Looking back at 2019 and FORWARD to a new decade in 2020!
2019 was Clover Valley Foundation's 20th year of working to save Clover Valley's wonderful natural attributes and pre-historic resources which are uniquely congregated in a serene, 2-mile long, 1-mile wide, steep-sloped valley. The economy and mortgage rates helped fuel building booms in the region, but no development activities have occurred in Clover Valley's 622 acres. This gives us time to continue our efforts to secure funding for acquisition and preservation in perpetuity of this beautiful nature preserve, open space, and wildlife habitat.
In June 2019, CVF's Treasurer, Tony Rakocija, applied for and was awarded a grant from the Rose Foundation, an organization that assists non-profits with community-based efforts. The grant will be used to evaluate various legal strategies and options to deal with the proposed "phased" development. We steadfastly monitor the situation and continue to seek potential funding sources to acquire the valley to protect its natural resources for future generations.
This year, 2020, outreach efforts will include tabling activities, working with others to explore purchase options, and attending various agency meetings on open space and land conservation. We share the City of Rocklin's vision for the Sunset Whitney Recreation Area — which provides bike trails and open space — and look forward to extending that vision to Rocklin's as yet untouched, most remarkable gem: Clover Valley.
Be sure to visit our photo gallery to catch a glimpse of what could some day be a renowned regional pre-historic wildlife and nature preserve. We welcome any ideas from you, our supporters, and wish all the best in 2020.
Update on Clover Valley Subdivision Plan
In the spring of 2017, CVF Board members met with the City of Rocklin City manager and his planning staff regarding the status of subdivision plans that were previously approved by the City. Despite very favorable economic conditions, the current owners of Clover Valley have yet to submit a final subdivision map that must also be approved. The City has met with the property owners and we are told that there are some potential changes to their approved development plan in the works. We do not know the extent of the revised development plans at this time.
Clover Valley Foundation's 20th Anniversary
CVF was formed in the spring of 1999 and our 20th anniversary is approaching. It's hard to believe we have been at it for this long but, hey, let's celebrate! Persistence and perseverance is required to save special places in this world. Stay tuned for an announcement for a special event to celebrate our efforts and our anniversary.
Winter 2016-2017 Update
Our commitment to Save Clover Valley and turn it into a Historic Nature Preserve remains strong. The watching and waiting continues with regular inquiries to the City of Rocklin regarding the proposed "Phasing" plans. To date, final plans have not been submitted to the City, and until they are, we are not allowed to inspect them.
In addition to our Photo Gallery web page, to view a portion of the valley in person, visit Boulder Ridge Park, near the end of Park Drive in Rocklin, and walk back a bit to look down into Clover Valley. The flora and fauna are alive and well!
We are eternally grateful to our awesome supporters, with some having been "in the trenches" with us for over 17 years! Check out our December 2016 "end-of-year" letter and the wonderful photo from 1937.
Winter 2015-2016 Update
Because of our ongoing concerns regarding unresolved issues with a 51-unit "Phase I" proposal on Clover Valley's Park Drive ridge, Clover Valley Foundation engaged the services of a law firm to send a letter to the City of Rocklin [PDF, 3MB]. The letter articulates unacceptable Phase I (aka "Montreo") negative impacts on the Clover Valley's resources. It also points out noncompliance with the City's approved resolutions and the need to meet California Environmental Equality Act (CEQA) requirements for additional review, due to potential new environmental impacts created with proposed Phase I. We are urging the City to address and resolve the issues before proceeding with any phasing. Stay tuned ….
Summer 2015 Newsletter
Clover Valley developers are proposing a "Phase I" with plans to build approximately 51 housing units on the northwest ridge of Clover Valley (along Park Drive) — a south-facing slope with numerous oak trees — with a "Phase II" to follow. Although we've attempted to inspect the proposed plans, Rocklin's Community Development Department has informed us that the maps are still being processed and are not yet available for public review.
We believe the Phase I project (aka "Montreo") does not follow the courts' decisions, mitigation measures, or Rocklin's own Resolutions that were binding when the project was approved. Some of the conditions of approval included the mandate that the entire infrastructure had to be built before the development of the housing units could begin.
Also, additional environmental analysis may be warranted due to new, potentially significant impacts that include storm water runoff down into Clover Valley Creek and sewage being pumped up to a sewer trunk line on Park Drive which was never considered in the final approvals. Once we review the Phase I maps, we shall proceed accordingly.
