My name is H. B. (name withheld for privacy) , and I represent the Friends of the
Mark West Watershed. We work in partnership with countless
agencies, non-profits, and foundations to support our mission to
protect and preserve the Mark West watershed. We have over
150 households on our members list, and more than 350
supporters on social media. When asked what issues matter the
most to them, our members told us: Water, and Fire. Obviously,
fire has taken up a great deal of our energy these past few years.
But today, I am asked to be here to discuss water with you.
Friends of Mark West is not anti-cannabis. We are pro-fish. We
are pro-watershed health. Because of this, we are strong
advocates for public policy that promotes sustainable land use for
the benefit of fish, forests, and people. We know that the health
of the endangered Coho as a keystone species is an important
indicator of the health of our entire watershed. We know from the
results of the recent Mark West Flow Study that our watershed
hangs in a delicate balance, with enough water to support
humans and fish with current land use in an average or wet rain
year. In dry years, we have a net deficit, and there is every
indication that more dry years are likely on the horizon as we
continue to be impacted by climate change. Any changes in public
policy that have the potential for increased groundwater use in
the Mark West watershed threaten to tip this delicate balance in
the wrong direction.
We believe the ordinance updates contain significant new
potential impacts on water quantity and quality in the Mark
West watershed. The SMND does not adequately describe and
analyze these impacts nor provide mitigations that will prevent
their occurrence. The Net Zero standards are not clearly defined,
nor are they enforceable. Therefore a full EIR is required.
Thank you for your time.