On May 19, 2015, an oil pipeline ruptured releasing up to 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean near the pristine Refugio State Beach located in Santa Barbara County. The oil spill area stretches over 9 miles of the California coastline. Refugio State Beach and fisheries for both fish and shellfish are closed.
The enormous conflagration known as the Rim Fire was in full fury, raging swiftly from crown to crown among mature trees, when it entered the backcountry of Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada in late August 2013. But inside the park, the battle began to turn, enacting a case study in the way management decisions and drought can combine to fuel large, severe fires.
Before the colonial era, 100,000s of people lived on the land now called California, and many of their cultures manipulated fire to control the availability of plants they used for food, fuel, tools, and ritual. Contemporary tribes continue to use fire to maintain desired habitat and natural resources.
ESA Policy News, February 28, 2014: Supreme Court hears EPA challenge, POTUS links CA drought to climate change
WHITE HOUSE: OBAMA PROPOSES CLIMATE FUND AMONG ACTIONS TO ADDRESS DROUGHT
On Feb. 14, President Obama spoke in Fresno, CA regarding his plans to assist California amid its drought crisis. The president took the opportunity to relate climate change to the incident and discuss his latest proposal to address the issue.
ESA Policy News, January 31, 2014: farm bill conservation wins, record CA drought, comment on the prairie chicken
“Can we expand Mandela’s vision of reconciliation to our own planet, to offer ourselves a shot at redemption from Nature, just as he offered his oppressors?”