LADWP: Emergency Runoff Management Activities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 12, 2017

BISHOP, CA – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is working proactively to prepare for the arrival of anticipated massive runoff water resulting from this year’s near record snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. These efforts are in partnership with Inyo County, the Inyo Sheriff’s Department, Bishop Police Department, Cal-Trans, Southern California Edison and others, as a member of the Inyo County Interagency Emergency Preparation team.

Work to prepare for the anticipated high water flows began in late February. The efforts have been assisted by an Emergency Declaration from the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to allow LADWP to take immediate steps to protect infrastructure and aid in managing flood waters while also protecting public safety. Inyo County issued a similar declaration.

To maximize the beneficial use of runoff water to the fullest extent, LADWP is spreading water throughout the aqueduct system to replenish local groundwater aquifers. Current spreading is moderate and will increase as runoff occurs in larger quantities later this spring and summer. LADWP is also maximizing flows in the LA Aqueduct by lowering reservoirs to create more storage space for runoff water and supplying the City of Los Angeles with aqueduct water in place of purchased water and groundwater wherever possible to manage excess flows. Further, LADWP crews are hard at work preparing, cleaning, and repairing water conveyance ditches, spreading basins, sand traps, and other facilities located on City of Los Angeles property, areas controlled by LADWP, and along the Los Angeles Aqueduct, in order to manage the anticipated runoff. 

Water that exceeds what can be spread to recharge local aquifers and which does not make it into the LA Aqueduct system will end up on the Owens Lakebed, the natural terminus point for waters flowing down the Owens River. Once there, it will add to the existing 30 sq. miles of saline brine pools and is expected to cause significant flood damage to dust control infrastructure managed and constructed by LADWP over the past 17 years. These measures, spread over nearly 50 sq. miles of dried lake, have effectively reduced dust pollution in the area by 96 percent. Damage to these dust control areas may result in increased air pollution that could threaten the health of the public after the runoff evaporates in 12 to 18 months.

LADWP is also concerned by the potential of water overflow in and around the towns and communities of the Eastern Sierra and is actively providing assistance in preventing and controlling runoff that could impact the public. Emergency assistance will be provided on lands throughout the valley should flooding threaten the property of a partner agency or the public.

“Inyo County is no stranger to emergencies and disasters,” Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze said. “Our resilience comes from a strong unified command made up of local, state and federal agencies as well as a public that is proactive in emergency preparedness. We continue to be grateful for our strong working relationships with our allied agencies, including Department of Water and Power, as well as with our residents.”

In order to keep the public informed of the steps being taken to manage runoff to the greatest extent possible and minimize the impact to dust control measures, LADWP will issue regular updates of its runoff management efforts.

Emergency Runoff Management Activities undertaken by LADWP as of April 11, 2017, include:

Water Spreading

  • Pleasant Valley to Tinemaha Reservoir –      23,500 acre feet (AF)
  • Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir – 7,600 AF
  • South of Haiwee Reservoir –                         5,200 AF
  • Total Spreading Water                                    36,300 AF

--Maintenance and Construction Activities--

Mono County

  • Crowley Lake will be lowered to 80,000 AF to make room for anticipated runoff. Current level – 107,000 AF
  • Completed Long Valley Dam and spillway inspections (Work will be ongoing)
  • Snow removal to better access Long Valley Reservoir Dam (Complete)

Currently very little work is being conducted in the Mono Basin due to heavy snow. Equipment is planned to be staged at critical structures and areas likely to see high water conditions, such as Lee Vining Intake and Rock Creek sand trap at Toms Place. This will take place once site conditions allow.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir to Tinemaha Reservoir

  • Applied for variance from Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams to raise Pleasant Valley Reservoir water level (Complete)
  • Work to repair and upgrade existing spreading ponds and diversion structures in the Laws/Five bridges area include:
  • Reinforce and increase size of pond berms to increase spreading capacity and durability. Installing additional head walls and diversion pipes and culverts to provide greater flexibility during spreading operations (90% complete)
  • Preparing to raise portions of patrol roads adjacent to the canals to provide additional free board and greater conveyance capacity in both the Upper and Lower McNally Canals. This work will provide the ability to spread over 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the nearby spreading ponds or to spreading areas located further downstream (Project starting this week)
  • Preparing portions of the McNally Canals East of Hwy 6 to accept water by mowing and cleaning (Complete)

Work on canals, ditches and ponds in the Bishop area include:

