California's high court takes up appeal by environmental groups in North Coast rail case

A three-year legal battle over the environmental impact of freight rail on the North Coast is headed to the state Supreme Court. The case involves two environmental groups who are pushing for more rigorous study of the effects of rail service in the ecologically sensitive Eel River Canyon in Mendocino and Humboldt counties. The groups … Read more

Fall Member Letter 2014

Fall Member Letter 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014 Dear Friends of the Eel River, It never rains but it pours. Here on the rainforest coast, the old saw often invokes less the classic series of unfortunate events than the fact that crisis and opportunity sometimes come, like our rain, by the bucket. After three long years of the most … Read more

California Supreme Court to Review North Coast Railroad Lawsuit

California Supreme Court to Review North Coast Railroad Lawsuit

For Immediate Release­­­­   Patty Clary   Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) 707.834.4833 Scott Greacen   Friends of the Eel River (FOER) 707.502.4555   California Supreme Court to Review North Coast Railroad Lawsuit Conflicting appellate court decisions create uncertainty regarding environmental assessments required of High Speed Rail and other publicly owned railroads   The state’s highest … Read more

Coho Recovery Plan Addresses Marijuana-Related Impacts

Coho Recovery Plan Addresses Marijuana-Related Impacts

A long-anticipated federal recovery plan for coho salmon in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon[1] was released in its final form this September. The plan says the continuing decline of the South Fork Eel River’s population of coho must be reversed, and the watershed’s runs recovered, to meet the Endangered Species Act’s  goal of protecting the … Read more

Rushing Pot Ordinance a Bad Idea

We could not agree more with the Times-Standard (“Get ready for legalization, or get ready to lose”) that it is high time for Humboldt to address the impacts of its marijuana industry through locally appropriate regulation. We are heartened by cannabis cultivators speaking out about serious damage to our rivers, forests, fish, and wildlife, and … Read more

Comments to FERC re: Temporary Variance and “Make up Flows”

PG&E requested a temporary variance to reduce flows into the East Branch Russian River as they performed work on the Potter Valley Project. Sonoma County Water Agency requested, among other things, compensatory flows to “make up” for lost flows during this variance. Friends of the Eel River submitted comments that we agree with the need … Read more

PG&E Requests Variance to Conduct Work on Powerhouse

PG&E Requests Variance to Conduct Work on Powerhouse

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, owners of the Potter Valley Project (PVP), are beholden to regulations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). When PG&E needs to alter management of the project, including changes to water releases which affect stream flow, they must first receive approval from FERC. The below excerpt from the Press Democrat … Read more

Amid California's Drought, A Bruising Battle for Cheap Water

Agriculture in the Westlands Water District is a contentious issue. Farming in a desert and growing particularly water-intensive crops like almonds and pistachios requires pumping groundwater and taking water from less arid regions. Groundwater supplies can only go so far before the land subsides in a serious way, and what happens during a widespread drought … Read more

Working with Beaver to Restore Salmon Habitat

Working with Beaver to Restore Salmon Habitat

With funding provided by the Bonneville Power Administration (Project 2003-017) and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) conducted a study in Bridge Creek, Oregon which exemplified the positive impact that stable beaver colonies can have on a river ecosystem, specifically their impact on habitat for steelhead. From their study: … Read more