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Revive the San Joaquin Blog

Featuring news and opinions from the staff and board of Revive the San Joaquin. A stream of consciousness about the San Joaquin River. Subscribe to this content here.

Revive the San Joaquin Wins Court Battle!

With our legal partners the Dumna Tribal Council and Madera Oversight Coalition, Revive the San Joaquin just got word that we won our lawsuit against the poorly planned Tesoro Viejo Development along the river in Madera County. This State Appellate Court decision will reverse County approvals for a master planned community of 15,000 residents that would have dumped wastewater to the river, paved over impo

Solo Kayak Trip Report: Waters High, River Closed!

I set out on 4.19.11 for a three or four day solo trip with the Merced River confluence as the ultimate destination.

Appropriation Bill HR 1 holds Anti-Environmental Riders

Attend the Congressional Hearing on Water and

Press Conference April 11, 2011 at the Fresno City Hall

GOP trying to kill Delta restrictions meant to preserve salmon, other fish

Restrictions on Delta water supplies meant to protect salmon, Delta smelt and other fish would be eliminated by language that congressional Republicans have put into the government funding bill.

The action would increase water sent to Central Valley farmers and possibly other users.

The 359-page bill, which is expected to co

Friant Ranch News

CHRIS ACREE: Remove sprawl from plan

Posted at 12:00 AM on Saturday, Jan.

Friant Ranch development proposal threatens salmon recovery


The Event:  Friant Ranch Hearing at Fresno County Board of Supervisors meeting February 1st, 2011, Room 301 of Hall of Records, northwest corner of Tulare and M St. downtown.  Press conference Friday January 28th at 10:00am at Lost Lake Park hosted by Friends of Lost Lake.


The Issue:  Friant Ranch is an unsustainable community designed without adequate transportation or municipal infrastructure to support the proposal.  Wastewater will be discharged to the San Joaquin River threatening salmon recovery, farmland will be lost, air pollution will increase, and the taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.   


The Solution:  Write a letter or come out to the hearing to show opposition to this poorly planned leapfrog development project.  Also, we need your support for a Press Conference on Friday, stand up and be counted.  Stop sprawl and show your support for the San Joaquin River.


 Articles related to Friant Ranch


CHRIS ACREE: Remove sprawl from plan

City, county in tug-of-war over proposed development


DENNIS BACOPULOS: The facts about Friant Ranch


Friant Ranch development plan sets off debate

Opposes Friant Ranch

The Background:


Don’t let the recession fool you, the land rush is on! A handful of developers in Fresno and Madera Counties have been given the green light to create what will be the fourth largest urban area in the San Joaquin Valley.  The plans call for a set of twin cities facing each other on each side of the river in a remote area 20 miles outside of the urban cores of Fresno and Madera.  Call it Rio Mesa, New Town Millerton, or the newly expanded community of Friant, for lack of a more official name. Right now these proposed urban growth areas are uninhabited rolling hills and ranchlands.  On the bluffs overlooking the San Joaquin River, the grazing cattle actually maintain the vernal pools here which provide habitat for more threatened and endangered plant and animal species than anywhere else in Fresno County.  This land, alive with natural resources, may soon be lost.


Friant Ranch is the newest project proposal in Fresno County which plans to expand the community of Friant ten-fold, adding a 6,000 resident active retirement community plan. 

The owner, Madera County Supervisor Mike Bigelow, has decided that this land would be better off urbanized, but local advocates are saying NO!  Fresno County has failed to plan for urbanization within the Friant-Millerton Region as outlined in the General Plan leaving transportation, water supply, and recreational planning behind, and our public resources at risk.  The lack of planning further complicates our ability to comply with new Greenhouse Gas reduction targets and may put our County transportation funds in jeopardy due to the project’s incompatibility with local air pollution and transportation plans. 


Friant Ranch, if approved, will build a large sewage treatment plant on the San Joaquin River Floodplain adjacent to Lost Lake Park.  Wastewater will be discharged into the river or applied as irrigation to landscaping and to Lost Lake Park, degrading habitats that support fish and wildlife.  Even though waste is treated, pharmaceuticals and other dangerous chemicals remain that may affect spawning salmon and their recovery under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.  We must encourage protection of our river and its water quality for the sake of clean drinking water, sustainable farming, and recreation. Would you let your children swim below a waste discharge pipe?


