Dear Editor:

Davis Hydro is pleased to support the selection of Western Shasta RCD to hold the Kilarc Conservation Easement.  We believe that this could be a positive step in forming close community relations between possible continuation of the hydropower and helping the fish.

With the 4th anniversary of the expiration of PG&E’s P-606 Kilarc-Cow Creek hydropower license and kick-off meeting in Whitmore for the license surrender process occurring in February, we look back and reflect on how much has been accomplished with the collaboration of the community, notably the Save Kilarc Committee founded by Glenn Dye and the Friends of Cow Creek Preserve (FoCCP), and what we may look forward to in the coming year.

In January 2007, Davis Hydro was traveling to Portland, Oregon, investigating sites and meeting with resource agencies.  On that trip, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation personnel at Lake Shasta, suggested Davis Hydro meet with the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District (RCD)-sponsored Cow Creek Watershed Management Group board to discuss field-testing an air-bubble-ladder technology designed to promote faster upstream passage of fish with reduced releases of scarce water resources.  At this meeting, community members sought support to save the Kilarc facility as a community resource.  Davis Hydro, then knew nothing of the site, but pledged to figure out how to save the site and at the same time enhance fish resources in the area.

In 2007 Davis Hydro conceived the basic model of setting up a Trust or Foundation to receive about 30 % of the profits from the continued operation and expansion of the Kilarc facility and have the Foundation use those monies for fish resource enhancements.  In the following years the proposals of how to operate the Kilarc facility for the benefit of the fish and the community continued to be refined as one biological study after another was completed and a better understanding of the complex problem evolved.

In 2010, the Kilarc Foundation was established to use small hydropower revenues to fund efforts in support of the recovery of anadromous fish species, starting with steelhead and research into the potential of resident rainbow trout populations and habitat in Old Cow Creek upstream and downstream of the Kilarc project.  A recent updated summary of the Project was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shortly before the Stewardship Council announced that Western Shasta RCD has been recommended for selection as the conservation easement-holder for the watershed lands in the Kilarc planning unit of the Stewardship Council.  Davis Hydro looks forward to working with Western Shasta RCD, community members, and all stakeholders and regulatory authorities in the conservation and enhancement of natural resources and the recovery of endangered species that can be supported by our efforts in the area.  Further information is available at or from Richard Ely or Kelly Sackheim at (530) 753-8864.

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