Stop Stanford from Implementing Flawed Habitat Conservation Plan

Target: Gary Stern, National Marine Fisheries Service San Francisco Branch Supervisor

Goal: To force Stanford to cancel its Habitat Conservation Plan until suitable changes are implemented.

While the proposed intent of Stanford University’s Habitat Conservation Plan appears to be well-intentioned, the “comprehensive conservation program that protects, restores and enhances habitat areas; monitors and reports on covered species populations; and avoids and minimizes impacts on species and their habitats” is inherently flawed. This plan puts the local habitat and wildlife at great risk. The adoption of this plan and its associated federal permits would allow Stanford University to incidentally kill several threatened or endangered species such as the steelhead trout. This plan would also significantly undermine ongoing watershed planning efforts which have sought comprehensive habitat restoration in addition to improvements for regional flood protection.

The primary issue with this plan revolves around the Searsville Dam, as well as the school’s private water supply system. Instead of finding ways to reduce the impact of the dam, the school has proceeded to cause further harm by installing new booster pumps at the Searsville Diversion facility. This means the school not only ignored a law that requires any entity to submit notice when it “substantially divert[s] or obstruct the natural flow of… any river, stream or lake”, but also that an increasing number of animals such as the aforementioned steelhead trout are being killed. This is masked euphemistically by referring to these deaths as “take”, a blanket term covering the unintended deaths of wildlife.

This is entirely unacceptable. Rather than address the issues at hand Stanford has elected to pursue its own illegal methodology, citing the school’s need for the long-existing dam and associated reservoir as ample reason to disregard consideration for the local environment as well as the Endangered Species Act. The solution is simple–Stanford must not be allowed to implement its Habitat Conservation Plan.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Supervisor Stern,

A title such as the Stanford Habitat Conservation Plan, with its description as a “comprehensive conservation program that protects, restores and enhances habitat areas; monitors and reports on covered species populations; and avoids and minimizes impacts on species and their habitats” evokes the image of a beneficent organization working to improve its local ecology for the sake of the environment alone. This imagery would be mistaken however. This severely flawed plan puts the local ecology at great risk; by adopting this plan and the granting of its associated federal permits Stanford University would be allowed to incidentally kill countless threatened or endangered species such as the steelhead trout. Not only does it kill needlessly but the plan, if implemented, would also significantly impact ongoing watershed planning efforts that been attempting comprehensive habitat restoration and improvements for regional flood protection.

The primary issue revolves around utilization of the Searsville Dam, as well as the school’s private water supply system. In lieu of attempting to minimize the impact of the dam with its new plan the school has proceeded to cause greater harm by installing new booster pumps at the Searsville Diversion facility. What this means is that the school not only ignored a law that required any entity to submit notice when it “substantially divert[s] or obstruct the natural flow of… any river, stream or lake”, but will also be responsible for incidentally killing an increasing number of animals such as the aforementioned steelhead trout.

This cannot be allowed to continue. The Stanford Habitat Conservation Plan must be shelved until its fundamental environmental flaws are addressed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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2 Comments

  1. Patricia Bacon says:

    Stamford’s conservation plan is not only flawed it is a horror for wildlife. I am shocked at what Stanford is attempting to do. Wake up Stanford!

  2. Ruth Rogers Ruth Rogers says:

    Signed! Wave power on boats and floats in the lakes, and on the sides of rives –equals no need for dams. Wave energy is process in some places around the world. GO WAVE ENERGY ON BOATS AND FLOATS, AND TAKE DOWN DAMS OR DO NOT BUILD THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

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