View in Browser Our Journalism Needs Your Support Please Donate Today

Ad for the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

 

California Local Logo
Graphic which spells out The Newsletter.


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.


California Local logo

Santa Cruz County's Homepage

Direct your browser to https://santacruz.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Santa Cruz 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


Impact Report Image for decorative use


Get to Know a Group

Downtown Association of Santa Cruz logo Downtown Association of Santa Cruz

The Downtown Association’s goal is to manage and promote business operations in Santa Cruz’s downtown district, in order to sustain downtown as a unique and economically viable business, entertainment, social and cultural center.

→ Learn more

California Media Alliance logo

From Our Media Allies

→ View All
The Pajaronian logo Prison in Paradise; Santa Cruz County Jail Criticized in Annual Grand Jury Review

Lack of staff and programs, improper usage of facilities, and mistreatment of inmates, including the mentally ill, were all found during the report.

Santa Cruz Local logo Inside the Plan to Expand Downtown Santa Cruz

A new draft of Santa Cruz’s downtown expansion plan calls for buildings up to eight stories and wider sidewalks south of Laurel Street, as well as a permanent, larger Kaiser Permanente Arena for the Santa Cruz Warriors basketball team.

The Pajaronian logo New Medallions Honor History in Memorial Park

Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti has created two mosaic medallions for the City of Watsonville, which were installed recently at Memorial Park, located at the confluence of Freedom Boulevard and Main Street.

The Pajaronian logo Annual Homeless Census Shows Positive Trends, With Bad News

After Santa Cruz County last year saw a drop in the numbers of unhoused people, the numbers this year from the annual Point In Time count conducted in January stayed mostly static.

The Pajaronian logo Fully Restored Castro Adobe Ready for Visitors

It was 17 years ago that a group of volunteers began to restore the Rancho San Andreas Castro Adobe, a structure whose endurance over its 176-year lifespan helps paint a picture of California history.

Press Banner logo First-Ever Pitch in All Santa Cruz Cleanup Event Removes 1,500 Pounds of Litter

The May 11 first-ever Pitch In All Santa Cruz Cleanup Event had a significant community impact, with more than 30 organizations and 431 individuals holding cleanups from Davenport to the Pajaro Valley, including the cities of Scotts Valley, Capitola, Santa …

Santa Cruz Local logo How Many Unhoused People Have Found Homes in Santa Cruz County?

There have been about 1,800 to 2,300 unhoused people in Santa Cruz County in recent years, and at least 1,000 people each year have found housing through city, county and nonprofit programs, according to county records.

Santa Cruz Local logo Psychiatrists, Firefighters Are Top Earning Santa Cruz County Public Employees

The top 10 employees each earned more than $329,000 excluding benefits, and the top earner was paid $404,298, according to records.

KSQD logo The Scoop on Ethnic Studies, in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District and Beyond

On this episode of Talk of the Bay with Meilin Obinata, we will learn about the evolution of Ethnic Studies, statewide and locally.

Good Times logo Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is called the crown jewel of the California State Parks system. Landscape painter Francis McComas called it “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world.” Some 600,000 people a year come here, so …

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.

The Pajaronian logo New County Government Center Open for Business

Three years after the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted to purchase the former West Marine building on Westridge Drive, a convergence of city and county officials gathered at the site Tuesday to celebrate its new incarnation.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo Mountain Biking Santa Cruz County’s San Vicente Redwoods

Newish MTB-accessible trails wind through carefully protected wildlife habitat and thoughtful interpretive exhibits in the footprint of the CZU fire.

  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Local News

→ View All

• COVID Cases Increase in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County Health Department officials note a spike in local COVID cases.

(06/17/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Live Oak Affordable Apartments Completed

On May 29, MidPen Housing celebrated the completion of the 57-unit affordable apartments on Capitola Road in Live Oak adjacent to the Santa Cruz Community Health and Dientes Community Dental Care clinics.

(06/15/2024) → Times Publishing Group

• Santa Cruz County 2024 Farmer of the Year Named

The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau announced the 2024 Farmer of the Year is Janet Webb, president of Big Creek Lumber.

(06/14/2024) → Times Publishing Group

• Santa Cruz City Budget Approved

In its June 11 meeting, the Santa Cruz City Council approved the 2024-2025 budget of $423 million.

(06/13/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• New Superintendent Appointed for Live Oak School District

In their June 12 meeting, the Live Oak School School District Board of Trustees appointed Patrick Sánchez as the new Superintendent with a 1-year contract.

(06/13/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Great White Sharks Return to Santa Cruz

Young Great White sharks are convening in the warm waters of Soquel Cove off Seacliff State Beach between Capitola and Rio Del Mar.

(06/13/2024) → SF Gate

• Mental Health Care at County Jail Criticized

The Santa Cruz County Civil Grand Jury released a report critical of mental health services provided at the county jail.

(06/11/2024) → Lookout Local

• Report Finds County Roads "Deplorable"

The Santa Cruz County Civil Grand Jury released a report on the state of the 586 miles of county-maintained roads, finding them inadequately funded and maintained.

(06/10/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

→ View All

• 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
  California Local Pin Marker  

Government Announcements

→ View All
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (06/17/2024)

6/17/2024 - 'Summer Love’ Pet Adoption Special (Save a life and change yours for the better!)

Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (06/14/2024)

Summer of professional learning and growth opportunities!

ed.PATH June Newsletter! The Santa Cruz Classified Employee Grant (SCCEG) Program has a new IHE partner! We have recently added San Jose State University to our roster for the grant program, and earlier this month SJSU became the first program in the state to be authorized to offer the new PK-3 credential. In the newsletter, [...] The post Summer of …
Image of City of Capitola seal. City of Capitola   (06/13/2024)

Plein Air--Contact Us

Contact Us This event is presented by the Capitola Art & Cultural Commission. For inquiries about the Capitola Plein Air event please use this form to send our committee a message. capitolapleinair@ci.capitola.ca.us Return to Home Page You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. Name * email address * Comment *
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (06/13/2024)

June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Month (Resources Available to Support Older Adults Experiencing Abuse)

Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (06/12/2024)

Candidate Information Night

Image of City of Scotts Valley seal. City of Scotts Valley   (06/12/2024)

June Park Passport

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...
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/12/2024)

Bonneval Foods, LLC Recalls Barbecue Pork Skin Product Due To Misbranding And Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2024 - Bonneval Foods, LLC, a Gonzales, La. establishment, is recalling all barbecue pork skin product that is currently available in commerce due to misbranding and undeclared...
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (06/12/2024)

6/12/2024 - Preliminary 2024 Point-In-Time Count (Reveals Sustained Progress and Areas of Concern)

Image of City of Scotts Valley seal. City of Scotts Valley   (06/11/2024)

SV Garden Faire Postponed