Stretching along the eastern edge of the state, the Sierra Nevada
region incorporates more than 25 percent of California’s land
area and forms one of the world’s most diverse watersheds.
It features granite cliffs, lush forests and alpine meadows on
the westside, and stark desert landscapes at the base of the
eastside. Wildlife includes bighorn sheep, mule deer, black bear
and mountain lions, hawks, eagles, and trout.
The majority of total annual precipitation – in the form of rain
and snow – falls in the Sierra Nevada. Snowmelt from the Sierra
provides water for irrigation for farms that produce half of the
nation’s fruit, nuts and vegetables, and also is a vital source
for dairies, which have made California the largest milk producer
in the country.
In addition, Sierra snowmelt provides drinking water to Sierra
Nevada residents and a portion of drinking water to 23 million
people living in cities stretching from the Bay Area to Southern
After a massive loss of fish at three hatchery facilities in
the eastern Sierra and Southern California this summer, the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife has implemented an
updated stocking plan to continue putting trout into waters
that are popular with anglers.
The new tool is a light fixture called an array mounted under a
working barge, which trolls the marina dousing the plants on
the bottom with UV-C light, a short-wave electromagnetic
radiation light that damages the DNA and cellular structure of
After timber harvest or fuel reduction thinning operations,
sediment delivery to nearby streams and waterways can increase,
potentially affecting water quality, drinking water supplies,
habitat, and recreational opportunities. To effectively reduce
these adverse effects of harvest, foresters first need to know
the precise causes of sediment increases.
By the 2070s, climate change will reduce snowpack and increase
extreme rainfall in the Sierra Nevada and California’s
reservoirs will likely be overwhelmed. That’s according to a
new study by UCLA climate scientists, who predict that run-off
during so-called atmospheric rivers will increase by nearly 50
percent, leading to widespread flooding across the state.
In California, many of the wildfires occur in the Sierra Nevada
mountains, which are the source of 70% of California’s water
resources. Understanding the feedbacks and implications of
disturbances on the hydrological cycle can help watershed
managers plan for future scenarios with wildfires and climate
Forest-management actions such as mechanical thinning and
prescribed burns don’t just reduce the risk of severe wildfire
and promote forest health — these practices can also contribute
to significant increases in downstream water availability. New
research from UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research Institute
provides the tools to help estimate and verify those changes.
A California company that produces Crystal Geyser bottled water
was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation and ordered
to pay $5 million in fines for illegally storing and
transporting hazardous waste, federal prosecutors said. The
waste was produced by filtering arsenic out of Sierra Nevada
spring water at CG Roxane LLC’s facility in the Owens Valley.
Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated when the spillways failed
at Oroville Dam in 2017, an infrastructure disaster that cost
around a billion dollars to repair. Three years later
scientists say events that partially led to the incident could
become more frequent. It comes down to how and when snow and
Environmental engineers at the University of California, Irvine
have developed a new framework for characterizing snow droughts
around the world. Using this tool to analyze conditions from
1980 to 2018, the researchers found a 28-percent increase in
the length of intensified snow-water deficits in the Western
United States during the second half of the study period.
Both the Tubbs and Camp fires destroyed fire hydrants, water
pipes and meter boxes. Water leaks and ruptured hydrants were
common. … After the fires passed, testing ultimately revealed
widespread hazardous drinking water contamination. Evidence
suggests that the toxic chemicals originated from a combination
of burning vegetation, structures and plastic materials.
Lake Tahoe’s fluctuating clarity got worse last year during an
especially cold and wet winter as sedimentation, algae growth
and a tiny invasive shrimp continued to pose restoration
challenges for the famed clear water of the mountain lake
straddling the California-Nevada line.
In the midst of a hot July after late rains this season, the
outlook for reforesting on the ridge will depend on the efforts
of private landowners, local forest scientists say. With this
help, residents of the ridge could see a new type of forest
replace what was lost in the Camp Fire.
More money for the Paradise Irrigation District was announced
Tuesday to help with Camp Fire recovery. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency awarded $3,440,574 to the Paradise Irrigation
District for damages as a result of the fire in 2018.
The Bishop Paiute Tribe is experiencing low water pressure
reservation wide due to high water usage and minimal storage
and pumping capacity. … With temperatures rising, and more
community members staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
water usage has gone up significantly.
Forest-management actions such as mechanical thinning and
prescribed burns don’t just reduce the risk of severe wildfire
and promote forest health — these practices can also contribute
to significant increases in downstream water availability. New
research from UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research Institute
provides the tools to help estimate and verify those changes.
A Kern County water agency is facing a wall of opposition
against its plan to harvest up to 12,000 acre feet of water
from the South Fork of the Kern River above Lake Isabella and
bring it to valley farms and homeowners in northwest
The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors opened the
utility’s checkbook at the July 13 meeting and unanimously
voted to spend close to $9.5 million on a long list of capital
improvement projects. Leading the way, the most expensive
project approved was $4.56 million to recoat and inspect
Reservoir 2 and 2A water tanks.
When it was measured last year, the clarity of the lake was
about 80 feet. … But, consider this, about 20 years ago, the
clarity of lake was 100 feet. That’s the trend scientists are
trying to reverse.
Yuba Water Agency’s Board of Directors Thursday authorized
staff to move forward with a new design of an estimated $225
million secondary spillway at New Bullards Bar Dam, marking an
important step forward for the agency’s largest project to
reduce flood risk since the dam was built.
There are just 12 parking spots near Yankee Jim’s, a sliver of
crystal clear water on the North Fork American River, about 35
miles west of Lake Tahoe, but last weekend California State
Parks and Placer County authorities counted more than 300
vehicles parked near the rugged roads surrounding a one-way
bridge overhead. … Authorities said the scenic area has
exploded in popularity thanks to social media postings.
This new technology is an improvement on the existing bubble
curtain, providing more air and a much stronger application of
it. It also includes sea bins that will act like garbage cans,
collecting the fragments that are knocked free by the bubble
What was extraordinary was the unusually deep snow recorded in
the northern Sierra Nevada mountains before the storm event.
