Nestlé Waters North America Statement Regarding U.S. Forest Service Public Comment

To Press Releases listMay 6, 2016

Arrowhead Springs, Strawberry Canyon:  April 7, 2016
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Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) today announced two updates involving the company's operations in the San Bernardino National Forest.

On May 2, 2016, NWNA submitted comments to the United States Forest Service (USFS) regarding their proposed federal action on the renewal process for the company's Special Use Permit in the San Bernardino National Forest. The complete comments are now available on NWNA's website: http://ow.ly/5xzn30000HQ

While NWNA shares a number of the same goals with the Forest Service, NWNA is concerned that the action proposed by the Forest Service would disrupt established water rights and the long-standing legal process of regulating water use in the State of California.  The proposals currently being suggested by the Forest Service would create a situation in which the federal government overrides more than a century of California law. This would have potentially far-reaching consequences for businesses, agencies, individuals and other water rights holders throughout the state. The company has shared its concerns with the Forest Service and will continue to work with them and other interested parties as this process continues. 

Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water has been sustainably bottled from the springs in Strawberry Canyon, in what is now the San Bernardino National Forest, for more than 121 years. NWNA manages the Arrowhead springs in Strawberry Canyon for long-term sustainability and takes its responsibility as a water steward in California seriously. NWNA's team of engineers, hydrologists, biologists and geologists consistently monitor and care for the company's spring sources, including those in Strawberry Canyon, as well as their surrounding environments. NWNA only collects water that flows naturally to the surface in Strawberry Canyon, and the ability to operate these springs for more than a century points to NWNA's commitment to sustainable practices. In fact, nearly 80% of the Arrowhead water bottled in California has been delivered right here in the state for the enjoyment of Californians.

In addition to current measures, NWNA will commit to implement a voluntary adaptive management approach based on objective, scientific triggers and standards. This plan would build on the company's current stewardship practices and would include a rigorous monitoring program that allows NWNA's scientists to continually address the environmental conditions around the spring sites and respond appropriately to any changes.

As the USFS has noted, the Special Use Permit for NWNA's four-inch pipeline remains in effect until the reissuance of the permit. 

Separately, on May 6, 2016, NWNA filed an amicus ("friend of the court") brief in the matter of Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. United States Forest Service. Although NWNA is not a party to the lawsuit, it made this filing after the court requested further briefing to understand if injunctive relief was an appropriate remedy. NWNA believes the federal court would benefit from having all relevant facts and information available to it prior to making a decision in this supplemental briefing. This information is now available on NWNA's website: http://ow.ly/tFTr30000L6 and http://ow.ly/Ut4d30000JO

California is headquarters to Nestlé USA and home to more than 7,000 Nestlé employees. Like all Californians, the company cares deeply about the effects this drought is having on families and communities, and it is focused on sustainable water management. The company's progress in conserving water across its facilities in California along with numerous community-based initiatives demonstrate NWNA's continued commitment to California.

 

See Also:

Larry Lawrence, Nestlé Waters Strives To Be Good Steward of Resources, Op-Ed, "The Desert Sun"

Gene Zimmerman, U.S. Forest Service Retiree, Nestlé a Responsible Partner in National Forest, Op-Ed, "Riverside Press-Enterprise"

Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer, NWNA, Nestlé Plans for Healthy Forest and Water Bottling, Op-Ed, "Water Deeply"

Larry Lawrence blog post, NWNA Source Blog, "Our Commitment to California"