Dear Friends

Welcome to John Griffith

Stopping Global Warming
and Saving the Eel River

Citizens Monitoring the Eel

Impressions of the Eel River

The Van Duzen Watershed Plan

Train Whistling in the Wind

A Tale from India

Letter from SCWA to Santa Rosa

Review When the Rivers Run Dry

A photo Tour of the East Rim

A Directory of Our Supporters

Dear Friends

Well, the summer went by so fast that I’m surprised to find myself in the fall of 2006 already. I spent the past weekend driving the eastern rim of the headwaters of the Eel River. Over the course of two and a half days we drove more than 300 miles, all in this watershed. Wes Edwards and I took over a thousand photographs of this fabulous view-shed, with long-distance shots and some up close and personal. You will find a sampling of our work in this issue under the title “Views from the Eastern Rim of the Eel’s headwaters.” Wes is a wonderful photographer and a wiz in photoshop, a great teacher in both subjects. I highly recommend this scenic trip but advise that you take a good four-wheel drive vehicle, as the roads are disintegrating with the lack of federal funds to pay maintenance. But the roads are still fairly good; views are spectacular and plenty of camping sites along the way.

Nada in the wild
photo by Wes Edwards

Our now famous Fish Tent was at many events this year with the major addition of the world’s largest Salmon Feed in Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg. It was exciting to talk with so many people who were not part of the choir, but truly intrested in salmon and the educational information we were putting out. The irony of having to import to import salmon from Alaska was not lost on the organizers of this event that once attracted more than 10,000 people. The organization reached out to us by inviting us to the event, which was a success for both groups. Let us know if you would like a big school of fish in your parade, or the Fish Tent at your event or school for this coming year. Remember, we need a 30-foot space and two hours to set up, and about one hour to take down. Call our office at 707 923-2146 to make arrangements.

We have commissioned Dr. Peter Moyle, UC Davis fisheries biologist, to do a major study for us on the state of the salmon on the Eel River’s mainstem. These studies and others will assist us in planning how best to restore the watershed so it can function as a healthy river system once again, filled with all kinds of fish and wildlife. This is a joint effort with Cal Trout, who has also commissioned Dr. Moyle to do a yearly report card on the state of the salmon statewide. The Eel will be the first river to have an indepth study; because of its size it will be a two-year study. The first report will be next October (2007) at a joint press conference with Cal Trout. We are very hopeful that this will give us the science we need to make the strongest possible argument for saving the Eel River. Stay tuned.
With active groups in Fortuna, Willits, and Upper Lake, FOER is planning to open offices in each area to interact more directly with those communities. Watch for announcements on our website at ww.eelriver.org, via email announcements and in your local newspapers. If you are not on our email alert list be sure to become a member and join in this effort to save the Eel River. Membership form is at the end of this magazine.

Our fall membership meeting was moved to Beginnings, in Briceland, at the last moment. Discussions included Mendocino Supervisor Hal Wagonet, who came from the North Coast Railroad Authority to assure us that they were going to undertake the necessary NEPA and CEQA studies for the railroad and the proposed mine. Our newest board member, John Griffith, was introduced. The meeting went really well, followed by a lot of talk and wonderful food from Surati Ivey, Nancy Miyamoto, and BR Graham. Members jumped in as they arrived and helped the whole affair come off very nicely. Next year we will probably have general meetings in Fortuna, Garberville, Willits and Upper Lake, with a main river rally somewhere on the watershed.
Thank you to our members and advertisers, who keep us going both spiritually and monetarily. Yes, I think we will bring these antiquated dams down and restore this river system. Too many wonderful things keep happening in a manner that indicates that the universe supports this effort. We are bound to succeed.