Natural Resources and Science
News articles ranging from water and energy issues, and restoration projects to science and technology are found here.
Update: Thurs., June 20, 2013 - Construction halted in wetland draining work area of the Willits Bypass Project.
The audio in the player below, submitted and aired by KMUD News Correspondent Eileen Russell, was broadcast on the KMUD Local News Thurs., June 20, 2013 and includes interviews with protesters, as well as representatives from Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol.
Also, see additional articles:
- Lockdown stops work at Willits Bypass; 2 arrested
- Willits Bypass tree-sitters extracted by CHP
- Arrests at Willits Bypass site
Update: February 27, 2013
Use the player below to hear: "Willits Bypass slowing Down", including more on the impact of the Willits Bypass Project on nesting birds. This piece was aired on Wed., Feb 27, 2013 by KMUD News Coordinator, Christina Aanestad.
Update: February 26, 2013
Use the player below to hear: "Willits Bypass protests continue" including the alledged finding of bird nests on the project construction site and "security" of the protest tree sit area. This part of the story was aired on Tues., Feb. 26 2013 by KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson.
Update: February 25, 2013
use the player below to hear: "Protesters stop construction near Willits Bypass"and "Tree sitter says Willits Bypass deserves scrutiny", aired on Mon., Feb. 25, 2013 by KMUD News Director, Terry Klemetson, with reports from KMUD News Correspondent, Jennifer Poole and KMUD News Coordinator, Christina Aanestad.
Update: February 14, 2013
KMUD news has been following the progress of the Willits Bypass Project as tensions build between those protesting the project and Caltrans, the government agency in charge of the project.
Use the player below to hear an audio clip, aired by KMUD News Coordinator Christina Aanestad, which includes interviews with Naomi Wagner of Earth First, Caltrans Spokesperson, Phil Frisbie, and Treesitter, Warbler. This story was aired on KMUD Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.
See the posts below for previous updates, background and the original post on the Willits Bypass story.
Update-Jan. 28, 2013:
This Monday, Jan. 28, about 30 to 40 protestors participated in a rally and organized a tree sit just off Highway 101, at the south end of Willits, to protest the proposed Willits Bypass Project.
Use the player below to hear more about the demonstration opposing the Willits Bypass, including interviews with demonstrators and a Caltrans representative. This piece was aired by KMUD News Correspondent, Christina Aanestad on the KMUD Local News Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.
24-year old Amanda Senseman, also known as "Warbler", sits in a tree to stop the Willits bypass.
The original post of the proposed Willits Bypass Demonstration can be viewed below.
For a number of years there has been a proposal to reroute Highway 101 around the downtown Willits area, the so-called Willits Bypass. According to the Caltrans website:
“Route 101, functionally classified a principal arterial route, is the single north-south route serving the length of coastal California and is crucial in the commerce of northwestern California. On Route 101, trucks and passenger vehicles transport goods and people to and from the many communities throughout the region. In the Willits area, it serves an increasingly heavy commuter, recreational and commercial traffic demand. Lack of capacity and congestion has resulted in delay and lengthy traffic queues within the project limits north of the city limit.”
In September, 2012, concerned that the bypass project would harm wetlands, salmon streams and endangered plants, a number of environmental groups including: the Center for Biological Diversity, Willits Environmental Center, Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club and EPIC, requested a preliminary injunction to stop the proposed bypass. Early in November of 2012 that injunction was denied by a federal judge and the work on the bypass is ready to begin as soon as funding for the project is designated.
Use the player below to hear more on this story, including a planned protest of the project on Monday, Jan.28. The piece was introduced and aired by KMUD News Coordinator, Terri Klemetson, and produced by Rian Marie and Cody Mark.
Save Our Willits Valley Coalition -707-216-5549
Click here for information about the protest on Mon., Jan. 28, 2013
Willits Bypass - Final Environmental Impact Statement / Environmental Impact Report, October 2006
Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, May 2010
Click here for maps of Willits Bypass
Willits Bypass - Reports and Presentations
Caltrans Willits Bypass - Environmental Atlas:
According to KMUD News Correspondent, Christina Aanestad:
"A 3,000 page document outlining logging practices over the next 80 years at Mendocino Redwood Company is up for public review. The timber company is hosting 2 community workshops to present their Habitat Conservation Plan this Wednesday and Thursday. The plan would add 8000 acres for roosting spotted owls and open up 10 more miles of streams to spawning salmon over the next 30 years, according to Mike Jani, Chief Forester and resident of Mendocino and Humboldt Redwood Companies. He spoke with KMUD and outlined some of the conservation measures they’re going to take for salmon and old growth trees."
