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Help Save The Mokelumne River! Send An Email TODAY!

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SB 1199, Senator Loni Hancock’s (D-Berkeley) bill to protect 37 miles of the Mokelumne River in the California Wild & Scenic Rivers System passed its first hurdle in the California Legislature this week. The Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee voted 7-2 to approve the bill. But California’s powerful water “empire” is definitely striking back and we need your help TODAY to secure permanent protection for the magnificent Moke in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Scroll down to send your email TODAY urging EBMUD’s support for protecting the Mokelumne as a Wild & Scenic River.

moke bBackground

Senator Hancock introduced SB 1199 because the Mokelumne River provides clean drinking water to more than one million East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) ratepayers in the East Bay Area, including her constituents. She also introduced the bill because the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to protect the Moke as a state Wild & Scenic River.

State Wild & Scenic River protection of the Mokelumne will not affect EBMUD’s water rights or its dams and other water facilities on the river. In fact, it will protect the river’s extraordinary water quality (and therefore the quality of EBMUD’s water supply). As sponsors of SB 1199, Friends of the River and the Foothill Conservancy anticipated that EBMUD would support the bill, particularly since EBMUD endorsed federal Wild & Scenic protection in 2009.

But the Amador County Board of Supervisors and the Amador Water Agency are strenuously opposing SB 1199. Some Amador County bosses are still bitter that in 1993 the federal government rejected as “uneconomical” the county’s massive Devil’s Nose Dam. These same interests rightly fear that Wild & Scenic protection will prevent them from pursuing these dam dreams in the future.

EBMUD has previously stated its commitment to work with Mokelumne River watershed partners in the management and conservation of the river and its water supply. With Calaveras County supporting Wild & Scenic and Amador County opposing the bill, EBMUD should at the minimum be neutral in this debate. And if EBMUD were truly interested in preserving the river’s water quality and other extraordinary scenic, recreation, and historical/cultural values, the utility should actively support SB 1199. But EBMUD is currently under intense pressure from Amador County to oppose SB 1199 and its elected Board may take a position on Senator Hancock’s bill as early as May 13, 2014.

As an EBMUD ratepayer and East Bay resident, please send your email TODAY to the elected EBMUD Board urging the utility to support SB 1199, which would permanently protect the Mokelumne as a Wild & Scenic River for present and future generations. Given the fact that EBMUD’s watershed partners are split on this legislation, EBMUD should ignore the arguments of its local partners who want to build more dams on the river and at least be neutral on SB 1199.

 to send your email TODAY urging EBMUD’s support for protecting the Mokelumne as a Wild & Scenic River.

For more information, contact Steve Evans, Wild Rivers Consultant for Friends of the River and the Foothill Conservancy. Phone: (916) 442-3155 x221, email: sevans@friendsoftheriver.org.

Enter your information and click send your email TODAY urging EBMUD’s support for protecting the Mokelumne as a Wild & Scenic River.

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Message

I urge EBMUD's support for protecting the Mokelumne as a Wild & Scenic River

Dear [Decision Maker],

As an EBMUD ratepayer, voter, and consumer of clean Mokelumne River water, I urge the EBMUD Board to actively support Senator Loni Hancock's bill, SB 1199, which would protect 37 miles of the Mokelumne River as a California Wild & Scenic River.

Senator Hancock introduced SB 1199 to protect the Mokelumne River, which is the source of her constituents' water supply in the East Bay Area. She also introduced the bill because the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ask the Legislature to protect the Mokelumne as a State Wild & Scenic River. State protection of the river is also supported by the Calaveras Visitors Bureau, Destination Angels Camp, more than 140 small businesses, dozens of conservation and community groups, and more than 12,000 individuals.

Protecting 37 miles of the Mokelumne as a State Wild & Scenic River will enhance the rural economies of Amador and Calaveras Counties by providing for family recreation, boosting tourism, and ensuring that this locally beloved river is permanently protected for present and future generations.

The Mokelumne is already a hard working river, with several dams and diversions providing high-quality water for more than 1.4 million people, irrigation water for farms, and power for more than 200,000 homes. State protection will not affect these facilities. But state protection will ensure that the river remains available for a wide variety of recreation and traditional uses, thereby benefitting foothill communities and economies, Native Americans, visitors from all over the state, as well as fish and wildlife.




I understand that EBMUD's watershed partners are split on this issue (with Calaveras County supporting protection and Amador County opposing), but passage of SB 1199 is in the interest of your ratepayers and fulfills EBMUD's mission to provide reliable, high-quality water while preserving and protecting the environment for future generations.

Please support SB 1199 and protect the Mokelumne as a Wild & Scenic River.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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