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.