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Toiyabe Chapter
Nevada and Eastern California
PO Box 8096
Reno, NV 89507

(775) 323-3162

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Springs in Lincoln and White Pine Counties support a large percentage of the areas agriculture
Lund Spring in E. Nevada's White River Valley supplies rural agriculture livelihoods as do many other large regional springs throughout eastern and southern Nevada.   (Dennis  Ghiglieri,  May 2004)

BLM will conduct the Pipeline EIS.

Your scoping comments needed by Monday, August 1, 2005. 
 

PLEASE HELP STOP ANOTHER OWENS VALLEY DISASTER IN EASTERN NEVADA & WESTERN UTAH

Conservationists, hunters, fishermen, ranchers, farmers, and city-dwellers have joined residents in 8 rural counties in eastern Nevada and western Utah to oppose the Las Vegas water grab and the re-creation of an Owens Valley in the two western states. The Southern Nevada Water Authority has reactivated dozens of well applications it filed in the early 1990’s to pump and export 200,000 acre feet/year from the carbonate aquifer of eastern Nevada through pipelines to support new growth in Las Vegas. That’s enough to support an additional 800,000+ people moving into Las Vegas or Henderson or Boulder City.

The Bureau of Land Management is initiating an Environmental Impact Statement process to assess the impacts of the proposed massive water exportation project. The first step in the EIS process is called SCOPING. The BLM must ask the public to identify all the issues which need to be studied. Nine scoping meetings have been scheduled in Nevada and Utah in the next two weeks.

As westerners, we are faced with witnessing eastern Nevada and the west desert of Utah being drained because of the water needs of burgeoning growth in Las Vegas. Our rural communities, our national parks and wildlife refuges and our fragile desert springs are all an integral part of the west. We need to make sure that the Las Vegas groundwater exportation project does not result in the environmental and social disasters caused by LADWP’s taking of Owens Valley water for nearly a century in the eastern Sierra.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Send comments to BLM to make sure all of the potential impacts of water exportation are studied in the EIS. Mention as many impacts as possible, including the following:

RURAL SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ISSUES: What impacts would water exportation have on rural communities in the west desert and eastern Nevada and their economic future? On families and small towns? Will the Owens Valley disaster be repeated?

NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS AND WILDLIFE REFUGES: What are the impacts on our national and state parks, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas of proposed water exportation, including the Great Basin National Park, and Death Valley NP, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Fish Springs, Pahranagat, and Desert NWRs? Will the Ruby Marshes NWR be affected?

WATER ISSUES: Is there any excess water which can be exported without impacting existing water users, desert springs and sensitive species, wildlife habitat, and recreation - in Nevada, Utah, and California? Will the project dry up playa lakes and create toxic dust clouds, such as has happened at Owens Lake?

URBAN IMPACTS: What are the impacts of an additional 800,000+ people moving to southern Nevada urban areas on increased air pollution, traffic congestion, infrastructure - more schools, police, parks, etc., real estate value and taxes, loss of open space and wildlife habitat?

PUBLIC PROCESS: Urge the BLM to make public all the technical data and ground water models used in the EIS process, for public review since so little is known about the groundwater flow system and where the impacts of pumping could occur, even hundreds of miles away at Devil’s Hole at Ash Meadows NWR and springs at the Great Basin and Death Valley National Parks.

CUMULATIVE IMPACTS: How will the BLM assess the cumulative impacts of all the pump and pipe proposals in Nevada, western Utah, and eastern California, instead of piecemeal analysis of each pipeline project?

MONITORING AND MITIGATION: What monitoring and mitigation is needed to identify and minimize adverse impacts of groundwater pumping on the environment, local economies, wildlife, etc.? How would this be enforced by the BLM in the future (since LADWP has never lived up to its promises and agreements in Owens Valley)?

Mail your comments to:

BLM
Ely Field Office

HC 33 Box 33500
Ely, NV 89301


Comment deadline is Monday August 1, 2005.

Sample scoping letter:  Send in this sample letter and share your concern about the pipeline proposal with the BLM.  The impacts from groundwater pumping will continue into the foreseeable future; comment today and thank you.

If the EIS process had been created in the early 1900’s, we might have avoided the adverse impacts on Owens Valley and nearly losing Mono Lake. Please take advantage of the public EIS process and send BLM your scoping issues. Together, we may be able to help prevent another Owens Valley disaster in Nevada and western Utah.Pumping is proposed from extremely dry valleys such as those shown here.


Want to develop your own comments?  See the info in our alert and read the preliminary project description below.  Or to save time see our sample letter.

OFFICIAL BLM DESCRIPTION & MAPS OF PIPELINE AND PUMPING EIS FOR WATER EXPORTATION

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Groundwater pumping is proposed from extremely arid valleys in southern and eastern Nevada such as Three Lakes Valley in the background in Clark County.