Two Very Different Gualala River Watershed Groups

Dear Friends of the Gualala River,People sometimes confuse Friends of the Gualala River (FoGR) and Gualala River Watershed Council (GRWC) – two very different organizations. Here’s a comparison.

Friends of the Gualala River
Wheatfield Fork, Gualala River, upstream from Clark's Crossing
Gualala River Watershed Council (GRWC)
Preservation Ranch, Evans Ridge, grading operation
FoGR is a leader in environmental advocacy and action dedicated to protection and recovery of the Gualala River and its watershed, defending against threats like:
· industrial water diversion and export,
· mass agricultural conversion of forestland,
· destructive logging in the river floodplain,
· clear-cut logging in slopes above the river,
· pesticide pollution, and
· invasive non-native species.
GRWC is a forum for landowners and others to “communicate about the ecology of land use in the Gualala River watershed” for “engagement of the community” and “stakeholders” and “landowners.”GRWC’s mission statement precludes environmental advocacy and favors flexibility of landowner land use options.
FoGR’s steering committee is composed of all volunteers with no financial or political conflicts of interest in timber, agriculture, or water diversion, including representation of recreational fishing, public river access, park expansion advocacy, professional conservation biology. GRWC’s chair and vice-chair are timber industry professionals, secretary / treasurer is an agriculture industry professional; board members represent timber and agriculture interests, “stakeholders.”
FoGR is a grassroots environmental organization funded by public citizen donors and grassroots environmental foundations. GRWC is funded by state grant programs aimed at landowners, and private corporate sources.
FoGR uses applied science and environmental law in the service of conserving public trust resources – fish, wildlife, streamflow, groundwater, water quality, public access to the river – all published on FoGR website, which is updated frequently. GRWC uses applied science in the service of monitoring and mitigation of land uses including logging and vineyard conversion; no data available on website; published reports available by request only. Website unchanged 2004-2011.
FoGR protects the entire watershed, regardless of ownership, to promote natural ecological recovery processes of the river, its tributaries, and forests and woodlands of the watershed.Chris Poehlmann
Friends of the Gualala River
GRWC implements engineered habitat restoration and rural road improvements on lands owned by employers and clients of GRWC officers, using public funds