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River Issues

Fireworks over the Gualala River estuary? Not without a permit

Update: June, 2010 The California Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the Coastal Commission’s jurisdiction over coastal fireworks, in a case involving the Gualala Festivals Committee (GFC). In 2008, the California Coastal Commission told the GFC that they would need to apply for a permit to set off fireworks over the Gualala River estuary. Gualala Point Island The …

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River otter in the Gualala River

River otter in the Gualala River Short video taken by a friend of the Gualala River, just west of the Green Bridge, near the confluence of the North & South Forks, in July 2009.

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Gualala River: North Coast Stream Flow Campaign

Despite protections in our system of laws, rivers and streams on California’s north coast being progressively de-watered with disastrous impacts to fisheries, aquatic ecosystems, recreational opportunities and the regional economy. The North Coast Stream Flow Campaign is a movement to get water back in northern California rivers. Mighty rivers that once teamed with fish and provided countless hours of recreation …

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Gualala River: Unauthorized diversion by the North Gualala Water Company

Settlement Agreement between State Water Resources Control Board and North Gualala Water Company Water Company will pay a fine of $11,600, avoid making new service connections until it has submitted a revised water supply contingency plan and a revised streamflow measurement plan, and petition for change in the existing bypass term or apply for additional water appropriation. The North Gualala …

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Rivers of a Lost Coast

A Documentary narrated by Tom Skerritt Rivers of a Lost Coast extended trailer Rivers of a Lost Coast is a new documentary that looks at our relationship to nature through the eyes of the most fabled angling community in American history. This surprisingly touching film was recently labeled a must see by the San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times. Monday, …

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Gravel Mining in the Gualala River

Update, June, 2009: Sonoma County has issued a Notice of Determination for gravel extraction from 12 gravel bars in the South Fork and Wheatfield Fork of the Gualala River, installation of summer crossings to access the mining sites, processing gravel at a plant adjacent to the river, and maintenance of a diversion sump and the diversion of water from the …

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April showers bring May flows to the Gualala River

The low flow winter drought conditions that prevailed on the Gualala River were erased by late April rainfalls that scoured the gravel beds and flooded bars and floodplains. Aquatic wildlife that breed in well-oxygenated flowing water on coarse gravel and cobbles, like foothill yellow-legged frogs, got a reprieve. So did recreational users of the river. Whether this year will be …

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Cattle on the River

Cattle from the upper watershed (Wheatfield Fork) annually move down from the dry hillslopes in August and September to graze and loaf in the cool, moist riparian zone of the Gualala River. This year, their hoofprints and manure could be found around Valley Crossing. One of the many small herds of cattle (shown below) was found on the Wheatfield Fork …

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Fireworks over the Gualala River estuary? Not this year

GualalaRiverForest-med1

For information on more recent events, see: Fireworks over the Gualala River estuary? Update: June 25, 2008 Today, the 1st District Court of Appeals rejected the appeal by the Gualala Festivals Committee. The Coastal Commission’s order stands: no fireworks over the Gualala River estuary without a permit. Update: June 19, 2008 The Gualala Festivals Committee canceled their controversial plans to …

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Retaining wall: Letter to the Editor

by Peter Baye This letter was published in the Independent Coast Observer on January 25, 2008. Editor: What’s in a name? Will something called a “soil retention system” rather than a “retaining wall” conserve the natural, mature coastal bluff vegetation along the river bank? In a word, no. Regardless of whether the scenic coastal bluffs along the Gualala River bank …

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Retaining wall: Open Space article, by Britt Bailey

by Britt Bailey, Director Environmental Commons This Open Space article was published in the Independent Coast Observer on January 25, 2008. There are a myriad of opinions with respect to Mr. John Bower’s proposal to build a retaining wall or retaining structure on the bluff in Gualala. Speaking for Environmental Commons, I’d like to clarify our reasons for opposing and …

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Retaining wall: Letter to the Editor

by Peter Baye This letter was published in the Independent Coast Observer on February 22, 2008. Editor: The ICO’s editorial on “The Surf project” (February 15, 2008) is right about the benefits of a new downtown building layout that opens up coastal views. But it misses the point entirely about the nature and problems of “piecemealing” the bluff project ahead …

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Retaining wall: Letter to the Editor, by Karl Anderson

by Karl Anderson This letter was published in the Independent Coast Observer on January 25, 2008. Editor: With his new proposal John Bower would seem to acknowledge that a large concrete wall in the Gualala River estuary would be an eyesore. But his “soil retention wall” ignores the fact that the bluff is stable and does not need to be …

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Gravel Mining

Letter to the editor published in the Independent Coast Observer November 2, 2007 Editor: Early in September, Friends of the Gualala River asked hydrologist Dennis Jackson to analyze the impacts of in-stream gravel mining in the Gualala River and to comment on the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the Gualala Redwoods gravel mining permit renewal that is being considered by …

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Gravel mining decision delayed

Supervisors give planners more time to weigh hydrologist’s report on Gualala River by Bleys Rose, The Press Democrat, October 24, 2007 [excerpt:] Build-up of gravel in the Gualala River is reigniting familiar debate in Sonoma County over whether riverbed mining helps or hinders the health of waterways. For more than a decade, county supervisors have been discouraging mining of gravel …

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Gualala River – Appraising Parkland

The Forest

Report: California taxpayers may be getting fleeced by unreliable system to appraise sales price for park and open space land by Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, October 23, 2007 [excerpt:] California voters have approved spending billions of dollars to buy new parks, wildlife refuges and open space preserves in recent years. Yet taxpayers may be getting fleeced because state …

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Fireworks over the mouth of the Gualala River?

For information on more recent events, see: Fireworks over the Gualala River estuary? Update: October, 2007 The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a preliminary joint report on seabird and marine mammal monitoring conducted under its direction at Gualala Point Island, which is part of the California Coastal National Monument: Seabird and Marine Mammal Monitoring on Offshore Rock Islands …

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Gualala divided over fireworks

Independence Day event stalls after complaints over impact on seabirds by Bob Norberg The Press Democrat June 27, 2007 [excerpt:] A quarter-acre rock 100 yards from shore, where thousands of seabirds nest, has become the front line in Gualala’s war over an Independence Day fireworks celebration. “It is the Fourth of July, we are celebrating our Independence Day like thousands …

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Retaining wall: Letter by Julie Verran

Letter regarding CDP #55-2006 by Julie Verran Ms. Beddoe, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Hall, CDP #55-2006 should be denied. The only viable alternatives are No Project, or public use as a park with a bluff trail, parking and more native trees and shrubs planted to help shield Highway 1 and the rest of downtown Gualala from tsunami run-up. That would be …

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Expand Gualala Point Park

Published in the Independent Coast Observer on November 3, 2006. Only 70 years ago, in the mid 1930s, most of the central and upper reaches of the Gualala River Watershed still were covered with virgin old-growth redwood forests. The trees shaded the river and its tributaries, and a deep network of tree roots helped prevent erosion of forest soils. Salmon …

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