Monday, November 27, 2006

 

California Outdoors - Sierra Snow

California rafting and skiing enthusiasts are rejoicing over this weekend's snowfall in the Sierra's. The National Weather Service reports an additional 18 inches of new snow to drop over the higher elevations around Lake Tahoe today. Donner Summit reports 5 inches of new snow over this past weekend and two of Boreal Ski Resort's lifts were open this past weekend, too.

Winter has been slow in coming to California as warm fronts have given way to clear blue skies and warm weather. Rafters and kayakers will now watch flow charts as winter's breath is blowing. Rain was predicted by this Tuesday as rafters and kayakers watch the American River flows for quickie trips.

As usual, traffic was at a stand-still coming from Interstate 80 going west towards the Bay Area. Holiday traffic was backed up by five miles westbound from Truckee. Traffic was also delayed over Donner Summit due to several vehicle accidents and spin-outs.

Winter is finally here, though we also hear from the National Weather Service an incoming wet storm is arriving on Tuesday. Saturating the ground will give a good beginning to the snowpack as more storms dump on top of this nice wet base.
Thanks to the Union in Grass Valley for this update!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

 

South Fork American Relicensing

Ongoing negotiations on the relicensing of SMUD's (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) eleven dams in the Sierra Nevada have finally come to a satisfactory end. The Upper American River Project (UARP) and specifically the South Fork American River will be managed benefiting interests ranging from environmental, fishing, camping, hiking and boating. A 50 year agreement will show vast improvements along this river corridor. These negotiations have been ongoing for five long years and many key people were involved such as Bill Center; former El Dorado County Board of Supervisor and owner of the popular Camp Lotus campground; and Friends of the River, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving rivers and riparian lands. In all, 13 agencies were involved including government agencies and non-profit organizations. The agreement was reached just in time before a federal deadline that would have extended this long process even longer.

For rafters and kayakers, we can expect to see controlled releases that will give good boatable flows on the South Fork section from Chili Bar to Salmon Falls on the most popular whitewater river in the Western United States. Also, on the upper stretches, the Slab Creek and Silver Creek will have whitewater boating on dependable schedules, a favorite kayaker's run of unprecedented beauty.

W.E.T. River Trips and California outfitters on this section of the American River would like to thank the key people involved in helping to secure this agreement. The thousands of hours put into this process will be well-received by the whitewater public. Next step for next year is the approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

 

Pro-Am Fall Classic - East Coast

$10,000 dollars was donated by the Brandolini Foundation for the annual Jupiter Pro-Am Fall Classic back East off the Carlin Park beach. The foundation was created in the memory of Lew Brandolini, IV, who died in a surfing accident in Jamaica in 2004. The former Jupiter resident has inspired the foundation to offer scholarships and sport opportunities for underprivilidged youth and young adults. A free surfing clinic during the Fall Classic will be offered at Carlin Park. Raffles and prizes will be awarded for the participants.

Additional support comes from Seacoast National Bank, a major sponsor since the first Classic began. Jupiter, Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department along with most area's surf shops; Ocean Magic, Local Surf Shop, Ground Swell, Island Water Sports and other businesses such as Bonnie Tile, Grand Slam Bait & Tackle, Fairfield Inn, Bates Exterminating, R& R Tools, J-Town Bikes and Welding Dynamics. Pre-entry is $80 until Friday. On Saturday the fees go up to $100.

Pros and amateurs will be competing in six open divisions; men & women's short and long board, junior (16 & under) short board and senior's (40 and up) long board.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

 

Doolittle and Auburn Dam - California

Just read SacBee's Stuart Leavenworth's analysis of California's Flood control issues... especially as it relates to flood control in the valley and the Auburn Dam. Flood control issues are important to Sacramento and the outlying region. Old, crumbling levees have been given a boost by way of Tuesday's election in a bond approximating $4.1 billion. More importantly, key players such as soon-to-be, Speaker of the House, San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi and her friendship with Sacramento's representative, Doris Matsui will prove to be a strong positive influence in how controls will be implemented.

We still have Congressman Doolittle in the 4th District. His past proposals had him pushing for an Auburn Dam that would drown most of the North Fork American River, a very popular Class 4+ run just east of Sacramento. Also, on that hit list would be the Middle Fork American, one of the most popular whitewater runs in the Western United States. When Ms. Matsui's husband, was a congressman, the two opposing reps came to an important compromise for delivering monies to the infrastructure so that a dam could be avoided. What happen? Congressman Robert Matsui died. And the Auburn Dam reared its ugly head again.

With the Democrats winning both the House and the Senate, Doolittle may not have the influence to ram this one through... but beware, in 2008, there will be another election. And who knows which players will be pushed to the front.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

 

POMBO is gone!

Democrats have won the House. Post election results show that the Senate is still pending and as of this morning, races were too close to call. For environmentalists in California and in the nation, we are glad to report that Pombo has gone down in defeat. A close, very close race was only decided in the wee morning hours. He is the Chairman of the House Resource committee. GOP Pombo, an extremely powerful congressman who proposed the "selling of our national parks" to balance the national budget, was also tied to the Abranoff scandal.

Sierra Club and other groups labeled him an "eco-thug" who also led the movement to open the Alaska's Artic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, to allow coastal drilling, and to thwart the Endangered Species Act.

Check local stories about this race or go to Rachel Gordon's story at the San Francisco Chronicle for more information.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

 

VOTE! November 7, 2006 on Tuesday

Patagonia reminds us to vote November 7, 2006 and that's next Tuesday, people! There are so many environmental concerns during this election. Basically, there are members of Congress who have become very powerful and have created many problems with the Artic Refuge, Rivers, Ocean conservation, Logging, Mining and Drilling, and our Public Lands. Is that enough to get you off the couch and get into that voting booth?

In California, there are two very important elections that could seriously impact or possible stop any progressive ecological or environmental programs. Yes, we're talking about Congressman Doolittle and Pombo. Both have had very adversarial stances on the environment. I'm not trying to convince you to vote against the Republicans; look at how many Democrats are voting for Arnold! But, I am trying to convince you to care about this planet and its resources. Take a look at the voting records and the bills that have been presented by your representatives. Don't let your voice be silent.
iBetty Network

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 

Wild and Scenic South Fork American River

Tyana, over at Friends of the River, is asking supporters of the new BLM (Bureau of Land Management) proposal for the Wild and Scenic (Recreational) designation for the South Fork American River to attend the bureau's public meeting today.

Written comments to the BLM will be accepted until December 13, 2006.
Meeting time: 6:30PM
Location: El Dorado County Fairgrounds (Corker Bldg) in Placerville, California

For more information, contact Friends of the River
915 - 20th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-508-3011

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