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#22910 - 04/15/12 11:43 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
Originally Posted By: Ken
for example, when I google "we own the people of Owens Valley, lock stock and barrel" ----it appears on the internet in only one place, and that is on this thread.

Ken, I summarized the quote at the end of a 3 page article. Here's the quote verbatim:

L.A.'s utility chief Freeman recently told a reporter that the DWP owned the people of Owens Valley "lock, stock and barrel." He was right.


Here's the web address:   http://www.alternet.org/water/145761/l.a...r_panels?page=3


As I said, I would be very cautious about taking an advocates position as having anything to do with the truth.

Several things that bring the veracity of your "quote" into question:

1. the article is a couple of years old.
2. the "quote", which was not in quotes, except for three words, were attributed to "a reporter"-unnamed.
3. The person who supposedly said this, is known nationally as a "eco-pioneer", and is currently the head of a hydrogen car company, and is a renowned anti-nuclear activist.

4. Other websites cite the quote DIFFERENTLY. For example,

http://www.sierrawave.net/4385/bureaucrat-beat-grow-up-cool-clint-dapper-david/

"big plans to develop solar power here where, as he put it, DWP owns the Owens Valley "lock, stock and barrel.""

So different activist sites put out different permutations of a person's words, not in quotes, to push buttons. That is manipulation.

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#22945 - 04/16/12 09:54 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: Ken]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1139
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Ken
4. Other websites cite the quote DIFFERENTLY. For example,

http://www.sierrawave.net/4385/bureaucrat-beat-grow-up-cool-clint-dapper-david/

"big plans to develop solar power here where, as he put it, DWP owns the Owens Valley "lock, stock and barrel.""

So different activist sites put out different permutations of a person's words, not in quotes, to push buttons. That is manipulation.


I have no idea of what words Mr. Freeman actually used, and I don't trust any print media to get it exactly correct. But the message is clear either way - whether he claimed LADWP owns Owens Valley, or if he claimed LADWP owns the people of Owens Valley.

Here's a more complete version of the text from your source. With the entire sentence considered, it seems even more provocative than the quote I used, but that's just my opinion.

It was Dapper David who slithered into the Eastern Sierra with his cowboy hat, boots and big plans to develop solar power here where, as he put it, DWP owns the Owens Valley "lock, stock and barrel."

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#22946 - 04/16/12 11:29 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
...
I have no idea of what words Mr. Freeman actually used, and I don't trust any print media to get it exactly correct. But the message is clear either way - whether he claimed LADWP owns Owens Valley, or if he claimed LADWP owns the people of Owens Valley.
...


The difference is that, with respect to agricultural land, LAWP does own the Owens Valley. The people who owned the lands with water rights almost entirely sold out a century ago. The significance of that to the current thread topic is that, no matter how entertaining it is to distort the news, unless the town of Mammoth can turn around the legal principles under which the American west was developed, the town has simply been caught stealing the bully's water. Maybe it's time for that legal framework to change. Of course, if Mammoth gets to consume a portion of the water that flows to the Owens River, they'll be responsible for that same portion of the cost of the dust mitigation on the dry Owens Lake bed. That's one of the consequences of the water consumption. Will Mammoth be any more eager to pay that than LA has been?

Would someone who thinks "the message is clear" care to actually state what they think "the message" is so that we can consider what impact it has on the subject of this thread?

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#22954 - 04/17/12 07:24 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Except for George and myself, the only posters on this topic are folks who do not live in the Owens Valley, but are occasional visitors. Those of us who have lived here for any length of time (37 years for me) have seen the results of the rape of the Owens Valley by LADWP. But if you live in the LA area, you certainly have a vested interest in getting more and more water from this beautiful valley to fill your swimming pools and water your lawns.

The Owens Valley, in its original, natural state, is Sage brush terrain, except for the major Spring run-off zones (the Bishop flood plain,for example). But many areas are now dust bowls, caused by excessive ground water pumping by LADWP; there are plenty of facts to back this up.

Here is a little more history for you: http://exiledonline.com/the-story-of-how...-in-california/


If you don't believe the documented history, then the next time some of you folks from out of the area come for a visit, take a couple of extra days to drive around the back roads off Highway 395, and take a look at the destruction of the natural landscape caused by underground pumping. If you can't locate those areas, then ask the County Water Dept. to give you directions; they know exactly what to show you. Then, head on up to Whitney Portal and have fun.



Edited by Bob West (04/17/12 07:29 AM)

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#22957 - 04/17/12 08:13 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1139
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: dbd
Would someone who thinks "the message is clear" care to actually state what they think "the message" is so that we can consider what impact it has on the subject of this thread?

