Lake Oroville will partially reopen on Thursday, nearly two weeks after more than 180,000 Northern California residents evacuated their homes and the lake area closed due to fears that the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam could fail.
Not far from the main drag through Oroville, a dozen local business owners and city officials faced each other in a hotel lunchroom Tuesday. They sought to begin developing an advertising campaign to transform a barrage of negative images and news reports about frantic efforts to prevent catastrophic flooding into a lucrative tourist attraction, albeit after the Feather River Basin’s rainy season ends in April.
A year ago, politicians and experts were predicting a near-permanent statewide drought, a “new normal” desert climate. The most vivid example of how wrong they were is that California’s majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall.
A huge Northern California reservoir, held in place by a massive dam, has always been central to the life of the towns around it. Now the lake that has brought them holiday fireworks and salmon festivals could bring disaster.
Walking south along the coast of Catalina Island, the noises of bustling tourists and the crashing Pacific waves quickly give way to a steady whir. This is the sound of Southern California Edison’s energy plant that not only powers the entire island, but also provides it with potable water through its desalination system.
Some California State Parks and Forest Service campgrounds have begun shutting off toilets and showers because of the drought, but most local facilities remain in the clear for water usage as of right now.
The panoply of eagles, ospreys, beavers, otters and other critters that paraded before our gaze over our nine hours (including 30 minutes for breaks) on the Sacramento River between Hamilton City and Butte City far exceeded our hopes.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Tuesday that more than $43 million will be distributed from a federal fund for recreation and conservation projects nationwide, kicking off a weeklong campaign around the nation to support the fund’s permanent renewal as Congress resumes.
Seventy-plus years later, [Whitey] Rasmussen is still tying his own feathered flies and crafting his own lures, still using them to catch his own trophy fish, and still telling some great stories in a way that only an ex-Navy man can. But Rasmussen is more than a storyteller.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, in C.W. Nevius’ column:
Gleneagles, the quirky, challenging, everyman’s golf course in one of San Francisco’s roughest neighborhoods, is having trouble making ends meet. … However, the latest blow, a major increase in water rates, has course operator Tom Hsieh wondering if the effort is worth it.
Yosemite National Park, in California’s Sierra Nevada, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the law that preserved it — and planted the seeds for the National Park system. At the same time, the park faces the challenge of protecting the natural wonders from their own popularity.