From CalTrout: “Two dams on the Eel River, Scott and Cape Horn, make up the Potter Valley Project, a hydropower facility whose license is set to expire next month and will not be renewed. CalTrout has identified the Potter Valley dams as part of the Top 5 California dams to remove in our latest Dams Out report.
The two dams have led to severely degraded water quality throughout the Eel River with excessive sedimentation and high water temperatures. The Eel River once boasted some of the largest salmon runs in California, but today the river’s salmon and steelhead populations are all listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act.
CalTrout and our partners recognize a unique opportunity to steer the future of the Eel River toward robust fisheries and a healthy watershed by removing both Scott and Cape Horn dams. We also recognize the opportunity to reverse the long-lasting impacts to Native American Tribes from a century and a half of habitat degradation and other negative impacts.
The project owner PG&E’s decision not to relicense the project means a FERC-mandated decommissioning process is all but guaranteed once the license expires this April. CalTrout and partners will continue work to ensure that a free flowing Eel River is the ultimate outcome of the decommissioning process and that dam removal happens expeditiously.”