Action Alert: Wild & Scenic Rivers Protection

We need your help.

Please Urge Assemblymember Wood To Support Improved Wild & Scenic River Protection
Ask Him To Vote “Yes” On AB 975 (Friedman)

Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) represents Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, and northern Sonoma Counties in the California Assembly. His district has 992 miles of state protected Wild and Scenic Rivers, including segments of the Smith, Klamath, Trinity, and Eel Rivers.

Which is why Assemblymember Jim Wood needs to vote “yes” on AB 975 (Friedman), a modest but important bill to improve the protection and management of the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers.

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Sponsored by Friends of the River and authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), AB 975 brings state management of its Wild and Scenic Rivers more in line with federal management. This is crucial because most of the designated rivers in northwest California enjoy dual state and federal protection. Currently, state protection is only applied to the first line of riparian vegetation along a river’s edge. In addition, only scenic, recreation, fish, and wildlife values are recognized and protected in the state system, but not other values protected in the federal system.

AB 975 expands the area of state protection beyond the edge of the river to ¼ mile on each side of the river (the federal standard). This simply reflects the ecological, biological, and hydrological reality that rivers do not end at the water’s edge. To the extent of their existing regulatory authority and responsibilities, state agencies would be required to protect the free-flowing condition and extraordinary river values within the ¼ mile corridor. As they are now, local counties will still be required to protect state designated rivers. AB 975 also recognizes all river-associated values protected in the federal system, including historical, cultural, geological, and other similar values.

Logging and water development interests have targeted AB 975, making outrageous claims that the bill adds rivers to the system, expands 200-foot special treatment areas under the state’s logging regulations, and that it would adversely affect the state’s current wild and scenic study of the Mokelumne River. None of these claims are true, but AB 975 opponents have successfully confused enough legislators that its passage in the Assembly may be in jeopardy.

AB 975 has passed the policy and appropriations committees in the Assembly and must be passed out of the Assembly by June 2 to be considered in the State Senate. Unfortunately, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors have officially opposed AB 975 and we don’t know how Assemblymember Wood intends to vote on the bill, which is problematic given that he represents nearly a thousand miles of state rivers that currently suffer from inadequate protection.

The fact is that AB 975 makes modest but important improvements in the protection and management of state rivers and it does none of the things claimed by Del Norte County and other opponents. AB 975 enjoys strong support from more than 25 local, statewide, and national conservation organizations, commercial and sport fishing groups, whitewater interests, and Native American tribes. Please send an email TODAY to Assemblymember Wood urging him to declare his support for and vote “yes” on AB 975. You can also call a local district office (see sample email and district office phone numbers below). AB 975 must be approved by the full Assembly by June 2, so your immediate action is needed

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Fill out the form below to send our letter along with your own comments to Assemblymember Jim Wood.

You can also contact Assemblymember Wood through the “contact form” on his website, or by calling one of his offices:
State Capitol (916) 319-2002; Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity (707) 445-7014; Mendocino (707) 463-6770; Sonoma (707) 576-2526

 

Sample email:
Scroll to see full sample email

The Honorable Jim Wood
California Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Via email

Dear Assemblymember Wood:

Please declare your support for and vote yes on AB 975 (Friedman). This bill makes modest but important improvements to the protection and management of the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers. Your active and strong support for this bill is crucial as you represent nearly 1,000 miles of the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers, which currently suffer from inadequate protection.

AB 975 brings management of the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers more in line with federal management, by expanding the area of protection to ¼ mile on each side of the river and by recognizing the protection of additional river values. State agencies would be required to protect the free-flowing condition and extraordinary values of state designated rivers within the corridor. The current requirement that local governments protect state designated rivers also remains in effect.

AB 975 enjoys strong support from more than 25 local, statewide, and national conservation organizations, commercial and sport fishing groups, whitewater boaters, and Native American tribes. Please do everything you can to ensure the passage of this important bill, which will protect our heritage of free-flowing rivers for present and future generations.

Thank you,

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