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Auburn, Calif.- A campaign proposing to expand the Granite Chief Wilderness Area by more than 10,000 acres west of Lake Tahoe has raised concerns at the Placer County Water Agency.

In a report to the PCWA Board of Directors on Thursday (Nov. 21), Director of Resource Development Andy Fecko and natural resources consultant Marie Davis said the area proposed for expansion includes the watershed above Hell Hole and French Meadows reservoirs, which are major features of the Agency’s Middle Fork Project.  The Project supplies water to significant portions of Placer County and produces enough hydroelectric energy to power a community of over 100,000 homes.

A wilderness designation is the most restrictive land management strategy available on federal lands.ย  No vehicle, helicopter or other motorized access, forestry and fuel load management operations, or land improvements are permitted, and fire management activities are severely limited in such areas.

“We’re concerned about how this proposed federal designation may impact our operations and future management options for the watershed,” Fecko said.ย 

PCWA directors instructed staff to seek more information about the proposal and report back at a future meeting.

PCWA board meetings are open to the public. Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.ย 

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