Environment

News about energy and the environment

Jim Milbury / NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region

Before Friant Dam was built in the 1940s to store water for farms and cities across Central California, Chinook Salmon called the San Joaquin River home. The infrastructure project severely slowed flows on the river and the salmon went extinct. Now more than sixty years later salmon are slowly being reintroduced into the river, but some people say it’s just too late for the fish to thrive again here. Their reasoning?  Climate change.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The City of Fresno has held a ceremonial groundbreaking on a new public transit system designed to bring faster, more convenient bus service on two major commercial corridors.

The Bus Rapid Transit line is a proposal nearly two decades in the making.

Officially known as ‘The Q’, the new rapid transit buses are designed to more swiftly carrier riders north and south on Blackstone and east and west on Kings Canyon Boulevard.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new national ranking of American cities shows Fresno is no longer in last place when it comes to providing access to public green space. 

The City of Fresno moved up one spot from dead last to second to last in a ranking of the 100 largest US cities when it comes to public access to parks. Adrian Benepe is Senior Vice President with the group behind the ranking, The Trust For Public Land. 

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors is not accepting a study about possible development in a 5-thousand acre area along the San Joaquin River north of Fresno. Opponents saw the study as a first step toward commercial development along the river bottom.

The so-called ‘Friant Corridor Feasibility Study’ was intended to be a first look at potential places for development from the north edge of Fresno to the Community of Friant.

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

The control tower of the Terminus Dam at Lake Kaweah is currently full of more than 90 feet of water. The flooded tower has crippled the dam’s ability to release water.

At some point on Sunday, April 24th, a water value in the control tower broke and water began pouring into the tower, which controls the release gates on the Terminus dam.

It wasn’t until the next day when the flooding was even noticed and by then the tower was quickly filling.

Friday, divers began swimming into the tower to seal the valve and begin inspecting the damage.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The lightning sparked Rough Fire burned last year for more than five months consuming over 150,000 acres of forest in the Sierra Nevada. Now after a wet winter the charred forest is slowly coming back to life. And the first signs of growth are the tiniest of seedlings that’ll become the world’s largest trees.

Ken Lund / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Federal officials say water from Friant Dam may connect to the ocean this summer.  But some people aren’t so sure it’ll happen.

As part of one of the largest restoration projects in the country groups will begin working this summer to fully connect water flowing out of Friant Dam in the San Joaquin River to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and out to the ocean.

“It’s going to look like a small stream, a couple of inches, maybe a foot or more in some deeper pools,” says Alicia Forsythe with the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.

Courtesy of Don Henise / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Late last year the Tricolored Blackbird became a candidate for the California Endangered Species List. The population of the bird mostly native to the Golden State has plummeted making flocks harder and harder to find. Both bird enthusiasts and farmers are working to keep the colorful bird from extinction.

Ezra David Romero

A new listing of America’s “Most Endangered Rivers” released Tuesday ranks a Central Valley waterway near the top of the list. 

The environmental group American Rivers says the San Joaquin River Basin is the nation’s second most endangered river.  It trails only the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The group’s John Cain says four years of drought has taken its toll on the San Joaquin.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Crews are currently hard at work cutting down many of the over 100 trees that line the Fulton Mall. They are being removed as part of the project to turn the mall back into a street. But some of the trees will find a new life.

Chainsaws reverberate down the concrete canyon of the Fulton Mall. Workers are cutting into the trunk of a 30 foot tall pine. They then push the smaller section of the tree to earth where it lands with a meaty thunk.

Pages