DEADBEAT DAMS ON THE FAST-TRACK…THE RIVER ADVOCATE, Vol6 #3 April 13, 2016

The River Advocate
Volume 6, No. 3
April 13, 2016

INSIDE:

  • California Rivers Day: Calling all River Businesses and River Advocates!
  • FEDERAL ALERT: Sally Jewell – Stop these Deadbeat Dams!
  • STATE ALERT: Assembly Committee Advances Bill to Fast-Track Dams
  • FOR Opinion Piece Runs in the Sacramento Bee
  • Visit Potential Wild Rivers and Wilderness this Spring
  • California Rivers Calendar

Eric_Wesselman_FOR_Executive_DirectorCalifornia Rivers Day – MAY 18, 2016: Calling all River Businesses and River Advocates!

Eric Wesselman, Executive Director

YES – Sign Me Up as an Individual to Visit my Legislator!

Send More Information on Ca Rivers Day for my business or organization

On behalf of Friends of the River, I want to invite you and/or your river related business or organization to join us for the 2nd annual California Rivers Day—an education, outreach, and activism event featuring rivers at the State Capitol.  Our goal is to build a more powerful river protection movement in California because rivers need a stronger voice in the halls of power.  The severe and persistent drought has unleashed an intense push to take us back to the era of big dam building and weaken protections for our waterways.

Katherine Evatt speaks to the pressThis day will bring over 30 river groups and river related business together from across the state, along with our supporters, to convey the magic of rivers and the need for smart sustainable water solutions.  We’ll begin the day with a Legislative Breakfast with a special guest speaker just steps away from the capitol. Then we will head over to the building for California Rivers Fair and meetings with legislators. At noon we will hold a press conference on the South Steps to highlight the case for rivers and smart water solutions for California.  That evening we’ll celebrate our hard work at the Capital River Awards at the same location as the morning’s breakfast.

Your participation as a citizen activist or as a representative of your business or river organization for all our rivers will give the day greater statewide impact by helping to demonstrate a broad base of support for our treasured natural waterways.  Our unique power as river activists, river-related business, and groups is our statewide presence—there are rivers, creeks, streams, and sloughs in every legislative district in California along with people just like you who care very deeply about these treasures.  This day will bring our message to our state’s leaders.

brian kallen gets some TV timeWhile business and organizational participation in the day is (and will always be) free – we are asking organizations and business to consider helping FOR underwrite the California Rivers Day by becoming a sponsor at the $250 Tributary Level. Our costs for the day for participants are $53 for the three meals and $75 per booth for tables, chairs, and pop-up shades.  Sponsors will receive additional recognition of their support you can learn more by emailing us at: info@friendsoftheriver.org

I truly hope you will join us to celebrate our rivers and educate decision makers as well as the general public.  It’s time for all of the rivers of California to make their presence known in the halls of the State Capitol and we would be honored to have you participate. You can reply to this email to sign up or get more information.

YES – Sign Me Up to Visit my Legislator!         Send More Information on Ca Rivers Day


 

Sally for homepageFEDERAL ALERT Sally Jewell: Please Ensure a Legacy of Living Rivers: Stop These Deadbeat Dams!

TAKE ACTION NOW

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is finalizing its proposals for two dam projects that threaten to harm rare free-flowing segments of the McCloud, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Rivers.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell oversees the Bureau, so she has the ultimate authority to reject these ineffective, costly, and destructive projects. So called “drought relief” legislation currently pending in Congress also grants Secretary Jewell the clear authority to reject these dams. Please sign this letter TODAY urging Secretary Jewell to reject these unneeded dam projects and do everything in her power to protect these magnificent rivers.

burney fallsThe Bureau is recommending an 18-foot raise of the existing Shasta Dam in northern California, which will drown a segment of the McCloud River protected by state law. The dam raise will destroy the cultural heritage of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. Wildlife agencies have expressed concern that the Shasta Dam raise will modify flows downstream in the Sacramento River and fish and wildlife habitat on federal lands in the Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area and the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge.

SJRG Bridge HorsesThe Bureau is also finalizing its feasibility report and environmental statement for the proposed Temperance Flat dam on the San Joaquin River Gorge northeast of Fresno. This 665 foot-high dam will flood nine miles of the river gorge and more than 5,000 acres of canyon providing outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities for up to 84,000 visitors annually. The dam will completely drown a segment of the river recommended by the Bureau of Land Management (another Interior agency) for National Wild & Scenic River protection.

