Email Senator Hancock TODAY Thanking Her For Introducing The
Mokelumne Wild & Scenic River Bill!
Scoll down to take action now!
A bill to protect 37 miles of the Mokelumne River as a
California State Wild & Scenic River has been introduced in the California
Legislature. River lovers now have the opportunity to secure permanent
protection for this magnificent river in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors recently adopted
by unanimous vote a resolution asking their local state legislators to protect
this magnificent river. When the local legislators failed to respond, Senator
Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) stepped in at the request of the bill’s sponsors,
Friends of the River and the Foothill Conservancy, and introduced S.B. 1199, a
bill to add the Mokelumne to the State Wild & Scenic Rivers system.
Wild & Scenic protection for the Mokelumne River is
widely supported by local tourism bureaus and businesses in the Sierra
foothills, as well as by more than 35 local, statewide, and national
conservation groups. But anti-environmental elements are now organizing against
the bill. The Amador County Board of Supervisors recently voted to oppose S.B.
1199 (the Mokelumne River is the boundary between Calaveras and Amador
Counties) and right-wing Republicans in the Legislature are vowing to carry out
a political war against the bill.
Senator Hancock introduced S.B. 1199 because the Mokelumne
River supplies clean drinking water to more than 1.4 million people in the East
Bay, many of them her constituents. S.B. 1199 will preserve the quality of the
Mokelumne’s drinking water and permanently protect the river’s free flowing
character and extraordinary scenic, recreational, historical, and cultural
Constituents of Senator Hancock (residents of Berkeley,
Oakland, Richmond, Alameda, and other East Bay cities) should thank her for
introducing S.B. 1199 and urge her to expedite passage of the bill to protect
the Mokelumne as a Wild & Scenic River.
The Mokelumne River flows from the crest of the Sierra
Nevada westward through the Sierra foothills, into the Central Valley and the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The river
is renowned for its classic Sierra scenery, including spectacular granite domes
and cliffs in the higher elevations and mature pine, fir, and oak forests in
the lower elevations. The Mokelumne is rich in both Gold Rush history and
Native American cultural values, and its high water quality is renowned. The
river is also a popular recreation destination for local families, who play
along the river, fish and swim in its waters, and picnic and camp along its
banks. The river also offers a wide range of whitewater recreation, from
fearsome class IV rapids to class II training runs for novice kayakers. Tourists
who visit the river provide a significant boost to the local rural economy,
which is why many local tourism oriented businesses in Amador and Calaveras
Counties support protection of the river.
The Mokelumne is a hard working river, with a number of dams
that supply drinking water to 1.4 million East Bay residents, hydroelectric
power to more than 200,000 homes, and irrigation water for Central Valley
farms. But the Mokelumne has been threatened by additional dam projects that
would flood its few remaining free flowing segments. The federal government
rejected the Devils Nose Dam proposed on the Mokelumne in the 1990s because of
questionable need and poor economics.
More recently, the East Bay Municipal Utility District
(EBMUD), which already operates the two largest dams and reservoirs on the river,
proposed expansion of Pardee Reservoir, which would have flooded the lower
segment of the river around Highway 49. This misguided project was ultimately defeated
in court by a lawsuit filed by the Foothill Conservancy, Friends of the River,
and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. And just this week in what can only be
described as a vitriolic reaction to S.B. 1199, the Amador Water Agency
proposed to resurrect another dam project on the river.
Passage of S.B. 1199 would ensure that the free flowing
segments of the Mokelumne and the river’s extraordinary scenic, recreation,
water quality, historical, and cultural values are protected. Adding the river
to the California Wild & Scenic Rivers System will not affect the operation
of EBMUD’s or PG&E’s existing hydroelectric and water supply dams on the
river, nor will it affect the water and property rights of the local counties.
But it will ensure that the river is protected in perpetuity for present and
S.B. 1199 will be heard before the Senate Natural Resources
and Water Committee in the State Capitol on April 29. As a constituent of
Senator Hancock’s and as an EBMUD ratepayer, please send your email today
thanking the Senator for introducing S.B. 1199 and urging her to secure swift
passage of this important bill through the State Legislature.
For more information, contact Steve Evans, Wild & Scenic
Rivers Consultant for Friends of the River, phone: (916) 442-3155 x221, email: email@example.com.
Thank you for introducing S.B. 1199 to protect the Mokelumne as a California State Wild & Scenic River
Dear [Decision Maker],
Thank you for introducing S.B. 1199, the bill to protect the Mokelumne as a California Wild & Scenic River. As a constituent, I strongly support passage of this important bill to protect the high quality of our drinking water and the free flowing character and extraordinary scenic, recreation, historical, and cultural values of the Mokelumne River.Protecting 37 miles of the Mokelumne as a California 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 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, many local elected officials, more than 35 conservation and community groups, and more than 12,000 individuals (many of them local residents).The Mokelumne is already a hard working river, with several dams and diversions providing high quality drinking water for more than 1.4 million people, irrigation water for Central Valley farms, and power for more than 200,000 homes. The river continues to provide these vital services during the current drought. The last federal study of a proposed dam on the Mokelumne found the project to be uneconomical. Local agencies with domestic water rights to Mokelumne River will still be able to access these rights upstream and downstream of the protected segment and on its many tributaries.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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