A few weeks ago we notified you of the release of the Conservancy's Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the Fresno River West Project.
The DEIR identifies a "significant, unavoidable impact to disadvantaged communities."   We're a little confused about how they can call this impact unavoidable, since one of the project alternatives would, in fact, reduce this impact to less-than-significant. 
The issue at hand is vehicle access to the Fresno River West Project.  The project as it is currently described in the DEIR only includes access on Highway 41, which requires an 8-mile trip into Madera County and then back into Fresno on the old Highway 41.  There are two alternatives described in the EIR that provide direct access to the site in Fresno.  The first is Alternative 1, which shows access on Riverview Drive to a small parking area near one of the ponds on the site.  The second is Alternative 5, which includes access on the old gravel haul road, but includes property that isn't currently public land.  We believe that both of these access points are viable and important for providing equitable access for all.  We will be encouraging the Conservancy Board to approve the project with both of these alternatives.
If you believe that the River West Fresno Project should include equitable access for residents of Fresno, here's what you can do:
  1. Attend the meeting tomorrow night, March 14, at 5:00 pm, at the Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N. San Pablo, Fresno, CA, 93650.  Be sure to fill out a comment card requesting equitable access for Fresno residents.
  2. Send a comment by US Mail or email to Melinda Marks at the addresses below:
    Melinda Marks, Executive Officer, San Joaquin River Conservancy, 5469 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA, 93727
    [email protected]
You can read the entire River West DEIR online at http://sjrc.ca.gov/Eaton-Trail-Extension-EIR/.
You can find basic information about the project and the Trust's previous comments at https://www.riverparkway.org/index.php/land-and-trails/river-west.
The environmental review process is confusing to most people - even to us!  If you have questions, please respond to this email or call us at 559-248-8480. 
The decisions made by the Conservancy Board now will affect access in the future.  Please take a few moments to send in a comment and make an impact!

In the weeks and months ahead, we will be reviewing the DEIR, preparing comments, and communicating with community representatives and Conservancy Board Members. If you would like to support our efforts, please make a special donation today. 



Sharon Weaver
Executive Director