Subsequently, several records were set for how much snowmelt
occurred during the atmospheric river. The melt took place
because of unusually warm and wet conditions, and it increased
water available for runoff by 37 percent over rain alone,
straining the capacity of California’s second-largest
Over the next 3 weeks a group of League to Save Lake Tahoe
citizen scientists will outfit their clothes driers with
special filters to capture particles from dryer vent emissions.
Dr. Monica Arienzo of the Desert Research Institute explained
that unexpected results from a remote snow sample led to a
curiosity in dryer emissions.
Saturday and Sunday, PG&E will raise the water level on the
North Fork of the Feather River, which goes from Quincy to
Oroville. … But this year, it seems the whitewater levels —
thanks to the coronavirus — aren’t raising excitement.
In 1961, Placer County voters overwhelmingly approved the sale
of bonds to finance construction of the Middle Fork American
River Hydroelectric Project (MFP). Nearly 60 years later, with
the bonds fully paid and financial reserves fully funded, the
first-ever distribution of net revenue from the MFP has been
For the past five years, Monty Currier, a California Department
of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist, has been working
to rebuild the fishery at Mountain Meadows Reservoir after
the PG&E impoundment went dry in 2015 from the
combined effects of maintenance work and the drought. The
unfortunate fish kill presented Currier with something of a
In June 2018, scientists first noticed that aspen trees around
the basin were looking more defoliated than usual… “It was
concerning because, from a landscape diversity perspective,
aspens are so priceless in terms of what they contribute up
here,” said Will Richardson, executive director of the Tahoe
Institute for Natural Science.
Ben Ewing is an environmental scientist for CDFW’s North
Central Region. Based out of the region headquarters office in
Rancho Cordova, Sacramento County, Ben serves as the district
fisheries biologist for Alpine, Amador, Calaveras and Lake
The Upper Truckee Marsh in South Lake Tahoe once covered 1,600
acres and is now around 600 acres. It suffered in recent
decades because of cattle ranching, channelizing of the river
and the development of a neighborhood called the Tahoe Keys in
the 1950s and ’60s.
Agencies in California, Washington, and British Columbia are
collaborating. In a 2018 memorandum of understanding, the three
agencies pledged to share data and innovations. The group is
also exploring ways to offset the costs of forest management.
For example, they’re looking for markets for wood from the
small trees and branches that are cut when forests are thinned.
In November 2019, a diverse group of nine organizations, known
as the North Yuba Forest Partnership, announced its commitment
to using best available science in planning and implementing
forest restoration at an unprecedented pace and scale within
the North Yuba River watershed. Today, the group released an
online interactive story map highlighting the ecological and
human values within the watershed…
California’s wild weather swings, from pounding rain to drought
and from fires to floods, are widely expected to worsen as the
climate warms. A new study shows just how severe things might
get, and it’s not pretty.
Fadji Maina and Erica Siirila-Woodburn from Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory explored how a watershed could be impacted
by wildfires. Specifically, the scientists investigated the
Cosumnes River watershed in California.
A group of wildlife biologists in Northern California took
another step in the conservation effort of the threatened
Foothill yellow-legged frogs on June 30, releasing 115 of the
frogs into the Feather River in Plumas National Forest.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the release
marks the first release of captive-reared, Foothill
yellow-legged frogs into the wild.
Headwater forests are critical to California’s water supply, a
fact made plain by recent state funding
decisions…California’s water storage is concentrated in the
alpine snowpack that accumulates during the wet season and
releases water during the dry months. That snowpack is in
As federal and state decision-makers evaluate the options [for
addressing the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic],
they should consider putting Californians to work on improving
the health of the state’s headwater forests. This approach
would alleviate economic hardships while reducing wildfire risk
and generating a suite of other benefits for forest-based
communities and the state.
Several California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) fish
hatchery facilities in the Eastern Sierra and Southern
California are battling a bacterial outbreak that has the
potential to cause significant losses to both hatchery and wild
The $202 billion budget signed by Governor Gavin Newsom Monday
evening includes the $7.3 million promised to the Paradise
Irrigation District to help sustain it following the
devastating Camp Fire. The funding is considered critical to
providing clean water to residents for rebuilding efforts. The
money was not included in the Governor’s May revise budget
proposal but was included in the final spending
Within weeks of Bay Area Concrete losing its battle before the
Hayward Planning Commission, PG&E had hired the company to
build and run a dump outside of Paradise, 180 miles to the
north. Trucks began dumping potentially toxic slurry at the
disposal site, which did not require environmental review as an
emergency project and helped speed cleanup operations.
Degraded meadows and their streams can be rehabilitated using a
“pond and plug” technique to restore the floodplain function.
This strategy aims to elevate groundwater levels in the dry
season by spreading large flows across the floodplain. The pond
and plug treatment improves water quality, soil moisture, and
wetland vegetation – improvements that are extremely beneficial
to birds and other wildlife.
he Northern Sierra Partnership, a coalition of land trusts
based in Palo Alto and funded in large part with donations from
Silicon Valley technology leaders, purchased the 2,914 acres
located about two miles north of Truckee. The purchase is part
of a multi-year effort to protect 100,000 acres or more between
Lake Tahoe and Mount Lassen for wildlife, public recreation and
While there are numerous factors that can lead to increased
wildfire risk, a growing body of scientific evidence finds that
climate change is a wildfire “threat multiplier,” amplifying
both natural and human risk factors. But how climate will
influence western communities and ecosystems varies
considerably. Two recent studies in California and the Pacific
Northwest help to bring some of this into better focus.
The historic lighthouse at Rubicon Point was born out of
organized advocacy work in the early 1900s. The Lake Tahoe
Protective Association formed in response to a proposal to cut
the rim of Lake Tahoe at the Truckee River. The proposal was
floated by the Truckee River General Electric Company in 1912
as a means to keep water flowing out of Tahoe even when the
lake level dipped too low.
San Francisco’s water department, known for sourcing some of
the best supplies in the West, is building its first nature
center to commemorate its watersheds. The $27 million facility,
which broke ground this spring, is taking shape on city-owned
land in Alameda County, near the town of Sunol. The center is
designed to extend the tribute paid by the Sunol Water Temple,
a 110-year-old monument honoring local creeks…
Last week, on the flanks of Mount Lassen, the partnership of
the Western Rivers Conservancy and the Lassen National Forest
completed a project that protects a crucial 1,150-acre
property, and a significant branch of South Fork Antelope
Creek, a rare stronghold for salmon and steelhead in the
Sacramento River system.
