‘This Undertaking Nonetheless, Undeniably, Presents a Risk to Human Life and Property,’ Says Letter to the Editor – Redheaded Blackbelt

‘This Undertaking Nonetheless, Undeniably, Presents a Risk to Human Life and Property,’ Says Letter to the Editor – Redheaded Blackbelt

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Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion part. To submit yours for consideration, please ship to [email protected] Please contemplate together with a picture for use–both {a photograph} of you or one thing relevant to the letter. Nevertheless, a picture will not be mandatory for publication.

Bear in mind opinions expressed don’t essentially replicate that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.

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Expensive Group,

The Marshall Ranch Streamflow Enhancement Undertaking has been within the growth and design stage and can quickly be proposed to the Humboldt County Planning Fee by means of the Adverse Mitigated Declaration course of for approval. We’re requesting that this venture as proposed be denied.

Our property is the closest to and adjoins the parcel the place this venture is proposed. Actually, the proposed reservoir will likely be positioned instantly over our property, house and workplace.

In late 2018 we have been first approached by the Marshall Ranch representatives and knowledgeable of a possible venture to boost the fish habitat and streamflow in Redwood Creek by capturing winter runoff in a pond after which returning it into the creek throughout late summer time water flows. We weren’t given any sense of the magnitude of this venture that they had deliberate. They didn’t present any written or plot plans of the venture they have been planning nor have been we instructed of the attainable or potential life-threatening state of affairs this venture would create. We had heard that because the Marshall Ranch just lately had an possession change that they have been on the lookout for methods to keep away from inheritance taxes and we have been later knowledgeable that the California Rangeland Belief bought a conservation easement on the +2,900-acre ranch. We by no means heard anything about this proposed venture from them.

It wasn’t till we acquired a Discover of Intent to Undertake a Mitigated Adverse Declaration letter from Humboldt Co. Planning and Constructing Dept., dated 10/31/19, that we realized that this venture had already been by means of a major design growth and that the Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) had submitted the appliance for the permits for this venture to maneuver ahead to implementation. There was no outreach to the adjoining parcels, neighbors or to the city of Briceland, the place this venture is proposed to be positioned. Seemingly, the County Planner rubber-stamped this venture for approval with out severely taking a look at or questioning the consequences this venture would have on something past the environmental impacts and so they weren’t being required to conduct an environmental impression report. The preliminary plan maps submitted to the County didn’t observe any of the encircling property residences.

What we have now realized since then is that SRF, together with the design plans by Stillwater Sciences (SS), is proposing (was 16.three million) a now 15.three million gallon reservoir, constructed by digging out an enormous gap into an historic, distinctive and pristine geomorphic terrace and piling the grime up across the edges to create a 10 ft. excessive earthen berm dam to carry the water in. An intricate system of piping will management and ship the water again into Redwood Creek throughout the low move summer time months. As well as, giant photo voltaic arrays are designed into the venture to supply auxiliary energy and to theoretically generate income to fund the operation of this water supply system.This reservoir was sized deliberately to be just under the State Division of Security of Dams (DSOD) jurisdictional oversite so it will not be topic to State inspection, reporting and regulatory charges. This sizing issue locations this reservoir solely underneath the jurisdiction and oversite by Humboldt County to guarantee us of continued public security and monitoring. Humboldt County doesn’t have a delegated division of Dam Security and there may be nothing within the plans that lays out or proposes how the County will monitor this reservoir both quick or long run. State grants have already been utilized to conduct preliminary research and plans and extra public funds are proposed to be tapped to finance this venture.

A lot has occurred because the first public discover final October. The primary submission for plan approval from the County was postponed as a result of SRF & SS agreed with us that the preliminary plans had not been completely engineered to remove the chance of a significant catastrophic failure. It’s tough to enter element right here however there may be, on report with the County, substantial feedback and paperwork submitted relating to the destructive results and inappropriateness of finding this venture instantly over the heads of neighboring properties and the menace it poses to human life within the occasion of a catastrophic failure. These information and feedback can be found for public evaluate. We encourage individuals to evaluate these information as there are a lot of parts of this venture and every element has required detailed scrutiny to know the scope and magnitude of this venture and the impacts it will have on the encircling individuals, land and neighborhood. Makes an attempt have been made to voice our emotions, deal with these issues and have been commented on within the public paperwork. As a CEQA a part of this venture transferring ahead, they have been required to handle our feedback and issues. Due to this venture’s complexity and large impression, we’re requesting {that a} full EIR be carried out on this venture. It’s fascinating that in all of the paperwork initially proposed to the County that nowhere have been the consequences on individuals and the encircling properties addressed and even talked about. Actually, at one in all our preliminary conferences with Dana Stolzman of SRF and Joel Monschke of SS we have been scoffed at and instructed that our fears relating to a dam failure have been unfounded and that there was a zero likelihood of that occuring. Since then, they’ve admitted that the unique plans weren’t fail-proof and that our issues of catastrophic failure have been in actual fact warranted and so they have now gone again and performed intensive plan re-designs.