  • Cleaning the George Collins and the A.O. Collins Canals and repairing/replacing diversion and spreading structures (Complete)
  • Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Rawson Canal (Complete)
  • Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Ford Rawson Canal (Complete)
  • Cleaning and mowing Bishop Creek Canal (Complete)
  • Modifying irrigation ditches off Bishop Creek to maximize spreading potential (Complete – Additional work will be needed over the summer months to remove aquatic vegetation to maintain capacity in the canal)
  • Filling Farmers Ponds, located on the West side of Hwy 6, and installing new culvert and diversion structures to convey water to the ponds located on the East side of the highway (Complete)

Round Valley area work includes:

  • Hand crews cleaning all open diversions on Horton Creek and Lower Rock Creek (Complete –  Work will be ongoing in the area with both equipment and hand crews cleaning ditches, installing culverts and diversion structures to maximize spreading potential.)

Big Pine area sand trap and diversion structure work includes:

  • Cleaning the Baker Creek sand traps, diversion structures and ponds (50% complete)
  • Cleaning and mowing the Big Pine Canal (Complete – Further work will be needed throughout the summer to maintain capacity once aquatic growth begins to restrict flows.)
  • Tinemaha Creek and Red Mountain Creek diversions cleaned and marked. (75% complete – Further work will be needed to direct flows into existing catch basins and spreading ponds located in the adjacent areas.)

Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir

  • Repairing/rebuilding spreading basin infrastructure (70% complete – Able to spread in excess of 200 cubic feet per second at this time)

Work in the Black Rock Ditch area includes:

  • Rebuild/repair/replace culverts, check structures and distribution pipes (Complete)
  • Clean and/or repair distribution channels (70% complete) 
  • Work in the Stevens Ditch area includes:
  • Mowing, cleaning and adding spreading culverts (Complete – Currently at 50% of capacity)
  • Prepare Thibaut area ditches and berms (Complete)

Work to prepare the two canals located east of the Owens River to divert imminent flow into the LORP includes:

  • Clearing McIver Ditch from East of Goose Lake to south of Mazourka Road (100% complete. Currently flowing 15 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)
  • Clearing the Eclipse/East Side Ditch from Mazourka Road to south of Owenyo area (100% complete – Currently flowing 13 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)

Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA) work includes:

  • Cleaning the Unlined section of the LAA (75% complete – Cleaning will be needed throughout runoff season)
  • Cleaning the Lined section of the LAA to the Alabama Gates (100% complete – Cleaning will be ongoing as needed)

Equipment Staging

  • All requested heavy equipment has been rented and received based on forecast needs. Equipment is performing preparation tasks, will be staged during spreading and cleaning operations.

Work to prepare the Lower Owens River Project (LORP) intake includes:

  • Cleaning the Forebay (Complete – Will need to be cleaned throughout the year.)  
  • Cleaning the measuring section (Complete)
  • Jetting the Langeman Gate area (Complete)
  • Cleaning the LORP tail bay and 100 Yards downstream (Complete)

Continually preparing the alluvial fan creek diversions west of the LORP:

  • DWP lands:                                          95% complete
  • Bureau of Land Management areas:  70% complete
  • Forest Service areas.                          100% complete

Owens Lake

  • Armoring of berms, northwest area Owens Lake (Work not yet commenced, in purchasing for contract award)
  • Construction of new trenches northwest area of Owens Lake (5% complete)
  •  Lower Owens River Pump-back Station (Pump-back Station) work includes:
  • Placement of temporary barriers, gravels, sandbags and related components around the Pump-back Station to protect it from inundation (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)
  • Widen the path of water within the Lower Owens River across from the Pump-back Station through creating a temporary channel allowing for greater conveyance of water. This temporary measure is intended to prevent ponding of the water in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station and decreasing the potential for water elevation rising in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Lower Owens River Temporary Flow Modification work includes:

  • Placement of temporary barriers and related components to redirect the water away from the Corridor 1 Road and the T36 DCA northern berm. This temporary measure is intended to prevent inundation and damage to the existing managed vegetation area in the T36 DCA (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)
  • Modify the east bank of the Owens Lake Delta and tamp down the existing vegetation (tulles) along east side of the Owens Lake Delta to improve water conveyance capability and create a preferred pathway (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Western High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Pipeline work includes:

  • Temporarily securing in place about 825 feet of the irrigation supply lines from T36 dust control area (DCA) to T37 DCA. This measure is intended to prevent the existing three, 18-inch-diamater plastic pipelines from potential floatation and damage (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)   

Zonal Mainline work includes:

  • Placement of temporary plastic lining and related components to protect the Zonal Mainline from damage due to inundation and erosion of the slope of westerly berm road, the Brady Highway, from wave action due to high winds (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

South of Haiwee Reservoir

  • As of 4/2/17, LADWP has discharged a total of 4,600 from the Los Angeles Aqueduct at three locations: Rose Valley south of Haiwee Reservoir, Freeman Wash west of Ridgecrest, and Cameron Wash north of Mojave.   
  • Working on reestablishing the Maclay Highline, which diverts LAA water to the Pacoima Spreading Grounds (20% complete)
  • Structuring the Power Plant One Slide Gate to place water into San Francisco Creek (Currently pursuing permits for this).

