Natural Resources and Science
News articles ranging from water and energy issues, and restoration projects to science and technology are found here.
A gathering of Calif. state and federal agency officials presented information and answered questions at a Joint Press Conference hosted by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and United States Bureau of Reclamation. Mark Cowin, Director of DWR, (shown in the photo pointing to the map) opened the press conference by reviewing the present extent of the drought in California, saying, "We should all be clear by now that this is not a coming crisis. This is not an evolving crisis. This is a current crisis." Other speakers included David Murillo, Regional Director for the Mid-Pacific Region of the Bureau of Reclamation, Felicia Marcus Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), and Tom Howard Executive Director of SWCRB. After the presentations, questions were taken from media present at the press conference followed by a round of phone-in questions.
Immediately below is a report on the press conference submitted by KMUD Correspondent, Kelly Lincoln, which aired on the KMUD Local News on Jan. 1, 2014. Below that are players containing audio segments from the press conference. These segments were recorded and edited by Kelly Lincoln. Click here for more photos of the press conference and here for a video of the conference. Additional associated information can be viewed on the SWRCB website.
Press Conference Audio Below:
Mark Cowin, Director of California Department of Water Resources - introductions and opening remarks
David Murillo, Regional Director for the Mid-Pacific Region of the Bureau of Reclamation
Felicia Marcus Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board
Tom Howard Executive Director State Water Resources Control Board
Q&A from media present
Q&A from phone-in participants
A full day of information, food, conversation, and fun took place last Sat., Feb 1, 2014 at the Beginnings Octagon and Briceland Vineyard in Briceland. Jointly sponsored by Salmonid Restoration Federation and Sanctuary Forest, the event began at 10 am, was well-attended, and was broadcast live on KMUD. Dana Stolzman, Executive Director of the Salmonid Restoration Federation, opened the workshop with introductions and an explanation of the day's schedule which included presentations, a panel discussion, a lunch, and in the afternoon, a Water Rights Clinic, tour of water conservation projects at Briceland Vineyards, and concluded with a free wine tasting at the vineyard. Topics covered in the presentations and panel discussion included: How to Navigate Water Rights, Conserving Water in a Time of Drought, Resources for Rural Landowners and Local & Regional Water Conservation Efforts.
The workshop audio was recorded by KMUD and can be heard using the players below. KMUD Technical Director, Simon Frech, edited the audio into the various segments, according to speaker. Photos are by Bob Froehlich. Tune to KMUD Local News weekdays at 6 pm (and rebroadcast at 8 am) to hear additional reports by Kelly Lincoln on this Water and Solutions Workshop.
Speakers are shown in the photo below: (from right to left) Sara Schremmer (standing), Scott Greacen, Tasha McKee, Matt Cocking, Mark Lancaster, and Brian Johnson.
Audio Segments - Note: To download a segment click on the "SOUNDCLOUD" link (top right corner of each segment). This takes you to thye KMUD NEWS SoundCloud page where you will see a download button.
1) Dana Stolzman, Executive Director, Salmonid Restoration Federation opens the Workshop.
2) Scott Greacen, Executive Director, Friends of the Eel River
3) Tasha McKee, Executive Director, Sanctuary Forest
4) Matt Cocking Forester for the National Resources Conservation Service
5) Comments: Dana Stolzman
6) Sara Schremmer - Project Coordinator, Salmonid Restoration Federation
9) Brian Johnson, California Director, Trout Unlimited
10) Panel discussion and Q&A
As part of their military readiness and training programs the U.S. Navy utilizes sonar and explosives which impact marine life. To evaluate the impacts of this program, the Navy has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and is now inviting public comment on this draft EIS. Click here for the EIS Document and here for the on-line public comment form. More information appears in the Navy press releases below.
Hear more on this story in the report below, submitted and aired by KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson, on the KMUD Local NEWS, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.
Press releases from the Navy Public Affairs Ofice:
The U.S. Navy has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with military readiness training and testing activities conducted primarily within existing range complexes, operating areas and testing ranges in the Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) Study Area.
The Navy invites the public to comment on the NWTT Draft EIS, whether it be online on the project website, in person at one of our public meetings, or by mail. The document as well as an online comment form can be found on the project's website at www.NWTTEIS.com. All comments must be postmarked or received online by March 25, 2014, for consideration in the Final EIS.
*Note: This EIS is different from the EA-18 G Growler Airfield Operations EIS for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, the P-8 A MMA Supplemental EIS for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman EIS in Boardman, Oregon.
Release #14-001;Jan. 24, 2014:
Northwest Training and Testing Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement Available for Public Review and Comment
SILVERDALE, Wash. - The U.S. Navy has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with military readiness training and testing activities conducted primarily within existing range complexes, operating areas and testing ranges in the Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) Study Area. The Navy invites you to comment on the NWTT Draft EIS/OEIS.
