A bill to designate the Mokelumne River a California Wild and Scenic River is expected to go before the state Senate by the end of the month.
Senate Bill 1199 — which calls for protecting 37 miles of the river between Salt Springs Dam, northeast of West Point, and Pardee Reservoir — passed the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on April 29 with a 7-2 vote.
Wild and Scenic status would prevent any new dams on that stretch of river.
The bill was scheduled for the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday. However, because it has no major impact on the state budget, it was sent to the Senate floor, said Renee Estoista, a legislative aide for state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland. Hancock introduced the legislation on April 4.
In February, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution requesting the county’s representatives in the state Legislature introduce the measure. However, it was Hancock who brought about the legislation.
For the complete story, see the May 21, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.