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Thread: Here we go AGAIN..... just say NO!

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Here we go AGAIN..... just say NO!

    For the past few years Homer Electric Association (HEA) has been proposing to build a new hydropower dam on Grant Lake near Moose Pass/Seward in the headwaters of the Kenai River . It has received free money from Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) (http://www.aidea.org/aea/RE_Fund-V.html) to prepare the license application as required by the Federal Power Act. The license application is still in progress, but now HEA has requested several millions of free money from AEA for construction.

    The Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan recommends:
    The construction of new dams or diversions on the Kenai River or its fish bearing tributaries, which block fish movements, or reduce essential stream flows for spawning, rearing, or migration, will be prohibited. Additional impoundment structures are not considered appropriate because of their fundamental, usually irreversible affect upon the river's hydrology. (http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/plans/krsmapln/krsmamp3.pdf p.82) There are only a couple of large impoundment structures along the Kenai River, the major one being being the Cooper Landing Hydroelectric project.

    Opposition to this project is essential, specifically opposition to the State of Alaska providing any additional grant funds. Why would the State fund a dam on the Kenai when it has recommended no new dams or diversions? It doesn't make any sense.

    Read: http://homertribune.com/category/opinion/point-of-view/
    http://homernews.com/stories/090711/...l#.TmkzkY6xHIU)

    Anyone who fishes the Kenai should be protesting any additional industrialization of the watershed. The river has already suffered enough nicks and scrapes to last its life time.

    For more information visit Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance ( http://www.rbca-alaska.org/index.html http://www.rbca-alaska.org/assets/FI...TER TO HEA.pdf)
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    fishNphysician, in starting this thread, what evidence do you have that the project would not comply with the Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan?

    Also, what knowledge do you have of how the AEA grant application process works?

    I have talked with the HEA directors. My research shows that HEA/KHL is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations, including the KRCMP. In fact those laws require compliance or the project can not be developed. My research indicates fish movement would not be blocked (no salmon spawn in Grant Lake), and essential flow for spawning, rearing, migration, and habitat would not be reduced (in fact some argue they may be improved).

    It also appears that the AEA grant request was not a go-ahead for construction of the project as you imply, but it simply secured funding for ongoing development of the project, and potential construction. HEA qualifies for $4 million in available AEA grant money, and applied. I fail to see why they wouldn't.

    I am neither pro nor con over the project. I have no intention of letting HEA ruin a salmon run, yet I also know how important energy is to my home. But without some hard facts fishNphysician, I'm not about to jump on some "NO" campaign that appears to be one-sided fear mongering. In my opinion, we have more pressing issues jeopordizing salmon runs on the Kenai...the way the run is declining there will be no Kings to protect by the time the Grant Lake project sees the light of day.

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    Gramps, I have followed this project and the claims that salmon production will increase is very questionable. The temperature of the stream will be altered and warmer - thus spawning salmon in the creek will probably emerge at the wrong time for downstream food resources - especially sockeye salmon. Also, the movement of gravel in the creek and source of new gravel will be altered and thus spawning area could be seriously impacted or eliminated.

    Also, one should not dismiss the fish resources of Grant Lake - they provide significant food resources for various bird species. In addition, HEA has failed to do an adequate job in this aspect of the project.

    However, having said all of this in my opinion this project makes no sense from an economic view or meeting the needs of the peninsula relative to energy requirements. When HEA went from a buyer of electricity to a producer I do not believe their Board of Directors are ready for that transition as demonstrated by some rather questionable decisions.

    There is really no good analysis of the impact because to date the studies have been less than complete and the questions posed have not been adequately answered. Before a loan is given for construction HEA needs to come forth with a full disclosure of the real impacts and not try to snow the public with comments like this project will be good for fish. That comment came from a consultant in Homer who left ADF&G and wanted to start his own firm consulting to electric companies. He made the comment while still an employee for ADF&G just before he left. So one has to question his motives in this regard.

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    ive heard there is no fish to really consider in grant lake and creek,,how would this effect the Kenai?

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    Francis-
    send me a check from WA to subsidize my electric bill and I will oppose the dam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    ive heard there is no fish to really consider in grant lake and creek,,how would this effect the Kenai?
    Grant Creek has a few thousand sockeye salmon spawning in it, chinook and coho spawn in it, and rainbow trout are resident with Dolly Varden. In Grant Lake there are fish just no salmon. Because of the lack of salmon HEA keeps telling people there are no fish in Grant Lake. I was at a meeting where a Board of Director of HEA said this. I corrected him and then he said that the other fish do not matter. No clue to the role these fish play in the ecosystem of Grant Lake and the lives of other species that use Grant Lake fishery resources.

