L.A. Wildlife Crossing Would Be World's Largest

Mountain LionLOS ANGELES - Prompted by the discovery of a mountain lion known as P-22 in L.A.'s Griffith Park, wildlife advocates say now is the time to build a wildlife passageway over the 101 freeway.

When it was built in the late 1950s, few planners were aware the route through Liberty Canyon was one of Southern California's most important wildlife corridors, linking the Simi Hills to the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the years, the area has been the site of dozens of tragic collisions between motorists and animals.

A History of California’s Budget Reserves

legal imageState Passes a Budget Each Year.  By June 15 of each year, the Legislature must pass, and the Governor signs, a budget for the upcoming fiscal year (which runs from July 1 to June 30). The budget includes expectations about how much the state will spend and how much revenue the state will collect over the next year. However, actual revenues and expenditures can vary from these expectations, primarily as a result of changes in the condition of the state economy. For example, if the state passes a budget in June, and then experiences a recession in December, revenues may significantly underperform expectations.

New Maps Illuminate Monterey Bay Area Seafloor

usgs logoSix new sets of maps from USGS reveal the diverse and complex range of seafloor habitats along 130 kilometers (80 miles) of the central California coast from the Monterey Peninsula north to Pigeon Point. The publicly available maps can be used by a large stakeholder community to understand and manage California’s vast and valuable marine resources. 

The new sets of maps reveal the diverse and complex range of seafloor habitats along 130 kilometers (80 miles) of the central California coast from the Monterey Peninsula north to Pigeon Point. The publicly available maps can be used by a large stakeholder community to understand and manage California’s vast and valuable marine resources. 

Sierra Nevada forest health in rapid decline: drought adding fuel to the fire

A new report released this week shows that many Sierra Nevada forests are in critical condition and that natural benefits that these forests provide, such as clean air and water, are at risk from large, intense fire. Sierra watersheds are the origin of over 60% of the state’s developed water supply, and store significant amounts of carbon.  Unfortunately, the current drought and a changing climate are rapidly intensifying the situation in the Sierra.

Wildfire risk in California no longer coupled to winter precipitation

Fire_SierraNationalForest_CA_USFS_1

Wet winters no longer predict possible relief from severe wildfires for California, according to a new study from an international team that includes a University of Arizona scientist.

From 1600 to 1903, the position of the North Pacific jet stream over California was linked to the amount of winter precipitation and the severity of the subsequent wildfire season, the team found. Wet winters brought by the jet stream were followed by low wildfire activity, and dry winters were generally followed by higher wildfire activity. After 1904, the connection between winter moisture brought by the jet stream from December through February and the severity of the wildfire season weakened. The weakened connection between precipitation and wildfires corresponds to the onset of a fire suppression policy on U.S. federal lands, the team reports in the March 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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