The snowpack from the Sierra Nevada provides crucial water for
California and western Nevada each year as the snow melts.
Skiers and boarders get fired up about the quality and depth of
the snow. Hydrologists and anyone who relies on Sierra snowmelt
are more concerned with how much water is in the snowpack —
it’s called the SWE (snow water equivalent).
Each year millions of liters of fire-retardant chemicals are
applied to wildfires across the nation. The use of these
retardants could have significant effects on downstream
nutrients. The aim of this study will be to determine which
nutrients are likely to increase in concentration in areas
affected by wildfire in the western U.S., and whether the use
of fire retardants may exacerbate the situation.
Roland Knapp, research biologist at the University of
California Sierra Nevada Aquatic Laboratory, explained that a
fish-less habitat along with increased resistance to chytrid
fungus can allow populations to rebound and increase. Knapp’s
research findings have shown the frogs being able to adapt to
the disease over time. … “I have a lot of hope. I wouldn’t
have said that 10 years ago.”
El Dorado Irrigation District staff is making preparations to
minimize impacts to its system in the event of more PG&E
public safety power shutoffs this year. EID has 168 electrical
service connections with PG&E. In 2019 the largest power
shutoff event affected 125 of those connections. The outages
compromised EID’s ability to pump water and wastewater, provide
fire protection, generate hydroelectric power and operate the
Sly Park Recreation Area.
Oil, logging, mining, and grazing will be the priorities of
national forests and grasslands, with expedited environmental
oversight, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told the U.S.
Forest Service Friday. His memo announced a “blueprint for
reforms” that refocuses the Forest Service to produce products
and services from the 193 million acres of forests, grasslands,
and wilderness areas it oversees.
Unlike in recent years when researchers were able to point to a
dominant factor affecting lake clarity like drought or
higher-than-average precipitation, 2019 saw a range of
influences on Tahoe, including lake mixing for the first time
in several years, sediment, algae, and climate warming. Those
factors, according to the University of California, Davis Tahoe
Environmental Research Center, combined to cause a roughly
8-foot decrease in average clarity from the previous year’s
Billions of invasive Mysis shrimp, introduced in the 1960s as a
food source for native trout, live in Lake Tahoe, where they
have almost eaten to extinction the native zooplankton that
historically helped keep the lake blue and clear.
In a ruling published last week, a California Superior Court
made a sweeping ruling against Inyo County’s attempted eminent
domain takeover of Los Angeles’ land and water rights. The
years-long pursuit by Inyo has effectively been sent back to
the drawing board and will require not only a complete restart,
but also comprehensive environmental review, in order for Inyo
The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors
approved an agreement allowing the Dutch Flat Mutual Water
Company (Dutch Flat Mutual) to consolidate with PCWA… The
agreement allows for the extension of PCWA’s distribution
system into the Dutch Flat community, effectively connecting
current Dutch Flat customers to PCWA’s Alta Water System.
The proposals from the Bureau of Land Management would
eliminate a 15-day protest period afforded to the public to
comment on timber sales and other forest management decisions.
BLM said the comment period they are proposing to cut is
repetitive, as people can already submit their thoughts when a
project is undergoing review under the National Environmental
A recent study published in the journal Science helps explains
why, revealing that the south-western US is in the grip of a
20-year megadrought – a period of severe aridity that is
stoking fires, depleting reservoirs and putting a strain on
water supplies to the states of the region.
The extraction methods that these operations use today are not
drastically different from processes that miners employed in
the California gold rush in the mid-1800s. Today we see history
repeating itself in places like the Peruvian Amazon, where
small-scale gold mining threatens to leave behind long-lasting
social, economic and environmental consequences.
Anticipating where a fire is likely to ignite and how it might
spread requires information about how much burnable plant
material exists on the landscape and its dryness. Yet this
information is surprisingly difficult to gather at the scale
and speed necessary to aid wildfire management. Now, a team of
experts in hydrology, remote sensing and environmental
engineering have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel
moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states
Guaranteeing a second year of backfill funding from the state
for Paradise Irrigation District will take “tough negotiations”
with the governor’s office, local lawmakers and leaders said in
press conference Tuesday morning. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest
budget proposal reverts $7.3 million originally set aside for
PID to the general fund, amid other cuts related to the
economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Northstate lawmakers and local leaders gathered in Paradise,
Tuesday, urging Governor Gavin Newsom to reconsider proposed
state budget cuts that would impact the Paradise Irrigation
District. … Earlier this month, Newsom proposed cutting the
second year of backfill funding to the district meant to help
them stay afloat after the Camp Fire decimated the ridge’s
Though the last couple of weekends have seen wet weather, it
hasn’t been enough to keep up with the yearly average in time
for summer in California. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which is
tested regularly by employees of the California Department of
Water Resources, has yielded some grim results so far in 2020
in terms of snow-water equivalent.
Governor Newsom slashed $7.3 million from his May revised
budget, which officials say was promised to Paradise Irrigation
District after the Camp Fire. … Losing this money could
jeopardize being able to maintain their daily operations, like
fixing leaks, customer service, and employee wages.
Taking the opportunity to bring in some extra revenue, the
Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors
approved the sale of up to 2,000 acre-feet of water to
Westlands Water District at a price of $350 an acre-foot.
As forests in California and the Western U.S. are hit by rising
numbers of fires and disease outbreaks related to climate
change, some experts argue that using dead and diseased trees
to produce biomass energy will help to restore forests and
reduce CO2 emissions.
South Feather Water & Power Agency proposes to transfer the
water from July through November 2020 to participating agencies
of the State Water Contractors and the Central Valley Project
(CVP). The transfer would involve up to 5,000 AF of water
previously stored in Little Grass Valley Reservoir under Permit
1267, and up to 5,001 AF of water previously stored in Sly
Creek Reservoir under Permit 2492.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s many proposed budget cuts include the
cancellation of a second year of backfill funding for the
Paradise Irrigation District, worth $7.3 million. … The
district lost 90 percent of its customers following the Camp
Fire and has been depending on the backfill funds while it
repairs damage to its system and slowly increases customers
Northern California will have its most soaking rain from this
storm into Monday. Through Tuesday, with the cold upper-level
air in the jet stream trough overhead, showers and
thunderstorms, some possibly with small hail, can be expected
in Northern California.
