Posted on Categories WaterTags , Leave a comment on Board of Supervisors takes next step toward fluoridating county water

Board of Supervisors takes next step toward fluoridating county water

Derek Moore, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday pressed forward with a controversial plan to put fluoride into most of the county’s drinking water during an emotional hearing in which dozens of speakers debated whether the chemical compound is a panacea or a poison.

Dentists and other health care professionals, along with a larger, more vocal contingent of fluoride skeptics, packed board chambers for the marathon five-hour public hearing.

via Board of Supervisors takes next step toward fluoridating county water | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Forests, Land Use, Local OrganizationsTags , , , Leave a comment on Preservation Ranch deal: Tentative $24.5 million deal would halt controversial plan for vineyards

Preservation Ranch deal: Tentative $24.5 million deal would halt controversial plan for vineyards

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A national conservation group has reached an agreement to buy nearly 20,000 acres of timberland in northwestern Sonoma County, a move that derails the long-disputed, forest-to-vineyards conversion project pushed by CalPERS, the giant state workers pension fund.

The $24.5 million purchase of the so-called Preservation Ranch, to be completed by the end of May, is led by The Conservation Fund, based in Virginia. It would contribute up to $6 million toward the purchase.

via $24.5 million deal to protect 20,000-acre Sonoma County forest | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Farmers expand to meet demand for pasture-raised eggs

Farmers expand to meet demand for pasture-raised eggs

Robert Digitale, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

In 2008, when Don Gilardi heard that California voters might dictate the living conditions of laying hens, he began to take a keen interest in chickens. Gilardi, a Marin County rancher, concluded that the looming issue signaled consumers wanted a different approach to egg production. So he traded some of his sheep for hens and began selling eggs to Bay Area restaurants already buying his lamb.

That fall, voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2, which in 2015 will ban most existing chicken cages. About a year later, buyers from Whole Foods visited Gilardi to see if he would sell them eggs from the hens he raises a different way — not caged in warehouses but allowed to roam outside in pastures.

via Farmers expand to meet demand for pasture-raised eggs | Petaluma360.com | Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags Leave a comment on Community Garden Network holds first gathering

Community Garden Network holds first gathering

Enviro Updates
The Community Garden Network, a support organization for the 80 or more community gardens in Sonoma County, held its first gathering in Santa Rosa on February 2. The Network was formed in early 2012 to connect and strengthen community gardens by offering them technical assistance, training, funding development, and opportunities to share knowledge with other gardeners.
More than 70 community garden representatives and community organizers from all over the county came together for an inspiring and educational afternoon. Following a speed networking session, addresses were made by Supervisor Mike McGuire and Trathen Heckman of Daily Acts. Attendees then had a choice of four different breakout groups to discuss challenges and success stories associated with Recruiting and Sustaining Volunteers, Sustaining Gardener Enthusiasm and Participation, Maintaining Soil Fertility, and Irrigation Management. During the break, gardeners visited information tables and took part in a lively seed and tool swap. Participants then took to the open mike to give ideas and feedback to CGNSC on the support that gardens need. Following a drawing for door prizes donated by generous supporters, the gathering concluded with more networking organized by subregions within the county.
More information about the CGNSC and its work can be found at communitygardensonoma.org.

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , , , Leave a comment on Projects to restore fish habitat get $2 million federal boost

Projects to restore fish habitat get $2 million federal boost

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Projects by private landowners to boost salmon and other fish populations in North Coast streams are set to receive an additional $2 million this year from an arm of the federal government.
Federal and local officials on Friday announced the commitment of new grant money for six major river basins stretching from Sonoma County — and including the Russian River — to Eureka, in Humboldt County.
Development, dams, logging and water diversions for farms and cities have harmed the region’s once-bountiful salmon and steelhead runs, with several species now listed as endangered or threatened.
via Projects to restore fish habitat get $2 million federal boost | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , , Leave a comment on Dutch Bill Creek Fish Habitat Restoration Funding

Dutch Bill Creek Fish Habitat Restoration Funding

Vesta Copestakes, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS in California and the Gold Ridge and Sotoyome Resource Conservation Districts have teamed up with a number of local government agencies, nonprofit groups, agribusinesses and landowners to improve fish habitat in five northern California watersheds. The goal is to increase salmonid populations while also sustaining productive agricultural operations.  California is one of three western states included in this program.
James Gore, NRCS Assistant Chief from Washington, D.C., attended a special event in Camp Meeker to provide information on the programs during a walking tour of the Dutch Bill Creek restoration project that has been in process since 2009. This work included removing an old fish barrier dam, constructing a new pedestrian bridge, installing rock wiers for fish migration, and other stream and habitat restoration efforts.
via Dutch Bill Creek Fish Habitat Restoration Funding.

