Contact Us

P.O. Box 2121
Mariposa, CA 95338



The Environment Is Our Economy

Thank you for visiting our web site.

Our organization is primarily devoted to maintaining and improving the quality of life in Mariposa County. We also are interested in regional, state-wide, and federal issues that have an impact in our local area.

MERG seeks to seriously study the pros and cons of important county issues and present them to county officials and residents so that they can make informed decisions about the future of Mariposa County. This is done through our presentations to the Mariposa Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, our website and newsletter, and through public news media as may be appropriate. The Board meets the first Monday of each month at 9:00 am. The public is welcome to attend. Please contact us to obtain the current location as we normally meet in private homes and the location is subject to change.



CRITICAL - H.R. 934 Will Have Adverse Impacts on Merced Wild and Scenic River

Update February 2014: The language of H.R. 934 has been included in Republican sponsored H.R. 3964, the "Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act" which has now passed the House of Representatives. California's Democratic Senators have proposed their own drought relief bill that does not de-designate the segment in question of the Wild and Scenic Merced River.

Tom McClintock, Congressman from Elk Grove, who now includes Mariposa County in his district, has introduced H.R. 934, a bill that would remove Wild and Scenic Protection for a half mile of the lower Merced River above Bagby.

Merced's Irrigation District (MID) has proposed increasing the water storage in Lake McClure by raising the maximum lake water level to 877'. This increase would impact or flood a segment of the Merced Wild and Scenic River, a violation of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

In the last session of Congress, Congressman Jeff Denham first proposed H.R. 869 and then H.R. 2578 to support MID’s effort by removing this segment of the Merced River from Wild and Scenic protection. While H.R. 2578 passed the Republican controlled House of Representatives, a companion bill was never introduced in the Senate and Denham’s bill died when that session of Congress adjourned.

Now Tom McClintock has introduced H.R. 934 with language identical to H.R. 2578 and is promoting the bill by suggesting that the current Wild and Scenic River boundary is a simple “mistake” that his bill would “fix it” by adjusting the Wild and Scenic boundary to the current FERC boundary ½ mile upstream, thus allowing MID to raise the reservoir level by 10 feet.

The current Wild and Scenic boundary is not a “mistake” but was set at the legal maximum high water level for the reservoir with the unanimous approval of the MID Board of Directors when that segment of the Merced River was added to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1992.  You can read more about the logic and standard practice of setting the Wild and Scenic boundary inside the FERC boundary here

MERG has compiled our thoughts on the impact of these bills, along with substantial background materials, which may be accessed by clicking on this link.

Friends of the River also has an excellent Fact Sheet on the current status of the MID project and the threats to the Wild and Scenic Merced River.

To date no segment of a Wild and Scenic River has ever been removed from protection, so passage of H.R. 934 bills would set a significant, negative precedent with national consequences for other Wild and Scenic Rivers.


For information on the Merced River Plan

scoping and planning process:

Download the MERG response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement here.

Biomass Project: A possible biomass facility was discussed at various candidates' forums for the 2014 Election for District 1 Supervisor. MERG has studied this proposed idea and is fully supportive of the project.

Much of the impetus for this project is the growing recognition that we need to reduce the fuel load in our forests for the sake of forest health and fire safety.  The big question is what is the best way to deal with the slash produced in this effort with respect to costs and benefits to the environment, climate change and our local economy?

The proposal is that a woody biomass facility in Mariposa County would use slash from forest thinning projects for the generation of bioenergy and commercial byproducts.  The facility would produce a revenue stream that should help finance forest thinning projects, attract new industries and jobs to the County, and possibly have other positive economic and environmental benefits for the county and the region. More about the project can be studied here.


Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Government (MERG) were delighted and pleased to hear of interest in our website and Links page by Mrs. McVey’s 5th grade class in the Cleary Mountain School District (Virginia).  They have shared with us their favorite links and we are pleased to include them on our Links page as well as links to Mrs. McVey's website and the school website.


The pictures below are reminders of the natural treasures that we have and the value of preserving them. We hope you find the information here of benefit and welcome your feedback.

The magnificent picture of Tuolumne Meadows The magnificent picture of Tuolumne Meadows The magnificent picture of Tuolumne Meadows The magnificent picture of Tuolumne Meadows
The magnificent picture of Tuolumne Meadows at the top of this page is courtesy of Mr. Al Kudela, a resident of Mariposa and a talented photographer.