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River Issues

Conservationist bids on Mill Bend

Mill Bend, photo by Bill Oxford

by W.W. Keller news@mendonoma.com © copyright 2018, Independent Coast Observer reprinted with permission The Redwood Coast Land Conservancy and the Mendocino Land Trust announced on Thursday, Nov. 8, that an offer to buy the Mill Bend property in Gualala by an unidentified conservation buyer, has been accepted. The deal includes both the Mill Bend and the Lower Mill Bend parcels. …

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GMAC letter on Dogwood & Apple logging plans

GMAC letter on Apple & Dogwood logging plans

On November 15, 2015, the Gualala Municipal Advisory Council (GMAC) sent a letter to CalFire expressing concerns regarding the proposed “Dogwood” and “Apple” logging plans in and directly adjacent to the environmentally sensitive floodplain of the Gualala River. Download the letter in pdf format: GMAC letter on Apple & Dogwood logging plans

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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 …

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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)

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

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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Streamflow Depletion by Wells

Understanding and Managing the Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow by Paul M. Barlow and Stanley A. Leake November, 2012, U.S. Geological Survey Introduction Groundwater is an important source of water for many human needs, including public supply, agriculture, and industry. With the development of any natural resource, however, adverse consequences may be associated with its use. One of the …

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Cumulative Effects of Logging Linked to Coho Decline


by Rob DiPerna Environmental Protection Information Center January, 2013 [excerpt:] Throughout the north and central California coast, Coho salmon are teetering on the brink of oblivion. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, 85-90 percent of remaining Coho population in the Central California Coast ESU occurs in watersheds with privately managed forestlands. The 2011 Central California Coast Coho Recovery Plan …

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Marine Sanctuary Expansion

Permanent Protection for Our Sonoma and Mendocino Coastlines is Within Reach We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure permanent protection for one of the most iconic and sensitive portions of the California coast. The spectacular beauty of our coastline between Bodega Bay and Pt. Arena attracts millions of visitors, but it’s what you can’t see with the naked eye that …

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Time-lapse videos of the Gualala River mouth

These are time-lapse videos of the Gualala River mouth in Northern California during the months of February, March & April, 2009, taken by Dane Behrens, a PhD student in Environmental Science at UC Davis. They were taken with a time-lapse package from Harbortronics (www.harbortronics.com) at 20-minute intervals. This was taken with the permission of Don and Jan Plenty, who let …

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Gualala River – Retaining wall

(CDP 55-2006) Current Status The California Coastal Commission de novo hearing has been postponed. History 05/2010 Commission approves replacing old wall; takes no action on proposed new wall 04/2008 Commission finds substantial issue 03/2008 Appealed to Coastal Commission 02/2008 Appeal denied by Supervisors 11/2007 Appealed to Mendocino Supervisors 11/2007 Approved by Coastal Permit Admin. 08/2006 Proposal filed for a new …

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Blessing of the Gualala River

Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery in southern India returned to our coastal communities for the fourth time in May, 2011. The monks are from one of three Tibetan refugee resettlement communities which were set up in India to accept refugees who were fleeing Tibet after the Chinese invasion of 1959, where over one million Tibetans were …

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“Psst… Groundwater and Surface Water Do Mix” – New York Times

by FELICITY BARRINGER © New York Times February 3, 2011 [Excerpt:] “An article published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters this week describes a new and simple way of measuring groundwater’s contribution to small streams on the surface. . . Groundwater, they found, tends to be cooler than surface water in summer and warmer in winter; the infrared devices record …

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Gualala River Steelhead Studies

A fish and wildlife biologist, retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been conducting systematic studies of the population status of steelhead in the Gualala River since 2001. Annual spawning surveys focus on an 18 mile reach of the Wheatfield Fork selected as a population-indexing reach. GualalaRiverSteelhead.info Over the years, he has compiled a wealth of detailed information …

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Wave energy project off the Gualala coast?

Federal Agency Cancels Permits to Study Wave Energy on the Sonoma Coast The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has canceled permits issued to the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) to study power generation from wave energy at three coastal sites on the Sonoma coast. SCWA was unable to raise the millions of dollars needed to study the sites, including one …

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