LA Times Op-Ed: Our wild, wet winter doesn’t change this reality — California will be short of water forever

March 7th, 5am Over the last 18 months, California has experienced one of the driest, wettest and wildest rides in its recorded water history. As the 2015-16 water year opened in October 2015, drought had driven the state’s reservoir and groundwater levels to all-time lows. Entire towns were left without water. Reports of lakes turned … Continue reading “LA Times Op-Ed: Our wild, wet winter doesn’t change this reality — California will be short of water forever”

Industrial Logging, Forest Depletion, and Climate Change—The Ghost in the Machine

There are nearly 33 million acres of forested land in the State of California. Since the early days of European-American settlement, the wholesale destruction of our native, “old-growth” forests, and the overall depletion of the productive capacity of our forests, both public and private, have been the subject of debate and concern. Many may not … Continue reading “Industrial Logging, Forest Depletion, and Climate Change—The Ghost in the Machine”

THIS JUST IN … NASA Report: San Joaquin Valley Land Continues to Sink

From the Department of Water Resources: New NASA radar satellite maps prepared for the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) show that land continues to sink rapidly in certain areas of the San Joaquin Valley, putting state and federal aqueducts and flood control structures at risk of damage. “The rates of San Joaquin Valley subsidence … Continue reading “THIS JUST IN … NASA Report: San Joaquin Valley Land Continues to Sink”

California should take lead on wetlands protections

San Francisco Chronicle March 12, 2017 When the president made good on a key campaign promise Tuesday to roll back federal environmental rules on wetlands, cheers went up across farmlands. The acronym meant little to city dwellers, but the promise to “repeal WOTUS” — a staple at Trump rallies — had secured much of the rural vote … Continue reading “California should take lead on wetlands protections”

Going to Pot

EUREKA, California—Mark Harris banks the Cessna 182 over the blue expanse of Humboldt Bay and flies toward the redwood-studded hills beyond, to the now-quiet battlefields of the California timber wars. It’s a flashback moment. Twenty-one years ago, Harris, then a ponytailed young attorney, took me, then a long-haired young reporter, up in Thumper, as he … Continue reading “Going to Pot”

Pot Bad, Wine Good

by Will Parrish, June 10, 2015 Let’s begin with some Q&A. In the 1990s, runaway cultivation of a mind-altering cash crop led to a spate of illegal surface water diversions from the streams and springs that feed the Russian River, as well as directly from the river itself. The Russian was home to more illegal … Continue reading “Pot Bad, Wine Good”

A Fight for the Oak Woodlands

The Mendocino County Supervisors will soon vote on a series of environmental protections that would include putting 714,000 acres of rangeland off-limits to new cannabis cultivation permits and adopting an impressively strict oak woodlands protection ordinance, while also allowing existing growers to become legally-permitted. The end of marijuana prohibition has opened up the possibility of a damaging “green rush,” which these measures aim … Continue reading “A Fight for the Oak Woodlands”

Court Affirms Need To Protect Water Quality Even In Drought

February 07, 2017 | Kate Poole During the last three years of California’s drought, the state and federal agencies charged with protecting fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water quality for all Californians have utterly failed to do their job. The results have been disastrous: more toxic algae blooms are infecting California’s waterways than ever before; at … Continue reading “Court Affirms Need To Protect Water Quality Even In Drought”

California Puts Oil Profits Ahead of Safe Drinking Water

January 25, 2017 Briana Mordick California state agencies last week said they’ll put the interests of Big Oil and Gas before the interests of public health. The California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources’ (DOGGR) and State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) plan will allow oil and gas companies to violate state regulations, miss agreed-upon deadlines, … Continue reading “California Puts Oil Profits Ahead of Safe Drinking Water”

Delta Doozy: Delta Water Won’t Meet CWA Standards Post-Waterfix

25 January 2017 Discussions about California water supplies have too often become fact-free discourses that fail to advance an informed discussion. The State Water Contractors’ “Delta Doozy” series was launched in order to distinguish the facts from the fiction and promote constructive dialogue. Today’s Doozy comes in response to Restore the Delta’s statement regarding Governor … Continue reading “Delta Doozy: Delta Water Won’t Meet CWA Standards Post-Waterfix”