Wild Scenic Merced River photo

The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the “nice-to-have” column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water—and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater […]

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Mt. Rainier Washington

March 21, 2021 Lynda V. Mapes, Seattle Times environment reporter Part of a 180-acre timber sale auctioned off for $4.2 million last November by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), their next stop was a plywood mill. Then, something unusual happened. Hilary Franz, state commissioner of public lands, pulled back nearly 40 acres with most […]

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Kurtis AlexanderMarch 23, 2021 State and federal water officials have delivered their most dire warning yet of California’s deepening drought, announcing that water supply shortages are imminent and calling for quick conservation. Among a handful of drastic actions this week, the powerful State Water Board on Monday began sending notices to California’s 40,000 water users, […]

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BOB NORBERGTHE PRESS DEMOCRATNovember 21, 2007 The fall run of chinook salmon started slowly on the Russian River and, biologists said Tuesday, it hasn’t gotten any better. So far, 950 fish have been counted passing through the Sonoma County Water Agency’s fish ladder near Forestville, which would make this year the smallest run in the […]

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George Plaven, Capital PressFeb 19, 2021 When it comes to critical water infrastructure in the West, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet says it is about more than dams, pipes and canals. Water security begins in the forest, along streams and rivers that flow through farms and communities, Bennet, D-Colo., said during the Family Farm Alliance annual […]

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When the COVID-19 outbreak swept across the U.S., toilet paper, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes flew off store shelves. But shopping carts have also been full of something that most Americans get supplied straight to their home: water. Shoppers emptied store shelves of bottled water while stockpiling during the initial months of the pandemic. Even Amazon ran […]

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Mono Lake

Rooted in Roman law, the public trust doctrine recognizes the public right to many natural resources including “the air, running water, the sea and its shore.”

The public trust doctrine requires the sovereign, or state, to hold in trust designated resources for the benefit of the people. Traditionally, the public trust applied to commerce and fishing in navigable waters, but its uses were expanded in California in 1971 to include fish, wildlife, habitat and recreation. […]

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Coho Salmon

The danger lurks in California, too Kurtis AlexanderDec. 3, 2020 Pacific Salmon | Species | WWF Rodeo Creek in Hercules is one of four Bay Area waterways where scientists found lethal levels of 6PPD-quinone, which researchers say is killing salmon. Paul Kuroda / Special to The ChronicleScientists in the Pacific Northwest say they’ve solved a […]

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“The 9th Circuit failed to correct the legal errors in the panel decision,” said the lead attorney in the case, who added that the case is now up to the nation’s highest court. For the second time in as many years, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected a landmark climate lawsuit brought by a group of young people—who say they will now take their case to the United […]

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TYLER SILVY THE PRESS DEMOCRAT January 22, 2021, 4:51PM Hundreds of California wineries will for the first time be governed by statewide wastewater processing rules, a change from the long-held, regional approach that could increase production costs for wineries and protections for waterways while providing consistency for vintners across the state. The move toward a […]

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wildfire

“We aim to provide leaders with a realistic ‘cold shower’ of the state of the planet that is essential for planning to avoid a ghastly future.”Jessica Corbett, staff writer In an example to the rest of the scientific community and an effort to wake up people—particularly policymakers—worldwide, 17 scientists penned a comprehensive assessment of the […]

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Typhoon

More than 250 scientists and scholars from 30 countries have issued an open letter calling on policymakers to “engage more with the growing risk of societal disruption and collapse due to damage to the climate and environment,” arguing that only then “might communities and nations begin to prepare and so reduce its likelihood, speed, severity, harm to the most vulnerable, and to nature.” […]

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Subsidence, ground sinking

When humans over-exploit underground water supplies, the ground collapses like a huge empty water bottle. It’s called subsidence, and it could affect 1.6 billion people by 2040. But scientists haven’t modeled global risks of subsidence—until now. To build their model, Sneed and her colleagues scoured the existing literature on land subsidence in 200 locations worldwide. They considered […]

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By Harry Baker – Staff Writer Satellite images reveal color changes in rivers across America. A third of U.S. rivers have significantly changed color over the last 36 years, turning from blue to  yellow and green, striking new images reveal. Researchers analyzed 235,000 satellite images — taken over a 34-year period between 1984 and 2018 — from NASA […]

