Posted on Categories Land Use, TransportationTags , , Leave a comment on Guerneville Road SMART Station Plan goes to the Planning Commission

Guerneville Road SMART Station Plan goes to the Planning Commission

Santa Rosa Planning Commission: Thursday, May 24, 4:00 pm
Santa Rosa City Council Chambers, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa
After months of public meetings and workshops, the Guerneville Road SMART Station Area Plan will be up for a vote at the Santa Rosa Planning Commission on Thursday. One important piece currently included in the plan is the bike/pedestrian bridge over Hwy 101 connecting the Santa Rosa Junior College on the east to Coddingtown and the SMART station on the west.  For information about other issues and comments on the Plan see the following evaluation by Greenbelt Alliance.
http://www.greenbelt.org/general/santa-rosa-planning-commission-to-vet-the-plan-for-smart-station-at-guerneville-road/

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , Leave a comment on PG&E intends to clear cut: Company says it will take up to 80 percent of trees for 39 miles

PG&E intends to clear cut: Company says it will take up to 80 percent of trees for 39 miles

by Jay Gamel, THE KENWOOD PRESS
The gloves have come off. After months of meetings and vague promises to “discuss” tree removal, PG&E told Oakmont and Bennett Valley residents on May 7 that it intends to clear cut the entire 39-mile-long, high voltage line that stretches from Petaluma to the Geysers. Steve Tankersley, head of the statewide vegetation management program told people at the meeting that the company intends to remove up to 4,000 trees between May 15 and June 15, and to finish the entire job by December.
The decision to clear cut is a significant departure from the company’s 50-year policy of examining and trimming trees that threaten power lines.
via The Kenwood Press – PG&E intends to clear cut.

Posted on Categories Land UseTags Leave a comment on Public meetings regarding keeping State Parks open

Public meetings regarding keeping State Parks open

Press Release: Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
Responding to further State Parks cut-backs, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods (Stewards) announces two public meetings. Over the past two years, campgrounds and coastal access sites have been closed and further closures may be coming. Working with local State Park staff, Stewards is considering ways to offset the closures. The public is invited to hear about plans to keep Austin Creek State Recreation Area and Sonoma Coast State Park open and share your ideas as well.
The meetings will be held in Bodega Bay and Monte Rio:
Bodega Bay Meeting
Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 6-7:30
Bodega Bay Grange
1370 Bodega Ave. Bodega Bay
Monte Rio Meeting
Monday, June 11, 2012, 6-7:30
Monte Rio Community Center
20488 Highway 116, Monte Rio
For more information: http://www.stewardsofthecoastandredwoods.org/news/2012/news20120515.htm

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , , Leave a comment on Sonoma Clean Power vs. PG&E’s “Green Option” program

Sonoma Clean Power vs. PG&E’s “Green Option” program

by bvesser, CLIMATE PROTECTION CAMPAIGN
Background:
April 10, 2012, the Sonoma County Water Agency Board voted unanimously to continue its evaluation of Sonoma Clean Power. Since 2011 the Sonoma County Water Agency has studied the feasibility and desirability of implementing Sonoma Clean Power, a local program that will buy and generate electricity for businesses and residents to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.
April 24, 2012, PG&E announced it had asked permission of the California Public Utilities Commission to offer its electric ratepayers a voluntary new program to support 100 percent renewable energy. PG&E expects that residential customers who voluntarily opt in to the program will pay on average about $6.00 more per month.
via Sonoma Clean Power vs. PG&E’s “Green Option” Program | Climate Protection Campaign.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Sonoma County Waste Management Agency OKs review of proposed plastic bag ban

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency OKs review of proposed plastic bag ban

by Martin Espinoza, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County has taken a big step toward a countywide ban on plastic carryout bags to reduce landfill waste and litter. The county Waste Management Agency authorized its staff Wednesday to request proposals from consultants for environmental review of the proposed ban.
via Sonoma County Waste Management Agency OKs review of proposed plastic bag ban | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , Leave a comment on Steelhead trout lose out when water is low in wine country

