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Natural Resources and Science

Natural Resources and Science

News articles ranging from water and energy issues, and restoration projects to science and technology are found here.

According to information released to KMUD News:
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) will host a workshop onThursday, June 30 to update landowners and the general public about the status of sudden oak death in southern Humboldt County. Sudden oak death is a non-native tree disease that kills tanoaks, black oaks, and certain other oak species in California, Oregon, and Europe.

The workshop, which is scheduled for 4-6 pm at the Veterans’ Hall, 483 Conger Street, Garberville, will inform southern Humboldt residents about symptom identification, how to survey for the disease on their own property, possible disease impacts on area forests, and the results of past efforts to manage the disease in the north coast. Workshop participants will have the chance to collect symptoms and bring them to the workshop to be tested by the Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory at UC Berkeley. Additionally, the workshop will address where the pathogen that causes sudden oak death is currently known to be in the county as well as anticipated future spread. “Since the pathogen spreads rapidly in wet spring conditions, we may see increased tanoak mortality over the next couple of years,” said Yana Valachovic, Forest Advisor at UCCE. “We want to give landowners as much knowledge as possible so that the southern Humboldt community can be proactive about monitoring the disease on their properties and considering potential options for managing the disease to limit its impact.”
               
While all are welcome, those interested in submitting samples for testing are asked to pre-register by June 23 by calling UCCE  at (707) 445-7351 or emailing Chris Lee at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Those who pre-register will receive a sample collection kit in advance, so they can bring leaf samples to the training for identification and testing. Kits will also be available at the workshop.

UCCE is a collaboration between the University of California, Humboldt County, and the US Department of Agriculture that seeks to develop and deliver knowledge and practical information in agriculture, natural resources, and community development to improve the lives of Californians. As part of this mission, UCCE has been involved in researching and monitoring sudden oak death in the north coast since 2002.

For more information, call Chris Lee or Yana Valachovic at (707) 445-7351.


According to an e-mail sent to the KMUD News Department by Ed Sheets, Facilitator for the Klamath Settlement Agreements, dated May 3, 2011:
The Klamath Basin Coordinating Council today released its first annual report highlighting its accomplishments since the Klamath Agreements were signed in February 2010.  I have attached the press release and Annual Report.
 
The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) were forged by Klamath Basin stakeholder groups including the Klamath Basin tribes, irrigators, fishermen, conservation groups, the dam owner PacifiCorp, the governors of California and Oregon, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the director of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Also participating were agencies within the states, the Department of the Interior, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Humboldt County, CA, and Klamath County, OR.  Forty-five organizations have signed the Klamath Agreements.
 
The Restoration Agreement is intended to result in effective and durable solutions which will: 1) restore and sustain natural fish production and provide for full participation in ocean and river harvest opportunities of fish species throughout the Klamath Basin; 2) establish reliable water and power supplies which sustain agricultural uses, communities, and National Wildlife Refuges; and 3) contribute to the public welfare and the sustainability of all Klamath Basin communities.
 
The Hydroelectric Settlement lays out the process for additional studies, environmental review, and a decision by the Secretary of the Interior regarding whether removal of four dams owned by PacifiCorp: 1) will advance restoration of the salmonid fisheries of the Klamath Basin; and 2) is in the public interest, which includes but is not limited to consideration of potential impacts on affected local communities and tribes.  The four dams are Iron Gate, J.C. Boyle, Copco 1 and Copco 2 dams on the Klamath River.  The Hydroelectric Settlement includes provisions for the interim operation of the dams and the process to transfer, decommission, and remove the dams.
 
This annual report describes the accomplishments during the first year in implementing the agreements.  For more information on the Klamath Settlement Agreements and the Klamath Basin Coordinating Council please see:www.klamathcouncil.org.
 
Ed Sheets
Facilitator for the Klamath Settlement Agreements
503-222-1700

Click on the links below to view the associated Press Release and Klamath Basin Coordinating Council Annual Report:
2011-5-3 press release for KBCC annual report.pdf
Klamath Basin Coordinating Council Annual Report 5-3-2011.pdf

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Draft Drought Plan released

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A draft, dated April 28, 2011,  of the Drought Plan contained within the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement has been released.
Click here to read the draft.

According to a news release from the office of Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro, dated April 12, 2011:
Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast) joined Gov. Jerry Brown today at a bill signing ceremony for ground-breaking legislation that commits California to investing in green, renewable energy. Chesbro was coauthor of state Sen. Joe Simitian’s Senate Bill 2X, which requires utilities to get at least 33 percent of electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020.“When the governor signed SB 2X today, California confirmed its position as the world leader in green energy technology,” Chesbro said. “This breakthrough legislation will create a large number of new living-wage jobs, attract new businesses to California, preserve the environment, improve air quality and protect public health.”

Senate Bill 2X applies to all electricity retailers in the state – investor-owned utilities (IOUs), municipal utilities and independent sellers. The current 20-percent renewable energy requirement applies only to investor-owned utilities and independent sellers. Municipal utilities have adopted renewable energy goals, which only some have met. Achieving 33 percent renewable energy by 2020 is a key element of the state's plan to meet the limits on greenhouse gas emissions established by AB 32. “This bill will bring many important benefits to California, including stimulating investment in green technologies in the state, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, improving local air quality, promoting energy independence, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Gov. Brown said in his signing statement. “It will ensure that California maintains its long-standing leadership in renewables and clean energy.”

Senate Bill 2X does not require utilities to reach the goal at any cost. The PUC must approve renewable energy contracts, and utilities may be granted exemptions if the price of energy, or the difficulty of moving it into the state’s grid, make the cost excessive. For these reasons the bill was endorsed by the PUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates and consumer watchdog The Utility Reform Network (TURN).

For the full text of SB 2X click here and click here to view Gov. Brown's Signing Statement.

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