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G2. Local Greens

Dire warning about federal environment law reform following public consultation

Lock the Gate Alliance - Mon, 11/27/2023 - 20:33

Community groups from around Australia have raised the alarm at proposed reforms to national environment laws after the first round of public consultation, citing major weaknesses and flaws that threaten to take environmental protection backwards.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Giving Tuesday 2023

Restore The San Francisco Bay Area Delta - Mon, 11/27/2023 - 16:20

Dear Friends,

This year, I would like to depart from our usual update, and share a very personal story with all of you about what drives my work at Restore the Delta and how my personal story has led to our developing a dynamic young staff working for a sustainable and just future for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.
– Barbara

Protecting Special Places, a Family Affair 

Until I was 12 years old, I lived on the south shore of Lake Michigan between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana, in a community that is now adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Park. That region became a protected national site in 1966 due to the advocacy and local leadership of that community, and in 2019 the Indiana Dunes National Park. 

When I was a young child in the mid 1960s, my parents were volunteers who stuffed envelopes for a local organizing committee to save the Indiana Dunes, the genesis for what is now a protected region for community, recreation, beauty, and environmental restoration, and that is surrounded by family farms on adjacent lands. The humble but persistent effort of my parents was a thread in the cloth woven by the region for the protection of one of this country’s most beautiful wild places adjacent to industrial centers and family farms all integrated. 

I fell in love with the Delta when my family moved to Stockton because while being a vastly different ecosystem, it reminded me of home – a tapestry of urban and agricultural landscapes tethered together by a dynamic, natural, and visually stunning environment. 

My parents were also signature gatherers for petitions for the creation of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. While the Indiana Dunes have always been one of the most beautiful sites in the United States, air pollution caused respiratory illness in our town’s children, and water pollution from the surrounding steel mills made fish consumption dangerous, limiting the amount we could consume from our coho and chinook fisheries, and rainbow smelt runs.

Fishing was a way of life for our family, and so was outdoor daily recreation along the lake, dunes, rivers, lagoons, and forests that surrounded my childhood home, accessible to all people in our community regardless of their background or socio-economic status. Pollution and declining fisheries continue to be a problem for the Great Lakes, as they are in the Bay-Delta estuary, and throughout the world worsening with climate change. But my parents’ efforts helped to slow down fishery decline, improved the health of the fisheries for a number of years, and reduced emissions from the local steel industry to increase public health outcomes in our community.

 The Next Generation is Here

My belief in environmental and community health and in the protection of open spaces, and building the best future possible for the next generation, was formed by my parents’ example. Their work echoes more loudly each day that I work with the next generation Delta leadership.

This is also why I have been fairly quiet in my direct communications with all of you this year. A significant portion of my time in 2023 has been spent training six program managers on what I know about the Delta: California water management, environmental justice, collaboration in working with community partners and tribal governments, social media, traditional media, project analysis and comment letter writing, community emergency response, campaign creation, flood mitigation, fishery science, advocacy, restoration project planning, agriculture economies, interfacing with government agencies, and science literature research.

I have been working side-by-side with our next gen leaders on deep analysis of emerging industries in the Delta like carbon storage and carbon sequestration farming. My daily work has also encompassed training staff on how to respond to the problematic Bay-Delta Plan and even worse Delta Conveyance Project, how to present their case to government agencies, and how to build out a science-based water quality testing program. 

They are learning by doing, while developing an understanding of our organization’s core values of equity and sustainability and how to advance these core values strategically and analytically. Their voices are now front and center. They are leading the effort to protect the Delta for future generations – from sustainable farming to flood protection, from urban water tech to water quality monitoring. They are learning when to be aspirational in their work, and they are learning when and how to speak truth to power to protect community.

Restore the Delta was built brick-by-brick with our Board of Directors, our staff, community, tribal and environmental partners, and you, our valued supporters, to become one of the most trusted entities on Delta matters. In fact, we were identified as the most trusted decision-making body in a regional survey conducted by UC Davis researchers, scoring higher than other non-government organizations, government agencies, and elected officials. We accomplished this recognition because of your generous support and faith in our work over the years.

