LADWP Proposes; the Superior Court Disposes: Mono County Wins Legal Fight to Stop De-watering of Long Valley

Press Release from Mono County Counsel’s Office on court win against LADWP attempt to take water from Long Valley

Mono County won their court case against a plan by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to remove irrigation water from the Long Valley from Crowley Lake to Bishop.

On Monday, March 8, the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Alameda, issued an order requiring the DWP to continue to “provide water for wildlife, habitat, and scenic, recreational and economic resources in the Long Valley and Little Round Valley regions of Mono County,” according to a news release from the Mono County Counsel’s office.

The decision was the result of a petition filed by Mono County and the Sierra Club under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to prevent damage to valuable environmental resources that would result from a sudden and unanalyzed change in LADWP’s water management practices.

In a news release, the Mono County Counsel Office said:

“Siding with the county and Sierra Club, the Court directed LADWP to continue to provide water which it has historically delivered to ranchers in Long Valley and Little Round Valleys until such time as it completes a comprehensive environmental review.”

The county counsel’s office went on to say, “The ranchers have used the water for close to 100 years to create pasture, wetlands and meadows on more than 6,000 acres of land in Mono County. These areas are critical not only for their habitat, scenic and recreational uses, but also for wildlife, including the Bi-State Sage grouse.

“We are pleased with the Court’s ruling and hope to partner with LADWP to find a mutually beneficial solution for the long-term that protects our region’s habitat and resources, while also addressing the City’s legitimate water needs” said Stacey Simon, Mono County Counsel.

Simon said it is possible the city will appeal the decision.

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Dee
Dee
8 months ago

DWP, Los Angeles will appeal.
But it’s a victory for Mono County and hopefully Los Angeles fails miserably with the inevitable appeal

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 months ago

Except for waters spread that evaporate or transpire the balance of spread waters goes into the aquifer that ultimately underlies Crowley. Take the recharge away and the aquifer underlying Crowley will be recharge by the lake waters, no benefit, no saved water for DWP to export after several years of… Read more »

Realitycheck
Realitycheck
8 months ago

Now it will become an even more expensive perpetual legal battle for Mono County, which is broke due to it’s huge pension commitments and overstaffing. Wouldn’t these resources be better used for something like rehabilitating the Benton Crossing Road? This heavily used road is in appalling condition and will eventually… Read more »

David Dennison
David Dennison
8 months ago
Reply to  Realitycheck

Reality check Yep,good idea Let’s blame Mono County pensions and overstaffing for most of it,then let’s somehow find a way to put some blame on Governor Newsom too. Isn’t that the way things go now ,for some ? The hell with the landscape,environment,wildlife and scenic value of an area, So… Read more »

Eric Cornelius
Eric Cornelius
8 months ago
Reply to  David Dennison

As a property owner in Long Valley directly on Benton Crossing Road, I literally have no idea what this complaint is even targeted at. The road is in impeccable shape.

David Dennison
David Dennison
8 months ago
Reply to  Eric Cornelius

Eric Cornelius The “complaint,” is a good chance, just ANOTHER way to complain about local and California Government decisions being made by some. As if we all had Republicans leading the State, local and County Governments, they’d make “better decisions” on how to use the County and local funds and… Read more »

The Reckoning
The Reckoning
8 months ago
Reply to  Eric Cornelius

LADWP trolling. Their method is to make it all as expensive as possible, and keep local agencies as distracted with a multitude of non-water issues in order to keep the focus off of their water export, harm to the regional environment, and stifling of local economies. Have you noticed their… Read more »

BobK
BobK
8 months ago
Reply to  David Dennison

Hey David, you would blame Trump if you could, so why not Newsom

Realitycheck
Realitycheck
8 months ago
Reply to  David Dennison

Reverting a few thousand acres of land in Long Valley back to it’s natural state, which existed for many thousands of years, would have almost no impact on the environment or wildlife or on the millions of other acres of public land surrounding it. It might impact the scenic value… Read more »

Eric Cornelius
Eric Cornelius
8 months ago
Reply to  Realitycheck

First off, LADWP uses CEQA whenever it suits them to try to stymie private land development. So, your rant serves as a very nice indictment of their use of the courts and EIR process. Secondly, unless we’re draining Crowley, there was a huge impact in destruction of pre-existing wetlands. Hence… Read more »

Andrew Webber
Andrew Webber
6 months ago
Reply to  Realitycheck

The writ of mandate includes a petition to cover attorney and filing costs by petitioners (mono county) which was granted, so no cost to the county!

Johnny Smoke
Johnny Smoke
8 months ago

Why is it OK for Mono County to go to bat for a handful of cattle ranchers?

Can they not hire their own lawyers?

The Reckoning
The Reckoning
8 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Smoke

Nice work trying to manufacture a divisive issue that is completely ignorant about what the lawsuit is actually based on.