Project 2105 License Group (2105LG) Approved Meeting Summary – September 18, 2003



Call to order: Patti Kroen, Facilitator at 9:00 a.m.


Attendees:  See Attachment 1 for list of attendees. Participants approved the September 18, 2003 meeting agenda with the addition of items remaining from the previous day’s agenda.   


Continued Discussion on LAWLAF Modeling and Project Flows:

Bruce reviewed the results of several post September 17th meeting caucuses that were incorporated into the modeling re-runs.  Plumas County agreed to a one-foot downward adjustment in dry year lake levels.  PG&E moved to a May target from the June date.  LAWLAF representatives present could not agree to giving up dry year pulse flows but could agree to give up one pulse flow in wet years and work with a flexible block of water for winter pulse release.  Bruce adjusted the model to use the revised values with two recreational boating flows per month for June, July, August, September and October in the Belden Reach.  Tom Jereb indicated that with the scenario indicated, he is over his authorized amount for lost power production.  Bruce then described additional scenarios including an adjustment in the boating flows to a maximum of one boating flow per months indicated or maximum of two boating flows during wet and normal years only.  Both of these alternatives meet Tom’s approved amount and achieve Plumas County proposed lake levels.  Bruce distributed a revised Comparison of Total 33-year Flow Volumes, revision 9 (Attachment 2) and two versions of the draft stream flow management article to reflect the revision with boating flows as proposed and the revision with modified boating flows (Attachments 3 and 4). The Facilitator noted that American Whitewater was not represented and had asked that this topic not be discussed in their absence.  While the 2105LG acknowledged the need to discuss these options with American Whitewater and the Anglers Committee also absent representation at this meeting, they decided to continue to suggest potential options that may assist in reaching a solution that all can live with.


The FS suggested moving the June boating flow to later in the season, to avoid the potentially higher user conflict associated with a month that currently experiences high fishing pressure.  PG&E noted the potential for increased impacts to trout fry if the pulse flow is moved to July and suggested August would be a better choice.  Bruce McGurk contacted Sharon Stohrer via telephone and related that Sharon is not comfortable with elimination of whitewater boating flows in dry and critically dry years but could live with moving the June flow to a later month.  Harry Williamson contacted Dave Steindorf via telephone and related that American Whitewater wishes this discussion tabled until they are present and echoed the SWRCB concern over elimination of boating flows in dry and critically dry years.  They requested a table be prepared that shows the proposed flows and schedule and e-mailed to both Dave Steindorf and John Gangemi for review.  Scott Tu prepared a table showing the values used in the modeling options and e-mailed it during the meeting with a copy to Sue Norman with the FS. 


Steven Schoenberg expressed his concern that the flow adjustments are going in the wrong direction and he is interested in increasing the minimum flows due to unknown amounts of accretion expected in the system.  The FWS views the critically dry September and October flows as too low and suggests a 10 cfs increase in both flows.  Steve also suggests increased in base flow in normal and wet years by 10 cfs in normal and 15 cfs in wet.  This would result in a 5% increase in habitat based on the WUA curves.  PG&E questioned the desire to increase flows by 20% to achieve a habitat increase of 5% and suggested it was not in the best interests of all users of the resource.  Mike Taylor reiterated the hours of deliberations including FS, SWRCB and CDFG as well as the licensee and Plumas County in seeking solutions that has led the 2105LG to this point and these flows and suggested that the collaborative appears very close to an agreement that most can live with.  


FWS suggested that PG&E agree to build a gage at the bottom of the Seneca reach and monitor flows to confirm accretion values.  PG&E is not prepared to build a gage to monitor releases with the intention of real-time adjustments to Canyon Dam based on monitoring results due to the mechanical constraints on the operation of Canyon Dam gates.  Tom Jereb reviewed photos of the Canyon Dam gate structure and indicated the ability to make releases at Canyon Dam is dependent on additional work needed to rehabilitate aging equipment that could cost several million dollars.  Tom has asked PG&E engineers to investigate making one high level and one low level gate fully operational at all flow and lake levels.    Accretion within the reach is not insignificant and actual inflow is not dissimilar to the proposed range.  PG&E will provide FWS with data used for determining accretion at the end of Seneca reach. 


