My most recent blog, voicing opposition to the proposed Roblar Road gravel quarry, has been a stick stuck into a hornets nest!
I’ve had people exclaim that “Cotati has no jurisdiction” in this matter — as if the destruction of Cotati’s air quality along with the destruction of the central Sonoma County watershed were some sort of minor legal issue – a minor technicality regarding who has jurisdiction.
Well – looking forward to 20 years of 1000 loaded gravel trucks a WEEK roaring through a quite pastoral region is not a minor technicality.
I’ve also had it expressed that I was overstepping my bounds by claiming that some members of our County Board of Supervisors have been involved in easing this dirty deal through the county system – and that the whole quarry application process is ethically challenged.
Their argument boils down to “they haven’t voted on this yet, so they can not have had a hand in something they don’t know anything about.”
To these people I’ve had to say ‘WAKE UP!”
Because the combination of political clout mixed with big money and high stakes creates its own weather system – with county staff and reporting committees rushing to get this project through the system before the citizens (and that would be us) figure out what has hit them.
But, I’ve also been introduced to some very proactive groups of people – First, the CARRQ people (Citizens against Roblar Rock Quarry) are wonderful people, whose concern far outstrips their own self-interest in protecting this beautiful area.
Yes the idea of high explosives and gravel trucks operating from 7 AM to 10 PM distresses them, but they genuinely feel that they are conservators of the land, and that they have a moral and ethical responsibility to care for it to the best of their ability. They are concerned, for example, with the protection of Sonoma County’s watershed – which is in great danger of being poisoned by the toxic waste by products of mining along with leakage from the adjoining unlined landfill dump site.
To get a sense for what the stakes are that I referred to earlier, please read the following excerpt from the Town Hall Coalition web site – this is another intensely proactive group concerned for the preservation of the beauty and natural resources of Sonoma County :
“I firmly believe, from what I have seen, that this is the chosen spot of all this earth as far as Nature is concerned.”
— Luther Burbank (From a letter sent home to Massachusetts, soon after arriving in Sonoma County in 1875)
“Sonoma County is blessed with some of the most spectacular natural environments in the world.
Unfortunately, the current Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has approved land-use regulations that allow the conversion of our precious watersheds and forests to industrial vineyards, wine factories, “agricultural support services”, housing, and other developments.
We have some dangerous gaps in laws protecting public health and safety, water quality and quantity, the environment, and the quality of life of rural residents.
We desperately need a new Board of Supervisors – but until things change, Town Hall Coalition will work together with a network of concerned citizens to protect the common good.”
Got that? The people entrusted with the care and preservation of our shared resources have not honored or lived up to this trust. We need to get clear answers from the current batch of would be Supervisors as to exactly where they stand on the Roblar Road quarry proposal, and on other equally destructive land uses — like the Bodega Quarry – a similar operation led by the Dutra team that would totally trash and poison our beautiful Bodega coast area.
I’m going to make this a mission! Lets do this together! At every opportunity, these are the kinds of issues that need to be raised – agreed?
Finally — I am a musician after all — so stay tuned for an afternoon concert in the park, in Cotati – with bands and speakers and consciousness raising, along with food and a silent auction.
Right now the event is being called “ROCK FOR NO ROCK!”
Oh — one last thing, Mother Nature may have the last word, because a survey crew accidently found some Tiger Salamanders on the Roblar Road quarry site — and that’s enough to stop the whole thing dead in its tracks… unless some of our current Supervisors manage to have the Tiger Salamander presence – an endangered species – waived in order for this quarry to go forward.
Hey – don’t think they aren’t capable of it.
But for now, the super hero of the salamanders, the rock star of Mother Nature’s under the rock band, the masked Tiger Salamander has come to the rescue of the human species in our seemingly hell-bent effort to destroy the beauty of this little planet in order to make a buck.