    Sayak, if you want cheap electricity move to Washington where they gave up salmon for cheap electricity. I do not think we want to do that here but with your comment who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Sayak, if you want cheap electricity move to Washington where they gave up salmon for cheap electricity. I do not think we want to do that here but with your comment who knows.
    My point, Nerka, is that outsiders are always trying to tell Alaskans what to do. Just because someone USED to live here, and comes up every summer to play with fish, doesn't give them a vested interest in dictating how things should be done.

    I have been up here nearly all my life and don't intend to move.

    I would like to see what the studies have to say about the productivity of this lake and how the dam could be built. You generally have your own take on things just as I do. Neither of us is the paramount of objectivity.

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    Nerka, I agree that until the studies and impact analysis are complete and all the questions are answered, it's near impossible to take a stand. That is why I'm pointing out the problem with this emotional "just say NO!" scare tactic.

    I have not heard any claims that salmon production would increase, only that flow may be improved since the creek's large flow fluxuations that occur throughout the year could be stabilized by the project. As you know Grant Creek can have issues with both high and low water levels that do effect productivity. I believe coordinating an improved flow with the salmon could potentially benefit them. I know salmon enhancement projects in the UCI have included flow control dams before (Coal Creek Lake, etc.). I also believe other species like trout and dolly varden, etc. can co-exist. Temperature increase would be a concern of mine, but I think the gravel substrate movement issue could be solved. None of that stuff leads me to jump to conclusions of "just say NO!".

    Application for the AEA grant money does not mean construction will occur. AEA's grant process is competitive and works on tiers. Applying for the construction grant now made sense for HEA. Increased funds became available, and they had qualified on all prior tiers. Ensuring that money is available to actually construct a potential project is fundamental practice before putting money into it...All the studies and analysis are worthless if monies aren't available for it to be built.

    The economic benefits of the project are unclear. 5 MW is significant, and I know the Peninsula is at a point that simply being a buyer of energy is not economically beneficial, or reliable. HEA's contract with their primary supplier, Chugach Electric, expires in a little over a year. And natural gas supplies are dwindling and becoming more expensive. I am 100% in favor of being independently powered here on the Peninsula. We need to find ways to do that.

    Regardless of all that, it is wrong for fishNphysician to start a thread implying the project does not meet the Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan, or that the KRCMP says no new dams or diversions, or that requesting grant money from AEA means construction will occur. None of that is true. Although it is a good example of pandering to emotions.

    The good news is that HEA is a co-op owned by you and me (not fishNphysican from Washington). We have voting power, and plenty of opportunity for public input and due process. It is up to us to make sure the laws, regulations, and KRCMP are met, and our salmon are protected. We need to educate ourselves to do that...without the emotional, half-baked "NO" campaigns from an outsider who probably hasn't even been to Grant Lake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Gramps, I have followed this project and the claims that salmon production will increase is very questionable. The temperature of the stream will be altered and warmer - thus spawning salmon in the creek will probably emerge at the wrong time for downstream food resources - especially sockeye salmon. Also, the movement of gravel in the creek and source of new gravel will be altered and thus spawning area could be seriously impacted or eliminated.
    I disagree about the stream temp, it will be colder than normal because the water released from the dam comes from the bottom where the water is cooler. I'm not disputing that the fish would be better off if they didn't build a dam though.





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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I disagree about the stream temp, it will be colder than normal because the water released from the dam comes from the bottom where the water is cooler. I'm not disputing that the fish would be better off if they didn't build a dam though.
    Not true fullbush. The lake water is warmer in winter. Look at large glacial lake systems here on the Kenai and you will see that the lake outlets are open of ice. This is because as ice forms on the lake the water that comes out is warmer and thus keeps the area ice free. In Grant Lake the stream temperatures in winter will be warmer because the water is coming from deep in the lake.

