Dearest Friends and Neighbors,
The Ione Valley, where we live, is home to about 30 ranches that surround the tiny town of Ione. Many of these ranches have been in the same family for decades, some for up to 100 years. Here, families like ours have raised Texas Longhorns, Hereford and Angus cattle and crops like alfalfa, wheat and melons. The Ione Valley is also a place where wild turkeys, ducks and deer are abundant; birdsong is sweet all day, bald and golden eagles fish Loch Lane Lake, and coyotes sing rich choruses to the moon and stars at night. The creeks are full of fish and rare frogs, and big cats still roam the hills, sending badgers and raccoons up into the safety of 200 year-old oaks. Just outside of town, 150 new homeowners also enjoy the rural way of life, the peace and quiet, the serenity and beauty of the land. For generations, the legacy of these families is the land, and the lifestyle. Above the valley, Newman Ridge protects the area – two miles long, 475 feet high, and half a mile across.
If this project goes through, what will happen? Ranchers and new homeowners will find the quiet landscape shattered by the blasting of 20 foot shelves of rock, heard and felt from miles away. Birds and wildlife will flee and not return. Wastewater will run down the quarry to poison the creeks. Well water levels will drop, and ranch irrigation could suffer in a drought county. Trucks (approved for up to 495 truck hauls per day) heaped with steaming asphalt, will roar through our tiny 6-block town, clogging our two-lane roads, reeking with fumes.
Because the plant and quarry will release hundreds of tons of toxic dust and Greenhouse Gas producing particulate matters, all those living and working nearby will have increased risk of getting cancer - nearly double the threshold of significant risk, more for the young and elderly. Notable is the fact that there are already three quarry/plant operations serving the area, in existence for decades, just 30 miles away – operating today at less than 30% capacity. The business need for this new, super-polluting and permanently destructive project is simply not there.
The fight is costing tens of thousands of dollars. We needed excellent, experienced CEQA legal counsel to fight the venture capitalists, and we got it. We have “stepped up” because so many in the County cannot, and we have decided it is our job to defend this little corner of America. We would like you to join us. What we want is the best outcome for all; to stop the project, to have the land permanently conserved as agricultural grazing, to add education with open space hiking and equestrian trails - which will then add value, clean jobs and quality of living as well as tourist revenues to the local County tills.
In the words of Astronaut Scott Carpenter, Mercury 7 Mission, looking back at Earth from Space; “This planet is not Terra Firma. It is a delicate flower and it must be cared for. It's lonely. It's small. It's isolated, and there is no re-supply. And we are mistreating it. Clearly, the highest loyalty we should have is not just to our own country or our own religion or our hometown or even to ourselves. It should be to the family of man, and number one, to protect the planet at large. This is our home, and this is all we've got.”
Won’t you please send $100, $200 or more, or what you can, to save the Ione Valley, and our beautiful blue and green planet? Every penny you send will go towards paying the legal fees for our case. Please contribute securely by Credit Card or PayPal or send your check to:
Ione Valley LAWDA, LLC
10300 Dutschke Road
Ione, CA 95640
The Ione Valley Land, Air & Water Defense Alliance, LLC (Ione Valley LAWDA)
Tel: 209-274-9917 or