New science or just spin: science charade in the Delta: Karrigan Bork, Andrew L. Rypel, and Peter Moyle write, “Science-based decision making is key to improved conservation management and a legal mandate in the US Endangered Species Act. Thus supporters of federal efforts to increase water exports from the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) have claimed that these efforts are based on new science. Yet unpacking those claims requires some legal analysis, a basic understanding of science, and more than a little nuanced reading.  First, some background. ... ”  Continue reading at the California Water Blog here:  New science or just spin: science charade in the Delta

NRDC’s response to the Climate Resilient Water Portfolio:  Tracy Quinn writes, “It’s raining in Los Angeles today, but just a few weeks ago parts of California closed out one of the driest Februarys on record. And attention is once again focused on the need for California to figure out how we can ensure safe, sufficient, and affordable water for people and the environment under increasing pressures from climate change, population growth and an economy heavily reliant on availability of water.  While the first draft of the Governor’s Draft Water Resilience Portfolio (Draft Plan) wasn’t the transformational vision many had hoped it would be, there is still time to deliver on a plan that will help us rise to the challenges ahead. Given Governor Newsom’s interest in technology, innovation, and data, and encouragement for stakeholders to think “outside of the box” when crafting recommendations, we are hopeful that the revised plan will go beyond the Water Action Plans of the past to envision a new water paradigm in California. To do so, the new plan will need to include … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: NRDC’s response to the Climate Resilient Water Portfolio

Approvals take 40 years and 40 weeks thanks to environmental perfectionists:  Dennis Wyatt writes, “The Big Guy upstairs was pretty disgusted at what he saw was going on in the Central Valley.  So he called on his loyal servant, Noah to build him a Land Ark.  “What for?” Noah asked.  “I need you to ferry my creatures out of the valley so I can start anew by having it rain for 40 days and 40 nights,” the Big Guy replied.  “Wouldn’t it be easy just to let the California Department of Water Resources continue doing what it’s doing in the name of flood control?” Noah responded. “Give them time and they’ll do your work.” … ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: Approvals take 40 years and 40 weeks thanks to environmental perfectionists

Moving forward with modern science and smart management- biological opinions in 2020:  The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “One thing all Californians know for certain is that our current system of managing water isn’t working for anyone.  Over the past decade, struggling fish populations have continued to decline, farms have been forced to fallow land, and cities and towns face ever-tightening restrictions.  Meanwhile, endless lawsuits tie up progress in court, further locking our failing system into place.  In an effort to break the policy logjam, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently updated federal biological opinions (BiOps) which are rules that exist to protect endangered, and threatened species in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region while also meeting the water supply needs of Californian’s farms, businesses and our people. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here: Moving Forward With Modern Science and Smart Management- Biological Opinions in 2020

Delta Defenders calls for pause in Delta tunnel stakeholder engagement process:  “The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA) has been conducting Delta stakeholder engagement for the Department of Water Resources (DWR) with respect to the engineering design for the Delta Conveyance / Delta tunnel, with meetings of the Delta Stakeholder Engagement Committee every two weeks.  About a third of the DCA Delta Stakeholder Engagement Committee members were unable to attend the Wednesday, March 11 meeting. Yet at the end of the meeting, Sarah Palmer, the Chair of the committee, announced that the next committee meeting would be held on March 25, as previously scheduled. The DCA website now states that “DCA Board meetings and Stakeholder Engagement Meetings will be accessible through video, phone or live (we will still set up a location where the public and SEC members can join.)” ... ”  Read more from Delta Defenders here: Delta Defenders calls for pause in Delta tunnel stakeholder engagement process

Hydropower Reform Coalition opposes weakening of federal environmental review:  Chris Shutes writes, “The Hydropower Reform Coalition submitted comments on March 10, 2020 in opposition to proposed changes to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Coalition’s comments state that the proposed new NEPA rule would make analysis worse and would harm the environment.  Analysis under NEPA is required whenever there is an action by a federal agency that may have impacts on the environment, including the issuance of permits and licenses. The Trump administration’s Council on Environmental Quality issued the proposed new rule for NEPA in January 2020. ... ”  Read more from the CSPA blog here: Hydropower Reform Coalition opposes weakening of federal environmental review

Scientists must learn how to interact with Indigenous people:  Daniel Henryk Rasolt writes, “Last February, Jesus Rotieroke and I sat together chewing on our thoughts (in the form of coca-based mambe) after spending a sweltering day in the family chagra harvesting cassava and plantains. A leader of the Muina Murui of the Colombian Amazon, Rotieroke had a thing or two to say to me, a U.S.-trained physicist looking to learn from and support his traditional community, about the role science plays in his world.  “We welcome anyone with occidental training who respects our rights, listens to our needs, and helps us adapt to threats happening in and around our territory,” he told me.  The take-home message was clear: An alliance between integrated science and traditional knowledge can help reshape our understanding and treatment of the natural world. But to make the most of the powerful potential of such interdisciplinary and intercultural collaboration, the “Western World” must learn how to more effectively and respectfully interact with traditional Indigenous people and value their complex knowledge and understanding. ”  Read more from Ensia here: Scientists must learn how to interact with Indigenous people

Another OID water scheme revealed:  Eric Caine writes, “At least three of Oakdale Irrigation District’s (OID) directors seemed reluctant to pursue local water sales during their March 3 meeting. Though they had committed to develop a plan for delivering water to local buyers outside the district the last July, directors Herman Doornenbal, Brad DeBoer, and Tom Orvis seemed to be having second thoughts about following through on the program.  When audience members reminded the board some had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on infrastructure improvements to facilitate delivery of water they thought would soon be forthcoming, the directors still waffled. Their most common concern was that they might not have enough water to follow through on deliveries every year for five years. ... ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Another OID water scheme revealed

An emerging threat to conservation: fear of nature: John R Platt writes, “What do we lose when natural spaces and species disappear?  Increasingly, research has shown that as species and ecosystems vanish, it also chips away at our ability to preserve what remains — because we no longer understand what we’re losing.  You probably see it all the time. The neighbor who puts pesticides on his lawn rather than deal with pesky bees. The kid who squirms and runs at the sight of a harmless garter snake slithering through the grass. The politician who votes against wildlife protection because she’s never seen a wolf in the wild. The corporation that wants to bulldoze the habitat of a rare frog, but frogs are gross, so who cares, right? … ”  Read more from The Revelator here: An emerging threat to conservation: fear of nature

Featured image credit: Bald eagle with two eggs in nest, from the live eagle cam at Friends of Big Bear Valley.


About the Blog Round-up: The Blog Round-up is a weekly journey through the wild and varied tapestry of blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet. Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily my own; inclusion of items here does not imply my endorsement of their positions. Items are chosen to express a wide range of viewpoints, and are added at the editor’s discretion. While posts with obvious factual errors are excluded, please note that no attempt is made on my part to verify or fact check the information bloggers present, so caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

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