Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A tussle for control over the future of Sonoma Clean Power dominated the agency’s first public meeting Tuesday, with county officials rejecting for now a request by smaller cities for more say over how the agency is governed.
The decision was a clear sign of how strongly the county is courting Santa Rosa, the largest urban power market. Under current weighted voting rules, Santa Rosa would retain the ability to join the unincorporated county — the other dominant power market — in pushing through governance changes over the objection of all other cities.
via Cities' clout at issue in first Sonoma Clean Power meeting | PressDemocrat.com.
Sean Scully,THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Life in Santa Rosa and surrounding cities is made possible by a vast fortress, the product of more than a century of civil engineering projects that hold at bay the floods that nature is trying to send sweeping across the vast plain of central Sonoma County.
The Sonoma County Water Agency, the inheritor of that enormous but largely invisible system of streams and reservoirs, is now engaged in an epic engineering project of its own: trying to create a healthy, natural-looking ecosystem in the network without unleashing serious flooding in the cities.
via Sonoma County converting flood control channels to healthy ecoystems | PressDemocrat.com.
Sonoma County Water Agency
A public workshop will be held on July 11th to discuss a significant groundwater study completed by the US Geological Survey of the Santa Rosa Plain Watershed. Groundwater in the Santa Rosa Plain is a critical resource for its residents, agriculture, businesses and ecosystem. In recognizing the important link between surface water and groundwater, the study characterizes the current state of the entire hydrologic system within the watershed. Come hear U.S. Geological Survey scientists present the results of this comprehensive study.
When: 6 pm – 8 pm, Thursday, July 11th
Where: Santa Rosa Finley Center, Person Auditorium
2060 W College Ave, Santa Rosa, CA
What: 6:00 Open House
6:30 Presentation by the US Geological Survey on the findings of the study
7:45 Questions and discussion
Summary of the USGS Santa Rosa Groundwater Basin Study
Felicity Barringer, THE NEW YORK TIMES
ARCATA, Calif. — It took the death of a small, rare member of the weasel family to focus the attention of Northern California’s marijuana growers on the impact that their huge and expanding activities were having on the environment.
The animal, a Pacific fisher, had been poisoned by an anticoagulant in rat poisons like d-Con. Since then, six other poisoned fishers have been found. Two endangered spotted owls tested positive. Mourad W. Gabriel, a scientist at the University of California, Davis, concluded that the contamination began when marijuana growers in deep forests spread d-Con to protect their plants from wood rats.
via Marijuana Crops in California Threaten Forests and Wildlife – NYTimes.com.
Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave its formal support to an ordinance that would ban carryout plastic bags at checkout lines countywide and add a 10-cent fee for each paper bag
The 4-1 vote, with Supervisor David Rabbitt dissenting, constitutes the county’s direction to its appointee on the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, the joint county-city body that has been studying and developing the ban for two years and would adopt and enforce the ordinance.
via Sonoma County supervisors support plastic bag ban | PressDemocrat.com.
Plastic bag ban decisions by cities:
Rohnert Park: Tuesday
Healdsburg: July 1
Petaluma: July 1
Santa Rosa: July 16
Cotati: July, date unscheduled
Cloverdale: July, date unscheduled
James Knight, NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN
In the mid-1990s, a family of beavers found their way up Sonoma Creek and settled in Glen Ellen. Although they were the first beavers that had been seen here since the animals were extirpated decades earlier, they got the same welcome that is traditionally offered to beavers: they were trapped and killed.
But recently, dams have again been observed in Sonoma Creek, and evidence suggests that some intrepid beavers have jumped watersheds and are headed toward the Laguna de Santa Rosa. The beavers are back, and this time, they just might get a fair chance.
via Beaver Fever | News | North Bay Bohemian.
Shepherd Bliss, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
Do not be deceived by the thin perimeter of a few live apple trees remaining next to Apple Blossom School and the five schools near 622 Watertrough Road in the Sebastopol countryside. A glorious, historic 40-acre orchard that nurtured people, wildlife, and the environment thrived there for many decades. Chain-sawed trees now languish on their sides with dying green apples, which will never ripen to red, cut down on June 14. Witnessing this slaughter is enough to make a grown man weep.
Paul Hobbs Winery plans yet another chemical vineyard by this clear cutting. The orchard attack is only the first in a series of blows. The downed beauties will soon be burned or disposed of in some way. The soil–which tests indicate contains DDT, arsenic, and lead–will be ripped deeply, adding more waves of deadly drift to the schools, its students, teachers, staff, and visitors.
via Apples to Grapes Protest in Sebastopol.
The new Permaculture Skills Center is a 5 acre site near Sebastopol that will teach the skills needed to create and maintain permaculture gardens, which are based on principles of systems ecology and sustainable land use.
A launch party will be held June 15 from 12:00-5:00pm.
2185 Hwy 116 South, Sebastopol
For more information, see the Center’s website at http://permacultureskillscenter.org/
Brenda Adelman, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
Please attend the Monte Rio meeting June 6 on low flow and demand mandatory conservation by urban water users!
Russian River flows at the Hacienda Bridge recently dropped from 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 140 cfs. For this time of year, that’s a trickle. And there’s more to come. Here’s the latest on the County’s inaction plan for dealing with low summer flows…..
via What You Should Know About River Flow in the Russian River.
Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Tuesday signed an agreement intended to bring together a broad array of government, farming and environmental interests on science and stream restoration projects in the Russian River watershed.
The pact, which officials are calling the Russian River Compact, is largely a set of principles spelling out how public agencies and private groups with a stake in the river can best collaborate to improve it for wildlife while maintaining its supply for drinking water and farms and preventing damaging floods.
via Agreement on future of Russian River projects signed | PressDemocrat.com.