Monday, 06 February 2023

Regional

SACRAMENTO – The California Transportation Commission, or CTC, has allocated over $988 million to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state.

This funding includes more than $450 million from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, or IIJA, and more than $250 million from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

“The CTC’s investments will help rebuild California’s transportation infrastructure while increasing transit and active transportation options. These projects reflect the CTC and Caltrans’ commitment to safety and meeting future challenges,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares.

Projects the CTC approved include:

• City of Sacramento: $5 million in federal IIJA funding for the city’s Broadway Complete Streets Project between 16th Street/Land Park Drive and 24th Street. The project includes reducing a segment of roadway from four lanes to two, constructing 6,100 feet of new buffered bicycle lanes, adding new marked pedestrian crossings and refuge islands, and making multimodal improvements at two intersections.

• State Route 65 in Wheatland, Yuba County: $9.8 million in State Highway Operation and Protection Program funding, including $680,000 in SB 1 funds, to rehabilitate the pavement from State Street to 0.3 mile north of Evergreen Drive. The City of Wheatland is contributing $100,000 toward construction, which includes adding bike lanes, improving drainage facilities, building a multiuse path, upgrading facilities to current Americans with Disabilities standards, and adding a traffic signal at the intersection with McDevitt Drive.

• State Route 32 in Chico: $462,000 for Caltrans to develop a safety project for traffic signal and intersection improvements at Main Street and Oroville Avenue.

• State Route 20 in Colusa County: $730,000 for Caltrans to develop a safety project to upgrade roadside signs, add flashing beacons, improve the pavement, and upgrade guardrail from east of the Lake County line to about 0.6 mile east of the State Route 16 junction.

• Interstate 80 near Floriston, Nevada County: $550,000 for Caltrans to develop a safety project to improve the pavement, repair drainage systems, upgrade guardrail and replace a damaged concrete barrier.

• Interstate 80 in Sacramento County: $210,000 for Caltrans to develop a project to replace current roadside vegetation and upgrade the irrigation system from the State Route 51 (Capital City Freeway) junction to 0.6 mile east of Madison Avenue.

SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually that is shared equally between the state and local agencies.

Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.

For more information about transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.

POTTER VALLEY, Calif. — A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit allowing a utility company to cut down a Mendocino County tree containing a bald eagle’s nest has been put on hold for the remainder of the nesting season.

Pacific Gas and Electric was prepared to cut down the tree last week until protests from the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, environmental advocates and community members intensified.

The company agreed to pause its tree-cutting plans, and then on Tuesday the Service and PG&E announced that the tree removal permit has been placed on hold for this nesting season until August.

“I’m glad the eagle protectors kept the chainsaws away long enough for the eagles to return to their nest,” said Michael Hunter, chairman of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. “They’ve given us enough time to find a solution to this problem that works for everyone.”

The bald eagle’s nest has been active in this Potter Valley tree since the 1980s, and an eagle pair has returned to the nesting site this breeding season.

These majestic raptors are not only a national symbol; they also hold cultural significance to the tribal nation.

The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians has requested government-to-government consultation with the service to find a solution, but such talks have not yet started.

“The bald eagles are currently rebuilding their nest, moving in new branches and soft moss. We are thrilled that they have been given a stay of their eviction and hope to see young eagles leave the nest come August,” said Tom Wheeler, executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center. “This outcome was only possible because thousands of people took action in the eagles’ defense.”

PG&E considers the tree to be a safety hazard even though a nearby power line has already been de-energized. One possible alternative to cutting down the Ponderosa pine snag is to place approximately 300 yards of the power line underground.

“This is a unique nest tree that calls for a unique solution,” said Peter Galvin, director of programs at the Center for Biological Diversity. “With so much habitat destruction, a successful nesting site is hard to come by. I’m hopeful that with all parties at the table, we’ll find a way to save this special tree.”

The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians is a federally recognized Tribe located in the heart of Mendocino County.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Rep. Jared Huffman’s (D-San Rafael) legislation The Katimiîn and Ameekyáaraam Sacred Lands Act passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives and is on its way to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

The legislation will place federal lands located in Humboldt and Siskiyou counties into trust for the Karuk Tribe.

“Today, we can finally correct a historic injustice and return sacred land to its rightful owners, the Karuk Tribe. Thanks to the partnership of Senator Padilla and the Karuk’s tireless work, our Sacred Lands Act will now become law. These lands, known as Katimiîn and Ameekyáaraam, are not only majestic, they are central to Karuk history, religion, traditions, and identity. Placing them in trust ensures that the Karuk culture and way of life can endure for future generations,” Rep. Jared Huffman said.

“For Karuk people, the lands covered by our bill represent the center of the world, which is why they deserve unrestricted access to these ancestral sites in order to practice their religion and preserve their customs for future generations,” said Sen. Padilla. “Restoring these lands to the stewardship of the Karuk Tribe is a long overdue moral imperative, and I look forward to the President singing our bill into law.”

“It means the world to have our most sacred sites returned to us. The Karuk Tribe appreciates the hard work of Congressman Huffman, Senators Padilla and Feinstein, and their teams. This accomplishment is great for the Karuk People and all of Indian Country,” said Karuk Chairman Russell “Buster” Attebery.

For Karuk people, the land identified in this legislation is the center of the world. The historical village and ceremonial site of Katimiîn is the location of a final series of annual Pik-ya-vish world renewal ceremonies.

Pik-ya-vish translates as “to fix it,” how Karuk people approach their responsibility to keeping these places in balance with their cultural and spiritual values.

Ameekyáaraam, just down river from Katimiîn, is the site of Jump Dance and First Salmon Ceremony — both vital components of world renewal ceremonies and for pre-contact inter-tribal coordination of fish harvest up and down the river to ensure long-term sustainability of salmon runs.