Dale B. Dalrymple

The amount of water Mammoth is consuming is a drop in a bucket compared to the amount that LADWP is transporting to LA. LADWP is probably legally entitled to go after this last drop, but is that the message that a "bully" (in your words) wants to send? Given the history, I think the message is plenty clear and consistent to the people of Owens Valley.

This reminds me of the Grinch who stole Christmas when he reaches down the fireplace for that last crumb, "too small for a mouse." LADWP may not be "stealing" the water like the Grinch, but they should realize that's how a lot of people see it. It would be cheap PR to come to a deal with Mammoth and then promote the compromise as a good steward rather than be seen as a "bully." They don't seem to care one bit about how they are viewed by the public.

PS. I like the solar panel idea if it's done right. This is another opportunity to give something back to the people of Owens Valley, but most likely they will simply maximize profits.

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#22963 - 04/17/12 10:20 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Further reading on the Owens Valley water problems:

http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/ov_aqueduct1/myth1.html

Ok, it's a long article, but worth reading if anyone cares enough.

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#22975 - 04/17/12 01:47 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
...
This reminds me of the Grinch who stole Christmas when he reaches down the fireplace for that last crumb, "too small for a mouse." LADWP may not be "stealing" the water like the Grinch, but they should realize that's how a lot of people see it. It would be cheap PR to come to a deal with Mammoth and then promote the compromise as a good steward rather than be seen as a "bully." They don't seem to care one bit about how they are viewed by the public.

PS. I like the solar panel idea if it's done right. This is another opportunity to give something back to the people of Owens Valley, but most likely they will simply maximize profits.

I think many people see LA as "stealing" because of kind of exaggerated hype they've seen from sources such as you have cited. But going to those sources, the real issues are not a "drop in the bucket". "Drop in the bucket" -is- a fairy tale. Most every community on the east side wants land and water for development and outside capital investment for tax base. Water rights are like copyrights in that, if you don't defend them, you lose them. The reason we can discuss "a drop in the bucket" is that LA has been defending it's purchased rights and can be expected to continue to do so. The problem with the exaggerated hype is that it is actively harmful.

I agree with you that solar panels for power in the dry lake could be a good idea if done right. I really don't expect it to happen because of two groups in Inyo county itself. One group is the green NIMBYs who object to expansions of solar technology into undeveloped areas like solar panels in their dry lake bed or solar toilets in their wilderness. The other group is made up of those who in light of exaggerated hype would rather spite LA than encourage economic development in the Owens Valley or conversion of California to sustainable energy.

Exaggerated sound bites may be fun and entertaining, but they prevent solutions by distracting from them. What could anyone expect LA to "give back" while they are under attack?

Dale B Dalrymple

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#22995 - 04/17/12 06:29 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1139
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: dbd
What could anyone expect LA to "give back" while they are under attack?
Dale B Dalrymple

Interesting perspective, LA under attack because they filed a lawsuit against a small Mammoth water district over 1% of the water they are exporting from the Owens Valley. Then they try to move the hearing to Fresno. The water in question is being used in part to provide fishery flows as ordered by the State after a 10-yr environmental review. Seems MCWD has been granted the right to this water since 1949.

Here's a link to a simple 2-page fact sheet that presents the little guy's side of the story from Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD).

http://www.mcwd.dst.ca.us/LADWP%20Lawsuit/FactSheetonDWPLawsuits.pdf

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#22997 - 04/17/12 06:43 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1018
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
here is the short version of that 2 pages.
I like the plain English:

LADWP's pursuit of its two lawsuits will be at a significant expense to its and MCWD's ratepayers and represents nothing more than a bullying tactic with no potential positive outcome for LADWP's customers. Even if LADWP were to succeed in these lawsuits, the results would be that MCWD would have to revise its Final EIR and UWMP;LADWP would not receive more water.

MCWD already has invested significant resources—both time and money—to conduct an exhaustive 20 year evaluation necessary to confirm that the fishery bypass flow criteria are appropriate and will not result in a reduction of downstream flows.

LADWP's lawsuits are unjustified and ill-informed. LADWP cannot now complain about MCWD's diversions when for 60 years it failed to raise any objections.

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#23002 - 04/17/12 09:47 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7615
Loc: Fresno, CA
Wait a minute.... ....they're trying to move this to Fresno, to the court found that the USFS needed to stop all projects and proceed as the environmentalist plaintiffs were asking???

I'm chuckling at that one.

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#23017 - 04/18/12 11:12 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
Originally Posted By: dbd
What could anyone expect LA to "give back" while they are under attack?
Dale B Dalrymple

Interesting perspective, LA under attack because they filed a lawsuit against a small Mammoth water district over 1% of the water they are exporting from the Owens Valley. Then they try to move the hearing to Fresno. The water in question is being used in part to provide fishery flows as ordered by the State after a 10-yr environmental review. Seems MCWD has been granted the right to this water since 1949.
...


