Redwood Chapter Virtual Forum on Eel River Dam Removal 5PM Tuesday August 22

At a time when positive environmental news has been hard to come by, PG&E’s decision to decommission the Potter Valley Project, the antiquated hydroelectric facility that operates Scott and Cape Horn Dams on the main stem of the Eel River, has created an enormous opportunity to restore a great wild salmonid river, enrich habitat not only for fish but also for many other wildlife species, generate exciting recreational possibilities, and support the Native people who have lived in harmony with this land since time immemorial. The eventual restoration of the Eel as a free-flowing river (the longest in California!) is now all but inevitable.

In March seismic risks led the utility to reduce the capacity of the Lake Pillsbury Reservoir by 20,000 acre feet, action which was followed by regulatory cancellation of both the commercial and recreational salmon seasons off the whole California coast, and appearance of the Eel on a list of the ten most endangered rivers in the entire United States.

Now PG&E has unequivocally confirmed its determination to relinquish any ongoing responsibility for Potter Valley Project infrastructure, including Scott and Cape Horn dams, and for the first time has explicitly stated its support for the expeditious removal of both dams.

Many people still have questions about how the decommissioning and dam removal process will work, so Redwood Chapter is delighted to announce that at 5PM on Tuesday August 22 Charlie Schneider, California Trout’s Lost Coast Project Manager and a member of the Chapter Conservation Committee, will provide an update on the decommissioning schedule and how changes in Project operations will impact our region’s fish and people. Also participating will be David Keller, former Bay Area Director Friends of the Eel River, who drove the dam safety issues to the forefront of review by state and federal agencies.

The presentation will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

The forum is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required to access the Zoom room. Please visit the calendar on the Chapter home page, or follow this direct link to RSVP.   Registrants will receive a confirming email with the zoom link, and a followup reminder the morning of the event. Since space is limited, we will also live stream to the Chapter’s Facebook page