To request runoff preparation assistance, please contact Greg Loveland by emailing gregory.loveland@ladwp.com or calling 760–872-1104.

ESLT: GardenFest Celebration

GardenFest Celebration
Hosted by Eastern Sierra Land Trust

Are you ready to get your garden growing? Join neighbors and friends in celebrating spring at Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s annual GardenFest. At this free, family-friendly community event, you can buy native plants and vegetable plant starts; learn gardening tips and tricks; swap your seeds; sample local beers; purchase a brick-oven pizza lunch made on-site; listen to live music; and much more. GardenFest is taking place in honor of Take it Outside California, a movement that inspires Californians across the state to get outdoors and connect with the natural world.

When: Sat., May 6 (11 am – 2 pm)
Where:
 ESLT's office backyard at 250 N. Fowler St. in Bishop

For information, please contact Indigo, Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member, at indigo@eslt.org or (760) 873-4554.

Millpond Music Festival - 2 NEW BANDS Added

Thanks to everyone who called in early and got their tickets and camping reserved on the first day. We had a record-making first day of sales on Monday, and we are excited that you are so excited for the 2017 festival!

Spaces in the Brown's AND Tennis Courts Camping areas are now SOLD OUT. We do have plenty of space left in the Sage Flat and Shoreline areas for RV/Trailer campers, and in the Forest and Pondside areas for tent campers!

Tickets will be on sale at early-bird pricing until June 30th - Don't forget to get yours before prices go up!  

You may place orders by telephone - (760)873-8014;
by mail - ICA, 137 S. Main Street, Bishop, CA 93514;
or by fax - (760)873-5518.

Download Ticket Form HERE

New Bands Confirmed!
We're pleased to announce two more confirmed acts for Millpond 2017:  

Dirty Revival
Friday night at Millpond 2017 will be graced with the soulful sounds and energetic beats of Portland Oregon's funk and soul powerhouse, Dirty Revival. Led by the soulful vocals of Sarah Clarke, Dirty Revival has made their mark on the Pacific Northwest music scene, delivering powerful original tracks and superbly arranged classics with a resounding presence.  

Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited
Thomas Mapfumo was born in Marondera, Zimbabwe in 1945. His early childhood moments, saw him exploring an interest in traditional music and instruments (ngoma, hosho, and mbira) which came from his grandparents who were avid musicians in the village. His growing interest in music coincided with a growing awareness of the social and political inequalities of colonial Zimbabwe. Mapfumo founded the Blacks Unlimited in 1978, pioneering their own genre of music known as "Chimurenga." Chimurenga music became a symbol for the struggle against injustice as it assumed a distinct and threatening presence in war-torn Rhodesia.

  When Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, Mapfumo shared the celebrations stage with the Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley, opening the doors to international fame. However, to the surprise of many, the same censorship and repression of colonial Rhodesia also visited Mapfumo in independent Zimbabwe. In 2000, he relocated to the USA and continued with his music.

  In October 2012, Mapfumo, also known as the "Lion of Zimbabwe," entered the Afro-Pop Hall of Fame, getting the chance of a lifetime to perform at Carnegie Hall. We are excited to be bringing Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited to the Millpond Stage for the 2017 festival.

Click here for tickets to the Millpond Music Festival

Eastern Sierra Audubon Society: Ripple Effect

Eastern Sierra Audubon Program, Ripple Effects - using sound to study the effects of introduced trout on bird populations around alpine lakes

Guest speaker, Mary Clapp, will discuss her ongoing research on the impacts of introduced trout on the native bird community in the high-elevation lake basins of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks. Her work studies the connection between water and land by using acoustic recorders to remotely capture lakeside activity by birds and bats, and comparing this technology with traditional survey methods. 

Doors will open at 6:30, with the presentation starting at 7:00 pm. 

