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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

Please join us in support of the canal at our hearing on March 13 at 2:30 at the Cameron Park Courthouse!

Please join us in support of the canal at our hearing on March 13 at 2:30 at the Cameron Park Courthouse!

 

 

Hi All-

Mark your calendars! Our hearing date is set for March 13, 2020 at 2:30 pm at the Cameron Park Branch of the El Dorado County Court, 3321 Cameron Park Dr. Cameron Park, 95682. Please come support the canal. We need to stay diligent!

Here is the response brief from our attorney(3 docs). Now the court will have all three briefs; Our initial brief, EID’s response brief and our response to their response.

2020.2.24 FINAL STEC Reply Brief

2020.2.24 FINAL STEC v. EID Decl of MAB Reply

2020.2.24 STEC v EID Appendix on Reply

We continue to need your help with legal fees. It is critical as the cost of  paying an attorney to write these briefs is very expensive, but very important.

Will you consider another donation to help us get through this final push we’ve been working on for 4 years? We are grateful for all of your donations so far as these efforts by the community have helped get us to this point in our fight!

DONATE HERE

—————————————————————————————–

Table of contents for our response brief:

I. INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………………. 4

II. CLARIFICATION OF FACTS …………………………………………………………….. 5

A. The original project described in the Initial Study ……………………….. 5

B. Description of the Blair Road Alternative in the Initial Study ……….. 6

C. The Proposed Project in the Draft EIR ……………………………………….. 6

D. The Blair Road Alternative in the Draft EIR ……………………………….. 7

III. DISCUSSION ……………………………………………………………………………………. 9

A. Petitioner’s arguments are supported by citations to

the record and authorities ………………………………………………………….. 9

B. The Project Description is inadequate ………………………………………… 12

1. The Project Objective regarding reduction of

water loss is not supported by substantial evidence ……… 13

2. The Project Description omits crucial

information regarding hydrology and drainage …………… 15

C. The EIR’s impact analysis is inadequate …………………………………….. 17

1. The EIR fails to adequately analyze and mitigate

the Project’s impacts to aesthetics and recreation ………… 17

2. The EIR fails to adequately analyze potential

impacts to biological resources …………………………………. 17

a. The EIR fails to adequately analyze

impacts to riparian habitat ……………………………….. 17

b. The EIR fails to adequately analyze

potential impacts to trees …………………………………. 19

c. The EIR fails to adequately analyze

potential impacts to fire hazards ……………………….. 19

3. The EIR fails to adequately describe the

environmental setting ………………………………………………. 20

4. The EIR fails to adequately analyze impacts

to hydrology …………………………………………………………… 20

IV. CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………………………….. 21

1/27/2020: We’re Still Fighting to Save the Canal

1/27/2020: We’re Still Fighting to Save the Canal

 

Update on saving the canal effort: The hearing for our lawsuit is March 13 at 2:30pm at the Placerville Courthouse. We have submitted our initial brief a month ago and EID just submitted their rebuttal brief. Now our attorney has the opportunity to rebut their brief. See attached links for both briefs.

The EID Board voted to use the Blair Rd. alternative and ABANDON the ditch, instead installing the pipe down most of Blair Rd. Save the Canal’s position is that without water in the canal, tree mortality and trees falling in the ditch due to winter storms will be the responsibility of property owners. The canal can’t be abandoned, as it is part of EDC’s drainage system. In addition, lack of water (especially in summer months) will forever change the migration pattern of wildlife through Pollock Pines.   The canal is a firefighting resource and we all know what removing it will do to our ever increasing homeowners’ insurance policies.

We continue to need your help with legal fees. It is critical as the cost of  paying an attorney to write these briefs is very expensive, but very important.

Will you consider another donation to help us get through this final push we’ve been working on for 4 years? We are grateful for all of your donations so far as these efforts by the community have helped get us to this point in our fight!

