Dear Friends

Late-Breaking Fish News

The Economic Localization Movement Arrives in the Eel River Basin

The Untold Story of the Pikeminnow

Sport Fishermen Can Save the Day for the SRA

9th Annual Coho Confab

Getting from “Bleed it and they will come” to “You are Super(wo)man”

Sonoma County Progress and Problems

City Kids and the River:
Making a Difference

Mendocino Water Notes

Global Warming Notes from the Environmental Defense Fund

Fishery Advocates Seek Share of State Oil Revenue Windfall for Restoration

The Right to Water is the Right to Life

End of April 2006 River Trip

Directory of our Supporters

Grateful Thanks to New and Renewing Members

Events 2006

Dear Friends

As we go to press I am receiving so many positive emails about mayors, cities and counties who are not waiting for the vacuum of leadership in Washington DC to address the global climate change impacts. Across the country communities are gathering to assess their situations in the event of an emergency. Katrina has shown us the need for planning for the weeks—not days—before we can expect to get help from outside sources. Here in the Eel River basin we have the inspiring efforts of the Willits Economic Localization group, which came to grips with these issues over a year and a half ago and now is spreading the word on how we can all do the same in our own communities. This is becoming quite a movement nation-wide.

For Friends of the Eel River this is timely and exciting, since it dovetails with our launching a Citizen’s Monitoring project that will do more than monitor water temperatures and fish counts. We also will be assessing the conditions of watersheds and seeing what native foods can be re-introduced that were once part of the natural grocery store for thousands of natives who lived here—peacefully, for the most part, because food was so abundant it did not need to be fought over. We hope to launch this project in September so we can run it for a full water year, which cycles from October to October. Please let us know if you would like to be part of assessing your own area, are willing to train, and would commit to a full year. It probably will not take more than one or two days in the month to get your assessments. We are excited to be working with Ruth Goodfield, founder of the Eel River Watershed Improvement Group. Ruth has been responsible for gathering funds and helping design and implement the many, many restoration projects that have been undertaken in this vast watershed for the past ten-plus years.

Well, we had our day in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It was interesting, brief and depressing all at once. One of the judges was very hostile and the other two not quite so. It is depressing that this important case is subject to the luck of the draw. Our attorney was not able to give her two-minute rebuttal as the judges cut the hearing short, and there was no recourse. However, extensive briefs were filed and rebuttals to the first go-round of briefs had already been filed. It is frightening to witness how the attitudes in DC trickle down even to our river. Now all we can do is await their decision. Keep an eye on our website, www.eelriver.org for an announcement. We will notify all members via email if you have given it to us. If you have not, or are not sure, please email foer@eelriver.org with your email address so we can send you alerts or announcements.

By June 1st the festival season will be upon us. We kick things off with our Fish Tent at the Mateel Community Art Festival at Benbow State Park, just south of Garberville. This two-day event features over 100 diverse performances on 5 stages, 130 handcraft and food booths, parades, performance art, workshops and demos, an outrageous kid zone and much more. Come visit our Fish Tent. This is a truly wonderful family event for all ages.

We will also be at the Kate Wolf Festival the last weekend in June (23, 24 & 25) at the Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville. Then the following Saturday, July 1, we have been invited to bring our fabulous Fish Tent to the Noyo Harbor, Ft. Bragg, World’s Largest Salmon Feed. This is the major fundraiser for the Salmon Restoration Association. Also on July 21–23 is the Auto Xpo in Fortuna. The first weekend in August we have been invited to bring the Fish Tent to Reggae on the River, along with a crew of river monitors. Saturday, October 1st, you will find us again at Benbow State Park for the Humboldt Hoedown Blue Grass Festival.

On June 1st our Fish Tent will be used by the Fortuna schools as a classroom for their students. We are very pleased that we have finally been able to get the Fish Tent to schools. Let us know if you are interested for next school year.
We want to thank our locally owned and operated radio station KMUD for our show about the Eel River on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. This has been going for several years now, and you can hear me and my co-host Bill Thorington from our Fortuna group (he’s also head of our Pikeminnow Fishing Derby) from 7 to 8 pm via streaming radio at www.kmud.org. It is a wonderful and unique radio station. See page 23 for station numbers. Our show engineer is usually Fred Baron, the pilot who flies me so I can capture all those wonderful photos I’ve gotten from the air over the past three years. Tune us in!

We all look forward to seeing you at the various events, or if you stop by our office in Garberville, next to the northern entrance to the Highway 101. I would love to hear from you about your experiences in this watershed as well as your dining experience at all the delicious restaurants around here. You will find very special and wonderful people in the shops and businesses that support us. The camping, swimming and boating experiences all along this river are marvelous, especially when you are in our magnificent redwoods that make this area so magical.

Thank you for your continuing support and interest in the Eel River.