Take that, Condit Dam — a river-killing structure that was partially taken out the right way (and by “right” we mean by the use of explosives):
Now if only we could convince somebody to involve A few B-26 Marauder fast attack bombers…
PG&E’s conducting flow gate tests on Pit 5 this Tuesday, which not only means high water that day, but likely unsettled fishing the next day or two.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has rescheduled to Tuesday, Oct. 11 an increased flow test on the Pit River below the Pit 5 Diversion Dam. The test was originally scheduled for Monday, Oct. 3.
PG&E is conducting a regular test of dam flow gates, which is required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The test is being done on a weekday in the fall when recreational use of the river is low and before winter rains increase river flows. Water levels will rise about half a foot an hour for about six to eight hours, starting before dawn so that the river stops rising before sunrise.
The increased flows will not be noticeable beyond the Pit 6 Dam. This portion of the Pit River is remote with no established recreational facilities.
The higher flows will not exceed those experienced in fall and winter.
The maximum flow of 1,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) will be held for about six to eight hours, then gradually reduced over a period of about six to eight hours until all gates are closed.
The anticipated flow before and after testing will be 350 cfs.
See you anywhere but the Pit, Tom Chandler.
I was part of a writer/photographer team that interviewed Steve Jobs during his Next years; we conducted the interview at an Ann Arbor trade show the day before the 1989 Loma Prieta/San Francisco earthquake.
Until now, I never connected the two.
Jobs was the consummate showman; the Next workstation hadn’t yet been released, but was supposed to pack engineering workstation power in a sexy 12″ cube.
The Next booth was built in secrecy behind shrouds, and when it came time to populate it with machines, Jobs lined up twelve people — each carrying a Next workstation — and sent them through the crowd.
I couldn’t decide if it was showmanship or megalomania, but later realized it was simply attention to detail — the act of someone who would later throw out expensive, “good enough” prototype smartphones because they featured more than one button.
The interview itself was predictably opaque; Jobs played things pretty close to the vest, and interviewers often tied themselves into knots looking for an opening, which Jobs never supplied. I remember almost nothing from the interview except that he warned us we’d get only one picture at its conclusion.
In retrospect, that fact probably should have opened the interview.
I bought one of the original 128K Macs, a brilliant machine crippled by Jobs’ insistence that it have no expansion slots — one of the decisions that initially wounded the Macintosh in the PC market.
A sleek, no-slot PC is a pretty cripple, but a one-button mp3 player (or smartphone, or tablet) is no cripple at all, and the aesthetic that hampered Jobs in the computer world paid off in the consumer goods markets, where he really hit his stride.
It would be presumptuous to say Jobs eventually realized perfect boxes weren’t the goal as much as a perfect experience (though it neatly explains iTunes and Pixar), and I have little desire to join the thousands already casting about in the dark about a man we didn’t know.
I’ll simply suggest he had the effect on many of us of a long, rolling earthquake, and yesterday the rumbling ceased, and we are the poorer for it.
This, Undergrounders, is great, great (really great) news. We give you the Official Press Release of Goodness:
August 26, 2011
Today the Governor announced his appointment of Chuck Bonham to the position of Director of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). Mr. Bonham has served in multiple positions at Trout Unlimited (TU) since 2000, including California Director and Senior Attorney.
As state director, Bonham was responsible for developing, implementing, and managing all of TU’s programs in California. These programs include TU’s California Water Project, Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, and restoration and watershed projects in both northern and southern California.
Bonham also serves on the board of directors of the Delta Conservancy.
Mr. Bonham has been a leader in many of the most ambitious water, land, and fish restoration efforts in California in the last decade, including: the development of the Yuba Accord (winner of the 2009 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award); the Klamath River restoration initiative to secure the nation’s largest dam removal and river restoration project while ensuring sustainable local communities; and, the formation of the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council during the energy crisis in the early 2000s to permanently protect 140,000 remarkable acres of watershed lands and invest in outdoor programs that serve California’s young people.
He received his J.D. and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa.
Mr. Bonham’s appointment requires Senate confirmation.
Poachers aren’t exactly strangers to California’s fishing scene, but apparently one group of them decided to cut out the middleman and poach their trout directly from the hatchery (from the Silicon Valley Mercury News):
What’s believed to be the first-ever large-scale theft from a fish hatchery in the state has wardens from the Department of Fish and Game scouring markets and roadside stands looking for thousands of pounds of trophy-sized trout.
