Working today for a better tomorrow

Dear Friend, Restoring fish access to the Eel River’s headwaters by removing the Potter Valley Project dams. Protecting the rare and spectacular summer steelhead. Safeguarding public trust values. Adapting to climate change and sea level rise. At Friends of the Eel River, we are working on some huge tasks these days, and are honored to … Read more

Low Flows in the Eel River Require Action to Protect Public Trust Values

Flows in the mainstem Eel River are at historically low levels. In fact flows are lower now than they were in 2014 when the river disconnected in the fall and left migrating Chinook suffering from elevated levels of disease. This is why we asked the Humboldt County Supervisors this week to take immediate action and … Read more

FOER Comments to FERC on PG&E’s latest Flow Variance Request

For the seventh time over the past nine years, PG&E is requesting yet another flow variance at the Potter Valley Project due to limited water availability. As the utility explained to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), PG&E is cutting diversions to Potter Valley and the East Branch Russian River to roughly half those normally … Read more

Governor Brown Lifts Drought Emergency, Retains Prohibition on Wasteful Practices

From the Office of the Governor: Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today ended the drought state of emergency in most of California, while maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or right after rainfall. “This drought emergency is over, … Read more

Has This Year’s Record Rain Finally Ended California’s Epic Drought? Not Really.

After praying for rain over five dry years, Californians are now praying for a break. The state is being soaked. Its biggest reservoirs, once at record lows, are at capacity or overflowing from record-setting rain and snow. That includes the Oroville Lake reservoir behind the Oroville Dam, where nearly 200,000 Northern California residents were evacuated … Read more

How Much Drought can a Forest Take?

Aerial tree mortality surveys show patterns of tree death during extreme drought. Why do some trees die in a drought and others don’t? And how can we predict where trees are most likely to die in future droughts? Scientists from the University of California, Davis, and colleagues examined those questions in a study published in … Read more

Is the Drought Over? Wrong Question!

Eel River, high turbidity

Ultimately, “Is the drought over?” is the wrong question. We should ask, “Are we managing water in a sustainable manner for the long haul”? The answer to that is still “no.” Given the massive series of storms bringing rain and snow to California over the past month, people are asking, “Is the California drought finally … Read more

California Environmental Leaders, Lawmakers Gird for Fight Against President Trump

Restoring salmon in the Russian River and protecting the North Coast from oil rigs — two long-standing campaigns with broad public support — are among the goals likely to be challenged if not stifled by the sharp right turn of Donald Trump’s administration, environmental advocates and Democratic lawmakers said. More broadly, the environmental camp fears … Read more

California’s Dire Drought Message Wanes, Conservation Levels Drop

Remember the California drought? It was all over the news a year ago, when the state took the unprecedented step of mandating statewide water cutbacks. The Sierra Nevada snowpack was at its lowest recorded level. Rivers and reservoirs were getting shallower and shallower. Wells in rural towns were literally running dry. That drought is still … Read more

State Water Board Fears Water-Saving Has Been Abandoned

FRESNO — New figures Wednesday show Californians’ summer water use up by more than a third since the same time last year, making water regulators worry some areas have abandoned drought-time water savings since the state lifted mandatory conservation orders. “We’re at yellow alert,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the state Water Resources Control Board, … Read more