These ceremonies were also ways to keep the world in balance between individuals and families. This area is essential to inter-generational teaching and learning needed to ensure future generations of Karuk people know and understand Karuk culture and customs.

Currently the tribe has a Special Use Permit with the United States Forest Service that allows access to the grounds for ceremony. This access is not guaranteed and in some years the tribe is interrupted by public intrusions during private and sacred components of the world renewal ceremonies.

Only United States Forest Service lands will transfer to the tribe; all private lands, allotments and existing rights associated with those will be excluded.

Huffman Legislativemap-katimiinarea 08-09-2021 by LakeCoNews on Scribd

MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. — Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Gjerde announced on Tuesday that he will not seek another term.

“With the early campaign schedule prompted by California’s early Presidential Primary Election, I feel it is in the best interest of Fourth District residents that today I make a public announcement that I will not be seeking a fourth term,” Gjerde said.

The election of Fourth District supervisor will coincide with California’s Presidential Primary Election on March 5, 2024.

Candidates will need to begin filing papers as early as September 2023, which is only nine months away.

“With today’s announcement, residents who might want to consider service as a County Supervisor have proper notice. They can study the issues facing the county and can evaluate if the job is a good fit for the skills, effort, and time they are prepared to offer,” Gjerde said Tuesday.

WILLITS, Calif. — The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and environmental advocates are calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revoke a permit that would allow Pacific Gas & Electric to cut a tree in Mendocino County that contains a historic eagles nest.

Since the late 1990s, bald eagles have successfully reproduced in this tree and did so most recently in 2022. The Service issued the permit to take the nest after a rushed environmental analysis and consultation process to remove the tree.

“The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians has requested formal government-to-government consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service related to the proposed cutting of a bald eagle nest tree within the Pomo’s ancestral territory,” said Michael Hunter, chairman of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. “We ask that no harm occur to this tree during consultation because we need time to explore reasonable solutions that will help protect our bald eagle relatives.”

Bald eagles have returned to the tree for the 2023 nest season and have been observed making improvements to the nest. The tree is dying and near a powerline that services one property. PG&E asserts that removal of the tree is necessary for public safety, although the line has been de-energized.

“Our organization is dismayed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to grant this rushed permit when the threat had already been mitigated by the decision to de-energize the line,” said Matt Simmons, an attorney at the Environmental Protection Information Center. “The Service and PG&E have demonstrated that they do not take seriously their responsibility to protect these iconic raptors.”

Alternatives to tree removal exists, including the undergrounding of existing powerlines and offering renewable energy solutions to the property owner. PG&E and the Service have thus far refused to consider those options.

“Chopping down a historic nest tree should never be the first option, particularly as bald eagles have returned for the breeding season,” said Peter Galvin, director of programs at the Center for Biological Diversity. “A multibillion dollar company has the means and ability to avoid this reckless act, if it wanted.”

SACRAMENTO — The California Transportation Commission, or CTC, this week approved $1 billion for 93 new walking and biking projects for disadvantaged communities as part of the 2023 Active Transportation Program and allocated nearly $878 million for projects to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state.

The allocation includes more than $209 million in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) and more than $339 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

The active transportation projects approved at the meeting will benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California, two-thirds of which will implement safe routes for children to walk or bike to school.

The projects make up more than half of the 2023 Active Transportation Program, with an additional $700 million to be awarded in the spring. Much of the funding comes from a one-time infusion of $1 billion for active transportation in the 2022-23 state budget as part of a nearly $15 billion transportation infrastructure package.

“California and our federal partners are continuing to make historic headway in addressing our transportation needs and advancing safety, equity, climate action and economic prosperity,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “Importantly, this includes significant investments in infrastructure that allows everyone to access active means of transportation, like walking and biking.”

Active transportation projects approved at the meeting include:

• Approximately $9 million toward the city of Eureka Bay to Zoo Trail in Humboldt County.

• Approximately $2.3 million toward the city of Eureka C Street Bike Boulevard in Humboldt County.

• Approximately $7.7 million toward the Gualala Downtown Streetscape Enhancement Plan in Mendocino County.

The $878 million in projects the CTC approved include:

• Approximately $12.4 million including more than $10.9 million in federal IIJA funding toward the construction of a retaining wall and drainage improvements along Route 254 south of Maple Hills Road near Miranda in Humboldt County.

• Approximately $1.6 million toward emergency allocations in Eureka for roadway and sidewalk repairs from I Street to W Street on U.S. 101 southbound in Humboldt County.

• Approximately $21 million including more than $18.6 million in federal IIJA funding toward improvements at Eel River Bridge No. 10-0236 on Route 162 near Longvale in Mendocino County.

• Approximately $6 million toward roadway and culvert repairs from south of Old Sherwood Road to north of Piercy along U.S. 101 in Mendocino County.

Approximately $3.8 million toward emergency allocations toward guardrail, sign, fence, embankment and drainage repairs along U.S. 101 south of Willits in Mendocino County.

Approximately $2.7 million toward median barrier and retaining wall construction and roadway improvements near Willits from Black Bart Road to Waterplant/Grider Road along U.S. 101 in Mendocino County.

SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually that is shared equally between the state and local agencies. Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.

For more information about transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.

Upcoming Calendar

7Feb
02.07.2023 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
7Feb
02.07.2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Area Agency on Aging
7Feb
02.07.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
8Feb
02.08.2023 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
100+ Women Strong in Lake County
9Feb
02.09.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
11Feb
11Feb
02.11.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
12Feb
02.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
14Feb
02.14.2023
Valentine's Day
16Feb
02.16.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown

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