Our next generation staff is expanding on the sturdy foundation that we have built together — to lead and respond to a future that we cannot fully imagine. Much in the same way my parents set the stage for me with their example of community engagement, we are doing the same with our staff, interns, and next generation leaders in partnering organizations, teaching by example. 

With your continued support, we can empower our next generation leaders to protect and improve the Delta for the future, to deal with environmental complexity, to resist bad plans for water and resource management, and to build healthy communities and genuine sustainable economic opportunity. They are learning when and how to resist the idea of water and resource extraction for special interests at the expense of the region. 

Your year-end gift to Restore the Delta will enable us to expand and solidify the work we started together in 2006 at a kitchen table, with sixty supporters, a laptop, and a cell phone. It will enable us to keep building a top-notch nonprofit organization to advocate for the environmental health and wealth of the region.

We thank you for your continued support. We wish you and your family the most joyous of holidays, and a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous 2024.

With much gratitude,

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla

Executive Director

Restore the Delta

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Martinez Renewables Fire Victim Needs Our Support

Sunflower Alliance - Sun, 11/26/2023 - 11:02

A fire in the 2 HDO Unit at the Martinez Marathon Renewable Fuels facility last Saturday night caused twenty refinery workers to be evacuated, and, horrifically, left Jerome Serrano with third-degree burns over 80% of his body.  According to a USW Local 5 Instagram post, Mr. Serrano’s survival will depend on the outcome of multiple … Read more

Categories: G2. Local Greens

ICYMI 11/26/23Sites Fakery, Bay-Delta Plan Hearing, Calaveras River Levees

Restore The San Francisco Bay Area Delta - Sun, 11/26/2023 - 08:00

Column: This water project is expensive, wasteful and ecologically damaging. Why is it being fast-tracked? – Los Angeles Times 11/21/23
Newsom and other Sites advocates have tried to justify the project with flagrantly misleading statistics. As Newsom said when announcing his certification, the reservoir would hold “up to 1.5 million acre-feet of water, enough for 3 million households’ yearly usage.” That claim may have been accepted by some people who should know better, but it’s fakery, pure and simple. First, suggesting that the reservoir’s storage would serve “3 million households” is deceptive. As much as 80% of the water would be stored for the benefit of Central Valley growers, not urban residents.

1st Bay-Delta Hearing Panels – 11/17/23
Missed our panels from last week and need a break from eating turkey and watching football? We have conveniently split up the three Delta & Tribal panels from last week’s Bay-Delta Plan Hearing from the State Water Resources Control Board. They are loaded with information regarding water justice, flows, tribal beneficial uses, tribals water rights, harmful algal blooms, air and water quality and fisheries!
Tribal Engagement and Tribal Water Rights
With Vice Chair Malissa Tayaba, Gary Mulcahy, and Ivan Senock.
Tribal Beneficial Uses
With Krystal Moreno, Emily Moloney, Sherri Norris, and Sarah Ryan. 
Environmental Justice and Harmful Algal Blooms
Opening remarks from Tama Brisbane. With Zach Gigone, Spencer Fern, Gloria Alonso Cruz, and Cintia Cortez. 

Stockton residents concerned over Calaveras River levee erosion – ABC10 11/17/23
Over this past weekend, concern is growing for some people in Stockton’s Country Club neighborhood living along a levee still damaged in last winter’s storms.
The flowing water along the Calaveras River looks calm from the top of the River Drive levee, but erosion lurks just below.
‘With the floods back in January, there’s some definite erosion damage that has occurred,’ said Patti Brennan, who has lived along the river for eight years.