Over the previous ten months we have now made a superb religion effort to work with Dana and Joel to handle plan designs that didn’t adequately display or reply our issues of how our lives and property have been both not being threatened or being adequately shielded from having a 15.three million gallon reservoir of water positioned instantly over our house.

After three design plan revisions we are actually being introduced with a 90% accomplished plan. SRF and SS’s proposed resolution to the potential catastrophic dam failure has been to design and assemble a separate 20 ft. earthen berm, known as a deflection berm, to be positioned simply off our north/south shared property line to hopefully deflect the torrential move away to the west from our house and property and direct this catastrophic move in the direction of and doubtlessly harm the very creek this venture is meant to boost.

We’ve got acknowledged our issues above and in earlier correspondence and submissions to the County, however we really feel it’s applicable to once more quote the premise for questioning the location of this reservoir. From the Federal USDA/NRDS publication Agricultural Handbook 590, Ponds- Planning, Design, Development, underneath the part Preliminary Investigations/Basic Issues, web page #9, it clearly and unequivocally states:

“Don’t overlook the opportunity of failure of the dam and the ensuing harm from sudden launch of water. Don’t find your pond the place failure of the dam might trigger lack of life; harm to individuals or livestock; harm to houses, and so on.,”

This venture nonetheless, undeniably, presents a menace to human life and property. The redesigned plans haven’t eradicated this menace. The redesigned plans have solely tried to cut back the chance, it can’t remove it, therefore the repeated use of the phrase “mitigate” all through the design plan descriptions and adjustments. The core situation is, if the design can’t remove, not simply mitigate the potential for an earthen berm dam failure, then it shouldn’t be underneath additional consideration on this location. PERIOD.

We’re surrounded on three sides by Redwood Creek. We’ve got lived with Redwood Creek flowing proper by our home for 26 years. There’s not someday that we don’t go to the sting of the financial institution and see what’s going on up and down the creek. Over time we have now absolutely supported and took part in fish rearing/launch initiatives on our property and efforts to revive the fish inhabitants and habitat. We imagine that fish rearing efforts and in-stream initiatives are efficient and demonstrably worthwhile.

Redwood Creek has been designated by the State as a important, precedence watershed. This venture will completely change the historic drainage patterns of the encircling space and will alter the well being and stability of Redwood Creek and the lands surrounding this venture. The creek is already experiencing decreased water ranges because of the authorized and unlawful hashish operations large pumping and water consumption in the whole Redwood Creek watershed. This venture proposes to pump out an extra eight million gallons from Redwood Creek per 12 months.

With all due respect, this venture is nothing greater than a glorified science venture (and really costly, utilizing our tax {dollars}). There was no definitive proof introduced nor proof that this venture would accomplish something it proposes to do and no ensures of the result – solely hypothesis and projections of the specified outcomes.

The positioning tour was held October ninth and a big neighborhood consensus was that there has not but been ample research, evaluation or evaluate of the design plans to make sure public security. They haven’t produced any administration, operational, emergency, monetary or decommissioning plans as we have now requested. We’ve got requested that these be produced earlier than the venture is put earlier than County Planning, however they’ve determined to go forward with submitting these present plans to the County for approval. We’re being compelled right into a place of opposing their plans as they’re
at the moment being submitted to the County.

This venture will likely be coming earlier than the Planning Fee for approval to proceed. This choice could have life and land altering results. If this venture is authorised, it is going to be inversely condemning our property and we are going to undergo financially and doubtlessly life-threatening bodily hurt.

We’re requesting that the Planning Fee reject this venture proposal. This website, resulting from its proximity to neighboring houses and property, is an inappropriate location for this venture.

As this venture works its means by means of the following public remark interval and request for one more Adoption of this Mitigated Adverse Declaration, we will likely be submitting additional feedback on this venture at the moment. We encourage all of our neighbors and surrounding neighborhood to additionally submit their feedback and to return collectively to oppose this venture at this location. We won’t assist a venture that has life threatening potentialities and the potential to take action a lot hurt.

Thanks on your time in listening and consideration. If you want to debate this additional please contact us at (707) 923-4123 or e-mail: [email protected]


Jim and Joan Courtois

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