The 2105LG discussed the current maximum approximately 150 cfs flow at Oak Flat Powerhouse and PG&E explained they are looking into coring a hole through the dam to meet supplemental release requirements.  The 2105LG discussed the potential to use siphons or some other structure to selectively withdraw water for release.  PG&E noted that the hole would not be sized for whitewater flows, which would still be released through the radial gate.  PG&E may not be able to release flows above 150 cfs until the necessary modification is completed.  The 2105LG noted that small-mouth bass are present in Belden Forebay so an exclusion device would be necessary for any intake.


Review Proposed Stream Flow Management Article:

The 2105LG discussed proposed changes to the article language including preference for either ‘acceptance’ of license or ‘issuance’ of license.  PG&E will consult with their legal department to identify which version they prefer.  PG&E is concerned with language regarding timing for the completion of modifications and will review.  They prefer language that allows some flexibility to account for potential permitting delays.  Regarding Section 5, the 2105LG considered whether May 15th was early enough to get concerns discussed and solutions agreed to in time to implement.  PG&E suggested they would propose language to address circumstances that may not make recovery after a dry year possible.  FWS expressed concern that the language appears to include the possibility that the instream flows could be changed during consultation process.  The 2105LG confirmed that FERC has the right to order such a change so the language was trying to reflect that possibility but FWS reiterated their discomfort with such an option. 


The 2105LG made additional suggestions including deleting sub paragraph E from Section 6 since the topic is covered in the subsequent dry year language.  Section 9 was adjusted to reflect a 6-month implementation schedule and even though Plumas County remains interested in obtaining Lake Almanor flow information, they agreed to withdraw their request.  PG&E will make the suggested revisions and provide a revised version to the 2105LG for review.


Discussion of Belden Flows:

FWS expressed concern with the proposed Belden flows in June through October.  Scott Tu reviewed results of the temperature studies conducted to determine the temperature effects from proposed flows.  The reach is well shaded and higher flows actually result in higher temperatures.  Steve reiterated his concern that critically dry years are not adequately protected and results could be better with additional flow. Scott and Stu Running will follow up with Steven to provide information to assist in his understanding of the process used and the resulting proposed flows.


Access Trail Extension in Seneca Reach:

 Jerry Mensch was not available for the meeting so this issue was tabled.  The FS noted that the existing trail is a FS trail and extending it would involve multiple private land crossings.  The trail terminates at Butt Creek and existing roads essentially extend the trail to Chino Flat.  Mike Taylor offered to contact Jerry to clarify his thoughts on this issue.


Wetlands, Protection, Mitigation, an Enhancement:

Since Jerry was not available for the meeting, this issue was also tabled with FS offering to contact Jerry to clarify the remaining issues.  PG&E is not comfortable accepting the proposed article related to wetland protection, mitigation and enhancement submitted by Jerry. 


Draft Recreation Management Article Review:

John Mintz provided copies of a draft recreation article with FS proposals included in boxes within the text (Attachment 5) and explained that PG&E has proposed some changes to the FS proposals in an effort to bring the cost down.  Regarding the Almanor campground, PG&E proposes that the overflow campground not be developed until the capacity data show the need for more campgrounds.  The FS is also concerned with the total costs but does not want to forego new expansion.  Tom Jereb reviewed some rough numbers to consider:  by dropping the second and third loop of the Eastside campground, $3.4 million is gained to fund proposed FS improvements.  The 2105LG discussed the language regarding the B-Lot cabin area and the FS clarified that the intention is to flag the opportunity to develop this area in the future but not to imply any financial obligation for PG&E.  Plumas County noted that due to County budgetary constraints, the enforcement budget would not likely meet their needs of full-time support. 


The 2105LG revisited the Native American request for a cultural center.  PG&E restated their position that there are five museums in the area that provide opportunity to meet the public need for cultural interpretation and their needs might better be met through grant programs available outside of the relicensing process.  Plumas County reiterated their support for a cultural facility operated by Native Americans. 


