Two top officials of the Trump administration, winding up a tour of fire-ravaged Redding, insisted Monday that removing dead trees and thinning forests, not addressing climate change, are the keys to dealing with California wildfires.
The question arose, as it often does, at Monday’s news meeting: How much should be made of President Trump’s latest provocative tweet? This one was a doozy, oozing with ignorance, suggesting that the wildfires ravaging California were being “made so much worse” because “readily available water” is being “diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, touring neighborhoods devastated by the Carr Fire, stepped up the Trump administration’s push Sunday to remove more trees from national forests as a means of tamping down fire risks. “We need to manage our forests, we need to reduce the fuels,” Zinke said as he overlooked Whiskeytown Lake in the vicinity where the Carr Fire began July 23.
President Trump’s tweets have become federal wildfire policy. … Some experts and advocates said the directive to temporarily bypass the Endangered Species Act is political theater. It’s unlikely to help douse the historic fires in California, and it probably won’t threaten vulnerable species, either. But it could lend weight to Trump’s version of events.
Two Western Slope water conservation districts are moving forward with the third phase of a “risk study” exploring how much water might be available to bolster water levels in Lake Powell, and they are doing so without state funding to avoid Front Range opposition to the study. Lake Powell today is half full and dropping and water managers say several more years like 2018 could drain the reservoir, which today contains 12.3 million acre-feet of water.
Amy Haas recently became the first non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history, putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges facing the Upper Colorado River Basin, including a drying climate and less water for the river. Haas talked with Western Water’s Gary Pitzer about the Upper Basin’s challenges and what’s ahead for the four Upper Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
With smoke pooling in the Tahoe Basin, members of Congress from Nevada, California, and Alaska took the stage at Sand Harbor on Tuesday for the 22nd annual Lake Tahoe Summit. While the representatives touched on a number of issues regarding Tahoe and the importance of public-private sponsorships in the fight to preserve and restore the lake, there would be no ignoring the affects of the largest fire in California state history as the members of Congress stood in front of a lake clouded by haze.
Government’s first duty is to provide public safety. There should be no higher priority for Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature than combating wildfires — not homelessness, not healthcare, not water tunnels, not a bullet train.
The Trump Administration appears to be bringing President Trump’s recent tweets about California’s wildfires and environmental laws to life. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has directed fisheries officials to “facilitate” access to water in order to aid in firefighting efforts in California.
In the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll, voters said drought, water supply, and water pollution are the state’s most pressing environmental challenge. Californians recognize that water fuels our economy, grows our food, and sustains our natural places.
The backdrop of [President Donald] Trump’s tweets is a charged debate before the State Water Resources Control Board, the agency tasked with allocating California’s water supplies. It is set to vote this month on a plan to increase flows in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries, which would help fish but hurt farmers.
In his first tweet about this summer’s California wildfires, President Trump blamed environmental laws for making the blazes worse by preventing firefighters from using a “massive amount of readily available water.” He said it’s “being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.” The problem with that claim?
When President Trump sent his first tweet about the current California wildfires, which have killed nine people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes, he chose the moment to zero in on water policy — leaving some scratching their heads.
The full story of Mike Abatti’s enormous influence — over the desert’s Colorado River water, agriculture and energy — has never been told. Until now. … He sued the Imperial Irrigation District, or IID, over its water apportionment plan, winning a sweeping ruling that critics say could create problems for millions of people who depend on the Colorado River.
When Spreck Rosekrans visits Hetch Hetchy — the valley in Yosemite National Park that San Francisco turned into a reservoir nearly a century ago — he looks beyond what is. Instead, he envisions what once was and could be again.“ I imagine a meadow, dotted with oak, pine, and fir trees, and with the Tuolumne River meandering through it,” said Rosekrans, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy, a Berkeley-based nonprofit.
[Second in a series] [Andrew] Wheeler, who took over as acting EPA administrator last month, has been trying to burnish his reputation as a peacemaker at the agency in the wake of Administrator Scott Pruitt resigning after a flurry of ethics scandals.
The last time I [Mark Arax] saw my congressman, Devin Nunes, in the flesh, it was the spring of 2014 and California was parched. The federal project that delivered water north to south – from mountain to farm to city – had shut off its spigot. What little snowmelt California had left was needed up in the Delta to keep alive endangered fish.