Hart Ranch Shasta River Instream Flow Dedication Petitions


SCH Number
Public Agency
State Water Resources Control Board
Document Title
Hart Ranch Shasta River Instream Flow Dedication Petitions
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Forrest B. Hart and Susan S. Hart, individually and as co-Trustees of The Hart Family 2003 Trust, Rabbit Hill LLC, and Soda Springs LLC (collectively, petitioner) own several adjudicated pre-1914 water rights in the Little Shasta River watershed. The petitioner has filed petitions with the State Water Resources Control Board to change the purpose of use and place of use of their adjudicated water rights in order to add the ability to reduce diversions and leave water instream to support instream beneficial uses as well as to make changes to the place of use for irrigation and stockwatering to reflect current operations.

Contact Information

Matthew McCarthy
Agency Name
State Water Resources Control Board
Job Title
Senior Environmental Scientist
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Northern California
Cross Streets
Lower Little Shasta Road and Soule Lane
Other Location Info
Five miles east of Montague, CA

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
15301, 15304, 15307, 15308
Reasons for Exemption
The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) (CEQA) under categorical exemptions for minor alterations to land and agency actions for protection of natural resources or the environment (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, §§ 15301, 15304, 15307, & 15308). The project meets the exemption for existing facilities (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15301) because the change involves negligible or no expansion of use beyond what existed at the time the Division approved the change. The approved changes could all be exercised absent the approval except that the approval provides for enforcement of water remaining instream as against other diverters. Under the existing right, water need not be diverted for irrigation use and may be left instream. The approval does not expand any existing use. In addition, the project meets the exemption for minor alterations to land (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15304), which consists of “minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation.” (Id., italics added.) While the area is not an “officially designated wildlife management area” or “fish production facility” under the example listed in subdivision (d) of the regulation, it will “result in improvement of habitat for fish and wildlife resources or greater fish production.” (Id.) The list of examples demonstrates the types of projects that fit this exemption, and the project is very similar to one of the examples. The project also meets the exemptions for actions by regulatory agencies for the protection of natural resources and the environment (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, §§ 15307 & 15308). These exemptions apply to actions authorized under state law to assure the “maintenance, restoration, enhancement, or protection” natural resources and the environment. The very purpose of Water Code section 1707 is for “preserving or enhancing wetlands habitat, fish and wildlife resources” in the water. (Wat. Code, § 1707.) The project does not involve construction activities or relaxation of any standard allowing environmental degradation. Finally, this project is exempt from CEQA because it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the project will have a significant effect on the environment. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15061, subd. (b)(3).)


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