Steelhead trout lose out when water is low in wine country

by Sarah Yang, UC BERKELEY NEWS CENTER
The competition between farmers and fish for precious water in California is intensifying in wine country, suggests a new study by biologists at the University of California, Berkeley. Juvenile steelhead trout are hit hard when water levels are low.
The findings, published in the May issue of the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, link higher death rates for threatened juvenile steelhead trout with low water levels in the summer and the amount of vineyard acreage upstream.
via Steelhead trout lose out when water is low in wine country.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , Leave a comment on State OKs Artesa Vineyards forest-to-vineyard plan

State OKs Artesa Vineyards forest-to-vineyard plan

by Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

State forestry officials on Tuesday approved a controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project in northwest Sonoma County, following through with a decision expected months ago.

The decision on what is considered the largest timber-to-vineyard project in state history clears the most significant regulatory hurdle facing Artesa Vineyards and Winery.

State OKs forest-to-vineyard plan in Sonoma County | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , , Leave a comment on Register! 350 Home & Garden Challenge May 12-13

Register! 350 Home & Garden Challenge May 12-13

The third annual 350 Home & Garden Challenge returns on May 12-13, encouraging thousands to transform Sonoma County homes and gardens by taking practical actions to save water and energy, increase local food production, and reduce greenhouse gases.  Last year, the challenge inspired 1044 home and garden actions in Sonoma County, including installing 21 grey water systems and transforming 243 lawns.  Ideas include transforming lawns to food or waterwise landscapes, installing a grey water system, line-drying clothes, planting fruit trees and more!
The Challenge has taken its call to action national for the second year running with Transition US’s “Transition Challenge,” encouraging citizen’s nationwide to take action and implement community-powered solutions to climate change. It is an initiative of Daily Acts in parnership with iGROW Sonoma County and others.
For more information, or to register your action, go to http://dailyacts.org/350-challenge/.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , Leave a comment on Sierra Club and local environmentalists reach settlement in Bohemian Grove logging dispute

Sierra Club and local environmentalists reach settlement in Bohemian Grove logging dispute

In March 2011, the Sierra Club and the Bohemian Redwood Rescue Club (BRRC) won a lawsuit in Sonoma County Superior Court, which required the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) to rescind a timber management plan that it had previously issued to the Bohemian Club to log its Bohemian Grove property outside Monte Rio on the Russian River. The Court’s ruling was based largely on the fact that the NTMP had not considered a range of feasible, less damaging alternatives, a central provision of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Sierra Club and BRRC are pleased to announce that a mediated settlement has now been reached with the Bohemian Club over its long-range logging plans. A resubmitted Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP), revised to reflect the terms of the settlement agreement, has recently been released for public comment by CAL-FIRE.

The court decision in Sierra Club v CAL-FIRE has put the agency on notice that it can no longer approve logging plans until it has considered a range of feasible, less damaging alternatives. “A proper consideration of alternatives should improve environmental review and better protect our forests,” said Paul V. Carroll, the attorney who represented the Sierra Club and the BRRC through the legal proceedings and mediation.

For more information, see http://www.redwood.sierraclub.org/sonoma/Forest.html.

Posted on Categories TransportationTags Leave a comment on Santa Rosa Short-Range Transit Plan Meetings: May 21 & May 22

Santa Rosa Short-Range Transit Plan Meetings: May 21 & May 22

The City of Santa Rosa Transit Division will be holding a first round of public outreach meetings for the 2012 Short-Range Transportation Plan (SRTP), which is updated every few years. The SRTP is a planning and funding document that will guide Santa Rosa CityBus for the next five to 10 years. All are invited to attend one or both of the two initial outreach meetings.  Details of the meetings are in the attached flyer. There will be a second round of SRTP outreach meetings in the late summer.
Spanish and English versions of the flyer are attached.
Please contact Richard Marcus, Transit Planner, at (707) 543-3334 or at rmarcus@srcity.org with questions.
 It’s very important that CityBus create plans for expansion as well as contraction – or contraction will be the only path possible!  
Enviro Updates