California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say
Sierra Link: Scientists are saying that it’s not only less snow causing the drought but warmer temperatures attributed to climate change. Trends have predicted that California and the West will continue to see a warming trend and less snow in the years to come.
New York Times, Henry Fountain, 4/1/15
Sierra Nevada pine tree die-off worsens as beetles thrive in drought
Sierra Link: Beetles in the southern Sierra Nevada are attacking drought-stressed trees, turning forests brown and creating a fire tinderbox. The increased fire risk and fourth year of drought have the southern Sierra residents worried.
The Fresno Bee, Lewis Griswold, 3/30/15
Federal public land transfers get a Congressional boost
Sierra Link: Federal legislation may be introduced in the fall to relinquish federal lands to the states. It may make drilling and development much easier on private lands but what could it mean for the Western states where water and fracking are of concern?
High Country News, Cally Carswell, 3/31/15
Drought alters familiar landscape in Yosemite National Park
Sierra Link: The last time Yosemite was this dry was 1,000 years ago and the landscape is changing.
Merced Sun-Star, Louis Sahagun, 3/31/15
Brown orders California's first mandatory water restrictions: 'It's a different world'
Sierra Link: The first mandatory water restrictions were issued by Governor Brown ordering cities and towns across California to cut water consumption by 25%. As we’ve all been watching this winter, the continued drought and dismal snow pack have contributed to the historically low water content, not great news for California’s residents and economy.
LA Times, Chris Megerian, Matt Stevens And Bettina Boxall, 4/1/15
The Southwestern Water Wars
Sierra Link: California isn’t the only state experiencing the negative effects of the drought. Across the Southwest the scene is a triple threat: booming population, looming drought and the worsening effects of climate change. How are the other states dealing with the triple threat?
New York Times, Richard Parker, 3/13/15
Beneath California Crops, Groundwater Crisis Grows
Sierra Link: In Southern California the lack of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is not only affecting crops around the nation -- in some places the water table has dropped 50 feet or more in a couple years.
NY Times, Justin Gillis and Matt Richtel, 4/5/15
Drought prompts truck and release of salmon smolts in Rio Vista
Sierra Link: If the drought conditions don’t improve, 12 million fish could be released in the Sacramento Delta to improve their chance of survival. How long will going to such measures to protect fish habitat have to continue and at what cost?
Sacramento Bee, Ed Fletcher, 3/26/15
Bighorn sheep given new home in Yosemite
Sierra Link: In an effort to bulk up populations, scientists released a dozen endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep at Yosemite National Park. This could mean great things for the populations in the Sierra and diversity of fauna in the range.
Merced Sun Star, Thaddeus Miller, 3/31/15
Volunteers trap crawfish to return steelhead to creeks
Sierra Link: By removing invasive crawfish from waterways, volunteers are saving the native steelhead habitat. What could this mean for the invasives in Tahoe and beyond?
SF Gate, 4/5/15
Obama administration unveils fracking rules for federal lands
Sierra Link: Companies must now disclose the chemicals they pump underground and store wastewater in tanks instead of open pits. Perhaps the newly mandated regulations will provide some inspiration for California regulators to crack down on those companies working in the Sierra and the rest of California.
SF Gate, Jennifer Dlouhy, 3/20/15