The event was the first weather balloon launch from a Yuba
Water Agency site near Beale Air Force Base. But it will not be
the last. During atmospheric rivers, scientists plan to release
a balloon every three hours from this point to collect data.
And the more data, the better, because understanding the
structure of these storms can help with forecasting and flood
The return of drought to California has been widespread—58% of
the state now experiences some level of dryness, according to
the U.S. Drought Monitor—with extreme drought concentrated in
4% of the state, primarily in the northwestern region of
Siskiyou, Trinity and Humboldt counties.
An intense, long and dangerous fire season is projected.
Degraded north state watersheds threaten California’s water
supply and reliability, and northern rural counties rank among
the highest in the nation for unemployment. This combination of
risks is daunting, but if addressed together can yield benefits
and outcomes far greater than addressing each problem
A $4.1 million contract for the long-awaited dredging of
Phoenix Lake reservoir, identified as necessary more than 15
years ago, has been awarded to Steve Manning Construction, Inc.
of Redding by the Tuolumne Utility District. … Phoenix is the
primary drinking water source for Sonora, Jamestown, Scenic
View, and Mono Village.
The University’s Adrian Harpold recently led a team in
developing a modeling tool to focus on the issue of water
quantity. The tool predicts how different approaches to
thinning the forest impact snowpack accumulation in Lake Tahoe,
which controls how much water is available for downstream
communities such as Reno.
As a Science Fellow placed in the California Natural Resources
Agency, I hear a lot about these snow surveys; however, it’s
one thing to read about the data and the program, and another
thing entirely to go outside and participate in sampling. It
was fascinating to survey the snow course and follow the same
techniques that surveyors have been using for decades to track
and manage the snow.
At a virtual event last week, PPIC researcher Henry McCann
described how improved management can make Sierra forests more
resilient and avoid major wildfire-related disasters, and
summarized the findings of a new report that identifies the
benefits and beneficiaries of such management practices.
The American Water Works Association has recognized the Tahoe
Water Suppliers Association with the 2020 Exemplary Source
Water Protection Award for its high level of protection and
preservation of the Lake Tahoe watershed, the region’s primary
water source for residents.
The Truckee Town Council has approved a resolution to accept
$2.31 million in funds from the California Department of Fish
and Wildlife for the restoration of Trout Creek The money will
be used as part of the project extending Church Street, which
is part of the larger Truckee Railyard Master Plan.
Expanding and intensifying drought in Northern California
portends an early start to the wildfire season, and the
National Interagency Fire Center is predicting above-normal
potential for large wildfires by midsummer. Mountain snowpack
has been below average across the High Sierra, southern
Cascades and the Great Basin, and the agency warns that these
areas need to be monitored closely as fuels continue to dry
The last Sierra Nevada snowpack measurement of the season on
Thursday confirmed what California officials have feared for
months: The state has suffered through a dry winter. … A
broader measurement taken by 130 electronic sensors throughout
the Sierra revealed an average snow water equivalent of 8.4
inches, or 37 percent of average for this time of year.
Point Blue Conservation Science is excited to share a new
climate-smart resource for Sierra meadow restoration: the
Sierra Meadow Planting Palette Tool and Tool User Guide . The
purpose of this tool is to help restoration practitioners plan
for climate change by identifying plant species that have
traits that will increase the likelihood that they will
survive, recruit, and continue to provide additional
co-benefits under projected future conditions.
The largest wetland restoration project in the history of the
Lake Tahoe Basin is now underway in the Upper Truckee River
Marsh. The major project to restore the marsh in South Lake
Tahoe has been years in the making to fix the environmental
damage done by the creation of the Tahoe Keys.
On April 30, 2020, DWR will conduct the fifth and final
Phillips Station snow survey of the season. Due to the COVID-19
pandemic, DWR will conduct the snow survey with limited staff
and without media present. Sean de Guzman, chief of DWR’s Snow
Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Section, will provide the
survey results via Facebook Live.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it
will be upgrading the Lower Bucks Lake Dam this year by
attaching a waterproof membrane to the upstream surface of the
dam to prevent seepage and extend the dam’s service life.
It has been 30 years since the last time a dam was seriously
considered on the East Fork [of the Carson River] as a means to
reduce flooding and increase water for agriculture and other
uses. … The East Fork begins near the base of Sonora Peak in
California. The river’s upper gorge was carved out by a 16-mile
glacier coming off the 11,500-foot high mountain. It is one of
only two major free-flowing rivers in the Eastern Sierra.
The US Bureau of Reclamation is to resume a seismic safety
modification project at Boca Dam near Truckee in California
today, following its seasonal closure in November 2019, with
social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and other COVID-19 precautions
to be followed during construction.
The U.S. Forest Service has suspended controlled burns on
public lands in wildfire-prone California because of the
coronavirus pandemic, upsetting officials who see the program
as key to preventing seasonal infernos like those that
devastated parts of the state in 2018.
The California Fish and Game Commission’s unanimous vote over
another teleconference will allow Charlton Bonham, director of
the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, to postpone the
spring trout season, which opens April 25, in a few eastern
Sierra counties at the request of local officials.
Federal and state officials are scrambling to develop plans to
fight the West’s wildfires during a pandemic, before a fire
season forecast to be worse than normal flares up next month.
One thing is clear: The coronavirus will put a “hard stop” to
the traditional way federal agencies attack wildfires, with
large groups in close quarters, said Kerry Greene, public
information officer for the U.S. Forest Service’s firefighting
More than three dozen atmospheric rivers made landfall on the
West Coast from fall through early spring, but a lack of strong
events in California led to the development of drought
conditions in parts of the state.
