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Russian River Low Flow Protest–SCWA 1610 Permit

Hi everyone!

We just learned that the deadline for protests on low flow has been extended
to May 13th.  (Hurrah!!)  We just sent this message to the State, NMFS, and
SCWA and wanted to forward it to all of you as a reminder to send protest
forms in (if you are so inclined).

The communication below to the agencies involved gives information on the
steps we have taken so far to get the word out.  If you share our concerns,
we would greatly appreciate your helping to spread the word.  Feel free to
pass this message on to anyone who might benefit from this information.

We need your support.  If you have not taken action yet, please do so soon.
If you just want to sign form and not write details, that’s fine.
Nevertheless, your river stories are important and should be included if you
have the time to do so.

Many people have just signed the forms and sent them in, but to be complete,
they really need to explain in more detail the person’s use of the river,
where they are using the river, how they are being harmed by low flow, etc.
That being said, I think just signing them is fine, since it will give
officials a sense of how many people care about this issue.  RRWPC will be
sending a lengthy and detailed protest before the due date.  These protests
can take many forms and will have an impact even with no details in them.

Please contact me with any comments and questions you may have.

Brenda

Hi Steve:

I just heard that the deadline for protests has been changed to May 13th.  I
am thrilled to hear the news of course.  My one concern is that I never
received a formal notice about this change or the prior extension through
the Lyris system.  I wonder if I need to contact someone to see if I somehow
slipped off the system?    Has a formal notice actually been sent already?
I need verification about this change.  Can you advise?

I took some action assuming the April 12th deadline that I want to tell you
about.  (I have already given Grant Davis a heads-up on this.)  Our group,
RRWPC sends out mailers every other month to about 850 addresses
(representing about 1200 RRWPC supporters).

Our last mailer was sent out about ten days ago and in it was a letter
devoted to the Decision 1610 issue and a protest form that people could sign
and send in.  (attached) I have about 35 signed protests sitting here that I
will copy and send to you and Grant, with more coming in (I may wait a week
and send a bunch all at once.)  Many people are sending them directly to
your agency, so you may have seen some by now.  I don’t know if all will
qualify as formal protests, but nonetheless, I hope they will be put on your
list to receive notice on this issue.  They are people with a deep
connection to the lower river and are very concerned about permanent
lowering of flows to 70 cfs.

I am planning to submit a formal protest on behalf of all our supporters by
the May 13th date.  My protest will include a copy of my Response to the
FOER Petition sent to you recently which is closely tied to this issue.  I
have also discussed this issue and our concerns with Grant.  I have received
a lot of positive feedback on that document and I attach it to this message
as well.

Finally, I have also written an article on this issue for the Sonoma County
Gazette (April 1st edition), a community newspaper that now publishes 25,000
copies and is distributed over much of the western part of Sonoma County
including Petaluma, Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg, etc.  The article has a
link to the publisher’s website that includes the Protest form as well.
Citizens can download and send in.   I have no idea how many people will do
so, but the opportunity is there.

Our basic attitude is that the Decision 1610 protest process should not be
shut down until AFTER the EIR is complete and also that nothing should
happen until the USGS report on river water quality is released.  We want to
see further study and analysis of water quality problems in the lower river
that will be exacerbated by low flows.  We want more information on impacts
to seals and sea birds at the Estuary.  We want more information on the
planned experimental structure to close the mouth permanently each summer.
We would like to see flows lowered gradually with analysis of water quality,
recreation and economic impacts at each level.

Thank you for your consideration.  I hope this information is helpful to
you.

Brenda