Flood plan revision drops canal, bypass that farmers disliked
www.cvfpb.ca.gov. Go to the link for “Proposed Adoption Resolution 2012-25.”
A revised version of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan will get a public hearing this week, with elements vexing to locals missing this time around.
In particular, a proposal to create a new bypass called the Cherokee Canal in south Butte County, and in turn expand the Sutter Bypass to accommodate the extra water flowing into it from the canal, isn't included in the revision.
"This plan is a framework, and as of right now, there is not any real technical support for putting the new bypass in there," said Nancy Moricz, a water resources engineer for the Central Valley Flood Protection Board.
But strong opposition to the canal and the expanded bypass from farmers and others also played a role in dropping the idea, she said.
The Central Valley flood board will take up the revised plan at its meeting Friday in Sacramento to meet a deadline under the law calling to have the plan in place by July.
In addition to dropping the canal, other revisions include new language on how 100-year flood protection is a goal for some small communities, clarification on the policy toward vegetation being planted on levees and language requiring extra consideration for actions taking farmland out of production.
The last revision was gratifying to farmers, said Tara Brocker, president of the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau.
"They put in language recognizing the important role agriculture has," she said, adding her membership was also gratified flood board members and staff both listened to their concerns and made an effort to improve the plan based on them.
Which isn't to say farmers like the plan, even with its revisions, Brocker said.
"The overall plan could cause a lot of harm to production agriculture and small towns," she said. "We're afraid it could be a lot worse."
Once the plan is adopted, Moricz said, the next step is the creation of regional groups to dig into the plan's details and discuss what would make sense to build or pursue.
"We need people on board for that," she said. "That's what takes the plan from a multi-page document to reality."
But even the regional planning will involve studies, discussions and more outreach, with any actual construction of components in the plan not happening for at least five years, if then, she said.
Even then, the plan may undergo other revisions before then, Moricz said.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at email@example.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.