Sonoma County is poised to benefit from millions of dollars in parks, water and land conservation funding from the new $4.1 billion state bond measure approved by California voters last week. Proposition 68 will generate at least $400,000 for the county’s Regional Parks system and half that amount for each municipal park district in the county.
Across California and the Bay Area, environmental groups had one of their best elections ever. They won nearly every major race they contested, securing billions of dollars for parks, beaches, water projects and public transportation, and at the same time helped kill plans to develop Silicon Valley hillsides and a proposal to change the way the state spends money from its greenhouse gas auctions.
Officials say they need $6 million in federal money to prevent pockets of land around Redwood National Park from being used for private interests. The Everglades National Park needs $2.5 million for the same purpose.
California voters have approved a ballot measure allowing the state borrow $4 billion for parks and conservation projects that proponents say will help ensure access to clean drinking water. Proposition 68 — one of five statewide measures on the ballot — passed Tuesday with 56 percent of the vote.
The National Park Service’s newly revealed plan to relocate its Pacific West Regional Office headquarters from San Francisco to Vancouver, Wash., would save millions of dollars but also disrupt some careers and possibly pose some political challenges. None of it is trivial, but the benefits outweigh the costs, officials believe.
From Water | Food | Environment — The Blog of David Guy:
Every year my family looks forward to visiting Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park—where you not only experience the beautiful alpine meadow, but you can also take in one of the wonderful presentations at the Parsons Memorial Lodge.
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.
Looking eastward from the canyon’s popular South Rim, visitors could soon see a hive of construction as workers build restaurants, hotels and shops on a distant mesa on the Navajo Indian reservation. … That project and a second, unrelated development proposed for just south of the canyon have set off alarms at the National Park Service, which sees them as the most serious threat the park has faced in its 95-year history.
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.
Half Dome and the grand vista around cozy Yosemite Valley are good reasons to practice science here, but researchers see a much bigger picture. Yosemite is a living laboratory — the entire 1,169 square miles, not just the gorgeous 7 square miles of Yosemite Valley.
“A promise made by the Interior Department to preserve and protect the ranches that have long been part of the Point Reyes National Seashore is going to be transformed from a political pledge into the rules and regulations of the national park.”