In June, CNN reporter and editorial writer, John Sutter, spent three weeks kayaking down the San Joaquin River (of which the Tuolumne is the largest tributary) to find out why it was named this year's Most Endangered River by American Rivers. TRT staff members, Peter Drekmeier and Ed Aguilar, joined him for a day just downstream of the confluence with the Tuolumne. They paddled over the Hetch Hetchy Aquaduct, a very large pipe running under the San Joaquin that delivers nearly 200 million gallons of pristine Tuolumne River water to the Bay Area every day.
Peter & Ed join John for a day of paddling. Photo by John Sutter, CNN
During his trip, John was surprised by how disconnected many people are from the rivers flowing through their communities, inspiring TRT to create a new program called "Introducing People to Their Rivers." To learn more about this program, clickhere.
John published a companion piece to his article titled, "7 ways to save the San Joaquin -- America's 'most endangered' river." The second action on his list is to support TRT's new program. You can view his listhere.
Ed Aguilar: "The river doesn't have a voice." Photo by John Sutter, CNN
"So many people live right along the San Joaquin and barely know it exists -- and this is particularly true in low-income neighborhoods like those in Modesto, California. "If you don't know about it, you don't care," said Ed Aguilar, a community organizer with Tuolumne River Trust. Ed's group has been trying to connect low-income people, including farmworkers and their families, with the rivers of California's Central Valley."
Thank you, John, for drawing national attention to the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers!
The Forest Service just released a Proposed Record of Decision for the Rim Fire Recovery, and it's a huge improvement over what we faced in May. TRT is proud of the leadership role our own John Amodio played in bringing together stakeholders to hammer out a compromise that balances economic interests with the protection of wildlife habitat and environmental values.
By participating in Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions (a forum for environmentalists, timber industry representatives and others to meet, share information, and work towards solutions), we not only reached an acceptable compromise all sides could support, but also built a strong bipartisan foundation that will continue working together to seek federal funding for ongoing restoration efforts in the Rim Fire burn area.
The Proposed Decision:
Reduces the amount of salvage logging from nearly 30,000 acres to just over 15,000 acres. Whereas the previous preferred alternative called for removing 660 million board feet of timber, the new decision reduces that amount to an estimated 210 million board feet.
Protects the extraordinary Clavey River Watershed by keeping the roadless area intact.
Eliminates all new permanent roads and reduces the amount of new temporary roads.
Reduces salvage logging on steep slopes and in other sensitive areas. Many dead trees and downed logs will be left in place to serve as wildlife habitat and to protect against soil erosion.
TRT appreciates the good work of the National Forest Service, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Sierra Forest Legacy, timber industry and others in working together with us on a solution.
And many thanks to all of you who weighed in on the Rim Fire. Together we made a huge impact.
TRT's Executive Director, Patrick Koepele, addresses a group of experts in the Rim Fire burn area after its containment in the fall of 2013. Photo by Peter Drekmeier
"Representatives of both environmental groups and the timber industry informed me that the action alternatives in the EIS proposed more management than the environmental groups thought desirable and the timber industry thought practical. Therefore, I scaled back the scope of (salvage logging) to a size that would be practical to implement, while retaining the key treatments to attain the project's purpose and need."
The Rim Fire Closure has been revised! Sites now open for public use include:
·Rainbow Pool Day Use Area
·Carlon Day Use Area including Carlon Falls Trail
·Lumsden Road (1N10) between Ferretti Road and Lumsden Bridge including Merals Pool Boat Launch, Lumsden Campground, and Lumsden Bridge Campground. RVs and trailers are not recommended on Lumsden Road. (South Fork Campground remains closed due to the loss of the vault toilet and presence of hazard trees).
·Middle Fork Day Use Area
·Dimond O, Lost Claim, and Sweetwater Campgrounds will open for overnight use starting Friday, April 25th. The Pines Campground, including the group site, will also be available for a fee stating April 25th. Campsites can be reserved online atwww.recreation.gov.
Please be patient as the Groveland Ranger Districts takes the time to unlock gates and remove closure signs from the areas listed above.
Additional Details for Tuolumne Wild & Scenic River Whitewater Boaters:
·Public access to the Upper Tuolumne/Cherry Creek launch at Holm Powerhouse off of Cherry Lake Road (1N07) is limited to shuttle service only: 1-209-559-4605.
·Stating May 1st, free, mandatory permits are required to float between Cherry Creek and Merals Pool and from Merals Pool to Ward's Ferry. Permits can be picked up at the Groveland Ranger Station during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm). Reservation forms are now available online:http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/stanislaus/recarea/?recid=14975.
·Please remain alert for additional hazards such as rock slides and trees within the river due to the Rim Fire. Additionally, there is a large debris boom across Don Pedro Reservoir past Ward Ferry Bridge blocking motor boat access for shuttle/taxi boats. Boating downstream of Wards Ferry Bridge is not recommended.
Personal Fuelwood:Permit holders may continue to collect at Dimond O, Lost Claim, and Sweetwater Campgrounds as well as Upper and Lower Carlon Day Use Areas until April 24thor when no more downed wood is available.
Please use caution while in the Rim Fire burned area. Potential hazards include loose and falling rocks, flash floods, and debris flows. Trees may have been weakened from fire damage and ongoing drought and may fall at any time. Stay on designated roads and trails and within opened areas. Be alert for falling objects and do not linger around large trees. Avoid the area during high winds or heavy rain.
Please give the Groveland Ranger District a call if you have any questions:209-962-7825
Latest Recreation Conditions Update can be seen here.
Whitewater boating access on the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River is now
Until the Forest Order is revised or expires,
public access to the Main Tuolumne/Merals Pool launch on Lumsden Road
(1N10) as well as the Upper Tuolumne/Cherry Creek launch at Holm
Powerhouse off of Cherry Lake Road (1N07) is limited
to shuttle service only: 1-209-559-4605.
A free, mandatory permit is
required to float between Cherry Creek and Merals Pool and from Merals
Pool to Ward's Ferry. Permits can be picked up at the Groveland Ranger
Station during business hours (Monday to Friday,
8:00 am-4:30 pm). Reservations are not available until the Forest Order
is revised or expires. USFS recommends contacting the shuttle service
before requesting or picking up a permit.
Please remain alert for additional hazards such
as rock slides and trees within the river due to the Rim Fire.
Additionally, there is a large debris boom across Don Pedro Reservoir
past Ward Ferry Bridge blocking motor boat access for
shuttle/taxi boats. Boating downstream of Wards Ferry Bridge is not
recommended. See attached warning flyer.
Please give the USFS Groveland district a call if you have any questions: 209-962-7825