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Protect Threatened Salmon & Steelhead: Support Improved Low-Flow Closures

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Action Alert: The native, Endangered Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead of the drought-stricken Gualala River, in California, need your help. Thanks in large part to the pressure that [fishermen] put on the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) a year ago, the CDFW is finally taking action to fix the critically flawed low-flow closure system on the North Central-Coast ... Read More »

FoGR Files Lawsuit over Sonoma County’s Vineyard Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance (VESCO)

2014 Reservoir above Haupt Creek

Friends of Gualala River (FoGR), along with Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club, has filed a suit against Sonoma County to close a major regulatory loophole. This time it’s not our typical campaign to stop destruction of redwood forest. It’s to fix a serious problem in a Sonoma County permitting process that is allowing developers to circumvent the California ... Read More »

Wine industry resists rising tide to regulate groundwater as California drought deepens

Wheatfield Fork, Gualala River, upstream of the Annapolis Road bridge at Skagg Springs Road, August 17, 2013

State legislation to regulate the depletion of groundwater is moving forward as the current historic drought continues and reservoirs draw precipitously down. State water agencies support legislative proposals to monitor and regulate groundwater in the public interest as the drought threatens both surface and below-ground water supplies. But North Coast grape growers and the wine industry are opposed to this ... Read More »

Protect state’s groundwater and the public interest now!

Wheatfield Fork Gualala River, August 2013

Friends of Gualalal River (FoGR) is a member of the North Coast Stream Flow Coalition, which supports rational management and regulation of groundwater to protect streamflows. FoGR endorses Chris Malan’s policy analysis and recommendations in her op-ed essay, below. Protect state’s groundwater and the public interest now! by Chris Malan Chair, North Coast Stream Flow Coalition Op-ed published in the ... Read More »

Keep Gualala Estuary in Marine Sanctuary

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Friends of the Gualala River is astonished to learn that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the federal agency responsible for the recovery of coho salmon and steelhead, is PROPOSING TO REMOVE THE GUALALA RIVER ESTUARY (our beautiful lagoon from the beach upstream through the regional park) from the Marine Sanctuary. Incredibly, they are proposing the same for the Russian ... Read More »

Environmental groups’ lawsuit could upend Sonoma County vineyard policies

Chris Poehlmann

by Guy Kovner,  The Press Democrat,  June 13, 2014 [excerpt:] Three environmental groups are challenging Sonoma County’s approval of a 54-acre Annapolis vineyard in a case that reflects long-standing conflict over expansion of the county’s $600 million a year grape industry. If the lawsuit were to succeed, it would wipe out the county’s vineyard development law, itself born amid controversy ... Read More »

Interview with Richard Charter, long-time defender of the coast

Richard Charter

On Friday, June 13, 2014, Peggy Berryhill interviewed Richard Charter, long-time defender of the coast, on KGUA, 88.3 FM in Gualala, CA. Listen to the interview on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/kgua/richard-charter-ocean-santuary-613/ “An interview with the legendary Richard Charter about the NOAA hearings in Point Arena, Gualala and Bodega Bay on permanently protecting our ocean from Bodega Bay to Point Arena from oil drilling, ... Read More »

Artesa vineyard plans near Annapolis shelved

Forest on Artesa Annapolis property

By ROBERT DIGITALE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT June 3, 2014, 7:29 PM [excerpt] Artesa Vineyards and Winery of Napa has shelved its hotly disputed plans to plant a vineyard on forest land near Annapolis and has put the 324-acre property on the market for $1.5 million, the company announced Tuesday. The decision was hailed by environmentalists, who last year persuaded a ... Read More »

Thursday, June 12 – Author-Activist Greg King at Gualala Arts Center

Greg King in Maxxam-held All Species Grove, 1987.