A lawsuit over the El Dorado Irrigation District’s plan to pipe
the Upper Main Ditch was denied by Superior Court Judge Dylan
Sullivan in a final ruling issued March 27. The lawsuit filed
by a Pollock Pines-based group called Save the Canal challenged
approval of the project and certification of the project’s
Environment Impact Report…
Lower Battle Creek in Tehama County is one of the 19 waterways
to be part of the Wildlife Conservation Board $24.3 million
grant program set to help enhance flows in streams throughout
California. … The project will dedicate water rights to
instream flow in the lower 7.3 miles of Battle Creek to restore
dwindling Chinook salmon and steelhead
An analysis led by Stanford University found that temperatures
rose about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit statewide while precipitation
dropped 30% since 1980. That doubled the number of autumn
days—when fire risk is highest—with extreme conditions for the
ignition of wildfires.
A slow-moving storm system will bring more rain and mountain
snow to parts of California through Thursday, and could trigger
flash flooding in the Mojave Desert, including some of
America’s typically driest places.
So much for the March Miracle. Despite a few March storms, the
Sierra Nevada snowpack remains well below average, California
officials reported Wednesday, suggesting that water supplies
will be tight this summer and fall.
Snow surveyors will head into the Sierra on Wednesday to take
the most important measurements of the season. … Statewide,
the snowpack and the water it holds is just 53% of average,
according to the daily report on the California Data Exchange.
The Narrows Project was marginally economic for PG&E and is
far from PG&E’s regional hydropower headquarters. Yuba
Water, however, is a natural buyer as the agency also owns the
nearby Narrows No. 2 Powerhouse just upstream. For decades, the
two entities closely coordinated the operations of these
facilities, including the flows.
As the climate changes, forests have figured out a way to adapt
to drought, a new study shows. … The results indicate that
tree communities, particularly in more arid regions, have
become more drought tolerant, primarily through the death of
less hardy trees.
On April 1, 2020, DWR will conduct the fourth Phillips Station
snow survey of the season. Due to the novel coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic and California Department of Public Health
guidance to limit gatherings, DWR will be conducting the April
Phillips Station snow survey without media present and will be
providing video of the survey and the results via Facebook
In March 2020 the most substantial review article to date
focusing on atmospheric rivers (AR) was published in the first
volume of the new journal Nature Reviews: Earth and
Environment. The article, led by Ashley Payne (Univ. of
Michigan) focuses on climate change dimensions, and was
prepared by an international group of scientists…
CAL FIRE last week awarded $43.5 million to local organizations
to reduce the risk of wildfires to homes and communities across
California. Fifty-five local fire prevention projects are
receiving funding for hazardous fuel reductions, wildfire
preparedness planning and fire prevention education.
A pair of low-pressure systems will bring rain and mountain
snow to the West, including communities in worsening drought,
in the early part of the week ahead. The first of the
low-pressure systems arrived on the California coast Sunday.
The second system, the larger of the two storms geographically,
will swing southward from the Gulf of Alaska through midweek.
Under a plea agreement with the Butte County district
attorney’s office, PG&E will pay the maximum fine of
approximately $4 million. It has agreed to fund efforts to
restore access to water for the next five years for residents
impacted by the loss of the Miocene Canal, which was destroyed
by the fire.
A lull in storms is forecast late this week to this weekend,
but a new series of storms is destined to impact much of the
West next week with more rain and mountain snow from Monday to
Wednesday. “It looks like a general 1 to 3 inches of rain
during the first half of the week for California alone,”
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.
California mountains are blanketed in snow and much of the
state has had plenty of rain in a remarkable March turnabout
from the extremely dry first two months of the year. The most
recent statewide storm started during the weekend and, despite
diminishing, snowfall and showers were still occurring here and
There is now plenty of evidence that as the atmosphere warms,
the planet is experiencing more wildfires. … Understandably,
much of the media surrounding these incidents focuses on the
immediate damage to forests, homes, people and wildlife, but
one potentially dangerous long-term impact has received less
attention – the effect of fires on water.
While disruptive, the storm has helped replenish a depleted
snowpack after an exceptionally dry winter. The water stored in
the snowpack is critical for the region’s water supply and for
moistening vegetation before fire season.
Snow has finally diminished a bit after California’s Sierra
Nevada picked up several feet of snow, part of a “Miracle
March” weather pattern helping to replenish vital,
water-providing snowpack after a record-dry February. … Some
lingering mainly light to moderate snow is expected Tuesday in
the Sierra. Heavier amounts are possible in far northeast
California, including Mt. Shasta, where winter storm warnings
remain in effect.
After a prolonged period of mostly dry conditions, the Tahoe
Basin finally reported impressive 24-hour snowfall totals
Sunday morning: As of 8:30 a.m., Squaw Valley had recorded 18
inches at its base and up to 30 inches at its highest peaks.
Tahoe City measured 23 inches, Homewood 33 and Incline Village
22. … Between Sunday and Monday, the Cascades and northern
Sierra could see another one to three feet of snow.
Much-needed snow will blanket California’s Sierra Nevada high
country this weekend into next week, bringing hope of a
“Miracle March” that could replenish vital, water-providing
snowpack after a record-dry February.
Tuolumne Utilities District announced on Tuesday that it has
entered into exclusive negotiations with Pacific Gas and
Electric Co. to acquire the Phoenix Hydroelectric Project,
which would include pre-1914 water rights on the South Fork of
the Stanislaus River…
Forecasting snowfall and determining long-term trends of snow
climatology are inherently challenging, but the research team
at Climate Central has produced an analysis of snowfall trends
across the United States. While no single overall national
trend in snowfall can be discerned from the results, clear
regional and seasonal patterns do emerge. In almost all areas
of the country, snow is decreasing in the “shoulder”
seasons—fall and spring.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy Governing Board approved
$13,555,224 in grants to 27 different projects focused on
forest health, land conservation, and community resilience
throughout the vital 25-million-acre region.
The scramble for water has intensified as global warming has
battered much of the West during the last 20 years with heat
waves, droughts and wildfires. With projections for declining
snowpack and river flows, cloud seeding is becoming a regional
climate adaptation measure costing several million dollars each
The lack of snow and rain in February comes after a January
that was also drier than average, and a record dry autumn for
much of Northern California. A series of storms dumped a
considerable amount of snow in late December, raising hopes
that this winter might proceed normally. But that now seems
Forecasters and water managers keeping a close eye on
precipitation are hopeful that a wet month, a phenomenon known
by weather experts as “miracle March,” may help bolster
lackluster winter rain totals.