The 2105LG discussed the current CDFG fish-stocking program that costs approximately $75-80,000 per year.  CDFG is interested in PG&E contributing to the program and suggested the CDFG could offer engineering services to remove the Gansner Bar in return.  Tom Jereb questioned how the fishery would be enhanced by PG&E contribution to an existing program.  Plumas County asked PG&E to reconsider trail construction and provided an estimate for construction of eight miles at $80,000 per mile or $640,000 total cost.  The County indicated their ability to partner for the trail construction with the PG&E contribution totally half or $320,000.  The County also requested PG&E reconsider the swimming pool for Chester but Tom restated PG&E’s position that topography limits the swimming opportunities for Chester and it would not agree to construct a pool because there is no connection to the Project.


The FS suggested that construction of additional facilities to accommodate whitewater boaters should also be added to the article with an estimated cost of $250,000.  The FS offered to cap PG&E contribution to $5 million dollars if PG&E agreed to add back in an additional loop to the Eastside campground.  PG&E tallied up the costs for the FS partnership, recreation access to Belden reach, fish stocking partnership and trail partnership as approximately $6.1 million dollars over the life of the license.  The 2105LG discussed the possibility of collaborative support for a 50-year license in exchange for the partnerships outlined.  The participants agreed to discuss such support with their respective organizations/agencies.  The FS offered that the recreation carrying capacity for the Belden reach would require an approximately 230-person campground.  They are seeking to eliminate dispersed camping and are not interested in rehabilitating the Indian Jim or James Lee campground.  PG&E will take the suggestions from this meeting back and consider revisions to the recreation article.


John Mintz distributed suggested revision to the Shoreline Management Plan (Attachment 6) and a draft Land Management and Visual Resources Protection article (Attachment 7) for the 2105LG review and comment at the next 2105LG meeting. 


Next Steps - Focus for Next Meeting:

The Facilitator reviewed the status of draft settlement language sections and the 2105LG confirmed their desire to achieve resolution on as many sections as possible to provide to FERC by the end of September.  The 2105LG will also provide FERC with an update on yet-to-be-resolved issues or issues that the collaborative has agreed to disagree on.  The 2105LG agreed to work toward agreement on the flow and operations section and possibly the recreation section to forward to FERC by October 1 with indications of stakeholder support.  Official signatures are expected to take at least a month to collect. 


The section status (Action Item #25) is as follows:

Water Temperature:       Draft for September 29th 2105LG meeting

Lake Level/Ops/Flow:    Draft review with SWRCB, AW and Anglers at Whitewater sub group meeting tentatively set for September 23rd

Recreation/SMP/:          PG&E will supply revision for review at September 29th meeting. 

Water Quality:               PG&E proposes a Part A and B for review at September 29th meeting.  Tom Jereb will check in with SWRCB, Plumas County and PG&E.

Wildlife:                        Bill Dennison and Wayne Dyok will prepare a draft article for review at the September 29th 2105LG meeting.

Boilerplate sections:       Wayne Dyok reported that Richard Roos-Collins is reviewing the language and expects to hear from him shortly.  The FS is comfortable with the language as proposed.


The 2105LG agreed to provide revised versions in advance of the September 29th meeting if possible to facilitate review, discussion and potential collaborative agreement.  The Facilitator distributed the draft Project Goals, Strategies and Measures document (Attachment 8) and reminded the 2105LG that an additional task is to complete this document.  The September 29th 2105LG meeting will be held at the Chico PG&E Rio Lindo office and begin at 9:00am. 


Action Items

q      Action Item 68:  Discuss proposed boating flow options with Anglers Committee and American Whitewater (Whitewater sub group) and explore possible solutions the collaborative can live with.

Due Date: September 23, 2003


q      Action Item 69:  PG&E will provide FWS with data used for determining accretion flow at the end of Seneca Reach and provide information to assist in understanding the process used and the resulting proposed flows (PG&E)

Due Date:  September 26, 2003.


q      Action Item 70:  Contact Jerry Mensch to clarify his thoughts on trail access and wetland issues (FS)

Due Date:  September 29, 2003.


q      Action Item 71:  Discuss potential to support 40 or 50-year license term (stakeholders)

Due Date:  September 29, 2003.



