WaterWatch is pleased to announce that this project was recently successfully completed!
On August 12th, the Oregon Water Resources Department signed and entered final orders approving multiple instream water right transfers on the Little Applegate River in the Rogue River Basin. WaterWatch was critical to moving these transactions to completion.Now 5.4 cfs of flow is protected to the mouth of the Little Applegate River. More than half of this water has the oldest priority date on the Little Applegate. The water will provide and reestablish connectivity between the Little Applegate and the Applegate allowing Rogue Basin salmon and steelhead to reach and use prime habitat on the Little Applegate even in times of extreme drought. Thank you very much to the generous donors who contributed to this project through Global Giving. Seventeen donors contributed over $5,000 to help bring this project to a successful conclusion. Also, thank you very much to the Kenney Brothers Foundation and the Brainerd Foundation for supporting this project in its initial stages.
On May 26, 2011 OWRD made a preliminary determination approving the instream transfers. That means everything is done pending a notice period. The transfers will become final on July 27, 2011 unless someone protests, whichis highly unlikely. We have likely incurred the last of the expenses we have for this project by paying for the publication of the notice.
We can safely say the following:
1. The transfer of 5.4 cfs of water by 14 landowners to an instream water right in the Little Applegate River was approved by the Oregon Water Resources Department on May 26, 2011.
2. Pending a waiting period the transfers will become final on July 27, 2011.
3. When final, this will permanently protect 5.4 cfs of flow to the mouth of the river, providing benefits to salmon and water quality.
We are very very close to finalizing this project! Thank you for your on-going support!
WaterWatch is continuing to defend Oregon's rivers, streams and groundwater aquifers from a variety of proposed new laws that would threaten the stream flows in some of Oregon's most important rivers.
The threat from a variety of proposed legislative actions have been minimized, delayed or defeated thus far during the Oregon Legislative Session. Senior Policy Analyst Kimberley Priestley and WaterWatch's lobbyist Jim Myron have worked tirelessly to educate state lawmakers, build coalitions with diverse stakeholders and communicate with the public about the hidden dangers lurking in many of Legislative concepts.
With about a month of the session left, there remains much work to do to ensure that bad ideas are not advanced as part of compromises for completely unrelated new laws that are important for Oregon. The Legislative "horse trading" can give new life to bad ideas in the waning moments of the session, and it will take almost round-the-clock vigilance to ensure no bad water laws are part of that end-of-session mix.
It would be premature to list the status of specific bills in this report, but WaterWatch will file an end-of-session report on "the good, the bad and the ugly" of the 2011 session some time in July.