ECOS comments on US-50 HOV Phase 2 Project Draft IS/EA

November 4, 2016

RE: Sac 50 Phase 2 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes* Project Draft Initial Study [with Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration]/Environmental Assessment

In general, ECOS is greatly concerned that this Initial Study does not adequately analyze the potential impacts of the project, and strongly recommends that a full EIR be conducted.

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Read our full comment letter here.

What’s an HOV lane? 
From Caltrans: The central concept for HOV lanes is to move more people rather than more cars. Some HOV lanes carry almost half of the people carried on the entire freeway.

Sacramento Wild and Scenic On Tour Film Program Announced!

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Doors Open at 6:00pm, Films 6:30pm-9:30pm

24th Street Theater at the Sierra 2 Community Center (2791 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95818)

Click here to view all the details about film festival.


Film Program

Parker’s Top 50 Favorite Things about Northwest Rivers

This fun film celebrates the best things about Northwest rivers, from a kid’s perspective. From sun, to rain, to waterfalls, to wild salmon, to time with mom, it’s the rivers that make the Northwest such a special place.

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Walt

Explore the life of Walt Shubin, San Joaquin-area grape farmer who has been striving to bring back this amazing river for over six decades. How do we value a river? How does a river form your life? Walt reminds us of the importance of a place like the San Joaquin.

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Kew Gardens: Beyond the Gardens- The Forgotten Home of Coffee

This is a story of guardianship over one of the world’s most economically valuable crops, revealing the surprisingly fragile foundations that lie beneath the multi-billion pound industry, showing just how important Kew’s scientific research is to securing the fate of our cup of coffee.

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The Fire Next Time

When the Rim Fire burned 256,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in 2013, it exposed the impacts that high intensity wildfires are having on watersheds, wildlife, and carbon storage. It also forged a coalition of environmentalists, loggers, scientists, officials, and land managers who are responding to this megafire and recognize the need to forestall the next one.

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Co2ld Waters

Five of the most respected names in the fly fishing world converge on a single creek in Montana to talk about their passion and to discuss the single biggest threat to their timeless pursuit, climate change. Can four million fly anglers make difference? Legendary fishermen, including Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, believe it is possible.

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A Dam Problem

Building successful relationships takes time but those relationships are the key to completing a successful dam removal and floodplain restoration project near Sisters, OR, that benefited farmers, fish and the surrounding ecosystem.

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Sagebrush Sisters

Join three intrepid women, from ages 65 to 80, as they hike more than 50 miles following a pronghorn migration path across the high desert. The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region on the Oregon-Nevada border is a wildlife stronghold in the sagebrush sea, and these women hope to keep it that way.

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Avaatara: The First Route Out

David Lama achieves first ascent of the Baatara gorge in Lebanon. “If you travel roads that have already been discovered, you are basically always just following. But if you go somewhere where no one’s ever been and do something no one’s ever done, you’re on the lead and that’s one thing that I really like.” David Lama’s guiding philosophy has already taken him to the most impressive mountain ranges of the world and, more recently, to the Baartara gorge in Lebanon. A surreal ‘Avatar’-like landscape, unexploited and untouched.

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Plant for the Planet

Eleven-year-old Felix Finkbeiner from Germany learned about climate change and how trees take up CO2. Inspired by Wangari Maathai, he founded Plant for the Planet which has now planted millions of trees. This and the other Young Voices for the Planet films document young people playing a vital role in catalyzing change in their homes, schools, communities… and the world.

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Soil Carbon Cowboys

Many people talk about the cattle business as a big environmental problem. Cattle, when properly grazed, offer solutions to soil health, animal health, human health, water supply and food nutrition. It’s a brave new world, and it’s below our feet.

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Diversity and Inclusion In Our Wild Spaces

A campfire discussion on improving the diversity of both the visitation and the employment within our parks and wild spaces happened last May in Yosemite National Park. A gathering of extraordinary people from non-profit agencies, land management bureaus and those involved in the movement to encourage more people of color to visit and seek careers in the outdoors brings light to important issues facing today’s conservation movement and outdoor recreation.

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Defined by the Line

Josh Ewing began visiting the Bears Ears region of southeastern Utah to climb at Indian Creek and explore the local archaeology. But when he moved to the town of Bluff, he saw degradation from oil drilling, looting, and careless visitors. Ewing knew simply loving a place was no longer enough.