Upcoming 2105LG meeting dates and locations:


Date                                                                                  Location

September 23    Whitewater Sub-group               Tentative date, location to be determined.

September 29    2105LG                                    PG&E office, Rio Lindo, Chico, 9am-3:30pm



Attachment 1:  List of Attendees



Michael Condon                  USFS

Bill Dennison                       Plumas County Supervisor

Wayne Dyok                       MWH

Robert Hughes                    CDFG                                                                                                                         

Tom Hunter                        Plumas County

Tom Jereb                          PG&E

Patti Kroen                         Kroen

Bruce McGurk                    PG&E

Mike Meinz                         CDFG

John Mintz                          PG&E

Stu Running                        PG&E

Steven Schoenberg              USFWS

Mike Taylor                        USFS

Scott Tu                             PG&E

Harry Williamson                 NPS

Bill Zemke                          PG&E




 Attachment 2:   Comparison of Total 33-year Flow Volumes, revision 9 (Hardcopy available by request)



Attachment 3:  Stream Flow Management Article (revised LAWLAF and revised County) (Hardcopy available on request)


Attachment 4:  Revised Reservoir Operation section of Stream Flow Management Article revised to include Revised Reservoir Operations  (hardcopy available on request)



Attachment 5:  Recreation Resources Article (hardcopy available on request)



Attachment 6:  Proposed Revisions to Shoreline Management Plan (hardcopy available on request)



Attachment 7:  Land Management and Visual Resource Protection Article (hardcopy available on request)



Attachment 8:  


Upper North Fork Project

Project Goals, Strategies and Measures


April 30, 2003


Goals are defined as broad statements of intent, direction, and purpose that describe desired conditions.  Strategies are clear statements that describe measurable actions to achieve the goal for a specific area, activity or species.  Measures are specific activities consistent with the strategy and designed to achieve a goal.  Together they represent the basic components of the North Fork Feather River, Butt Valley Reservoir, Lake Almanor, and Hamilton branch ecosystems and include the recreational and economic opportunities provided by these features.  They are a minimum list of items to be included in a Settlement Agreement.  Each project Protection, Mitigation and Enhancement (PM&E) measure can be considered a measure that will address one or more of the goals.  The goals serve as a basis for strategies and measures to become Section 4(e) Conditions or other license articles.  This document is represents Attachment ‘B’ in a settlement agreement patterned after the Rock Creek Cresta document. PM&Es will be identified in Attachment ‘A’ of the settlement agreement.



Water Temperature Goal

Protect cold freshwater habitat in the NFFR watershed, with consideration of both the cold and warm freshwater habitat in Lake Almanor. 


Water Temperature Strategy

Maintain mean daily water temperatures not to exceed Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Basin Plan standards in the stream reaches of the North Fork Feather River while preserving a reasonable coldwater pool within Lake Almanor.


Seasonal stream temperatures in the project reaches should strive to mimic unimpaired streams in the watershed with comparable elevation and hydrologic conditions.


Water Temperature Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A




Water Quality Goal

Ensure project compliance with the Clean Water Act and adequately protect beneficial uses of surface waters in Lake Almanor and all North Fork Feather River reaches affected by operation of the UNFFR Project, as designated in the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Basin Plan.


               Water Quality Strategy

Protection of the designated beneficial uses relies in part on compliance with Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Basin Plan objectives and other regulatory criteria, including the California Toxics Rule and the U.S. EPA’s Freshwater Aquatic Life Protection Criteria and Ambient Water Quality Criteria.  Achievement of Basin Plan and other regulatory standards depends on applying them to controllable water quality factors.


Water Quality Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A




Fishery and Aquatic Organisms Goal

Develop and maintain diverse aquatic habitats suitable for the protection of native and other desirable fish and aquatic species in riverine and reservoir habitats.


Stream Fishery and Aquatic Organisms Strategy

Implement streamflow, temperature, hydrologic and other conditions suitable to support a desired ecosystem comparable to unimpaired streams in the watershed with comparable elevation and existing hydrologic conditions.


Reservoir Fishery and Aquatic Organisms Strategy

Maintain suitable habitats within the reservoir to sustain fish (both warm and cold water species) and aquatic species while providing adequate coldwater for downstream purposes.