Amidst much anguish and gnashing of teeth, the El Dorado
Irrigation District Board of Directors unanimously approved a
$42.7 million dollar project on Monday that’s been on EID’s to
do list since 2011. Called the Folsom Lake Intake Improvement
Project, EID plans to replace the existing pump station that
has been in service since the late 1950s and considered to be
at the end of its useful life.
It is well known that warm water fish (bass and bluegill) have
diminished wild trout populations at Lake Tahoe. … However,
getting rid of the illegally planted warm water fish isn’t
altogether realistic, and the real agenda is only hinted at:
Protection for recently planted Cutthroat trout, declared as
the only ‘worthy’ fish allowed in the lake.
Paradise Irrigation District has completed sampling service
lines to all standing structures in the town for possible water
contamination and is expecting to finish repairs by the end of
spring. The completion of the testing marks a milestone in the
area’s recovery after the Camp Fire.
As the real globe warms, one trend is clear: Winter is
shrinking and snow is melting. In the past 50 years, the frozen
mantle that caps the Northern Hemisphere in the dark months has
lost a million square miles of spring snowpack. Winter warming
has tripled in the U.S. West since 1970; the length of winter
is projected to decline at ski areas across the country, in
some locations by more than 50% by 2050 and by 80% by 2090.
A warming planet has major ramifications on winter snowpack
across the globe, including a long-term drying trend for many.
That’s a concern for winter sports enthusiasts and communities
that depend on snow throughout the year.
Officials at Phillips Station recorded a snow-water equivalent
of 11.5 inches, only 47 percent of average for the end of
February, according to Sean de Guzman, chief of snow surveys
for the California Department of Water Resources… DeGuzman
called the month’s minuscule rain and snow totals “quite
disappointing,” noting that it will almost certainly go down as
the driest February ever measured by DWR officials in the
Northern Sierra Nevada range over 99 years of recorded history.
Plumas supervisors reminded the state that the best way to
protect natural resources is by not depleting them, especially
when other natural resources are available, such as the Pacific
Ocean. Supervisors encourage the state’s Natural Resources
Agency to support developing technology to promote practical
ways to use ocean water.
The Folsom Lake Intake Improvement Project delivers district
water supplies available at Folsom Lake to the El Dorado Hills
Water Treatment Plant and is critical to service reliability
for the El Dorado Hills service area. In service since the late
1950s, significant portions of the pump station have reached
the end of their useful life.
The National Weather Service tweeted satellite images of the
Sierra on Tuesday, showing the stark difference between this
year and the above-average snowfall from 2019. The mountain
snowpack — a crucial element in the state’s annual water supply
— is 53 percent of normal for this time of year, according to
the Department of Water Resources.
Reportedly a number of Mariposa County residents don’t believe
the Mariposa Public Utility District’s (MPUD) decades-old
sewage management system could provide service to potential new
motels or hotels and multi-family housing units. … In fact,
upon completion of the current retrofit and upgrade, MPUD
officials say the wastewater treatment facility could easily
handle three times as much capacity as it now processes.
Local reservoirs and municipal water supplies might become so
polluted from the fires that the current water supply
infrastructure will be challenged or could no longer treat the
water. … But most of the fire-prone areas in North America
lack large-scale vulnerability assessments of their municipal
The changes, mandated by Senate Bill 998, mean customers will
have at least 60 days to settle their bill before becoming
delinquent. The changes also require water utilities to provide
written notice at least seven days before service
discontinuation, which must contain information on how to avoid
an interruption of service as well as procedures for contesting
or appealing a bill.
A report recently published by the Lawrence Livermore National
Lab, Getting to Neutral, suggests that power plants across the
state could profitably convert wood from forests and orchards
into liquid or hydrogen fuels, all while capturing their
California’s alarmingly dry winter continues, with no
meaningful snow or rain in sight. Although it’s far too soon to
predict a drought, experts said wildfire risks could worsen
this summer as a result of the shortage of precipitation.
Meteorologists say much of Northern California likely will not
see a drop of rain in February, heightening concerns that
summer will arrive with below-average rainfall and tinder-dry
hillsides susceptible to wildfire.
In the waning moments of 2019, San Francisco’s Water Department
persuaded Congress to deny long-promised access to unreachable
areas of Yosemite National Park. This power play would ban
environmentally benign boating on Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The
move reverses the guarantees of improved access and recreation
which San Francisco made in 1913, when it pleaded with Congress
to pass the Raker Act and allow it to build the reservoir in
Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.
Owens Valley Indian Water Commission is pleased to announce the
Commission awarded the Big Pine Tribe a $100,000 Agriculture
Assistance Grant torepair segments of the Tribe’s irrigation
system to ensure tribal members have access to water for
agricultural and general purposes.
In fall of 2018, Desert Research Institute scientists Monica
Arienzo, Zoe Harrold, and Meghan Collins were formulating a
project to search for microplastic pollution in the surface
waters of Lake Tahoe and in stormwater runoff into the lake.
But the team was not satisfied in seeking to identify the
presence of microplastic alone—they also wanted to make
connections with community members at Tahoe.
Overpumping of groundwater has led to a variety of negative
effects including reduced groundwater levels, seawater
intrusion, and degraded water quality. It has also led to
subsidence, which causes damage to critical water
infrastructure. In some cases, years of overpumping have left
entire California communities and farms without safe and
reliable local water supplies.
Placer County, along with the U.S. Forest Service will continue
restoration efforts at the French Meadows reservoir, 30 miles
south of Soda Springs, with plans to treat over 3,800 acres of
forest this year. … This year they expect to remove 9 million
board feet of timber, three times the amount removed last year,
and 15,000 green tons of biomass that will be chipped, hauled
and used for energy production.
The California Department of Water Resources conducted the
second monthly snow survey of the year Thursday morning at
Phillips Station snow course in the Sierra Nevada, south of
Lake Tahoe. Snowpack across the state is averaging 72 percent
of what’s normal for the start of February.
