What actions should Mono County take in response to the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s plan to stop irrigation on 6,400 acres of land in the Long Valley/Crowley Lake area?
Your elected officials need to hear from you. The City of Los Angeles, through its Department of Water and Power (LADWP), has dried up approximately 6,400 acres of agricultural lands in Mono County – thereby increasing the risk of wildfire, destroying wetlands and meadow areas, devastating important habitat for sensitive species such as the Bi-State Sage Grouse, reversing more than 70 years of LADWP water management policy, and threatening the environmental, recreational, and agricultural values of our county.
Mono County has met with LADWP and City representatives, asking that they leave the lands in historic conditions while necessary environmental analysis can be completed, and to partner with the County and interested stakeholders on a long-term water management plan. The City refuses to work with the County and ranchers on a compromise. Instead, DWP is de-watering Long Valley ranchland now. No more water will go onto these lands after August 4, and many wetlands have already dried up.
The County recognizes the disastrous impacts this will have and is determining a course of action. At the Board of Supervisors meeting on August 7, County staff will give an update, and present options for taking action to stop this destructive plan. Options include, but are not limited to: (1) Approve proposed letter correcting information contained in various communications from LADWP; (2) Continue outreach to elected officials, agencies and others to further a political solution; (3) Continue participation with interested parties including environmental organizations, recreational groups, wildlife agencies, ranchers and others to coordinate efforts in response to dewatering; (4) Pursue state and/or federal legislation restraining LADWP's actions to protect Mono County’s natural environment, rural heritage and related Eastern Sierra values; (5) File litigation to restrain LADWP’s actions.
Thoughts and feedback shared here will be reviewed during the August 6th meeting. You are also encouraged to attend that meeting in either Mamomth or Bridgeport to participate in person.
Visit https://monocounty.ca.gov/cao/page/mono-supervisors-ask-ladwp-do-right-thing for more information.