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Dredging Up A Solution

Howard Wood, an amateur diver, restored the marine ecosystem in Lamlash Bay by establishing the first community-developed Marine Protected Area in Scotland. Narrated by Robert Redford, Dredging Up A Solution illustrates how an ordinary person can effect extraordinary change. Howard Wood is a true environmental hero who placed himself squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries while building strong grassroots support.

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One Woman Roadblock

A former tribal chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, Marilyn Baptiste led her native community in defeating proposed gold and copper mines that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for her people. Narrated by Robert Redford, One Woman Roadblock illustrates how an ordinary person can effect extraordinary change. Marilyn Baptiste is a true environmental hero who placed herself squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries while building strong grassroots support.

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A Line in the Sand

Edward Abbey’s words have always been deliberately provocative–especially when said in defense of the desert landscape he loved so much. The words in this film are a mash-up of quotes from speeches to articles, to interviews and books. Abbey was willing to say things that no one else would, and his sentiment is relevant now more than ever. What will we stand up for? What will be lost if we chose not to stand at all?

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62 Years

The last time Ken Brower traveled down the Yampa River in Northwest Colorado was with his father, David Brower, in 1952. This was the year his father became the first executive director of the Sierra Club and joined the fight against a pair of proposed dams on the Green River in Northwest Colorado. The dams would have flooded the canyons of the Green and its tributary, Yampa, inundating the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. With a conservation campaign that included a book, magazine articles, a film, a traveling slideshow, grassroots organizing, river trips and lobbying, David Brower and the Sierra Club ultimately won the fight—ushering in a period many consider the dawn of modern environmentalism. 62 years later, Ken revisited the Yampa & Green Rivers to reflect on his father’s work, their 1952 river trip, and how we will confront the looming water crisis in the American West.

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Announcing the 2016 Environmentalists of the Year!

The 2016 Environmentalists of the Year include:

– Chris Lewis of ECOS, the Sacramento Valley Chapter – California Native Plant Society and Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery

– Marty Maskall for her work to establish the Fair Oaks EcoHousing: A Family-Friendly Green Neighborhood Project

– The Mather Alliance as Coalition of the Year for their outstanding work to protect the Mather Vernal Pools

– Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli as Public Servant of the Year for his tremendous work advocating for the conservation of the Mather Vernal Pools

Congratulations to this year’s awardees! We look forward to recognizing these environmental stewards on November 16th, 2016. Read all about the event here.

ECOS Comments on 19J Project

September 5, 2016

ECOS supports the 19J project particularly for its sustainability and “affordable by design” features. We find the urban design features, building scale and location to have an approach consistent with the intent of the City General Plan, despite its modest height increase beyond the Plan’s approved limits. We recommend approval of the project, but strongly recommend that three conditions be applied to its approval.

  1. A deed restriction shall be recorded whereby the rental cost of the 300 to 445 square foot units shall not exceed 30% of Sacramento’s median income.
  2. A deed restriction shall also be recorded stating that no units shall be sold for 15 years from the date of initial occupancy.
  3. Approval of the project shall require that the project owner/operators submit an annual report to the Planning Department verifying compliance with conditions 1 & 2 above.

We believe that in order to maintain the integrity of the project, these conditions must be applied.

View our letter here.

ECOS endorsement of Alternative F location selection for the Wilton Rancheria project

August 25, 2016

We were pleased that in subsequent months the Wilton Rancheria tribe has selected Elk Grove as the primary choice for location of their project.  On August 4th, the members of the leadership of ECOS met and discussed the project with the Wilton Rancheria tribal chairman Raymond Hitchcock. The discussion included an update on the project as well as the concerns that were substantially avoided by the selection of Alternate F site for the project.

We would like to reiterate our support for the selection of Alternate F as the site for the Wilton Rancheria project and would like to continue to work with the tribe regarding future environmental concerns and impacts. We are hopeful that the Wilton Rancheria, in recognizing that the casino project will still have a role in stimulating expansive Elk Grove urban growth, will join with us in efforts to protect and restore important wildlife habitat in the ancestral lands of the Plains Miwok along the lower Cosumnes River and the Stone Lakes complex.

View our letter here.

City of West Sacramento General Plan 2035 Update

The Draft Environmental Impact Repopt (DEIR) for the 2035 update to the City of West Sacramento General Plan is open for comments through September 19th, 2016. The chapters are available on the City of West Sacramento’s website.