Natural Resources and Science

Natural Resources and Science

News articles ranging from water and energy issues, and restoration projects to science and technology are found here.

Sudden Oak Death (SOD), a disease that kills oak and other species of trees, has had devastating effects in some areas of California and Oregon. Symptoms of the disease, now known to be caused by the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, include bleeding cankers on the trunk of the tree and dieback of the foliage. Often the disease is fatal to the infected tree. The photo above (credit: U.C.Davis) shows a forest with oak trees dying of sudden oak death.

In an update on the spread of SOD on the Mendocino Coast, KMUD News Correspondent Dan Young conducts several interviews, including an interview with U.C. Berkeley Professor and Statewide Forestry Pathologist Matteo Garbelotto.

This report can be heard using the player below and was aired on KMUD News on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013

Additional Resources:

Previous SOD News Web posts:


The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted recently to support a multi-agency committee dedicated to promoting enhanced use of the port at Humboldt Bay. However, others are concerned about the environmental impact of increased shipping on marine mammals. These issues were the focus of a news piece aired Thurs., Oct. 3, 2013 on the KMUD Local news. See the "Additional Resources" section below for infographics that support the information in the interview.

Use the player below to hear an interview with Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director of Friends of the San Juan, a non-profit organization focused on cleaning up and protecting the harbors and surrounding waters in Washington State.This story was submitted and aired by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson.


Additional Resources:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Judge Releases Trinity River Water

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Federal Judge Lawrence O'Neill lifted his temporary restraining order on the release of Trinity River water this Thursday (Aug., 22, 2013), thus deciding against a preliminary injunction which would have halted any release until a pending lawsuit over the issue is settled. As a result of Judge O'Neill's decision, this Sun, Aug 25, the flow from Lewiston Dam to the Trinity River will begin to increase. The Trinity River is the main tributory of the Klamath River. See the map below for the location of Lewiston Dam.

Judge O'Neill got involved after the Federal Bureau of Reclamation had authorized the flows to begin on Aug. 13, to protect the fish. Subsequently, the Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority sued the bureau claiming the releases would decrease already low water allocations available to farmers. In his decision Judge O'Neill found that blocking the flows would do greater harm to the tribes and the fisheries, if an injunction was granted, than it would to the water districts.

The day before Judge O'Neill's decision to release the water, a group of Hoopa Valley Tribal members demonstrated in Fresno at the location where the hearing on the matter was to be held - the aim being to convey the impacts that a large-scale fish kill would have on the people of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers.

Hear more details on this story in a piece submitted by Kelly Lincoln and aired on the KMUD Local News on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013.

Use the player below to hear more about the demonstration of Hoopa Tribal members in Fresno. This story was submitted and aired by Eileen Russell on the KMUD Local News, Tue., Aug. 20, 2013.

Hoopa Tribal Members rally in support of increased flows in the Trinity River

The Map below shows the location of Lewiston Dam.

View Larger Map

Update: Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013 - Penalties for water theft clarified

An interview, aired by KMUD correspondent Christina Aanestad with Lieutenant Steve Knight of the Humboldt County sheriff's Office, indicated that criminal as well as civil penalties could be sought against individuals caught stealing water.

Hear more using the player below to listen to the interview which was aired on the KMUD Local News on Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013.

Update: Wed., Sept. 4, 2013 - Bridgeville Elementary School closed because of water theft leaving school's water tank empty.

Last Tues., Sept. 3, in the morning before school started, a maintenance worker at the Bridgeville Elementary School in Bridgeville, Calif. found there to be no running water at the school. When he checked the school's 20,000 gal water tank the maintenance worker found it to be completely drained.  A Humboldt County Sheriff's investigation revealed tire tracks that may have indicated a water truck or large truck and trailer with water tanks was used to steal the water from the school's water tank. The HCSO press release appears below.

Use the player below to hear more on this story, including an interview with Bridgeville School Superintendent and Principal, Beth Anderson. This piece was submitted and aired on the KMUD Local News on Wed., Sept. 4, 2013 by KMUD News Anchor
Eileen Russell.


HCSO press release, dated 09-04-2013:

On 09-03-2013, approximately 12:20 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the superintendent of Bridgeville Elementary School reporting a water theft. The superintendent reported that about 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, a maintenance worker went to the school and noticed there was no running water. When the maintenance worker checked the onsite 20,000 gallon water tank which stores water for the school, the worker discovered there was no water in the tank, it was completely drained. The school had to be closed due to no running water.

Further investigation into the incident revealed tire tracks in the field on the south side of the school. School staff believes someone climbed the fence surrounding the enclosed school grounds and took a garden hose from the school which they used to drain the water tank.  It is believed the suspect(s) had a water truck or large truck and trailer with water tanks which allowed them to steal the water from the schools water tank.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

The original post on local water thefts appears below.

"Whiskey’s for drinkin’ and water’s for fightin", a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, could just as well be changed to: "Whiskey’s for drinking and water’s for stealing", as evidenced by the recent news of suspected water thefts in our North Coast region. Areas hit by suspected water thieves include Redway and Myers Flat, Ukiah, and recently Weott.

The first Weott incident occurred around July 26 and resulted in a loss of approximately 10,000 gallons. A few days later a second Weott episode left some families without water, and emergency efforts to rebuild the water storage resulted in leaks in the system causing more water loss. The worsening series of events prompted the Weott Community Services District to call on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to approve a resolution proclaiming the Existence of a Local Emergency to the Weott Water Delivery System. According to KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz, (audio report below) repair of the leaks in the system may require closure of the Avenue of the Giants for a period of two weeks.

Use the player below to hear more about this Emergency Resolution in a piece submitted by Daniel Mintz and aired on the KMUD Local News Tues., Aug. 13, 2013.

The audio player below contains more information on the water theft in Weott and clarifies the issues related to bulk water sales. This story was aired by Christina Aanestad on the KMUD Local News on Tues., Aug. 6, 2013.

More information about the suspected water thefts in Ukiah can be heard using the player below. This story was submitted by Dan Young and aired on the KMUD Local News Wednesday, August 7, 2013.

Additional Resources:


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