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By Eric Johnson
Published Jun 17, 2024

The Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, aka the California Delta, is one of the largest estuaries on the West Coast, and supplies the state with two-thirds of its water. The Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, aka the California Delta, is one of the largest estuaries on the West Coast, and supplies the state with two-thirds of its water. Image credit: Jeffrey T. Kreulen, Shutterstock

Californians Saving Trees and Water

Happy Monday, Localistas! As spring gives way to summer, and most of the state gets hotter and dryer, we bring you some water news that you might find refreshing.

Before we get to that, I want to bring you some agriculture news that you might find surprising.

Down in Santa Cruz this week, the Farm Bureau awarded its Farmer of the Year award to Janet Webb, president of Big Creek Lumber. If you’re curious as to why the head of a lumber company is receiving an honor set aside for farmers, it’s likely because of the way Big Creek has been doing business in the redwood forests north of Santa Cruz since 1946.

Big Creek Lumber pioneered sustainable tree harvesting practices from the moment the company was founded by Janet’s father, Frank “Lud” McCrary, his big brother Homer “Bud” McCrary, and their father and uncle. I got to hear that story from the McCrary brothers themselves while working on a chapter for the Journal of the Santa Cruz Historical Society titled “Redwood Logging and Conservation in the Santa Cruz Mountains—A Split History.” 

As Lud explained it to me in 2013, his family chose to log their land selectively and carefully out of enlightened self interest. They made their homes and raised their families in the mountains they worked, and understood that if they clear-cut the place—a practice that, sadly, was common throughout California at the time—they would ultimately be out of business. Beyond that, they had an intrinsic respect for the land.

Over the course of several months, I spent many enjoyable hours with Lud, touring the company’s property while he explained the logic and the mechanics of their operation. He was 85 years old at that time, driving an old pickup with a chainsaw in the truckbed in case he encountered a downed tree on the road, and he took me to see some of his favorite old redwoods—magnificent trees that his fallers had spared. Lud passed away last year at 95.

Hanging out with this old logger, and witnessing his work, reinforced an understanding that I’d developed over many years of environmental reporting, which is that human beings, in our quest to make a living and provide the resources necessary for civilization, do not need to leave devastation in our wake.

Which brings us to water. 

(And lest I forget—our book tells the truth about California that the dark-minded cynics don't want you to know: Here's how to empower yourself as a citizen AND support local journalism: Find How California Works on Amazonavailable in hardcover, softcover and digital (Kindle). )


Big Plans to Fix the Water Shortage

You are no doubt aware that California’s water shortage is creating profound problems— this has been a terrible truth, here and throughout the West, for decades. You may not know in recent years, your state government has been working on solutions. Can we develop the water resources needed to keep our economy alive without wreaking environmental havoc?


The Future of Water in California

Completed in 1967, with a storage capacity of about 2 million acre feet, the San Luis Reservoir is the fifth largest in California. Work is already underway to add an additional 130,000 acre feet of capacity.
State water planners are preparing for a hotter and drier climate in the coming years.


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Direct your browser to https://sacramento.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Sacramento County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Spring! cookbook.


A fool for Father’s Day: No-cook summer dessert easy enough for kids

This cool and pretty dessert is called a "fool" but the ease of making it is no joke.
Recipe: Fresh raspberry fool with a rosy twist


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Aging UP logo Aging UP

Aging Up’s mentor program empowers and serves youths who have experienced foster care and helps them transition into adulthood.

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From Our Media Allies

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Sacramento News and Review logo Dream.Org Comes to Sacramento

Dream.Org, a national organization based in Oakland, was founded as the Dream Corps in 2007 by entrepreneur-activist Van Jones with the goal of reaching across political divides to bring justice, and environmental and technological change to underrepresented populations.

Folsom Telegraph logo City Council Approves Agreement With Toll Brothers in Folsom Ranch

The Folsom City Council on Tuesday approved an infrastructure payment agreement with Folsom Ranch developer Toll Brothers for Phase 3 of the project.

Folsom Telegraph logo Folsom Community Turns Out to Learn More About Improvement Plan

There were questions, concerns and a lot of excitement expressed at a recent public open house for the River District Master Plan, an ambitious project that would enhance a six-mile stretch of land along the American River and Lake Natoma.

