Audublog

News and notes about birds and conservation in California

California Condor. Photo: Scott Frier/USFWS

The ever-changing birds at the Salton Sea
Salton Sea

The ever-changing birds at the Salton Sea

While fish-eating birds have nearly disappeared, suddenly waterfowl are appearing in numbers.

Press Center

Audubon California mourns the passing Nancy McFadden

— As top advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, McFadden helped chart California's recent political renaissance.

Richardson Bay Audubon Youth Leaders win first prize with conservation story

Telling the story of how a community and Audubon came together to save a precious corner of San Francisco Bay six decades ago, Catalina Lane and Annika Jackson recently won first prize at the IOFF International Student Film Competition with their video, "1958." The two are participants in the Audubon Youth Leader program at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary.

Check out the terrific video here.

Administration should leave landmark desert conservation agreement alone
Wildlife-friendly Renewable Energy

Administration should leave landmark desert conservation agreement alone

Conservationists want the government to implement the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, not undermine it

The decline of a key habitat site at the Salton Sea
Salton Sea

The decline of a key habitat site at the Salton Sea

Nothing illustrates the decline of birds habitat at the Salton Sea more clearly than the story of Mullet Island.

State needs to step up work at the Salton Sea

The California Water Resources Control Board yesterday heard a presentation from state officials on their progress toward meeting their goals for habitat restoration and dust control at the Salton Sea. According to an agreement completed late last year, the state must complete work on 500 acres by the end of the year, but there is little indication that it will reach even that modest goal.

Micheal Lynes, Audubon California's policy director, had this to say after the hearing:

"The deterioration of the Salton Sea continues, and the rate of progress on the Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) is not keeping up with the rapidly changing conditions. We encourage the State Water Resources Control board to work closely with state officials to ensure that upcoming deadlines are met– including constructing 500 acres’ worth of projects at the sea by the end of 2018.”

Michael Cohen, senior associate at the Pacific Institute, added:

"While the state has taken some steps towards implementing the Salton Sea Management Program, the rate of the progress is not nearly enough to keep up with the sea's decline. It is imperative that the State Water Resources Control Board hold the state to its commitment to build habitat and dust control projects at the Salton Sea, this year.”

Two important public hearings coming up on desert conservation plan
Audublog

Two important public hearings coming up on desert conservation plan

If you're in Bakersfield or Palm Desert in the next couple of days, we could use your voice in defense of desert conservation.

When Los Angeles was covered in wetlands. Interesting web gallery of photos showing expansive wetlands acros the Los Angeles Basin around what was then called the Ballona Lagoon.

Top CA natural resources official blasts idea to reopen talks on desert conservation

California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird issued a statement today regarding the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Like Audubon California, he thinks it's a perfect lousy idea to reopen negotiations on the landmark conservation deal.:

“The 2016 Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is the result of over eight years of collaborative effort and public participation involving the California Energy Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as local governments, renewable energy companies, environmental groups, businesses, and citizens.  Hundreds of meetings, thousands of public comments, and deep commitment of public agencies generated a Plan that provides for renewable energy production from public lands while also protecting the incredibly rich biological, cultural, recreational, and many other values of the California desert.

The Plan itself allows for modifications and course corrections, and due to the combined input, resulted in zero lawsuits.  Reopening the plan is a waste of time and resources that will result in uncertainty, delay, and litigation.  Reopening will stall renewable energy projects on public lands and impose major new costs on stakeholders without benefit.  Instead, BLM should work proactively with the state, local governments, tribal leadership, and other stakeholders to implement the plan effectively and resolve issues with implementation as they arise.”

That other California raven

Fascinating study shows that California used to have a unique form of raven, but that it has long been bred out of existence. It lives on, however, in the DNA of our Common Ravens.

How you can help, right now