Daily DrakeMatilija

MatilijaA telling 28-foot pair of scissors and a 160-foot dotted line appeared overnight on the Matilija Dam near Ojai California in 2011. The defunct impoundment on the upper Ventura River blocks steelhead migration and generates no electricity. Over the past decade, plans to remove it have been met with across-the-board agreement, as well as debate over how to deal with 2 million cubic yards of fine sediment and a spendy removal sticker price estimated at $140 million.

This week, however, the project supported by DamNation co-producer Stoecker Ecological with funding from Patagonia received new life.

Via vcstar.com: “We’re just beginning the selection process,” said Peter Sheydayi, deputy director of the Ventura County Watershed Protection District, a lead agency on the project.

“The list of possible consultants is so lengthy that we’ll go through a qualifications process … before inviting some to interview,” he said.

Sheydayi expects to have a contract in place next summer. Funding will come from a California Coastal Conservancy grant.

“Things never move as fast as I would like, but it’s moving in the right direction now,” said Paul Jenkin, Ventura campaign manager for the Surfrider Foundation. Jenkin, a member of the selection committee, has called for the dam’s removal since the mid-1990s.

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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