Workers on Sunday arrived at the San Joaquin State Fish Hatchery to find the gate pried open, blood covering the floors and 70 dead trout left behind. Department spokesman Patrick Foy said as many as 1,000 trophy trout were stolen.
“If anyone smells anything fishy, they should give us a call,” Foy said.
You heard the man, though I’d like to caution the hygiene-impaired Undergrounders to first make sure it’s not their waders which smell like hell before calling Fish & Game.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Robin Singler
July 29, 2011
â€œIntroduction To Fly Fishingâ€ Clinic Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Local Guide Wayne Eng will lead instruction in river history, reading the water and more in Dunsmuir’s beautiful City Park
Hosted by the River Exchange’s Sustainable Watershed Series
DUNSMUIR, CA– On Sunday, August 21st, the River Exchange is hosting their â€œIntroduction to Fly Fishingâ€ Clinic on the grounds of beautiful Dunsmuir City Park, from 10am to 2pm. The clinic is a great way to be introduced to the river for anyone interested in learning about fly fishing.
With the help of other fly fishing volunteers, Wayne Eng, local fly fishing guide and river lover, will lead the clinic with lecture and demo instruction on various aspects of fly fishing in the Upper Sacramento River. Topics covered will include river history, casting techniques, reading the river and more.
Wayne Eng has taken hundreds of people on the water to hone their skills, from beginners to experts. â€œThe “Zen” of fly fishing is that you place yourself completely into the moment, using all of your senses and skills to be effective,â€ says Wayne. â€œNo matter what skill level you are, being able to immerse yourself in the art of fly fishing in such a beautiful setting is magical and inspiring.â€
Cost of admission is $35 per person, which is used to fund the River Exchange’s watershed education programs. Space for this clinic is limited; call the River Exchange at (530) 235-2012 or email them at email@example.com to make your reservation.
The River Exchange is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting healthy watersheds through community involvement in stewardship, restoration and education. For more information about the River Exchange, visit www.riverexchange.org.
From the Orvisnews.com site:
Did ExxonMobil understimateÂ theirÂ initial claim of how much oil spilled into the Yellowstone River when a pipe ruptured back on July 1? They may well have, since they first claimed they stopped the leak in minutes, but regulators have since learned it actually took an hour to stop the leak.
The River Exchange — a watershed nonprofit located in Dunsmuir — is looking for a new Executive Director, and they foolishly asked me to post it among my “network” of people, apparently not realizing the Underground’s readers are a lazy, slackish lot.
Do you know someone who is interested in leading a respected conservation organization working to promote healthy watersheds in the beautiful Mount Shasta region?
The River Exchange (REX) is accepting applications for our Executive Director position. We are a non-profit, 501(c)(3) watershed stewardship organization located in Dunsmuir, California. REX fills a unique role in the region – proactively working to support and improve the health of the watershed ecosystem, educate and empower the community to be effective watershed stewards and facilitate cooperation of stakeholders in collaborative watershed management.
This position is currently 70% time, although this may be negotiable. Salary will be dependent on qualifications and experience, with an expected range of $55,000 – $60,000 per year at the full-time rate ($38,500 – $42,000 at 70%).
Application materials – including cover letter, resume, short writing sample and references – will be accepted in electronic format only through 9:00 p.m. on August 9, 2011. Please send application materials, or any requests for further information, to firstname.lastname@example.org. See full job description below and additional information about the organization at www.riverexchange.org.
The Executive Director of the River Exchange is the chief executive officer for the organization. The ED is responsible for all the day-to-day operations of the River Exchange and oversees the full range of activities normally conducted by a non-profit organization, including development of programs that meet the organization’s mission, policy development, financial management, fundraising, contract negotiations, grant compliance, public relations, agency partnerships and media relations. The ED is also responsible for the organization’s financial operations, including preparing and implementing an annual budget.
The ED manages the following staff: Administrative Director, Research Director and Finance Director. All employees currently work a part-time schedule. The Executive Director is responsible for employee recruitment, management and evaluation.
Reporting to a nine-member Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for all Board relations and communications, plus preparation of agendas and reports for regular and special Board meetings.
The successful candidate for this position will demonstrate knowledge of non-profit operations, budget experience, excellent written and oral communication skills and a strong background in fundraising, grant writing and grant administration – particularly with public agencies. The successful candidate will also have management experience and experience working with a non-profit board of directors.
