More Water Out of the Arid West
Water Supply Debate
Primer on Total Maximum Daily Loads
Cocktails for Our Fishes
River Watershed Protection
Largest Salmon BBQ
Potter Valley Shenanigans
Dams May Be Dirty
River Dam Demolition Way Overdue
Hydro’s Role In Global Warming
of Business Supporters
In preparing articles for this issue we are swamped with information on the current and anticipated effects of global warming, including impacts on our rivers and water availability. Seems like now is the time to see what crops local farmers are growing. Are they growing food for people or just for profit? Since farmers use 90% of the water available, we need to make sure it is being well used and not frivolously. I would think anyone planting more vineyards in this day and age has now strayed into the realm of unwise use of water.
Reading the Press Democrat can be confusing at best, or is it just yellow journalism? In one article it states that Sonoma County has held its population in check and not gained in numbers for the past five years. Then one reads that the number of people needing water from the Sonoma County Water Agency has grown from 400,000 just five years ago to 700,000 today. Publicly SCWA has stated they do not need Eel River water for their customers, but they need that water for salmon in the upper Russian River (up to the dam, that is). Now Sonoma County has declared a drought of huge proportions and once again is declaring an emergency before the fact. It was interesting to hear them bring up Decision 1610 as the place for changes to be made in Russian River flows, because there is already too much water in that river and it is hurting their fish. Flows are going to have to be lowered. The first immediate effect will be water left in Lake Mendocino. What a paradox! If SCWA uses the almost 220,000 acre-feet of water they receive from the PG&E’s diversion of Eel River water to the Russian, is that too much or too little for their fish? Or is this just another guise for setting water aside for Sonoma County developers? Interesting how to some people the fisheries in the upper Russian River are more important then the Eel River fishery that was the economic backbone of the entire North Coast from Eureka to Bodega Bay. Who says that wine is more important than salmon? See the article in this issue about more shenanigans with our water (“The PVP and Potter Valley Farmers”). (Page 32)
In another area of FOER’s work, we are making a focused effort to clean up our rivers. In the Garberville and Redway area tons of garbage have been removed from a 3.5-mile stretch of river (see article page 26). We will be joining the National Clean-Up Rivers June 2-8, kicking off the effort at the Summer Arts Fair at Benbow State Park, just south of Garberville.
You will also see the Fish Tent at the annual Salmon Barbeque in Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg, July 7th. It is a great feed and wonderful people and a beautiful setting. Come join us!
In this issue you will find updates on what is happening on the North Coast Railroad, the development of a new mine along its tracks, an article by our saffron-robed cowboy on how a watershed works, Willits and the bypass, an article by Tara Mueller and Sharon Duggan on the Clean Water Act and TMDLs, and more fabulous watershed photos by Wes Edwards. We hope you find these articles informative and inspiring. Join us, we can always use the help. Be sure to visit our website at www.eelriver.org.
We all greatly appreciate your continuing support, both financially and as volunteers. Together, united we will win this effort for our river, our fish, our future generations.
Nadananda & staff
A Watershed Defined
Wringing More Water Out of the Arid West
The Water Supply Debate
A Primer on Total Maximum Daily Loads
The Willits Bypass
Toxic Cocktails for Our Fishes
Russian River Watershed Protection
Earth Day Contemplations
Eel River Cleanup
The Railroad Dilemma
World’s Largest Salmon BBQ
Latest Potter Valley Shenanigans
“Clean-Energy” Dams May Be Dirty
Eel River Dam Demolition Way Overdue
Big Hydro’s Role In Global Warming
Great Gifts for River Supporters
Directory of Business Supporters
Bottled Water Pledge