Use the player below to hear the interview with Mike Jani. This story was aired on KMUD Local News, Monday, January 14, 2013 by Christina Aanestad.
Public comment on the proposed plan is open until February 21, 2013. However, Jani told KMUD News that the regulating agencies are considering extending the deadline to April 21st, so the public has time to navigate MRC’s lengthy, 3,000 page habitat conservation plan.
Public Workshops (held at MRC’s Fort Bragg office, located at 32601 Holquist Lane in Fort Bragg - turn east onto Gibney Lane approximately 2.5 miles south of the Highway 20/Highway 1 interchange, office is on the corner of Holquist and Gibney):
- Fish and water portions of the habitat conservation plan - Wednesday, January 16, from 7-9 pm.
- Terrestrial portions of the plan - Thursday, January 17, from 7-9 pm.
Click here for more information on the workshops.
Click here for Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Mendocino Redwood Company Incidental Take Authorization and Habitat Conservation Plan Implementation.
Inland residents with questions unable to attend the meetings can contact the MRC project leader, John Ramaley at 707‐463‐5129.
After decades of struggles over water and years of negotiation, an agreement, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA), was finally signed by 42 stakeholders. This agreement was slated to expire at the end of 2012 unless congress gave authorization for the agreement. To give congress more time to enact the required legislation, all the parties to the KBRA agreed to extend the deadline for congressional approval.
According to a press release from the Karuk Tribe, dated Dec. 31, 2012:
The 42 parties that originally signed the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement have all agreed to extend the deadline for congressional action necessary to implement the Agreement. The 42 Parties comprise Klamath River tribes, irrigation districts, conservation groups, fishermen, local and state governments.
As originally drafted, the KBRA would have terminated on December 31, 2012 unless Congress passed authorizing legislation. Because it was increasingly clear that Congress would not act before the KBRA’s self-imposed deadline, the Parties agreed to a KBRA amendment that would extend the agreement until December 31, 2014. The Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement does not have a termination date and the changes do not affect the proposed dam removal date of 2020. Other proposed amendments simply clarify the groups’ original intent.
The Agreements aim to restore and protect one of America’s greatest salmon rivers in a manner consistent with a healthy agricultural economy. According to Leaf Hillman, Natural Resources Director for the Karuk Tribe, “This Agreement is the only approach that can restore salmon runs while benefitting Klamath Basin agriculture.”
For decades Klamath Basin communities have battled over the region’s most precious commodity: water. Massive fish kills, irrigation shut offs, and fishery closures have created economic insecurity for tribes, farmers, and rural communities throughout the Klamath Basin and for small fishing communities all along the California and Oregon coasts.
The KBRA and companion Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) are the products of years of negotiation between Klamath River Tribes, area farmers, fishermen, dam owner PacifiCorp, and conservationists.
The Agreements were signed by 42 parties but need congressional authorization for full implementation. The Agreements would provide greater water certainty to irrigators who have seen diversions shut off in the middle of growing seasons, but cap those diversions in a manner that provides greater flow assurances for fish. Water storage would be increased in Upper Klamath Lake and four dams further downstream removed. Dam removal would improve conditions for salmon and save power customers money because, under terms of the Agreements, dam removal is cheaper than mandatory infrastructure upgrades required by a new dam license.
“We now need leadership from Senator Wyden and Senator Feinstein to move this through congress or else the Klamath will soon plunge back into a constant state of crisis and economic uncertainty,” adds Hillman.
A summary and copy of the amendments are available at www.klamathcouncil.org.
For more information use the player below to hear an interview with Craig Tucker, Klamath Coordinator for the Karuk Tribe, aired Thurs., Jan. 3, 2012 by KMUD News Correspondent, Christina Aanestad.
According to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity:
The Center for Biological Diversity is distributing 50,000 free Endangered Species Condoms for holiday and New Year’s Eve celebrations around the country. More than 600 volunteer distributors will hand out the condoms at events in all 50 states. The condoms are part of the Center’s 7 Billion and Counting campaign focusing on the effects of rapid human population growth on rare plants and animals.
“There are more than 3 billion people on the planet under the age of 25. The choices this generation makes will determine whether our planet and its wildlife and natural resource base are burdened with 8 billion or 15 billion people. The difference between these paths can be measured by how many other species are left to roam alongside us,” said Jerry Karnas, population campaign director with the Center. “Our Endangered Species Condoms are a great way to get a conversation started about how the growing human population is affecting the wild world around us, especially animals already teetering on the edge of extinction.”
Endangered Species Condoms photo compliments of the Center for Biological Diversity: