Great news! On March 12, 2006, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board voted to require the implementation of a water-quality monitoring program in Martis Valley that will test for pollutants coming from ALL development upstream of Martis Lake. (In the past, the Board has only required water quality monitoring on a project by project by basis, which meant the sum of impacts across projects was not examined.) The monitoring of these cumulative impacts is an important and necessary step in protecting the trout fishery in Martis Lake as the valley undergoes additional development.
I think it's safe to say this program would not have been approved without the active involvement of the sportfishing community. Sport anglers got Placer County to add language to the Martis Valley Community Plan that explicitly stated the County's policy is to protect Martis Lake and its trout. This policy subsequently caused the County to require that impacts to the lake from new development be reduced to an insignificant level, which in turn also caused the County to require the creation of the cumulative-impacts monitoring program (more on this below). It's difficult to mitigate impacts, after all, if you don't know their severity or where they're coming from.
Anglers who sent letters or spoke at hearings on these issues should justifiably feel proud. Pat yourselves on the back. You got the job done.
An interesting twist to all this is that because the County has been less than diligent in devising the cumulative-effects monitoring program, the Lahontan Board forced the issue by requiring that the program instead be implemented by the developers of Siller Ranch. Presumably, the County will assume responsibility for the program at some point in the future (and in all fairness to the Siller Ranch team, the County should do so ASAP).
Of course, it's still not clear if the monitoring program will be enough to protect Martis Lake's fishery. One of the issues that remains to be addressed is the adequacy of the water-quality standards for the lake itself. That's a battle still to be fought....
Saving our sportfish and their habitats
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Richard wrote:Of course, it's still not clear if the monitoring program will be enough to protect Martis Lake's fishery. One of the issues that remains to be addressed is the adequacy of the water-quality standards for the lake itself. That's a battle still to be fought....
A small victory nonetheless. Keep the faith.
"In wildness is the preservation of the world"--Thoreau
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