Question: FERC relicensing, scope of analysis

From Dick Boyd:

What is the understanding of forest managers regarding relicensing of hydroelectric generators?

My observation is that the geographic area of the project does not extend far enough from the water to establish responsibility.

There is a need for fuels management, including reduction, to prevent the type fire that results in siltation of the reservoir. Most licenses seem to be predicated on tens of feet of elevation or tens of yards from the high water mark.

Seldom is the hydroplant tasked to pay for services rendered in fuels management.

This question was prompted by my observation at a public meeting that the map suggested the licensing would address the entire geographic area of the watershed. Someone else asked a question about the map. The response was that the project geographic area was limited to a small perimeter around the reservoir. Then the discusion went on about boat ramps and recreation. Neither fire fighting or fuels reduction was mentioned.

Dick, my only involvement in this topic was whether the FS should do separate NEPA on its terms and conditions, or their should be one NEPA document associated with the decision and terms and conditions.
Also in the case of non-FERC dams in Colorado, the water provider pays for part of fuels treatment to protect from sedimentation voluntarily.

Do others know more about this?

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