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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.

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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From Our Media Allies

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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.

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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.

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• 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

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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 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 United States seal. United States   (06/11/2024)

Villa Nueva Interservices LLC Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in "Arepas LA Mejor" 25 oz Bags of Arepa de Choclo /Chocolo

Villa Nueva Interservices LLC. in Lake Worth, FL is recalling "Arepas LA Mejor" 25 oz bags of Arepa de Choclo /Chocolo because it contains undeclared milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to Milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these pro
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/10/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Southwestern Style Salad Bowls With Chicken Due To Misbranding And Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for a salad product labeled as Bistro Grande...
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/10/2024)

Classic Delight LLC Issues Public Health Alert Due to Possible Health Risk

Classic Delight LLC, a St. Mary's, OH firm is voluntarily recalling a limited number of individually wrapped sandwiches due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/07/2024)

Green Life Farms Issues Voluntary Recall of Baby Arugula Because of Possible Health Risk

Lake Worth, FL (June 7, 2024) - Green Life Farms is voluntarily recalling one lot of its 4-ounce containers of Baby Arugula because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Symptoms of Salmonella may include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Illness usually occurs within 12 t
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/07/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Frozen Ready-To-Eat Bao Curry Chicken Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for product labeled as bao Thai-style curry chicken...
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/04/2024)

New Seasons Market Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Almonds in Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart

June 4, 2024, New Seasons Market of Portland, Oregon is recalling Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart, because it contains undeclared almond. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to almond run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/04/2024)

South American Meat Inc. Recalls Frozen Raw Beef Products Imported Without Benefit of Import Reinspection

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2024 - South American Meat Inc., also known as 5Gogi LLC, an importer located in Commerce, Calif., is recalling approximately 20,111 pounds of various eligible frozen raw...
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/03/2024)

UBC Food Distributors Recalls Baraka Brand Ground Black Pepper Spice Because of Possible Health Risk Announcement

UBC Food Distributors in Dearborn Michigan is recalling the Ground Black Pepper under the Baraka brand name in 7oz plastic containers 7oz * 10 With UPC code 8 22514 26626 6 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infect