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Massive floodplain logging plan for lower Gualala River threatens wetlands, rare plants & endangered wildlife

Gualala River floodplain

by Peter Baye, Friends of Gualala River The lower Gualala River has a wide meandering floodplain rich in wetlands, mature productive riparian redwood forests and highly diverse riparian habitats supporting many special-status plant, fish, and wildlife species. “Flood prone” redwood forests are supposed to be protected by avoidance of logging disturbances under special salmonid protection rules under the Forest Practices ... Read More »

Water Wars in California’s Coastal Wine Country

Herbicide-managed-rows-of-grape-monoculture-in-Annapolis

[excerpt] …California’s ongoing drought has hit the region hard, reducing grape yields and depleting the vast aquifer that most of the area’s vineyards and rural residents rely on as their sole source of water other than rain. Across the region, residential and vineyard wells have gone dry. Those who can afford to — including a number of large wineries and ... Read More »

Family timber firm buys Gualala Redwoods lands

clearcuts-behind-sea-ranch

Gualala Redwoods, Inc. (GRI) said Tuesday it signed a definitive purchase and sale agreement to transfer the majority of its timberland holdings in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties to the Burch family of San Jose. According to Henry Alden, senior vice president of GRI, under the terms of the agreement, GRI will sell approximately 29,000 acres to the Burch family, representing ... Read More »

Tues, April 14: “Russian River: All Rivers” at Arena Theater

The Russian River: All Rivers

Friends of Gualala River is proud to sponsor the new film “Russian River: All Rivers, The Value of an American Watershed” on Tuesday, April 14th, 7:00 PM at the Arena Theater, 214 Main Street, Pt. Arena, CA. Come meet the film makers and hear their story at this showing and be a part of an event that has been co-sponsored ... Read More »

Our river runneth over

South Fork Gualala River at Twin Bridges, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Here are two photos of the South Fork Gualala River at Twin Bridges, taken two days apart: Monday, December 1, 2014 (before the recent rain) and Wednesday, December 3, 2014 (after some much needed rain) Read More »

An End of the Year News Update and a Request

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December, 2014 It has been a productive year for FOGR with its mission to stand up for the river and its source – the 300 square mile Gualala River watershed. In the afterglow of our victory to stop the Preservation Ranch project, this year saw the successful conclusion of FOGR’s campaign to halt the forestland conversion proposed by the 324 ... Read More »

Gualala Redwoods Inc. puts 30,000-acre property up for sale

Gualala River estuary

by Mary Callahan, The Press Democrat, November 25, 2014 [excerpt:] Nearly 30,000 acres timberland straddling the Sonoma-Mendocino county border and stretching across the mouth of the Gualala River have been put on the auction block, creating what conservationists are calling a prime opportunity for a landmark preservation deal that could permanently protect and restore a giant swath of forest, allow ... Read More »

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

Protect-the-Gualala-Rivers-Wild-Salmon-and-Steelhead2

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

Gualala River estuary

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 »