Re: Coho Confab and Vineyard/Winery Impacts on Fish

Thanks for forwarding the info on the Coho Confab.  I was not aware of it and I see some very knowledgeable individuals on the list of presenters.  You may not want to read the rest of my e-mail because it won’t be pleasant.

First, no restoration is required at this time.  I’ll quote the North Coast Stream Flow Campaign plan “Restoration potential cannot be realized unless we reverse the progressive dewatering and reinstate the Public Trust Doctrine as the bedrock law governing river, stream, and groundwater management.”

In my own watershed CDFG, EQUIP, CalFire and others have spent over $1 million restoring, etc. while the watershed lost over 90% of its summertime flow with massive fish kills and total degradation of our creek (Mark West Creek).

This is not a localized incident.  It’s happening everywhere.  Our County with the help of its Supervisors have passed laws to insure that vineyard developers do not have to go through all the “hoops” that others do.  Vineyard Grading Ordinance is ministerial and requires no public input.  Wish to see what a few of my neighbors have done after they totally denuded our hills?  Pretty Scary.  Wish to put in a well for your home — a nightmare.  Wish to put in a few wells for your vineyards — have at it.  And so the process goes.

PRMD (Permit & Resource Management Dept.) of Sonoma County blatantly ignores all Federal and State laws such as the “Clean Water Act”, Porter-Cologne, Endangered Species Act, etc.  It even ignores the General Plan, CEQA, and local ordinances.  They have marching orders to get every vineyard and winery in place before we all find out what is going on.  Unfortunately, other groups such as the RCDs are supported by the Farm Bureau and grape growers to further this cause.  Others are using this system to create work for themselves; others are trying to do meaningful projects in the midst of this mayhem.  In other words, if we don’t stop the dewatering, etc., there is NO need for Restoration.

I may sound like a crackpot or extremist, but actually I am a conservative, a Civil Engineer, Hydrologist, Land Surveyor, Realtor and have a few other licenses who is upset that outsiders are destroying our very resources that made Sonoma County such a wonderful place to live.  I have been on Mark West Creek for 42 years, enjoyed my great forest and the fantastic salmon and steelhead.  Bob, if I were a fisherman, I would even be more upset because the outsiders, with the help of local henchmen, have taken all of this away.

Hi Stephen and Jim,
The email below and the attached newsletter describe some upcoming salmon restoration training events. The Coho Confab should be of special interest to those interested in Russian River Coho restoration.  Do you think this email, the attached newsletter, or both, are appropriate to email out to SCWA distribution?  If you want to email only the Coho Confab info but not info about the other events, you can email whatever you feel is appropriate.
Thanks, Bob.

Please join Salmonid Restoration Federation for technical education trainings during this habitat restoration season.
5th Annual Spring-run Chinook Symposium July 22-23 in Chico, CA will include tours of Upper Butte Creek Hydroelectric Influences, Prime Habitat, and the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve, Deer and Mill Creek restoration flow-augmentation projects, DWR and River Partners projects in the Lower Feather River, a Lower Butte Creek of spawning areas and the DWR weir, and Big Chico Creek Projects including dam removal and fish ladders. To see the agenda, please visit