Bay-Delta Plan Hearings (Registration Deadline Extended!)
Restore the Delta and partners have been advocating through petitions filed with the State Water Resources Control Board, and with US EPA, for movement by the State Water Board to finish the Bay-Delta Plan. While we wait for implementation of Phase I (San Joaquin River flows) which was approved December 2018 and delayed due to the “voluntary agreements” process, the Delta has suffered for decades without updated water quality and flow standards that protect communities, culture, fisheries, recreation, and agriculture. 
Please Join Us!
WHO: State Water Resources Control Board Public Hearings 
WHAT: Public Hearings (Panels and Individual Comments) for Phase II of the Bay-Delta Plan. Staff Report, which focuses on Sacramento River flows. Here is a link to the 5000-plus page report.  
WHEN: November 17th, 9:30 am; December 1st, 9:30 am; and December 11th, 12:00 pm. Time has been changed from 4:00 pm to 12:00 pm for the December 11th hearing.
WHERE: Cal EPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento or attend on Zoom. 
HOW: You can organize a panel to make comments or speak individually. Panels are 20 minutes in length; individual comments are 3 minutes (about 250 to 300 words when drafting). The State Water Board, however, is only allowing individuals to speak once, either on a panel or individually over the course of the 3 days. 
The State Water Board changed individual comment speaking times from 5 to 3 minutes in part with the December 11th hearing date being longer. 
Registration to comment has been extended, you may register up until the hearing day you wish to participate in. 
Note, the State Water Board said that panel presentations (not individual comments) should be identified by November 3 if possible, or soon thereafter, to ensure adequate time is allotted for those presentations over the 3 hearing days. 
Here is the link to register.   
WHY: The Staff Report for the Bay-Delta Plan contains the “voluntary agreements” – a private, incomplete, and discriminatory process – in which most Californians were left out of having a say in water allocations and river and Bay-Delta protections – not to mention the disparate impacts these agreements will cause for tribal and environmental justice communities. 
Additionally, the Staff Report doesn’t contain a proposed project, but rather, a recommended alternative with options, through which the Board can put together a Bay-Delta Plan that serves political interests, rather than science-based objectives to restore our fisheries and environmental health. 

1. As currently drafted, the Plan is incomplete and inadequate for fisheries and the overall health of the Bay-Delta estuary. 

2. A proposed alternative of 55% unimpaired flows for the Sacramento River with a range of 45-65%, will not save native fisheries, and fisheries will continue to slide into extinction. While there isn’t a stable proposed project because Board members are being offered alternatives with additional a la carte management options, 65% minimum unimpaired flows gets us closer to fish recovery, and 75% is the best based on established science. There is no plan of implementation for the proposed alternative which should have been finished over the last five years. 

3. There is no harmful algal bloom standard to protect people who come in contact with waterways. There isn’t a real strategy for how harmful algal blooms will be tracked, identified, and mitigated. 

4. The voluntary agreements, which are offered as an option, do not set water quality objectives — so the voluntary agreements cannot meet the objectives of the Bay-Delta Plan. 

5. The voluntary agreements, as included in this draft, do not include an implementation plan, meaning that the public will have to comment on implementation later. This keeps us in a perpetual cycle of reacting to a Bay-Delta that is never finished. 

6. Beneficial uses are identified in this plan, i.e., agriculture, fisheries, recreation, drinking water, but the Plan does not define Tribal Beneficial Uses, which is a continuation of discriminatory practices. 

7. The Staff Report only looked at groundwater and drinking water, not cultural or recreational uses. The Environmental Justice analysis for the Delta is inadequate seeing it doesn’t cover 72 small drinking water systems. 

8. The voluntary agreements do not address cold water pools upstream needed for fisheries and do not contain storage thresholds. 

9. The Staff Report does identify the beneficial uses of a healthy river and estuary, and healthy fisheries within the cost-benefit analysis. Cost benefits are mostly related to water exports.

Delta Co-Op – Space Available
Restore the Delta has workshare space available for environmental and social justice organizations and positive environmental/sustainable businesses! Located in Stockton, near the Port of Stockton and I-5, our facility includes a conference room with hybrid meeting capability, ample parking, multiple kitchens, bathrooms, and great partner organizations to collaborate with on a regular basis. We also offer a large community meeting room. 

The Delta Co-Op has 4 workstations available presently with access to all facilities and storage (designated closet/cabinet areas) for $300 per month. Our community meeting room is also available to rent for specific events and includes a kitchenette. The community meeting room can be rented for $300 for 8 hours or $150 for 4 hours.
Contact Mariah Looney today to learn more about the Delta Co-Op and to schedule a tour. Mariah can be reached at, or 209-479-2559. 

