Potter Valley Project Updates

Action from FERC and PG&E seems to come in quick bursts – a lot has happened over the past two months. Before diving into that, we want to share the exciting news that this week FOER and our allies filed suit against FERC for violating the Endangered Species Act. When the federal agency issued an … Read more

Sifting Through the Studies: Eel River Dams and Fish Passage

The Eel River once flowed unobstructed from its headwaters in Mendocino County to the Pacific Ocean, supporting the third largest salmon and steelhead runs in California. Over a million fish historically spawned each year within the Eel River watershed (Source: Yoshiyama & Moyle, 2010). All that has changed over the past century, with the effects … Read more

Celebrating Victories and Standing Up to Corporate Bullies

Dear Friends, Taking time to pause and celebrate victories is often challenging, but it is so good for the soul. So, I want to take a moment to shout from my metaphoric rooftop that we saved the North Coast from being poisoned by coal!! Maintain the momentum – please make a generous gift today and … Read more

PG&E’s License to Operate Potter Valley Project Expires

Aging Eel River dams headed for license surrender and decommissioning Today, PG&E’s license to operate the Potter Valley Project (PVP) expires. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – the agency tasked with regulating hydropower projects – will now ask PG&E to surrender their license to operate the project and propose a plan to decommission it. … Read more

FOER on the Ecology Hour, KZYX

Friends of the Eel River on the Ecology Hour, KZYX Host: Anna Halligan Tuesday, March 22, 2022 7:00pm to 8:00pm The Ecology Hour features in-depth interviews with experts on every facet of Mendocino County’s diverse and spectacular natural world. Rotating hosts include Environmental Educator Hannah Bird, Restoration Biologist Anna Halligan, Scientists Bob Spies & Tim … Read more

Dam Safety Series: Faults

Closeup of Bartlett Springs Fault from USGS

Hold PG&E At Fault Underlying issues threatening Scott Dam Scott Dam’s proximity to the Bartlett Springs Fault is a major safety concern. The Bartlett Springs fault was not identified by geologists as “a regionally significant seismic source” until the 1980s, nearly sixty years after Scott Dam was constructed. Scott Dam is not only old, outdated, … Read more

Potter Valley Project Surrender and Decommissioning the Best Path for Eel River Fisheries

September 9, 2021 Contact: Alicia Hamann, alicia(at)eelriver.org Scott Greacen, scott(at)eelriver.org Potter Valley Project Surrender and Decommissioning the Best Path for Eel River Fisheries The Two Basin Partnership should withdraw their Notice of Intent to relicense and support the quickest and surest path to dam removal on the Eel River. Friends of the Eel … Read more

Dam Safety Series: Sediment

Restorative Vision for the Upper Eel River

A Much Bigger Problem – More ways poor design impacts dam safety at Scott Dam Decreased water storage, high temperatures, and evapotranspiration cause the sediment that has piled up in steep banks behind Scott Dam to dry out and slough off, threatening to irreparably clog the ‘needle valve’ which is the only way to release … Read more

FOER Comments to FERC on PG&E’s latest Flow Variance Request

For the seventh time over the past nine years, PG&E is requesting yet another flow variance at the Potter Valley Project due to limited water availability. As the utility explained to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), PG&E is cutting diversions to Potter Valley and the East Branch Russian River to roughly half those normally … Read more