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 The voice of California's rivers
Friends of the River

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May 25, 2011: Vol. 1, #5

In This Issue:

Paddle to the Sea
Capital River Awards
Save Your River: Volunteer to Build Website Content 
River in the Spotlight: The San Gabriel
In-River Mining Budget Cut
State Park Closures Mean Less River Access

River News & Events


The Capital River Awards
Well over 100 supporters came together at the home of Deborah Baron to honor the American River Conservancy (ARC) and Protect American River Canyons (PARC) at the 2011 Capital River Awards hosted by Friends of the River.  It was a wonderful evening with excellent food and drink, old and new friends and great conversations about protecting the American River.

FOR would like to thank the sponsors of the awards:


Carrie Cornwell & Greg Redmond

Corley* & Patty Phillips
Howard Robinson*
Richard Weiss*

Alison Harvey & David Loera
Bill & Robin Center /Camp Lotus
Bill & Dianne Deitchman
Bob* & Faith Cushman
Graeme* & Debra Plant
Greg & Jane Widroe
Harriet Moss*
Jim Genes*
John Yost* & Shaun Michael
Patty Schifferle & Bob Gilliom
Suzanne Roberts*

Coloma Resort
Hon. Roger Dickinson, CA Assembly, Dist. 9
Ilene Starin & Will Lichtig
Joe & Margrit Petrofsky
Mother Lode River Center
Phil & Marilyn Isenberg
Rob & Suzanne Ferroggiaro
Tony & Margie DeRiggi
Tributary Whitewater Tours

Adventure Connection
All Outdoors / Scott Armstrong*
American River Recreation
American Whitewater Expeditions
American River Resort /
 Tom Van Noord & Dave Martinez
Arta River Trips
Beyond Limits Adventures  
California Canoe & Kayak / Keith Miller
Denise & Bob Hansen
Julia McIver & Lance Gunnersen
Marcene Seid & Tom Ditmar
Michael Miiller
Nancy & Don Price
Natalie* & Jon Zensius
Soluri Meserve, a Law Corporation
The Sierra Nevada House
V. John White
WET River Trips
Whitewater Connection
Whitewater Excitement
Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions

* Member, FOR Board of Directors 


Mining Regulation Budget Cut…Rivers Breathe A Sigh Of Relief

Budget subcommittees in the California Legislature have adopted state budget language that prohibits the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) from spending any more money on the development of proposed suction dredge mining regulations.

Concerned that CDFG intended to implement new mining regulations that would harm California rivers, fish, and water quality, Friends of the River and its conservation and Native American allies convinced the budget subcommittees to defund the misguided program. As a result, the existing moratorium on this destructive mining activity will continue for at least five years.

The budget language will save state taxpayers at least $2 million annually. The modest permit fees assessed miners by CDFG never paid for the administration or enforcement of the program.

CDGF’s own draft analysis of the proposed regulations indicated that a resumption of mining would have significant and unavoidable impacts on water quality, wildlife, and cultural and historical resources. Furthermore, the agency’s new regulations proposed to permit suction dredge mining in rivers flowing through state and national parks, in state and federal wild and scenic rivers, state designated wild trout streams, and rivers that provide critical habitat for threatened and endangered fish and amphibians.

“Frankly, we don’t believe that Fish and Game’s current leadership is capable of adopting and enforcing protective mining regulations,” said Steve Evans, Conservation Director of Friends of the River. “With California struggling with a $25 billion deficit, it just made sense to pull the plug on this costly and destructive program,” he said.

Miners have vowed to reinstate funding for the suction dredge mining regulation program when the full Legislature makes final budget decisions this summer. Meanwhile, the Smith, Klamath, Eel, Sacramento, Yuba, American, San Joaquin, Kings, Kern, Owens, San Gabriel, and many other rivers and streams throughout the state will enjoy at least a temporary reprieve from destructive mining.


RA south yubaPark Closures Will Mean Less Access To Rivers

Californians will have less recreational access to many rivers and streams if a plan by the California Department of Parks and Recreation to close 70 state parks is implemented. The agency is proposing the park closures due to a $22 million cut in its budget. The closures will be implemented over the next two years but more parks may be on the chopping block as the Governor and the Legislature continue to wrestle with the state’s $25 billion deficit.

A review by Friends of the River of the proposed closure list found at least 25 parks slated for closure that provide public access to rivers and streams. The Sacramento River will take the largest hit, with a total of five parks along its banks to be shuttered, including Castle Crags State Park, Ide Adobe State Historic Park, Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area, Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area, and Brannan Island State Recreation Area.

Other rivers with multiple park closures include the lower Merced and the South Fork Eel, with proposed closings of the McConnell and Hatfield State Recreation Areas and the Standish-Hickey and Benbow State Recreations Areas (respectively). However, parks on rivers throughout the state are affected, from Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park on the Van Duzen River in northwest California, to the South Yuba River State Park in the northern Sierra Nevada, to the Picacho State Recreation Area on the Colorado River in the southeastern corner of the state. Even regions such as the Central Valley and the Delta that the Department of Parks and Recreation acknowledges are underserved by the parks system will lose access to more than eight river-based parks and recreation areas.

In announcing the proposed closures, the Department of Parks and Recreation noted that it used three goals in its closure methodology; protect significant natural resources, maintain public access and revenue generation, and protect closed parks. However, lack of revenue generation seems to have been a primary factor for many parks on the closure list. For example, the South Yuba River State Park is heavily used by swimmers, hikers, anglers, gold panners, and kayakers, but generates little revenue for the state because of its dispersed access. So the South Yuba River State Park will be closed while many parks that can charge entrance fees will remain open.

