Jerry Brown will visit the Vatican for climate change talks with Pope Francis
Sierra Link: Gov. Jerry Brown, a longtime champion of environmental causes and one-time seminarian, will travel to Vatican City this month to meet with Pope Francis and attend gathering of local officials on climate change and human trafficking.
Fresno Bee, David Siders, 7/9/15
Mapping drought's impact on electricity generation
Sierra Link: Surely the most obvious link between water and energy, and between climate and electricity generation, though, is found at the West’s numerous hydroelectric generation stations, and California — deep in a nasty drought — is feeling that link in a painful way. Think how this will affect us at home in Sierra Nevada.
High Country News, Jonathan Thompson, 7/7/15
Scientists see climate change in action in California wildflower fields
Sierra Link: Winters with less snow and more sun are taking a toll on California wildflowers. These twin trends, observed in our own Sierra mountains, have reduced the diversity of wildflower species in a Northern California research meadow by 15% over 15 years, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
LA Times, Sasha Harris-Lovett, 6/24/15
Enforce environmental regulations on illegal pot growers
Sierra Link: This article is an intriguing call for stronger environmental protection. Illegal marijuana cultivation is identified here as a widely recognized environmental menace, not only impacting streams and forests with pesticides and from bulldozing trees, but also impacting coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, all threatened species, from extensive water diversion.
Sacramento Bee, Jane Braxton Little, 7/4/15
GALENA’S ‘BEE HOTEL’ COULD SAVE THE FOREST
Sierra Link: It looks like someone built a firewood shelter in front of the Galena Creek Visitor Center, but upon closer inspection there are many small sections featuring terra cotta pots, hay, shelving, and other various material. This ‘bee hotel’ attempts to provide a pesticide-free haven for bees, bugs and other pollinators, environmentally critical in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin.
Great Basin Institute, BBeffort, 5/5/15
Secretary Jewell Announces $405 Million in PILT Payments to Support Vital Services in Rural Communities
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that about 1,900 small governments around the country will benefit from the 2015 PILT program. PILT program eligibility is reserved for local governments (mostly rural counties) that contain non-taxable federal lands and provide vital services, such as public safety, housing, social services and transportation. These jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas.
U.S. Department of the Interior, Press Release, 6/25/15
A film documents two friends on the Sierra trek
Sierra Link: Here is a review of an interesting new film, “Only the Essential: A Hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail”, by Colin Arisman.
High Country News, 5/25/15
California water bill likely to pass U.S. House, then lose steam
Sierra Link: An ambitious California water bill will pass a key U.S. House committee this week and soon will sail through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on a near party-line vote. Whether it gets approved by the Senate or not, it will contribute to our discussion about water management in the highland areas.
Sacramento Bee, Michael Doyle, 7/7/15
As lakes drain, we must rethink water
Sierra Link: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials, who operate the Central Valley Project, relied on a faulty gauge in April and overestimated the amount of cold water behind Shasta Dam.
That error may seem trivial, but not in this fourth year of drought. The error is now cascading throughout the water system, making clearer than ever that Californians (and Sierrans) must rethink how water is used.
Sacramento Bee, Editorial Board, 7/4/15
Fears surface about mercury in Shasta Lake fish
Sierra Link: Mercury, a legacy of the Gold Rush, has worked its way into the food chain of Shasta Lake, with levels beyond what is considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, state tests have found. Shasta is California's largest reservoir and cherished by anglers — many unaware of the mercury in the lake and in the fish they catch.
Sacramento Bee, Associated Press, 7/5/15
Warm-water threat forces hatcheries to move fish
Sierra Link: For the second year in a row, managers at two state fish hatcheries below Folsom Dam say the threat of fatally warm water in August and September has again left them no choice but to move fish. What does this mean for the future of aquaculture in the Sierra?
Sacramento Bee, Ryan Sabalow, 6/26/15
Mono Lake's ecological crisis is a blow to wildlife, L.A. water supply
Sierra Link: As this body of salt water recedes, repercussions mount: exposed alkaline flats give rise to dust storms, a haven for endangered migrating birds has become more vulnerable to predators, and Los Angeles — which has diverted water from this lake for seven decades — could be cut off. The 1-million-year-old lake is within two feet of the level that state officials say threatens the alpine ecosystem at the base of the eastern Sierra Nevada.
LA Times, Louis Sahagun, 6/24/15
California says new Delta tunnels plan better for environment, fish
Sierra Link: California officials, unveiling the fine print on a significant redesign of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels project, said Thursday that the plan would reduce impacts on the environment and improve habitat for endangered fish and other species. This affects our native fish species in the Sierra, where they are already threatened.
Fresno Bee, Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, 7/9/15
Exploring Tule Lake, an Austere Land With a Complex History
Sierra Link: This is an interesting article taking us on a complex regional history of a small lake in northern California. Such an article could be written about many of our lakes!
The New York Times, Elizabeth Zach, 6/26/15
Your Contribution to the California Drought
Sierra Link: The average American consumes more than 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food that was produced [here]. This article is incredibly interesting and indicates how California's water crisis is a nation-wide issue.
The New York Times, By Larry Buchanan, Josh Keller, Haeyoun Park, Tony Cenicola and Dave Frank, 5/21/15