Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
Commentary
Citing 'Science,' Republicans Force Delay on Habitat for Rare Bird

Citing 'Science,' Republicans Force Delay on Habitat for Rare Bird

Commentary: Yielding to pressure from conservative interests, the lead federal agency charged with protecting endangered wildlife has reopened public comment on proposed habitat for a western bird recently added to the list of Threatened species.
Wilderness Act at 50: The Real Reason it Matters

Wilderness Act at 50: The Real Reason it Matters

Commentary: The real benefit of the Wilderness Act, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this week, lies in a point made inadvertently by its fiercest critics. And another anniversary taking place this week provides one of the best examples of why we need the act.
Trash, Invasive Species Left Behind as Controversial Oyster Farm Closes

Trash, Invasive Species Left Behind as Controversial Oyster Farm Closes

Aquatic: Northern California environmental activists have a new question about a recently-shuttered oyster farm in a coastal wilderness: who's going to clean up the mess the operators seem to be leaving behind?
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Taking the Long View: California's Environment in 2064

Taking the Long View: California's Environment in 2064

Commentary: I don't think I'm the only one who's fallen out of the habit of expecting good times ahead. It's hard to imagine a utopian future for California when the state faces some of the toughest times in its history over the next 50 years. But really, if we're going to make a better future happen, what choice do we have but to imagine it first?
Leaked Federal Memo Orders Biologists to Abandon Wolverine Protection

Leaked Federal Memo Orders Biologists to Abandon Wolverine Protection

Commentary: The leaked document shows that a regional director doubts climate change's affect on the species.
Supreme Court Won't Hear Point Reyes Oyster Farm Case

Supreme Court Won't Hear Point Reyes Oyster Farm Case

Commentary: In a day full of disappointing news coming out of SCOTUS, it's reassuring to know there are one or two things the highest court in the land can still get right.
Group Will Sue to Block 'Evisceration' of Endangered Species Act

Group Will Sue to Block 'Evisceration' of Endangered Species Act

Commentary: A seemingly arcane shift in policy on the part of two federal agencies about enforcement of the Endangered Species Act has wildlife advocates ready to head to court, saying that the Obama administration is "eviscerating" protection for endangered and threatened species by making the change.
Smithsonian's Closing of Invertebrate Zoo Is a Bad Move

Smithsonian's Closing of Invertebrate Zoo Is a Bad Move

Commentary: Pandering to scientific illiteracy isn't a new thing in Washington D.C. Every day in the nation's capital seems to bring its share of ludicrous statements and actions from people who ought to know better, from denial of the reality climate change to fourth-grade misconceptions about human reproductive biology. It's just disappointing when that pandering comes from the Smithsonian.
Report Offers a Way For California to Become Water-Sustainable

Report Offers a Way For California to Become Water-Sustainable

Commentary: A report released today by two environmental groups says that if we make four basic, common-sense changes in the way we use California water, we'll have enough to go around even in drought years. And so will the fish.
Steelhead Return to Malibu Lagoon

Steelhead Return to Malibu Lagoon

Aquatic: A year after the completion of a controversial restoration project that divided Los Angeles environmentalists, California State Parks says a fish species missing for decades has been spotted in the Malibu Lagoon.
Irrigators Sue to Block Water For Salmon, Wildlife Refuges

Irrigators Sue to Block Water For Salmon, Wildlife Refuges

Commentary: A agency that represents 22 irrigation districts and other water providers in the Central Valley is asking a judge to block the U.S. government from releasing water to benefit other water users, including wildlife refuges.
Endangered Species Day: 4 Inconspicuous California Species Worth Noting

Endangered Species Day: 4 Inconspicuous California Species Worth Noting

Commentary: While other websites celebrating Endangered Species Day are concentrating on the big and dramatic, we thought we'd celebrate by mentioning a few species that aren't big and flashy and glamorous. They're beautiful, but they don't flaunt it.
Oakland Heron Tragedy Underscores Need to Pay Attention To What You're Doing

Oakland Heron Tragedy Underscores Need to Pay Attention To What You're Doing

Commentary: A grisly blunder Saturday by a tree-trimming crew in Oakland resulted in the deaths of black-crowned night heron chicks, and though the culprits are saying they didn't mean to cause any harm, I'm not buying it.
New Study: Cattle Won't Fix Landscapes or Climate Change

New Study: Cattle Won't Fix Landscapes or Climate Change

Commentary: Supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy have pointed to claims that stocking cattle on desert lands can actually improve the desert and help mitigate the effects of global warming. But a new study pulls the rug out from under those claims.
Reaction Split on Gov. Brown's Newest Drought Proclamation

Reaction Split on Gov. Brown's Newest Drought Proclamation

Agencies: California Governor Jerry Brown raised the stakes in the state's response to the ongoing drought Friday, and reaction to the move from environmentalists is decidedly mixed.
War of Words Mounts in Race to Protect Desert Snail