The Ghost Forest — Radicals and Real Estate in the California Redwoods A Personal History of the Ancient Redwood Ecosystem and the Struggles to Protect It Historical Presentation by Humboldt Author-Activist Greg King Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Gualala Arts Center 46501 Gualala Rd Gualala, CA 95445 Greg King is an award-winning and nationally published Humboldt County writer ... Read More »

Friends of Gualala River Unveils New Website

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Redesigned GualalaRiver.org provides instant access, expanded capabilities and increased connection Friends of Gualala River is excited to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website, located at the same web address as always: http://www.GualalaRiver.org The new site’s homepage welcomes visitors with a clean, contemporary design and with featured content focused on our mission to protect the Gualala River watershed and ... Read More »

Permit and EIR Killed for Controversial Smaller Cousin of Preservation Ranch

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A version of this appeared in the Sonoma County Gazette By Peter Baye Annapolis, California Artesa Winery’s Annapolis vineyard project has apparently hit the wall. Initiated in 2001, in the early years of Preservation Ranch, this smaller cousin actually completed its long, circuitous permit and CEQA process in 2012 after more than a decade of stalls and reverses. But in December ... Read More »

Redwoods for Red Wine

Tall Trees in Gualala

Eight minute video produced for the America Tonight news broadcast on Al Jazeera America. Redwoods for Red Wine (rough cut), produced by Blackbeard Films. For additional information, see: Artesa Sonoma forest-to-vineyard conversion CAL FIRE has approved the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Artesa Winery’s controversial plan to clear-cut 154 acres of coastal redwood forest to plant a vineyard in Annapolis. ... Read More »

Interactive Map of Sonoma County Vineyards

Interactive Map of Sonoma Area Wineries

The Press Democrat analyzed land records on 3,171 vineyard properties obtained from the Sonoma County Assessor’s Office, which were updated in August 2013. The locations of the vineyard parcels were mapped using GIS data from the Sonoma County Information Systems Department. Click on the image below to visit the interactive map on the Press Democrat’s website: Interactive map of Sonoma ... Read More »

Interview with Friends of the Gualala River

The Friends of Gualala Team on the Radio

KGUA Radio “Peggy’s Place” January 7, 2014 Listen to the interview on: SoundCloud. KGUA 88.3 FM is a full-powered non-commercial radio station established to educate, entertain and inform. KGUA 88.3 FM will give voice to the people and issues that affect all the coastal residents of the southern tip of Mendocino County and the Northern tip of Sonoma County. KGUA ... Read More »

Aerial view of the Artesa Sonoma property

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A fly-over of the Artesa Winery / Codorniu proposed vineyard area. Sonoma County Superior Court has rejected the environmental impact report for the project, however Artesa has not withdrawn the application despite widespread public outcry. For additional information, see: Artesa Sonoma forest-to-vineyard conversion Cal Fire approved the environmental impact report for Artesa Winery’s controversial plan to clear-cut 154 acres of coastal ... Read More »

Judge Rejects Vineyard’s Environmental Impact Statement

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by Chris McManus December 13, 2013 © Independent Coast Observer Reprinted with permission Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elliot Daum has sent a plan to clearcut 154 acres of forest near Annapolis back to the drawing board, saying the Environmental Impact Report prepared by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) ... Read More »

Court Blocks Sonoma Vineyard Planting – December, 2013, Wine Spectator

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Judge rules that winery needs to review environmental impact; Artesa argues land is zoned for farming by Kasey Carpenter December 13, 2013 Wine Spectator [excerpt:] The battle over more than 300 acres of undeveloped land on Sonoma’s coast owned by Artesa Vineyards and Winery isn’t over, but environmental groups have won a key round. A county judge has rejected several ... Read More »

Ruling deals setback to Artesa’s disputed vineyard plan

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by Brett Wilkison December 6, 2013 Santa Rosa Press Democrat [excerpt:] Environmentalists are hailing a court ruling this week that deals a significant setback to a hotly disputed vineyard project in northwestern Sonoma County. If it stands, the decision could serve as a bulwark against the push of vineyards into a mostly untilled swath of the region’s coast range, blocking ... Read More »

Court Rejects Plan to Clearcut California Redwoods for Vineyard: Press Release

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For Immediate Release: December 6, 2013 Contact: Chris Poehlmann, Friends of the Gualala River, (707) 886-5182 Victoria Brandon, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter, (707) 994-1931 Justin Augustine, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 436-9682 x 302 SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elliot Daum has rejected a plan to clearcut 154 acres of Northern California redwoods to plant vineyards ... Read More »