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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Dear Friends

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

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

Directory of Business Supporters

Bottled Water Pledge

 

Dear Friends
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