Knowledge and understanding of water issues in northern California is desirable and a demonstrated commitment to the environment and to the non-profit sector is a must.
Looks like the folks aiming to privatize a public resource are at it again — this time in Virginia, where a golf course community developer wants to keep the barbarian hordes off the Jackson River, and has filed a civil trespassing case against three anglers:
After having their criminal trespassing case dismissed by a judge in general district court in 2010, the developer of the River’s Edge golf community near Covington, VA has filed a civil trespassing case against three Virginia anglers who lawfully entered the Jackson river with kayaks at the Smith Bridge public access point (see the VDGIF map) and remained within the river banks while fishing down the river. The developer is seeking an injunction to prevent the anglers from wade fishing a stretch of the Jackson that runs past their adjacent land.
Under a Virginia statute that is more than 200 years old, the beds of all rivers and streams â€œare the property of the Commonwealth and may be used as a common by all the people for the purposes of fishing, fowling, hunting, and taking and catching oysters and other shellfish.â€
In this case, the adjacent River’s Edge property owners are claiming that they own the bed of the Jackson River by virtue of two different 18th century land grants that predated the passage of that statute: a 1743 crown grant executed by the governor of Virginia on behalf of the King of England and a 1785 grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia, yet neither of the developer’s old land grants explicitly reference the bed of the Jackson River when describing the property conveyed. The grants also do not mention fishing rights. This case is therefore very different from, and potentially more threatening to anglers, paddlers and hunters, the previous Jackson River VA Supreme Court case (Kraft v. Burr) where it was undisputed that the landowners owned the bed of the river. Here, the River’s Edge developer is claiming to own property that, in practice and historically, belongs to the Commonwealth.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office needs to participate in the litigation to defend Virginia’s property rights to the bed of the Jackson River and the interests of the people to use the river for boating, fishing, hunting, swimming or general recreation. If the AG refuses to defend the state’s property rights in this case, its rights to other rivers and streams (like the Shenandoah or the James) may be compromised, along with the ability of the people of Virginia to fish, boat, and recreate in these rivers.
Somewhat tellingly, the bad guys have released one of the three anglers from the civil lawsuit — a pastor. Think there’s a PR battle being fought here?
Mail this to: KCUCCINELLI@OAG.STATE.VA.US
To: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
RE: Protect citizen access to Virginia’s Rivers
Mr. Cuccinelli, I urge you to:
Thank you. Public access is under assault around the country from those who would privatize a public resource, and I urge you to protect the right of Virginia’s citizens to access their rivers.
Ãœber-environmental writer Elizabeth Royte recently fired up an article about the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission conducting some remarkably questionable sales to energy companies. To whit:
Gas companies in southwestern Pennsylvania are leasing portions of streams from Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission to build a 16.5-mile pipeline to move locally drilled gas to larger markets. Why is an agency that promotes sport fishing making it easier for gas companies to operate in and around waterways used for fishing? Because it’s $36 million short on cash to repair dams in danger of collapse (the dams are classified as high risk because they’re incapable of holding 50 percent of the maximum precipitation that a region could receive). The Fish Commission also plans to sell water to the gas companies for use in drilling operations. (Wait: aren’t surface waters in the public trustâ€”owned by the people? Maybe they’re selling groundwater – the story is unclear.) So far, about one-third of the commission’s waterwaysâ€”some 14,000 acres–are potential drilling sites.
It gets worse; not only will the pipeline cross a few bazillion streams and wetlands, but they’re going to let the industry police itself?
The pipeline will cross wetlands 71 times and streams 41 times. Kelly Swan, a spokesperson for Williams Production Appalachia, which is pursing a permit to drill under Donegal Lake, a popular trout-fishing spot in Donegal Township, among other sites, minimizes the potential for environmental damage: â€œCompany inspectors will be stationed along the pipeline daily to ensure that construction adheres to state DEP requirements.â€ Very reassuring: the company guards itself, under requirements set by a notoriously drill-friendly agency. (We’ve seen how well this worked with BP in the Gulf, ExxonMobil in Yellowstone, and so on.)
Royte is not a fisheries person, but she is a meticulous writer and researcher, and I wonder if any of the Undergrounders in Pennsylvania can offer any information or perspective?
See you at the pipeline, Tom Chandler.