AquAlliance, Winnemem blast bid to raise Shasta Dam Environmental group says raising dam would swamp thousands of acres

photo courtesy of California Department of Water Resources

Hillside erosion around Lake Shasta in a drought year

by Dave Waddell

A decades-old plan to raise Shasta Dam – resuscitated by the Trump administration — would not only flood what little remain of the Winnemem Wintu’s sacred tribal lands but more broadly denude “thousands of acres” of forested watershed above Lake Shasta.

The estimate of forest area to be inundated is from AquAlliance, a Chico-based environmental group. AquAlliance contends that a higher dam would drown riparian plant and animal life around Lake Shasta, leaving more hillsides naked and more sediment eroding to the bottom of the reservoir. read more

The ‘browning’ of state’s green movement El movimiento verde se vuelve café

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. (Lea esta nota en ingles aqui.)

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