Sweetwater and Loveland

Discussion in 'Freshwater' started by Everydog, May 17, 2020.

  1. Everydog

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  2. Everydog

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    Update; Promised communication from the regional manager for Forest did not happen. The person from the Descanso office who finally wrote me and said I would be his point of contact did not respond to my email.

    We will see if Juan Vargas' office follows through with the commitment to bring this discussion to the table so I can try to be sure there is some transparency and oversight on what the government and Sweetwater Authority are doing with the fishing program.

    Meanwhile, I'm going back to putting in comments at the Sweetwater Board meetings. Maybe the government at least is no longer giving them a free pass to ignore the public, but who knows. Shutting the lake so early in the summer, and anytime there is a decent amount of daylight left after the early closings they do, just basically shuts the lake Monday through Friday for working people who could get a nice session in if the lake closed at sunset like it should. Of course, the lake should be opened seven days a week not three.

    Someone in an Alpine community forum offered to post some comments about these things in their forums. No response from KUSI!
     
  3. camobass

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  4. Everydog

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    The person working on this from Vargas' office has been consistently earnest. Yes, they dropped me the first time I tried to get a complaint started, but when I followed up and said we should have help and they should not drop me and our concerns again.....since then it's been pretty good. Today I let her know that it appears that we are left in the lurch by the forest people again and she said she sent the inquiry to the Dept of Forestry last week, and that we should give it until next week.

    I'd like to be a fly on the wall with the Dept of Forestry, to see if they are all rallying to call me crazy, or if they are trying to catch up with me about the fishing program, or if they are smoothing things over with Sweetwater before they start to give any squeaky wheel Joe Public the time of day, or some combination of things. Possibly, they just went back to forgetting about the whole thing.
     
    #104 Everydog, Oct 26, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  5. Everydog

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    Submitted to be read before the SWA BOARD tomorrow:

    Thank you for your time and attention.


    I am hoping that the Sweetwater Authority will do a turnabout on the present agenda of minimizing access to Loveland reservoir. I would also like to express concern about plans to drain the lake beyond the level for emergency reserves. Finally, I will make some comments about safety around closing time at Loveland Reservoir.

    There is at least one great reason for having the fishing program open until sunset. People who fish work. That’s why gyms have longer hours, and bars and restaurants are open for people. You can’t fish at work and mostly you can’t exercise or have a nice meal cooked for you or drink at work. But whatever one likes to do outside of work, we are glad the places involved in our recreation and social activities are opened! It’s the same with people who like to fish!

    When all the good faith and communication with the public and your predecessors in board positions designed the Loveland Reservoir fishing program, this understanding that a fishing program needed to be open when people could use it was just common sense. Times have changed. I understand that in a more urbanized San Diego , lots of people in leadership just can’t relate to fishing or even the wild outdoors, and therefore it’s easy to make destructive goals and decisions around things they don’t understand. People work, and when a lake like Loveland, fairly remote from most sources of employment, closes at 5:00 or 6:00, that basically means it’s closed Monday through Friday for honest hardworking people. This is especially destructive when there actually is a lot of daylight left beyond those closing times. That destruction of the fishing program and the current 3 day a week operation were never the intention at the onset of the land swap and fishing program design. The easement and the hundred and fifty plus pages of documents that Ms. Perez and Mr. Garcia have provided me all make that very clear. I still haven’t received an answer from the Sweetwater Authority as to how, in ethical and civil law legal terms , the access provided for in the easement, sunrise to sunset seven days a week has been diminished from the easement declarations in such a way that it exterminates the historical good faith and destroys such a large amount of recreation potential for working people. I have asked for documentation to support these reductions to the sunrise to sunset access and none has been provided. That leaves me to believe the none can be provided, which proves that the public has been and is being short changed.


    Taking this notion of historical good faith around Loveland Reservoir a step further. I would like to address the proposals and the ethos, of the Gillingham report.