Wildfires are feasting on overgrown, overcrowded and
undermanaged forests, warmer temperatures have created longer
fire seasons and officials are trying to prevent another
environmental catastrophe. That was all just part of the
discussion Monday during Operation Sierra Storm, a national
weather conference sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Visitors
Assemblyman James Gallagher introduced new legislation Monday
that will help expedite construction of the Paradise Irrigation
District intertie project. PID said after the Camp Fire, a
rough estimate of customers lost was around 9,000, nearly its
entire customer base. The District is searching for new revenue
streams to sustain itself …
January’s rainfall has been unimpressive to date, and Jan Null,
veteran meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services, agrees
that the last week of the month looks relatively dry. Seasonal
precipitation totals for Northern and Central California
continue to fall behind normal.
There hasn’t been enough moisture this year so far to keep up
with what’s normal. The Southern Sierra 6-station index which
covers the Tulare Basin, stood at 78 percent of normal as of
Tuesday as far as the precipitation level.
Landowners are afraid of going bankrupt if a prescribed burn
escapes control, the interviewees told researchers. Meanwhile,
state and federal workers see little praise for successful
controlled burns, and face fears and possible backlash from a
risk-averse public, wary of wildfire smoke and mishaps. The
Stanford experts suggested those perceptions among the public
The deaths of the trees, some of which lived through the rise
and fall of hundreds of empires, caliphates and kingdoms – not
to mention the inauguration of every US president – have
shocked researchers in their speed and novelty.
More rain and snow area headed to Northern California on
Tuesday, although the storm won’t be nearly enough to make up
for what’s been a relatively dry January. … The Department of
Water Resources’ precipitation index was at 63 percent of
normal for the Valley and Sierra. The Sierra snowpack is 82
percent of normal.
Innovative efforts to accelerate
restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the
benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water
agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires.
Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of
California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address
persistent challenges facing the Colorado River.
These were among the issues Western Water explored in
2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed
UC Merced researchers outline solutions to the severe wildfire
problems in California’s mountain forests and closely linked
water resource challenges in a documentary premiering on KVIE,
the Sacramento affiliate of PBS, later this month. The new film
“Beyond the Brink: California’s Watershed” highlights the
critical need to reverse a century of fire suppression in
Sierra Nevada forests…
Last year, with those recent calamities haunting the state,
officials took some unprecedented steps to avert a devastating
repeat. Did they work? Well, judging by the results tallied at
the end of the year, something went right.
The fires raging in Australia present a sadly recognizable
scenario, a new normal that, after two years of devastating
wildfires in California, we in the United States have become
all too familiar with. Policies intended to return forests to a
more “natural” state with less proactive human management have
created disastrous conditions…
Heavy snow in November and December means Northern Nevada’s
seasonal snowpack is off to a strong start in 2020. …
Snowpack in the Lake Tahoe Basin is 102 percent of normal for
the date. In the Truckee River Basin it’s at 99
percent of normal. The region with the strongest snowpack in
the state is in the Owyee River Basin, which is at
123 percent of normal. The area with the thinnest snowpack
is the Walker River Basin at 87 percent.
As of Thursday, the statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack — a major
source of California’s water supply — stood at 90% of its
historical average. That’s the highest total in early January
in four years, when it came in at 101% on Jan. 2, 2016.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is set to
conduct the first snow survey of 2020 on Thursday. … The
information is critical to the water managers who allocate
California’s natural water resources to regions downstream.
Those who are the most politically correct among those that
lecture the rest of the state from their perches atop the 40
plus hills of San Francisco about the environmental
shortcomings of the rest of California should take a long hard
look in the mirror. They thrive on some of the original — and
most hideous — environmental sins ever committed in the Golden
The House has torpedoed a proposal to allow limited boating on
Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. Critics
feared the plan could introduce contaminants to the reservoir
that supplies famously pure drinking water for 2.7 million
people in the Bay Area. Boating on its waters has been banned
for nearly a century.
A Placerville development company that illegally discharged
sediment and stormwater from its construction site has agreed
to pay $171,000 in a settlement with the Central Valley
Regional Water Quality Control Board,
The people who guard the gulls that nest on Mono Lake’s islets
in the eastern Sierra Nevada have used dynamite, electric
fences and lawsuits to protect the birds from wily coyotes and
diversions of water to Los Angeles. … Now, the gulls are
facing a botanical invader they may not be able to overcome:
thickets of invasive weeds that have engulfed most of their
Nitrogen pollution, largely from burning fossil fuels,
industrial agriculture and wildfire can reduce drinking water
quality and make air difficult to breathe. Thanks to a $1.1
million grant from the National Science Foundation, we will
soon have a better understanding of how much nitrogen arid
ecosystems can absorb before they produce negative effects.
The manipulation of rivers in California is jeopardizing the
resilience of native Chinook salmon. It compresses their
migration timing to the point that they crowd their habitats.
They may miss the best window for entering the ocean and
growing into adults, new research shows. The good news is that
even small steps to improve their access to habitat and restore
natural flows could boost their survival.
Researchers from the University of California’s Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, in partnership with the Yuba Water
Agency and California Department of Water Resources, will
launch the first in a series of weather balloons near
Marysville Thursday. The research is aimed at better
understanding atmospheric river events, or “epic storms,” that
have created deadly flood events in previous generations.
Skiers and snowboarders already know this: California’s recent
storms have lifted the state’s precipitation totals to the
respectable range in the northern part of the state, and to
well above normal in the south…
With the new strategy, land management agencies will increase
the pace and scale of restoration actions, including forest
thinning, prescribed fire, and meadow, aspen, and stream
restoration. It will also provide a science-based framework to
guide continued forest and watershed restoration over the next
Last year, the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise,
California, and burned a Christmas tree farm to the ground. The
fire occurred just months after three other Christmas tree
farms were wiped out in Northern California.
Nevada County has released the results of a state water board
investigation into the mysterious yellow sediment plume that
closed off the South Yuba River in September. A historic mine
property on Kilham Mine Road, initially targeted as the
suspected source of the discharge, was cleared by the Central
Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board in late October.
By practicing careful and sustainable water management
practices, the tribe has cultivated wild plants, including
taboose, nahavita, as well as fruit trees and other vegetables.
… However, starting in the mid-1800s with the arrival of
European settlers making a claim to water rights in the Owens
Valley, this once-lush area was transformed dramatically into a
virtual desert in just decades.
