DAILY DIGEST: Better forecasts ahead for western weather and natural disasters; Illicit marijuana grows decimate western wildlife; Areas America should abandon first;

In California water news today, Better forecasts ahead for western weather and natural disasters; Illicit marijuana grows decimate western wildlife; Why the Rialto water district is building a different type of perchlorate-eating plant; Areas America should abandon first; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The legislature reconvenes at 1pm today.

In the news today …

Better forecasts ahead for western weather and natural disasters:  “A new satellite parked 22,000 miles (35,000km) over the United States promises to deliver better storm forecasting for California and other Western states plagued by drought, floods and other weather extremes.  The GOES-R satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on Nov. 19. It is the first in a new generation of weather satellites that will be able to scan the planet five times faster and offer four times better imaging resolution than the current technology.  The new imagery offered by GOES-R (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series) will be like switching from black-and-white TV to high definition, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Better forecasts ahead for Western weather and natural disasters

Illicit marijuana grows decimate western wildlife:  “Tony Magarrell isn’t very relaxed for someone who just spent a week in the lush backcountry canyons of Lassen National Forest, 165 miles northwest of Reno.  Magarrell, a special agent for the U.S. Forest Service, wasn’t there to enjoy roaring waterfalls or abundant wildlife. He was cleaning up yet another illicit marijuana operation, a job that gives him a front-row seat to environmental wreckage most people will never see.  “This site has pretty much taken over the whole drainage out here,” said Magarrell of the 60-acre site that yielded about 6,000 pounds of trash, much of it in the form of hazardous chemicals. “It’s been a long week.” … ”  Read more from the Reno Gazette Journal here:  Illicit marijuana grows decimate western wildlife

Why the Rialto water district is building a different type of perchlorate-eating plant:  “Having made environmental clean-up history with a specialized plant that breaks apart perchlorate using bacteria, management at West Valley Water District is now focused on creating another type of plant to attack this harmful water pollutant.  In November, WVWD made history by being the first in the country to deliver treated water to customers after using microbes to break down perchlorate from a contaminated well. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Why the Rialto water district is building a different type of perchlorate-eating plant

Areas America should abandon first:  ” … So far this year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent $1.1 billion on what are called Individual Assistance payments, which help households recover from natural disasters. There are no limits on the number of times a household can apply, so the program isn’t just a safety net; for some people, it’s effectively a subsidy to live in areas that are especially vulnerable to hurricanes, floods and storm surges.  … But as extreme weather gets worse, those federal subsidies will only become more expensive — increasing the need to rethink government support for those who choose to live in harm’s way. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg View here:  Areas America should abandon first

In commentary today …

Would the LA Times like some facts with that Kool-Aid?  Mike Dunbar writes, “In reading a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times, we just about choked on our Cheerios.  One of our nation’s truly great newspapers, with inspiring editorial writers, the Times noted that California is more than merely lines on a map. Invoking the “California condor, the giant sequoia, the golden trout,” the writer implied that farmers in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties have lost sight of what it means to be Californians. Since we’re all in this state together, folks living around here should be happy to give up more of the water that flows through our communities to save salmon. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Would the LA Times like some facts with that Kool-Aid?

State’s river flow plan flawed on many levels, say Steve Knell and Peter Reitkerk:  They write, “Visionary investments in dams, canals and facilities made generations ago by local farmers have allowed our two irrigation districts – Oakdale and South San Joaquin – to have the most senior position for water rights on the Stanislaus River, rights that date back to 1853. Today, we provide irrigation water to more than 120,000 acres in two counties. SSJID also delivers clean, affordable drinking water to three cities. Together, our agencies have been responsible stewards of the river and its resources.  That stewardship is cemented in our commitment to the river itself. … ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here:  State’s river flow plan flawed on many levels

Using dog whistles to stir up opposition to drainage deal:  Johnny Amaral writes,Mark Arax just can’t help himself. In his article, “Desert and farm, water drainage and a new deal in the Central Valley” (Forum, Nov. 27), he uses all the dog whistles he has in his memory bank to stir up opponents of farming in California.  First, there’s the name calling, describing Westlands Water District as the “whale.” Is there a similar word for the tech or entertainment industries that also fuel the California economy? ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Using dog whistles to stir up opposition to drainage deal

Will California ever let its forests burn?  Andrew Revkin writes,In this centennial year of the National Park System, it’s been encouraging to see management of the western components of this remarkable ecological patrimony shifting ever so slowly toward incorporating knowledge of natural cycles of fire in maintaining forest health. For forests in California’s Sierra Nevada, particularly, a dangerous and ecologically disruptive “fire deficit” has been built through generations of land policies fixated on fire suppression.  In early June, I was fortunate to see an all-too-rare prescribed burn while spending several days in Kings Canyon National Park, mainly at a fascinating workshop hosted by the University of Illinois law and philosophy program focused on the evolving meanings of both “wilderness” and “wildness” on a planet increasingly shaped by humans. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  Will California ever let its forests burn?

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Fall snow, rains have ‘satisfied the drought debt’ in NorCal, climatologist says; CA will use aerial images to sharpen lens on water conservation; Modesto may hire lawyers to challenge Tuolomune River plan; and more …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

 

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