Folsom Times logo Future Steams Ahead for Folsom’s Iconic Scale Train Attraction

The Folsom City Council approved resolution to transfer operating agreement to new buyer, operator in their June 11 meeting.

San Jose Spotlight logo San Jose Lawmaker Introduces Bill Requiring Automatic Recounts

After a controversial congressional recount spurred by dark money, one lawmaker is introducing a bill to mandate automatic recounts for statewide elections with tight margins.

Rancho Cordova Grapevine Independent logo Walkers’ Safety, Traffic Flow Addressed

Items Discussed at the June 3 Rancho Cordova City Council regular meeting included the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program.

Rancho Cordova Grapevine Independent logo Council Shares Economic Development Strategic Plan

Officials engaged in a pivotal discussion with TIP Strategies, Inc., a consultancy firm specializing in economic development, during a June 3 Rancho Cordova City Council special meeting.

Rancho Cordova Grapevine Independent logo Micro Masterpiece Event Raises Over $16,000

Rancho Cordova Arts raised more than $16,000 for teachers and students through its recent annual Micro Masterpieces event which ran from June 3 through June 8.

Carmichael Times logo Birds and Mosquito Test Positive for West Nile Virus

On June 10, the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed that the first mosquito sample of the season has tested positive for West Nile virus.

Carmichael Times logo Invasive Fruit Fly Quarantine Lifted in Sacramento County

The California Department of Food and Agriculture declared the end of the Oriental fruit fly quarantine in Sacramento County following the eradication of the invasive pest.

Carmichael Times logo ART and Fun at Effie Yeaw Gala

By June tradition, a gala and art auction hosted more than 200 guests in the Effie Yeaw Nature Center last weekend. Supporters of the beloved Carmichael nonprofit organization wined, dined and opened wallets to purchase art and cultural experiences.

Folsom Times logo Report: Folsom Sees Highest Rise in Homelessness Countywide

The latest edition of the Point in Time Count report was released in June for Sacramento County and the communities within it, detailing the current amount of homeless residents across the region, as well as critical data about that population.

Folsom Times logo CAL FIRE Suspends Burn Permits Across Sacramento, El Dorado Counties

Fire officials have announced the suspensions of burn permits across the areas of Sacramento and El Dorado Counties, as well as Amador and San Joaquin Counties.

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Recent Local News

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• American River High Rise Project Can Proceed

The Sacramento Planning and Design Commission has approved moving forward with the American River One project to build 827 apartment units on Bercut Drive.

(06/14/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

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The Sacramento County Civil Grand Jury released a report on June 14 finding the safety of foster youth was not prioritized.

(06/14/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Permanent Homeless Shelter Studied in Elk Grove

In their June 12 meeting, the Elk Grove City Council were presented a staff report on future homeless shelter options.

(06/13/2024) → Elk Grove Laguna News

• Sacramento Regional Tranisit Free Student Program Extended

Funding has been secured to continue the Sacramento Regional Transit RydeFreeRT program for local K-12 students.

(06/11/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Free Lunches for K-12 Through August 9

The Lunch at the Library is offering free meals for kids K-12 at 14 locations throughout Sacramento County.

(06/11/2024) → Rio Linda Messenger

• Grand Jury Report on Stockton City Council Released

The San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury released a report detailing Brown Act violations and a hostile work environment at City Hall fostered in coordination with the controversial 209 Times
website.

(06/11/2024) → CapPublicRadio
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Recent Statewide News

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• These Cities Have a New Tactic to Evade California Housing Laws. Legal Experts Are Dubious

A recent court ruling exempted five charter cities from a controversial housing law. That’s given anti-density advocates across California an idea.

(06/17/2024) → CalMatters

• Active Fire Season Forecasted

With multiple fires already burning in the state, forecasters predict the coming fire season will be "very active."

(06/17/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• In Rain, Snow and Drought, California’s Fights Over Water Rights, Supplies Persist

Legal rights to use water — particularly those obtained prior to 1914 — lie at the heart of California’s perpetual wrangling over the allocation of increasingly limited water supplies.

(06/17/2024) → CalMatters

• Will This Plan Fix CA Home Insurance Crisis?