Restore the Delta has new merch!
Restore the Delta is excited to announce that new merch is available! Shop for the holiday season for family, friends, and loved ones who share a fondness of the Delta!  

Shop now!
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Save Jackson State Forest/Indigenous Sites, December 5, 6

Sunflower Alliance - Fri, 11/24/2023 - 15:56

After a long struggle to get their voices heard, the Coalition to Save Jackson State Forest is finally on the agenda at the state Board of Forestry, which regulates all timber lands in California.

Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF), the largest state forest in California, is on the unceded ancestral territory of the Coyote … Read more

Categories: G2. Local Greens

How a proposed solar project prompted this rural Pa. township to face its mining past

Allegheny Front - Fri, 11/24/2023 - 03:00

A Centre County township wrestles with a proposed solar farm on a site where runoff from past coal mining is polluting a watershed.

The post How a proposed solar project prompted this rural Pa. township to face its mining past appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Palaszczuk Government pushes ahead with new mega coal mine worth more than half a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution

Lock the Gate Alliance - Thu, 11/23/2023 - 18:38

Lock the Gate Alliance and Central Queensland conservationists have condemned the recommendation today that Whitehaven’s Winchester South mega coal mine should be approved.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

‘Jarring Wake-Up Call’: Hunger Surges in US After Food Aid Cuts

Wine And Water Watch - Thu, 11/23/2023 - 11:00
‘Jarring Wake-Up Call’: Hunger Surges in US After Food Aid Cuts “Effective federal public policies over the previous few years were spectacularly successful in stemming U.S. hunger, but as many of those policies have been reversed, hunger has again soared,” said one expert. BRETT WILKINS Nov 22, 2023 Highlighting the end of a yearslong trend …

‘Jarring Wake-Up Call’: Hunger Surges in US After Food Aid Cuts Read More »

Categories: G2. Local Greens

2023 Year in Review: Returns And Gains

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance - Wed, 11/22/2023 - 19:48

The air cools in the desert as snows accumulate on southern Utah’s isolated peaks. Evening rain falls in canyon country. It is light and accompanied by winds strong enough to pull the better part of the lingering leaves from the trees. Each morning the ground is plastered in reds and yellows as the rest continue their steady fall. Amidst this seasonal shift, our stewardship program rounds out another year of protecting Utah’s public lands.

Season Highlights

This year we prioritized our national monuments, allocating one-quarter of our projects to working in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, from south of Kanab to north of Escalante. To celebrate National Public Lands Day, we teamed with SUWA Organizer Jenny Holmes and a standout crew of Pacific Northwest redrock activists to address motorized intrusions in the Steep Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA) and the Circle Cliffs. These stalwart Northwesterners addressed impacts of illegal driving on wilderness-quality lands. We raked tracks and moved boulders. Best of all, we brought their activism to new heights, and sent them home with an even deeper understanding of the fight for the redrock. 

In October, we returned to the San Rafael Desert to continue wilderness boundary work above Labyrinth Canyon. Gratefully, we quickly noted how successful the previous year’s efforts had been – and remain. As for the task at hand, tt was a huge lift deconstructing, team carrying, and reinstalling ~200’ of buck and rail fence. We transformed a successfully reclaimed WSA boundary incursion into a hiking trailhead at the new boundary of the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness. Thunderstorms struck as the workday ended, framing the landscape with luminescent canyons and a double rainbow to boot.

What’s Next

In 2024 our program will hire additional staff to increase capacity and provide more support to BLM Utah. I look forward to growing partnerships with Utah agency field offices in the coming years while cultivating a new stewardship team to support travel management implementation on wilderness-quality public lands across the state.

Are you interested? Head over to to learn more.


By the Numbers

Both 2023 and overall project numbers between 2016-2023 are included below. These numbers include our work with both the BLM Utah (the bulk of our efforts) and the US Forest Service in Utah.

