Yesterday we experienced a disappointing outcome at the Conservancy Meeting, when the Board caved to threats from the City of Fresno and voted 8-6 to support access Alternative 5b. 

Mayor Brand did not attend this meeting, but instead sent Bruce Rudd to read a long and dramatic representation of future conversations that might take place between the City of Fresno and the San Joaquin River Conservancy if the Conservancy didn't bend to the City's will.

At the same time, we found out this week that the City is no longer maintaining Spano Park, and the neighboring commercial property owner is actually taking care of the site.

We're disappointed that the majority of the Board gave in to schoolyard bully tactics rather than standing up for what's best for all Californians.

We thank the Board members who showed leadership in standing up for the common good by voting no on the resolution in support of 5b; these include Carl Janzen, Madera Irrigation District; Jennifer Lucchesi, State Lands Commission; Karen Finn, California Department of Finance; John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board; Julie Alvis, California Resources Agency; and Kent Gresham, California State Parks.

The silver lining in the decision is that the board placed some specific time constraints on the continued evaluation of Alternative 5b.  We will be watching carefully to see whether the newly created neighbors' nonprofit is able to acquire the landfill property and develop the parking lot they have now proposed.

In the months ahead, we will be working with all of the interested parties to prevent the degradation of Spano Park and the destruction of the 100-year old Sycamore Trees at the base of the bluff.

Thank you to all of you that have submitted comments on this issue over the past nine months, and to those that attended many lengthy Conservancy meetings on this issue. 

We look forward to carrying on the fight another day.

Spano Park

One of the enormous Sycamore Trees below Spano Park

Thank you for your support of the long-term effort to create the San Joaquin River Parkway.


Sharon Weaver
Executive Director