California & US: Throughout our history we have worked in California and especially the Bay Delta. NHI represented the environmental community in the Bay Delta hearings before the water board in the early nineteen nineties and were one of the original environmental signators to the historic 1994 Bay-Delta Accord. We shaped many key elements of the CALFED Bay Delta Program and the 1995 Water Quality Control Plan. We work collaboratively with regulators, water agencies, and other stakeholders to help identify and define long-term restoration strategies for the Bay Delta, and continue to play a key role in the planning process that will shape the Delta over the next several decades. We also engage at the local level to advance demonstration projects that illuminate the best path forward and build a constituency for change on the ground. In the Delta watershed, examples of these past projects include the 1,200 acre Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh restoration project, the Sacramento Valley conjunctive use project, and the South Delta flood bypass and other keystone projects.
Since 1989, NHI has negotiated and signed settlements covering more than 25 dams operated by the local power companies throughout the United States. These settlements were among the first ever to effect restoration of natural resources as a condition for relicensing major hydropower dams. NHI is an expert in the Public Trust Doctrine and was successful in representing California Trout in the Mono Lake Cases, which applied the public trust doctrine to limit water diversions for the first time in the history of California. We have subsequently used the doctrine in a variety of cases in urban as well as rural ecosystems, and in circumstances where damage to aquatic ecosystems has complex causes. In addition, NHI participated actively in the Klamath River Basin Restoration project to remove four large dams to restore salmon and steelhead fisheries. NHI was counsel to American Rivers and California Trout and functioned as a lead drafter of the project’s Restoration Agreement and Hydropower Settlement Agreement that were the result of hours of negotiations. Both agreements were signed February 18, 2010. This effort is the largest such dam removal ever proposed.
International & Transboundary: Utilizing our diverse capabilities and expertise, our international development focus is on creating partnerships that bring together stakeholders at the local, regional, governmental and non-governmental levels to design and implement water resource management innovations to restore freshwater ecosystems and the human livelihoods that they support. We seek to also address the important need for climate change adaptation in developing countries where many communities are most vulnerable to the extreme weather that is predicted with a changing climate.