 20232016-2023Nonpermitted Route Management44.5 miles130.25 milesSurface Area Remediated111,050 sq ft429,670 sq ftSocial Trails Remediated500’13 milesFencing/Barriers Installed or Managed6,030’39,453’Boundary Markers & Signs Installed94431Campsites Remediated83584Trash Removed1,560 lbs.3,885 lbs.Graffiti Remediated2,500 sq ft9,200 sq ftRiver Miles Managed17 miles85 milesVegetation PlantedNA159 plantingsCultural Sites Surveyed4 sites235 acres; 18 sites   Volunteers1521,202Volunteer Hours2,38916,594Volunteer Days45280

2023 SUWA Stewardship Field Highlights

Multiple volunteer crews returned to wilderness lands in Emery County this year, including the Mexican Mountain Wilderness and Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness units. We were excited to see that much of our work of the past several years has held (primarily managing ORV travel and dispersed camping). Alongside BLM rangers, we performed general upkeep while transitioning to deeper project work.

On our trip in the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness unit, volunteers disassembled, hand-carried and reinstalled a 25-year-old fence previously built on the boundary of the former WSA. This new fence was placed along the new wilderness boundary to serve as marker and trailhead access point for hiking and horse travel. It was an exceptionally labor-intensive process team-carrying full-length posts and rails across the slickrock – and our volunteers were rewarded by a homecooked dinner and exceptional views framed by evening rainbows.

In an effort to support the Grand Staircase Escalante Partnership’s (GSEP) growing stewardship program, we collaborated for a second year in a row, providing expertise and resources to conduct a volunteer opportunity along Hole-in-the-Rock road during which volunteers managed ORV travel and dispersed camping. With experience under our belts, we will continue to support other volunteer groups dedicated to working with BLM land managers across Utah.

The images above showcase projects with the BLM Moab and the BLM Kanab. With the BLM Moab we conducted our annual March clean-up project working with a group of University of Utah Alternative Break students. Such students are often eligible for our Stewardship Scholar Program, which is offered to BIPOC students enrolled at least half-time in an accredited college, university, vocational school, or technical school in Utah. We anticipate the growth of this program in 2024.

The images featuring graffiti clean-up were taken during a three-day project in partnership with BLM rangers in Kanab with whom we worked for the first time in 2023. I look forward to working with these excellent land managers in the years to come as we continue to support wilderness-quality land management in all regions of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

We returned to the magnificent ranges of the West Desert this year, prioritizing the House Range (specifically Notch Peak and the Amasa Basin) and the Deep Creek Mountains. Continuing our ORV travel management in the House Range, we completed building the (3) planned short lengths of buck and rail fence designed to establish parking turnarounds and trailheads at the boundary of existing wilderness study areas. It was no small lift lugging the materials up deteriorating four-wheel routes, but our volunteers made quick work of the effort, using primarily manual hand tools (hand saws, sledgehammers and galvanized nails) to assemble several hundred feet of fence. I will return in 2024 to assess the status and repair needs – if any – of the infrastructure.

We returned as well to Tom’s Canyon in the Deep Creek Mountains to repair several hundred feet of buck and rail fence that had been toppled by winter snow load since completion three years ago. Many hands made for quick work, which allowed us the opportunity to clean campsites elsewhere in the range.

From backpacking into the Dark Canyon Wilderness to work on natural spring protection to remediating hill climbs in the badlands outside of Hanksville along the Dirty Devil River and in Poison Spring Canyon, our crews continue to travel far and wide to carry heavy things in remote places. All joking aside, this is essential work. Over the years we have learned the necessity of naturalization – which often involves raking tracks and strategically placing natural materials such as logs and boulders to manage travel. The more and better we visually restore landscapes, the less likely future impacts will occur. This will continue to be key to our work in the coming decades. 

Finally, I thank you again for your work. This program would have no standing, no legs, no backs, and no presence were it not for your commitment and support. Thank you for doing what I cannot do alone. It makes all the difference.


Jeremy Lynch
Stewardship Director


The post 2023 Year in Review: Returns And Gains appeared first on Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

FoGR Letter to Sonoma BOS re: Oak Woodlands Protection Ordinance

Friends of Gualala River - Wed, 11/22/2023 - 13:25

November 21, 2023

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
575 Administration Drive
Room 100 A
Santa Rosa, CA. 95403

To the Honorable Members of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors:

Friends of Gualala River thanks you for the opportunity to comment in support of the proposed Oak Woodland Protection Ordinance, a critically important step in saving our wild oaks, one of Sonoma County’s most iconic natural resources.

