A New Hope for an Ancestral River

  “Many people know that the river’s name is the Eel River right now, but the original name is Wiyot, that’s what we originated our name from and that is our ancestral river.” Ted Hernandez, Tribal Chair and Cultural Director for the Wiyot Tribe. Friends of the Eel River’s Conservation Director Scott Greacen hosts a discussion … Read more

Some Clarity At Last – PG&E Ends Dam Relicensing, Sale

We have great news for the Eel River and its fisheries. Days before entering bankruptcy, utility giant PG&E withdrew its application to relicense the Potter Valley Project and ended its attempt to sell the project, which includes two dams on the upper mainstem Eel River. Friends of the Eel River has been working for decades … Read more

Friends of the Eel River Welcomes PG&E’s Abandonment of Eel River Dams Relicensing Application

(Eureka) Friends of the Eel River welcomes today’s announcement by PG&E that the utility is withdrawing its formal notice of intent to seek relicensing of the Potter Valley Project (PVP) before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and ceasing its efforts to sell off the two dams and associated diversion works. The two dams and … Read more

BREAKING NEWS: Pacific Gas and Electric Withdraws “Notice of Intent to File License Application”

From Pacific Gas and Electric: NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF NOTICE OF INTENT TO FILE LICENSE APPLICATION AND PRE–APPLICATION DOCUMENT On April 6, 2017, pursuant to 18 C.F.R. §§ 5.5 and 5.6, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”), filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) notice of its intent to file an application for a … Read more

PG&E Moves To Auction Off Eel River Dams Amid Growing Seismic Safety Concerns

Geologic Map Gravelly Valley

Utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) began seeking potential buyers today for two aging dams on the upper Eel River, even as new questions emerge about the vulnerability of the larger dam to seismic shocks. A conservation group working to remove the dams released a technical analysis today that identifies an active landslide above the … Read more

Is the Future of Eel River Dams Being Decided Behind Closed Doors?

Tune in for a discussion of the fate of the Eel River dams that highlights more questions than answers.  Pacific Gas and Electric made headlines last week when they announced, during the Eel Russian River Commission (ERRC) meeting, their intention to sell or surrender the Eel River dams. The Commission then began a discussion of … Read more

Eel River Dams (de)licensing Update

Potter Valley Project map

Every thirty to fifty years, hydropower projects get relicensed. Everyone knows that hydroelectric power is clean power, dams are good for rivers and fish, and even old dams never suffer any serious failures. So we should keep them all! At least, that appears to be how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) thinks. The agency … Read more

FOER and Allies Submit Comments to FERC on Scoping Document 1 & Study Plan Proposals

Friends of the Eel River and our conservation group partners submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on their Scoping Document 1 for the relicensing of Potter Valley Project. You can read our full comments or any specific section below. Conservation group partners: American Whitewater, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Trout, Friends of the … Read more

PG&E Files Notice of Intent to Relicense Eel River Dams

Pacific Gas and Electric, owners of the Eel River Dams known as the Potter Valley Project (PVP), filed their Notice of Intent and Pre-Application Documents with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This begins the relicensing process for the PVP, which consists of two dams, a mile-long diversion tunnel, and a small hydropower facility. The PAD … Read more

109-year-old Potter Valley Project the Controversial Link Between Russian and Eel Rivers

About 80 feet behind the PG&E hydropower plant in Potter Valley, gray-green silt-laden water from the Eel River passes through a steel gate and is invisibly transformed. It has become part of the Russian River, which provides water for more than 600,000 people from Redwood Valley to northern Marin County. “Once it passes the gate, … Read more