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January 25, 2012: Vol. 2, #1

In This Issue:
Delta Stewardship Council Plan Alert
Internships at Friends of the River
12 Rivers in 2012, Source to Sea
Merced River - help save Wild & Scenic status
Volunteer at FOR
River in the Spotlight: Cache Creek
PCL's Environmental Legislative Symposium
 


River News & Events

Urge Delta Council To Reduce Water Diversions To Restore The Delta

California’s Delta Stewardship Council is soliciting public comments on its draft Delta Plan and EIR. Now is the time for conservationists to speak out in favor of restoring the Delta ecosystem by reducing Delta water diversions, restoring Delta habitat for native species, and adopting instream flows that improve the Delta’s water quality and fisheries. Please send an email TODAY urging the Delta Stewardship Council to adopt Alternative 2, which will reduce water diversions and help restore the Delta’s water quality, fisheries, and ecosystem. Click here to send your email by Feb. 2, 2012.

BACKGROUND

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has long been the focus of California’s chronic water wars. The State and Federal Water Projects divert up to 60% of the water that formerly flowed from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers into the Delta. The diversions have reduced Delta water quality and brought Delta fisheries to the brink of extinction.

In 2009, the California Legislature passed the Delta Reform Act, which adopted two coequal goals for the Delta: to improve water supply reliability and to protect, restore, and enhance the Delta ecosystem. The legislation established the Delta Stewardship Council and directed the Council to develop a Delta Plan to implement the coequal goals.

The Delta Stewardship Council has released its fifth iteration of a draft Delta Plan. The draft Plan includes binding regulatory policies and nonbinding recommendations to implement the coequal goals of ensuring water supply reliability and protecting and restoring the Delta ecosystem. How those policies and recommendations will be implemented is considered in a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that considers five alternatives.

The Delta Plan EIR considers five alternatives proposed by various agencies and interest groups, including state and federal water contractors and conservationists. The alternative that best follows the recommendations of the conservation community is Alternative 2A, which emphasizes restoration of the Delta ecosystem to support native species, adoption of ecosystem flows in the Delta, expanding flood plains and improving local and regional water supplies (not by maximizing Delta diversions). Other alternatives considered in the EIR emphasize construction of costly and destructive new dams and expanded levees, and of course, substantial increases in Delta water diversions to subsidize corporate agriculture and developers.

The alternative eventually adopted by the Delta Stewardship Council will influence the nature and shape of decisions and actions by other agencies in regard to how much water is diverted from the Delta and what facilities need to be constructed to implement the water diversions. At the top of the water contractors’ wish list is the construction of a Peripheral Canal around, or a set of tunnels under, the Delta that would be capable of diverting most of the water from the Sacramento River to feed the giant corporate farms in the southern Central Valley and the ever-expanding suburbs of southern California.

Please send an email TODAY urging the Council to adopt a modified Alternative 2A to restore the Delta and reduce Delta water diversions.


Friends of the River - 2012 Internship Program

Are you looking to build your resume and add real world hands-on policy and community organizing work to your list of skills? Join a fun and engaging team working to save the rivers of California. Friends of the River has openings for five internships right now! We have a supportive and casual office environment where you will get one-on-one attention and development as well as have the opportunity to run with projects on your own. All interns are invited on summer whitewater rafting and barbeque trips. Please check out the positions below that we are currently recruiting for and if you are interested see the "How to Apply" section at the end.

State Policy Internship - Open now: 16-24 hours per week minimum: FOR has worked to pass historic legislation requiring water meters for all of California and won state Wild & Scenic designations for several California rivers. Working closely with our policy advocates and consultants the internship will focus on the state legislature and local organizing for bills that FOR has taken a position on or is sponsoring. The internship will also be the lead on our state policy watch and help our communication staff keep an updated list of bills to watch, bill analysis, legislative status updates and issue background on our website available to the public and stakeholders. Juniors or seniors preferred.