The Navy proposes to conduct training and testing activities, to include the use of active sonar and explosives, within the NWTT Study Area. The Proposed Action also includes pierside sonar maintenance and testing within the NWTT Study Area.
The purpose of the Proposed Action is to ensure that the Navy accomplishes its mission to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. This mission is achieved in part by training and testing within the NWTT Study Area. The NWTT EIS/OEIS also supports the renewal of federal regulatory permits and authorizations for current training and testing activities and future activities requiring environmental analysis.
The NWTT Study Area is composed of Navy training and testing range complexes, operating areas, testing facilities, and select Navy pierside locations in the Pacific Northwest. Aircraft training and testing activities that take place on or within established Navy airfields at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. or Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman, Ore. are not included in this NWTT EIS/OEIS.
Visit the project website at www.NWTTEIS.com to download the Draft EIS/OEIS, view a map of the NWTT Study Area, learn more about the project and submit comments online.
Availability of Draft EIS/OEIS and Public Comment Period:
The Navy is seeking public input on the Proposed Action and alternatives, and the accuracy and adequacy of the Draft EIS/OEIS analysis. The Draft EIS/OEIS is available for public review online at www.NWTTEIS.com and at the following locations:
. Fort Bragg Branch Library
. Humboldt County Public Library, Arcata Main Library
. Humboldt County Public Library, Eureka Main Library
The Navy is accepting comments throughout the 60-day public comment period, from Jan. 24, 2014, to March 25, 2014. All comments must be postmarked or received online by March 25, 2014, for consideration in the Final EIS/OEIS. Written comments may be submitted via the project website at www.NWTTEIS.com, in person at the public meetings or by mail to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
Attention: Ms. Kimberly Kler - NWTT EIS/OEIS Project Manager
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101
Eight public meetings will be held to inform the public about the Navy's Proposed Action and findings in the Draft EIS/OEIS, and solicit public comments on the environmental analysis. The public meetings will include an open house information session starting at 5 p.m. During this time, Navy representatives will provide information and answer questions about the Proposed Action and Draft EIS/OEIS. A short presentation by the Navy will begin at 6:30 p.m. Comments will be accepted throughout the public meeting.
The North Coast Calif. Meetings are listed below: Open House Information Sessions: 5-8 p.m./Navy Presentation: 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Red Lion Hotel Redwood Ballroom
1929 4th St.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Redwood Coast Senior Center West Room
490 N. Harold St.
Fort Bragg, CA
Update: March 3, 2014 - Rain totals for the month of Feb., 2014 are looking good, but season to date (July 1, 2013 - Feb. 28, 2014) rainfall is still well below average - view the details in the tables and charts below (provided by Cheryl Albritton.)
Use the player below to hear KMUD Weather Watcher, Cheryl Albritton, report the latest details. This story was aired on the KMUD Local News on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson.
Update: Feb. 10, 2014 - Latest storm brings some relieve to California drought crisis.
The creeks, rivers and ponds in the North Calif. Coastal area are looking somewhat better as the last three day rainfall brings some much needed precipitation to our area. KMUD News Weather Watcher, Cheryl Albritton, had this to say as she supplied the local rainfall numbers for the Feb.6 through Feb. 10 period. "Turns out we didn't need a Miracle March or Miracle May. Instead we got a Fabulous February!! Here are some rainfall totals for this recent storm - shown going from highest rainfall amount to lowest rainfall amount."
In the second table below Cheryl searched out and reported areas in California that had the highest daily rainfall during specific days of that Feb. 6-10 period. All numbers are reported in inches.
Update: Jan 30, 2014 - Our area has received some rain in this last storm (see below for the actual numbers from Cheryl Albritton) but not enough to affect current drought conditions. On last night's KMUD Local News, Anchor Amber Griffin aired an interview with Robert Ruehl, the Observing Program Leader with the National Weather Service in Eureka who indicates that, "The rainfall we experienced over the last 24 hours hasn't really been anything we can consider a drought buster." Use the player below, to hear more on the rainfall issue, including some speculations on what may lie head for our area.
According to KMUD Weather Watcher Cheryl Albritton, "While this storm system didn't do much as far as the drought is considered, it was a much needed drop in the bucket of water. Fire danger will be dampened down for a few days, and the flora and fauna, as well as a few vehicles, got a much needed bath."
The table below shows local rainfall totals for the two-day storm system, Jan.28-29, 2014 - data and table supplied by Cheryl Albritton.