War of Words Mounts in Race to Protect Desert Snail

Commentary: A small snail found only in a few small hills in the Mojave Desert has launched a public dispute, as mining interests and wildlife advocates spar over whether the species should be granted federal protection.
Hundreds of Environmental Activists Killed Worldwide Over Past Decade

Hundreds of Environmental Activists Killed Worldwide Over Past Decade

Commentary: A report released Tuesday offers a chilling bit of news: working to protect the world's wildlife and its habitat can make you some ruthless enemies. According to a report by the human rights watchdog group Global Witness, at least 908 environmental activists worldwide were murdered in retaliation for their work between 2002 and 2013.
'Range War' Fizzles as Feds Round Up Illegal Cattle

'Range War' Fizzles as Feds Round Up Illegal Cattle

Commentary: The roundup of as many as 900 illegally grazed cattle from Nevada public lands continued with nary a hitch on Monday, despite grandiose threats of a "range war" from the livestock's owner.
Rat Poison Company Sues California to Block Wildlife Protection Law

Rat Poison Company Sues California to Block Wildlife Protection Law

Commentary: Reckitt Benckiser, which sells a rat poison implicated in the deaths of at least 25 species of wildlife in California,, is suing to prevent a ban on retail sales of its rodenticide. In response, wildlife defenders are calling for a boycott of Reckitt Benckiser's many other products.
When it Comes to Wildlife, Clamping Down on New National Monuments is a Bad Idea

When it Comes to Wildlife, Clamping Down on New National Monuments is a Bad Idea

Commentary: A bill making its way through Congress would impose strict limits on designations of new National Monuments. In essence, it would gut one of the most powerful legal tools California wildlife has at its disposal.
Reward Increases for Clues in Poisoning of Biologist's Pet Dog

Reward Increases for Clues in Poisoning of Biologist's Pet Dog

Commentary: There are still no answers as to who poisoned a pet dog belonging to a scientist studying rat poisons' effect on wildlife, but enviros are hoping that an increased reward will bring leads in the case.
State Law or Not, Orca Shows Need to Go

State Law or Not, Orca Shows Need to Go

Commentary: Whether or not a recent piece of legislation in California turns out to be the appropriate way to address the captive performing orca issue, one thing is certain.
Monarch Butterfly Die-Off: Is Monsanto's Roundup Really the Issue?

Monarch Butterfly Die-Off: Is Monsanto's Roundup Really the Issue?

Commentary: A large environmental group is charging that a dramatic increase in the use of a popular weed-killer is the culprit in the last decade's plunge in monarch butterfly numbers. But are they blaming a symptom rather than the real cause?
Rat Poison Researcher's Dog Poisoned In Apparent Retaliation

Rat Poison Researcher's Dog Poisoned In Apparent Retaliation

Mammals: Bad news for a Northern California toxicologist studying the effects of rat poison on the state's wildlife: his dog was apparently killed in an act of retaliation for his work, poisoned by the same highly toxic chemical whose effects the man had been studying.
This Year's Public Land Grazing Fee a Bargain, Continuing a 30-Year Trend

This Year's Public Land Grazing Fee a Bargain, Continuing a 30-Year Trend

Commentary: A dollar thirty five doesn't buy a whole lot of grub these days. For you, or your domesticated animals. But if you're trying to feed livestock on public lands, there's good news.
Representative Devin Nunes Versus the 'Stupid' Delta Smelt

Representative Devin Nunes Versus the 'Stupid' Delta Smelt

Commentary: The "Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act," would take water from endangered fish and give it to San Joaquin Valley irrigators at bargain prices. And Representative Devin Nunes supported it by calling the threatened delta smelt a "stupid little fish."
Here's The Easiest, Most Effective Way You Can Save Water For California's Fish

Here's The Easiest, Most Effective Way You Can Save Water For California's Fish

Commentary: Let your lawn die. That's right, cut it off. No more water.
What Can the Passenger Pigeon's Extinction Teach California?

What Can the Passenger Pigeon's Extinction Teach California?

Commentary: Though the passenger pigeon wasn't native to California during historic times, its extinction 100 years ago has a California parallel, a similar story of destruction and end that played out at more or less the same time.
The Endangered Species Act: 40 Years of Compromise

The Endangered Species Act: 40 Years of Compromise

Commentary: The 40 years since Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act have seen one compromise after another in the nation's landmark wildlife protection law, with one contest after another pitting protection against profit, and the law has lost a huge amount of its power in the process.
Shrub Once Thought Extinct Gets Critical Habitat In San Francisco

Shrub Once Thought Extinct Gets Critical Habitat In San Francisco

Plants: San Francisco residents have worried that a formal designation of Critical Habitat for a manzanita once thought extinct could restrict what they can do with their land or bar visitors from public parks. Those fears have been more or less groundless.
Nevada Officials Target Desert Tortoises

Nevada Officials Target Desert Tortoises

Commentary: Officials in Clark County Nevada, which derived $4.5 billion in income in 2012 by attracting tourists to resorts on bulldozed desert tortoise habitat, are complaining about having spent a little over a million dollars a year since 2001 to protect the threatened species.