DONATE HERE

Save the Canal’s opening brief 12/12/19

2019.12.12 FINAL STEC v EID Opening Brief

 

EID’s Opposition Brief 1/24/2020

01242020 FINAL Brief in Opposition to STEC Pet 4 Writ of Mandate – Main Ditch (00076950-16xD2C75)

 

Here’s the TOC from our opening brief:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………….. 6

II. STATEMENT OF FACTS ………………………………………………………………. 8

A. The District and the history of the Main Ditch and

proposed Project …………………………………………………………………… 8

B. The approved Project – the Blair Road Alternative …………………… 14

C. Administrative process ………………………………………………………….. 16

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW ……………………………………………………………… 16

IV. DISCUSSION ………………………………………………………………………………… 18

A. The EIR omits critical information regarding the Project ………….. 18

1. The Project Description misstates the need for

the Project …………………………………………………………… 18

2. The Project Description omits crucial facts ……………… 20

B. The EIR’s impacts analysis is insufficient ……………………………… 24

1. The EIR fails to adequately analyze and mitigate

the Project’s impacts to aesthetics and recreation ……… 25

2. The EIR fails to adequately analyze and mitigate

the Project’s impacts to Biological resources …………… 28

a. The EIR fails to adequately respond to

comments from CDFW ……………………………………. 28

b. The EIR fails to adequately analyze and mitigate

the Project’s impacts on tree mortality ………………. 31

3. The EIR fails to adequately analyze the Project’s

impacts increasing risks associated with wildfires ……. 33

4. The EIR fails to adequately analyze and mitigate

the Project’s impacts to hydrology, including increased

risk of flooding …………………………………………………….. 35

a. The EIR fails to disclose the environmental

conditions in the vicinity of the Project ……………… 35

b. Drainage impacts are foreseeable and must be

evaluated ……………………………………………………….. 41

V. CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………………………. 43

Save the Canal files lawsuit against EID

Save the Canal files lawsuit against EID

We need your help now!  Save the Canal has filed a lawsuit against EID to protect this valuable asset to our community.


Please stand with us:

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 3 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. They plan 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 lower 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. 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.


A copy of our filing is included below: 

 2019.3.20 FINAL STEC Petition for Writ of Mandate


–PLEASE SUPPORT OUT LEGAL DEFENSE FUND WITH YOUR FINANCIAL DONATION TODAY.

We really need your help now. Save the Canal has already raised thousands of dollars with your generous support. Perhaps you’re in a position to make another donation this year? If you’d prefer to make an anonymous donation, you can let us know either through gofundme or by sending a note with your check. We respect your privacy.

ON LINE DONATIONS WITH CREDIT CARD:
http://www.gofundme.com/savethecanal

OR- MAIL US YOUR CHECK made payable to Save the Canal

This way STEC gets all of the funds as there are no service fees. Send it to:
Save the Canal
2241 Pinewood Lane
Pollock Pines, CA 95726


–OUR NEXT FUNDRAISER WILL BE A BAKE SALE held at the Pollock Pines Safeway on Saturday, June 29th from 9am-2pm.  We are accepting donations of baked goods for the event.  Participation is easy – simply drop off baked goods between 9-10 and place in single serving bags that we will sell for $1 each. Or come by and make a donation to support the cause.  Please see our Save the Canal Facebook page for details at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1651160835104676/


It has been a very busy 3 years and we could not have gotten this far without your continued support. 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!

Thank you,

All of us at Save the Canal

 

The Time is Now!

The Time is Now!

News: at the April 22 EID Board of Directors meeting, the Upper Main Ditch Project was approved by a vote of 3-2, with Directors Day and Anzini voting NO, and Directors Dwyer, Osborne, and Raffety voting YES. No member of the public came to support the project, and many members of the public, which included Save the Canal members spoke in opposition. https://www.eid.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12624   Minutes are not yet available, but, as reported, Option 1 on Item 10 was approved.

What’s next?: Save the Canal core group is exploring our legal options to start litigation to stop the project from moving forward. Why?

1)Although EID has voted to put the pipe down Blair Rd. (see item 10 on the above link), this will not save the canal, as EID plans to abandon it. This puts the responsibility on the homeowners for maintenance and liability. After the winter we had, it is clear that there was tremendous damage along the canal due to high snow and winds in February. Property owners would not be able to pull toppled trees out along the ditch. There were many treetops in the ditch, along with trees across the ditch and the path after the storms we had. See the below picture; this is just one view of downed trees that clogged the canal, would cause drainage problems, and liability to homeowners if left uncleared. 

2)Also, the riparian environment would cease to exist, as there would be no water in the ditch during the animal/bird migration periods from Spring through Fall. Without water at their roots, upon which they have relied for over 150 years, tree mortality will occur. This will cause a greater burden to the property owners, and is a clear danger to homes which line the ditch close to Forebay Reservoir, and at various points along the 3 mile stretch. Tree mortality is also a factor in fire safety for the town of Pollock Pines, as the ditch traverses an area which cuts Pollock Pines roughly in half on the north side of Pony Express Trail.

3)A neighborhood was permitted and built with homes being sold based on the water in the ditch, both for esthetic value and fire safety. 

4)Fundraising efforts will continue to support our legal fund. Check back for details on upcoming events. Link here or on the GoFundMe link on the side of this post. Thank you! ANY AMOUNT IS APPRECIATED.

SAVE THE CANAL/GOFUNDME

Trees across the canal from the lower bank from February storms
 
Public Meeting

Public Meeting

Public Meeting has been posted by EID for April 22, 2019, after which the vote on the project will occur. The time is 9:30 at the EID building 2890 Mosquito Rd., Placerville. The regular board meeting will begin at 9:00.

Members of Save the Canal met with EID through the mediation process, and an agreement wasn’t reached. If you are interested in speaking to the canal issue, there will be time to do so some time after the 9:30 time.

We appreciate your support! A link to the GoFundMe is on this site. The monies collected are going towards legal fees. The Save the Canal group has met with our attorney.

Other opportunities for fundraising will be posted, such as our Bake Sales and Rummage Sale at the El Dorado Saving parking lot. Let’s continue working toward saving this beautiful and valuable environment.

Final EIR is Out, Please Read It

Final EIR is Out, Please Read It

photo by Ilka Sahara Cohen

The Final EIR is where you’ll find the answers and/or responses to the comments people submitted on the two comment submissions last year in July and September. Please read and be informed about how EID responded to people’s concerns. Thank you. Here’s the link:

https://www.eid.org/home/showdocument?id=12378

EID Board of Directors’ meetings are held every two weeks from 9:00 to 2:00 at the EID building at 2890 Mosquito Rd., Placerville. The next one is 2/25/19. You can access the agenda on the Thursday before a meeting. Public comment is held on any topic just after the initial meeting start-up. To comment on a topic on the agenda, you are allowed to do that when the item is up. Comments are limited to 3-5 min., and the President of the Board, will notify the room on time allowed.

Please check back for updated information, such as FEIR, upcoming meetings, and fundraising opportunities. The GoFundMe link is on this site. We still need $$ to fight this project. Thank you to all our supporters, and to anyone who is new to this information, welcome and please join our Facebook site: Save the Canal.

DEIR Comments/EID Board Meeting Info/Next Steps

DEIR Comments/EID Board Meeting Info/Next Steps

  • DEIR Comments were submitted in September for round two. EID is currently working on addressing all comments as part of the EIR process. That should be taking place in February, 2019.
  • We are asking all interested people to attend the January 14, 2019 EID meeting, to show your support for our cause. 9:00 am at the EID building 2890 Mosquito Rd., Placerville.
  • Two new EID directors were welcomed at the last EID meeting, held on December 10; Lori Anzini and Pat Dwyer, replacing Dale Coco, MD, and Greg Prada.
  • Members of the board voted new president of the board to be Alan Day and George Osborne as vice president.
  • Members of Save the Canal and other community members spoke to the board at this meeting, regarding our concerns about continuing the Upper Main Ditch Project, in relation to costs and the Item #9 CIP (Consideration to adopt the 2019 – 2023 Capital Improvement Plan: https://www.eid.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12283.  The minutes are not available at this time. This item was voted on to be option #2, and the directors chose to reduce the CIP amount and revisit/prioritize the projects for the 5 year plan. Our input was: many infrastructure options need to be dealt with, so piping the canal could be considered as less important than other items, such as flumes and possible flume failures.

Save the Canal members were very encouraged with new faces and fresh perspectives on the board.