Posted on Categories TransportationTags , Leave a comment on Eucalyptus Trees Cut Down Along South Petaluma Boulevard

Eucalyptus Trees Cut Down Along South Petaluma Boulevard

Karina Ioffee, PETALUMA PATCH
Work crews cut down an old eucalyptus grove on Petaluma Boulevard South on Sunday evening, much to the disappointment of environmentalists who told Caltrans the trees are used for nesting for egrets and herons and had asked for alternatives.
Caltrans is set to begin work on an interchange project in the area and said that removing the 15 or so trees was needed so that construction was not delayed. Egrets and heron are federally protected, meaning that the trees could not be cut down once the birds started nesting there later this spring.
via Eucalyptus Trees Cut Down Along South Petaluma Boulevard – Petaluma, CA Patch.

Posted on Categories WaterTags Leave a comment on Civil Rights Leaders Call for Halt to Water Fluoridation

Civil Rights Leaders Call for Halt to Water Fluoridation

An old but timely article – see the petition in the previous post asking the Board of Supervisors not to fluoridate the water in Sonoma County.

PRNewswire-USNewswire //NEW YORK, April 14, 2011

Because fluoride can disproportionately harm poor citizens and black families, Atlanta civil rights leaders, Andrew Young and Dr. Gerald Durley , have asked Georgia legislators to repeal the state’s mandatory water fluoridation law, reports Fluoride Action Network (FAN).

Andrew Young , former U.N. Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor, along with Reverend Dr. Gerald Durley , Pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Atlanta, both inductees in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, expressed concerns about the fairness, safety, and full disclosure regarding fluoridation in letters to the state’s minority and majority legislative leaders. (4,5)

Fluoride chemicals, added to 96% of Georgia’s public drinking water supplies are meant to prevent tooth decay, especially in the poor. Yet, 61% of low-income Georgia third-graders have tooth decay compared to 51% from higher income families – and 33% and 20%, respectively, have untreated cavities showing a dire need for dental care. 

via Civil Rights Leaders Call for Halt to Water Fluoridation — NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —.

Posted on Categories WaterTags Leave a comment on Please Tell Supervisors to Keep Our Water Fluoride Free

Please Tell Supervisors to Keep Our Water Fluoride Free

Colleen Fernald
This petition is based on a document approved by the Sonoma County Water Coalition:
Please join this campaign: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-sonoma-county-board-of-supervisors-stop-planning-for-fluoridation-of-public-water-supply?share_id=hLgBkxxoqi&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
The issue will be on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda in January.
And please forward widely after signing.
Thank you.

Posted on Categories WildlifeTags Leave a comment on Settlement Will Speed Recovery of Endangered California Tiger Salamanders

Settlement Will Speed Recovery of Endangered California Tiger Salamanders

Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity today announced a settlement requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop recovery plans for endangered California tiger salamanders. Under the settlement approved by the court last week, all three populations of California tiger salamanders will receive final recovery plans within the next five years.
“I’m so glad these three populations of the beautiful, severely endangered California tiger salamander will finally get recovery plans,” said Collette Adkins Giese, the Center’s attorney dedicated to conserving amphibians and reptiles. “Timely development of these plans is absolutely necessary, because they give us a roadmap of the actions needed to ensure the species will survive.
”Recovery plans are the main tool for identifying actions — such as research and habitat restoration and protection — necessary to save endangered species from extinction and eventually be able to remove their protection under the Endangered Species Act. Research by the Center has found that the status of species with dedicated recovery plans for two or more years is far more likely to be improving than of those without.
via Settlement Will Speed Recovery of Endangered California Tiger Salamanders.