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CalFire approves third Dogwood THP; legal fight continues

90-100 year old redwood tree marked for cutting in Gualala River floodplain; photo credit: copyright © 2016 Mike Shoys, used with permission

by W. W. Keller August 9, 2019 © copyright 2019, Independent Coast Observer, Gualala, CA reprinted with permission In a letter dated July 31, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection or CalFire approved the third controversial Dogwood timber harvest plan stating, “You may begin timber operations proposed in the plan.” But while the letter says that property owner …

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Our local watershed protection organization: Friends of Gualala River

Gualala Point Regional Park - view of lagoon, by Bob Rutemoeller

by Tempra Board Soundings, Summer, 2019 © copyright 2019, The Sea Ranch Association reprinted with permission Friends of Gualala River (FoGR) has been in the news lately for its efforts to compel state agencies to protect sensitive Gualala River watershed habitat from the latest in a series of Timber Harvest Plans (THPs) proposed by the Gualala Redwood Timber (GRT) company. Get …

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Gualala River park idea garners 1,100 signatures

Redwood tree marked for logging in Dogwood THP, photo by Chris Poehlmann

and 3,000 signatures oppose third Dogwood logging plan by W. W. Keller news@mendonoma.com May 31, 2019 © copyright 2019, Independent Coast Observer, Gualala, CA reprinted with permission The Gualala River Park Coalition, a grassroots environmental organization, has collected more than 1,100 signatures from people who would rather turn the Gualala River floodplain into a public park than see its redwoods …

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Dogwood floodplain logging plan, comments by Dr. Peter Baye, May 2019

Dogwood THP comments by Dr. Peter Baye, May 2019

Comments by Dr. Peter Baye (coastal ecologist, botanist) on the latest version of the “Dogwood” floodplain logging plan (THP 1-15-042-SON): Download & read the entire letter (8 pages, 310 KB)   The entire letter is well worth reading, but here’s a short excerpt (not a summary) to whet your appetite: Seasonal wetlands are widespread in the floodplain of the river, …

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Opponents of logging plan along Gualala River dream of expanding park

90-100 year old redwood tree marked for cutting in Gualala River floodplain; photo credit: copyright © 2016 Mike Shoys, used with permission

by Mary Callahan, The Press Democrat, April 25, 2019 [excerpt:] Provoked by a new round of scrutiny over hard-fought plans to harvest timber in the Gualala River floodplain, a contingent of North Coast residents has launched a petition drive to use the land for expansion of a public park instead. It’s the stuff of fantasy for the moment, given the …

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Dogwood floodplain logging plan reopened for public comment

Gualala River floodplain

CAL FIRE has reopened the Dogwood Timber Harvest Plan (THP 1-15-042-SON) once again for public comment. Friends of Gualala River’s (FoGR) preliminary assessment of the recirculated Dogwood THP is presented in summary form below, for consideration by any citizen or organization preparing comments on the recirculated THP. FoGR encourages all commenters to independently read and assess relevant parts of the …

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Importance of the Gualala River Floodplain: Presentation by Dr. Peter Baye

Importance of the Gualala River Floodplain: Presentation by Dr. Peter Baye, March, 2019

Presented at Friends of Gualala River’s Public Forum on March 5, 2019.   Download: Download a pdf version (4 MB) of the presentation: Importance of the Gualala River Floodplain: Presentation by Dr. Peter Baye   Audio excerpts: 1. Peter Baye describes Gualala River floodplain: 2. Peter Baye describes the evolution of the floodplain: 3. Peter Baye explains which agencies are …

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Tues, March 5: Friends of Gualala River invites you to a Public Forum

FoGR Public Forum - March 5, 2019

  Tuesday, March 5, 2019 5 to 7 p.m. Gualala Community Center 47950 Center St., Gualala, CA 95445 You are invited to join members of Friends of Gualala River (FoGR) at a Public Forum at the Gualala Community Center on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, from 5 to 7 p.m. Jeanne Jackson, author of Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year, and ICO …

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Gualala River in full flood: Wheatfield Fork

Feb 27, 2019: Wheatfield Fork Gualala River, Valley Crossing, Annapolis Road; view to west, north side. The floodplain riparian woodland here is deeply submerged, about 5 feet or more.

More river flood action photos. In this set: the Wheatfield Fork. Includes floodplain submergence (deeper than mid-February) at Twin Bridges, showing the Dogwood THP Haul Road covered in mud. Also shows Annapolis Road Bridge at Clark’s Crossing with log and wood debris on top, for the first time in decades!              