Not only will these dam projects harm some of the few free flowing river segments remaining in California, the projects will cost taxpayers billions of dollars and actually do little to improve California’s water supply. As President Obama’s science advisor John Holdren noted, “…the problem isn’t that we don’t have enough reservoirs, the problem is that there isn’t enough water in them.”

With your help, we’ll make sure our rivers are protected through the drought and for future generations! Together, we give our rivers the strong voice they deserve.

What You Can Do:

Send an email to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell TODAY, urging her to reject the proposed Shasta Dam Raise and the Temperance Flat dam and do everything she can to protect the federal lands and natural values of the McCloud, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Rivers.


 


SueGraueSitesSept2013_8051 compressed
STATE LEGISLATION ALERT Assembly Committee “Prioritizes” State Funding for Destructive Dam Projects

Steve Evans, Wild Rivers Consultant

TAKE ACTION NOW

The Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee today (4.12.16) approved a bill that prioritizes and expedites state funding for the controversial Temperance Flat Dam and Sites Reservoir. AB 1649 by Assembly Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) establishes a new state policy that gives priority to the formation of local joint powers authorities (JPAs) pushing for the construction of new dams in the Sacramento and San Joaquin watersheds. The bill also states without any substantiating evidence that Sites and Temperance Flat will meet statewide goals and provide public benefits “to the greatest extent” than other surface and groundwater storage projects. The bill passed the committee on a bi-partisan vote.

The bill was opposed by Friends of the River, Sierra Club California, Clean Water Action, Planning and Conservation League, American Rivers, and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. In its written testimony, Friends of the River noted, “there is currently no factual evidence that either the Temperance Flat Dam or the Sites Reservoir will meet statewide goals or provide public benefits.”

As a practical matter, legally required environmental reviews and feasibility reports are not yet completed on these projects. Moreover, draft and preliminary environmental and feasibility documents show that these projects will actually produce very little new water, will cost billions of dollars, and harm fish and wildlife and their habitat.

Of particular concern is the less than factual statement that Temperance Flat and Sites will provide the greatest extent of public benefits.

IMG_1599.JPG copyIn fact, the Bureau of Reclamation’s claim that the Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River Gorge will benefit downstream salmon has been disputed by the federal EPA, California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and agencies involved in the San Joaquin River Restoration Project. In addition, the dam will flood nearly nine miles of river canyon recommended by the Bureau of Land Management for Wild & Scenic protection and more than 5,000 acres of public lands providing outdoor recreation and education for as much as 84,000 visitors annually.

Sites Valley
Sites Valley

Potential water supply and environmental benefits from the Sites Reservoir remain unquantified because the California Dept. of Water Resources has yet to release draft environmental impact and feasibility reports for this controversial project. Friends of the River is strongly concerned that water diversions from the Sacramento River to fill Sites Reservoir will harm the river’s riparian and aquatic habitats and the numerous threatened and endangered fish and wildlife species that depend on these habitats.

During the committee hearing, Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) pointedly asked bill author Salas if AB 1649 basically picks “winners and losers” in regard to state funding from Proposition 1 for dam projects. Despite Mr. Salas’ denial, his bill does indeed prioritize and expedite state funding for Temperance Flat and Sites over less egregious surface storage projects like the proposed expansion of the Los Vaqueros and San Luis Reservoirs, or even more environmentally friendly groundwater storage projects.

What You Can Do:

Send an email to your Assemblymember TODAY, urging him or her to reject AB 1649 when it comes for a vote on the Assembly floor. Click here to send your email opposing AB 1649. For more information concerning AB 1649, please contact Steve Evans at (916) 708-3155, email: sevans@friendsoftheriver.org.


water-158956_1280FOR Opinion Piece Runs in the Sacramento Bee

Friends of the River advances positive and realistic solutions to our water woes. Three off-the-shelf solutions would yield more water than new dams…a whole lot faster and a whole lot cheaper. Read our Opinion article in Sunday’s Sacramento Bee at:

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article70351132.html

Read more on FOR’s website at:

http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/our-work/water-for-california/

And learn about the 50 Ways YOU can Save Your River starting today at:

http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/2016/01/28/551/


 

Steve_Evans_FOR_Wild&Scenic_Program_ConsultantExplore Threatened Rivers And Other Wild Places Of The Sierra Nevada!

Steve Evans, Wild Rivers Consultant

Friends of the River and the California Wilderness Coalition (CalWild) are partnering with local groups and activists to organize a series of camping trips to explore threatened wild places on our public lands in the Sierra Nevada. California’s drought has panicked government officials into proposing costly, environmentally destructive, but relatively ineffective new dam projects in the Sierra Nevada that threaten our few remaining free flowing rivers. This spring, the U.S. Forest Service will release draft plans for more than 4 million acres of public lands in the Sierra Nevada that will determine which rivers and areas are eligible for Wild & Scenic and Wilderness protection. Now is the time to visit and explore some of the areas that are threatened by dam building, road construction, logging, mining, and energy development.

