Setting Rivers Free: As Dams Are Torn Down, Nature is Quickly Recovering

BENTON FALLS, MAINE — “Look underneath you,” commands Nate Gray, a burly biologist for the state of Maine. He reaches down to the grate floor of a steel cage perched on a dam straddling the Sebasticook River, and pulls back a board revealing the roiling river 30 feet below. “All you see is fish.” Below, undulating in … Read more

Right vs. Reason in Severe Drought Conditions

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, August 2014 Responding to one of the most severe and persistent droughts in the history of California, state agencies are now moving to shut down water diversions that harm fisheries and wildlife, using a mixture of unusual and unprecedented measures. The State Water Board is issuing “curtailment notices” … Read more

Drying Times are Trying Times for Eel River Fish

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, June 2014 Serial Variance Requests Reveal Vulnerability of Eel River Fisheries to Demands from Russian River Irrigators The Eel River’s surviving salmonids—chinook, coho, and steelhead—are struggling to come back from near-extinction. Good returns from 2010 to 13, particularly for chinook, felt like recovery might be getting underway. Unfortunately, … Read more

Groundwater Ruling Has Rippling Effects

Decision could lead to unprecedented state regulations Amid concerns of costly and unregulated use of California’s groundwater, a Sacramento Superior Court judge has ruled groundwater pumping that impairs waterways violates the public’s right to use those waterways, which one group states could set the stage for making counties responsible for implementing regulations. “What we have … Read more

Congressman's Letter Asks for More Resources Against Trespass Grows

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) recently sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag asking her to focus resources on prosecuting trespass marijuana growers instead of those complying with the state’s medical marijuana laws. In the letter sent to Haag on Wednesday, Huffman said he believes trespass grows are the “greatest emerging threat to public … Read more

Point of No Return

With the Green Rush and the drought colliding this summer, is it too late to save Humboldt’s watersheds? Growers used an illegally dug spring to irrigate their crops at the scene of this marijuana growing operation uncovered by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office last summer. It’s July 2 and about 18 officials are sitting in … Read more

Court Ruling Restores Right to Limit Russian River Water Use

A state appeals court has restored the authority of California water regulators to direct reductions in cold-weather sprays by grape growers and other waterfront farmers along the Russian River that have led to deaths of endangered species of salmon. A Mendocino County judge previously ruled that the state Water Resources Control Board lacked authority to … Read more