Winter 2014-2015 Update
Although we have not seen any final plans yet, we have been informed that the City of Rocklin is currently processing a "first phase" to build 51 housing units on the northwest ridge of Clover Valley (along Park Drive) — a south-facing slope with numerous oak trees.
In the EIR process for the project, Clover Valley in its entirety was deemed to have significant archeological attributes (33 prehistoric sites including burials) by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), making it eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and qualifying the entire 622 acres as an Archeological District under federal cultural resources preservation law. At issue is whether any "first phase" of development on this beautiful ridge may be allowed, given that Clover Valley qualifies as an Archeological District and that construction potentially impacts the District's eligibility qualifications.
We believe that before a first phase can be developed,
- The required Historic Properties Management Plan must be completed and approved by CA State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO); and
- State and federal regulatory agencies must weigh in with their requirements for this first phase (as they apply to wetlands, drainage, historic and archeological sites treatment, etc.).
It's quite obvious that the developer does not share our opinion. Thus, we are consulting with our legal team and cultural resources professionals and will insist that the City enforce all state and federal agency mitigation measures, honor all "agreements," and strictly follow permits that need to be issued.
Our work continues because of wonderful long-time supporters and dedicated volunteers who continue the grassroots efforts to Save Clover Valley — now in its 16th year!
… and More …
Our waitin' and watchin' continues, and here's a little update of our activities. We had been told (and seen supporting lot maps) that the owner/developer would like to build on the ridges where the infrastructure is already in place (water, sewer, etc.). However, the agreed-upon and required mitigation measures are not so flexible or simple. There are other conditions that must be fulfilled and federal permits to be obtained.
We met with the City of Rocklin who confirmed the "discussions" to build on the ridges had taken place between the City and the owner/developer. To stay on top of any applications, we were told we should check back on a regular basis — which we did. In late July (2013), we were informed that apparently the "first phase" is not going to occur at this time, but we'll keep watching!
We stand firm in our belief that with its wetlands, diverse wildlife, oak woodlands, perennial creek, steep slopes, and unique pre-historic sites, Clover Valley's future should be as a pristine, historic nature preserve — not roads and rooftops.
Our long-time supporters will never know how much their support means to us. Such dedication inspires us to stay on this journey to Save Clover Valley. We are so grateful — Thank you!
Still Waiting, Still Watching …
Although time wise, the year (2012) is going into the home stretch, we have not seen any activity with the proposed Clover Valley development. We've contacted federal agencies that must grant permits, state agencies that authorize stream alterations, and other regulatory agencies, but all appears to be quiet on the Clover Valley "front." With reports that real estate activity in Placer County is picking up, we will continue our efforts to stay on top of any Clover Valley changes.
We believe a "Clover Valley Historic Nature Preserve" is the best option for citizens, City of Rocklin, Placer County, developers, and future economic development for the region with Clover Valley as a natural and beautiful tourist destination and educational resource. The diverse wildlife inhabitants of Clover Valley that need a refuge from the "squeeze" of urban growth would appreciate the 622 acres as a preserve as well!
Our effort to save Clover Valley will soon be entering its 14th year. As we've said before, "Stay tuned…." and thanks for your ongoing support!
Disappointing Update — Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Development
The 3rd District Court of Appeals announced its decisions on July 8, 2011, and ruled in favor of the proposed development (Justices Nicholson, Hull, and Robie presiding). Our petition was reviewed by many learned CEQA attorneys who concurred with our position and claims as being solid and valid. Athough we knew we were "underdogs" going in and do not agree with the decision, we will study all options and continue our efforts to save this very special landscape. Our resolve and vision remains: Clover Valley should become a historic nature preserve. We intend to work with all parties to that end.
We wish to express, again and again, our deepest gratitude to the thousands of supporters who also share our vision and help us stay the course. We will post updates as we proceed with a vision of bringing a "Clover Valley Historic Nature Preserve" to fruition.
A Court Date — At Last!
After more than a year from our filing the briefs, our appeal is scheduled to be heard in the 3rd District Court of Appeals on April 25, 2011, at 9:30 am. Although no decision is expected to be announced that day, all sides will present their case to a panel of three justices. The hearing is open to the public, but be sure to call the court to confirm both the time, date, and location as the court house is being remodeled and postponements may occur. The temporary location is: 621 Capitol Mall, 10th Floor, Sacramento. To confirm, call the court clerk at 916-654-0209 before heading to Sacramento.