Fishery Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A





Macroinvertebrate Goal

Maintain a healthy and diverse macroinvertebrate community as indicative of properly functioning biological and physical aquatic systems.


Macroinvertebrate Strategy

Implement streamflow, temperature, hydrologic and other conditions suitable to support a desired macroinvertebrate community comparable to unimpaired streams in the watershed with comparable elevation and existing hydrologic conditions.


Macroinvertebrate Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A




Natural Hydrograph Goal

Provide a hydrologic regime that mimics the shape of the natural annual hydrograph to support a desired ecosystem.


               Seasonal Fluctuation Strategy

Implement an annual hydrograph that varies by season and contains winter pulse, snowmelt runoff, and low-flow season components.


Stream Flow Fluctuation Strategy

Minimize Project-caused stream flow fluctuations uncharacteristic of the natural hydrograph to avoid impacts to biota and maintain public safety.


Natural Hydrograph Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A




Geomorphology Goal

Promote fluvial processes to support a desired ecosystem. 


Geomorphology Strategy

Provide for balanced sediment transport, channel bed material mobilization and distribution, and channel structural stability distribution that contribute to diverse aquatic habitat and healthy riparian habitat recognizing the constraints of project features.


Geomorphology Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A





Riparian Habitat Goal

Develop and maintain diverse riparian habitats suitable for the protection of native and other desirable species in riverine and shoreline habitats.


Riparian Habitat Strategy

Implement measures that encourage the recruitment and sustainability of native species in riparian habitats.


Riparian Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A





Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species Goal (To be completed by Stu?)

Ensure that Protection, Mitigation and Enhancement (PM&E) measures are consistent with any Forest Service biological evaluation for sensitive species or any biological opinion issued under the federal or state Endangered Species Act.


Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species Strategy


Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species Measures

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A





Terrestrial Resource Goal (To be completed by Mike Taylor)


Terrestrial Resource Strategy


Terrestrial Resource Measures

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A






Hydropower Operations Goal (To be completed by Bruce)

Ensure that the Project continues to be a competitive source of least cost, safe, reliable, and flexible hydroelectric power generation.


Hydropower Operations Strategy


Hydropower Operations Measures

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A





Recreation Facilities Goal

Provide appropriate recreation facilities, access and signage to meet the needs of identified recreation opportunities.


Recreation Strategy

Provide recreation facilities, access and signage consistent with USFS Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) class or equivalent as well as the physical, social, and ecological carrying capacity of the resource and demand levels to meet visitor and local community needs.


Recreation Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A






Recreation Streamflow Goal

Provide recreation streamflows that address a range of opportunities as identified in the Basin Plan, avoid significant ecological impacts, are consistent with hydropower operations and desired future land management conditions, and maintain a high degree of user satisfaction.


Recreation Streamflow Strategy

Provide streamflow information and implement flows consistent with a range of recreational opportunities while minimizing conflicts between varying activities and streamflows associated with those activities.





Reservoir Recreation Goal (To be completed by Christi)


Reservoir Recreation Strategy


Reservoir Recreation Measures

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A







Flood Control Operations Goal (To be completed by Bruce)

Insure that the Project continues to provide flood control benefits for public safety.


Flood Control Operations Strategy


Flood Control Operations Measures

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A





Irrigation Water Supply Operation Goal (To be completed by Bruce)

Insure that the project continues to provide irrigation water supply benefits for downstream users.


               Irrigation Water Supply Operation Strategy


               Irrigation Water Supply Operation Measure

·        PM&Es to be identified in Attachment A





Water Rights Protection Goal (To be completed by Bruce)

Insure that the Project continues to be operated in a manner that is protective of all Senior Water Rights downstream and allows for the [Sharon suggests deleting ‘to assure’] to assure full exercise of Project water rights.


               Water Rights Protection Strategy



               Water Rights Protection Measure

·        PM&Es will be identified in Attachment A






Goals:  Broad statements of intent, direction, and purpose that describe desired conditions.


Strategies:  Clear statements that describe measurable actions to achieve the goal for a specific area, activity or species.


Measures:  Specific actions designed to achieve a goal.