Tens of thousands of California homeowners, especially those who live in areas at risk of wildfires, have lost their insurance or have to pay more to keep coverage. One after another, major companies have pulled out of the state, many citing the cost of claims.

(06/13/2024) → CalMatters

• These California Dams Need Repairs. But Newsom Plans to Cut Grants in Half

Aiming to store more water and protect the public, legislators are negotiating with the governor to restore $50 million to help repair 42 aging dams throughout the state.

(06/12/2024) → CalMatters

• California Forever Ballot Measure Qualifies for Solano Ballot

On June 11, Solano County elections officials announced the verification of necessary signatures for the California Forever sponsored initiative to amend the county General Plan to be on the November ballot.

(06/11/2024) → CapPublicRadio
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/14/2024)

City seeks community input on LGBTQ+ heritage preservation

The City of Sacramento has made significant progress on the LGBTQ+ Historic Experience Project, an initiative aimed at documenting and preserving the rich history of the LGBTQ+ community in Sacramento. The Draft LGBTQ+ Historic Context Statement is now available for public review, and the City is asking the community to provide input on this document [...] The post City seeks …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/14/2024)

It’s the season for cutting tall, dry weeds to avoid fires. Here’s what you need to know

Warm weather has arrived in Sacramento and with it comes a reminder to eliminate tall, dry weeds growing in vacant lots and properties. This routine maintenance is crucial to the safety of our neighborhoods and is required by City ordinance, said Senior Code Enforcement Officer John Sorrels. There are currently over 3,000 weed abatement cases open [...] The post Its …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/14/2024)

City offering free compost to residents for yard and garden fertilization

The City of Sacramento now is offering free compost to residents to help enhance soil fertility and promote sustainable practices. This program aligns with California State Senate Bill 1383‘s mandate to lower greenhouse gas emissions by recycling organic waste. The compost provided stems from the organic material collected weekly from homes through the Citys curbside [...] The post City offering …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/13/2024)

Roger Niello CA Senate 06:
Republican Senators blast budget bill as 'irresponsible and unrealistic'

Republican Senators blast budget bill as 'irresponsible and unrealistic' dimmital Thu, 06/13/2024 - 11:24
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/13/2024)

Sacramento receives $850,000 federal grant for childcare expansion

The Sacramento City Council has approved the acceptance of an $850,000 grant from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) aimed at expanding infant and toddler care. The funding will support various initiatives designed to enhance childcare capacity and provide technical assistance to local providers. "This is a monumental step forward in our City's efforts [...] The post Sacramento receives …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/13/2024)

Splash and swim for $1 at City pools on June 15 and 16

The Citys Department of Youth, Parks, & Community Enrichment is kicking off summer at Sacramento public pools, with 15 facilities set to be open June 15. To celebrate, the City will host a Summer Kickoff Weekend June 15 and 16 with $1 admission at neighborhood pools. We are excited to welcome Sacramento families back to our [...] The post Splash …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/12/2024)

Data Report: How the City responded to homelessness June 3-9

The City of Sacramento has released its weekly progress report for the Citys Incident Management Team responding to homelessness. From June 3-9, the City of Sacramento received 728 calls to 311 customer service related to unsheltered individuals. Through the work of the IMT, 712 calls were closed, meaning that either the issue was remedied, compliance was achieved, [...] The post …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/12/2024)

City approves funding to add more permanent housing units at Central Sacramento Studios

The Sacramento City Council this week approved a $7.8 million loan to expand Central Sacramento Studios, a permanent supportive housing complex at 11th and H streets downtown, with a new five-story building. Opened in November in the former Best Western Sutter House motel, Central Sacramento Studios includes 92 units occupied by formerly homeless residents. The [...] The post City approves …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/12/2024)

Roger Niello CA Senate 06:
Legislative Republicans Join Law Enforcement & Advocates to Stand up for Public Safety

Legislative Republicans Join Law Enforcement & Advocates to Stand up for Public Safety dimmital Wed, 06/12/2024 - 10:02
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/12/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Not-Ready-To-Eat Pork And Beef Bacon Products Due to Sodium Nitrite Levels in Excess of Regulatory Limit

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for not-ready-to-eat pork and beef bacon products due...