Update Jan. 26, 2014: It's dry, dry....dry
Weather watching has become the hot topic of conversation and concern lately as California Governor Brown declared a state-wide drought emergency on Jan. 17, 2014. Locally, December rainfall totals were very low and continued lack of rain in January has many worried about what this may mean for our summer creeks, rivers and fish. Lake Oroville and lake Shasta are both at only 36% full and other reservoirs fair even worse, while the Sierra snow-pack, where the state gets about a third of its water, was 84% below average as of Jan. 10.
The lack of precipitation is attributed to a massive zone of high pressure nearly four miles high and 2,000 miles long that has been blocking storms for more than a year. Meteorologist Daniel Swain calls this "The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.” And according to Swain’s blog, the Calif. Weather Blog (http://www.weatherwest.com) , blocking ridges and persistent high surface pressure centers are actually a fairly common feature of the climate over the North Pacific region in winter and have often been associated with periods of dry and stable weather along the West Coast of North America, including California. But this present condition, the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (RRR), has behaved in a manner not typical of most North Pacific ridging events. The RRR keeps re-building, and it is this resilience that makes it extremely unusual.
There are even speculations that we could be headed into a cycle of longer lasting drought periods as evidence mounts that ancient droughts in California occurred about 1100 years ago and lasted as long as 220 years and that relatively wet periods like the 20th century have been the exception rather than the rule in California. This information appeared in a New York Times Science article by William K. Stevens on July 19, 1994 and cited work done by Dr. Scott Stine, a paleoclimatologist at California State University at Hayward, who used radiocarbon dating techniques to determine the age of the trees' outermost annual growth rings.
KMUD Weather Watcher, Cheryl Albritton, has suppied the charts and tables of rainfall seen below, and according to Cheryl, "California is set to have 2013 go down as the driest year since 1850. Here is a snapshot of the month of Dec in Humboldt County - 2010 thru 2013. The extreme swings in the pattern of precipitation are readily apparent."
Sat., Jan. 11, 2014 storm rainfall totals, in inches, Humboldt, Mendocino, Del Norte and Trinity Counties.
(Data supplied by Cheryl Albritton.)
The Elk River Watershed (shown in the image below) was heavily logged by Maxxam-owned Pacific Lumber Company and continues to suffer from those past logging practices. The condition of the river which is still plagued by flooding and heavy sedimentation prompted a meeting involving residents of the Elk River Watershed and other stakeholders. Held in Eureka on Sat., Nov, 16, 2013 and hosted by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, the meeting, dubbed the Elk River Forum, was an attempt to look for solutions to this on-going problem. The audio from the forum can be heard using the players below.
Use the player directly below to hear coverage of the Elk River Forum in a piece submitted by Kelly Lincoln and aired by KMUD News anchor Eileen Russell on the Local News, Mon., Nov. 18, 2013.
The map of the Elk River Watershed shown below, was designed by the
Redwood Community Action Agency Natural Resources Services, and appears on their website.
Audio from the forum and the audio descriptions were provided by Kelly Lincoln and can be heard using the players below.
HC Supervisor Rex Bohn defines the goal of the meeting as “working collaboratively to address some of the impacts to the Elk River Watershed.”
Jerry Martien of Friends of the Elk River, describes the issue and the motivations of Friends of the Elk River.
Craig Benson of Redwood Community Action Agency's Natural Resources Division is the day’s moderator. He introduces the topic, the panelists, the speakers and the goals for the meeting. The major point of interest is the sediment and the TMDL (total maximum daily load) released by the NCRWQCB (North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board) in the summer of 2013.
The first speaker of the day was Adonna White who coordinated writing the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the NCRWQCB. In the vernacular of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, when a stream has been determined to be “impacted” by a pollutant, then a measurement of the pollutant is taken and studies are done to determine how much of the pollutant can be allowed and still allow the stream to be moderately healthy. That measurement is called the TMDL. This audio is broken up into Parts 1 and 2 below.
Jack Lewis provided consultant services to the NCRWQCB in its statistical analysis phase. He explains what method he used and the results he obtained which backed the agency’s analysis.
Humboldt Baykeepers gives an overview of the role of the Elk River in providing sediment to the bay. There is a lot that is unknown about the health of the Humboldt Bay.
The forum moderator shows a slide of sediment build up over time.
Jim Robbins, CalFire Forestry Supervisor, explains the rules of forestry, how they are implemented, and that the level of sediment reduction being proposed by the TMDL far surpasses ordinary timber harvest plan control mechanisms for sediment control.
Darren Mierau of CalTrout explains Caltrout’s role in the feasibility study. They have been named the lead agency and are seeking the best possible site to locate the practice trial of physically removing sediment from the channel.
A Registered Professional Forester explains his perspective on the totality of the situation. He puts land-use conflicts into perspective with the statistic of how many board feet annually are not cut due to conflict with urban encroachment on the timberlands.