Here we go again

inyo_courthouse1.jpgIn a series of contradictory moves, the Department of Water and Power refused to go along with wishes of the Lone Pine school farm on water needs – that was at the Standing Committee meeting, then they unilaterally issued a lease changing the location of the long-established farm and then they switched course again. The Inyo Supervisors tried to sort it all out.

Water Director Bob Harrington explained that DWP did not want to give more water to the farm without taking water from some other enhancement/ mitigation project. Staff from the Water Department and DWP worked to come up with a plan. Harrington said it’s not the best plan, but it’s better than DWP’s first idea.

Both sides agreed to include the high school farm in the Van Norman mitigation field with lessee, Spainhower Ranch. The Ranch would give part of its water to the school farm. So, Spainhower would get less water, except for the fact that DWP has never given them the water they were supposed to. So, they will actually get more water. The school will not have to move all of its fencing and water lines.

For one more twist, Agriculture Instructor at Lone Pine, Brenda Lacey, said DWP sent her a new lease with their unilateral proposal. She’ll sign it and then they will give her another lease that goes along with what the Supervisors voted on.

Originally, more than 15 years ago, DWP agreed to provide water to the school farm. It just never happened. When the County pushed them on it, DWP didn’t want to do it unless they got more water. It was an angry conversation at the Standing Committee. Inyo called LA’s hand on the broken promises. DWP would not agree with Inyo.

Anyway, it has all come back around with a rancher getting less water, but really more water and the high school will get what it wants. If that doesn’t make sense, you are not alone. Supervisor Linda Arcularius astutely noted that DWP “did what they wanted” and then accepted that they were over-ruled by policy makers. It now goes back to the Standing Committee where Inyo Supervisors will support the final plan.



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5 Responses to Here we go again

  1. chris March 12, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    More LADWP smoke and mirrors! Hope they stick with this plan.

  2. Philip Anaya March 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    The solution to this saga is provided by the sense of justice and the care for the community by the Spainhower Ranch. This is all about a lesson to the DWp about being a good Neighbor and doing the right thing , not the Water Right thing. Way to go FFA and Brenda Lacey . Next stop. the DWP and the Standing Committee for approval. It’s been heard around that the Ranchers are beng abused once again . Time to keep an eye, pay attention to the needs of the Ranchers. Time to have their back .

  3. Daris March 13, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    I don’t understand this whole mess. Inyo Co and LADWP have a signed legal document called the “Long Term Water Agreement” this document states what each party shall or shall not do. Examples of included points to be consided are the valley vegetation, the mitiagation projects, the release of lands, and many more. Why don’t we let the courts decide if it is really binding to all parties or if it as Stan Matlick said many times “it’s not worth the paper it is written on”? Why does Inyo County have to have all of these disturbing conversations each time one item comes up why not get it settled and either give the valley to LA or make them adhere to the agreement signed?

  4. Just Sayin March 13, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Its times like this when Inyo County Needs a lawyer.

  5. Trouble March 13, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Stop screwing with our kids DWP. Try telling your teenager why you can’t provide what you promised!!!


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