Dear Friends: December 2009

December 2009
Dear Friends,

This letter is to all the members and residents of the Eel River watershed. After 15 years in Garberville, Friends of the Eel River has decided to move our office to Marin County and to rearrange our staffing. FOER continues to vigorously press ahead to restore the Eel River’s fish and water to health. While we will miss being in the heart of this beautiful watershed, strengthening our efforts requires us to move the base of operations south for now.

As Science Director, Dave Hope will concentrate on the science that is most important to the current legal effort; David Keller remains doing an exceptionally fine job as Bay Area Director; and Nadananda is back as Executive Director, temporarily managing the organization. She will be contributing to the FOER team during the next phase of the effort to restore the Eel River. (She hopes to return to part-time work within six months.)

FOER anticipates closing the Garberville office December 1st, and opening the new one in Marin in January 2010. During November, we will be selling our merchandise at a discounted price. Please stop by and see us or give Judy Gueulette a call at (707) 923-2146 to order goods. Nadananda will be back in Garberville quite often during the month of November and would love to talk with you personally, answer questions, and say “thank you” for your support.

FOER remains on a strong path to success, now with additional projects on a larger regional scale. This is ultimately needed in order to gain support for the Eel River by the whole North Coast of California, with a better understanding of the real environmental and economic disasters happening in our own back yards. With this knowledge, we expect greater support for achieving solutions and bioregional action. We are now witnessing a significant change in direction from the Sonoma County Water Agency, which is finally acknowledging the difficulties and expenses of continuing the old path of taking as much water as they can get from the Eel and Russian rivers. SCWA is now charting a course of reduced use, conservation, restoration, and responsibility, although some of the cities are still in a quandary about how to do that.

It seems obvious that water has to be real and available, not just an illusion on paper, as the consequences of mistakes are dire. We have to be alert, pay attention, and not allow the discussions to be “dumbed down” or avoided: our lives and livelihoods depend on our persistence and success.

FOER needs your continued strong support so we can achieve our goal of removing the PG&E Potter Valley Hydropower Project with its dams and diversions, and regain all water natural to the Eel River. This popular support is vital. It is what people know is right that will save our watersheds, our habitat, and our water.

We will continue to hold camp-ins, forums and celebrations in the Eel River watershed. Coming your way soon will be a new map that shows just where people on the north coast get their water. Many are not aware of the Eel Russian connection. Check out www.eelriver.org for updates. Our phone number will remain the same until we establish a new office. Mailing will be forwarded to a new mailing address. We will send you information as it is updated.

Our work has been quite a river trip with new opportunities around each bend. We never know for sure what we will find or how the river reshapes the channel. We learn more every year. Your support over the past 15 years has been invaluable, we hope you will continue with your contributions as we keep up this fight for the Eel River. We look forward to continuing to serve you and the watershed in victory!
For our National and State Wild and Scenic Eel River, thank you.

Nadananda, Board, and Staff of Friends of the Eel River