That is not my suggestion. Anyone who suggests LA is only under attack because of town of Mammoth water diversion is pretending to be unaware of 100 years of history. Since you have already cited such attackers in this thread, the only such pretender is you.

As to MCWD and LAWP claims, they disagree, and in the history of the west it is not unusual for conflicting rights to have been granted. The decision will be made, eventually, in some court, not by exaggerating hype on some websites.

As to accepting a fact sheet from Mammoth as a reliable source on legal issues it would be well to consider the success of Mammoth's recent legal activity:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/09/local/la-me-mammoth-bankruptcy-20110110-33

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#23021 - 04/18/12 12:28 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1018
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: dbd

As to accepting a fact sheet from Mammoth as a reliable source on legal issues it would be well to consider the success of Mammoth's recent legal activity:

We all know that two lawyers looking at the exact same issue can, in fact perhaps should, have such diverse opinions as to make it impossible to know which or both are lying on behalf of their clients, no matter whether factually right or wrong. About like politicians.

Dale, I have no dog in the fight living here in the east, how about you? Harvey

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#23079 - 04/20/12 09:06 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: Harvey Lankford]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford

...
Dale, I have no dog in the fight living here in the east, how about you? Harvey


I think Mammoth and LA have much greater commonality than difference. Both have been growing communities, also fed by migration from other areas and have had no intention of letting (then) current water availability limit their growth. Both game the system for greatest advantage. Both use lawyers in this process. Since California law has given wildlife values legal weight under law, both have added biologists to their quivers. Both advertise the wonderful contributions of their biologists to the benefit of wildlife.

The only differences are that LA had almost a century head start and seems to have had more money.

Mammoth and LA aren't unique. I live in San Diego County. 100 years ago there were 20 pound steelhead entering San Diego County streams to spawn. Local farmers and towns had growing water usage. Dams were built blocking spawning access. Diversions dewatered streams. Well pumping lowered water tables and altered vegetation and wildlife communities. LA didn't have any part in it.

While it doesn't exactly fit under the title of this thread, I think the interesting issue is the one Bob West has pointed to. Early water right law had no consideration of pollution effects and wildlife values. As the laws have been changed, the consumers of water resources have been compelled (kicking and screaming) to remediate pollution and wildlife impacts. Since Mammoth wants to consume more of the water that once kept Owens Lake filled with brine, does Mammoth want to pay more of the dust control bill? Wouldn't that be a fair apportionment?

The effort to identify and enforce the recent environmental law changes is ongoing and doesn't get as much attention in slower economic times.

The south coast steelhead has been listed as a federal endangered species. When that happened, the southern-most successful spawning runs were in Malibu and Topanga Creeks north of LA. It was assumed that dams and dewatering and hybridization with the millions of stocked hatchery fish had removed any trace of the original steelhead genetics further south. The assumption has turned out to be false. I've been volunteering through the local Trout Unlimited chapter under a grant from the California Department of Fish and Game on a project to collect DNA samples to identify which of the self-sustaining populations of rainbow trout in the area are genetic steelhead. During winter storm events some of these fish have been descending normally dry chanels to the Pacific, feeding and growing for a couple of years and trying to return. But what can be done to support these fish is parly about the water. See;
http://m.nctimes.com/mobile/article_cd5748e0-8130-571c-9c00-41848b859cae.html

That's one of my dogs in the fight.

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#23102 - 04/20/12 06:13 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1018
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Thanks Dale.

My interest is as a lover of the Eastern Sierra and strictly amateur reading about the water issues.I live on the James River where 15 feet is flood stage but have seen 32. Quite a bit different than the Owens.

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#23104 - 04/20/12 07:23 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1139
Loc: NorCal
Dale, your defense of LADWP's history in the Owens Valley is a valiant effort - that's a tough record to defend given the history and resentment it has created in the local people.

I attached a link to explain Mammoth's side of the story. I didn't claim it was the whole story behind all this. And I also posted a link about the Mammoth bankruptcy, not sure why you posted that again.

I have nothing against LADWP and I'm not attacking them by recognizing history for what it is. I just disagree with the current manager's approach to dealing with Mammoth. It's a PR disaster to sue over the last 1% drop of water that Mammoth has been putting to good use for 60 years. Sometimes an entity just has to let go and negotiate for the good of everyone involved. The good PR might be more valuable than that last drop.

