At present, Lahonton Cutthroat Trout have gone extinct in all but about eight to nine percent of their historic stream habitats and now occupy less than one percent of their historic lake habitats. They persist as naturally occurring, wild populations in only two lakes in the world, and many of the remaining streams they are found in are small and isolated, with low populations in constant danger of local extinction, especially under the threat of prolonged drought and temperature increase from climate change.
In one corner of Nevada there is a broad coalition of partners (miners, ranchers, government agencies, conservation groups), whose investments in freshwater conservation are, now more than ever, showing just how much more everyone benefits–Lahontan cutthroat trout and ranchers alike–from restoring and conserving coldwater ecosystems. Read the full story.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Heritage and Wild Trout Program (HWTP) is embarking on a study in Putah Creek to better understand rainbow trout movement and habitat utilization and is in need of volunteer assistance. Approximately 100 rainbow trout will be captured and implanted with a radio transmitter over several months in the spring of 2014. Their locations will be tracked over the course of one year. The HWTP will need help at various stages of the project and the first component will be capturing live fish on Saturday, April 19th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will need volunteers to help with the following activities:
1. Capture fish from float tubes or shore in Lake Solano (5-8 people)
2. Capture fish from shore at select locations in Putah Creek (5-8 people)
3. Oversee fish capture, tend live cars, coordinate with HWTP staff, assist with surgical implants of tags, and monitor fish recovery and release (4-5 people)
4. If angling is not effective, staff will use electrofish gear to capture fish and anglers will be used to help net and tend live cars.
1. Which activity you are interested in (1, 2, or 3 above)
2. Experience level fishing Putah Creek or Lake Solano
3. Phone number
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Heritage and Wild Trout Program (HWTP) is requesting volunteer assistance for fish surveys
in the Golden Trout Wilderness Area. This is great opportunity to learn first hand about native trout and how they are managed, while working in a beautiful wilderness setting. Survey trips will be from Wednesday to Wednesday , beginning in mid June and ending in late September. A base camp will be set up for each trip and mules will be used to carry the majority of field equipment, camping gear, and food to this location. Trip locations will vary throughout the year and may be based out of Lone Pine or Kernville. See the DFW announcement.
American Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga. A $25 billion plan, a small town, and a half-century of wrangling over the most important resource in the biggest state. By Alexis C Madrigal.
Alex Madrigal has published a lengthy article which assesses the California Water Project and the Twin Tunnels. He describes the path of water, the users of water, some of the history of water. and suggests that California would be just as successful without the tunnel project.
Eighty percent of water goes to farms and ranches. The biggest single user are the almond farms of Kern County.Their contribution to the states economy is less than 1%. Yes the farms use far more water than the metropolitan districts of Southern California. Further, water projects are being developed by numerous entities which allow greater use of existing supplies and provide solutions for "new" water for the future without reliance on the tunnels.
For a greater understanding of the flow of water and the tunnel project read the full article by Madrigal.
If there's a silver lining to last year's Rim Fire, California's third-largest recorded wildfire, scorching more than 257,000 acres around and in Yosemite National Park, it may be in the piles of logs now being stacked up at the Port of Stockton. MDI Forest Products, an Oakland-based timber and lumber export company, is staging the logs at the port for shipment to Far East lumber mills.
Salvage logging from the Rim Fire is occuring on private lands. Loggers and truckers are busy removing material from the forests. These logs have saturated the mill capacity and surplus materials are bound for Asia. Emergency salvage as requested by Tom McClintock and the House has not begun and the domestic market can not accept the available timber. See the full story by Reed Fugii from the Stockton Record.
By Ron Stork, Sr. Policy Advocate for Friends of the River
The House of Representatives seems to live in a world disconnected from the real world but, in doing so, seeks to remake it. Subcommittee on Water & Power Chair Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) continues to speak and write about his vision of an era of abundance where great new brimful reservoirs provide plentiful and cheap water and electricity for our farms and families.
In his world, the annoying voices of economists that speak of the realities of the law of diminishing returns from damming---and re-damming---the same rivers are not heard. In the Congressman's world, the life within rivers can be re-created by industrial reproduction and rearing in hatcheries, and the beauty of natural waterscapes can be replaced by the military discipline of concrete dams and still reservoirs and be banished to aging photographs.
Tom's on a roll too. He's persuaded the House to de-designate wild & scenic rivers to make room for reservoirs, and he and his colleagues have introduced bills to authorize huge dams and reservoirs without the slightest attention to the pesky rules laid down by President Ronald Reagan---you know, like waiting for agency review and recommendations or bothering with any notion of who will pay for them or how they will be paid for. Read the full story.
