Will they go the way of the buffalo? Vanishing salmon could doom tribes’ culture.

Under a purple pre-dawn sky, a small group of Northern Californian Indians ventured out onto the wet sand where the mighty Klamath River meets the Pacific Ocean. They had come to honor and fight for the salmon that have sustained their ancient culture for generations. Parents with their children burned sacred sage in the chilly … Read more

Action Alert: Submit Scoping Comments on Eel River Dams to FERC

We need your help. The dams on the Eel River, known as the Potter Valley Project, have just begun the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) relicensing process. This is our opportunity to call for their decommissioning and removal. The dams are licensed as a hydroelectric project with the capacity to generate 9.4 megawatts, a measly … Read more

The Eel River Could Save Wild Salmon – If We Can Save the River Itself

The Eel River is on the brink of disaster, its ocean-going fish species threatened with extinction, its nurturing estuary diked, drained and diminishing. At the same time, this massive watershed in California’s northwest corner offers the state’s best hope of ensuring a future abundance of wild anadromous fish. This paradox of the Eel, California’s third … Read more

California Legislature Votes to Keep Dam-Safety Plans Secret

Fresh off the Oroville Dam crisis, California lawmakers on Thursday voted to make dam-safety plans secret through language that was quietly inserted into a budget-related bill. The legislation, which requires Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature before becoming law, says emergency action plans at dams would be kept confidential to “protect public safety.” Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba … Read more

State orders in-depth assessments of more than 50 California dams following Oroville crisis

Months after the Oroville Dam crisis, state regulators are ordering sweeping inspections of aging dams throughout California to determine whether they, too, have vulnerabilities. The move comes as state officials are still trying to determine precisely what caused both spillways at the Oroville Dam to fail, prompting the evacuation of numerous towns downstream of the reservoir. The … Read more

California Members of Congress Seek to Eviscerate State Water and Environmental Laws

H.R. 23 Would Preempt California State Water Law & Supersede Federal, State Environmental Statutes Quite understandably, the attention of the media, environmental organizations and the general public has been focused on the myriad misadventures of the Trump Administration, now rumbling and stumbling through its fifth month. And, as recounted on Legal Planet since mid-January, those contretemps include … Read more

Illegal Marijuana Grow Sites: A Stain on Public Lands

At first glance, California’s 45 million acres of public lands seem like havens for recreation and wildlife. But off the beaten path, away from the maintained trails and people, there is a different story. Some of these secluded areas are being overrun with illegal marijuana growing operations, resulting in degraded habitat and toxic trash that leads … Read more

Ocean Acidity Increasing Along Pacific Coast, Study Finds

The results of a study along the west coast of North America shows acidified ocean water is widespread along the shoreline and is having devastating impacts on coastal species. The three-year study of ocean currents was conducted along the California and Oregon coasts by researchers from Oregon State University. Team member and marine ecologist Francis Chan said they … Read more

Officials Worried About Trinity Dam Safety

Concerned Trinity Dam could suffer the same fate as Oroville Dam — which had a near catastrophic failure this past winter — the Trinity County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to continue to pursue getting an emergency spillway built on the dam. Supervisor Bill Burton said residents in his district watched the Oroville Dam incident unfold … Read more