Study Finds: Most of State’s Fracking Waste Left in Unlined Pits
Sierra Link: More than half of the wastewater from fracked oil wells in California is disposed of in open, unlined pits, and could contaminate groundwater, according to a recently-issued state-mandated study of hydraulic fracturing. How does this affect state needs and pressures placed on the Sierra for clean water supply?
SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle, David R. Baker, 7/9/15
Another View: California Can’t Let Up on Climate Change
Sierra Link: Since California passed it’s landmark climate change law (AB 32), we have seen a decade of naysayers claiming that policy implementation would damage our state’s economy and raise energy costs.
None of these predictions materialized; California flourished instead. This article examines how effective policy has improved individual family and the state’s overall economy.
Sacramento Bee, Kevin Johnson & Steve Frisch, 7/14/15
Strong El Nino weather pattern spurs hope of drenching California winter
Sierra Link: A federal report indicates that an El Nino weather pattern is gaining in strength – making the chances better that this winter will be a wet one for Northern California and the Sierra Nevada.
Sacramento Bee, Bill Lindelof, 7/10/15
More Logging Won’t Stop Wildfires
Sierra Link: It is fire season once again in the West, and House Republicans are using the public’s fear of forest fires to advance their agenda, which some say all but gives away public forests to logging companies. What does this mean for our Sierra Nevada forests?
The New York Times, Opinion Pages, Chad T. Hanson & Dominick A. Dellasala, 7/23/15
Wildfire Recovery Debate Ongoing
Sierra Link: Management of federal forest lands, especially fire suppression and recovery efforts in the wake of giant blazes like the 2013 Rim Fire, could change if two recently proposed laws pass in Congress. This article examines them and potential Sierra impacts.
The Union Democrat, Guy McCarthy, 7/24/15
Wildfire watching: Rangers in towers are out, Cameras are in
Sierra Link: Scientists in Nevada and California are helping federal land managers develop technology to expand a network of high-definition cameras to monitor forest fires, including one in northern Nevada that recently captured a blaze in real-time over 100 miles away.
Sacramento Bee, Scott Sonner, 7/26/15
Drought, beetles preying on weakened California forests
Sierra Link: Twelve million trees across California recently have died from a lethal mix of bugs and long-term drought. Needle-covered trees are unable to secrete the sticky resin to fight off bark beetle infestations.
Sacramento Bee, Ryan Sabalow, 7/10/15
Obama designates three more national monuments
Sierra Link: Vast stretches of Nevada and Northern California are now protected, including Basin and Range National Monument, 704,000 acres of desert solitude Nevadan BLM land containing ancient cultural artifacts, as well as biodiversity hotspot Berryessa Snow Mountain in Northern California, stretching nearly 100 miles and ranging nearly 7,000 feet in elevation.
High Country News, Elizabeth Shogren, 7/12/15
Private-land camping startups offer alternative to public lands
Sierra Link: Airbnb-like websites spring up in response to overcrowded public campsites. Meanwhile, the potential supply of private land is enormous, and campsites and event spaces can provide landowners with extra income and incentive to keep it undeveloped. How does this affect our Sierra Nevada lifestyle?
High Country News, Sarah Gilman, 7/20/15
Public-lands visitation and recreation, by the numbers
Sierra Link: This is an incredibly informative pictogram displaying backcountry fatalities, trips, ATVs and Denali summit attempts over time!
High Country News, Marshall Swearingen, 7/20/15
Study finds contaminants in California public-water supplies
Sierra Link: Nearly one-fifth of the raw groundwater used for public drinking water systems in California contains excessive levels of potentially toxic contaminants, according to a decade-long U.S. Geological Survey study that provides one of the first comprehensive looks at the health of California's public water supply and groundwater.
Fresno Bee, Associated Press, Ellen Knickmeyer & Scott Smith, 7/15/15
Environmental groups blast Delta twin-tunnels plan
Sierra Link: Activists are challenging revised environmental-impact documents as part of a controversial $15.5-billion plan to build two massive tunnels in the north Delta to ship the water to pumping stations in the South, continuing to funnel water from the troubled estuary. How will our governing bodies' inabilities at recognizing basic hydrologic principles affect our Sierra future?
Sacramento Bee, Ryan Sabalow, 7/22/15
California regulators, after setback, issue new water rights curtailments
Sierra Link: State drought regulators issued new water rights curtailment notices to thousands of Californians in an effort to keep a crucial water-use regulation regime on track, though major implementation issues remain. The State Water Resources Control Board delivered notices to 4,600 rights holders, telling them to stop diverting water from California’s rivers and streams.
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler, 7/5/15
EPA to study effects of Roundup on 1,500 endangered species
Sierra Link: the EPA has announced it will spend the next five years studying the effects of glyphosate (more commonly referred to by its trade name, Roundup), atrazine, and two other commonly used pesticides on 1,500 endangered species, including many threatened in our own watershed.
High Country News, Gloria Dickie, 7/17/15
Bats Could Help Walnut Growers Control Costs
Sierra Link: Walnuts are one of the highest value crops in California, bringing in almost $2 billion annually, but protecting the crop from destructive insects can be costly. Scientists are studying if walnut growers could reduce their pest control costs by employing hungry bats.
Capital Public Radio, Amy Quinton, 7/14/15
Conservation funds to bolster Hat Creek fisheries, meadows
Sierra Link: Hat Creek, a classic trout stream bubbling out of Lassen Volcanic National Park and into the Pit River, is about to get a $2 million conservation boost to its fisheries and meadows.
Sacramento Bee, Jane Braxton Little, 7/11/15
Brewmaster captures rare water spout on Lake Tahoe
Sierra Link: Lake Tahoe was treated to a rare weather occurrence Wednesday July 8th, as a water spout, essentially a very weak tornado over water, formed near the mouth of Emerald Bay along the west shore, just after 9 p.m.
SF Gate, San Francisco Chronicle, Kale Williams, 7/9/15
The counties that actively oppose a federal lands transfer
Sierra Link: Ownership of public lands and public roads is a major ongoing issue, particularly in Western states. Over the past few years, many Western states have passed or proposed legislation to study the possibility of transferring ownership of federal lands from the American public to states. This article attempts to identify the issue.
High Country News, Tay Wiles, 7/14/15