The Central Valley is the only place on Earth with four distinct runs of Chinook salmon (fall, late-fall, winter, and spring). Each run was adapted for different conditions and had multiple independent populations that spawned in different valley tributaries. The damming of virtually every Sacramento and San Joaquin tributary resulted in catastrophic losses of spawning habitat...100% of winter run, 90% of spring run, and 60% of fall run (the only run that relies primarily on the valley floor) spawning habitat is above dams. The pre-dam, Central Valley "diversified portfolio" of runs reached upwards of 2 million spawning fish per year.
California Trout suggests that we can better manage salmon to have both more fish caught in our commercial and sport fisheries and to recover self-sustaining wild populations in the Central Valley. Changes in hatchery management can improve results in the field. Ideas to consider include geographically isolating wild fish from hatchery fish by relocating hatcheries downstream, closer to estuaries. This will improve smolt survival, resulting in increased catch of hatchery fish in ocean fisheries while simultaneously reducing interbreeding between wild and hatchery fish in rivers. Some success with this approach has been seen in other states. Protect wild fish genetic stock by requiring hatcheries to use broodstock with life history characteristics like migratory timing that would minimize dilution of wild California gene pools. Read the full article
Marijuana growing on our national forests causes significant harm to the land, water and animals. The toxicants and lethal weapons found at these sites are both shocking in terms of amount, and raise concerns regarding the health of the Region's forests. The Forest Service, along with other agencies and volunteers, are working together to restore these impacted lands. View a Forest Service video displaying the scope of these grows and their effects on the forest plant, animals and streams.
Steve Moyer, TU Vice President for Government Affairs, wrote on behalf of Trout Unlimited and its 155,000 members to oppose H.R. 3189, The Water Rights Protection Act. We are sympathetic to the issue which spawned the bill, the ski industry's complaint about a draft Forest Service policy regarding ski industry water rights , and Representative Tipton's efforts to address the problem. But this bill fails to deliver a good solution, and goes far beyond the ski
area issue, undermining other critical habitat-conserving authorities.
Congressman Tom McClintock promotes support of his Emergency Logging Act. This support should not be granted as the Act has ill defined consequences and is hidden within a larger bill to convey government lands to local entities. The Public Access and Lands Improvement Act, bill 2954, has been analysed by the Congresional Budget Office. See their report. A quick reads reveals that it is about transfering land ownership. A single act provides for salvage logging with out environmental or judicial revue.
The content of the bill identifies the following acts:
Title I would authorize Escambia County in Florida to convey certain property that it received from the federal government. The specified properties had been part of the Santa Rosa Island National Monument and were transferred to the county in 1947 for public purposes.
Title II would require the Secretary of the Interior to convey the reversionary interest of the United States in three acres of land to the city of Anchorage, Alaska.
Title III would direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell up to 9,400 acres of federal land to the city of Fernley, Nevada.
Title V would require the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina to be managed according to the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy/Environmental Assessment (Interim Strategy) issued by the National Parks Service (NPS) on
June 13, 2007, until the NPS issues a new final rule. Under the bill, that final rule could not include additional restrictions on pedestrian or motorized access to the seashore beyond those in the Interim Strategy unless the restrictions are based on peer-reviewed science and the public has had the opportunity to review and comment on them.
Title VI would prevent the Forest Service from removing a building from the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area in Washington state unless the agency determines that the structure is unsafe for visitors.
Title VII would nullify within three years of enactment existing regulations prohibiting hand-propelled vessels on streams and rivers in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Title VII also would direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to coordinate the use of hand-propelled vessels on the Gros Ventre River within the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. Under existing regulations, the National Park Service has prohibited boating on five of the 168 lakes in Yellowstone National Park and a 1,000-foot section of the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park.
Title VIII would increase the term of new grazing permits on federal lands from 10 years to 20 years and allow expired and transferred grazing permits to remain in effect until new permits are issued by BLM or the Forest Service. (Note: The Cattlemans Beef Association applauds this.)
Title IX would direct the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to conduct salvage sales of dead, damaged, or downed timber resulting from the 2013 Rim Fire in California. Sales of salvage timber under title IX would be exempted from certain laws related to the environment and forest management. In addition, sales conducted under title IX would not be subject to administrative or judicial review.
Title X would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop, no later than one year after the bill's enactment, a management plan for the Chesapeake Bay Program and for restoration activities related to the bay. EPA would be required to update the management plan every two years. The legislation would require new financial reports on the Chesapeake Bay Program from the Office of Management and Budget and would require EPA to appoint an independent evaluator, who would review and report to the Congress on the plan.