All trips are limited to 20 participants and are free of charge. Participants are responsible for their transportation, camping and hiking gear, and food. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Steve Evans at sevans@friendsoftheriver.org or call (916) 708-3155.

Here is the camping trip schedule for the Spring of 2016:

April 29-May 1 – San Joaquin River Gorge: Family camping in the threatened San Joaquin River Gorge northeast of Fresno. We’ll explore the river gorge recommended by the BLM for Wild & Scenic River protection and discuss the threat proposed by the costly, unneeded, and destructive Temperance Flat Dam.

Support-FOR-Contribute-4May 13-15 – Merced Wild River and Potential Devil Gulch Wilderness: Family camping in a BLM campground on the Merced Wild & Scenic River near Mariposa. We’ll hike downstream to view a segment of the river and the surrounding Merced River Wilderness Study Area threatened by the proposed expansion of McClure Reservoir. We’ll also hike the Hite Cove Trail along the South Fork Merced Wild River into the potential Devil Gulch Wilderness.

May 28-30 – Kings River: Family camping in the beautiful Kings River Special Management Area in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 1.5-2 hours east of Fresno. We’ll hike the Kings River National Recreation Trail along a segment of the Kings River eligible for National Wild & Scenic River protection, and explore a potential addition to the Monarch Wilderness.

June 10-12 – Kern Plateau: Family camping in Horse Meadow Campground on the beautiful Kern Plateau, northeast of Kernville. We’ll explore potential additions to the Domeland Wilderness and hike along Salmon Creek, a potential Wild & Scenic River.

June 24-26 – Eastern Sierra and Glass Mountain: Family camping near beautiful Lee Vining Creek, a potential Wild & Scenic River. We’ll visit a potential addition to the Ansel Adams Wilderness and hike in the potential Glass Mountain Wilderness.


 

CGetInvolved-Activitiesalifornia Rivers Calendar: Come Play & Learn With Us!

 

Got an item for the California River Calendar – email us: info@friendsoftheriver.org  Keep it short and include the city, date, and a link to learn more or sign up.

Sacramento Valley: Saturday April 16

River to Valley: A tour of the impacts of the proposed Sites reservoir near Colusa: Join FOR and the Sacramento River Preservation Trust for a single-day land tour of the proposed intakes sites on the Sacramento River and reservoir site that would drown the Antelope Valley – one of the few remaining examples of intact California prairie.  To sign up visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacramento-river-to-antelope-valley-a-tour-of-regional-resources-tickets-23944172665?aff=eac2

Grass Valley: Thursday April 21


SYRCL’s State of the Yuba: SYRCL has scheduled its 3rd annual “State of the Yuba” on April 21 to report to the citizens of the Yuba watershed the condition of the river, outline SYRCL’s priorities for the coming year, and most importantly, enlist all river lovers in the protection and restoration of the Yuba.  This FREE event is for all members of the community who care about the Yuba River and want to know more about SYRCL’s efforts to protect the watershed.  Bring your appetite and a reusable pint or glass, because we will have wine, Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. beer and tacos from Fatbelly Taqueria available for purchase.

Doors will open at 5:00pm for an open-house format with time for you to speak with SYRCL staff and two of SYRCL’s partners, the Foothill Water Network and The Sierra Fund.  The program will begin promptly at 6:00pm. More information at: http://yubariver.org/annual-events/state-of-the-yuba/

Los Angeles: Saturday April 16, Saturday April 23, and Saturday April 30

Friends of the Los Angeles River’s Great Los Angeles River Clean-Up! The Great Los Angeles River Clean-Up is the nation’s largest urban river Clean-Up drawing thousands of volunteers to fifteen sites over three weekends in April. This Earth Month do your part – go to http://folar.org/cleanup and sign up!

Fresno-Aubrey: Friday April 39 to Sunday May 1

San Joaquin River Gorge Camping & Hiking Outing: Join Friends of the River as well as local river activists and residents to tour the magnificent San Joaquin Gorge. The section of the San Joaquin has been recommend for National Wild & Scenic status and is home to rare water-carved granite caves, Class IV kayaking runs, world-class horseback trails, and spectacular vistas.  Limited to 20 participants and free of charge. Participants are responsible for their transportation, camping and hiking gear, and food. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Steve Evans at sevans@friendsoftheriver.org  or call (916) 708-3155.