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    Cmon guys its just a very tiny part of the salmon eco system of Alaska. Less than .1% if you look at all the salmon streams in Alaska. It may not even impact the river its on. Hey a small dam here a small dam there wont make any real difference in the grand scheme. You will have a tiny bit more enerygy so hey go for it. I mean take a look at the PNW. They still have great salmon runs dont they? Yes they have to take fingerlings from the hatchery down river in a barge so they dont get beat up and maimed by the dams. The sea lions love the dams as they bunch up what fish do get in the river. I mean look at the sockeye harvest in the PNW. All the dams and such have not really had an impact there have they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    Cmon guys its just a very tiny part of the salmon eco system of Alaska. Less than .1&#37; if you look at all the salmon streams in Alaska. It may not even impact the river its on. Hey a small dam here a small dam there wont make any real difference in the grand scheme. You will have a tiny bit more enerygy so hey go for it. I mean take a look at the PNW. They still have great salmon runs dont they? Yes they have to take fingerlings from the hatchery down river in a barge so they dont get beat up and maimed by the dams. The sea lions love the dams as they bunch up what fish do get in the river. I mean look at the sockeye harvest in the PNW. All the dams and such have not really had an impact there have they?
    With all due respect, the ignorance of your statement leaves me virtually speechless. The dams on the Columbia system and elsewhere in the PNW have resulted in near total destruction of the historic salmon populations. The barging program on the Columbia has proven a colossal failure. Many runs in the PNW are now extinct. Many others only have a handful of individual fish returning and are gravely threatened. We should look to the PNW for an education about the impact of dams on the ecosystem, yes. But there is nothing in that lesson that indicates dams are positive in any way. Any person leaving that classroom with the opposite impression gets an F.
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    I think you may have missed a liberal heaping of sarcasm there taiga .

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
    I think you may have missed a liberal heaping of sarcasm there taiga .
    Well, I just came back with the intent to edit and add "perhaps I misunderstand, and that your statement is intended as the most profound sarcasm"...
    But if this is really the case, I have to say this is no place for it. There are people out there who read a statement like that and actually believe it. They read stuff like that and parrot it at planning meetings, and take their beliefs with them to voting booths. Sarcasm in the form of misinformation does not help the cause of educating people to make wise decisions.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    With all due respect, the ignorance of your statement leaves me virtually speechless. The dams on the Columbia system and elsewhere in the PNW have resulted in near total destruction of the historic salmon populations. The barging program on the Columbia has proven a colossal failure. Many runs in the PNW are now extinct. Many others only have a handful of individual fish returning and are gravely threatened. We should look to the PNW for an education about the impact of dams on the ecosystem, yes. But there is nothing in that lesson that indicates dams are positive in any way. Any person leaving that classroom with the opposite impression gets an F.
    That was sarcasm. Of course the PNW salmon habitat was destroyed by all the dams and development. The question is this. Are we going to do it all over again or will we be smart enough to look at what happened in the PNW and not go down that road again??

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    That was sarcasm. Of course the PNW salmon habitat was destroyed by all the dams and development. The question is this. Are we going to do it all over again or will we be smart enough to look at what happened in the PNW and not go down that road again??
    Thanks for that. Rep sent. Sorry I didn't catch the sarcasm. Sarcasm can be a dangerous thing though. People take things at face value and form opinions based on small amounts of seemingly innocuous information. You might say I'm giving the majority of people too little credit for intelligence, but the fact is that I meet lots of people all the time who actually already believe stuff mirroring the statement you made. It's sad that so many people have so little common sense, or are so greedy or short sighted....

    Your last question can not be stated any better. It's applicable to dams, mines, clearcut logging, and any other environmentally destructive practices that have a long and well documented history from which we can learn. It bears repeating. The question is this. Are we going to do it all over again or will we be smart enough to look at what happened elsewhere in the past and not go down that road again??
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Hydro in those rivers just does not seem to make much sense. Why not build a wind tower or ten instead? Kind of funny how Alaska with all its oil and gas is pressed for energy and gas is higher there than the lower 48

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    Pacific Northwest dams actually impeded or blocked the migration of salmon. This one would not impede salmon. It may change the nature of the outfall in regard to temperature, oxygenation, or turbidity, but that is what a study should show.

    I have began to notice a real pattern of people not waiting for the studies to be done- much less the state to approve a project- before they begin the nay-saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    Hydro in those rivers just does not seem to make much sense. Why not build a wind tower or ten instead? Kind of funny how Alaska with all its oil and gas is pressed for energy and gas is higher there than the lower 48
    Look up how wind farms are changing wind patterns and raising temps there is no free lunch. Why we Alaskans don't use more of the earths bounty below ground is beyond me


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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Pacific Northwest dams actually impeded or blocked the migration of salmon. This one would not impede salmon. It may change the nature of the outfall in regard to temperature, oxygenation, or turbidity, but that is what a study should show.

    I have began to notice a real pattern of people not waiting for the studies to be done- much less the state to approve a project- before they begin the nay-saying.
    Sayak, some things just should not happen. Pebble Mine is one of them. Relative to the loss of salmon and dams in the Pacific Northwest I think you need to do a little homework. Migration was only one issue. Also, there are other issues with dams and the impact on predator abundance, mortality of downstream migrants, loss of spawning area, water temperature changes, and the list goes on.

    Marcus keeps refering to the The King of Fish. Maybe you should get a copy from him to read.

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