From Outside Magazine —
Six summers ago, Kim Schonek, her husband, and an intern slid their kayaks into Arizona’s Verde River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. As they paddled, above them rose a rare cottonwood-willow canopy that teems with the densest population of tropical and native birds in North America. Half a mile into their trip, the river slowed, then dwindled to a trickle, until their kayaks scratched against the rocks. Schonek suggested they portage to the next flow. So they dragged their boats—for five miles.
From the San Francisco Chronicle — It’s an environmental conflict that has been coursing through California for more than a century: the unrelenting thirst of San Francisco versus the pristine beauty of nature.
After years of debate, O’Shaughnessy Dam opened in 1923, holding back the Tuolumne River and flooding Hetch Hetch Valley, a Sierra gem compared in its grandeur to nearby Yosemite Valley. As final construction continued into the 1930s, San Franciscans began tasting water piped directly from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to their homes.
These photos were recently found in The Chronicle’s archive, and many haven’t been published in decades.
Photo: Public Policy Institute of California
From the San Jose Mercury News:
Faced with a shortage of money and political support after seven years of work, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is working on a plan to scale back one of his key legacy projects — a $17 billion proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water from Northern California to the south.
Instead of two tunnels, each 40 feet high and 35 miles long, Brown’s Department of Water Resources has been negotiating with major California water agencies in recent weeks on a revised plan to build just one tunnel at slightly more than half the cost of the original project.
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