From the archives of the Coloma Valley web site, November 1998

Please note that this page has not been updated since then. Some links may not work.

El Dorado County Measure W
Soundly Defeated by Voters!

Final Results

Final tallies are in on El Dorado County's Measure W:

  NO  62.4%  (30,128 votes)
 YES  37.5%  (18,132 votes)

The voters of El Dorado County have said "No" to last minute political maneuvering. The voters have said "No" to deceptively written ballot measures.

The river community has long been dedicated to solving problems with constructive, open dialogue. This vote reaffirms that we are on the right path. We will always have differing opinions; the question is how we will address those differences and how we build upon the similarities.

Complete election results are available online for El Dorado County and the State of California. For more information, visit the Sacramento Bee's Campaign '98 page.

Summary of Measure W

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday, August 4, to put a Measure on the Nov. 3rd, 1998, ballot that would cut commercial usage on the South Fork of the American River to around 45,820 user-days per year, less than half of the present level, starting May 1, 1999.

Ballot Argument Against

Measure W is unnecessary and unfair.

Measure W is unnecessary. The County has effectively regulated commercial rafting on the American River for18 years. Whitewater rafting companies operate under strictly enforced use limits and rules. When problems have come up in the past they were quickly worked out cooperatively.

Measure W is unfair. Without justification, Measure W reduces the number of commercial rafting trips on the American River by 50 percent. No study was ever conducted to determine the percent reduction that was selected. It was totally arbitrary. Measure W was written at the last minute in secret without public hearings or input from the affected businesses.

Measure W will hurt local business. It will not only bankrupt many local rafting businesses, it will greatly reduce business at nearby motels, restaurants, gas stations and the small shops which service them, throwing many of these people out of work too.

Measure W will force not-for-profit groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Big Brothers/Big Sisters to pay excessive fees to use the river.

Measure W is irresponsible. The County has spent over $400,000 on a 3-year American River Management Study with the full participation and cooperation of all river users and residents. The report is nearly finished. The report's initial recommendations are much more balanced and responsible than Measure W's arbitrary recommendations.

Please join us in voting NO on "Measure W".

Terry Kanellis, El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce
Nate Rangel, Lotus Store
Jim Plimpton, Whitewater Connection
Dennis Colvin, Colvin Shell
Al Veerkamp, Gold Hill Nursery

Business Leaders
Opposed to Measure W

The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce board voted unanimously to oppose Measure W. Said spokesperson Kathy Jenkins, quoted in the Mountain Democrat, Monday, August 24, 1998, "Rafting is a large industry in this community, and since the Chamber is the tourism arm of the community, we felt strongly we should support commercial rafting by opposing the measure."

The South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors unanimously voted to oppose Measure W. (From the Tahoe Daily Tribune, 9/18/98.)

The Coloma-Lotus Association of Merchants voted unanimously to oppose Measure W. See their Press Release for full details.

Organizations Opposed
to Measure W

Position paper from California Sportfishing Protection Alliance & California Trout

Position paper from Friends of the River

Position paper from American Whitewater

Citizens Opposed
to Measure W

Read the views of local citizens who are Measure W Opponents. If we can add you to the list, please contact (no longer valid). Please include your name, address, and phone number.

About this Page

We will keep this page in place until the end of 1998 as a reference, but do not expect to be updating it further.

Thank YOU!

This campaign relied on the efforts of many volunteers. Thank you to everyone that made phone calls, put up signs, donated money and talked to neighbors. We could not have done it without you!

We can't begin to list all the folks who worked against Measure W but do want to give special thanks to Corky Collier, who seemed to be working 24 hours a day to coordinate people's efforts and keep everything moving.

How You Can Help

Register and vote November 3, 1998!

Write a letter to the editor of your favorite paper. Some will accept letters online, others require "hard copy":

To volunteer your efforts, call (530) 295-0102 or contact Corky Collier [no longer appropriate].

Contributions are welcome in any size! Make your check out to "Committee Against Measure W" and send to P.O. Box 401, Coloma CA 95613. Due to election regulations, if your contribution is $25.00 or more, we will need your name and address. If it's $100 or more, we also need your occupation and employer. Thanks for your help!

Post a link from your web page to the No on W page! Our URL is We have two banners you can use:

  • standard banner (468 x 60 pixels)
  • small banner (230 x 60 pixels)

Contact us if you have more suggestions or if you'd like some help posting a No on W banner on your page.

Becoming Involved

The Committee Against Measure W meets every Monday at Crushed Grapes, on the northwest corner of the Hwy 49 bridge. Everyone who wants to help is welcome. The meetings alternate between 9 A.M. and 7 P.M. to accommodate various schedules. The next meetings are

  • 9 A.M. Monday, October 19
  • 7 P.M. Monday, October 26

Call (530) 295-0102 for more information.

If you want to be added to the Measure W email list, send a request to (no longer valid).

Great Press!

Great editorial entitled "All wet: El Dorado's anti-rafting Measure W a cheap shot" in the October 14th Sacramento Bee .

The October 14th Mountain Democrat has several excellent letters to the editor (unfortunately not reproduced online). It's not too late to send your letter opposing Measure W.

From the Tahoe Daily Tribune, September 18: "Rafting proposition smells of politics". This excellent article is worth reading if for nothing more than the quote from First District Supervisor Sam Bradley, "what really infuriates me is that they (the Measure W proponents) are hiding behind the environmental shield. These guys are about as environmental as an oil slick."

From the Tahoe Daily Tribune, September 29: "American River politics boiling."

From the Sacramento Business Journal, September 18: "Flush Measure W." Their summary: "THE ISSUE: El Dorado County's Measure W would ruin the white-water rafting business. OUR POSITION: Better rafting regulation may well be in order, but this is foolishness."

The Sacramento Bee had an excellent Opinion article on August 28th, but we can't find it on their website. If you find it, or if you have the text and can type it in for us, please let us know.

Though not about Measure W, this Mountain Democrat article on Whitewater Wednesday is good PR for commercial outfitters.

More Information

Full text of the Streams and Rivers Preservation Act

Impartial Analysis of Measure W by El Dorado County Counsel

Statistics on commercial use of the South Fork of the American River

If you have questions contact
Committee Against Measure W
P.O. Box 401, Coloma CA 95613
(530) 295-0102



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