The League acknowledged that federal law does grant the National Forest Service with the sole responsibility for stewardship of the San Bernardino National Forest’s natural resources. But the League’s position states that should a new Permit be issued to Nestlé, a number of conditions listed below would need to be met.
The position was based on the findings of the board-authorized study committee that posed questions to San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor, Nestlé’s Senior Sustainability Manager, the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Water Rights and a retired San Bernardino National Forest biologist. The committee prepared testimony from the responses provided by the parties listed above, as well as official documents, and presented it to the public at an Informational Hearing on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Twin Peaks Community/Senior Center.
The study committee found that from 1947-2015, more than 4.2 billion gallons of water has been extracted from the headwaters of Strawberry Creek and transported across public lands to be bottled and sold, primarily as Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water. Special Use Permits for the operation of this system by various private entities date back to 1929 when the quantity extracted was not recorded.The League issued a Press Release on March 16, 2017 that contained the full text of the position approved. Local and regional newspapers, to varying extents, did note the League’s position. As concerned stakeholders await the Forest Plan Amendment decision on the permit, our League continues to support local activities that raise public awareness of the consequences of continuing to extract water from the headwaters of Strawberry Creek.
For more information contact Susan Longville by Email.
- The San Bernardino National Forest must design, implement and manage an Adaptive Management Plan that ensures continued water extraction is consistent with federal Land Management Plan (LMP) standards;
- Nestlé, as the sole beneficiary of the spring water exported from the San Bernardino National Forest, must pay the full costs of the Adaptive Management Plan, mitigating for any environmental impacts, and an annual permit fee that is commensurate with value of the water bottled and sold;
- The Adaptive Management Plan includes monitoring of ongoing extraction of water and the impacts thereof in the vicinity of Strawberry Creek and the headwater environment under real-time climate variations as well as the extent that continued water extraction impacts well levels of adjacent property owners in times of drought that are predicted 8 out of every 10 years in the 21st century.