According to the California State Parks Foundation, the plan will shutter 25% of the state park system and adversely impact 36 of the state’s 58 counties. Millions of Californians will have access to their parks cut off under this proposal. Park advocates are concerned that the park closures will not only deny access to these beautiful recreation lands and rivers, but they will also result in vandalism and damage to park resources and facilities. Because of this, the closures may eventually cost the state more than the $22 million it anticipates in budget savings, as well as harm local tourism-based economies.

The closures proposed by the Brown Administration are considerably less than the 220 parks that former Governor Schwarzenegger had targeted two years ago. It remains unclear how many parks will be closed if Governor Brown and Democratic Legislative Leaders are successful in extending current taxes, a proposal currently blocked by the Republican minority in the Legislature. Nevertheless, it is clear that a deficit plan that is based entirely on budget cuts – as advocated by Republican legislators – will harm the state parks system and other state natural resource programs. The alleged budget plan recently unveiled by the Assembly Republican Caucus was unavailable on its web site.

RA adobeWhat You Can Do:
Send emails to your Assemblymember and State Senator urging them to support a budget plan that keeps our state parks open. Click here to send your emails.

For a full list of the proposed park closures and why the state parks department chose them, click here.

Proposed Closures of River-Based State Parks – 2011
Austin Creek State Recreation Area (Austin Creek)
Benbow State Recreation Area (SF Eel River)
Benicia State Recreation Area (Carquinez Straights)
Brannan Island State Recreation Area (Sacramento River)
Castle Crags State Park (Sacramento River)
Castle Rock State Park (San Lorenzo River)
Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area (Sacramento River)
George Hatfield State Recreation Area (Merced River)
Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park (Van Duzen River)
Hendy Woods State Park (Navarro River)
Henry Coe State Park (Coyote, Pacheco, & Orestimba Creeks)
Limekiln State Park (Limekiln Creek)
Malakoff Diggings State Historic Park (Humbug Creek)
Manchester State Park (Garcia River)
McConnell State Recreation Area (Merced River)
McGrath State Beach (Santa Clara River)
Palomar Mountian State Park (San Luis Rey River headwater streams)
Picacho State Recreation Area (Colorado River)
Portola Redwoods State Park (Pescadero & Peters Creeks)
South Yuba River State Park (South Yuba River)Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area (SF Eel River)
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park (Sonoma Creek)
Turlock Lake State Recreation Area (Tuolumne River)
William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park (Sacramento River)
Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area (Sacramento River)
Zmudowske State Beach (Pajaro River)



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This year FOR has been generously extended an incredible opportunity by the Tuolumne River Trust to help bring public attention to this gem of the Sierra's and raise funds needed to continue Friends of the River's conservation work on Tuolumne.

What is Paddle to the Sea? Paddle to the Sea is an epic Paddle-A-Thon down the Tuolumne River organized by our friends at the Tuolumne River Trust. The trip goes from just outside Yosemite National Park through the Central Valley to the San Francisco Bay. Paddlers raise money and awareness to help protect and restore the Tuolumne while communities celebrate the river along the way.

When is it? Paddle to the Sea is a month long Paddle-A-Thon and runs from May 6 - June 4. While some people do the entire trip, most join in for a day or two.

What does it mean to be on the FOR team? This year Friends of the River supporters who participate in Paddle to the Sea can sign up for the FOR Team. Through our special arrangement with the Tuolumne River Trust, you get to experience a lovely trip on one of our favorite rivers while raising money to support the important work of FOR. Any money you raise over $100 will go directly to Friends of the River!  To learn more about Paddle to the Sea - click here.


River Tips & Features


Save a River

Build FOR's American River pages and online presence!

FOR needs help building content and gathering photos for our American River pages on our website. We are looking for pictures of people enjoying the American as well as great nature shots. On the content side, we are looking for more details such as suggested hikes, fishing spots, etcetera… On the presence side - we need volunteers to claim and build social networking pages for FOR. To volunteer contact Johnnie at 


Help us save YOUR river and meet our online goal for May!

Our May goal is $5,000 - we have raised $2,720 so far! Your help today can get us over the top and make the difference for the river you love.

Give your river a voice and join FOR today!

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San Gabriel StreamRiver in the Spotlight
The San Gabriel River

The San Gabriel River is a tremendously popular outdoor recreation destination that attracts thousands of visitors who hike and picnic along its banks, pan for gold, and wade its cool pools. The river is also an important source of high quality drinking water for downstream urban residents. Conservationists and recreation interests have proposed National Wild & Scenic River protection for portions of the river on National Forest lands to preserve its outstanding recreation opportunities, wildlife habitat, and water quality.

To visit FOR's San Gabriel River page click here.


River Saving Tip
Half a load can waste twice the water

When it comes to dishes and laundry doing a small load can waste water. Some new washing machines have settings for smaller loads and lower water levels - check to see if your machine does and use that setting. If not be sure to fill it up! 

For dishwashers - do not forget to rinse off your dishes before you put them in and always use the "air dry" option to save energy too!


   To Visit FOR's River Action Center - click below.

Take Action Link


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:

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Information & Advocacy Tables

FOR Outreach Events

Help share the word about wild rivers!

 June 11 & 12 - American River Confluence Festival 
 June 18 &19 - Auburn River Festival 
 July 16 & 17 - FOR BBQ & SFA Trip (information pending)

 Aug 20 & 21 - FOR BBQ & SFA Trip (information pending)
 Sept 10 & 11- Gear Swap & American River Paddle Festival 
 Sept 16-18 - American River Music Festival

To volunteer to table with FOR or to find out how to volunteer email us at:


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