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Supervisors Discuss Melones Biological Opinion

Sonora, CA– The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors made a decision Tuesday regarding the biological opinion of New Melones Reservoir made by federal agencies last week.


The biological opinion was handed down by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and would result in New Melones being near empty, approximately 18 percent of the year. The opinion also says this action would protect the endangered Central Valley steelhead fish.


In a unanimous vote, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors decided to send a letter to legislative representatives and water agencies, and to be fully informed to protect county interests. The vote of 5-0 also includes that an update be made to the board in the second week of January.


Tuolumne County Supervisor Dick Pland said, “I am not ready to dismiss this as not having an adverse impact of major size on Tuolumne County’s economy, on its power and so on.  I think we’ve got to get involved and make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s our responsibility to the people of Tuolumne County.”


Written by tina.falco@mlode.com