Twist in the Tunnels Plan

When Gov. Jerry Brown announced two weeks ago at an Oakland press conference that he would radically downsize a 100,000-acre wetland restoration job, environmentalists and water policy activists blew the foul whistle. The habitat enhancement work was initially billed as an integral part of Brown’s plan to build two massive water diversion tunnels in the […]

Almond Acreage Booms 

The drought has reduced California’s water supply to an all-time low, prompting officials to mandate strict cutbacks in urban communities. Farmers, who went unaffected by the regulations, have said they have already made enough sacrifices during the drought by fallowing hundreds of thousands of acres of fields and uprooting almost countless fruit trees. But a […]

Of Sardines & Sea Lions, Fishermen & NGOs

In Southern and Central California, nearly 2,000 California sea lion pups have struggled ashore this winter, starving and lost because the ocean has been unable to provide enough calories for their mothers to adequately feed them. The young sea lions have inundated rescue centers, and those working at the facilities, who saw similar events in […]

Trucking Hatchery Salmon

Last summer, Berkeley fisherman Mike Hudson enjoyed some of the most profitable salmon fishing he had seen in a decade. Dense schools of big fish congregated along the Bay Area coast through the spring and summer, with numbers up from previous years, and for Hudson and other commercial trollers, fishing was fast and money easy […]

Medi-Cal Is Failing

About 160,000 people in the Sacramento area are uninsured even though they could be signed up for the state’s low-income healthcare plan, Medi-Cal. Instead, they are paying bills from their own pockets, or incurring costs on overburdened county clinics and hospitals. The same problem exists statewide: Nearly three million low-income Californians eligible for Medi-Cal have […]

The Many Species Of Chinook Salmon

Salmon are one of nature’s miracles, a resource of protein and nitrogen that feeds entire ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial. Far inland, within river basins of the Pacific Northwest, their biomass nourishes the soil, while at sea, nearly every level of predator — from rockfish to halibut to seal to orca — relies at least […]

Top 9 Adventure Travel Hoaxes

Traveling may be thrilling, exhausting, dangerous, mind-opening and, occasionally, boring. But more than anything else, going to faraway places is easier talked about than done. Thus, we find history riddled with quiet rumors and full-fledged scandals surrounding claims of heroic journeys that turned out to be tales woven with lies. Other adventurers’ claims, while not […]

The Perils Of Cycling In Rabies Country

I left my baggage at a hostel in central Cuenca and rode east, on a small quiet highway that climbed into the beautiful green hills and would eventually lead over a small mountain range and straight down into the Amazon rainforest. My goal for the day was to go as far as the pass and […]

Fish, Game & Halibut

When the salmon bite turns off, local anglers have traditionally turned to halibut and striped bass fishing to keep their rods bent. The 2008 and 2009 seasons were prime examples — -years when the salmon fishing was poor, restricted or entirely closed due to dangerously low stocks (which have since bounced back). Those two summers, […]

Return Of The King Salmon

California draws millions of visitors each summer with a wide variety of natural and cultural attractions — like Yosemite National Park, whose astounding cliffs are proof of either God or glaciers; the brutal but beautiful deserts of the south; the astounding Big Sur coast, where cougars and bears roam the upland wilderness as cliffs plunge […]

The World’s Tallest, Strongest & Most Iconic Trees

I recently wrote about the cork trees of the Iberian Peninsula, those great, handsome figures so emblematic of the interior plains of Portugal and Spain. But further abroad are many more trees of great stature and symbolic value — trees that inspire, trees that make us stare, trees that provide and trees that bring to […]

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