Little Lake
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Little Lake

Dick Dotts, president of the Little Lake Ranch hunting club, on the group’s dock on Little Lake. The private club is battling a geothermal plant for control of an aquifer in the Eastern Sierra’s Owens Valley. (Spencer A. Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Barry Boscoe watches for ducks at Little Lake. Hunters argue that even a small drop in the shallow lake’s water level could harm vegetation and wildlife. Geothermal plant officials say they plan to monitor regional water levels, including those at Little Lake, and respond if they fall too low. (Spencer A. Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Little Lake was a swamp until a former owner dammed stream flows in 1905. The lake was later leased to members of the duck hunting club, who nearly disbanded in 1972 after an earthquake plugged the springs that fed it. The hunters bought the property in 1980 after clearing sediment from the springs and drilling a new well to replenish the 90-acre lake. (Spencer A. Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Coso Operating Co.'s geothermal power plant near Little Lake. The company says it needs the aquifer beneath the lake to continue running steam-driven turbines that provide about 250,000 homes with electricity. (Spencer A. Weiner / Los Angeles Times)