Would Sites reservoir become a ‘biological wasteland’? Foes say $5 billion project to severely degrade water quality

photo courtesy of Sites Project Authority
A conceptual rendering of the Sites reservoir west of Maxwell.

by Dave Waddell

James Murphy’s ranchland, which he’s owned for 35 years, would be under water if the long-discussed Sites reservoir becomes a reality.

If the Sites Project Authority seeks to acquire Murphy’s property to build the reservoir, he’s going to make it as difficult for them as possible.

“I don’t want to sell my land; there’s no reason for me to sell,” said Murphy, a retired rancher who leases his 1,600 Sites-area acres for cattle grazing. “If they condemn it, they’ll have to tear it out of my hands.” read more

Sunrise Movement brings Green New Deal program to Chico

The El Rey Theater was filled to capacity Saturday night as a mostly young crowd turned out for a program organized by the youth-led climate change group, Sunrise Movement, that came to Chico as part of its nationwide tour, “Road to the Green New Deal.” (photo by Karen Laslo.)

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Chico commits to a fossil-free future Council declares climate emergency as storm rages

photo by Karen Laslo
Alma Miranda

by Leslie Layton

Pounding hail, bolts of lightning and tornado alarms drowned out plaintive voices of the shyest of the teens who spoke before the Chico City Council Tuesday night.

To many in the chamber, nature had also spoken in a thundering, biblical voice.

To others, of course, the racket was produced by a mere flash flood.

As rain water filled the streets of Chico, trapping a few vehicle passengers and flooding some homes and businesses, the City Council voted 5-1 to pass a resolution declaring a climate emergency. It commits the city to act on climate change and prepare for extreme weather events. read more

28 Valley oaks removed from Bidwell Park Fire suppression may have gone awry

photo by Karen Laslo
Tree removal created a muddy mess last week.

photo story by Karen Laslo

Last week, if you were anywhere near the Chico Creek Nature Center in Bidwell Park, you probably heard the whine and scream of chainsaws and the roar of a big backhoe.

A CDF prison crew was hard at work cutting down several non-native and invasive Catalpa trees to reduce the risk of fire in the coming months.

But, unfortunately, it appears that 28 healthy, native, valley oak trees were also mistakenly cut down, according to local tree advocates. And because the ground was sopping wet from several recent storms, the heavy equipment made deep ruts in the soil. It’s still not clear who authorized the project and who was in charge of overseeing it. read more

Camp Fire survivor reflects on “levels of loss” "We are all refugees from this fire"

photo by Jessica Lewis
Paula Edgar

by Jessica Lewis

At about 8:30 a.m. Nov. 8, former Paradise resident Paula Edgar received a call from a friend on the other side of town, warning her that a fire had broken out.

“We didn’t even think we were in danger at first, but we thought we would start packing — just in case,” Edgar said.

When Edgar took her first load of items to her vehicle, she saw the flames making their way up the street toward her house. She realized then that this was something unlike anything the town had gone through before. read more