An article in the Sunday, November 12, Sacramento Bee indicates that the U.S. Forest Service is demanding major changes at American River dams owned by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
The following is an excerpt from the article, titled “SMUD dams face changes:”
The U.S. Forest Service is demanding major changes at American River dams owned by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, changes that could improve one of the Sierra Nevada’s most popular recreation areas.
The demands came in a massive Oct. 18 filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is relicensing SMUD’s 11 dams and eight powerhouses on the American River’s south fork. The new license would allow SMUD to continue operating these facilities for 30 to 50 years. The Forest Service and others hope to improve recreation and wildlife habitat affected by the SMUD system.
Tensions have been high in the licensing process, which began in 2001 and is among the nation’s most complex.
The full article, which can be found here, provides extensive details about the differences between SMUD and the coalition that includes the USFS and many other government agencies and nonprofit groups. See also the 3-D watershed map at the end of the article.