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Yolo County Environment Digest

Part of Highway 1 Near Big Sur Crumbles as New Landslide Closes More of Historic Roadway


Highway 1 is closed indefinitely from Palo Colorado Road to Rocky Creek Bridge, the California Department of Transportation said on social media after a new landslide eroded part of the roadway.

Salmon Populations Are Struggling, Bringing Economic Woes for California's Fishing Fleet


Captains of fishing boats on the California coast are bracing for salmon fishing to be severely restricted — or possibly canceled for a second year.

Feds Propose Killing Nearly 500,000 'Invasive' Owls to Save Calif. Native Owls


The goal is to eliminate habitat competition between "invasive" owls and native owls.

You Might Spot a Mountain Lion in California, but Attacks Like the One That Killed a Man Are Rare


If hikers, bikers, campers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts haven't encountered a mountain lion while in the California wilderness, they might know somebody who has.

Alan G. Sieroty, Former State Senator Who Helped Create the Coastal Commission, Dies at 93


Sieroty, of Beverly Hills, served as a state Assembly member and senator, championing disability rights and efforts to protect California's coast.

California Unlikely to Meet Landmark Goals for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions


California will miss its goals unless it can increase emission reductions threefold, according to a new study.

Woodland Volunteers Plant 80 Trees for Arbor Day


80 shade trees at Crawford, Tredway and Traynham Parks were planted by dozens of volunteers Saturday morning in Woodland as part of the "city of trees" Arbor Day celebration.

Four Tribes in California Receive Federal Funds to Boost Access to Electricity


For many living on the Yurok Tribe’s reservation, which lies in and around Humboldt County, access to electricity has been spotty for years — if that access has existed at all. 

Wildfires Are Killing California’s Ancient Giants. Can Seedlings Save the Species?


Ecologists estimate that up to 14,000 sequoias have been killed in recent wildfires. The National Park Service for the first time has begun replanting some severely burned areas.

After Heavy Storms, Death Valley Is Now Open to Kayakers


A temporary lake in Death Valley National Park doubled after recent rains and is now deep enough to launch a kayak. Prior to August, ghostly Lake Manly hadn’t appeared in 19 years.

How Are Atmospheric Rivers Affected by Climate Change?


Atmospheric rivers are well-known weather phenomena along the West Coast. But the intensity of recent atmospheric rivers is almost certainly affected by human-caused climate change.

Some Experts Are Proposing a Category 6 Storm Rating


A handful of super powerful tropical storms in the last decade and the prospect of more to come has a couple of experts proposing a new category of whopper hurricanes: Category 6.

The Terrifying Forces That Created a California Monster Storm


The storm fed off of unusually warm waters as it grew. It also reached “bomb cyclone” status as it neared California.

City of Davis Begins Transition to Ban Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers


During the Davis City Council meeting, the council approved a motion to create a progression plan that will eventually ban gas-powered leaf blowers and small off-road engines.

Imperiled Monarch Butterflies Cling to Survival in California


Monarch butterflies have a long way to go before reaching stable population numbers.

A Fire Burning Inside an L.A. County Landfill is Raising Alarms Over Toxic Air


As an underground fire burns deep within Chiquita Canyon Landfill, air regulators are raising alarms over the possible spread of toxic vapors.

Scientists Debunk California Biblical-Storm Hysteria Swirling on Internet


What is an ARkStorm and why is everyone talking about it on social media right now?

‘Hot Droughts’ Are Becoming More Common in the Arid West, New Study Finds


Take a period of limited rainfall. Add heat. And you have what scientists call a “hot drought”—dry conditions made more intense by the evaporative power of hotter temperatures.

Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History Begins


The removal entered a critical phase with the lowering of dammed reservoirs on the Klamath River. “This is historic and life-changing,” tribal attorney Amy Cordalis said. “And it means that the Yurok people have a future.”

Yolo Audubon Offers Lecture Set for Jan. 17


The public is invited to join Yolo Audubon on Jan. 17 at the Davis Senior Center. The speakers will be Kevin Hunting of the American Kestrel Parentship and John McNerney, a city of Davis wildlife resource specialist.

Climate Change Might Lessen Bay Area Fog


The Bay Area’s fog is iconic. But the latest episode of KQED podcast “Bay Curious” looks at how climate change could reduce the number of foggy days in the area.

WWII-Era Dump Site Found Off LA Coast


Munition boxes, depth charges and smoke floats have been found 3,000 feet underwater off the coast of Los Angeles. More than 100 square miles of ocean might be contaminated.

Snow Shortage Followed by Potential Whiteout in Sierras


Heavy snow is projected in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Previously, warmer storms had been bringing precipitation mainly to higher elevations in the Sierras.

The Chickadee in the Snowbank


Research shows that a mountain chickadee facing deep snow is like a canary in a coal mine—its survivability tells us about the challenges ahead.

Bright Blue Waves Return to Southern California


Bright blue waves have been spotted in Long Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach. The bioluminescence is caused by organisms known as dinoflagellates and can impact fish populations.

Sierra Snowpack at 25% of Usual Levels


The California Department of Water Resources has found that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is at just 25% of normal levels for this time of year. This could potentially impact water supply and wildfire protection.

Collisions With Buildings Are Killing Millions of Birds Nationwide


A dark-sky movement to save birds from window strikes is sweeping the San Francisco Bay Area. Several cities have passed or are drafting laws restricting light pollution while making windows easier for birds to see.

How Gruesome Seal Deaths on the California Coast Revealed a Surprise Predator


Sarah Grimes investigates reports of dead marine mammals up and down the coast. So when she began finding the decapitated bodies of harbor seal pups just a few miles north of Fort Bragg in 2016, she was on the case. Grimes wasn’t able to pin down the culprit until last year, with the help of a UCSC student.

Tribe Acquires Vast Land in Northern California, Will Remove Dams


The Hoopa Valley Tribe announced it is acquiring about 10,000 acres of land in Northern California for $14.1 million. As part of this, the tribe will remove dams along the Klamath River and restore salmon runs.

Single Delta Tunnel Wins Approval from State


The California Department of Water Resources has approved building a tunnel between the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The approval could signal a new wave of legal challenges to the long-running and controversial project.

Kern County Is Poised to Become Warehousing’s Next Frontier


Farmland is being rezoned for industrial use, and massive warehouses are being built on spec near communities like Buttonwillow and Shafter, so goods coming through the Southern California ports can be shipped quickly throughout the western United States.

Ranchers, Tribes Clash Over Water, Salmon Ahead of Sweeping New Irrigation Regulations


Salmon populations in the Scott and Shasta rivers have crashed, so state officials are about to restrict irrigation again. And the controversial rules may even become permanent.

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