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Pistachio Orchard

A legal dispute over water rights in California’s Mojave desert has growers for The Wonderful Co. on one side and a town reliant on a sprawling naval base on the other. As Brent Crane reports in FERN’s latest story, published with Bloomberg Green, the case offers a glimpse of the coming water wars in California, as the state’s all-powerful agriculture interests increasingly square off against thirsty communities over a dwindling supply of fresh water. […]

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Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife December 15, 2020 By Reynard Loki, Independent Media Institute In December 2019, at the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s annual Assembly of States Parties in the Hague, the Pacific island state of Vanuatu made an audacious proposal: Make ecocide—the destruction of nature—an international crime. “An amendment of the Rome Statute could criminalize […]

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drop of water

By Kim Chipman – December 6, 2020. Water joined gold, oil and other commodities traded on Wall Street, highlighting worries that the life-sustaining natural resource may become scarce across more of the world. Farmers, hedge funds and municipalities alike are now able to hedge against — or bet on — future water availability in California, the biggest U.S. agriculture market and world’s fifth-largest economy. […]

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“President-elect Biden said his administration wouldn’t just tinker around the edges, but instead would lock in progress no future president can roll back. Our recommendations are a roadmap for doing exactly that.” by Julia Conley, staff writer The Center for Biological Diversity on Thursday called on President-election Joe Biden to make good on his pledge […]

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Dying Salmon

Dec. 3, 2020 Scientists in the Pacific Northwest say they’ve solved a long-running mystery behind the region’s dying salmon, a discovery that may explain what’s harming fish elsewhere around the globe, including California. In research published Thursday, a team of university and government scientists identify a toxic material derived from tire treads that is washing […]

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Melting permafrost in Canada's Northwest Territories, a sign of accelerating global heating. (Photo: Charles Tarnocai/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

In order to roll back catastrophic carbon emissions, humans must “start developing the technologies for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” … Humanity may have passed the “point of no return” in the climate crisis—even if everyone on the planet stopped emitting all greenhouse gases at this very moment, according to a study published Thursday.

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Antarctic research station

Scientists at an Antarctic research station recently recorded a one-day air temperature of just under 70 degrees, a balmy afternoon in a region of the world unaccustomed to them. In fact, as far as researchers can tell, it has never been that warm in Antarctica before. The record was set against an increasingly scary global backdrop of rising temperatures and seas; more powerful storms, droughts and floods; a reduced Arctic ice cap, and accelerated melting and movement of glaciers around the globe — including Antarctica. […]

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Girls drinking from water bottle

Caitrin Chappelle | October 20, 2020 Over-pumping of groundwater has caused domestic wells to go dry in the San Joaquin Valley. Yet many of the first round of plans prepared to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) do not yet propose ways to address this problem. We explored groundwater planning with three members of […]

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Water is core to California’s way of life. But as climate change causes more volatile precipitation, less snowpack, more flooding, higher temperatures, and shorter wet seasons, the water system will increasingly fail to meet the needs of California’s communities, industry, and agriculture. New analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that the data and […]

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After Wildfires Stop Burning, a Danger in the Drinking Water

Experts are warning that existing water safety rules are not suitable to a world where wildfires destroy more residential areas than in the past. By Max HorberryPublished Oct. 2, 2020Two months after a wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif., in 2018, Kevin Phillips, then a manager for town’s irrigation district, walked from one destroyed home to another.Burned […]

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The consequences of fire spraying fire retardants on wildfires

A graduate of the M.S. in conservation medicine program shares what she learned during the Tufts program about the methods used to fight wildfires in California By Genevieve Rajewski, September 11, 2020 Wildfires started burning in California early again this dry season—more than two million acres have burned so far. Larger and larger wildfires are […]

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Mendocino National Forest

In a major victory, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with EPIC in a case impacting fragile post-fire forest in the Mendocino National Forest. The court found that the Forest Service’s use of a “categorical exclusion” to avoid an environmental impact assessment for a timber sale following the 2018 Ranch Fire was likely a violation of the law and that EPIC should have been awarded an injunction by the lower court to stop logging.

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Felta Creek The logging plan known as Fox Meadows includes critical sections of Felta Creek, known as the last refugia for Coho Salmon. This property was purchased by a land developer for investment purposes and had many previous violations with local jurisdictions. A group formed, Friends of Felta Creek, that elicited help from Forest Unlimited, […]

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