The ‘browning’ of state’s green movement Proposition 68 reflects change in environmentalism

Protesters in Sacramento, part of a new generation of climate activists helping to redefine mainstream environmentalism in California.
Photo via Flickr

by Peter Schurmann

Almost thirty years ago East Los Angeles resident and mother of nine kids, Juana Gutierrez, took on an oil giant and won. Hailed at the time in national and international media, Gutierrez was seen as being in the vanguard of a “fledgling” environmental movement, one deeply rooted in California’s expanding communities of color.

Today that fledgling movement has blossomed into what is fast becoming the new mainstream of environmental activism in the state.

“Things have obviously changed, not just in the last couple of years but over a number of years,” says Bruce Saito, head of the California Conservation Corps. A veteran of the state’s environmental community, he says that, thanks to the legacy of Gutierrez (who died in 2004) and other activists, today more than ever environmental leaders in California are placing a greater emphasis on the needs of people and communities, particularly in underserved regions. read more

Splash students study vernal pools Outdoor science classroom incorporates writing and art

“My real calling is I’m a pollinator. I kind of look at this world of people and nature as this thing that we need to better connect with. …it’s just that we sometimes fail to recognize that the connection is real and that it’s important to us as human beings” — Eva Butler, Splash founder.
(video by Guillermo Mash for AquAlliance.)

DA sues DWR over Oroville Dam crisis Ramsey's office seeks damages over Feather River pollution

photo by Karen Laslo

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey

by Dave Waddell

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced today that he has filed a civil lawsuit against the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) over last year’s Oroville Dam calamity that forced the evacuation of 180,000 residents downstream.

Ramsey’s complaint against DWR was filed in Butte County Superior Court. It seeks damages of between $34 billion and $51 billion, or $10 for each of the between 3.4 billion and 5.1 billion pounds of material that the suit says were discharged into the Feather River during the crisis.

The complaint says DWR “assisted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to evacuate millions of immature salmon from the Feather River Fish Hatchery located immediately downstream from Defendant’s releases.” read more

Plan to hike water delivery to farms ripped Speakers say fish harmed if more water goes south

photo by Dave Waddell

Rick Switzer

by Dave Waddell

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation came to Chico State to get public reaction to its vague new proposal to “maximize” water deliveries from the north to San Joaquin Valley farmers. The reviews from most of the two dozen or so people speaking Thursday were overwhelmingly and passionately against the notion, as well as frequently distrustful of the federal agency.

“How much harder can you twist the sponge that is already quite dry?” asked Rick Switzer. “Someone should carry the message to them that we’re all out. … Water is finite. You people do not seem to be familiar with the concept.” read more