April 21, 2014

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration Water System Improvements Project

Armstrong Woods flora ~ Darris B. Nelson

We have until May 2, 2014, to send our comments about this project to Patricia DuMont, Environmental Coordinator for State Parks. If you care at all about this park I urge you to read the project proposal and respond. In my opinion, this project could have permanent negative consequences to the old growth redwoods within Armstrong Woods. Below is a link to an article in the Sonoma County Gazette by Linda Lucey that outlines the proposal:

Sonoma County Gazette article regarding the Armstrong Woods proposed water improvement project.

Below is my letter sent to Patricia DuMont addressing my concerns. I've included two email addresses where you can send your letters. Keep in mind your letter does not have to be lengthy it can be a short comment of concern. Thank you so much for taking the time to move on something you care about. YOU DO make a difference! 

 'The Touch' by John Cushman ~ Armstrong Redwoods SNR

April 21, 2014

Patricia DuMont, Environmental Coordinator                           

DPR - Northern Service Center

One Capitol Mall, Suite 410

Sacramento, CA 95814



RE: Armstrong Redwoods SNR: MND Water System Improvement Project

Dear Ms. DuMont,

Thank you for the extended time in which to comment on the proposed Armstrong Water System project.

As the wife of a Certified Arborist (35 years in Sonoma County), I have grave concerns about the impact this project will have on the redwoods within the park.  While I understand that the existing water system is in dire straits and must be addressed to meet health and safety standards, I believe the health of the trees must be the first consideration before moving ahead with this project.

For 21 years I owned a 5 1/2 acre property with hundreds of redwoods, oaks, bays and fir trees.  Although we carefully chose our homesite to lessen the impact our footprint would have on the surrounding area, the careful digging and narrow trenches for water, waste and power had dire consequences on the trees even 100 feet from the building site.

It’s evident by the top die off of the redwoods in Armstrong Woods that the trees are stressed by drought conditions.  In 21 years of living in a forest I witnessed what drought conditions could do to thriving trees. Old growth trees can withstand years of drought but add to that the stress of current high rates of acidic conditions then damage their root systems from trenching, fill their canopies with toxic fumes, fuel and oil from heavy equipment, chemical drilling compounds, and the soil compaction this equipment will create, and it’s a very real possibility these ancient trees will succumb. 

During construction our home building site was a wildlife ‘dead zone’. The birds and other typically abundant wildlife left the area. What consideration has been given to the nesting birds and other wildlife that will be dislocated during this proposed project?

Our family have been regular visitors of the park for over 50 years. As farmers and arborists we’ve always noticed and appreciated the vibrant health of the magnificent redwoods within Armstrong Woods. During a recent visit with 70 other members of a Sonoma County photography group, I watched and listened to hundreds of visitors from around the world marvel at the site of our majestic old growth redwoods. First and foremost we have a responsibility to care for these trees and the wildlife that exists within them. I urge State Parks to consider all possibilities before moving ahead with any plan that could ultimately destroy the very trees that draw people to the park in the first place.

I understand this is a difficult dilemma for State Parks and I appreciate you taking the time to consider all comments and questions about this project.

Darris B. Nelson

Armstrong woods ~ Darris B. Nelson

April 8, 2014

Since 2010, the Monterey Bay Shores Eco-Resort has been fighting the California Coastal Commission in court over their decision to decline this mega-resort a permit to build. 

The stated mission of the Coastal Commission is to:

"Protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations."

This issue is before the Commission once again and the public has an opportunity to support the California Coastal Commission in upholding the spirit of the Coastal Act and living up to their stated mission.

Bodega Head, Bodega Bay, CA

Please join me in writing an email urging the California Coastal Commission to vote to DECLINE the Coastal Development Permit for the Monterey Bay Shores Eco-Resort. You are welcome to use my letter as a template. I contacted the Commission and was told all communication regarding this issue should be sent via email to: montereybayshoresresort@coastal.ca.gov

(I previously posted an email address with 'shore', it should be as now posted above. I apologize for posting the incorrect address.)

Thank you so much for taking the time to write!

April 8, 2014

Mr. Steve Kinsey Supervisor & Chair & Commissioners
California Coastal Commission
Central Coast District Office
725 Front Street, Suite 300
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4508

EMAIL: montereybayshoreresort@coastal.ca.gov

RE: DECLINE Coastal Development Permit to the Monterey Bay Shores Eco-Resort

Dear Chairman Kinsey and Commissioners:

I'm writing as a concerned citizen, a coastal dweller and a beach advocate. I walk the beach everyday and pick up trash left behind. The worst months are the summer/fall tourist season when beaches are littered with plastic bottles, plastic bags and cheap plastic beach toys. Building a resort along any coastal shoreline is an Eco-disaster waiting to happen. Our oceans are overburdened and suffocating with garbage washed out to sea. Adding more is unthinkable.

This project will add to the burden of park services to clean up the trash on the beaches. From my years of experience, much of the beach trash will end up in the ocean and in the stomachs of birds and ocean dwellers and the humans who eat fish. It will harm and even destroy sensitive nesting habitat of the endangered snowy plover. Construction of this mass resort will erode sensitive dunes and disrupt life of nesting birds and other marine wildlife

At a time in history when our oceans are barely surviving because of the impact of humans, the Monterey Bay Shores Resort project is irresponsible . . . there is nothing at all ecological about this project. Building any resort along our coastline is irresponsible. This is "green-washing" at it's worst.

I fully supported your 2010 decision to deny the Monterey Bay Shores Eco-Resort a permit to build. I continue to support your original ruling and urge you to decline the Monterey Bay Shores Resort a Coastal Development Permit for this project.

Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns.

With appreciation,

Darris B. Nelson

cc: Jana Zimmer, Vice-Chair ~ zimmerccc@gmail.com
      Carole Groom, Supervisor ~ cgroom@smcgov.org
      Gregory Cox, Supervisor ~ Gregcoastal@sdcounty.ca.gov
      Martha McClure, Supervisor ~ mmcclureccc@co.del-norte.ca.us

Beach trash (including cooler) found on where the Estero Americano meets the Pacific Ocean
Marine Mammal Center release June 2012 at Scotty's Beach

Great Blue Heron
Thank you to Surfrider for bringing this issue to our attention. For more information and to join in their email campaign go to the site: http://action.surfrider.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9620