Action Alert: Oppose H.R. 23 “Gaining Responsibility on Water” Act

After passing the House last week, H.R. 23, San Joaquin Valley Republican David Valadao’s “Gaining Responsibility on Water” Act was received by the Senate this week. This bill would prevent California from managing its own rivers, fisheries, and public trust resources – even going so far as to specifically prohibit the application of the Endangered … Read more

A Leap in Lampreys: Unlovely Fish Make Welcome Comback

POTTER VALLEY, Mendocino County — This year’s historic gush of water through California’s rivers brings the dawning of a renaissance for lampreys, a peculiar fish that migrates upstream to spawn but without the fanfare of its salmon and steelhead compatriots. On a recent afternoon in wooded hills some 150 miles north of San Francisco, dozens … 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

How Will the Salmon Survive? Fisheries in a Warming California

Earlier in May, scientists released a report warning that as many as three fourths of California’s 31 types of native salmon and trout might go extinct within 100 years. The ominous forecast made headlines nationwide as reporters and editors highlighted the main takeaways – that climate change and a variety of human activities, including agriculture … Read more

California Trout and UC Davis Release New Study Detailing High Risk of Losing Native Fish

SOS II: Fish in Hot Water Knowledge is power CalTrout and UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences have released State of the Salmonids II: Fish in Hot Water, an in-depth report that details the status of California’s 32 native salmon, steelhead, and trout. The science-based report is clear – if we don’t act, we risk … Read more

Governor Brown Lifts Drought Emergency, Retains Prohibition on Wasteful Practices

From the Office of the Governor: Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today ended the drought state of emergency in most of California, while maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or right after rainfall. “This drought emergency is over, … Read more

Constructing a Successful Oil Train Resistance Movement in Three Parts

Part I: When Marty met Linda In December 2013, a couple of neighbors from an upscale residential development on the Central Coast attended a community meeting at a middle school in Arroyo Grande. They had gone to learn about a new project proposed by oil giant Phillips 66 for its Santa Maria refinery, which sits … Read more

California is Preparing for a Future Full of Extreme Weather

Two straight months of heavy rainfall have effectively ended five straight years of drought in California. But with parts of the state reporting more than 100 inches of precipitation since last fall, the rain activity has also caused floods, road closures, infrastructure damage and evacuations in many areas. As a result of the unpredictable nature … Read more