There's no need to sugar coat the historical record - even LADWP admits they were hiding things when they purchased the land in the first place. The implication was that the land was going to be used for a reclamation project to develop agriculture - like what happened on the other side of the Sierra's in the Central Valley. The farmers could not even imagine the engineering feat that was being hatched to move water hundreds of miles to LA, or the impact it would have to the entire area.

That's great you're involved with trout issues down there So Cal. That's another tough issue with a lot of history.

Mark Twain said it best, "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fightin' over."

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#23137 - 04/22/12 11:03 PM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
It doesn't require any valiance to recognize the repetitive exaggerations of events and the misleading manipulations of quotations. In my previous post I clearly painted the two towns equally. If I spent more time responding to misrepresentations and manipulations about LA it is because the misrepresenters and manipulaters haven't been giving Mammoth equal time so I've had no reason to.

LA's actions have been misrepresented as a one act play: The ploy, the sales, and then the water diversion. Those who have followed the links Bob West has provided know that the farmers continued to sell land to LA decades after the water started to flow because they knew what was going on and were intent on holding out for more money. In later decades, farmers in the Mono basin continued to sell land and water rights to La.

As to PR effects, for LA to have lost any PR value there would have to exist some body of people that LA cared about the feelings of who would also be able to be influenced favorably by LA's yielding water rights. I know of no group that would be so influenced. And where would you think to find a group the LA you describe would care about?

The trout issues in San Diego are the same as the issues in the Mammoth Creek drainage. The same laws are being applied. And the laws are applicable to Mammoth Creek in part because of the trout that have been planted there (although they were native in San Diego).

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has subsidiary water rights in Mammoth Creek dating back 60 years. They may be allowed to divert water after water bypass for fish health, etc. and all senior water rights have been satisfied. LA and others have senior water rights in Mammoth Creek going back to the 1800s. One of the factors complicating the determination of allowed diversions has been that Mammoth's ground water pumping influences the in-stream flows for fish. Shows similarity to the history of LA in the Owens Valley doesn't it?

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#23142 - 04/23/12 09:37 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1139
Loc: NorCal
I don't see misrepresentation and manipulation in these criticisms of LADWP. Even LADWP admits to deception in the original land purchase. This is right off their website:

The Last Spike is Driven
Eaton visited the Owens Valley in 1905 and began to purchase land for the City of Los Angeles. He gave the impression that he was working for the US Reclamation Service on a public irrigation project, angering local residents when they discovered he was buying land and water rights for Los Angeles


Of course once the valley began to dry up and the federal troops were called in, the future of farming became quite clear. There wasn't going to be any reclamation project and the water was going hundreds of miles away. Farming as they knew it just wasn't going to happen. Of course the remaining farmers sold out after that point in history. The battle was already over.

But that's all history and those people are mostly all dead. What's bothersome is the failure to recognize the impact of that history. Instead of trying to patch things up, LADWP pursued an aggressive legalistic approach to every issue that comes up. They consistently fight every attempt to address the impacts they are causing. I'm suggesting this current battle over the last drop of Mammoth water might be a good time to change that aggressive legalistic strategy. It's never too late to try to repair historical differences and start to build some mutual trust and respect. There will be plenty more issues in the future where it will pay off.

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#23146 - 04/23/12 10:54 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: SierraNevada]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
...
But that's all history and those people are mostly all dead. What's bothersome is the failure to recognize the impact of that history. Instead of trying to patch things up, LADWP pursued an aggressive legalistic approach to every issue that comes up. They consistently fight every attempt to address the impacts they are causing. I'm suggesting this current battle over the last drop of Mammoth water might be a good time to change that aggressive legalistic strategy. It's never too late to try to repair historical differences and start to build some mutual trust and respect. There will be plenty more issues in the future where it will pay off.


Dream on. I think there is much to be said in favor of Robert Heinlein's character Lazarus Long's view:

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. [from the notebooks of Lazarus Long]

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#23147 - 04/23/12 11:24 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: dbd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7615
Loc: Fresno, CA
I'm getting confused here....

DBD and Sierra Nevada, are you two arguing? If you are, I am sure wondering what point each of you is trying to make.

I certainly don't see anyone endorsing the LADWP actions or LA's removing water from the Owens Valley.

It appears Sierra Nevada is saying it's unfortunate how LADWP is pursuing the water issues. And it appears DBD is criticizing Sierra Nevada for the way he's saying it. If I could see a brief summary of the point each is trying to make, maybe I could understand better.

This thread is pretty good reading, and quite informative. I just don't understand the reasons for argumentative tone. :confused:

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#23148 - 04/23/12 11:27 AM Re: LA wants to steal Mammoth Creek water [Re: Steve C]
Burchey
Unregistered


I didn't even read the thread, I just know I'm angry at both DBD and SierraNevada.

YEAH!

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