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Browsing the archives for the Agriculture – California category.

Jerry Brown wants to spend nearly $450 million on flood control following dam emergency

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather

PNP comment: If you go to the link, there are several short videos to watch. — Editor Liz Bowen

February 24, 2017

After successfully appealing to the Trump administration to repair the crumbling Oroville Dam, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he wants to accelerate spending on dam safety, flood protection and aging transportation infrastructure.

The Democratic governor’s plan would spend $50 million from the general fund and re-purpose $387 million from the $7.5-billion water bond overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014 to pay for flood control.

Brown, who made a surprise visit to the dam’s incident command post Wednesday, said the state faces tens of billions in infrastructure needs. Brown also is asking the federal government to streamline regulatory

“There is real work to be done,” Brown told reporters at the Capitol, calling the proposed allotments “basic government needs.”

“We got to belly up to the bar and start spending money,” he added.

Federal emergency officials earlier this month approved Brown’s requests to pay for winter storm damages and to support the unfolding response to the emergency at the distressed dam.

California legislators also have taken an interest. A bipartisan group has been taking aerial tours of site amid preparations for next week’s oversight hearing to review what happened in Oroville, including issues with the emergency spillway that forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people along the Feather River Basin.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has said he wants to provide $500 million in competitive grants to local and regional agencies for flood protection.

Oroville Dam spillways weather latest storm as inflow of water slows

State water resources officials and the Butte County sheriff were feeling optimistic Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, as inflows into Lake Oroville were dropping. They said an emergency spillway on Oroville Dam was unlikely to be redeployed and an evacuation warni

Peter Hecht The Sacramento Bee

On Friday, Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, said he was pleased with Brown’s proposed action to repair the spillways and protect flooding.

“It shows that we will do everything necessary to make the dam and communities below it safe. Providing the funding and environmental streamlining is essential to getting that job done now,” Gallagher said.

“We also need to have an immediate, robust, and real discussion about ensuring investment in our water infrastructure,” he added.

California had more than $11.8 billion in unsold natural resources bonds as of Dec. 31, including $7.4 billion from Proposition 1, the water borrowing measure. Last month’s spending plan proposes almost $1.3 billion in natural resources bond sales through December 2017.

Brown said the state also is spending $634 million on Proposition 1E and Proposition 84 bond money for flood control over the next two years.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article134767129.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Editorial: State, feds must answer for Oroville Dam fiasco

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, CA & OR, State gov

Editorial: State, feds must answer for Oroville Dam fiasco

SJ Mercury News

Federal and state officials have a lot to answer for in the wake of the Oroville Dam fiasco. They decided in 2005 to ignore warnings that the massive earthen spillway adjacent to the dam itself could erode during heavy winter rains — which it has done — and cause a calamity, which it very nearly did this week and could yet do by the end of this winter.

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PLF, farmers, and ranchers challenge state’s ‘endangered’ listing of gray wolf

Agriculture - California, Lawsuits, Liberty, Wolves

Press Release from Pacific Legal Foundation

Jan. 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA;  January 31, 2017:  The California Fish and Game Commission has neglected sound scientific analysis, undermined sensible wildlife protections — and violated state law — by unjustifiably adding the gray wolf to the state’s list of “endangered” species.


Damien M. Schiff
Principal Attorney

So argues a lawsuit filed today by Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the California Farm Bureau Federation.  Filed in California Superior Court, the lawsuit challenges the commission’s listing of the gray wolf under the California Endangered Species Act.  The listing took effect on January 1, 2017, a little over a year after a divided commission approved it on a controversial 3-1 vote.

WATCH A TWO-MINUTE VIDEO

A listing based on flimsy evidence and deliberate undercounting

The lawsuit challenges the gray wolf listing as illegal on three grounds:

1) The listing is based on flimsy evidence.  The listing process was triggered by a single wolf crossing the Oregon border in 2011 — and that wolf has since wandered out of California.  Never before has a listing been initiated by a single animal’s occasional wanderings into the state.  This is why the state Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended against listing.

2)  Regulators undercounted the gray wolf’s numbers.  In violation of the California ESA, the commission looked only at the wolf’s numbers in California, ignoring healthy wolf populations elsewhere.  Indeed, the wolf’s overall status has improved to the point that the federal government is moving toward removing the species from its own “endangered” list.

3)  The gray wolf is not covered by the law.  The California ESA is limited to native species and subspecies.  Yet the gray wolves addressed by this listing are originally from Canada; they represent a subspecies that was never historically present in California.

PLF statement:  The listing is bad science, bad policy, and bad law

“The Fish and Game Commission took a big bite out of its own credibility with this unjustified listing,” said PLF Principal Attorney Damien Schiff.  “The agency managed to label the gray wolf as ‘endangered’ only by myopically and illegally ignoring its populations outside California.

