“Designating 1.8 million acres of the Sierra Nevada as critical habitat for several amphibian species will have minimal economic impact, according to a study released Friday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
“With much of California facing record dry weather, a-first-of-the-year snow survey at the entrance to Sierra at Tahoe Resort confirmed the obvious on Friday: Snowfall has been scarce.
“Frank Gehrke, chief of California’s Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, paced off the snowfield at Phillips Station near Echo Summit and stopped to take measurements with a throng of TV reporters around him.”
“A mandatory boat inspection program continues to pay dividends for Lake Tahoe, a conservation agency said, as 36 boats harboring invasive plants, mussels and snails were prevented from entering the lake in 2013.”
“High-country vacationers have been enjoying brilliant blue skies and 50-plus-degree temperatures throughout the holidays at Tahoe, where only patches of snow can be seen and ski conditions are simply atrocious. …
“Snow surveyors will tromp out under what forecasters predict will be bright blue skies Friday, but the results are already known.”
“The Placer County Water Agency is saying that a good rainfall year is needed in 2014 to restock mountain reservoirs. And the Water Agency is already looking at the possibility of water-use reductions.
“The Auburn-based agency is expressing concerns as a very dry 2013 draws to a close.
“Starting next year, renters within the Calaveras County Water District no longer will be sent bills for water and sewer service.
“Calaveras County Water District directors earlier this month voted to approve the change, which district staff say will save roughly $20,000 a year on postage and paper for the bills sent to tenants.”
“The specter of drought looms larger with each passing day, and officials are beginning to fret that a lack of rain in coming days and weeks could have disastrous consequences for the region’s agricultural industry.
“’What I am hearing from our staff is that without additional precipitation, we are looking at a very severe effect,’” said Nick Wilcox, a member of the Nevada Irrigation District board of directors, the water agency that distributes irrigated water to the majority of agricultural producers in Nevada County, and portions of
“The tree-thinning program to reduce fire danger in the Tahoe National Forest is having an unexpected consequence. There are fewer trees for the popular public Christmas tree cutting program and the U.S. Forest Service are handing out fewer permits.”
“Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is asking a federal judge to uphold its Regional Plan Update, the target of a lawsuit by two groups alleging that it fails to protect Lake Tahoe’s sensitive environment.