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Lightning Fires: Update from Klamath National Forest

Lightning moved across the area Monday and Tuesday evenings with nearly 300 down strikes recorded. As of early this morning, the lightning has resulted in at least nine new fires on the Salmon/Scott and Goosenest Ranger Districts of the Klamath National Forest (KNF) and six new fires within CAL FIRE's jurisdiction. CAL FIRE has contained all six fires, the largest being contained at 16 acres near Mt. Dome.

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an Bacher: Greenwashing Destruction: fake marine "protection" and Brown's tunnel plan

July 29 was the final day of the public comment period for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels and the Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIS/EIR). One of the least discussed issues about this project – and one of the most crucial to understanding Jerry Brown's twin tunnel plan - is the undeniable connection between the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative and the BDCP.

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New report warns: No groundwater refills after underground layers collapse
Full story: Fresno Bee


Mandatory Water Conservation Regulation Goes Into Effect

On July 29, 2014, an emergency regulation to increase conservation practices for all Californians went into effect. The new conservation regulation targets outdoor urban water use. In some areas of the State, 50 percent or more of daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping. This regulation establishes the minimum level of activity that residents, businesses and water suppliers must meet as the drought deepens and will be in effect for 270 days unless extended or repealed.

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Historic Clean Water Act Settlement Will Prevent Millions of Gallons of Sewage Discharges into San Francisco Bay

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a Clean Water Act settlement requiring the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and seven East Bay communities to conduct extensive system repairs aimed at eliminating millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay. Under today's agreement, EBMUD and the communities will assess and upgrade their 1,500 mile-long sewer system infrastructure over a 21-year period. The work is expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion. The entities will pay civil penalties of $1.5 million for past sewage discharges that violated federal environmental law.

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Third Lawsuit Filed to Prevent Caltrans From Vandalizing Ancient Redwoods in Richardson Grove State Park

Following two previously successful federal and state court legal actions, conservation groups and local residents filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging Caltrans' renewed approval of a controversial highway-widening project that would endanger ancient and irreplaceable redwood trees in Richardson Grove State Park in Humboldt County. Due to Caltrans' flawed environmental-review process, the project to cut into and pave over the roots of old-growth redwoods along Highway 101 was halted by a federal court ruling in 2012 and a state court decision earlier this year.

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Governor Brown Signs Agreement with Mexico to Reduce Dangerous Greenhouse Gases

On the first full day of California's Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Mexican environment officials today signed an agreement to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

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Experts Criticize BDCP Process, Call for New Draft EIR

Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown's rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, and salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today presented their case that the governor's water tunnels plan is fatally flawed, does not meet state or federal standards, and called for a new Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), and public comment period. The EIR/EIS is fatally flawed due to its failure to include a viable funding plan, exclusion of any true no-tunnels alternatives, failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act as evidenced by numerous scientists' red flags, the deliberate BDCP website suppression of comments, misrepresenting taking water to be a "conservation" plan, secret BDCP planning with the exporters and their consultants, and lack of public outreach to non-English speakers.

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Lawsuit: CHP officer falsified reports after being filmed pummelling 51-year-old woman
Full story: Raw Story


Lightning-caused Fires Discovered in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Recent lightning activity has started four fires in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Due to their remote locations, these fires do not pose a threat to life or property. The combined acreage of all four fires is less than four acres. At this time, suppression action will not be taken, and park staff will monitor the fires by air.

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California attorney general asks lawyers to help immigrant children
Full story: Reuters

Groundwater Deficit out West

Long-term drought and aggressive seasonal wildfires have consumed property, lives, and farmland in the American West. The dry weather and blazes are battering regional economies and putting residents and agricultural businesses in several states on a path toward water restrictions. At least part of this story of water woes lies underground.

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California Environmentalists and Health Groups Unite, Call on Gov. Brown to Halt Fracking

The California environmental movement today declared its unanimity in calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking in the state. Environmental leaders sent a letter signed by more than 70 environmental and health organizations to the governor urging him to be a true climate leader and place a moratorium on dangerous and extreme oil extraction processes. The letter's signatories include national organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and 350.org, as well as statewide groups including the California Nurses Association and Californians Against Fracking, a coalition of about 200 organizations.