“Moreover, the listing is destructive as a matter of public policy,” Schiff continued.  “To begin with, it creates dangers for Northern California ranchers, farmers, and their local economies.  If gray wolves begin to establish themselves after a long absence from California, regulators should be working with landowners on balanced policies that can protect sheep, cattle, and people with minimal harm to wolves.  Instead, the rigid regulations under an ‘endangered’ listing hamstring property owners and make cooperative solutions impossible.

“Gray wolves were already protected as a ‘non-game mammal,’ an arrangement that allowed flexible control,” he added.  “In contrast, the ‘endangered’ listing makes it next to impossible for landowners to get permits even to physically remove a wolf that is threatening their animals. Even state officials would run into red tape if they were to try to capture or kill a wolf.

“Finally, this listing means California wildlife could end up as wolf prey,” Schiff said.  “It is ironic, and outrageous, that by wrongly moving to safeguard a non-native wolf species, the state is endangering animals that are native to the state and that regulators should be protecting.”

The listing harms members of both Farm Bureau and CCA

The California Cattlemen’s Association is a nonprofit trade organization representing California’s ranchers and beef producers in policy matters.  CCA has 34 county affiliates and over 2,400 members, including more than 1,700 cattle producers.  California Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest farm organization, composed of 53 county farm bureaus representing more than 48,000 agricultural, associate, and collegiate members in 56 counties.

MORE

https://www.pacificlegal.org/release-1-31-17-gray-wolf-cca-1-1482

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California storms add 350 billion gallons of water to CA reservoirs

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather

Storms Add 350 Billion Gallons of Water to CA Reservoirs

Breitbart

California’s crippling five-year drought has come to a temporary halt in the northern part of the state, as roughly 350 billion gallons of water came pouring into the region’s biggest reservoirs over the past few days, boosting storage to levels not seen in years.

However, the drought still remains in effect in Southern California. According to the East Bay Times, there is so much water in the reservoirs that dam operators were forced to release water to reduce flood risks.

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Butte County Rancher David Daley is new California Cattlemen Assoc. President

Agriculture - California, cattle

President Dave Daley, Ph.D.

In addition to being a well-known animal scientist, educator and agriculture advocate, Butte County’s Dave Daley is primarily a rancher. Dave Daley was elected to serve a two year term as CCA President in Sparks, Nev. at the 100th CCA & CCW Annual Convention.

Daley runs the family ranch near Oroville alongside his children, Kyle, Kate and Rob, who are all passionate about the family business. Daley is also a professor of animal science and interim dean of the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico, where he has been influential in the lives of other current and up-and-coming young cattlemen throughout the state.

Daley’s experience as a cow-calf producer and an educator make him invaluable to CCA and California’s beef producers. In addition to being heavily involved with CCA, Daley is also a past-president of Butte County Cattlemen’s Association, has been active in land use issues for the Farm Bureau and cattlemen; was a member of the University of California’s Animal Welfare Task Force, and co-chair of CCA’s Animal Welfare Task Force. He also serves as advisor to the Young Cattlemen’s Association at Chico State.

 

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Obama signs California’s massive water bill

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water, Federal gov & land grabs

Obama signs California’s massive water bill, but Trump will determine its future

McClatchy DC

President Barack Obama on Friday quietly signed and bequeathed to President-elect Donald Trump a massive infrastructure bill designed to control floods, fund dams and deliver more water to farmers in California’s Central Valley.

While attempting to mollify critics’ concerns over potential harm to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Obama signed the $12 billion bill in a distinctly low-key act. The still-controversial California provisions were wrapped inside a package stuffed with politically popular projects, ranging from Sacramento-area levees to clean-water aid for beleaguered Flint, Michigan.

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Opinion: State’s water grab will devastate jobs, economy in Merced

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water, State gov

OPINION: State’s water grab will devastate jobs, economy in Merced

Merced Sun-Star

Our community’s way of life is under direct attack by Sacramento’s plan to take our water and send it to the Bay-Delta for the benefit of others.

The State Water Resources Control Board’s own document describes the resulting damage to our community as an “unavoidable impact.” This is narrow and unacceptable thinking. The Merced Irrigation District is fully prepared to protect and defend our community and water rights on the Merced River. But we believe there is a better way.

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Drought legislation for California — finally!

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water

COLUMN: The drought-busting bill congress just passed might screw the endangered species act

Wired Magazine

This summer, Donald Trump visited the Central Valley and promised voters he would prioritize agricultural development in California. In his speech, the president-elect blamed the environmental laws protecting a “certain three-inch fish“—the Delta smelt—for the prolonged drought. He promised, if elected, to place the needs of farmers over fish.

But it looks like his promise is coming ahead of schedule. On Saturday, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, a huge bill that protects safe drinking water, provides upgrades to infrastructure like ports, and provides $558 million dollars in drought relief for California. And most of that stuff is uncontroversial.

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Mike Dunbar: Would Times like some facts with that Kool-Aid?

