A Note From Our Treasurer: ECOS Needs Your Support

January 11, 2019

Dear Friend,

I hope this letter finds you in good health. I want to highlight some of the Environmental Council of Sacramento’s (ECOS) accomplishments last year, inform you about our plans for the New Year, and ask for your continued financial support—because ECOS would not exist without support from local environmental stewards like you.
We need your support. Please consider becoming a member – better yet with a recurring monthly donation of ten or twenty bucks a month (less than the price of going out to dinner!). You can become a dues-paying member and support our community by clicking here: https://www.ecosacramento.net/membership-account/membership/.

We accomplished a lot in 2018:
· ECOS wins lawsuit securing light rail funding. ECOS secured $40.5 million for the Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail system by settling our lawsuit challenging the Caltrans Environmental Impact Report for the Capital City Freeway Improvement Project. This money will be used to complete double tracking to Folsom, purchase low floor train cars, and resume evening service on the Gold Line.
· ECOS organizes 29th annual Earth Day. On April 22, 2018, ECOS hosted Sacramento’s annual Earth Day celebration in Southside Park—the largest annual environmental event in Sacramento County. This event now draws over 3,000 visitors to live music, 150 nonprofit and crafts vendor booths, and the largest electric vehicle display and test-drive event in the Sacramento region. Thanks to our partners the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association and Charge Across Town, some 40 different electric vehicle models were displayed by owners and several hundred test-drives were conducted by regional EV dealers.
· ECOS advocates for underserved communities. In 2018, ECOS advocated for environmental protection in green spaces occupied by Sacramento’s growing homeless population and for expanded homeless services and transitional housing. In addition, ECOS established an Environmental Justice Committee within our organization to identify the priorities of underserved communities and help build networks in support of our mutual environmental interests, including the expansion of public transit, affordable infill housing, and living wages.
· Housing, housing, housing. With the economy continuing to improve, land use projects of increasing size and adverse environmental impact were proposed in Sacramento County last year. If the region does not accommodate the new urban housing market, sprawl will continue, threatening whatever habitat, agriculture and open space is left. So we have also paid a great deal of attention to the intensification of urban development in the region’s cities (Elk Grove, Roseville, Sacramento, Galt, Citrus Heights, West Sacramento, etc.) where the new urban housing market could be focused.

In 2019, ECOS will focus on future transportation funding options, Phase 2 hearings on the California WaterFix, local electric vehicle roll-out, environmental justice group empowerment, and local implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act next year. You can support our work by becoming a member: https://www.ecosacramento.net/membership-account/membership/.

As you know, we are a small, local organization that operates on a shoestring budget and depends on the financial support of community members like you. ECOS does a lot with a little: we have an annual budget of just thousands of dollars; with more members and an expanded budget, we can serve the community better. We know you receive requests from many organizations and hope our decades of dedicated community service and proven success earn us a spot on your list. As always, we would be extremely grateful for your support.

Happy New Year!

Best Regards,

Earl Withycombe, ECOS Treasurer

P.S. There are many ways to support ECOS. Beyond your annual donation we encourage you to become a monthly sustainer, which give us the financial stability to do more. You can do this by visiting our website (https://www.ecosacramento.net/), and then clicking on “Donate” under “Support ECOS”. We also welcome volunteers for every aspect of our work – you’ll have fun and learn skills as you help our environment. Contact us at office [at] ecosacramento [dot] net.

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ECOS/Habitat 2020 Comments on the Two Rivers Trail Phase II project

On November 30, 2018, the Habitat Committee of the Environmental Council of Sacramento submitted a letter to Tom Buford, Principal Planner, and Adam Randolph, Project Manager, with the Community Development Department of the City of Sacramento.

