot live with the decision, they will have the option to enter into separate negotiations with one or more of the other participants.  Successful resolution of the issue(s) will then be brought back to the collaborative for approval. A participant may then proceed to dispute resolution according t FERC Order 596 if an agreement is not reached.


Silence will not be construed as agreement.   A Participant that misses a meeting will not be held responsible for decisions made at that meeting, but will however make a good faith effort to review meeting notes and express any concerns they may have on proposed decisions prior to the next meeting.


b Dispute Resolution:  Each Participant in the collaborative will make a good faith attempt to reach agreement on all issues, as described in Section a. Decisions by Consensus.  If consensus regarding a particular issue is not achieved after reasonable efforts, the issue will be considered to be in dispute.  Where a working group or subgroup has an issue in dispute, the dispute will be referred to the collaborative.  Where the collaborative has an issue in dispute, initial attempts at resolution will occur through an Internal Focus Group (IFG) that will meet separately, with the facilitator if needed.  As internal focus groups are formed to resolve a disputed issue, they will first prepare a plan and schedule for their deliberations.  The schedule will include a deadline for resolving the disputed issue.  Upon resolution of the disputed issue, the IFG will present a recommendation to the collaborative.  The collaborative will evaluate the recommended resolution and determine its adequacy.


            If the IFG does not resolve the disputed issue by the self-imposed deadline, the collaborative may: 1) extend the IFG review period up to 30 days, 2) arrange for a FERC facilitator/mediator or a third-party facilitator/mediator, if the participants determine that such action would help resolve the dispute, or 3) declare the issue as unresolved.  If disputes on PM&E measures are not resolved by the time the FERC declares that the Application is Ready for Environmental Analysis, the disputing parties   will present the disputed PM&E measures to the FERC in the form of alternative measures.


            c.  Non-Binding Nature of Decisions: The participants recognize that decisions made during the collaborative are the necessary basis for final settlement agreement.  A participant is not bound by such decisions and will be bound only by executing the final settlement agreement. The collaborative may publish information it develops prior to reaching a final settlement agreement, if appropriate to assist FERC in the licensing proceeding.


d.  Decision Development and Documentation:  All decisions will be documented in the written record of meetings.  Participants will use a single text approach for development of decisions and the settlement agreement itself.  Under this approach, all comments on a written document under discussion will be made in the form of proposed revisions to the actual document. 


e.  Reservation of Authority:  Agencies with statutory or regulatory authorities preserve such authorities while participating fully in the discussions.




a.  Informal Communications:  A participant may communicate informally with any other participant and the facilitator.  However, all participants recognize that open communications in the collaborative meetings are the necessary basis for reaching settlement agreement.


b.  Formal Communications:  Other than meetings, e-mail will be the primary means of formal communication in the collaborative among participants. The initiator of any such e-mail will ensure distribution to all collaborative participants or subgroup members, as applicable.  A secondary list of potentially interested parties will be informed of meetings and meeting agendas and any public mailings but not be included in other communications until such time as they become a participant.  All participants in the collaborative will receive copies of PG&E’s submittals to the FERC.


c.  Teleconferencing:  Because some participants cannot attend every meeting in person, participants should be able to meaningfully participate via telephone or video-conference.  Host will use best efforts to utilize the most effective equipment available at the meeting site.  It is understood that due to the necessity of holding meeting at various locations, ideal conditions for every meeting may not be achievable.  Even under the best of conditions the person attending a meeting by teleconference will not be able to acquire information or express their views as effectively as those attending in person.   Whenever possible, presentations will be forwarded to remote participants in advance, preferably in electronic format.


Safeguards For Participants


a.      Good Faith: All participants will make best efforts to reach a settlement agreement consistent with the collaborative goal. 


b.      Confidential Information.  Settlement offers and other communications for the purpose of negotiation are confidential and will not be disclosed to parties other than the participants or otherwise used in any ongoing or future litigation (including the licensing proceeding itself) to the maximum extent allowable under applicable law.  A party desiring that a settlement offer or other communication to be confidential must clearly mark or otherwise identify the offer or communication as confidential in advance of disclosure.


c.      Proprietary Information: A participant that has relevant proprietary information may require that all participants commit not to publicly disclose the information, as the condition for making the information available to the collaborative.  Such a participant may also elect to withhold proprietary information (in the event of a non-disclosure agreement), in which event the participant will provide non-proprietary information intended to serve the same use.




            The participants will develop and follow a milestone schedule intended to help them reach a final settlement agreement. The participants will work with FERC to determine a schedule that is realistic and compatible with the relicensing process as conducted by FERC.

If meeting needs to be postponed, relocated or cancelled, all participants will be polled by electronic mail for their ability to participate on several date or venue options, and given adequate opportunity to offer differing proposals.


Amendments to Protocols


The participants may amend these protocols by consensus.  Any such revision will be written.



Attachment A



SWRCB Collaborative Process Participation Statement


The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards are the principal state agencies responsible for administering the state’s water quality control program.  (Wat. Code, §§ 13000-14958.)  This includes responsibility to grant, waive, or deny water quality certification as provided for under section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.  (Wat. Code, § 13160; see generally 33 U.S.C. § 1341.)  The SWRCB issues water quality certification before a license to operate a hydropower project may be issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  In addition, the SWRCB is the state agency responsible for administering surface water rights throughout the state.  (Wat. Code, §§ 1000-5976.) 