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Dogwood III logging plan – submit your comments by Feb. 21, 2019

Redwood tree marked for logging in Dogwood THP, photo by Chris Poehlmann

Friends of Gualala River (FoGR) and our allies once again recently prevailed in court. The timber harvest plan called Dogwood has been found twice to fail to meet California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements for failing to evaluate project alternatives with less environmental impacts. FoGR also won on the lack of a Cumulative Impact study. Dogwood III is just as …

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Gualala River floodplain in action

Wheatfield Fork bridge downstream, Feb 2019

February 14, 2019 After the heavy rains of the recent ‘atmospheric river’ event, the Gualala River floodplain (threatened by the Dogwood logging plan) is doing its job.       South Fork bridge (Twin Bridges, Annapolis Road):  Large log and debris jams on the upstream side, and downstream to the confluence with Wheatfield Fork. The willows on the opposite bank …

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Not The Final Update on the Dogwood Timber Harvest Plan Saga

Wild & scenic Gualala River runs thorough Dogwood - 5416

This December, 2018 update details where FoGR is at the end of a tumultuous year of persistence. Everyone involved in the legal battles to protect the Gualala River floodplain should heave a sigh of relief, but not too deeply, for the struggles continue. Here we learn what may be next and why FoGR folks have to remain steady and vigilant. …

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A Christmas Wish

California Red-legged frog, by Roberta Chan

Letter to the Editor, published in the Independent Coast Observer December 21, 2018 I have always regarded California as being in the forefront of environmental awareness and protection. However, after moving to Gualala 5 years ago and seeing the repeated attempts at logging in the floodplain of the Gualala River, I have been saddened by this disregard for the health …

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Magic Forest

Gualala River floodplain

Letter to the Editor, published in the Independent Coast Observer December 7, 2018 We would like to add our voices to those who are calling for the expansion of the regional park into the Magic Forest along the Gualala floodplain. There are so many reasons why this visionary plan would create the greatest good for the greatest number. From an …

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Help the River

Gualala River in fog

Letter to the Editor, published in the Independent Coast Observer November 30, 2018 The Gualala River needs our help. The other rivers in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties have their floodplains — and much more — protected. But our Gualala River’s floodplain still could be logged by the Burch family that owns it. Indeed, they have tried twice to log it …

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GUALALA RIVER: Vision and Mission — a sonnet

The Gualala River at dusk - by Craig Tooley

A sonnet, included in a letter to the Editor, published in the Independent Coast Observer November 30, 2018 And were you there two hundred years ago, small green island set in wide mouth of our Gualala River that now is shallow and slow? “No,” answer those slim young redwoods that tower above its banks. “This river then was mighty, a …

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A Golden Opportunity

Wild & scenic Gualala River runs thorough Dogwood - 5416

Letter to the Editor, published in the Independent Coast Observer November 16, 2018 With the exciting news of the Mill Bend property in escrow to a conservation buyer, we see a golden opportunity to further protect the Gualala River for the benefit of everyone. The vast stretch of flat land along the south side of the river, from Gualala Point …

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Sonoma County Superior Court rules in favor of Friends of Gualala River’s second lawsuit over the “Dogwood” floodplain timber harvest plan

"Rally for the River" - July 16, 2016; photo credit: Anne Mary Schaefer

Media Release October 19, 2018 Sonoma County Superior Court once again has ruled in favor of Friends of Gualala River (FoGR) in its lawsuit against CAL FIRE’s approval of logging of coastal floodplain redwood forest in hundreds of acres of the Wild and Scenic Gualala River. The controversial “Dogwood” timber harvest plan (THP) proposed by Gualala Redwoods Timber LLC has …

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Old-growth redwoods in Gualala watershed acquired by Save the Redwoods League

McApin old-growth, photo by Mike Shoys

Family’s legendary grove of old-growth redwoods preserved by Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 2018 [excerpt:] A sprawling forest of ancient coastal redwoods in Sonoma County — a grove so magnificent it matches the majesty of Muir Woods National Monument — is being acquired under a land deal that will ensure its protection and allow the public to walk …

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Sonoma County Court again halts logging in second “Dogwood” timber harvest plan lawsuit: Gualala River floodplain redwood forest left intact for now

Wild and Scenic reach of the lower Gualala River on the bank opposite Dogwood THP area, 2016

Media Release June 7, 2018 Sonoma County Superior Court has once again granted a preliminary injunction to put the start of logging on hold in the 100-year-old redwood forest of the Gualala River floodplain, located in northwest Sonoma County and southwest Mendocino County. On June 5, 2018, Judge René Chouteau issued a tentative order granting a motion for preliminary injunction …

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