|FOR sues to
stop the Delta Plan
FOR Senior Counsel
Cotter, FOR Legal Counsel
the River along with several other environmental groups filed a lawsuit on June
14th against the Delta Stewardship Council for its approval of the Delta Plan.
The Delta Plan endorses new water delivery conveyance and storage and paves the
way for approval of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The BDCP includes a
proposal to build two 35-mile tunnels to siphon water away from the Sacramento
River and San Joaquin Bay Delta to send to Southern California. The $25 billion
project would have devastating impacts on the region’s farming and fishing and
put several endangered species at increased risk of extinction.
Delta Reform Act required the Council to create the Delta Plan as a framework
for its permitting authority over actions affecting the Delta. According to the
Act, the Council must approve only actions that serve the coequal goals of
environmental protection and water-supply reliability. Instead, the Council
approved a plan that excludes temporary water transfers from the permitting
requirements and lays the groundwork for Delta water-export tunnels.
filed in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of groups from both Southern
and Northern California, asserts that the Delta Plan violates the 2009 Delta
Reform Act, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the state
Administrative Procedure Act. The groups seek to have the Delta Plan and its
environmental impact report set aside for failing to disclose and analyze the
devastating effects of the Plan on Northern California rivers, the Delta, and
endangered fish species.. The lawsuit urges the court to suspend any activity
based on the plan that could change the physical environment until the Council
has met its legal requirements. This would include delaying construction of the
Brown administration’s proposed water-export tunnels.
senior counsel for Friends of the River, said: “Seeking relief from the courts
is now necessary to protect our rivers and fish from this arbitrary,
destructive action. The Council’s plan is part of the worst threat to Northern
California rivers in history, and continues state agencies’ efforts to take the
water regardless of the adverse consequences. The Delta Plan calls for the
Delta Water Tunnels with one hand. But with the other hand, the Delta
Stewardship Council violated the California Environmental Quality Act by
failing to disclose and analyze the devastating adverse environmental
consequences on Northern California rivers, the Delta, and endangered species
of fish resulting from taking enormous quantities of freshwater out of the
Sacramento River upstream from the Delta.”
FOR in the
The East Bay
Express did a thoughtful and through article on the impacts of both the
proposed Delta tunnels and federal legislation to weaken the National Wild
& Scenic Rivers Act and what this intersection of bad policy means for the
Wild & Scenic rivers of Northern California. Read the full article here.
|June was busy
and productive on the South Fork American!
Carlson, FOR Operations Director
filled with activity for Friends of the River (FOR) on the South Fork American
River (SFA). Our goal on the SFA is to build awareness of river issues and a
close bond between FOR and the river community living and working along this
gem of the Sierra that is visited by over 100,000 people every summer.
On June 6th
FOR hosted our 2nd annual Commercial Guide Education & Appreciation Event
at Camp Lotus. We had over 60 commercial
guides in attendance and signed up more than 50 new members that night! The commercial whitewater guides take over
50,000 people a year down the SFA and other northern California rivers.
Building a strong bond with them and a greater awareness among them is key to
reaching more Californians with FOR’s message. Special thanks to our sponsors
of the evening: Camp Lotus, Rubicon Brewery, Lagunitas Brewery, and Jonathan
McClelland! Extra special thanks to the FOR volunteers who pulled this event
together including: Greg Martin (event chair), Greg “Big Bird” Gilmore (event
co-chair), Jonathan “G-pa J” McClelland (entertainment chair), Melissa Miller-Henson,
Bill Taylor, Gail Crawford, Bob Cushman, Ythsta Resovcih and Fred “Merced Fred”
of June 7th & 8th saw FOR’s first of three summer SFA river outings and our
first BBQ fundraiser. Don’t worry if you missed this one – the next two are
July 13th & 14th and August 17th & 18th. For more information on these fun and festive
weekends check out FOR’s online calendar.
