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Lake to close on terrorist concerns

March 08, 2005|Charles Duhigg

Fearing a terrorist attack on Los Angeles' water supply, the Department of Water and Power plans to close access to Haiwee Reservoir south of Lone Pine by June, but anglers who have long fought to keep it open plan to challenge the proposal.

The reservoir 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles is a key water source. A post-9/11 security report recommends closing the lake.

"If contamination occurred at Haiwee, it would be a matter of hours before it got to L.A.," says Gene Coufal, manager of the aqueduct system that runs through the Owens Valley.

The Department of Water and Power "will use any excuse they can to get the public out of there," says Bob Hayner, who sued to open the reservoir in the 1990s.

"If national security was really a problem, they would be worried about the other reservoirs," he says.

The lake holds largemouth and smallmouth bass and stocked trout.

-- Charles Duhigg

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