VICTORY FOR FOSSIL CREEK! HYDRO-POWER PLANTS TO BE DECOMMISSIONED, FULL WATER FLOWS RETURNED TO RIVER
After intense public pressure, protracted negotiations, and thousands of letters, phone calls, emails, and newspaper stories, Arizona Public Service has agreed to decommission both hydro-power plants on central Arizona's Fossil Creek and to return full water flows to the river by 2004. The riverbed is to be completely restored by 20009.
For over 90 years, the entire 14 mile base flow of Fossil Creek has been diverted to the power company's Childs-Irving hydroelectric power plants, depriving all Arizonans of their most spectacular spring fed river, and the Yavapai Apache of their ancestral waterway. Return of full flows is desperately needed to recover the imperiled Razorback sucker, Colorado squawfish, Gila topminnow, Loach minnow, Spikedace and Bald eagle. Sycamores, cottonwoods, ash and alders will soon regenerate along the river banks providing habitat for the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher.
Arizona Public Service signed a historic decommissioning agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, Northern Arizona Audubon, Sierra Club, American Rivers, and the Nature Conservancy on 11-17-99. The following day, the Center organized a celebration at the company's downtown Phoenix office. Sixty people came out to thank APS and inaugurate a new era of dam decommissioning and removal in the Southwest. The Center also support efforts by the Sierra Club and the Glen Cayon Institute to decomission and remove Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River.