Legal Internship - Open now & taking applications for our summer legal program: FOR takes the lead in protecting California's rivers. In just one of our recent cases, we have been fighting to protect the trees that line the rivers and levees of the state. These trees and shrubs provide a significant share of the state's riparian habitat and need our protection from a misguided attempt by the federal government to clear-cut them all. The internship will work doing legal research, citing cases, and helping to prepare the legal team for motions, hearings and trial. Law school students preferred and multiple openings during the summer.

Wild & Scenic Rivers Internship – Open now: FOR has sought and secured federal Wild & Scenic designation for over 2000 miles of rivers in California – ensuring future generations will be able to enjoy these magnificent rivers! The internship will help our conservation staff research new river segments for designation, build background information on the segments and organize the public, stakeholders and opinion leaders to save these precious rivers before it is too late. The intern will assist staff in coordination with the members of the California Wild Heritage Campaign. Juniors or seniors preferred.

American River Internship – Open now: FOR has led the fight to save the American River from the Auburn Dam – a battle we have been fighting since the 1970s. The intern will work directly with our Senior Policy Advocate who has led this campaign since the 80s. The internship will help to research and prepare background information for our website, newsletter, and for distribution to opinion leaders and stakeholders. The participant in this internship will have many opportunities to attend both public and stakeholder meetings and learn about the complex interactions between local, state, and federal agencies. Preference will be given to seniors or graduate students or individuals with an intense interest in the American River.

Communications Internship – Open now: Getting the message out about saving rivers, reducing water needs and being river wise is done online, at events, and thru FOR’s many publications and reports. The internship will work with our communications staff and the rest of FOR’s staff researching information, writing content (you will get byline credit for all your writing work) of our publications, and posting content online.

HOW TO APPLY: To apply for any of our internship openings send your resume and contact information to jcarlson@friendsoftheriver.org – be sure to include the title(s) of internships listed below that you are interested in and a cover letter telling us why your interested in helping to save California’s rivers! A cover letter describing why you would like to intern or volunteer with Friends of the River is strongly encouraged and writing sample of between 3-10 pages is required for internship applicants.


12 Rivers in 2012, Source to Sea

Rivers for Change launched their 12 Rivers in 2012 Campaign this month on the lower Yuba River. The group will paddle roughly 2000 miles from Source to Sea down 12 critical California watersheds throughout the year. The project entails engaging communities in the stewardship and conservation of the state's rivers.

Some of the watersheds included are the Yuba, Russian, Salinas, Los Angeles, American, Tuolumne, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Mokelumne, Klamath and Feather.

Founded by Danielle Katz and John Dye, Rivers for Change, perceives Source to Sea travel as a key to understanding an entire watershed. Linking upstream and downstream populations, the campaign aims to engage communities in the protection, health and revitalization of these waterways.

There will be two core groups of paddlers on the rivers throughout the year. The Headwaters Team will begin at the highest runnable section and travel down the Class IV and V+ whitewater during the spring and summer runoffs. The Mainsteam Team will pick up where the Headwaters Team leaves off (usually around the first major reservoir) and travel the remaining length of the river to the ocean. 

Community Conservation paddle days will occur on each river in conjunction with local events. This will be a great opportunity for individuals to get on the river (you must provide your own boat) learn about the threats the watershed is facing, and be a vital part of the larger journey.

Rivers for Change has partnered with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation to gather scientific data for Kris Jaeger, Ph.D. from The Ohio State University for a study on land use impacts on channel morphology. The group will observe everything from channel width, vegetation growth to wood and sediment deposits.

In addition, Rivers for Change will collect geo-tagged photos for the non-profit Below the Surface, and the USGS's Streamview project. Streamview is a nationwide web database currently in formation to help create a living legacy of America's Waterways.

FOR will be following the 12 Rivers Campaign throughout 2012 as they relay field notes and updates on the rivers they run. Their next trip launches on the Russian River the 2nd week in February. You can visit their website www.riversforchange.org for more information.


 

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Junk Your Car: Save Your River!