Friends of Gualala River (FoGR) is an independent non-profit grassroots watershed protection organization formed to share common concerns and research regarding the welfare of the Gualala River, its estuary and habitat. FoGR’s goal is to protect the Gualala River watershed and the species living within it.

Oaks have been an important wild resource to people in the Gualala watershed for millennia. The watershed is the ancestral land of the Kashia Pomo whose traditional foods included acorns from the abundant tan oaks and oaks growing here. Oaks are known to be keystone species in many of the most biodiverse ecosystems in California. In our watershed the oak savannas that stretch to the north, east, and south, especially in the basins of the Wheatfield and South Gualala Forks, are an essential component of the watershed biodiversity. A drive east along Skaggs Springs Road affords spectacular views of these beautiful oak-studded grasslands which were originally stewarded by the Kashia. Today they are principally cattle ranches and vineyards.

With few paved roads and 98% private ownership, the vast interior of the watershed was largely terra incognita until quite recently. But a new era of interest in conservation began as a result of the acquisition of large tracts of land by The Conservation Fund, now the largest landowner in the watershed. These lands became the Gualala Forest and the Buckeye Forest. A surprisingly high diversity of oak species were discovered when botanical field surveys were done. Some 12 species of oak and oak hybrids were found within the Buckeye Forest property. Fortunately these oak woodlands will be protected under TCF’s Buckeye Forest Integrated Resource Management Plan (

Elsewhere, intensive field botanical surveys have not been done on other lands because of private property ownership. However, the entire watershed was aerially mapped through LiDAR in a county-wide project called Sonoma Vegetation Map completed in 2017, showing more detail in the extensive oak woodlands in the Gualala watershed and providing data for further study (

Shortly thereafter, the Sonoma County Ag and Open Space undertook the Vital Lands Initiative to help set priorities for difference land uses in the County. The Vital Lands Interactive Map shows that the oaks woodlands in the Gualala River watershed are a Priority Area for Wildlife Habitat and Movement, a regional concern. The map also shows that Priority Croplands (i.e., vineyards) are often intermingled with the oak woodlands, a condition that leads to inevitable conflicts in land use without protections for oaks (

Finally, the Sonoma Land Trust also maintains an interactive map which shows areas in the County that have fallen under some form of protection. The map demonstrates how few oak woodlands have been protected thus far in the Gualala River watershed (

Adequate comprehensive conservation planning for the Gualala watershed has yet to be undertaken. However, Sonoma County residents everywhere want to see oak woodlands protected. And the County has demonstrated its interest in mapping its resources over the past decade as a key step in the right direction. It seems like the natural next step is to put in place legal protections for oaks and oak woodlands.

On behalf of the over 750 supporters of Friends of Gualala River who endorse protections of the watershed and its natural resources, including its oaks, we urge the Board of Supervisors to pass the Oak Woodland Protection Ordinance.

Thank you.

Nathan Ramser
President of the Board

Valley oak (Quercus lobata), photo by Kendra Sikes, CNPS

For more information:

Why Sonoma County Needs an Oak Woodland Protection Ordinance

By Kate Marianchild, author of Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants and Animals among California’s Oak

A. Sonoma County has no ordinance or regulation in place to specifically address the clear-cutting or removal of oak woodlands, thus leaving them vulnerable to removal without county oversight or regulation and creating the potential for denuded hillsides, destabilized soil, silted, and polluted streams, die-offs of birds, mammals, fish, and other animals, and loss of extensive ecosystem services (itemized in paragraph F).

B. 80% of oak woodlands occur on private lands and have no legal protections from the State of California.

C. Sonoma County’s oak woodlands are a beautiful, quintessential, and irreplaceable component of the character and cultural history of our region.

D. Sonoma County’s oak woodlands have largely untapped ecotourism potential.

E. Oaks support more life forms than any other plant genus in North America.

F. Oak woodlands improve soil, retain groundwater, improve surface water quality, control erosion, slow wind (and, by extension, fire); provide shade for fish-bearing streams, moderate climate extremes, improve air quality, and sequester carbon.

