It looks like a barren no man’s land, but the vast desert outside Indio, Calif., has many suitors. Conservationists see its acres of creosote bush and cholla cactus as a rare habitat for tortoises, pronghorn antelope and an elusive variety of mule deer.
This is the time of year when thousands of shimmering, silver fish flop onto San Diego beaches in a strange nocturnal mating dance. Grunion runs, among California’s most stunning natural phenomena, start this month.
With the number of endangered orcas that frequent the inland waters of Washington state at a 30-year low, Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday directed state agencies to take immediate and longer-term steps to protect the struggling killer whales.
Local tribes’ say critically important dam water releases meant to protect threatened salmon on the Klamath River from deadly parasitic disease outbreaks are being contested by irrigators and water districts in the Klamath Basin as they face drought conditions.
Federally endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout respond to the rains, which create runoff and are a natural invitation for the fish to begin swimming from the oceans upstream into creeks to spawn in the Lagunitas Creek watershed. In December — a key month for coho migration — just .31 of an inch of rain fell in the county as measured by the Marin Municipal Water District.
Under the rules of the Endangered Species Act, once a species is discovered to be at risk of extinction, government agencies are required by law to take steps to save it. For years, critics have challenged that mandate, arguing that it undercuts the ability to weigh a species’ value or to consider the economic impact of its preservation — for instance, the cost of prohibiting logging in a valuable tract of forest.
The Trump administration is pushing forward with a colossal public works project in Northern California — heightening the towering Shasta Dam the equivalent of nearly two stories. The problem is that California is dead-set against the plan, and state law prohibits the 602-foot New Deal-era structure from getting any taller.
A person who was collecting mussels over the weekend at Dillon Beach has been hospitalized for shellfish poisoning, according to the Marin County Public Health Department. The health department confirmed Tuesday a case of paralytic shellfish poison, a naturally occurring toxin found in bivalves such as mussels, clams and oysters.
U.S. scientists knew little about the impact of uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region before an Obama-era decision shut down new mining claims. Uranium first was discovered near the national park in the late 1940s and has been subject to boom-and-bust cycles.
A whopping 99 percent of mussels collected from the San Francisco Bay were contaminated with at least one algal toxin, while more than a third contained four different kinds of algal toxins, according to a study published in the March issue of the scientific journal, Harmful Algae.
The U.S. National Academies on Monday released a public peer review of a draft document called the U.S. National Climate Assessment, a legally required report that is being produced by the federal Global Change Research Program.
While the orcas of Puget Sound are sliding toward extinction, orcas farther north have been expanding their numbers. Their burgeoning hunger for big fish may be causing the killer whales’ main prey, Chinook salmon, to shrink up and down the West Coast.
If there is one thing that motivates many volunteer environmentalists to keep on plugging away, it is the outrage we feel when we bump into an atrocious scheme like this one: Five years ago, Kern County took $14.3 million from a solar developer to help preserve farmland and the threatened Swainson’s hawk, and it has been trying to absorb these millions into its general fund without doing the mitigation.
State and local fishing industry officials and regulators were united on Thursday in bashing the Trump administration’s plans to allow new offshore oil drilling in federal waters, saying it would add to the many threats the state’s fisheries are facing.
Despite the rain, U.S. Forest Service rangers and volunteers completed their final eagle-spotting expedition for the 2018 winter season, counting a total of 15 bald eagles in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains, a spokesman for the Forest Service said Sunday.
There’s no doubt members of the State Water Resources Control Board don’t want to hear another word about their water grab from farmers, elected leaders, economists, irrigation districts or especially newspaper columnists. But how about some of the state’s most respected scientists? How about the “Delta Watermaster”?
A group of Klamath Basin water users Wednesday filed a motion in federal court in San Francisco pushing for at least a delay in the court-ordered injunction to keep 50,000 acre feet held in reserve in Upper Klamath Lake. The water is to be used to flush out the Klamath River in the spring to mitigate the impact of disease on coho salmon.
For the past 80 years life has only gotten worse for winter-run chinook salmon. When Shasta and Keswick dams were built on the Sacramento River, they kept the salmon from getting to their ancestral spawning grounds, while smaller dams and diversions also were constructed on other streams where the salmon once spawned.