Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, WildlifeTags Leave a comment on Sierra a 'living lab' for climate change

Sierra a 'living lab' for climate change

Tracie Cone, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST — In parts of California’s Sierra Nevada, marshy meadows are going dry, wildflowers are blooming earlier and glaciers are melting into ice fields.

Scientists also are predicting the optimal temperature zone for giant sequoias will rise hundreds and hundreds of feet, leaving trees at risk of dying over the next 100 years.

As indicators point toward a warming climate, scientists across 4 million acres of federally protected land are noting changes affecting everything from the massive trees that can grow to more than two-dozen feet across to the tiny, hamsterlike pika. But what the changes mean and whether humans should do anything to intervene are sources of disagreement among land managers.

via Sierra a 'living lab' for climate change – San Jose Mercury News.

Posted on Categories Land UseTags , Leave a comment on Sebastopol vineyard conversion cleanup begins

Sebastopol vineyard conversion cleanup begins

Matt Brown, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Work is underway to repair the environmental damage done during a controversial orchard-to-vineyard conversion project near Sebastopol, winemaker Paul Hobbs said.

The county shut down the Watertrough Road project last month after inspectors found that bay laurel and blackberry bushes were removed illegally from a protected zone above a creek and that erosion-control measures were not in place.

Biologists have been to the property to assess the damage and formulate a plan to fix it, Hobbs said.

via Sebastopol vineyard conversion cleanup begins | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Forests, Land UseTags Leave a comment on Harsher penalties sought for illegal pot farmers

Harsher penalties sought for illegal pot farmers

Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

With illegal marijuana cultivation wreaking environmental havoc across the nation, North Coast Reps. Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman are seeking new penalties for harm done to woodlands, waterways and wildlife.

The two Democrats, joined by a pair of Republicans, introduced the Protecting Lands Against Narcotics Trafficking Act, nicknamed the PLANT Act, aimed at imposing penalties for environmental damage from pot gardens and other illegal drug production on public lands and private property.

via Harsher penalties sought for illegal pot farmers | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on Sonoma Council votes unanimously to join clean power authority

Sonoma Council votes unanimously to join clean power authority

Julie Johnson, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Sonoma City Council overcame its previous division Monday and voted unanimously to join the Sonoma County Clean Power Authority.

The vote is the latest in a series of 11th-hour decisions by cities on whether to join the county’s fledgling public power program. Sonoma became the fifth city to join.

“It gives me great pleasure to vote yes and make this a unanimous vote of the Sonoma city council,” said Mayor Ken Brown, who had previously said he was inclined to vote no.

via Sonoma Council votes unamiously to join clean power authority | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on With Santa Rosa pact, most ratepayers eligible for Sonoma Clean Power

With Santa Rosa pact, most ratepayers eligible for Sonoma Clean Power

Eric Gneckow, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Several rounds of voting remain before Santa Rosa officially signs on for service from a renewable energy-focused public power agency under development in Sonoma County. But in voting unanimously to solidify its conditions for membership Tuesday, representatives of the county’s largest city said that they plan to be part of the agency’s rollout as it begins serving customers early next year.

Representing nearly 34 percent of power customers countywide, the Santa Rosa decision marks what many consider to be a significant advancement of Sonoma Clean Power‘s goal to ultimately displace Pacific Gas & Electric Co. as the predominant supplier of electricity to Sonoma County.

via With Santa Rosa pact, most ratepayers eligible for Sonoma Clean Power – North Bay Business Journal – North San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma, Marin, Napa counties – Archive.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Time has come to ban plastic bags

Time has come to ban plastic bags

Editorial, PETALUMA ARGUS-COURIER

“Paper or plastic?” It’s a question we hear from clerks just about anytime we go shopping. But before long, that question should change to “Did you bring a reusable bag?”

Based on indisputable evidence showing that the proliferation of single-use plastic bags is doing substantial harm to the environment, city and county officials are finally poised to approve a countywide ban on carryout plastic bags at grocers and retailers.

It’s been several years since the county first began to explore enacting such a ban, so it’s high time for action on the proposal.

via Petaluma360.com | Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on Santa Rosa strikes deal on Sonoma Clean Power

Santa Rosa strikes deal on Sonoma Clean Power

Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A last-ditch effort to assuage Santa Rosa’s concerns about the structure of the Sonoma Clean Power Authority succeeded Tuesday, convincing the city to join the launch of the fledgling public power agency.

The tentative, unanimous vote ends the long and at times tense political stand-off over whether the city would allow its residents and businesses to sign up for the program that aims to supplant PG&E as the county’s dominant energy supplier.

via Santa Rosa strikes deal on Sonoma Clean Power | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories WaterTags Leave a comment on Sonoma Valley Draft Salt and Nutrient Management Plan Release

Sonoma Valley Draft Salt and Nutrient Management Plan Release

Ann DuBay, SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY

The Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District will hold a public workshop on the Draft Salt and Nutrient Management Plan (SNMP) at 3:30 pm on July 18th. The purpose of the SNMP is to promote local sustainable water sources and manage salts and nutrients to ensure water quality objectives are met and beneficial uses of groundwater are protected.

In 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board established the Recycled Water Policy, requiring local water and wastewater entities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a SNMP for each groundwater basin in California.

via Press Releases | Sonoma County Water Agency.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, Sustainable LivingTags Leave a comment on Electric vehicle sales grow in Sonoma County

Electric vehicle sales grow in Sonoma County

Matt Brown, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Once the bailiwick of tinkers and hobbyists, electric vehicles are popping up all over Sonoma County as green-minded and tech-savvy drivers warm up to plug-in cars.

The market for EVs has expanded dramatically since December 2010, when the Nissan dealership in Petaluma became the first car dealer in the nation to sell the Leaf, the world’s first mass market all-electric car.

via Electric vehicle sales grow in Sonoma County | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories WaterTags Leave a comment on Workshop Scheduled on Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Study

Workshop Scheduled on Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Study

Ann DuBay, SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY

Santa Rosa, CA – A public workshop will be held on July 11th to discuss a significant groundwater study completed by the US Geological Survey,(USGS). The study’s purpose is to characterize the surface water and groundwater resources of the Santa Rosa Plain Watershed and develop tools to better understand and manage the groundwater system. The workshop will take place at 6:00 pm at the Santa Rosa Finley Center (details below).

The Santa Rosa Plain Watershed is home to approximately half of the population of Sonoma County. The groundwater system beneath the Santa Rosa Plain provides numerous benefits to the region, including rural residential and municipal water supplies, irrigation water for agriculture, and water that supplies creeks, streams and the ecosystem.

via Press Releases | Sonoma County Water Agency.