River Watch Header Image

Fracking in Mendocino?

To All,

From the AVA:

COULD MENDOCINO COUNTY be fracked? And if it were fracked, what the frack would it be fracked for? Since most of the County is owned by either the Mendocino Redwood Company or the government, these two entities would own the rights to most of whatever’s down there. And what is down there? Way back there were some smallish copper mines, one of them lying in the canyon between the Feliz Creek headwaters and Yorkville’s Y Ranch. But that was surface mining. In Covelo there was some rock (jade?) and coal mining done by Italian nationals before World War Two, hence a few Indians named Gino and Carlo. We know that there are hot water springs here and there which, I suppose, might be tapped for energy as they are at the Geysers in Lake County. But Mendo’s hot water springs seem awfully small compared to the whole area of them in Lake County. And we know there are oil deposits in the Pacific vastness off

Point Arena and Elk. But those deposits aren’t commercially attractive, are they?

WHEN I ASKED former Supervisor Norman deVall about what might lure large-scale extractive interests to Mendocino County, he replied, “The most interesting map I ever saw in the Planning Department was of the County showing hot water springs. The Anderson Valley is ringed with warm water sources. Add to that the Manchester Anticline just to the west and that the largest limestone deposit (limestone=cement) in California is on the Greenwood-Philo Ridge Road and you have the next economic era. I have no doubt that we’re on top of ‘natural’ gas fields and hydro-petroleum. A few years ago I met up with some petro geologists chipping away at the cliff edge in Point Arena Cove who showed me what they were looking for: oil. During WWII Atlantic-Richfield drilled for oil at Point Arena and developed a producing well. But history has it that it was so laden with sulfur that it wasn’t put into production. I’ve also heard that oil deposits have been found leeching into Wages and San Juan Creeks on the northcoast. We would do well to pass an anti-fracking initiative in the County.”