When: Wed., Apr. 19 (7pm)
When:
 U.S. Forest Service/BLM building located on W. Line Street in Bishop
Eastern Sierra Audubon's website at:  http://esaudubon.org/index.php

Denver Post: Aspen Partnership buys Mammoth Resorts

New Aspen partnership buys Mammoth resorts, challenges Vail Resorts’ dominance in season pass sales

Deal gives new Aspen Skiing Co.-KSL Capital Partners alliance more than 6,000 acres of southern California ski terrain
By JASON BLEVINS | jblevins@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: April 12, 2017 at 7:27 am | UPDATED: April 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

The new Aspen Skiing Co.-KSL Capital Partners alliance is buying the Eastern Sierra’s Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, giving the nascent partnership more than 6,000 acres of southern California ski terrain across four resorts that host more than 2 million visits a year. No price was announced, but in 2005 the resort traded hands for $365 million.
Click here for the full story on the Denver Post website.

Caltrans: Annual Litter Pickup Day

Caltrans Annual Litter Pickup Day

Bishop – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is joining forces with California Highway Patrol, City of Bishop, County of Inyo and volunteers Thursday, April 13th for the annual California Statewide Litter Collection, Enforcement and Beautification Day in an effort to increase public awareness on the volume and cost associated with removing trash along state highways.

Litter in California is an ongoing problem, which results in significant economic, social, and environmental costs.  Litter is aesthetically displeasing, presents a range of threats to human and ecologic health, and affects the quality of life for the citizens throughout California.  Litter increases the risk of personal injury to our employees, the threat of fire by discarded cigarettes along the State Highway System, the spread of diseases in our communities, and can threaten wildlife and pollute California’s waterways.  These impacts are real.

Last year, Caltrans spent $76.5 million on litter removal throughout the State Highway System.  Almost 153,000 cubic yards of litter (about 9,562 garbage trucks) were collected and disposed.

Maintenance crews will be picking up litter in counties serviced by Caltrans District 9 on Thursday, April 13th and also on Thursday, April 20th. Residents in Inyo, Mono and eastern Kern counties will see crews working on highways and freeways throughout the day removing litter and debris discarded by the public. Highway message boards will remind motorists "Don't Trash California."  Please be attentive of extra workers on the highway picking up trash and remember to "Slow for the Cone Zone.”

The public can help by participating in the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) Program.   The Adopt-A-Highway Program provides an avenue for individuals, organizations, or businesses to help maintain sections of roadside within California’s State Highway System.  More than 120,000 Californians have cleaned and enhanced over 15,000 shoulder-miles of roadside.  Participation allows the public to adopt sections of highway for beautification projects, such as litter removal, vegetation control, graffiti removal, and tree and shrub planting. 

For more information on the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway Program, please visit www.adopt-a-highway.dot.ca.gov or call Tom Scott, District 9 Adopt-A-Highway coordinator, at (760) 872-5202.

Toiyabe IHS: Grand Opening & Bishop Bike Share

Toiyabe Bishop Clinic Grand Opening to be held April 20

The physicians and staff of Toiyabe Indian Health Project (TIHP) are pleased to announce the GRAND OPENING of their new clinic in Bishop, located at 250 See Vee Lane.

All community members are welcome to attend the ribbon cutting and open house which begins at 2pm on Thursday, April 20. Attendees can tour the clinic, meet the staff, and enjoy refreshments and entertainment.

“We are pleased to be able to expand the primary care services our communities need to stay healthy with this new facility,” says David Lent, CEO of TIHP. “We would like to thank the United States Department of Agriculture for our long-term low interest loan; and the Bishop Paiute Tribe for the lease of the land we will now occupy.”

The $17.5 million facility totals 55,000 square feet, offering medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy, behavioral health, public health, and preventive medicine services.

GRAND OPENING & Ribbon Cutting - TIHP
When: Thurs., Apr. 20 (2pm)
Where:
Toiyabe Indian Health Project, 250 See Vee Lane
For more information about TIHP or to make an appointment, call 760-873- 8464 or visit www.toiyabe.us.

Toiyabe Indian Health Project – Caring for Our Communities
TOIYABE INDIAN HEALTH PROJECT BRINGS BIKE SHARE TO BISHOP

Bishop, CA: Toiyabe Indian Health Project’s Community Wellness Program is excited to announce a ribbon cutting and inaugural bike ride for the Eastside Bike Share Program on Friday, April 14 at 12pm noon at the new Toiyabe Bishop Clinic located at 250 See Vee Lane.

The Eastside Bike Share will have 20 cruiser bikes available at two stations for community members to check out and ride around town on errands or for recreation. One station will be located at the Toiyabe Bishop Clinic and the second station will be located at the Bishop City Park.

