Putah Creek Council is pleased to announce our new Putah Creek Champion award, this year to be presented jointly to Bill Julian, Joe Krovoza, Brett Moffatt, Dan O’Hanlon, and Larry Bazel. The men we are honoring were the Council's volunteer leaders and the core pro bono legal team that represented the Council in the successful 1996 flow litigation and then negotiated the 2000 Putah Creek Accord. They worked as part of a coalition on behalf of Putah Creek Council, U.C. Davis, and the City of Davis.
The "Accord" was the final negotiated legal agreement with Solano County Water Agency (SCWA) and has become the underpinning of the Council's habitat enhancement work for the past 16 years. It provides for Putah Creek’s instream flows for fish and wildlife, the establishment of a management body, the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee (LPCCC), restoration and monitoring funds, and landowner water rights. The Accord was needed to provide permanent protection to the creek, which had undergone years of inadequate flows and periods of complete drying in the late 1980s.
The work of these honorees involved creating the complex pre-trial legal structure, the litigation, the trial, and continued, long-term negotiations that in total lasted 10 years. Bill was a founding legal architect and provided ongoing support and guidance throughout the entire process; Dan, Brett, and Larry carried the Council's legal case with assistance from Joe; and Joe and Dan continued with four years of follow-up post-trial negotiations to reach the Accord. Their work gave renewed life to the creek and purpose to the Council. It provided the concrete basis of all that has followed with our stewardship and educational programs. We are happy to have the opportunity to recognize their service with the 2017 Putah Creek Champion Award.
Larry Bazel continues to practice environmental law in San Francisco. Bill Julian recently retired from work as a utility regulation specialist and legal counsel for the Public Utilities Commission. Joe Krovoza joined the lawsuit as an attorney for the City of Davis and became chair of the Council through the period of settlement of the Accord. He works for U.C San Francisco, was on the Davis City Council and was also Mayor of Davis.
Brett Moffatt was one of the chief legal counsels throughout litigation and the Accord and today is a staff attorney for the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, handling Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Act enforcement programs. Dan O'Hanlon was a main attorney during the trial leading to the Accord. He worked with U.C. Davis, the City of Davis, and the Council. He currently practices water resource and environmental law in Sacramento.