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The Sonoma County Gazette Newspaper is distributed FREE in Sonoma County to mailing addresses in Forestville, Guerneville, Graton, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Occidental & Sebastopol and on NEWSSTANDS from Healdsburg to Petaluma and Santa Rosa to Bodega Bay, including Windsor, Larkfield, the Russian River villages of Duncans Mills, Cazadero & Jenner, and the West County towns of Freestone & Valley Ford - almost 300 locations across Sonoma County.

Volume 7, Number 6  June 3 - July 1, 2010

Vacation at Home

Vacation at Home

We live in what Monte Rio has blazoned across their road to town "Vacation Wonderland." People come from all over the planet to play in our back yard.

You know what it feels like to be exploring some place foreign to your daily life. There's a thrill of discovering something new and different. We have that right here and sometimes just need to look at it that way - with the eyes of a tourist! Our authors are here to inspire the pleasure of taking new roads, and discovering things to do you’ve never tried before.

Vacation at Home »

SoCo Water Agency Separates Low Flow

Water Agency Separates Low Flow and Estuary Projects
by Brenda Aldelman

Very Important Meetings

Healdsburg - June 3 at 6:30 pm
Healdsburg Community Center, 1557 Healdsburg Ave.

Ukiah - June 3 at 6:30 pm
Ukiah City hall, 300 Seminary Ave.

Guerneville on June 9th at 6:30 pm
at Odd Fellows Hall, just up the street from the Vets Building.

Low Flow Back Again

Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma are the fullest they have been in years and everyone is sighing relief at the expectation of having normal water supplies this year. Folks are grateful that this will be a summer when gardens can be watered without guilt. But sorry, the lower river is expected to get low flow again anyway!

This article is being written as the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) waits to hear from the State Water Board about their Temporary Emergency Petition to lower flows between May 1 and October 15, 2010. The Biological Opinion (BO) required filing the Petition. In fact, the BO requires that they file for a temporary petition every year until the permanent change to Decision 1610 is approved, which may be seven or more years from now. SCWA had filed "emergency" petitions in 2002, 2004, 2007, and 2009.

Low Flow Back Again »

Summer Flows

Why...Change Summer flowers in the Russian River?
By Dr. Bill Hearn,
National Marine Fisheries Service

There is considerable buzz in the lower Russian River community about the effects of reducing the river's summer flows. Will water quality be impacted? Will we have to drag our kayaks through the shallows? And what about the seals at Jenner; will new water level management plans drive them out? Are flow reductions really necessary, should the Jenner estuary become pond-like, and who is behind it?

For at least two decades, the degradation, restoration, and protection of the Russian River, its fisheries, water quality, and recreational resources have been hot topics in Sonoma County. Much has been accomplished to protect the river from the county's human population growth and development. However, the river's coho salmon population is now nearly extinct, and the river's several steelhead populations are a mere, small remnant of what they were 50 years ago. With responsibility for promoting the protection and recovery of salmon and steelhead listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has found several causes for these species declines, and it has identified steps that will likely promote their recovery. One of these steps involves restoring a more natural flow regime for the Russian River, while being careful to not unduly impact water quality and other resources.

Why Change Summer flows in the Russian River? »

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