Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Critical grass

Study suggests Sierra Nevada meadows disappearing

Kaitlin Lubetkin surveys a Sierra Nevada subalpine meadow. UC MERCED

UC Merced

UC Merced

Subalpine meadows are among the Sierra Nevada's most enchantingly picturesque landscapes. These sparsely wooded, grassy expanses play an important role in regulating the flow of water from the snowpack to the rest of the state. But these ecosystems may soon disappear. A UC Merced study found these meadows are being overrun by forest as changing conditions allow the offspring of nearby trees to take hold. For the species that depend on these meadows, this change may force them to find new habitats.

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Why the state is in such a hurry to fix Oroville Dam

Sacramento Bee & Chico Enterprise-Record

California officials are trying to speed up repairs on Oroville Dam's battered flood-control spillway. The Department of Water Resources have asked federal regulators to let it demolish and replace an additional 240 feet of the spillway's 3,000-foot concrete chute before the rains comes this fall, leaving less work for next year. Meanwhile, Congressman Doug LaMalfa doesn't want a new license issued for Oroville Dam until some safety questions are answered and some commitments are made to local government.

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Senate bill includes Utility of the Future initiatives

NACWA

As healthcare and federal spending debates loom on Capitol Hill, the Senate has fast-tracked energy legislation straight to the Senate floor. The bill, S 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, includes several water-related programs that not only deal with energy efficiency, but also technological advancement and other Utility of the Future (UOTF) initiatives.

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