Sunday, April 04, 2004

A Little Family Bragging

My brother was instrumental in making this happen:
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s bankruptcy reorganization has resulted in a windfall for California's environment: A vast acreage of pristine mountain land owned by the utility will be permanently protected, and a $100 million fund will be created to maintain it and open it to recreational use.

From Mount Shasta to the Carrizo Plain, nearly 1,000 parcels totaling 140, 000 acres -- almost twice the size of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area -- will be donated to parks and wildlife agencies or protected through conservation easements.

The land includes important wildlife habitat and many sources of the state's drinking water, as well as some of the best fly-fishing streams in the western United States. There are fragrant conifer forests, rich stands of hardwoods and rolling oak savannahs, pierced by glittering rivers.

Under a deal reached with the California Public Utilities Commission, some lands will be protected as wildlife preserves, while others will be opened up to new trails, boat ramps and campgrounds.
As director of the California Hydropower Reform Coalition, he's been working on this project for years. The San Francisco Chronicle's calling it "one of California's most important conservation deals in decades." John McCaull of the National Audubon Society says, "You'd have to look at creation of the national parks here to find anything comparable." So let's hear it for my brother Steve! It's hard to get more Respectful of Otters than preserving 140,000 acres of wildlife habitat.