    The Sweetwater authority and its predecessors, in partial control of the water monopoly from the Sweetwater river source, were enabled to provide a lake amenity in Loveland Reservoir and a viable means to provide water security to many people, while making sustainable wealth in the meantime. I do understand that the historical intent and purpose was not to enable greed to the extent that the Sweetwater authority have a monopoly on even more water, to sell to the Otay Water District. I know the meeting of the minds did not intend to, at any time in the future, leave the public a dead canyon and a mudhole in Alpine, as outlined in the Gillingham Report.



    I would like to interject something here about the daily closing of the lake as it is done currently. I have heard board members, operations personnel, and other staff talk about the concern for safety at closing, adding and extra person, so that two caretakers shut the parking lot at night for instance. However, from a user’s perspective, your program actually reflects little concern for safety, and more for showing who is the boss. This is not to say your caretakers don’t care because I have seen them show concern down at the lake. That said, the lake closing warning should be issued from the boat not by someone on a loudspeaker above the lake who can’t even see the people fishing or hiking. Imagine how would feel if you are the injured or ill person at the lake and all that you can here is someone hollering at you to get your car out of the lot before it is towed or locked in. This scenario guarantees a response two hours longer or more for the injured or sick person. The caretaker could give the usual warning about time running out and verify that, a least up to a half hour before closing that all users were in good health and appeared capable of making it back to their cars. After that, the caretaker could take the boat back, exchange it for the truck and go back and lock the gate at sunset, if you want the gate locked. Something like that would show that you actually have as much concern for the well being of the lake users as you do for your own employees.
     
  6. Everydog

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    Apparently the public servants who are negotiating the new agreement with the Sweetwater Authority did not respond to the inquiry made by Juan Vargas' office. Week before last I was asked to give it another week by someone helping me there and if nothing she would work on the next steps. I haven't heard from her either so I have checked in a moment ago asking what will happen.

    Vargas won , so I guess I can beat my head against that wall for two more years at least.

    I wrote comments for last Weeks SWA Board meeting and they were not read. Board Secretary said it was because of a glitch in their system and that she will explain the situation to the board and read it at the next board meeting.

    I have requested that the SWA mail me a hard copy of the report on draining the lake via snail mail(Gillingham Report) . let's see.

    It's still fall fishing over there of course but, fishing was good last winter for Loveland, Water Level is even better for the time being , Should be good for good sized fish by Loveland standards, if you have the patience to fish the best structure until they come through. I put in long days last year , not sure if I will be in the mood for it, but it brought some good times and a 5 fish limit of about 16 pounds without any monster fish in it.. I actually only caught five fish that day and one was small. I say that because you can catch a limit like that in the prespawn and other times, but it will be best of 15, or more fish. Anyway , not bad for shore fishing.
     
    #106 Everydog, Nov 5, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  7. Everydog

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    Public comments at the board meetings is still the only power we have at this time. When 6-8 of us were commenting the board members got into an active mode of considering what we want for the lake.I know some people prefer the lake be opened less and maybe aren't motivated to comment. But know there is a threat to destroy the fishery so if you like to fish at all or want to see that fishery survive , it's best to get back on them.
    Sweetwater Authority, CA


    Trying to make sure the streak of glitches at the Sweetwater Authority do not interfere with public comment at the board meeting.

    Good Morning Ms. Sweetwater Authority board Secretary,

    I have re-submitted my comments for the last regular board meeting to be read at the Wednesday November 11th regular board meeting. I am letting you know so that these comments are not overlooked due to any continuing glitches in your system. I appreciate you for reading my comments and think you do a great job. I would appreciate it if you explain to the board that my comments were properly submitted for the previous meeting but were not read, as you had suggested in your last email to me.

    Also, I used your request documents portal to request a paper copy of the recent Gillingham report. Please contact me with any questions about that submittal. I am happy to pay the copy and mailing costs to have that sent to my home address. It would be great to have an electronic version in the interim.

    Regards,
    Everydog
     
  8. Everydog

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    Here is the llnk to the GIllingham work related to draining water well outside of the legal fishing area , draining the canyon the and lake.

