FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Beth Gabor, Manager of Public Affairs
February 9, 2012
(530) 666-8042 [w] ▪ (530) 219-8464 [c]
Yolo County Board of Supervisors Opposes Yolo Bypass Expansion
(Woodland, CA) – The Yolo County Board of Supervisors is opposed to a proposal to expand the Yolo Bypass and widen the Fremont Weir as included in the public draft of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.
“The Board is concerned that the proposal could place Yolo County communities, agriculture, and our local economy in jeopardy,” wrote Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Jim Provenza in a letter to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board and the California Department of Water Resources. “We also fear that there could be an increased risk of local flooding and a threat to continued viability of the Vic Fazio Wildlife Area.”
Neither the Yolo County Board of Supervisors nor members of the public whose properties would be affected by an expansion of the Yolo Bypass were consulted about the proposal as the first draft of the plan was developed by the California Department of Water Resources. In the letter Chair Provenza expressed the Board’s surprise and disappointment at the lack of public outreach regarding a project of such magnitude. Yolo County Supervisor Matt Rexroad, who represents Elkhorn, a community that would likely be severely impacted by the bypass project, said, “I was shocked by the complete lack of outreach to the Board and my constituents whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by this proposal.”
According to the Department of Water Resources, the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan is a document to guide California’s participation and influence federal and local participation in managing flood risk along the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River systems. The plan proposes a system-wide investment approach for flood management in areas currently protected by state flood control facilities. The plan is scheduled to be adopted by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board by July 2012. Following the initial adoption, the proposed projects will be further studied and defined before the plan is updated again in 2017.
In light of the short timeframe for adoption of the plan, Chair Provenza emphasized the importance of collaboration between state and local government. “Yolo County is deeply concerned that the Department of Water Resources’ actions reflect an attitude that the state has the right to propose projects that profoundly affect local land use without the involvement of local elected officials and other stakeholders.”