A constellation of factors has primed California to burn big:
more development in the forests, undergrowth that’s no longer
cleared out by natural fires—and, importantly, climate change,
which has been drying out the land and making fires bigger and
the fire season longer.
In the forecast stretching from Tuesday through Friday are
plummeting temperatures, hurricane-force gusts that could reach
or exceed 100 mph in some locations, giant waves of up to 37
feet, as much as four feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada and
heavy rain in lower elevations between San Diego and Salem.
The system is carrying sufficient moisture to bring moderate to
locally heavy precipitation and, with the cold air aloft, may
generate isolated thunderstorms. … Winds may gust as high as
50 mph in the mountains, and snow levels could drop as low as
2,000 feet. Significant snow accumulations are expected at
Many of California’s watersheds are
notoriously flashy – swerving from below-average flows to jarring
flood conditions in quick order. The state needs all the water it
can get from storms, but current flood management guidelines are
strict and unyielding, requiring reservoirs to dump water each
winter to make space for flood flows that may not come.
However, new tools and operating methods are emerging that could
lead the way to a redefined system that improves both water
supply and flood protection capabilities.
Water experts are still finding traces of harmful chemicals in
parts of the water systems burned by the Camp Fire and in
interior plumbing more than a year after the disaster, but the
cases are rare. … An outside team of researchers … has
found only a few cases where volatile organic compounds that
are harmful to human health seeped into home plumbing from the
water system. Most of those cases tested largely below unsafe
UC Davis forest biologist Patricia Maloney is now leading an
effort to plant thousands of seedlings descended from
drought-surviving sugar pines from around Lake Tahoe, hoping
they carry genes that make them more resilient to drought,
waning snowpack and other impacts of global warming.
Scientists are breeding the trees that survived California’s
historic drought to make the forests of tomorrow more
resilient. A greenhouse full of 10,000 baby trees descended
from 100 of those survivors will eventually be planted around
the Lake Tahoe area. The researchers hope efforts like this can
buy ecosystems time to adapt to the planet’s rapidly changing
After touring film festivals in two dozen cities across the
country, the documentary, Visions of the Lost Sierra, will be
released online Wednesday for all to view. … Visions is a
short film exploring how the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork
Feather River has connected communities and inspired outdoor
enthusiasts for generations.
One year after the devastating Camp Fire sparked, a diverse
group of land, water and environmental managers who have not
always seen eye to eye announced … a plan to reduce the risk
of catastrophic wildfire in the North Yuba watershed. The
announcement Thursday includes a Memorandum of Understanding
… to thin and restore 275,000 acres of forest on a pace and
scale that will prioritize community safety, forest health and
The lessons gained from the 2018 wildfires that swept through
Paradise, in Northern California, and along the Los
Angeles-Ventura County border in Southern California are still
being absorbed by water managers around California as they
recognize that the old emergency preparedness plans of
yesterday may not be adequate for the new wildfire reality of
Based on DWR’s own documents, it appears that an aerial snow
observator is the most important science- and data-focused
program that needs to be expanded statewide, so that the
integral aquifer recharge program can play its role in Governor
Newsom’s Water Resiliency Portfolio.
El Dorado Irrigation District has been making preparations for
these power shutoffs since 2018. After analyzing areas in our
system that would need to be bolstered in the event of
large-scale power outages — pump stations or other facilities
without backup power — we asked the EID Board of Directors to
approve $800,000 to purchase generators that could be utilized
across our 220-square-mile service area.
It’s been a year since two devastating wildfires on opposite ends
of California underscored the harsh new realities facing water
districts and cities serving communities in or adjacent to the
state’s fire-prone wildlands. Fire doesn’t just level homes, it
can contaminate water, scorch watersheds, damage delivery systems
and upend an agency’s finances.
Plans to exercise federal county-of-origin rights to tap New
Melones waters are in the works. According to documents for
next Tuesday’s Tuolumne Utilities District board of directors
meeting, staff will be recommending the board authorize General
Manager Ed Pattison to submit a formal letter of request to the
United States Bureau of Reclamation for a water supply
On a secluded corner of Marywood Drive in Paradise sit two
vacant lots, side by side. The empty space used to hold
single-family residences surrounded by Ponderosa pines. That
was until the November 2018 Camp Fire — California’s deadliest
and most destructive wildfire — leveled the Butte County town
and destroyed more than 13,000 homes. Now, one year later,
these lots are being rebuilt by two Paradise natives, Christine
and Dave Williams, who bought the properties after the fire.
The study of whether it makes sense to build a pipe to carry
water from Paradise to Chico has died, at least for now. …
The idea was that Cal Water’s Chico Division would buy Paradise
Irrigation District water, and reduce its total dependence on
wells. … The pipe would also provide a buyer for PID water,
something the district needs to survive. Most of its customers
were burned out by the Camp Fire.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken to making public statements almost
daily about PG&E’s shortcomings. Yet some elected officials
and other experts believe the state itself — specifically the
Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the company —
should take some blame for the PG&E crisis. These critics
say the commission hasn’t been aggressive enough about cracking
down on PG&E’s safety flaws.
Wildfire risk will remain substantial in much of California
through at least this month, the National Interagency Fire
Center said Nov. 1 in its monthly National Significant Wildfire
Potential Outlook. Risk will persist into December in some
The Oct. 28 meeting of the El Dorado Irrigation District Board
of Directors included an update on the effect of power outages
on the district and a legislative update with a focus on
protecting the area’s water rights.
In the long run, the biggest news from Monday’s Bishop City
Council meeting may be that Los Angeles Department of Water and
Power could consider selling the land being used for waste
water discharge by both the City of Bishop and the Eastern
Sierra Community Service District.
Nearly a year later, crews are working to clean up the last
toxic remains from the Camp Fire. The household and industrial
chemicals in the soil and airborne ash are mostly gone, carried
away by the truckload as part of debris removal. The
contamination that does persist is mostly hyper-local and is
being removed after additional, costly steps.
Even a little forest management significantly increases water
runoff in the Central Sierra Nevada and other semi-arid
regions, while drier forests need more extensive treatments,
according to a new study published recently in the journal