County decision-makers are ushering this project through in hopes of new revenues for an ailing County budget. However, they need to realize that the costs of poorly situated developments, unsustainable water supply schemes, and unmitigated environmental impacts will cost the County more than we can afford in the long-term.  Has history taught us anything?  These same dramas are being played out with developments across the County as communities like Mendota, Quail Lakes, Appaloosa Acres, and other struggle to pay the costs of bad planning.  Friant Ranch is the wrong project, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. 


San Joaquin River Faire recap

Click on this image below to watch a video from the event.This was a great event thanks to all the volunteers, partners

, and sponsors who helped make it happen.

San Joaquin River Faire

Join us for the
San Joaquin River Faire
At Lost Lake Park
August 21, 2010

A FREE community festival celebrating the restoration of the San Joaquin River and the eventual return of the native Chinook salmon.

Revive the San Joaquin is hosting the San Joaquin River Faire at Lost Lake Park on Saturday, August 21st.  The event will have live music, food, fishing, canoeing, environmental education booths, and other river-friendly recreational opportunities.  Your participation will help to promote a new spirit of connection and interaction with our wonderful river.  Event partners will showcase healthy living, river recreation, and local environmental activities going on in your community.

The event will feature live music from local, salmon-friendly bands.  Canoe safety training will be provided for those who wish to paddle the river. Come learn about the progress of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, the Lost Lake Master Plan, and other major issues affecting the river. It will be hot so bring a swimsuit and chairs to enjoy the music under the trees on the banks of the San Joaquin River. Dogs must be leashed and camping is available through reservations with Fresno County.

The event is FREE with your admission to the park, and we are currently seeking sponsors to help offset costs for the event.  If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring or participating with a booth please contact Revive the San Joaquin at (559) 226-0733 for more details.  Check our website for updates on the river faire at

Tentative schedule, Check back for regular updates.
Sunday August 15th Lost Lake volunteer cleanup and service day 8:00am-12:00pm. Join us for a quick cleanup of the park in preparation for our river faire. Call 226-0733 for details.
Saturday August 21st
8am -  Canoe Safety Training.  Safety certificate training course with instructor Steve Starcher.
9am – Organizational booth and vendor setup.
10am – Salmon celebration begins, totem and prayer, children’s "calling back the salmon" art project 10:30am and throughout day.
11:00am -12:30 – Lance Canales 
1:00pm- 2:30 – Cerro Negro
3:00pm – 4:00– Thea Rae and Friends
4:30pm – 6:00- Espacio
6:00pm – 7:00– Brazilian Jazz Collective

LOST LAKE RECREATION AREA was established in 1959 with the signing of a lease agreement with the State Wildlife conservation Board for 76 acres.  An additional 229 acres was subsequently purchased, bringing the total acquisition of this popular San Joaquin River Park to 305 acres.  Among the attractions to the river area, located 19 miles north of Fresno below Friant Dam, is a 70-acre primitive nature study area and 38-acre lake.  Fishing, hiking, picnicking, bird watching and nature study activities combine to make Lost Lake Park one of the most popular areas in the parks system.  A 42-site campground is available.  In the day-use area there are picnic facilities, including group areas and a beach volleyball complex.

From downtown Fresno, drive north on Freeway 41, 7.7 miles to Friant Road, exit right.  Drive 9.5 miles on Friant Road to the park entrance on the left.

Restore wild salmon, Eat wild salmon!

What is behind Greenpeace’s “Oh-no-Costco” campaign and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program’s recent decision to avoid California and Oregon caught salmon.  Read our blog on buying salmon to learn more….


Go Wild! Vote with your fork!  I recently bought several pounds of Alaskan wild salmon at Costco for about $7.00 a pound, the same price or cheaper than farmed salmon in other local supermarkets.  What a deal, I was giddy at the thought of the cheap and compassionate salmon purchase. We cooked it, we smoked it, we shared it, and we ate it for weeks. I felt good about the purchase because I advocate eating wild salmon, as opposed to the farmed salmon we

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