The landscape of Big Pine’s enhancement mitigation projects has changed significantly in the past six weeks. A leased property cited as a fire and then a dust hazard has been cleared and fenced; the community’s 30-acre regreening site northeast of the town is being prepped and a well southeast of the Big Pine Paiute Reservation will be switched on for a few weeks a year to compensate for water used on those acres.
In late September, Inyo County Water Department staff conducted a tour of enhancement mitigation projects in the Big Pine area. The projects were begun to counter the impacts of groundwater pumping by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, dating back to the 1970s. The scope of these projects was outlined in an Environmental Impact Report as part of the Inyo-L.A. Long Term Water Agreement signed in 1991, 22 years ago. That’s the short version of long and litigious battles waged from the 1970s until water began flowing in the Owens River below Tinnemaha and LADWP’s intake in 2006. While the battles have subsided, skirmishes still erupt.
Read more in the Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.