Here are just a few reasons…
Over one million people will be affected by the decisions that are made on the future re-licensing of the Potter Valley Project (Project). This includes the Lake Pillsbury community with its 450 homeowners, ranchers and small business owners; thousands of visitors who come to Lake Pillsbury to camp and recreate; and over 600,000 downstream beneficiaries in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties and North Marin County who depend upon this water for their communities, agriculture and economic well-being.
When PG&E declared bancruptcy on January 25, 2019 and subsequently withdrew from its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) re-licensing effort, the Project was “orphaned” leaving a lot of questions about its future. This uncertainty created an opportunity for those opposed to the Project to push for decommissioning or removal of Scott Dam.
The Potter Valley Project isn’t perfect: Scott Dam needs fish passage for salmonids and the main stem of the Eel River downstream needs habitat restoration. Some environmental advocates would like to see Scott Dam removed to allow protected salmonids to have the “run of the river.” If this were to happen, Lake Pillsbury would cease to exist.
Lake Pillsbury must be preserved for recreational purposes and for the protection of the wildlife habitat that is dependent upon the water, including the salmonids in the Eel and Russian River Watersheds.