Posted on Categories Habitats, Land UseTags ,

Obama moves to protect more California coast In Mendocino, Humboldt, Santa Cruz counties

Caleb Pershan, SFIST
Among the final acts of a presidency in which conservation was a “cornerstone,” the commander-in-chief has designated more than 6,000 acres of coastal areas to join the California Coastal National Monument, the White House announced. The monument, which the LA Times explains runs along the coast of the Golden State and extends 12 miles out to sea.
As the LA Times wrote previously, Obama’s move on the matter was requested by California politicians like Senator Barbara Boxer, and it wasn’t clear how he’d act. But now, as the Chronicle and others point out, Obama has done right by them, and likely by history, having opted in the aggregate to protect an acreage of public land that totals more than 550 million, twice the acreage protected by Teddy Roosevelt.
The California Coastal National Monument was originally designated by Bill Clinton and first expanded by Obama in 2014, when he added Point-Arena-Stornetta in Mendocino County to the monument. As the Bureau of Land management writes, the new sites include Trinidad Head off the coast of Humboldt County with its historic lighthouse, Waluplh-Lighthouse Ranch, just south of Trinidad Head, the Lost Coast Headlands, Cotoni-Coast Dairies in Santa Cruz County, the largest area designated among the bunch and which includes ancient archaeological sites, meadows, and coast redwoods, and Piedras Blancas in San Luis Obispo County, which has its own historic lighthouse and views of elephant seals among white coastal rocks.
Read more at: Obama Moves To Protect More California Coast In Mendocino, Humboldt, Santa Cruz: SFist

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , , , Leave a comment on Feds call for study of marijuana industry’s effects on salmon

Feds call for study of marijuana industry’s effects on salmon

Following years of warnings from state Fish and Wildlife and forestry officials, the federal government this week called for further study of the effects of marijuana cultivation on threatened salmon populations in pot-rich areas like Northern California’s Emerald Triangle, which includes Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties.
The recommendations by federal fisheries officials were included in a document released Tuesday that lays out plans to rehabilitate 40 populations of threatened coho salmon in a wide geographic range that includes about 10,000 miles of streams and 13 million acres in southern Oregon and Northern California, including parts of Mendocino and Lake counties.
“We identified marijuana as one of the activities that contributes to the problems” fish face in some regions, said Julie Weeder, the recovery coordinator for the Northern California division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries division, commonly called the National Marine Fisheries Service, which published the report.
The comprehensive, estimated 2,200-page report proposes some 3,000 recovery actions. There are about a half-dozen “highest priority recovery actions” for each of the 40 coho populations addressed in the plan. The top of the action list for rehabilitating fish populations in the Eel River system in Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt counties includes studying the effects of the marijuana industry on the fish and taking unspecified action to minimize its effects if necessary. There are no specific mitigation plans listed for pot because its effects need further study, Weeder said.
Some marijuana mitigations are already included in other recommended actions, such as stopping unauthorized water diversions from streams and rivers, Weeder said. Many illegal pot growers buy, rent or trespass and illegally divert water from streams that feed the threatened watersheds.
Southern Oregon/Northern California Coho Salmon Recovery Plan
via Feds call for study of marijuana industry’s effects | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , , , Leave a comment on New plan lays framework for recovering threatened coho salmon

New plan lays framework for recovering threatened coho salmon

Fall 2014, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Watersheds throughout southern Oregon and northern California once supported thriving runs of coho salmon. From Oregon’s Elk River to California’s Mattole River, thousands of coho returned to spawn in the Rogue, Klamath, and Trinity rivers and numerous coastal basins.
Over the course of several decades, land use practices drastically changed the landscape and altered the once healthy habitat coho relied on. Today, riparian forest and freshwater habitats are a fraction of their historical size, and what remains is significantly degraded. The effects of historical timber harvest and agriculture, together with migratory barriers, hatchery operations, fisheries, and mining practices, contributed to the decline of coho salmon. In 2005, NOAA Fisheries listed Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho salmon as a “threatened” species under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
A concerted regional effort to recover coho culminated in NOAA Fisheries’ adoption of the ESA Recovery Plan for Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon this month. This recovery plan is the product of a multi-year, collaborative process that included tribes, federal, state, and local governments, industry, environmental groups, and the public. The plan integrates recovery planning efforts in both California and Oregon, specifically the State of California’s 2005 strategy to recover coho salmon, and the 2010 report on threats facing the species prepared by an expert panel of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The federal plan serves as a framework to recover the species’ 40 populations across California and Oregon. It provides an informed, strategic, and voluntary approach that is based on the best available science and meets the standards of the ESA. Perhaps one of the plan’s greatest contributions is that it helps to organize on-the-ground action across a very broad geography – two states, 13 counties, and some 13 million acres of land.
So what must be done to recover coho salmon? The plan is based on the premise that ecological conditions must improve and human-induced threats reduced. The plan identifies strategies for each life stage of coho salmon – from their time as juveniles in freshwater habitat, through their maturation in marine waters, and their return to natal spawning beds.
The plan calls for restoring riparian forest conditions by improving land use practices; restoring floodplains and channel structure by increasing the amount of large wood in streams, re-establishing off-channel habitats, and reconfiguring dikes and levees; improving stream flows by changing the timing or volume of water releases and reducing diversions; restoring passage for coho by renovating dams, culverts, and other barriers; and restoring estuarine habitat, among a suite of additional actions.
Implementing these actions will provide substantial benefits to local communities. Habitat restoration, for example, creates jobs at a level comparable to traditional infrastructure investments, such as road and water projects. Restored habitat also improves water supplies, reduces property damage from flooding, and limits risks associated with high severity fire, among other recreational and cultural benefits. As we look to the future, restored coho runs opens the potential for fisheries we haven’t seen in decades. As coho returns improve, fisheries revenues will too.
Completing this plan is a strategic step in the recovery of coho salmon, but it is just the beginning. This plan provides a path forward, one that is based on sound science, and it is up to all of us – federal, state, tribal, and local partners – to implement the plan and fulfill its goals. NOAA Fisheries looks forward to working with current and new partners to recover coho and restore the benefits that healthy and abundant coho runs will provide to local communities throughout southern Oregon and northern California.
LEARN MORE about coho salmon recovery in southern Oregon and northern California
VIEW the recovery plan
via New plan lays framework for recovering threatened coho salmon :: NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region.

Posted on Categories Agriculture/Food SystemTags , , Leave a comment on Court denies Drakes Bay Oyster Co., owner says fight will go to the U.S. Supreme Court

Court denies Drakes Bay Oyster Co., owner says fight will go to the U.S. Supreme Court


The Drakes Bay Oyster Co. will take its fight to stay open to the U.S. Supreme Court after a petition to have its case reheard by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was denied Tuesday morning.

In October, attorneys for owner Kevin Lunny filed a petition for what is known as an en banc rehearing after the court ruled against Drakes Bay in September.

The petition to rehear the case argued that the review should be granted because the panel decision conflicts with precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit.

But Lunny said in a statement late Tuesday he will take his fight to the Supreme Court.

via Court denies Drakes Bay Oyster Co., owner says fight will go to the U.S. Supreme Court – Marin Independent Journal.