by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
New rules making it tougher to rip up forested hillsides to plant vineyards won qualified approval from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor Tuesday.
The stronger erosion prevention measures were unanimously approved by the five supervisors, but most acknowledged that the process was viewed as frustrating and flawed by many involved.
via Sonoma County adopts hillside vineyard restrictions.
by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County grape growers aiming to convert forested hillsides with neat rows of vineyards will have to prove their projects won’t damage local waterways under draft regulations released Thursday.
The new rules, proposed by Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar, would prohibit tree removal on the steepest of slopes, keep vineyards 50 to 100 feet away from unstable hillsides, and require three years of follow-up to ensure the regulations are effective.
“The ultimate goal of these standards is to protect water quality,” Linegar said.
via Draft rules out on hillside vineyard tree removal in Sonoma County | Petaluma360.
by Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
State officials signaled this week they intend to approve a controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project in rural northwest Sonoma County, overruling the latest wave of objections, this time from some neighbors, local tribes and several elected officials.
via Sonoma County timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval | PressDemocrat.com.
San Francisco, CA – Pacific Environment released a report today, “Bay Area Smart Energy 2020” (BASE 2020), which describes how the San Francisco Bay Area can move to a locally-based, clean energy economy and leave fossil fuels behind.
Download Executive Summary (3 MB)
Download Full Report (6 MB)
via Pacific Environment : Bay Area Smart Energy 2020 – Report Download.
Sonoma County Waste Management Agency Holds Stakeholder and Community Feedback Forums on Carryout Bag Reduction Efforts
March 2, 2012 – The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (SCWMA) wants your feedback on what is to be done about paper and plastic carryout bags (the bags given for free at the checkout counter). To hear from as many businesses and citizens as possible, the SCWMA is hosting nine public meetings to present what actions are under consideration and to receive feedback.
Outreach Dates and Locations: All Meeting Start at 6 pm
• March 12 – Petaluma Veterans Memorial, 1094 Petaluma Blvd S., Petaluma
• March 13 – Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa
• March 14 – Sonoma Veterans Memorial, 126 First Street West, Sonoma
• March 19 – Cotati Veterans Memorial, 8505 Park Avenue, Cotati
• March 20 – Cloverdale Veterans Memorial, 205 West First Street Cloverdale
• March 22 – Windsor Community Center, Elsbree Hall, 901 Adele Drive, Windsor
• March 23 – Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park
• March 26 – Villa Chanticleer Annex, 1248 N. Fitch Mountain Road, Healdsburg
• March 27 – Sebastopol Masonic Center, 373 N. Main Street, Sebastopol
San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, SFGATE.COM
California salmon and salmon fishermen won in federal court Friday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the federal water project is obliged to provide enough water to double the salmon population. You can read the decision here.
Under the ruling, only surplus water from the bay-delta water system can be delivered to water users in the San Joaquin Valley, not water from the 800,000 acre-foot allotment promised to fish under a 1992 federal law.
for more, see Salmon win in 9th circuit court | Opinion Shop | an SFGate.com blog.
Tell the California Department of Forestry (CALFIRE) to suspend certification of Artesa WInery’s Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and allow public comment on relevant changes in circumstances and impacts.
Public comment is needed now more than ever because of Sonoma County’s brand-new moratorium on vineyard conversions and the urgent reasons for it – all of which are completely censored in the public record for Artesa!
by Rachel Nuwer, NYTIMES.COM
Since 1964, the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery in California has supplied the watershed with four to 10 million juvenile Chinook salmon each year. The hatchery began the practice as a way of countering the effects of dams that block migration and making sure that the salmon population remained viable. But recent research shows that the massive influx of hatchery-raised fish is masking the fact that wild fish populations are not holding up.
“Without distinguishing hatchery from wild fish, the perception is that we have healthy salmon surviving in a healthy river,” said Rachel Johnson, a fish ecologist affiliated with the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the lead author of a new paper published in the journal PLoS One.
via Wild Salmon Are Not Holding Up, Study Finds – NYTimes.com.
By Cathy Bussewitz, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Dozens of environmental activists adorned with branches and dressed like fluffy redwood trees demonstrated outside the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to protest a proposal to convert nearly 1,800 acres of coastal forests to vineyards.
Preservation Ranch Protest
A man costumed as an eight-foot tall bottle of “Pinot Egrigio” labeled “Chainsaw Wine” wielded a fake chainsaw before the animated trees.
“It’s a Sonoma County vintage,” said Dave Jordan, volunteer with Friends of Gualala River, a group that carpooled down from Gualala to Santa Rosa to attend the meeting. “It’s not against wine. It’s not against vineyards. It’s about cutting down redwood forests to plant grapes.”
via Activists protest Preservation Ranch at Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting | PressDemocrat.com.
Thursday, February 9, 2012 @ 5:00 pm
The Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa
A joint public meeting of the Open Space District Fiscal Management Commission and the Citizen’s Advisory Committee will be held at which District staff will present a draft overview of the District’s 3-year work plan. Following refinement and approval from the District’s Board of Directors, the plan will guide the District’s priorities, staffing and funding allocation for 2012 through 2015 to ensure that the diverse mission of the District is achieved during the life of Measure F.