June 15th FOR
had our first Lower Middle Fork American outing – the next is set for August
10th, again check out FOR’s calendar (link above) to learn more if you would
like to float along with FOR.
through June 23rd FOR hosted our first summer training for new whitewater
guides in two years! As an experiment,
we did our summer training with two commercial companies – Mother Lode and All
Outdoors. We trained four new guides and
refreshed the skills of a few of our existing guides and on-river
volunteers. At the end of training FOR
hosted a Pizza Party for the new trainees from our group and both commercial
companies. FOR’s Ron Stork gave a talk on river conservation and threats facing
the Merced and American Rivers.
June 21st FOR boated down river with members of the California Urban Water
Conservation Council on the Gorge run on the SFA. These opinion leader trips
planned once or twice a year are designed to show policy leaders, who deal with
water and river issues, the river from another perspective – as a treasure to
be cherished and protected and not just a water source. Since our beginning in 1973 these trips have
played a vital role in shaping the debate about water and rivers. FOR is proud
to have taken hundreds of politicians, reporters, and agency and local
government leaders on river for an experience and river education they’ll never
Help to build our circle of river friends!
FOR has a new
membership brochure and we need your help to get it out to local river groups,
local river retailers and outfitters, and other community locations. If you have a location in mind AND are willing
to ask them if you can put a set of 40
brochures and a brochure holder up at their location – email Johnnie Carlson at
FOR with 1) the name of the location, 2) contact information for the location (business name, address,
phone, and email) and lastly 3) your mailing address. We will mail you a set of
brochures and the holder so that you can
place them and help your river gain some new friends!
|50 WAYS TO
SAVE YOUR RIVER: How much river did you consume today?
also has a lot to do with water use:
- One pound of beef, enough to feed a family of four requires 1,799 gallons of water—enough to fill 18 average bath tubs to the brim.
- One hamburger needs 660 gallons to produce it.
- One pound of chicken involves 468 gallons of water for production.
- One pound of chocolate uses 3,170 gallons for production. One Hershey bar is .1 pounds, so the production of only 1 Hershey’s bars uses 317 gallons.
Moral of the
story: Watch what you eat because even the most surprising items require lots
of water. To find out about the impact of other foods and various other
necessities on water visit the National Geographic, Environment, Fresh Water
section of their website at:
|RIVER IN THE
SPOTLIGHT: Cache Creek
offers a rare opportunity for all season outdoor recreation in a relatively low
elevation setting. The creek provides class II-III whitewater during the spring
and early summer months for kayakers and rafters. 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.
multi-year campaign by FOR and our local partners, Cache Creek received Wild
and Scenic River Protection in 2005 and wilderness protection in 2006.
operates one campground and three picnic and river access parks along the lower
portion of the river. During the summer irrigation season, releases from
upstream dams provide consistent flows along the highway segment for hundreds
of people who float the river in inner tubes and wade in its pools to escape
the Central Valley heat.
Spring is the
best time to visit the area on foot or by horse. The grass covered hills turn
green, punctuated by the colorful displays of wildflowers. Some areas along the
river provide important habitat for sensitive plants, including the rare adobe
lily. The Red Bud trail is a favorite route for hikers who want to take in the
seasonal wildflower display and observe wildlife.
hosts one of the largest populations of wintering Bald eagles in California. In
recent years, some of these threatened raptors have become permanent residents
in the canyon, nesting in large river-side trees. The surrounding valleys and
hills also provide habitat for one of the largest Tule elk herds in the state.
Black bear often prowl the beaches of Cache Creek, in search of carp, catfish,
and other food.
This area is
so rich in Native American culture that it is recognized on the National
Register of Historic Places. Several village sites were formerly located along
the creek - the only evidence today marking these sites is occasional grinding
holes and house pits.
June 27, 2013
Volume 3, Number 6
The Voice of California's Rivers
In this issue
FOR sues to stop Delta Plan
East Bay Express Article
FOR's June on the South Fork American
Volunteer: Build the circle of river friends
50 Ways: How much river do you consume
River in The Spotlight: Cache Creek