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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.
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday February 3rd, 2009 voted to keep County parks open to the public for the remainder of this fiscal year and into the next. Hearing testimony from nearly 20 residents and river groups, the Board recognized that the parks have a value to the whole community that should not be overlooked when making significant fiscal cutbacks due to a poor economy and tax losses from a struggling real estate market. The County Supervisors dire
The San Joaquin Valley Blueprint is holding a Blueprint Summit on January 26, 2009 (http://www.valleyblueprint.org/summit.html) to discuss the progress of the valleywide planning process in Fresno. The Blueprint is a joint planning effort of the Great Valley Center and the eight valley county Council of Governments. The Blueprint is setting land-use goals and preferred valley-wide growth scenarios that will accomodate a rapidly growing population. The Summit will be a culmination of years of planning work and allow the public to comment and select a preferred growth scenario.
While the process is essential to a coordinated land-use and transportation plan for the valley, there is also great potential for establishing meaningful growth strategies that protect the San Joaquin River, local agriculture, valuable resource lands, and other important land-uses that enrich our economy and quality of life.
On January 27th, 2009, the Board of Supervisors will be reviewing the mid-year fiscal status of the County which will include looking at all County parks and reviewing the potential to close the parks. This will no doubt address the potential closure of Lost Lake Park as has been alluded to in recent Board meetings concerning the Lost Lake Master Plan process, a planning process funded by the San Joaquin River Conservancy. The Friends of Lost Lake is a group formed to rekindle an appreciation for Lost Lake County Park.
An editorial appeared in the Fresno Bee today highlighting the dangers of dredge mining in California’s rivers and the environmental harm it causes along with harm to jobs and the economy.
Dredge mining in rivers does several harmful things: 1) It mixes up and returns potentially toxic material to the river flow. (Many rivers in California have mercury from gold mining in the 1800’s that have been embedded deeper into the sediment.) 2) The murky sediment returned to the rivers from the dredging makes swimming hazardous and unhealthy. 3) The disturbance of the river bottom also disturbs fish laying eggs. In particular salmon which lays eggs in the gravel bottom and young lamprey that can reside in gravel for up to seven years before maturing.
On December 8th the County of Madera approved two large-scale developments in Eastern Madera County near the San Joaquin River. Revive the San Joaquin has filed suit against the approvals of the Tesoro Viejo and the Northshore at Millerton Specific Plans. Revive the San Joaquin joined a coalition with the Dumna Tribal Council and the Madera Oversight Coalition (www.moc1.org) to enforce compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other state, federal, and local regulations.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget veto in
Revive the San Joaquin received an email from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy on December 19, 2008 suspending all work on our River Health Assessment Project starting from December 17, 2008 until the budget crisis in the state legislature is resolved.
In November 1995, an interim project called the Grasslands Bypass Project was created to help prevent 50,000 acre-feet of toxic water from being discharged into the San Joaquin. For the past thirteen years the Grasslands Bypass Project has reduced the discharge of toxic water into the San Joaquin, but has not eliminated it. Now, an extension is sought to continue the project for another 10 years even though it does not completely eliminate toxic water going into the San Joaquin River.
Revive the San Joaquin is conducting a river health assessment on the Upper San Joaquin River. The River Health Assessment report will develop a model for assessing the health of the San Joaquin River and its riparian ecosystems. River health assessment areas include water quality, climate change, biotic condition, and human impacts. Revive will also identify key river health indicators and address methods for filling in information gaps and data management tools.
As California's salmon fisheries have been shut down due to a low survival rate, debates as to the cause of this population decline rage on. Some say that ocean conditions were unfavorable (article), some say the Delta ecosystem is too impaired to transport the young salmon out to sea (article), others point to urban wastewater impacts on Delta water quality (article), or feasting sea lions (article). The cause of the decline has been the topic of current discussions.