** High Priority **
Dear PAC member,
It’s been some time since the Suction Dredge Public Advisory
Committee (PAC) met. Your input was valuable and helped us in developing
the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR). This message
is to advise you of the status of the DSEIR, and ask for your input on
We plan on publishing the DSEIR and proposed draft regulations at the
end of December. So the public has adequate time to review the document
and provide comments, we are providing a public comment period of 60
days, ending on February 25th. The Department of Fish & Game believes
that effective public involvement is critical to developing final
regulations and fully considering alternatives and impacts of the
suction dredge permitting program. As part of that process we intend to
sponsor several public meetings spread over the last week of January and
first week of February. These meetings will be held in Southern
California, Fresno, Sacramento, Redding and Yreka. We expect that 150
– 250 people may attend each meeting. This schedule will provide
about 4 weeks for the public to review the document prior to the
meetings and about 3 weeks after the meetings to provide written
There are no legal standards guiding how we conduct the meetings.
Usually, an overview of the project, alternatives and potential
environmental effects is provided, along with a description of the
various ways to provide comments and recommendations. As you may know,
there are several methods for receiving comments at public meetings. One
alternative is simply to accept only written comments. Another
alternative is to provide an opportunity for any person to provide oral
comments. In this instance we would retain a court reporter to create a
verbatim transcript and take public comments until the last person has
spoken. There may be other alternatives for public comment we should
consider. We have also not determined whether we should provide an
opportunity for the public to ask questions and receive verbal answers.
And if we did include that component, how should it be conducted?
Whatever combination of activities we include should be feasible within
a meeting lasting approximately three hours. While we can make the
meetings longer, our experience suggests that there are tradeoffs in
effectiveness and participation as public meetings go over three hours.
We have not yet determined the meeting format but will need to do so
very soon as we continue our planning and make arrangements. To that
end, we would like your input on how to structure the public meetings so
we all get the most benefit from them. We will consider all suggestions.
We need your suggestions by noon on Tuesday, November 9 to be
considered. We will announce both the meeting dates and the format in
our next newsletter which is scheduled for publication in December.
Thank you for your participation in this process. We look forward to
receiving your input regarding the public meetings.
Send suggestions to MStopher@dfg.ca.gov
Environmental Program Manager
California Department of Fish and Game
601 Locust Street
Redding, CA 96001