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Stanford University sued over Searsville Dam

Original post made on Feb 3, 2013

Two environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit against Stanford University for allegedly harming the threatened steelhead trout by maintaining Searsville Dam.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 1, 2013, 6:06 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Stan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Feb 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

It is quite troubling that there are so many complainers about that choose to criticize Stanford for just about anything and everything that the University does.

Perhaps these people should stop and think what the local environment would be like if the University had never been created and the Stanford lands had been sold off in a manner similar to the balance of the lands abutting the foothills up and down the peninsula.

Let's hypothesize the non Stanford environment:
*Solid housing development from El Camino in Palo Alto all the way up to Skyline punctuated by cheesy strip malls and dime a dozen retail establishments just as along much of the balance of the peninsula would displace a large area of open space- certainly exacerbating downstream flooding issues too.
*The Silicon Valley miracle of innovation and creativity would not exist here - if at all.
*A world class medical facility might not exist anywhere nearby.
*Sales tax revenue from perhaps one of the country's most pleasant shopping centers would not exist to benefit Palo ALto.
*A vibrant community of technology, creativity, and the arts would be lacking.
AND - Most of all YOU wouldn't have a common target to complain about.

Certainly there is a cost associated with the benefits we enjoy from Stanford's presence. There is traffic associated with the Med Center, the shopping center, and the university albeit probably significantly less than if the land had been developed in a manner similar to other parts of the peninsula.

Stanford does source water for irrigation from both Corte Madera Creek and Lost Trancos Creek but certainly far less than if the entire area were developed and drawing water resources from the Hetch Hetchy system.

The Searsville dam problem and possible solutions is not nearly as simple as simply chopping a hole in the dam and letting nature take its course. There are a host of issues ranging from how to handle the years of sediment accumulation to the risks associated with an increased possibility of downstream flooding in Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

Perhaps those who chose to resort to the courts to complain but without a well considered solution should be given an opportunity.

Let the judge award them the RESPONSIBILITY to devise a solution that embraces the needs and aspirations of all of the parties involved including Stanford's - along with the responsibility to finance the execution of such a plan AND the liability associated with other aggrieved parties if the solution should fail to satisfy all parties or not result in the expected outcomes.

Are any of the plaintiffs ready to step up to the plate??

Posted by PVrez
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm

@Stan - While your very creative and presumptive rant is entertaining, it is simply void of reality or relevance.

Posted by clc53
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

You are right Stan. Without Leland Stanford's thought's regarding the future of Stanford Land's in his will, there wouldn't be a Jasper Ridge Preserve as we know it. Present day lawyers have to try and find loop holes in order to chip away at what's left of the beauty you enjoy around Stanford.
I'm pretty sure if he were alive, he would want to correct the harm that has been going on for so long at Searsville Dam. He may have fished salmon and steelhead down around the 3rd hole of the golf course himself, back in the day, when salmon and steelhead were taken for granted as they were pretty much everywhere.

Posted by Susan Brodsky
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I agree with Stan 100%!

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