G. Oaks are California’s primary old-growth resource for carbon sequestration.

H. Oaks survive low- to medium-intensity fires and provide shade, moisture, and mycelium that assist other species in repopulating burned areas.

I. Oak woodlands improve quality of life and property values by providing serene and lovely landscapes for walking, hiking, biking, picnicking, camping, swimming, birding, wildlife watching, and stargazing.

J. Oak woodlands provide essential food and nesting habitat for native pollinators and honeybees, which have significant commercial value to local agriculture.

K. Oaks leaves are the most important food in North America for caterpillars, and caterpillars are essential food for most baby songbirds. As mature oaks disappear, so do birds and the birdsong we love so much.

L. Oak woodlands support the greatest animal biomass found in any terrestrial habitat type in California.

M. Old-growth oaks and other native trees sequester exponentially more carbon and provide homes and food to vastly more animal species than young trees. These ecosystem services cannot be replaced for hundreds of years by newly planted seedlings.

N. Mature oak woodlands are refugia for oak- and oak woodland-dependent species, many of which are suffering population declines statewide.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Thinking Long-Term: Why We Should Bring Back Redwood Forests

Friends of Gualala River - Wed, 11/22/2023 - 11:28

By John Reid, September 25, 2023
Published at the Yale School of the Environment


Only 5 percent of the redwood forests that once stretched across coastal Northern California have never been logged. An initiative to restore these forests is gaining momentum, aided by research showing that redwoods store more aboveground carbon than any forest on Earth.

Lyndon Johnson signed the bill that established the Redwood National Park in California 55 years ago. It was a long time coming, with proposals blocked in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s by an industry that was beavering through the most valuable timberlands on the planet. When the National Park Service recommended a park again in 1964, bipartisan support in the Senate, a nod from President Johnson and, I believe, the trees’ own power to inspire eventually got a deal through Congress.

The national park was not the first redwood park. Several small California state parks had been created decades earlier. But it was the first from which most of the old growth had already been removed. Created in two phases, in 1968 and 1978, 75 percent of our national park had been razed. Overall, the public owns over 100,000 acres of injured, young forest on federal and state land. Land managers are trying to actively nurture some of them into new old growth. Tactics include one-time thinning of dense stands, prescribed fire, closing roads, dropping trees in streams to make salmon-friendly pools, ongoing selective logging to favor a few large trees, and just leaving the forests alone.

Restoration has drawn recent attention and picked up momentum with the launch of Redwoods Rising, an ambitious recovery program. Operations began in 2020 and have been gaining urgency, as the impacts of climate change have become a part of everyday life in the region, and a growing body of science has shown that old-growth redwoods store more aboveground carbon than any forest on Earth, up 2,600 tons per hectare. That’s three to five times as much as even the oldest secondary forests. “The only vegetation that grows faster is sorghum and sugarcane,” says University of Washington scientist Robert Van Pelt.

. . .

Still, the 75 percent of redwood lands in corporate hands are an impediment to healing half the forest. Even those certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council are never going to grow old. I asked Save the Redwoods CEO Sam Hodder what the league’s strategy is to overcome this obstacle. “Be ready,” he said, when willing sellers come along. Unfortunately, he added, the big redwood timber companies aren’t willing because they’re making too much money.

. . .

Financially, the battered redwood lands of Northern California are well within our means. In 1998, San Francisco’s prominent Fisher family bought 235,000 acres for $200 million to form the Mendocino Redwood Company. That’s $375 million in today’s money. A deal that good is probably not available today, but adding a half million public acres should be doable for a sum in the low billions. Between 1993 and 2020, Californians approved 32 bond issues with an average price tag of $5 billion. An ambitious conservation plan that melds science, culture, economics, and local knowledge could open our wallets for trees that will pay back in many ways for a very long time.

. . .

To read the entire article, visit YaleEnvironment360:
Thinking Long-Term: Why We Should Bring Back Redwood Forests

Redwoods, Montgomery Woods
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Governor Shapiro Appeals Commonwealth Court Decision Declaring RGGI Unconstitutional

Clean Air Ohio - Wed, 11/22/2023 - 10:31

HARRISBURG, PA (November 22, 2023) On November 21, Governor Shapiro announced his decision to appeal the November 1 Commonwealth Court decision that declared the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to be unconstitutional. 

