EDITOR: It’s wonderful to see The Press Democrat editorial get it right on
an important Russian River issue (“Flashback”).
Gravel mining below Healdsburg has removed millions of tons of gravel from
the riparian corridor. Much of the middle reach of the river beyond a thin
veil of vegetation has been reduced to virtually a moonscape. If you have
the pleasure of seeing this wonderful stretch of river, walk beyond the
10-foot fringe of trees and take a look at the mess gravel mining has left
The gravel remaining filters our drinking water, which is pumped from the
river not far downstream. The destruction of our aquifer, woodland and
riparian habitat was a bad idea decades ago and a worse one today,
considering the increasing scarcity of quality water, not to mention
habitat. Should our Board of Supervisors have a problem ending gravel
mining on the river at the Aug. 19 hearing, one must question the
integrity of the decision-making process.
The passage of the Aggregate Management Plan gave Syar Industries more
than 10 years notice. The board should be having hearings to determine how
Syar is going to restore the moonscape it has left us in the middle reach
of the Russian River.