A very special thanks to all of you who have stayed the course to save this wonderful valley — now going on 12 years. Your donations are always welcome. Use the PayPal "Donate" button or visit our How You Can Help page.
What's been happening …
From attending workshops and tabling at many events, including awesome Earth Day gatherings and festivals, 2010 has been a very full year, all the while waiting for our appeals court date. From our beginning in 1999, with only volunteers and no staff, we have now worked over a decade to "Save Clover Valley." We could not have persevered this long without public support.
No matter what the event, many people visit our Clover Valley Foundation booth, and inevitably, visitors ask two questions:
- "What's the latest?"
- "Isn't this over with?"
The "latest" is that we are in a holding period until we have a court date. Then it will be all hands on deck, and we will need your help with fundraising. And no, it is not "over with" at all. After the appeals hearing decision is rendered, depending upon the outcome, we still have a number of options to pursue.
We are giving it our best, but we have no control over what lies ahead in the courts. Nor can we be certain of success in having the property turned into a historic nature preserve, which would be a wonderful outcome. However, we can state with 100% absolute certainty that our resolve is as strong as ever. We are in this for the long haul. To that end, we hope to continue to work for a win-win-win result that would benefit all parties. And we continue to give thanks for all our loyal supporters!
November 2009: Interview on Saving Clover Valley
Watch and listen to appreciate the decade-long grassroots effort to save Clover Valley, to learn how the community can benefit from saving the valley, and to appreciate what a historic nature preserve can bring to the region for both citizens and wildlife.
February 2009: Unfortunate Court Decision
On Friday, February 6, 2009, Judge Lloyd Connelly, Sacramento Superior Court, ruled against plaintiffs, Clover Valley Foundation (CVF), Sierra Club, and the town of Loomis, in their Clover Valley lawsuits. Their petitions were denied, thus favoring the defendants. CVF, Sierra Club, and Loomis have the combined expertise of five excellent environmental attorneys; the lawsuits had great merit with compelling arguments proving that CEQA was violated, but this round was lost.
Although the ruling is a setback, CVF has been preparing for this turn of events. The ten-year grassroots effort with regional support to save this most precious ecological gem known as Clover Valley will not be abandoned. All legal options are being reviewed. Additionally, work to build a consortium of buyers to purchase the property is being pursued.
Clover Valley is a magnificent gift from nature. It must be protected against development destruction and have its destiny secured as a historic nature preserve. It's not over yet—stay tuned!
Clover Valley Foundation: In It for the Long Haul! Clover Valley lawsuit appeal filed and Clover Valley federal processes challenged.
Fall 2008: Awards and Court Proceedings!
Spring 2008: Saving Clover Valley Focuses on CEQA Violations
Our nine-year battle to Save Clover Valley is now focused primarily on a multitude of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) violations. Our lawsuit against the city of Rocklin and the development was filed by co-plaintiffs, Clover Valley Foundation and the Sierra Club. Having been reviewed by expert legal teams, we are confident our case has great merit. As our legal brief proceeds through the courts, the Town of Loomis has also filed its own legal action.
Anyone who has experienced the valley knows how important it is to save this one last pristine remnant of foothill diversity (wetlands, woodlands, wildlife, creek, scenic ridges, meadows, grasslands, 33 pre-historic sites, rock walls, stone corral, and so much more) all concentrated in one little two-mile stretch. Saving Clover Valley is not easy; it's still expensive and requires constant effort--research, meetings, letter writing, presentations, education, and fundraising. We welcome your ongoing support as we continue to fight in the trenches to save one of the last ecological and cultural gems in the region. Contact us for more information.
"Save Clover Valley" Is Very Much Alive and Well! Lawsuit proceeds and outreach continues.
Fall 2007: CEQA Violations Charged—Lawsuit Filed
Unfortunately, the City of Rocklin's approval of the proposed Clover Valley development has forced Clover Valley Foundation (with Sierra Club as co-plaintiff) to utilize a last resort: the courts. The City's misguided approval of one of the most envirnomentally disastrous projects in the region (despite hundreds of submissions pointing out flaws and CEQA violations and in spite of strong citizen support for saving the valley) necessitated taking legal action.
At the same date, another Group, Save Clover Valley, received word that signatures they submitted for a referendum have been validated and now qualify for a referendum. The Rocklin City Council will consider its options at the next regular meeting on October 9.
Litigation as last resort becomes a reality; many issues on the table. CEQA litigation and issues.