    Agenda - 10/13/2020

    The majority of the Loveland content is found from page 61 of the Agenda packet which is page 45 of the Gillingham report. It doesn't take but reading a few pages to see the terrible proposals for the lake and fishery there.

    They are still stealing 4 days a week of fishing there right now. .
     
  9. Everydog

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    Tonight is the Sweetwater meeting, You can add comments for the board for a few more hours. Up to one hour before the meeting .Sweetwater Authority, CA

    PM me if you need help with commenting at the board. We might not get it in this time but they have meetings once or twice a week.

    The National office of the USDA department of Forestry forced the Regional Forest Supervisor to reach out to me ( on behalf of you and the rest of the public) He promised a responsive public servant natured interface going forward. Absolutely none has been delivered. Please consider reaching out to them to express any opinion on this issue. Since the spring of this year they have ignored and deceived me , or deceived and ignored, then promised responsiveness and delivered absolutely none. They are either not working with the Sweetwater Authority on the lake access and horrible aspirations to drain the lake, or they are doing it privately , no public oversight. Either way this is not what what we want.

    Randy Moore Pacific Southwest Regional Supervisor.
    Scott Tangenberg , Cleveland National Forest Supervisor
    Robert Heiar, Descanso Ranger DIstrict


    randy.moore@usda.gov,randy.moore@usda.gov
    Scott R. -FS Tangenberg <scott.tangenberg@usda.gov>,
    Robert -FS Heiar <robert.heiar@usda.gov>,
    Karla Langham <karla.langham@mail.house.gov>



    Today I wrote them for the first time in about two months.


    Dear Forest Service Managers,



    Today is Veteran's Day. Coincidently, I am a Veteran. I would like to be fishing at Loveland Reservoir today instead of musing and to some degree fuming over the neglect with regards to public access the in light of all the effort I have made to enlist our partners in government to help with that. In fact, take fishing out of the equation and I am still left wondering what happened to the promise of a commitment to be responsive to me at all?
    Not one of the three of you responded to my last round of emails , even after I had just been promised by Mr. Moore that as public servants, it was your duty to be helpful to citizens. That was two months ago. I put a lot of thought into and time into those emails based on the belief that I had a responsive individual assigned to me in Mr. Heiar, and the promise Mr. Moore made of public service towards my efforts to help with this problem. My case worker on my complaint of neglect and misrepresentation from your department, Karla Langham, from Congressman Vargas' office, has told me that her inquiry on my( the public's) behalf went unanswered.

    i am pretty sure all of you have the day off today, I am not sure how many of you are veterans. I hope that when you get back to work you can find time to respond to the obvious need to let the public understand what is going on between the partners in this Loveland FIshing program and how we can move forward from the current excessive closures and other issues there.


    Sincerely,
    Everydog,
     
  10. Fishnagent

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    Everydog, Thank you for your service.

    I remember the first time I fished Loveland. It was opening day back in 97 I think. There were people wearing camo everywhere because that was what they always wore to fish there when it was closed. I thought that was pretty funny at the time.

    I applaud your efforts and steadfast determination in dealing with the multiple entities associated with the issues currently going on at Loveland. You kind of remind me of Andy Dufrane in Shawshank Redemption. Just keep sending the emails and at some point they will hopefully start to be more accountable and transparent about what is going on. Hopefully the powers that be will reopen the lake full time and keep it at a level providing enough shoreline to anglers.

    Keep on fighting the good fight!
     
  11. Everydog

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    Thanks , I have never pulled the veteran card before. This situation seems as appropriate as any to do so. I know during those years I was not some spoiled future beaurocrat.

    The opening of Loveland must have been really cool. Different set of human beings on the Sweetwater board at that time. They found fishing relatable and were excited about the great deal they got in the land swap and we got a something that was supposed to run in perpetuity as does their water monopoly and advantages they gain from the public land they got. . The current board only cares about South Bay, where the people who vote for them live. One of them is mayor of national city. They are trying to open Sweetwater reservoir more despite environmental obstacles to doing so while they try to shut down ,and maybe ruin Loveland ,even though there is an easement for fishing seven days a week there .