Habitat 2020 is a citizen coalition that works to protect the lands, waters, wildlife and native plants in the Sacramento region. It also serves as the Environmental Council of Sacramento’s Habitat & Conservation committee. The great Central Valley of California has been identified by the World Wildlife Fund as one of North America’s most endangered eco-regions. Preserving its remaining open space and agricultural land is essential for sustaining native plants and wildlife, and ensuring a high quality of life for ourselves and future generations. Members of Habitat 2020 include the Sacramento Audubon Society, California Native Plant Society, Friends of Swainson’s Hawk, Save the American River Association, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter – Sacramento Group, Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, the International Dark-Sky Association and the Sacramento Area Creeks Council.

The American River Parkway is a unique and singularly important riparian habitat corridor in the County of Sacramento and is a rare remaining remnant of what was once a much more extensive riparian ecosystem in northern California. Any project to construct facilities within the Parkway and to increase human activities in the Parkway has impacts on the wildlife, habitat and plants of this corridor. This project would create 3.4 miles of new Class 1 bicycle and pedestrian trail primarily along the waterside levee toe west from Sutter’s Landing Regional Park to the Sacramento Northern Bikeway Trail at North 18th Street, and east from the eastern terminus of Sutter’s Landing Regional Park to the H Street Bridge. The trail would be 14-16 feet wide. As stated in the MND/IS, page 5, the project is proposed to be constructed largely in an area designated as “Protected Area” under the American River Parkway Plan, with habitat preservation and recreation-related activities being the primary uses. As stated on page 9, it is one of the objectives of the project to “Complete the project in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts to the Parkway, given the proposed project’s location within the environmentally sensitive Parkway.”

Our comments on the MND/IS focus on the conservation of the Parkway as natural habitat. Moreover, we support the mission of the Save the American River Association (SARA) and endorse (and incorporate by reference into our comments) all comments made by SARA on this MND/IS. Likewise, we endorse and incorporate comments made by the Friends of the River Banks and the Friends of Sutter Landing Park.


We request that the City draft and circulate a full EIR, considering alternatives to the project width and alignment, and significantly improving the mitigation measures for the project
.

View the full letter by clicking here (PDF).

View more information about the project on the City’s website by clicking here.

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Letter to Folsom re Ecological Light Pollution

Subject: Agenda item 8(a) under New Business of the November 27, 2018 City Council Meeting — Bridge Lighting
Date: 11/27/2018 03:11 PM

Dear Mayor Miklos:

The “presentation on the opportunity to light the upstream side the Lake Natoma Crossing Bridge” implies bringing new lighting to Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

In a word — DON’T.

Additional night lighting would expand the impact of Ecological Light Pollution to the area.

Theatrical vanity lighting on the bridge is unnecessary and detrimental to the ecology of the area.

The night time environment of Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area should be preserved as much as possible.

Protect, Moderate, Mitigate —

Protect – Protect the night time environment of Lake Natoma, American River Parkway, and Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

Moderate – Should any additional lighting including the proposed lighting be installed, it must be extremely low level and controlled including time of use.

Mitigate – Should any additional lighting including the proposed lighting be installed, other lighting in the area should be reduced.

This topic provides an opportunity for the City of Folsom to embrace reducing night time lighting impacts on Lake Natoma and on the entire region.

Having studied and advocated for reduction in bridge lighting to protect salmon from the impacts of night lighting, I am concerned that this type of lighting may start a bad trend to light bridges in the Lower American River and other in the region.

Dialog on this topic provides an opportunity to the City of Folsom to consider an Outdoor Lighting ordinance such as the City of Malibu has recently enacted.

As I understand the city is well on it’s way to improved lighting with the adaptation of 3000K color temperature for most of municipal lighting.
The International Dark-Sky Association requires 3000K or below to qualify for its Fixture Seal of Approval. Many cities around the world are implementing 2700K for all lighting.

Regards,

Jack E. Sales

California Section International Dark-Sky Association

cc:
Ernie Sheldon, City Council
Andy Morin, City Council
Kerri Howell, City Council
Roger Gaylord III, City Council
Lynda Konopka, Deputy City Clerk

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