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6-20-13 BANG graphicFOR sues to stop the Delta Plan
Bob Wright, FOR Senior Counsel & Katy Cotter, FOR Legal Counsel
Friends of 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.
The 2009 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.
The lawsuit, 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.
Bob Wright, 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 News
FOR staff
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.
Basic Guide Training, Training in the BoatJune was busy and productive on the South Fork American!
Johnnie Carlson, FOR Operations Director
June was 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” Grote!
The weekend 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.
June 17th 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.
On Friday, 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 forget.
[object Object]VOLUNTEER: 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!
tap50 WAYS TO SAVE YOUR RIVER: How much river did you consume today?
Your diet 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:
cache creek 1-2013RIVER IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Cache Creek
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.
After a multi-year campaign by FOR and our local partners, Cache Creek received Wild and Scenic River Protection in 2005 and wilderness protection in 2006.
Yolo County 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.
cache creek steve 1-2013Cache Creek 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
Since 1973
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
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