Where the SWRCB’s regulatory approval is required, the SWRCB has a legal duty, independent of any arguments raised by parties to the proceeding before the SWRCB, to assure that the requirements for that approval are satisfied. In this case, the SWRCB has an independent statutory duty under the Clean Water Act and the applicable regional water quality control plan to ensure that the operation of the Upper North Fork Feather River Project will not adversely affect water quality or the beneficial uses of the affected lakes and stream reaches within the North Fork Feather River drainage.


The SWRCB agrees to participate in the development of information regarding the Upper North Fork Feather River Project that may lead to a settlement among the interested parties.  It is the policy of the SWRCB to promote voluntary settlements among the parties to adjudicative proceedings before the SWRCB.  It is also the policy of the SWRCB to assist applicants and members of the public by making available information about the requirements of the programs it administers.  The SWRCB will participate in the collaborative process with a view towards encouraging settlement among the parties and other persons interested in proceedings before the SWRCB, and providing applicants, protestants and other interested persons with information concerning the requirements applicable to SWRCB approvals.


While the SWRCB can provide information that will help guide the parties towards a settlement that is likely to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals, however, the SWRCB cannot make a prior commitment to the outcome of any regulatory approval that must be issued by the SWRCB.  The SWRCB acts in an adjudicative capacity when it acts on a request for water quality certification, water right application, change petition, or other water right approval that may be required for or requested in connection with a proposed project.  The SWRCB must be an impartial decision-maker, avoiding bias, prejudice or interest, in any adjudicative proceedings conducted in accordance with the SWRCB’s regulatory approvals.  Consistent with its adjudicative responsibilities, including its obligation to consider any arguments that may be raised or information provided by parties to a SWRCB proceeding, the SWRCB cannot execute any settlement agreement or make any other commitment that would be binding on the SWRCB as part of its action on a request for water quality certification or other necessary SWRCB permit, license, or other regulatory approval.


Attachment 3: LAWLAF Summary


LAWLAF Committee Meeting Summary

January 14, 2002


Attending were: Christi Goodman, Sharon Stohrer, Mike Meinz, Scott Tu, Bruce McGurk, Tina Hopkins, Jerry Mensch, Harry Williamson, Steve Reynolds, Patti Kroen, and Mike Taylor


Additional scheduled meetings:  February 26, 9:00 AM, Sacramento; March 10, 9:00 AM, Oroville


The LAWLAF Committee met on January 14 to consider ecosystem drivers appropriate to the Upper North Fork project.  It had been proposed to use the Ecosystem Drivers adopted for the Rock Creek-Cresta project and adapt as needed.  Since the Upper North Fork project is physically and socially more complex than Rock Creek-Cresta, we broadened our approach to “Ecosystem and Management Attributes” and as a first approximation divided the project into geographic components.


When discussing important attributes it was found at this point that a single set of attributes would mix river and lake biological drivers and as well as social and economic desired conditions and influences.  The resulting list would be confusing since a particular descriptor could mean different things depending on whether the subject dealt with a lake or river environment.  Because of this the project was broken into logical geographic components with the intention of determining the ecosystem and management attributes most important to each piece.  Aggregation could occur later if this was found to be desirable.


Geographic elements:

·        Mountain Meadows Reservoir

·        Lake Almanor

·        Butt Valley Reservoir

·        Hamilton Branch

·        Seneca Reach

·        Belden Reach

·        East Branch/Yellow Creek Reach

·        Butt Valley Creek above Butt Valley Powerhouse (upper)

·        Butt Valley Creek below Butt Valley Dam (lower)


Ecosystem and management components were completed for a lake and river reach and may serve as templates for the remaining project components.


Remaining work includes completion of the Attributes for the remaining project geographic elements, identify the season or month that each attribute is a “driver”, less important or not important, and preparation of a one to two sentence justification for using each attribute.


Ecosystem and Management


Seneca Reach


Physical Attributes

·        Channel maintenance

·        Sediment transport

·        Water temperature

·        Woody transport

·        Accretion flow

·        Hydrogen sulfide/water quality input at Canyon Dam

Biological Attributes

·        Wetland/riparian

·        Nutrients

·        Fish spawning

·        Fish habitat

·        Fish passage

·        Amphibian habitat

·        Threatened and Endangered species

Social Attributes

·        Angling

·        Whitewater boating

·        Mining/recreational dredging



Ecosystem and Management


Lake Almanor


Physical Attributes

·        Lake level/storage (maximum-June, minimum-December)

·        Snowmelt/rainfall runoff

·        Springs within the lake

·        Water temperature

·        Nutrient cycling

·        Dissolved oxygen

·        Other water quality

·        Coldwater pool

Biological Attributes

·        Wetland/riparian

·        Fish spawning

·        Fish habitat

·        Fish passage to/from tributaries

·        Woody debris

·        Threatened and Endangered species

o       Bald eagle

o       Osprey

o       Willow fly catcher

o       Sand Hill crane

Social Attributes

·        On water recreation

·        Shoreline recreation

·        Lake environ recreation

·        Angling

·        Aesthetics

Management Attributes

·        Water supply

·        Flood control

·        Power generation

·        Perimeter vegetation management

·        Shoreline erosion