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 The voice of California's rivers

Moke Bill up for a vote in Assembly Commitee on Monday, June 23

Moke KayakSCROLL DOWN TO ACT NOW

Tell Your State Assembly Member TODAY: Vote “Aye” On Mokelumne Wild& Scenic Bill and attend the hearing on Monday!

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on SB 1199, Senator Loni Hancock’s bill to protect 37 miles of the Mokelumne River in the California Wild & Scenic Rivers System.

Water agencies in Amador and Calaveras Counties have mobilized against the bill, claiming that Wild & Scenic protection for the Mokelumne River will prevent them from meeting local water needs. Unfortunately, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD), which supplies 1.4 million residents with high quality water from the Mokelumne, is standing with these water agencies in a misguided and doomed attempt to develop a “consensus” on river protection.

The truth is that protecting the river will not automatically result in the rejection of new water projects. It simply sets a standard that any new projects upstream of the protected river segments must protect the river’s free flowing condition and extraordinary values.

The members of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee need to hear from their constituents that the Mokelumne deserves protection and that we expect them to vote for SB 1199 without any weakening amendments. In addition, we need as many river supporters as possible to attend the hearing in the State Capitol building in Sacramento to show their support for Mokelumne River protection.

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Scroll down to send your email TODAY to your Assemblymember.

 

HEARING INFO: Please meet us on the north steps of the State Capitol building on near the corner of L Street and 11th Street in downtown Sacramento at 12:45PM on Monday, June 23. Once everyone is gathered together, we will go to Room 447 in the State Capitol building, where the hearing will begin at 1:30PM. There is a parking garage on 10th Street between L and K Streets. Be aware that you will have to go through security to enter the Capitol building and the hearing could take much of the afternoon.

For more information, contact Steve Evans, Wild & Scenic Rivers Consultant, at (916) 442-3155 x221, email: sevans@friendsoftheriver.org.

 

Background

SB 1199 is co-sponsored by Friends of the River and the Foothill Conservancy. It represents the culmination of nearly 25 years of effort to protect this magnificent river. The Mokelumne rises from the crest of the Sierra Nevada, flows past granite domes and forests of fir and pine, through the oak forests of the Sierra foothills rich in Native American culture and Gold Rush history, and into the Central Valley.

The Mokelumne is enjoyed by local residents and tourists from throughout the state for a wide variety of recreational activities, including swimming, picnicking, hiking, fishing, rafting and kayaking. Protecting the river and its recreation and tourism values helps strengthen the economies of local communities while protecting the drinking water supply for much of the East Bay.

The Mokelumne is already a hard-working river. A series of hydroelectric dams and reservoirs operated by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and two large water supply and flood control reservoirs operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) provide electricity to 200,000 homes and high quality drinking water to 1.4 million people living in the East Bay region. If passed by the Legislature, SB 1199 would ensure that the remaining undammed and free-flowing segments of the Mokelumne are protected for present and future generations.

But local, regional, and statewide water agencies have lined up in opposition to SB 1199, apparently because they cannot tolerate protection of any river segment that could be potentially dammed and diverted to slake the unending thirst of California’s corporate agribusiness and urban developers.

Water agencies actively lobbying against SB 1199 include the Amador Water Agency, Calaveras County Water District, Mountain Counties Water Agency, and the Association of California Water Agencies. Even the EBMUD Board of Directors, which supported Wild & Scenic protection of the Mokelumne just four years ago and which includes in its mission the protection and preservation of the environment, recently voted 4-3 to oppose SB 1199 unless it is amended. One of the conditions demanded by EBMUD is that “…wild and scenic designation of the Mokelumne River must be achieved through a stakeholder process that includes EBMUD” but also local agencies like the Amador Water Agency, which disputes that the Mokelumne is even eligible for state protection!

The fact is that SB 1199 will not affect EBMUD’s or PG&E’s existing water facilities and operations on the Mokelumne River. The bill co-sponsors are willing to support amendments that allow future upstream water development, as long as the river’s free-flowing condition and natural character are protected. But we are not willing to give AWA or anyone else a blank check to build large projects in the upper watershed that could dewater the segments of the Mokelumne proposed for protection in SB 1199. Nor are we willing to put SB 1199 on hold in favor of a tedious and likely fruitless “process” with stakeholders, some of whom are unwilling to even recognize that river protection is a legitimate and pressing concern.

Please help us overcome this opposition by contacting your Assemblymember TODAY and urging him or her to vote “aye” on SB 1199 when it comes before the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on June 23. Scroll down to send your email NOW. Also, please attend the Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing on June 23, State Capitol Room 447, at 1:30PM. Supporters will be gathering on the north Capitol steps at 12:45PM

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.

Recipients

  • Your State Representative or Representatives

Contact

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Message

I urge your support of SB 1199 (Hancock) to protect the Mokelumne River

Dear [Decision Maker],

I urge your support of SB 1199, the bill by Senator Loni Hancock to protect 37 miles of the Mokelumne River in the Sierra Nevada as a California Wild & Scenic River.

SB 1199 is supported by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors, Destination Angels Camp, Sierra Business Council, more than 150 small businesses, elected and appointed local officials, 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 protect the reliability and high quality of the East Bay's water supply. It will also enhance the struggling 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 Central Valley farms, and power for more than 200,000 homes. State protection will not affect these facilities, nor will it prevent upstream water development desired by local water agencies, as long as that development protects the river.




Please vote "aye" on SB 1199 when it comes before the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on June 23. Please protect this magnificent river for present and future generations and let me know how you voted on this important bill.

Thank you,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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