    I would like to see them forced to have a director in Alpine and one in Jamul. Seems totally appropriate given that the lake is here and they have made it very clear they are happy to **** on us from Spring Valley.

    Hopefully, we will get a break and the government is not giving away those rights in that easement. I really should have gone fishing down there today with my license , the easement, and my dd-214 and let them call the sheriff on me.
     
    #111 Everydog, Nov 11, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  12. Everydog

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    The Government Ranger repsonded. he also cc'd our case worker at Juan Varga' office. She approved of the letter I sent out to elicit this response from the government. . Hopefully we will have a break through, but this response isn't so much it. I am leaving my name in in an act of fairness. Please reach out to these people, the Sweetwater Authority or me at any time. .


    Mr. Walsh,
    As a fellow veteran, I'd like to wish you a very happy belated Veterans Day.

    I sincerely apologize for my lack of communication with you since I last emailed you on 10/15. I have reached-out to Sweetwater Authority and we have agreed to meet and discuss this issue. Unfortunately, numerous urgent matters and my busy schedule have made it difficult to schedule this meeting. I have also located and read through several documents related to the land transfer and easement retained by the United States for a fishing access trail. Based on everything I have seen, I continue to strongly believe that the US Forest Service has very little, if any, authority regarding your specific concerns of reduced fishing hours. I encourage you to work directly with Sweetwater Authority to better address your concerns.

    I must admit that I had some initial confusion regarding the situation at Loveland. From the tone and tenor of your emails, I was under the impression that Loveland Reservoir was completely closed to all public access. I have been informed by Sweetwater Authority's Assistant General Manager that Loveland Reservoir is not closed, but rather, operating on a reduced schedule due specifically to COVID-19, from Friday – Sunday, 6:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

    At this moment, COVID-19 is widespread, out of control, and San Diego County has just entered the state's most restrictive "Purple Tier." This is not the time to second-guess COVID related safety measures. Regardless of what authority the US Forest Service may, or may not have, regarding your concerns, the US Forest Service WILL NOT attempt to convince or compel an independent public agency to disregard their own COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols. The Cleveland National Forest trusts Sweetwater Authority to manage their own resources appropriately and do what they think is best for their employees and visitors in light of this deadly pandemic.

    The Cleveland National Forest continues to be interested in a long-term partnership with Sweetwater Authority and will pursue partnership discussions over the coming months. I recognize that this is an issue of the utmost importance to you. Unfortunately, it is not an urgent issue or a high priority for the Cleveland National Forest. This is especially true considering your complaint stems specifically from how Sweetwater Authority has adjusted its public service delivery to provide for employee and public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    I look forward to continuing this conversation with you at some point in the future when COVID-19 is less of a concern. Based on current trends, this could be several months in the future. In the meantime, I intend to continue researching the Forest Service's authority in this matter and hold partnership discussions with Sweetwater Authority.

    Regards,

    Bob Heiar

    Bob Heiar
    District Ranger
    US Forest Service
    Cleveland National Forest
    Descanso Ranger District
    p: 619-445-6235
    c: 619-517-6275
    f: 619-445-1753
    robert.heiar@usda.gov
    3348 Alpine Blvd.
    Alpine, CA 91901
    www.fs.fed.us
    Caring for the land and serving people
     
  13. Everydog

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    My Response.. As I have said before we have to have a watch dog to be sure the government doesn't under do it here.

    Mr. Heiar,

    Thank you for responding and for your apology. "Tone and tenor " aside, the record of my correspondence to your organization , which you told me you have, leaves no confusion over what has been going on at the lake since the initial restrictions started in our community over covid-19 in early spring of this year. Briefly, the Sweetwater Authority closed first and closed longest when all other lakes had opened. Public pressure, principally from myself and one other man, brought the Sweetwater Authority to open the lake for the current three days. Also, we only recently went back into purple. Sweetwater Authority would not budge to catch up with similar lake programs once Scott made clear what you have stated about no oversight until covid passes. That said, I understand you will not direct them to open anymore during covid.


