The Environmental Committee works to protect the watershed and to educate the public on forestry issues, erosion control, hazardous waste, recycling, and other issues. We also monitor government policies and procedures.
PG&E is a high priority for the Environmental Committee due to its massive and destructive felling of trees to prevent wildfires when unsafe, unreliable, antiquated equipment is the fundamental cause of the fires. From working on legislation and a new Franchise Agreement for PG&E in the County to in-depth research and analysis to support work with agencies affecting PG&E and helping folks protect their trees from PG&E’s contractors, this keeps the group busy. We work with a State-wide Utility Wildfire Prevention Taskforce on these issues.
Your help is needed.
Visit https://endpowerlinefires.com for more information.
River & Road Clean Up
with Save Our Shores
Annual Environmental Town Hall
Felton Community Hall
First Saturday of the month
Second Saturday if the first Saturday is a holiday weekend.
10:30 am at VWC Office at Highlands Park Senior Center
On Zoom and in-person. Email for Zoom info.
Meetings are open to the public.
Call 338-6578 or email for information.
The Valley Women’s Club Endorses a “NO” vote, on the Greenway Initiative, Measure D, June 7, 2022
There is detailed information regarding the Greenway Initiative available, and these are the points that we on the VWC Environmental Committee feel warrant consideration. Thank you for the opportunity to provide our thoughts to you.
First, the environmental impacts of continuing expansion and use of Hwy 1 are detrimental to the health and well-being of our delicate coastal environment. It is environmentally irresponsible and short-sighted to put any barriers in the way of restoring rail as soon as possible.
Greenway will not protect rail restoration but will make it impossible. Greenway’s statements to the contrary are disingenuous —untrue. Having swift, reliable rail transit is the only option to reducing traffic on Hwy 1 so that the number of vehicles will be significantly and permanently reduced, thus reducing pollution. This, in turn, will reduce Climate Change. Greenway will do the opposite.
Second, public transportation is of primary importance to providing low-cost public transportation (in comparison to owning and driving a car), especially for the communities of South County whose voices are being ignored. As the economic backbone of Santa Cruz County, they have indicated that they want the rail; they need the rail. We need to listen to those voices.
The RTC Members from South County want to keep working on the rail and trail.
Back in May of 2021, Watsonville City Council passed a resolution expressing support for the business plan for the construction and operation of a passenger rail system. Council Member Lowell Hurst has endorsed the NO WAY GREENWAY campaign.
Supervisor Greg Caput spoke forcefully at the Board of Supervisors that Greenway ignores the needs of South County.
Third, Greenway would take away the train option and will not benefit the trail. Contrary to what it purports to do (“save the tracks”), the option is gone once all language regarding trains is removed from the County General Plan. The trail is a requirement now, and is being built; without the rail, funding may not only dry up but funds already spent may have to be paid back.
Fourth, take note of the fact that the local Fire Departments have unanimously expressed caution against forced abandonment of the freight designation of the Felton to Santa Cruz line.
To sum it up, Greenway puts in motion an initiative that can NEVER be reversed. It is permanent. It changes the General Plan and thus changes the future course of Santa Cruz County.
Greenway really only benefits the people who have bike and pedestrian access to the trails… a small sub-set of the population. It benefits an even smaller group with financial gains to be made if the train is abandoned.
This is versus a system that benefits our whole county, neighboring counties, and visitors.
The limited scope of the Greenway option adversely impacts minority populations with economic or physical limitations, disabled, seniors, low-income, students, by eliminating the option of public transportation.
For more information visit: https://www.nowaygreenway.com/