Hi Friends,

On the heels of the exciting news of FERC’s final vote approving the removal of the four lower Klamath River dams, comes another step in the right direction on the Eel River dams. Last month FERC announced they will consider amending PG&E's license for the Eel River dams. This appears to be a response to our lawsuit calling out their violations of the Endangered Species Act. It is likely that this action will lead to FERC issuing protective conditions to the license, something recommended by the National Marine Fisheries Service and requested in our lawsuit. These protective conditions would make project operations less harmful to the Eel’s native fish while PG&E prepares to surrender their license over the next several years. See below for a refresher on these protective measures.
This is an obvious step in the right direction and a direct result of our persistence. Persistence is the name of the game when advocating for dam removal. It is true that PG&E is currently preparing to surrender their license for the Potter Valley Project – but license surrender does not necessarily mean decommissioning or full dam removal. And there’s also no guarantee that any of this will happen quickly.
This is why it’s important that we maintain constant pressure to ensure a better future for our resilient salmon and the ecosystem they support. And to make sure that we don’t lose the opportunity at hand while PG&E drags their feet. Your donations help us maintain this persistence, thank you. 

In other news, we need your help to preserve public access to the future Great Redwood Trail and a historically high-traffic fishing spot on the Van Duzen. Please see below for details to take action by December 20.

Finally, we recorded a unique episode of the EcoNews Report last week, in which the gang discusses the complicated process of decision-making as environmental leaders and people trying to do the right thing. Click here to tune in.

For the fish, 

Alicia Hamann
Eel River Dams Update:
What Are Interim Protective Measures?

Back in March 2022, before PG&E's license to operate the Eel River dams expired, the National Marine Fisheries Service wrote to FERC about how the project is violating the Endangered Species Act. They outlined how the project is harming ESA-listed salmonids in a manner not covered by existing permits, emphasized that any permits for "take" of listed species expired with the license, and requested that FERC add "interim protective measures" to the annual license they were preparing to issue to PG&E.

In the litigation we filed back in August against FERC, we asked that they modify PG&E's license to ensure it complies with the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, we suggested that FERC should implement the protective measures requested by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Summary of the interim protective measures:
  1. Full implementation of two management plans previously developed in 2020 and 2021, along with a thorough evaluation of the Cape Horn dam fish passage facility to ensure it meets current NMFS fish passage standards
  2. Develop and implement a water temperature management plan in consultation with agencies*
  3. Re-evaluate and revise the summer flow management program in consultation with agencies
  4. Re-evaluate and revise a rule from the 2002 Biological Opinion and implement a reservoir cold-water pool management strategy in consultation with agencies
  5. Re-evaluate and revise the water year classifications for project operations to more appropriately handle extreme drought conditions while providing beneficial habitat conditions for ESA- listed salmonids, in consultation with agencies
  6. Develop and implement an adult escapement monitoring plan for CC Chinook, NC steelhead, and SONCC coho, in consultation with agencies
  7. Continue to implement the annual Sacramento Pikeminnow Suppression Plan in consultation with agencies
  8. Develop and implement a stream gauging plan to more accurately monitor cumulative inflow into Lake Pillsbury, in consultation with agencies
*Agencies include the National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Round Valley Indian Tribes

Preserve Public Trail and River Access

On November 8th Public Works brought a “Resolution to Summarily Vacate a Portion of Fisher Road (4G070) South of State Highway 36 in Hydesville” before the Board of Supervisors. This 0.8-mile section of road is located on one ranch and the property owners would like this section converted to a private road that will remove public access. Currently, people use this section of road for walking, biking, and historically as fishing access.

The resolution was postponed until the December 20th board meeting so that contact could be made with the Great Redwood Trail Agency whose trail along the Carlotta Branch will transect the ranch property. This is not the time to vacate this section of County road while the master planning for the Great Redwood Trail is going on. It is the closest access the public will have to the Van Duzen River along the Carlotta Branch.

Click here to watch the discussion at the Board of Supervisors meeting, fast forward to about 1:55.
Click here to read the staff report, item #2 under Public Works on the agenda.

Take Action
Please download and personalize our sample letter (or click here to use our website form) and send it to the Board of Supervisors asking them not to vacate this section of road while the planning process for the GRT is going on.

It's especially helpful if you personalize your letter with details including:
  • If you currently or historically have used the road
  • If you have used the road to access the Van Duzen river
  • If you plan to use the new Great Redwood Trail in that region
  • If you support the development of the Carlotta Branch of the Great Redwood Trail
EcoNews Report:
How to Make Ethical Decisions in a Complicated World

Trying to be an ethical person in the modern world is hard. How should we weigh the site-specific impacts of wind energy development against the potential climate benefit? How far should we go to try to save an endangered species (and at what point is that resource allocation better served somewhere else)? Should we rely on our intuition or does that risk confirmation bias? Does climate change clarify our moral obligations or does it make finding the “right thing” even murkier? (Is there even a “right thing”!?)

Do you think about these things? Because Gang Green does. Colin Fiske of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities, Matt Simmons and Tom Wheeler of EPIC, Caroline Griffith of the Northcoast Environmental Center, and Alicia Hamann and Scott Greacen of Friends of the Eel River talk about how they make decisions as local environmental leaders.

Send your own probing ethical questions to and we may feature your question on a future episode!
In this newsletter:

- Eel River Dams Update

- Action Alert: Preserve Access to Public Spaces

- EcoNews Report
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