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water, CORRUPTION, Salmon and fish, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Wow, this is a great article and parallels the same knowledge we here in Siskiyou have been touting — and being ignored by the Greenies and guvmunt agency bureaucrats. Worth the read, it is! — Editor Liz Bowen

Modesto Bee

December 2, 2016

In reading a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times, we just about choked on our Cheerios.

One of our nation’s truly great newspapers, with inspiring editorial writers, the Times noted that California is more than merely lines on a map. Invoking the “California condor, the giant sequoia, the golden trout,” the writer implied that farmers in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties have lost sight of what it means to be Californians. Since we’re all in this state together, folks living around here should be happy to give up more of the water that flows through our communities to save salmon.

If we get rid of all those lines, how can anyone justify pumping billions of gallons of water hundreds of miles from the rivers where it once flowed, away from the ocean to which it was headed, through deserts, over mountains, and into giant tubs for the future use of people who’ve never heard of the Tuolumne River?

What the editorial didn’t mention was wading into the Tuolumne to count spawning salmon carcasses; visiting the hatchery where millions come to life on the Merced; spending millions of dollars pushing around gravel in the Stanislaus to make rock beds suitable for salmon eggs. Don’t know how the Times missed that.

So where did the Times’ editorial writers get their information? We’re guessing from trusted sources in the environmental community. That’s fine; we talk to them, too. We just recognize they’ve got a point of view and an agenda.

If the Times had talked to anyone here – including the scientists who work most closely with the thousands of salmon that swim up our rivers each year – they might have gotten a different story. They might have learned that the salmon here are no different genetically from the 720 million tons of salmon harvested each year. That the number of salmon native to our rivers is actually zero. That any salmon you find on the San Joaquin or its tributaries was born in a hatchery. The fish the environmentalists are trying to save are already extinct.

Like so many others, the Times decried the harm farming does to the state’s “$1 billion fishing industry.” But according to the state, the best commercial salmon catch in this century was worth $15 million – less than half the value of the crab fishery.

There’s more. The Times blamed the drought and agriculture for catastrophically low salmon counts – disregarding the role played by state officials, who released too much cold water from Lake Shasta at the wrong time last year, dooming thousands of salmon and trout. Or the federal officials who insisted on releasing 35,000 acre-feet of cold water from New Melones to push juvenile salmon and steelhead to the ocean; but the fish refused to go, waiting until it actually rained to swim out.

The Times has millions of readers; here’s part of what it told them: “In this sixth year of drought, the agriculture industry and its supporters have pushed hard for diverting every scarce drop of water flowing down streams and rivers to orchards and field crops instead of, as they often describe it, allowing good water to be flushed downriver, through the Delta, into the San Francisco Bay and out to sea.”

Except that’s not true. First, virtually every resident of this area wants to see vibrant, beautiful rivers flowing through our communities. Hundreds volunteer to clean the riverbanks, plant trees, clear floodplains and many make donations. Second, our irrigation districts, county officials and local legislators quietly negotiated a deal to provide an additional 300,000 acre-feet of water for environmental purposes on top of the 20 to 30 percent already flowing to the ocean. But that offer – a year in the making – was ignored as it moved up the ladder.

Now our region is in a life-and-death struggle with the state over a plan that will double the water flowing away from one of California’s poorest regions – all for roughly 1,100 additional salmon. Did the Times’ environmental sources mention any of that?

As much as we admire the Times’ prize-winning editorial writers, they shouldn’t allow themselves to be spoon-fed by anyone.


The Public Policy Institute of California’s water experts offered an interesting idea Friday through The Sacramento Bee. Instead of building twin tunnels to carry the Sacramento River beneath the Delta, Gov. Jerry Brown should build just one. Two 40-foot-wide tunnels can siphon off virtually all of the Sacramento River; just one can’t. Skeptics have long noted that the Sacramento provides 80 percent of the Delta’s water, and it’s impossible to provide more reliable water deliveries south and simultaneously save the Delta. Eliminate one tunnel, the PPIC says, and eliminate that skepticism.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta liked the idea. But in her enthusiasm, she took aim at the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers – echoing the state’s demand for 50 percent flows. She didn’t mention that 95 percent of the Delta has been channelized, leading to the demise of the Delta smelt. Not a word about tearing down levees to allow sinking islands to flood and create more habitat. Nothing about getting rid of striped bass that feast on smelt and juvenile salmon.

Apparently it’s less about restoring the Delta than about getting more water. It always is.

Read it here: http://www.modbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/mike-dunbar/article118612498.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Drought in California may be over

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather

Fall snow, rains have ‘satisfied the drought debt’ in Northern Sierra Nevada, climatologist says

Los Angeles Times

At Heavenly Ski Resort, thousands of feet up in the northern Sierra Nevada, the heavy snowfall around Lake Tahoe forced the lodge to close its small roller coaster due to poor visibility this week.

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, concerns over dry conditions were quickly dispatched when more than two feet of snow dropped around the lake in just two days

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