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
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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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Community Perspectives on Local Transportation Needs & Funding

On September 13, 2018, ECOS and other groups submitted a joint letter to the Sacramento Transit Authority regarding transportation needs & funding in the Sacramento region. Below is an excerpt from the letter.

Breathe California Sacramento Region (BCSR), Cien Amigos, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA), Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA), Sacramento Transit Advocates and Riders (STAR), Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter and WALKSacramento are pleased to jointly share our perspectives on local transportation needs and funding.

Collectively, our missions stand for the advancement of health, access, equity, justice and environmental stewardship through investments in the built environment. We work closely in partnership with agencies and communities throughout the Sacramento region on issues related to transportation, land use, housing, and the environment, representing a wide-reaching constituency of some of Sacramento’s most engaged voters.

As the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) begins to consider how to fund countywide transportation priorities, we’re pleased to know that Measure M approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2016 is a consensus model for a successful funding measure for Sacramento County. Our organizations comprise a working group committed to ensuring that Sacramento County’s next transportation sales tax measure benefits from the lessons learned from Measure M. We commend STA for recognizing the value of Measure M as a model and commit to working with STA to follow the successful approach used by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in crafting and winning passage of Measure M.

(Continued)

Click here to read the full letter (PDF).

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