A manzanita, Capitol disappointment and Jenner

September 5, 2012

Your Wednesday news digest:

The Franciscan manzanita, discovered in the Doyle Drive project as the last remaining wild specimen of its species, is now listed as endangered. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service made the decision and in so doing designated 11 areas in San Francisco to protected land where the flowering bush could be repopulated. [Marin Independent Journal]

Environmentalists have come away disappointed by the inaction in Sacramento as this year’s legislative session ends in time for fall campaigning. One good thing passed – a ban on using dogs in hunting bear and bobcats. And one bad thing didn’t — an effort to rewrite CEQA, the state’s landmark environmental law. But going nowhere were bills to ban plastic bags statewide, and limits on foam in food packaging, to name a few. [San Jose Mercury News]

More news on the environmental costs of marijuana growing, this time in Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo County, a major source of drinking water. Authorities pulled 7,200 pounds of trash left by marijuana growers left on the steep hillsides surrounding the water body, including several pesticides banned by the EPA. [San Jose Mercury News]

Hydraulic fracking has gotten a bad rap on the environment. Here’s more fuel to that fire. The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the Bureau of Land Management for failing to properly evaluate the threat from shale gas and oil fracking on public lands to endangered species in California. []

Sonoma open space officials have been debating what to do with Jenner Headlands, the 5,600 acres set aside in 2009 in the largest conservation purchase in Sonoma County history. New plans call for a mixture of  logging, grazing and greater public access through hiking and mountain biking trails. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat].

A Superior Court judge declined to alter the ballot language on the San Francisco initiative to restore Hetch Hetchy, disappointing proponents who thought that the wording was oversimplified and would confuse voters. [San Francisco Examiner]

Is oyster farming in Point Reyes harming the environment? That crucial question received little clarity last week in a National Academy of Sciences report, which determined that the National Park Service probably overstated its findings in its position to shut oyster company operations. But the Academy report also stated that the park service’s conclusion was “reasonable,” and the chair of the report’s panel said a shut-down would probably be “beneficial” to the marine ecosystem. [East Bay Express]




About the Author

Alison Hawkes was a Bay Nature editor from 2011-2017. Before Bay Nature she worked in journalism for more than a decade as a former newspaper reporter turned radio producer turned web editor with each rendition bringing her closer to her dream of covering environmental issues. She co-founded Way Out West, a site dedicated to covering Bay Area environmental news.