Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The River Won!

I know this sounds like another one of my stories where I was kayaking down the river and had to get rescued.. but it isn't. (Yes that really happened... but that is for another time.) This is about EBMUD and the Mokelumne River and for once, the river won.  These are pictures of the river that I took while I was on vacation over Thanksgiving week. I really needed the time off and I wanted to see this new area that had been opened on the river. Here is the irony and then I will tell you the story... Irony-I live in the East Bay and EBMUD supplies my water. The water I drink in Moraga is from the Mokelumne River and it is just the best tasting water. The water I drink in MokeHill is not from the river, but some other place and I don't like drinking it from the tap. I can appreciate what this river does in both places, the water I drink in the bay area and the beauty it offers just down the road from my house.
EBMUD for the last few years has been trying to raise the height of Pardee Dam to hold more water. If they did that, they would have flooded over a mile of this river and actually have blocked off access to one small foothill town. There has been a movement working hard to stop this and protect the river as something wild and beautiful, and they won today. The EBMUD has dropped the plans for raising the dam!  http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19483057?IADID=Search-\www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com
For my friends who live in less populated areas and are scratching their heads thinking, "Aren't all rivers wild and scenic?" Not in California any longer, most rivers that come into the bay area are hardly a trickle and have cement boundaries to keep them in line if they dare to think of flowing over. So I am very proud to say that today one of things I actually signed a petition on came through! Enough already, here are pictures of the river where I dragged my mom and dad to this past Thanksgiving.  Mom really appreciated the one lane road... really! (I am getting hearing back in my right ear now, thanks for the prayers.)
This area was just opened by EBMUD to kayakers and fishing.

This is a low water level compared to this summer when the snow melt had it very high, fast and cold.

Dad is too cool in his sunglasses... notice the clarity of the river.

The bridge we cross to Jackson.    

This is a cart that goes across the river and it looks like it can hold a couple of people. I am not sure what it is or does, but EBMUD owns it and I would love to find out!

This river has meant a lot to me even when I was younger and living in Lodi. I used to swim in it and my grandpa Bouttier could never say the name right. He would call it the "muck a who me" and I would just laugh at that. My grandparents were killed in a car accident at the turn off from highway 88 to Sutter's creek when I was 15. I can drive there on the weekends and see the store with the big statue of the lumber jack who is missing his ax now... at first it made me sad to see him. I had avoided him all my adult life, swearing I would never go to the area again. But now it feels like home... and the "muck a who me" is my favorite river...


1 comment:

  1. Hey, Julie: I just ran across your blog. Thanks for the nice write up on the Mokelumne. Yes, in this case the river won -- and it won because of people like you who stood up and said, "Enough. This river gives enough, and we need to protect what's left of it." Those of us who led the charge for the Moke at the Foothill Conservancy were gratified by all of the local support, happy with the legal victory, and yes, really pleased when EBMUD dropped the dam from its water plan entirely. Now we're trying to secure Wild and Scenic designation for the river. If your readers want to know more, they should see the Moke section of our website at www.savethemoke.com. Thanks !