“The drought is very visible to Calaveras County residents. They see the enormous bathtub ring at New Melones Reservoir every time they cross the lake on Highway 49. They see the still-brown hillsides where green grass is normally thick by mid-winter.”
“With California’s drought reaching crisis level and the long-term weather forecast calling for sunny skies, the Calaveras County Water District held a Water-Forestry Forum at the San Andreas Town Hall Thursday, Jan. 23.
“Most of California’s water comes from forests … Now, with a drought on and in the months after the Rim Fire devastated 400 square miles of forest in Tuolumne County, lots of folks who manage forests and water districts are eager to address the problem and work to take better care of forests.”
“With foothill reservoirs reduced to puddles, the Sierra snowpack scaled down to slush and the long-term forecast calling for dry, balmy weather, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for California Friday, Jan. 17.
“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.”