    As a fellow veteran, I would hope that you understand that this is not only about fishing, but it's about giving away rights to, and protections of an amenity at Loveland Reservoir for all citizens present and future, that was bought by US land that we and the veterans before us kept held in trust of the Government, not for gifting back to the Sweetwater Authority. If we keep calling these things low priority I see a future where there is no freedom at all in outdoor recreation. I see too many kids interested in the outdoors to let this happen. This in not what your predecessors in the Department of Forestry or even the past Sweetwater Authority board members established the easement for. We want what they established in full , no excuses. It was clearly meant to run in perpetuity , access sunrise to sundown seven days a week. If you are reading what I have read, it seems to me like we would agree on that.

    Therefore, my present very serious concern is with your negotiations of the agreement with this partner, Sweetwater Authority, in the fishing program at Loveland. I have a lot of concerns here actually.



    * I want to be copied all negotiations and invited to all zoom meetings. If I can not make them for some reason, I would like to be provided links to recordings. Your tone and tenor are frightening to me, as was Scott Tangenberg's. I believe your organization needs oversight on this matter. That is bases on what I just said about you and Scott and the apparent 17 years , at least , of inattention by your organization over this matter that the Sweetwater Authority has taken advantage of. Your promise to tell me what happens somewhere down the line is not suitable. Please catch me up to date as soon as possible and let's move on from there.


    *Have you asked yourself if you are the right person to do this? With the entire US government behind you , you make our program sound way more vulnerable than it needs to be. Maybe you should get help? Perhaps the government lawyers I suggested, or other agencies with powers to protect what it ours?

    *Have you read the Gillingham report. Is the Sweetwater Authority being transparent with you about their hopes to drain the lake to as low as 1050 acre feet? How does that affect your negotiations?

    *Please answer these questions directly. If you do not, it's impossible for me to understand your commitment to effective public service on this matter.



    Thank You,

    Russell Walsh
     
  14. Everydog

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    Pretty good phone meeting with our caseworker at Juan Vargas' office.
    She has been able to get some higher quality communication between her and the government and we are seeing if we can get higher quality communication directly to me. I am going to start with a freedom of information act application AKA FOIA and see where that goes. Government Lawyers will not be assigned to me, but I can keep hounding the forestry people to use them before they screw this fishing program up worse than it is and for the long term future.

    Good things have happened. Apparently the Forest Service mostly neglected participation and protecting this program almost since its inception in 1997. They are getting woke to it again. It's going to take time for them to learn about the civil law ramifications and for them to get help from the government lawyers I have been suggesting they do ( they may be talking to lawyers now, but not telling me, I think that is probably true or soon will be). When they do, we want that help to take care of that lake and we the people. So far they give way to much credit to the Sweetwater Authority and seem to want to embrace any business ethic biased excuses they want to give for crapping on this east county and all potential users of the lake from everywhere.
    We need to reverse this slippery slope, and it is a very slippery slope.

    Unfortunately , so far, nobody is going to put this on a front burner during covid except for the selfish Sweetwater Authority and me. .
     
    #114 Everydog, Nov 19, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  15. Everydog

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    Ran into to someone at the Lake this weekend who was working on getting the fishing program in the right place as long as I have been or longer, so that was cool. We plan to share notes.( he did not get skunked)

    Also got an Email response from the Freedom of Information Act. people at the Forest. Going to try to get them to keep us in the loop with Government and Sweetwater Authority communications.

    Welcome to the Forest Service FOIA Site | US Forest Service :

    If anyone has any tips on how to succeed with gaining this transparency via FOIA please pm me. I have never used it and it's looks like the Dept of Forestry people have no intention of sharing developments without pressure yet.
     
  16. Everydog

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    A note to our caseworker ( technically she's my case worker ,but our case worker because I know who this matters to)



    Good Morning Ms. Langham,

    Thank your for your very helpful participation in our phone meeting last week.