Summer 2007: The Fallacy of Private Property Rights
Time to Dispel the Propaganda
For a different take on private property rights that will not dovetail with some public officials' or developers', please visit the Placer Group Sierra Club Home Page (supported by the Mother Lode Chapter) and click on "From the Chair."
The Final EIR report with hearings has finally arrived. No lazy days for us.
Early Summer 2007: Alert!
The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Is Out!
We now have a short window of time to review the city's responses to our comments. If you commented, please find your comments, review the city's responses and let us know ASAP if you feel your concerns were not addressed sufficiently--or let the City know ASAP. To read the Final EIR (over 1,000 pages), go to Rocklin's Planning Department and obtain a CD, or visit Clover Valley Final EIR (supported by the City of Rocklin) to download it (over 150 MB).
Late Spring 2007: News Flash—Rocklin Poll
Rocklin Residents Support Saving Clover Valley!
By an overwhelming 3-to-1 margin, Rocklin residents oppose the proposed development that will destroy the unique historical, cultural, and ecological features of Clover Valley. Furthermore, if a referendum were held today, voters would soundly defeat the development proposal, according to a recent poll conducted by Capitol Campaigns of Sacramento. Read more about the Rocklin Poll …
Spring 2007: Clover Valley Common Wealth Report Completed!
With assistance from the Tomales Bay Institute, the Clover Valley Common Wealth Report Who Decides the Fate of Clover Valley? (PDF, 1.1 MB) is available to the public. This 15-page report examines concepts of "common wealth" in light of natural and cultural features of a place, and discusses rightful ownership issues. Get the report … (from Saving Clover Valley).
To order a printed copy, please send $5 to cover shipping and handling to Clover Valley Foundation, P.O. Box 713, Loomis, CA 95650. Copies are also available at most local libraries.
Spring 2007: Ansel Adams Photographed Clover Valley!
Ansel Adams found Clover Valley spectacular enough to photograph as evidenced in an exhibit that was displayed at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Although it was known that Adams had been commissioned by owners of what was then "Spring Valley Ranch" (Rocklin area) to photograph the region for a possible new city (1962), obvious landmarks prove he ventured into Clover Valley to capture its beauty. For Adams to have carried his creative genius into Clover Valley, recogizing its unique beauty, further honors the valley and validates current efforts to save it from development.
Spring 2007: Environmental Impact Reports
We are constantly meeting with public agencies, elected officials, non-government agencies, individuals who may be able to help, and following every lead. We continually submit documents with new information to be included in the Final EIR as we await its release.
In addition to Clover Valley's Final EIR, we await the release of a DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (DEIR) to be released by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) which will analyze transportation issues in the region of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). We believe the proposed "Valley View" parkway (with 60' cuts and fills) that will slice Clover Valley in half diagonally and severely impact and/or destroy many fragile ecological and prehistorical features must be stopped. Please stay tuned, as your participation in the DEIR process (submitting comments during the comment period, attending hearings, etc.) will be essential in our effort to stop this train wreck.
Read about our many, multi-faceted activities and breif exciting news updates. Find out the truth behind the buzzwords, and much more.
Fall 2006: Rave Reviews for Clover Valley Film and Now an Award for Sean!
The work of directing/producing the film, "Clover Valley: Last of Its Kind," was recognized by the Sierra Club's Mother Lode Chapter with a well-deserved "Environmental Education" award to its creator, Sean Booth. The film documents the more than seven-year effort to save Clover Valley from destruction via a proposed major development. The natural, historical, and cultural values of Clover Valley are wonderfully explored in Sean's film, as he convinces the viewer that this last, unique valley, with its concentration of wetlands, woodlands, wildlife, creek, scenic ridges, meadows, historic/prehistoric sites, to mention a few, must be preserved.
Clover Valley Foundation expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the ECOS Club of Sierra College, Sean Booth, film producer, and all the hard-working volunteers who made the premier showing of "Clover Valley: Last of Its Kind" such a huge success. Thank you one and all!
Check out our short- and long-range plans; find out how Clover Valley Heritage Preserve can become a reality; and read about our LightHawk helicopter photo flight grant and subsequent film.
Read what we have been up to; why Clover Valley must be saved; and take a visionary trip into Rocklin's possible future.
Read about the Draft EIR public hearing; why we are opposed to the proposed development; and how efficient the Clover Valley grassroots groups are.
In this past newsletter we review the major CVF activities over the last few months, especially our transition to an official 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.