Central Sierra Nevada: Friday May 13 to Sunday May 15 

Merced Wild River and Potential Devil Gulch Wilderness: Family camping in a BLM campground on the Merced Wild & Scenic River near Mariposa. We’ll hike downstream to view a segment of the river and the surrounding Merced River Wilderness Study Area threatened by the proposed expansion of McClure Reservoir. We’ll also hike the Hite Cove Trail along the South Fork Merced Wild River into the potential Devil Gulch Wilderness. Limited to 20 participants and free of charge. Participants are responsible for their transportation, camping and hiking gear, and food. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Steve Evans at sevans@friendsoftheriver.org or call (916) 708-3155.

Sacramento: Wednesday May 18

California Rivers Day at the Capitol: Join FOR and dozens of other rivers groups and be the voice of your river!  Tables and booths representing rivers across the state and a noon program. Learn More at: www.friendsoftheriver.org/our-work/california-rivers-day Sign up to visit your legislator at:

Sacramento: Wednesday May 18

Capital River Awards: Friends of the River (FOR) is pleased to announce the Capital River Awards to celebrate our treasured rivers and promote their protection. This festive event is a great chance to re-connect with old friends and make some new ones over great food and wine just steps from the Capitol. The party will follow FOR’s California Rivers Day at the Capitol—a day of education, outreach, and activism promoting rivers and water conservation. To learn more visit: http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/support-for/capital-river-awards/

Coloma: Friday May 20 (first day of class)

River Advocate Training School (applications closed): The River Advocacy Training School (RATS) trains people to engage their community in issues that impact California’s rivers. The summer/fall cohort focuses on supporting the river programs during the summer and organizing an event in their community in the fall.

What is different about this cohort is that they start with either Basic Whitewater Guide Training or Flatwater to moving water canoe training and then use those skills to be a voice for California’s rivers on trips and outings.  The program culminates by early November. To learn more visit: http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/get-involved/river-rats

Southern Sierra Nevada: Saturday May 28 to Monday May 30

Kings River & Monarch Wilderness: Family camping in the beautiful Kings River Special Management Area in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 1.5-2 hours east of Fresno. We’ll hike the Kings River National Recreation Trail along a segment of the Kings River eligible for National Wild & Scenic River protection, and explore a potential addition to the Monarch Wilderness. Limited to 20 participants and free of charge. Participants are responsible for their transportation, camping and hiking gear, and food. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Steve Evans at sevans@friendsoftheriver.org or call (916) 708-3155.

Southern Sierra Nevada: Friday June 10 to Sunday June 12

Kern Plateau: Family camping in Horse Meadow Campground on the beautiful Kern Plateau, northeast of Kernville. We’ll explore potential additions to the Domeland Wilderness and hike along Salmon Creek, a potential Wild & Scenic River. Limited to 20 participants and free of charge. Participants are responsible for their transportation, camping and hiking gear, and food. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Steve Evans at sevans@friendsoftheriver.org or call (916) 708-3155.

Coloma-Lotus Valley: Saturday June 11, Sunday June 12, Saturday June 18 through Sunday June 26

Friends of the River’s Whitewater Raft Guide & Volunteer Training: As a guide you will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about California’s wild rivers, to get involved with the efforts to protect these wonderful waterways and to share your passion and knowledge with the public! Our Basic Guide Training is a course for those who are both new to boating as well as private boaters who are looking to get involved with the community and help spread the word about the rivers we love. Learn more and get the application at: http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/get-involved/become-a-guide/

Coloma-Lotus Valley: Saturday June 25 & Sunday June 26

South Fork American River: Friends of the River’s rafting & BBQ weekend
SAVE THE DATE: Registration to open soon!

Eastern Sierra Nevada: Friday June 24 to Sunday June 26

Eastern Sierra and Glass Mountain: Family camping near beautiful Lee Vining Creek, a potential Wild & Scenic River. We’ll visit a potential addition to the Ansel Adams Wilderness and hike in the potential Glass Mountain Wilderness. Limited to 20 participants and free of charge. Participants are responsible for their transportation, camping and hiking gear, and food. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Steve Evans at sevans@friendsoftheriver.org or call (916) 708-3155.

Coloma-Lotus Valley: Saturday July 16 & Sunday July 17

South Fork American River: Friends of the River’s rafting & BBQ weekend
SAVE THE DATE: Registration to open soon!


 

THE RIVER ADVOCATE IS PUBLISHED BY FRIENDS OF THE RIVER.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS – PLEASE EMAIL US AT:
INFO@FRIENDSOFTHERIVER.ORG.

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