background image
9
impacts do not significantly negatively impact the western lily, its habitat, non-
listed sensitive species, and the Crescent City Marsh.
Inadequate Mitigation Measures
The mitigation measures proposed are inadequate to protect the western lilies
and the Crescent Marsh, given the inadequacy of the hydrologic data, as well as
the inadequate analysis of direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts presented in
the DEIS. The mitigations for biological resources on pages 5.6 and 5.7 do not
even mention the western lily, which is clearly the biological resource that is most
likely to suffer significant negative impacts as a result of the project.
Because the DEIS fails to properly disclose and evaluate the impacts associated
with the casino on wetland and natives species habitat, as required by CEQA,
claims of mitigation are unsupported and invalid. Indeed, it does not appear that
the DEIS has met the California CEQA requirements to ensure that potentially
significant impacts are fully disclosed and evaluated, and that significant adverse
environmental effects are mitigated to a level of insignificance. The DEIS must be
redone and recirculated for comment in order to remedy these defects. Given
the evidence, should the BIA intend to go forward, it is required to adopt and
properly support a statement of overriding considerations.
Need for Long-term Monitoring
A hydrological-based monitoring program, based on the results of the
hydrological analysis and any mitigation measures proposed, should be
implemented to confirm absence of hydrological impacts on Crescent City Marsh
as a result of this project. The monitoring program should be designed by a
professional hydrologist, in consultation with a biologist familiar with the
ecological requirements of the sensitive resources located within the marsh.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has funded annual population monitoring for
several years, which recently has included limited hydrological monitoring. This
hydrologic data should be included in the DEIS since it would be helpful in
assessing potential impacts to the Crescent City Marsh and the western lily.
Conclusion
We appreciate the opportunity for input on this process, and look forward to
sharing our botanical expertise to help preserve and protect these ecologically
spectacular resources for future generations.