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California Court Rules Against Dangerous Oil Development Near Pinnacles National Park

Citing concerns about water use and contamination, a Monterey County Superior Court judge has ruled that San Benito County unlawfully approved a dangerous new oil-development project near Pinnacles National Park that could result in hundreds of wells being drilled in important agricultural and wildlife habitat in the Salinas Valley watershed. As the judge's ruling notes, "There are numerous opportunities for toxic spills to occur that the County has apparently not contemplated."

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15-year analysis of blue whale range off California finds conflict with shipping lanes

A comprehensive 15-year analysis of the movements of satellite-tagged blue whales off the West Coast of the United States found that their favored feeding areas are bisected by heavily used shipping lanes, increasing the threat of injury and mortality.

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Bluefin Tuna Continue at Historic Lows as Feds Weigh Pacific Fishing Ban

The National Marine Fisheries Service opened a public process today to determine whether to prohibit fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna, which have suffered a 96 percent decline since large-scale fishing began. The action followed the Center for Biological Diversity's rulemaking petition sent in April.

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California 80-year-old satisfied after gunning down fleeing pregnant home intruder
Full story: Raw Story


Klamath Lightning Update

A storm moved across the area last night and the western portion of the Klamath National Forest and Siskiyou County received a significant amount of lightning -- nearly 600 down strikes recorded. As of early this morning the lightning had resulted in at least 10 new fires on the Happy Camp Oak Knoll and Salmon Scott Ranger Districts. CAL FIRE was also impacted by these storms and has reported 3 small fires in the Quartz Valley area, that are all now contained.

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Bodie Fire 100% Contained

The Bodie Fire has been declared 100% contained. The fire was accurately mapped at 93 acres.

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Southern California Man Ordered To Pay $10,000 for Commercial Fishing Violations

A Southern California man was given a stiff fine this week for a series of commercial fishing violations in Los Angeles County.

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Labor and Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Endorses Prop 45 To Lower Health Insurance Premiums for Millions of Californians

Dolores Huerta, the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, and an icon of the labor and civil rights movements has endorsed Proposition 45, the health insurance rate regulation initiative which will appear on the November 2014 California ballot. Huerta signed the argument in support of Proposition 45 that will appear in the voter ballot pamphlet that was made public by the California Secretary of State today.

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Op-Ed: Joseph Villela: Governor Rights Wrong That Tears Families Apart

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) applauded Governor Jerry Brown for signing SB 1310, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, into law. The bill provides that sentencing for misdemeanors punishable up to a year will not exceed 364 thereby preventing the separation and deportations of thousands of Californians every year.

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California marks warmest winter and spring on record
Full story: Planet Ark


C-WIN: CA Department of Water Resources Running Out of Funds, Taxpayers & Ratepayers on the Hook

Even as it continues to promote the ruinously expensive, environmentally destructive and ultimately unworkable Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the California Department of Water Resources has failed to collect $125 million for ongoing operations owed by water contractors, and now faces a $60 million shortfall.

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CDFW and Partners Raid Santa Cruz County Marijuana Grow

Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and other agencies arrested two suspects, cut down marijuana plants and removed hazardous materials from a Santa Cruz county waterway on July 15.

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California City Will Fine Couple $500 For Not Watering Brown Lawn, State Will Fine'em $500 If They Do
Full story: Consumerist

Lightning Sparks New Fires on the Modoc NF

As of 8:00 p.m. this evening, approximately 18 lightning-caused fires have been detected across the Modoc National Forest. The fires are located on the Devil's Garden, Doublehead and Warner Mountain ranger districts and vary in size from less than one acre to the largest at 12 acres.

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Crews Respond to the Bodie Fire

Crews are responding to the Bodie Fire, which is located on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office. The fire, burning in sagebrush, is currently estimated to be 100 acres and 75 % contained.

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National Park Tourism in California Creates $1.5 Billion in Economic Benefit

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that more than 35 million visitors to national parks in California spent over $1.53 billion and supported 20,089 jobs in the state in 2013.

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CDPH Warns Not to Use Certain Tattoo Products Due to Risk of Infection

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, today warned consumers not to use White & Blue Lion tattoo products because testing has found microbial bacterial contamination in both the inks and needles. Use of the contaminated inks or needles may result in bacterial infection and can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. One illness has been linked to the affected products at this time.

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