Greetings Friends, 

We began the new year with a lot of gratitude for the many dedicated people who make our work possible. Thanks to your support, we met our fundraising goals in 2022 and are well-positioned to continue leveraging collective resources for the future of the Eel River. Thank you!

While recognizing that the significant rainfall Californians experienced over the last month had some downsides, we were grateful to see dry tributaries and trickling flows spring to life. I keep this link to the California Data Exchange Center bookmarked on my desktop to always have quick access to Eel River flow data, you should too! 

Mainstem Eel River at flood stage, over 21 ft and flowing at over 160,000 cfs
Photo courtesy of Double B-UAV Drone Innovations captured Dec. 31, 2022

Eel River Dams Update

If PG&E delivers what they promised in their "plan to make a plan", a 30-month schedule of activities which will result in a final license surrender application and decommissioning plan, then we should expect to see a great deal of activity from the company this year. According to their plan, PG&E should soon be telling us which consultant they've hired to develop the plan. They should also be more than halfway through their planned "stakeholder outreach" phase. And by the end of 2023, they should publish a draft surrender application and decommissioning plan. 

Our Free the Eel coalition began the year by submitting comments to FERC suggesting ways in which the plan should be clarified. We will continue putting pressure on both FERC and PG&E to ensure that the draft decommissioning plan includes removal of both dams and is as complete as possible.

Finally, we also expect to hear a decision from PG&E about whether they will replace the failed transformer at the PVP powerhouse this spring. And we will see the company request authorization from state and federal agencies to transfer the PVP and other hydropower assets to a new LLC. 

Great Redwood Trail Update

Our new coalition is just getting going, and already we've rallied support to preserve public access to the future trail (and a historically high-use fishing spot) in Carlotta. If you're not already on the email list for Great Redwood Trail Friends, click here to join.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our action alert about keeping Fisher Road open to the public. The Humboldt County Supervisors heard clearly from the many people concerned about giving away public resources, however, this issue is not yet resolved. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the Great Redwood Trail Agency is in the midst of their two-year master planning process. You can learn more and get involved here.

Upcoming Events

What: Eel River Forum
When: January 30th, 2023 from 10 AM - 2 PM
Where: Fortuna River Lodge (1800 Riverwalk Drive, Fortuna, CA 95540)
            *In-person meeting, masks provided at the door*

The Eel River Forum resumes presenting an overview of the Vision, Goals, and Objectives of the Eel Restoration Program and Restoration Plan. After an hour break for lunch (be sure to pack a lunch), there will be time for community stakeholder announcements and updates, including short presentations from Friends of the Eel River, among others.

Click here to sign-up for email updates from the Eel River Forum. 
What: Science on Tap Making and Breaking Dams
When: January 27th at 6 PM
Where: Mad River Brewery (195 Taylor Way, Blue Lake, CA 95525)

Join Eel River Watershed Improvement Group and Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department for this kickoff discussion in their Science on Tap series.

“Making Dams and Breaking Dams” will include speakers Brook Thompson, a Yurok and Karuk tribal member and environmental engineer, as well as Garrett Costello from Symbiotic Restoration Group, a local business dedicated to river restoration by building beaver dams. 

EcoNews ReportClimate Change Supercharging Winter Storms

January 14, 2023

Listen here
Global warming increases the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, supercharging winter storms like the slate of atmospheric rivers that have smashed the West Coast. More moisture also means an increased risk of flooding, as we have tragically experienced this year. More moisture might sound good in recent drought years but it’s more complicated than that. A warming planet also increases the risk of summer droughts, despite increased winter moisture. Climate scientist Michael Furniss joins Gang Green to talk through how climate impacts weather.

Job Openings at Salmon River Restoration Council

The Salmon River Restoration Council is seeking two qualified people to fill their Fisheries Program Assistant and Plants Program Manager positions.

Application deadline: January 31st, 2023.

Consider joining their fantastic team and please share with anyone you think might be interested.

Click here for full job descriptions and application information.
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