Friends of the River now accepts donations of cars, boats, trucks, jet skis and more! In a cooperative effort between Donation Line and FOR your vehicle can be donated to help save our rivers! You must have a clean title. Free Towing & No Hassles. Pick up ASAP. Call 1-877-277-7487 extension 2811

 

 

 

Cache Creek 1River in the Spotlight: Cache Creek 

Cache Creek offers a rare opportunity for four season outdoor recreation in a relatively low elevation setting. This river provides class II-III whitewater during the Spring and early Summer months for kayaks and small rafts. Private and commercial whitewater boaters can enjoy the 18 mile-long upper wilderness run, with virtually no roads or civilized intrusions, or the 11 mile-long highway run, with easy access to Hwy 16.

Cache Creek recieved Wild and Scenic River Protection in 2005 and wilderness protection in 2006 thru the support of FOR members like you and our local partners! To visit our Cache Creek page for more information and directions click here.


  PCL's Environmental Legislative Symposium 

Join

the Planning and Conservation League (PCL) and the PCL Foundation for their annual Environmental Legislative Symposium on Saturday, January 28th at the Sacramento Convention Center. Join keynote speaker State Controller John Chiang, PCL’s Legislators of the Year awardees Senator Kevin de León and Assemblymembers Jerry Hill and Jared Huffman, and hundreds of activists, decision-makers, business leaders and concerned citizens as we discuss the leading issues facing California’s environment and work to develop solutions that will help improve the health of our lands, air and water. The theme of this year’s event is THINK SMALL, focusing on how local solutions are crucial to our protecting and restoring our environment, communities and economy, with sessions on the water bond, distributed energy generation, high speed rail, SB 375, green jobs, ballot box planning, lobbying and much more! Register today to reserve your seat at this highly anticipated annual conference. Rooms are available at the historic Citizen Hotel for a discounted rate of $104/night. Groups and businesses interested in sponsoring this event should contact Melanie Schlotterbeck at (714) 779-7561.
   
   To Visit FOR's River Action Center - click below.
 

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The River Advocate is published on a monthly basis by Friends of the River.

 

 

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Support Rivers by Giving at Work! To find out more email us at: workplacegiving@friendsoftheriver.org

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Information & Advocacy Tables

FOR Outreach Events

Help share the word about wild rivers!

 
To volunteer to table with FOR or to find out how to volunteer email us at: info@friendsoftheriver.org

 

 

 

VOLUNTEER OPENINGS AT FOR: (set or open schedule - no minimum time commitments)

Office Volunteers: Help send out thank you letters, do light filling, keep our library and archives organized, and fulfill member requests. We have all sorts of basic office tasks most needing no experience or special skills at all!

Outreach & Events Volunteers: Organize items for tabling volunteers and do outreach for Friends of the River at events and public gatherings that fit your schedule and interests. We also host two fundraising events one in Sacramento in the spring and one in San Francisco in the fall that always need volunteers both prior to the event and at the events themselves doing registration, working the auctions, and helping guests enjoy the evenings.

Communications Volunteers: We need you to blog, tweet or post for Friends of the River! We are looking for volunteer "communicators." Help our staff get the word out about critical river issues or threats to the greater community across the state that care about and depend on clean, healthy, and free flowing rivers.

Policy Volunteers: Do you have an interest in rivers and water policy and some free time on your hands? FOR needs folks who can delve into technical reports and box loads of research and prepare summaries or analysis for FOR staff, our stakeholders and the general public. Topics include the American River, flood control, levee vegetation and more.

HOW TO APPLY: To apply for any of our volunteer openings, contact jcarlson@friendsoftheriver.org – be sure to include the title(s) of volunteer position(s) you are interested in and be sure to tell us why you want to help save California’s rivers!

 

 

 

 Blue Creek in Belize

Blue Creek, Belize - photo by FOR's Mandi Raley

 

 

 

MRsideHouse has yet to move on Merced bill - please take action! 

The Republican dominated House Natural Resources Committee approved several bills that weaken federal protection for the Merced Wild River and other rivers in the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The Committee approved by a party-line voice vote Rep. Jeff Denham’s bill – H.R. 2578 – which adjusts the boundary of the Merced Wild River to allow for possible expansion of the New Exchequer Reservoir.

The bill is expected to move to the House floor for a full vote soon. Please click here to send an email TODAY to your representatives in Congress urging them to protect the Merced Wild River by rejecting H.R. 2578.


 

 

 

 

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