    I am glad that the USDA Department of Forestry Supervisor has contacted you.
    However, It continues to appear that the Cleveland National Forest people have no intention of being transparent about negotiations with the Sweetwater Authority over the Loveland FIshing program and environmental issues that changes in the program could impact. Hopefully that will improve. Mr. Heiar has mention a few times that his and my goals may align, but it is pretty Vague.

    These are the questions I would like answered.

    Does Mr. Heiar, and/ or his colleagues , aim to get the lake program restored to sunrise to sunset seven days a week in these negotiations. Does he aim to preserve the reservoir as a viable fishery ? Will he get government legal help, or go it alone? Will he keep the public informed along the way?



    I was given this link this morning in response to my request to have the archives of my correspondence via the USDA Dept of Forestry Website National and local portals forwarded to me. https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/foia

    * Hoping as public recreation advocates that we will have transparency. Is is possible that your role could allow for contact to the FOIA staff at the Department of Forestry to help me build the case that public oversight and transparency is desirable?

    *It seems that , slowly , there may be a sort of public coalition building. Not sure yet , but I am not completely alone in advocating on this issue.
    Is it possible that some people could be added to our case through Mr. Vargas' office? How would that work or be accomplished, if so?

    *I am thinking that in the least we might want to organize some formal or informal petition for the FOIA efforts.


    Have a nice day, and If you are taking time off this week , please enjoy and we will talk later!

    Sincerely,

    Russell Walsh
     
  17. Everydog

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    The Sweetwater Authority gave me the email correspondence between them and the Government, but only what contained my name. They didn't give me the records of meetings they have had. It did allow for extracting more transparency on their negotiations. The tone of the government is weak, not favorable to the public they serve, not favorable to fishing people, almost to the point of giving the impression that they would like to wash their hands of this lake and fishing program. They are all on vacation until the 30th so calling them out again on what I have learned from these documents won't help until later. They will find it in their emails when they get back and I will share what I have learned with the caseworker from Vargas' office , who probably has the week off too.

    I learned that a junior recreation specialist from the government, junior to everyone I have spoke with so far, is probably working with a lake Sweetwater Caretaker supervisor( a lower to mid level Sweetwater employee) , but I wasn't given anything they are negotiating, I requested that. I think that needs to be discovered ASAP.
     
  18. Everydog

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    The Descanso Ranger is way more partnered up with the Sweetwater Authority than he is with us. THey all are cozy on first name basis. He is suggesting the signs that show Government Partnership be taken down at Loveland. He didn't tell me this, I had to find it out from documents I obtained using the public information act that applies to the Sweetwater Authority. These two agencies are all buddy buddy.
    One Forest supervisor whining about my "writing campaign" and the Sweetwater manager sympathizing with him for having to deal with my emails!


    Contact person is Robert Heiar Descanso District Ranger. He's hiding things , won't answer questions. He should be asked by more people than just me.

    District Offices - Forest Service - USDA
    www.fs.usda.gov › wps › portal › fsinternet › detail

    Robert Heiar, District Ranger. 3348 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine CA 91901. Office- (619)445-6235. Fax- (619)445-1753. Hours of Operation - Monday through ...


    We are making a letter to give to the people who live above the lake whose views, along with the fishery and surrounding natural habitat, will be destroyed if Sweetwater drains the lake.
     
    #118 Everydog, Nov 27, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  19. fisheromen

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    Birds! Go with the wetlands argument! That and the toxic environment at the bottom of the lake, once it is exposed!
     
  20. Everydog

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    There are tons of birds and other mammals down there.
    The question is why is the government so disinterested in the birds and the Wetlands and the toxic environment at the bottom of the lake , or the fire break the lake creates, ground water impacts.... ?

    I have let the Department of Forestry know that the Sweetwater Authority has voted unanimously to waive a feasibility study prior to draining the lake beyond current emergency levels and no one responds to that question. I have asked them to engage other agencies in these concerns because I know how hard it is for an ordinary citizen to get properly heard .

    I guess I could reach out to the EPA. Contact EPA | US EPA
     
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