3/13 Final Hearing. We thank you for continuing to stand with us.

3/13 Final Hearing. We thank you for continuing to stand with us.

We thank you for continuing to stand with us.

Save the Canal has been has been working to prevent the piping of the Upper Main Ditch for over 4 years and we have all dedicated many hours of our time to the effort. We could not have done this without your constant encouragement and support!  We invite you and request your attendance at our final hearing at the Cameron Park Courthouse at 2:30pm (arrive by 2:15) this Friday March 13, 2020.  This is our final chance to show our shared concern about the loss of this resource and YOUR presence will help to amplify our message that EID has failed to address the impacts of this proposed project. 

If EID wins, just remember that we ALL will be paying for this project for many years!  EID plans to raise our water rates 40% over the next 5 years, with the largest increase in 2021, to cover the cost of these unnecessary projects and to service an ever growing debt burden. I think we all know who benefits and who pays the price…

Let’s Save the Canal!

IN JUNE 2015 
many members of our community submitted comments related to El Dorado Irrigation District’s (EID) scoping document for the proposed Upper Main Ditch Piping Project. These comment letters identified major concerns in regards to the proposed piping project including, but not limited to, habitat loss, aesthetic degradation, loss of the recreation resource, riparian habitat destruction and wildlife impacts, the increased risk of fire and the loss of a firefighting resource, and the destruction of a working historical landmark. These comments basically forced EID’s hand to create an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and follow the rules of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

IN THE SUMMER OF 2016, 
Chuck Vanderpool posted a handwritten sign in his yard along the canal trail asking “If anyone wants to save this waterway, give me a call”.  Starting with this simple sign the community began to organize an opposition to the proposed project.

LATER THAT FALL OF 2016, 
at the home of Millie Perry, the group that was to become Save the Canal met for the first time. Since then members of Save the Canal (STEC) have been meeting, fundraising, writing, submitting, mediating, attending board meetings, interviewing, parading, protesting, and writing comments– working tirelessly for more than 4 years to save the upper main ditch, and the many values it brings to our community, from being destroyed by EID.  STEC has not done this alone. We have had the help and contributions of time and financial resources, both large and small, from many hundreds of concerned citizens – Many thanks to all that have been, and continue to, contribute along the way!

DESPITE OUR EFFORTS, ON APRIL 22, 2019 
the EID Board of Directors in a vote of 3-2, certified the final environmental impact report and approved the Upper Main Ditch piping project. The Board adopted the Blair Road Alignment alternative, which generally follows the road except for the stretches below the Blair Road Bridge. To the best of our knowledge, EID doesn’t have all the needed easements for the Blair Road Alternative, and many homeowners along this route likely don’t know that the construction will be on their properties. EID plans to simply abandon the ditch and let it dry up and contend that this will result in no significant impacts to our community or the environment.  They offer no significant mitigations to the loss of resources described above.  Furthermore, they expect the adjacent property owners to assume the liability for maintaining the ditch which currently serves as the drainage system of a 300 acre watershed.  The previously abandoned middle main ditch has resulted in flood damage to many properties in the Cedar Grove area during storm events.

ON MAY 21, 2019
Save the Canal filed a CEQA lawsuit against the El Dorado Irrigation District over plans to pipe the El Dorado Canal in Pollock Pines. We tried a mediation process, but EID would not concede that the project would have any significant unmitigated impacts and therefore refused to provide any meaningful mitigation measures.  It is our contention that unless the canal is maintained and adequate flow is provided to support the surrounding habitat and the many community benefits that the canal provides, this project will result in significant and unmitigated environmental impacts.

SINCE MAY 21, 2019
Save the Canal has been working tirelessly in an arena that is mostly foreign to us and against a utility provider with very deep pockets. Through our CEQA attorney, Marsha Burch, both sides have put forth their arguments by submitting briefs to the judge. Our final response to their brief was submitted at the end of February. Please visit our website at to read or download the briefs. You all helped us pay for them. We thank you.

ON FRIDAY MARCH 13, 2020
Save the Canal will come together again at our hearing at 2:30 pm at the Cameron Park Branch of the El Dorado County Court, 3321 Cameron Park Dr. Cameron Park, 95682. (arrive by 2:15).
We need to stay united!  We run into people all the time around town cheering on our efforts and IT DOES make a difference. You make the difference. Let’s make the difference together! 

Please plan to join us to show your support if you think the ditch:
• is a recreation resource
• creates a rich riparian habitat worth saving
• provides habitat for birds and other wildlife
• is a valuable historical landmark
• is a source of aesthetic beauty
• provides a firefighting resource

See you on Friday,
Your friends at Save the Canal


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