Home » River Issues

River Issues

River mouth opens on Dec. 27, 2020

  The mouth of the Gualala River opened to the ocean on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020 at ~11:30am, reconnecting the important lagoon fish rearing habitat for out-migrating salmonids, synchronized with suitable stream conditions for returning spawners. This is a high tide, high swell, low-energy breach condition in the photos. When the lagoon is full and it breaches on a low …

Read More »

Mill Bend in Conservation Hands

The yellow lines in this photo show the approximate boundaries of the Mill Bend (lower left) and Lower Mill Bend properties. Photo courtesy the Mill Bend Coalition.

by John Walton   In the fall of 2017, the Friends of Gualala River (FoGR) working group considered a proposal to engage the community in a discussion regarding the 112 acre Mill Bend Properties, including the estuary of the river, that had recently been offered for sale for the first time in nearly 70 years. FoGR’s Board suggested presenting the …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Vision for a Gualala River Park

Vision for Gualala River Park

Spanning from bridge to bridge along a wild and scenic river A unique and majestic coastal redwood park with paths wandering along the Gualala River – protected and preserved for this and future generations to visit and enjoy. The park would preserve a seven mile corridor important for wildlife and complete with natural beauty. Public access to world class second …

Read More »

Gualala River Watershed Awareness and Protection Project

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

It is human nature to take what is around us without paying special attention unless some aspect seems awry. Such is the case with the Gualala River estuary as well as the watershed area that extends up the river far out of sight of most of those who routinely enter and leave Gualala over the bridge. Yet the entire watershed …

Read More »

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. …

Read More »

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

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 »

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 …

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 »

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 »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »