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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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California’s Oil Regulator to Review Underground Injection Control Program

The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) today announced steps to review the state's Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program in order to ensure that the program fully complies with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, designed to prevent waste water associated with oil production from being injected into aquifers containing water suitable for human or agricultural use.

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California drought doesn't end brown lawn warnings to homeowners trying to conserve
Full story: Sacramento Bee

EPIC: Take Action: End Taxpayer Spending on Wildlife Killing (Caution: Graphic Content)

On Tuesday, July 22nd, at 9AM, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will discuss the future of Wildlife Services funding. The County has approved Wildlife Services funding since the early 20th century. Under the contract, the County and federal government have a cost-share agreement for the provided services. The proposed agreement now before the Board would have the County allocate about $67,000 for every year of service.

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Lawsuit Launched to Halt Destruction of 14,000 Acres of Condor Habitat at Tejon Ranch

Condor advocates, conservationists and American Indians this week notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service they intend to sue over the agency's approval of a "habitat conservation plan" that will destroy 14,000 acres of designated critical habitat for the California condor, one of the world's most endangered birds. The habitat is entirely located on Tejon Ranch, north of Los Angeles, and will be destroyed by the development of the proposed Tejon Mountain Village resort project. Tejon Ranch encompasses some of the most important and essential foraging habitat for condors, much of it protected since 1977.

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Lawsuit Charges that Sacramento County's Anti-Panhandling Ordinance is Unconstitutional

The ACLU of Northern California and the Law Office of Mark E. Merin today charged that an ordinance adopted in May by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors banning panhandling is unconstitutional.

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Lady Gaga PSA Kicks Off Save Our Water Campaign Asking Californians to Conserve Water

In partnership with the State of California's drought awareness program Save Our Water, international pop superstar and five-time Grammy winner Lady Gaga has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) asking Californians to join the effort and take extraordinary measures to save water during the drought. The PSA is available on SaveOurWater.com, a new site designed to help Californians find ways to conserve at home and at work every day.

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Court rules groundwater protected as public trust

On July 15, 2014, a Sacramento court ruled for the first time that groundwater pumping must be regulated to protect nearby rivers, under a legal rule known as the "public trust doctrine." Judge Allen Sumner of the Sacramento Superior Court held that California and Siskiyou County must consider the effect on the environment from groundwater pumping near the Scott River. The case was filed by the Environmental Law Foundation ("ELF"), Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, and the Institute for Fisheries Resources in June of 2010 to stop unregulated pumping of groundwater in the Scott River Valley, located in Siskiyou County. The suit named the State Water Resources Control Board and Siskiyou County as responsible to regulate the groundwater pumping.

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New Disney movie has special ties to US Forest Service firefighters

When Disney reached out to officials from the U.S. Forest Service over four years ago, they had a lot of questions. They asked about wildland firefighting- all aspects of fighting wildfires, before zeroing in on one in particular: aerial firefighting. Eventually, the creative team from Disney revealed they were working on an animated, feature-length film about firefighting planes.

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Dan Bacher: Thousands of Pacific herring entrained in Delta pumps this year

For commercial fishermen, the Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii, is the target of a valuable roe fishery in San Francisco Bay every winter.

For recreational fishermen, the Pacific herring is a popular bait to fish for salmon, lingcod, rockfish and other species with from a private or party boat.

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Los Angeles County supervisors vote to implement Laura's Law
Full story: LA Times

State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation

In response to the ongoing severe drought, on Tuesday the State Water Resources Control Board approved an emergency regulation to ensure water agencies, their customers and state residents increase water conservation in urban settings or face possible fines or other enforcement.

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