The Eastside Bike Share is sponsored by the Toiyabe Community Wellness Program, which receives grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to promote physical activity and boost health and wellness throughout our community. Thank you to the City of Bishop for partnering with us on this project to host a station at the Bishop City Park.

Riding with the bike share is easy. Each bike has a unique number which riders enter into the free Zagster mobile app to obtain a single-use code to open the lockbox on the back of the bike.

After the rider returns the bike to one of the stations, the rental ends and the bike is available for the next person to enjoy. The cruiser bikes are sturdy bikes that can be easily ridden around town and along our canal trails. The bike includes a large basket that’s perfect for carrying groceries, takeout, or personal belongings. And because rider safety is a priority, every bike has automatic lights, a bell, full reflectors, and a helmet.

Background: The Community Wellness Program works to create healthier communities by making healthy living easier and more affordable where people work, live, learn and play. The Community Wellness Program promotes health and wellness with community-based strategies that focus on active living and healthy eating through partnerships with local agencies, organizations, and groups that share the vision of healthy communities in the Eastern Sierra.

Eastside Bike Share Program - Ribbon Cutting and Inaugural Bike Ride
When: Fri., Apr. 14 (12pm)
Where:
The new Toiyabe Bishop Clinic located at 250 See Vee Lane
More information about the Community Wellness Program and Toiyabe Indian Health Project can be found at www.toiyabe.us.

Spellbinder Books: Book Launch Party - Over the Rainbow

Anyone who knows Marianne Brettell-Vaughn knows of her legendary green thumb - every year, her gardens overflow with beauty and bounty. Now, together with Mary Tannheimer, she outlines the secrets to her success in her new book, Over the Rainbow. Join us for a very special book launch party just in time for the gardening season!

When: Saturday at 6:30 PM - 8 PM
Where: 
Spellbinder Books, 124 S Main St, Bishop, California 93514
Click here for the facebook event.

Inyo 350: Earth Day March Planned

‘March for the Earth’ to be Held on Earth Day – April 22

Earth Day will be celebrated around the globe on Saturday April 22. This marks the 47 th anniversary of a day set aside to raise awareness and to educate ourselves about our planet, our environment and all the challenges and opportunities that come along with taking care of it. It is always a day to come together to celebrate our amazing planet Earth.

This Earth Day the newly formed local group INYO350, in conjunction with its sister organization 350 MONO and the Sierra Club, will be sponsoring a ‘March for the Earth’ in Bishop. The March will be sponsored in solidarity with the international ‘March for Science’ and the ‘People’s Climate March’ in which people all around the globe will be gathering and marching to celebrate science and to promote an awareness of climate, jobs and justice.

All are welcome to join in this celebratory ‘March for the Earth.’ The event will start at 9:00 a.m. with a Gathering in the back of the Bishop City Park in the picnic pavilion across from the Senior Center. The Gathering will include songs, a blessing, speakers and acknowledgement of the amazing scientists working here in the Eastern Sierra. The March will take place from 9:30 – 10:30 along Main Street in downtown Bishop. The March is being planned to end in time for people to join in on other Earth Day events taking place in the Bishop City Park and at the Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center.

INYO350 is part of 350.org which is currently active in 188 countries. As an international organization dedicated to promoting environmental protection and climate awareness, 350.org has worked to build a global climate movement from the grassroots up. The science behind “350” is that if we wish to maintain our planet in a condition similar to how it has existed since the development of human civilization then we need to decrease carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm.) We are currently at 400 ppm. The time is now to do all within our power to reduce carbon emissions and reduce our carbon footprint.

Locally INYO350’s work revolves around action groups that are focused on the Environment, Social &; Economic Justice, and Healthcare. Shawn Louth, President of INYO350, states, “There is much to be done right now. I encourage all who are interested and want to learn more to attend our monthly meetings and become involved. Working together we are taking concerns and transforming passions into meaningful actions.” The members of INYO350 are committed to devoting time and positive energy to the achievement of their mission which is “To promote environmental protection and social and economic justice through policy influence, education and direct action.”

The Sierra Club was founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892 and is now the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization – with more than two million members and supporters including nearly 1,000 in the Eastern Sierra. As local Sierra Club Eastern Sierra Organizer, Fran Hunt, notes, “The March for the Earth is a celebration of our planet; the clean air, water and healthy landscapes we treasure in the Eastern Sierra; and the scientists who study and help us safeguard these natural wonders. Our goal is to advance both social justice and environmental awareness.”

For more information on INYO350 or the March for the Earth please email them at inyo350action@gmail.com and follow them on Facebook or contact the Sierra Club at fran.hunt@sierraclub.org or follow the local Range of Light group on Facebook.