ecosystem restoration

South Carolina City Surrenders Hydropower Project

In an order issued on December 22, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the license surrender requested by City of Spartanburg, SC for its Clifton Mills No. 1 Hydroelectric Project located on the Pacolet River in Spartanburg County.

The City acquired the project from Clifton Power Corporation in 2010 with the intention of reviving the 800kW project. However, an assessment by the City revealed that the project would cost in excess of $8 million.


Agreement To Restore Fisheries at Sullivan Creek and Continue Generation at Boundary Project

Coalition members American Whitewater, Selkirk Conservation Alliance, and The Lands Council have signed two settlement agreements that call for continued operation of Boundary Dam on the Pend Oreille River, enhanced operation of Sullivan Dam on the natural Sullivan Lake, and the removal of Mill Pond Dam on Sullivan Creek.


PG&E Gets a Green Light for Removal of Wildcat Dam

PG&E has received FERC approval for its plan to decommission the Wildcat dam, a part of the Battle Creek hydroelectric project (P-1121). According to the “Wildcat Dam Decommissioning Plan,” removal will happen between May 1 and September 1. They also plan to demolish the Wildcat Pipeline between November 2010 and April 2011.


The Disconnect Between Restoration Goals and Practices: A Case Study of Watershed Restoration in the Russian River Basin, CA

Restoration Ecology

Over the past two decades, watershed restoration has dramatically increased internationally. California has been at the forefront, allocating billions of dollars to restoration activities through legislation and voter-approved bonds. Yet, the implications of restoration remain ambiguous because there has been little examination of restoration accomplishments and almost no analysis of the political context of restoration. This article addresses these gaps, utilizing a case study of the Russian River basin in Northern California. We identify trends that shed light on both the ecological and the political implications of restoration at a basin scale by examining a database of 787 restoration projects implemented in the Russian River basin since the early 1980s. Although a total of over $47 million has been spent on restoration in the basin, dominant forms of restoration are limited in scope to small-scale projects that focus on technical solutions to site-specific problems. The majority of restoration efforts are devoted to road repair, riparian stabilization, and in-stream structures, accounting for 62% of all projects. These types of projects do not address the broader social drivers of watershed change such as land and water uses. We suggest that restoration can become more effective by addressing the entire watershed as a combination of social and ecological forces that interact to produce watershed conditions. 


Juliet Christian-Smith and Merenlender, Adina M.