Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags Leave a comment on Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target

Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target

by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
In 2005, Santa Rosa set two goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The first was to reduce its own emissions from municipal operations to 2000 levels by 2010.
The second was to reduce emissions citywide to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2015, one of the most aggressive targets in the nation.
The city government missed the first goal and the community is almost certain to miss the second, which is less than three years away.
via Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , , Leave a comment on Home energy program in Sonoma County a beacon for broken national effort

Home energy program in Sonoma County a beacon for broken national effort

by Maria Gallucci, INSIDECLIMATE NEWS
A judge forces the federal agency that squashed the PACE home energy program to draft rules and start over.
In 2010, FHFA, overseer of the nation’s largest mortgage buyers and sellers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, issued a statement saying that PACE posed “significant risks” to mortgage companies and urged all local governments to suspend their programs. At Rod Stevenson’s sprawling country home in Santa Rosa, Calif., in Sonoma County, once-leaky walls and windows are now sealed tight for energy efficiency, and his roof and yard are glittering with two dozen solar panels.”We expect to save about $10,000 a year,” on electricity and heating bills, Stevenson says, a nearly 70 percent drop from last year.Stevenson, 62, runs a successful, century-old family business that sells construction supplies and materials to control soil erosion in Northern California. But retirement was hanging over him and his wife. “I really wanted to get to the point where we could get our [utility] bill down to virtually nothing,” Stevenson recalls.
via Home Energy Program in Sonoma a Beacon for Broken National Effort | InsideClimate News.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , Leave a comment on Sonoma County adopts hillside vineyard restrictions

Sonoma County adopts hillside vineyard restrictions

by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
New rules making it tougher to rip up forested hillsides to plant vineyards won qualified approval from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor Tuesday.
The stronger erosion prevention measures were unanimously approved by the five supervisors, but most acknowledged that the process was viewed as frustrating and flawed by many involved.
via Sonoma County adopts hillside vineyard restrictions.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , Leave a comment on Draft rules out on hillside vineyard tree removal in Sonoma County

Draft rules out on hillside vineyard tree removal in Sonoma County

by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County grape growers aiming to convert forested hillsides with neat rows of vineyards will have to prove their projects won’t damage local waterways under draft regulations released Thursday.
The new rules, proposed by Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar, would prohibit tree removal on the steepest of slopes, keep vineyards 50 to 100 feet away from unstable hillsides, and require three years of follow-up to ensure the regulations are effective.
“The ultimate goal of these standards is to protect water quality,” Linegar said.
via Draft rules out on hillside vineyard tree removal in Sonoma County | Petaluma360.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , Leave a comment on Sonoma County Artesa timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval

Sonoma County Artesa timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval

by Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
State officials signaled this week they intend to approve a controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project in rural northwest Sonoma County, overruling the latest wave of objections, this time from some neighbors, local tribes and several elected officials.
via Sonoma County timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on How the Bay Area can move to a clean, local energy economy

How the Bay Area can move to a clean, local energy economy

San Francisco, CA – Pacific Environment released a report today, “Bay Area Smart Energy 2020” (BASE 2020), which describes how the San Francisco Bay Area can move to a locally-based, clean energy economy and leave fossil fuels behind.
Download Executive Summary (3 MB)
Download Full Report (6 MB)
via Pacific Environment : Bay Area Smart Energy 2020 – Report Download.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Plastic bag ban meetings

Plastic bag ban meetings

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency Holds Stakeholder and Community Feedback Forums on Carryout Bag Reduction Efforts 
March 2, 2012 – The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (SCWMA) wants your feedback on what is to be done about paper and plastic carryout bags (the bags given for free at the checkout counter). To hear from as many businesses and citizens as possible, the SCWMA is hosting nine public meetings to present what actions are under consideration and to receive feedback.
Outreach Dates and Locations: All Meeting Start at 6 pm
• March 12 – Petaluma Veterans Memorial, 1094 Petaluma Blvd S., Petaluma
• March 13 – Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa
• March 14 – Sonoma Veterans Memorial, 126 First Street West, Sonoma
• March 19 – Cotati Veterans Memorial, 8505 Park Avenue, Cotati
• March 20 – Cloverdale Veterans Memorial, 205 West First Street Cloverdale
• March 22 – Windsor Community Center, Elsbree Hall, 901 Adele Drive, Windsor
• March 23 – Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park
• March 26 – Villa Chanticleer Annex, 1248 N. Fitch Mountain Road, Healdsburg
• March 27 – Sebastopol Masonic Center, 373 N. Main Street, Sebastopol

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , Leave a comment on Salmon win in 9th circuit court

Salmon win in 9th circuit court

San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, SFGATE.COM
California salmon and salmon fishermen won in federal court Friday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the federal water project is obliged to provide enough water to double the salmon population. You can read the decision here.
Under the ruling, only surplus water from the bay-delta water system can be delivered to water users in the San Joaquin Valley, not water from the 800,000 acre-foot allotment promised to fish under a 1992 federal law.
for more, see Salmon win in 9th circuit court | Opinion Shop | an SFGate.com blog.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , , Leave a comment on Petition to Cal-Fire: Stop clear-cutting redwoods to plant vineyards

Petition to Cal-Fire: Stop clear-cutting redwoods to plant vineyards

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=rvfdvycab&et=1109275800063&s=381&e=001DPyFFgYxbqrtUyflRyAWJJlwJloteMhncqSEHORmQPl4Cv6Ehh8b3vKQxph8zO1Ez0O3OGxYuoBD58eLlTq83L93xR3kiEhX388dVJVplSByzusxcO4btg==
Tell the California Department of Forestry (CALFIRE) to suspend certification of Artesa WInery’s Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and allow public comment on relevant changes in circumstances and impacts.
Public comment is needed now more than ever because of Sonoma County’s brand-new moratorium on vineyard conversions and the urgent reasons for it – all of which are completely censored in the public record for Artesa!

Read and sign the petition Stop Clear-Cutting Redwoods to Plant Vineyards

Link to today’s PD article: Artesa’s controversial timber-to-vineyard plan nears approval

Posted on Categories WildlifeTags , Leave a comment on Wild salmon are not holding up, study finds

Wild salmon are not holding up, study finds

by Rachel Nuwer, NYTIMES.COM
Since 1964, the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery in California has supplied the watershed with four to 10 million juvenile Chinook salmon each year. The hatchery began the practice as a way of countering the effects of dams that block migration and making sure that the salmon population remained viable. But recent research shows that the massive influx of hatchery-raised fish is masking the fact that wild fish populations are not holding up.
“Without distinguishing hatchery from wild fish, the perception is that we have healthy salmon surviving in a healthy river,” said Rachel Johnson, a fish ecologist affiliated with the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the lead author of a new paper published in the journal PLoS One.
via Wild Salmon Are Not Holding Up, Study Finds – NYTimes.com.