RGGI is a program established in 2005 that requires regulated power plants to acquire allowances for the carbon emissions they produce. Within the currently-participating states, RGGI reduces emissions from fossil fuel power plants and funds climate change initiatives with the collected fees. Proceeds from the program in Pennsylvania would go to the state’s Clean Air Fund, which can then be put towards efforts that reduce air pollution. By not implementing RGGI, Pennsylvania has already missed out on over $1 billion dollars in RGGI proceeds since January 2022 that would have gone towards air pollution reduction programs. 

Executive Director and Chief Counsel, Joseph Otis Minott, Esq. issued the following statement:

“As the nation’s fourth largest emitter of carbon dioxide, Pennsylvania needs RGGI, an effective cap-and-invest program, to advance a commonsense energy plan that cuts climate pollution and ensures an equitable energy transition and the jobs that come with it. The Governor’s appeal gives us a crucial chance to participate in this program and secure a clean energy economy for Pennsylvania. The Governor’s diverse RGGI stakeholder group reached the consensus that such a cap and trade program for the power sector would be critical for generating the funds needed to support the state’s clean energy transition. RGGI is the clear choice for meeting the working group’s goals and Governor Shapiro’s criteria of supporting climate action, clean energy job creation, public health protection, and energy affordability.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Kitchener Centre provincial by-election candidates oppose new gas plants

Ontario Clean Air Alliance - Wed, 11/22/2023 - 08:32

The NDP (Debbie Chapman), Liberal (Kelly Steiss) and Green(Aislinn Clancy) candidates in the Kitchener Centre provincial by-election are all opposed to Premier Ford’s plans to build new gas plants and ramp up gas-plant smog and climate pollution by 700% by 2043. PC candidate Rob Elliott did not answer our questionnaire. The NDP, Liberal and Green

The post Kitchener Centre provincial by-election candidates oppose new gas plants appeared first on Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Pa. families call on Josh Shapiro to fulfill recommendations of fracking grand jury

Allegheny Front - Wed, 11/22/2023 - 03:00

Families living near fracking in Washington County are disappointed in Gov. Josh Shapiro. They want more accountability for the industry.

The post Pa. families call on Josh Shapiro to fulfill recommendations of fracking grand jury appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Another blow to Santos' NSW CSG ambitions: Hunter Gas Pipeline faces potential environmental reassessment

Lock the Gate Alliance - Tue, 11/21/2023 - 17:29

The Federal Government will reconsider a 14 year old decision not to assess the Hunter Gas Pipeline under Commonwealth environmental laws, dealing another blow to Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project in the Pilliga Forest and Liverpool Plains coal seam gas exploration ambitions.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Alliance, farmers welcome Toowoomba Council’s opposition to new coal seam gas approvals

Lock the Gate Alliance - Tue, 11/21/2023 - 17:24

Lock the Gate Alliance and Darling Downs farmers have welcomed Toowoomba Regional Council’s call for a moratorium on new coal seam gas approvals within its local government area.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Shapiro to appeal court decision that stopped Pa. from joining climate program

Allegheny Front - Tue, 11/21/2023 - 13:06

Gov. Josh Shapiro is appealing a court decision that stopped Pennsylvania’s effort to join a cap-and-trade program targeting power plant emissions. 

The post Shapiro to appeal court decision that stopped Pa. from joining climate program appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Episode for November 24, 2023

Allegheny Front - Tue, 11/21/2023 - 11:07

It's Thanksgiving week, our favorite holiday at The Allegheny Front. (Well, one of them at least). This week, we give you tips for not creating the food waste that is cooking the planet and tell you about a pilot program that hopes to bring composting to Centre County. We also visit with the foragers and farmers who help make Pennsylvania the largest mushroom producer in the United States. And, we take a trip to a glacial deposit where bears feast on wild cranberries. We have news about a bill to address lead in school water fountains and a new historical sign that marks Penn State's agricultural roots.

The post Episode for November 24, 2023 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens


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