News and notes about birds and conservation in California
California Condor. Photo: Scott Frier/USFWS
We've just received word from our friends at the Plumas Audubon Society that funding for its terrific nature education programs has been effected by the sudden freeze of grants from the Environmental Protection Agency. The chapter was receiving an EPA grant to develop and implement its Plumas Environmental Education Program (PEEP) was funded by an EPA grant, and is now scrambling to keep the program going. This is just one of many terrific programs the chapter offers to kids in their local community.
That funding has been frozen by the new administration, and it is unclear whether the chapter will lose this source of support entirely. Either way, they need the funding now to operate the program, and are asking for donations from the public.
This is going to be a make-or-break year for the Salton Sea, as state officials attempt to figure out how to deal with the effects of wtaer diversions expected to kick in beginning in 2018. This is expected to have major implications not only for bird habitat, but for the hundreds of thousands of people who live in the area. Andrea Jones recently visited the Salton Sea to talk about the current situation, and what Audubon California is doing to help. Learn more about our work at the Salton Sea.
Congress is making moves to gut the Endangered Species Act.
Great coverage in the Marin IJ of the Saturday's annual Waterbird Festival at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary.
In the midst of the transition from one administration to another, the outgoing leadership of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued a significant directive that could have profound benefits for birds and other wildlife. In a Jan. 19 direction, the Service called for the phasing out of the use of lead ammunition and lead fish tackle on all Service lands by January of 2022. While this policy direction could be reversed by the new administration, for the time being it is the policy of the federal government. Audubon California partnered with several other groups in 2013 to pass legislation calling for the use of nonlead ammunition for hunting in California. Lead ammunition has been linked to poisoned birds and mammals by the scientific community.
It has been a long haul, but it looks like the effort led by the Yurok Tribe to reintroduce the California Condor to its historical range on California's north coast is gaining steam. This week, federal agencies annouced a series of public hearings to take testimony on their plan to introduce condors to Redwood National Park.
In something of a surprise, the Humboldt Bay Harbor District last night failed to come up with the three votes necessary to approve an expansion of oyster farming in the bay. Audubon California has opposed this project because it will destroy eelgrass beds that provide critical habitat for all kinds of migratory birds. We're fairly certain they'll come back for another attempt -- and we'll be ready.
Audubon California News comes to your email inbox every month with updates on our activities throughout the state, as well as other important conservation news.