News

State Senator Bill Dodd has ideas for restructuring PG&E.

Town Hall Meeting, November 19 
Napa Valley College Little Theater
2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has until June 30, 2020, to restructure. If it doesn’t accomplish this, Governor Newsom has threatened that the state will take over the utility. So far PG&E’s restructuring plan favors shareholders and would raise debt and equity. But other competing groups also have plans for restructuring and takeover: big equity funds, bondholders, and municipalities offering to buy PG&E. One way or the other, ratepayers are going to be on the hook. Read more about these plans in The Economist article here.

Read More

‘Scariest tree pathogen in the world’ spreading rapidly in California

Author: David McNew/Getty Images

Sudden Oak Death (SOD), a deadly disease for oak trees, is on the rise in California. According to a survey conducted by UC Berkeley scientists, the number of infected trees has almost doubled since 2018.

Matteo Garbelotto, the director of the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory, has been involved in conducting the survey of 14 California counties (stretching from Humboldt to Monterey) for the past 12 years. This year, two aspects of the results stood out to him.

“We found this year the most sharp increase ever in the number of trees affected,” said Garbelotto. However, this was expected due to the wet winters we’ve had in California for the past two years — the spores spread faster with significant rainfall.

Read More

Emergent crowns and light-use complementary lead to global maximum biomass and leaf area in Sequoia sempervirens forests

Sequoia sempervirens forests set global records for biomass, leaf area, and carbon.

Decay-resistant heartwood allows Sequoia to repair damage to crowns and flourish.

Sequoia forests develop trees with emergent crowns that live for millennia.

Emergent crowns facilitate biomass and leaf area maxima in perpetuity.

Whole plant equations (180) were generated to quantify aboveground biomass.

Read More

New Threats Put Wildfire Fighters’ Health on the Line

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — As fires spread across Northern California last year, Capt. Matt Alba and Strike Team 2253A found themselves wading through a smoldering jungle of plastic and metal in search of bodies.

As they worked through charred auto shops and trailers, Mr. Alba kept thinking about the poisons they were kicking up, and that they did not have a single mask or hazmat suit among them.

For generations, firefighters fought mostly in desolate forests, where most of the dangers were fatigue and falling trees. But a confluence of modern factors — namely America’s rapid suburban expansion into the wilderness, combined with the growing ferocity of wildfires — is posing a host of new health threats to the men and women who fight these blazes.

Read More

 

Forest Ecotherapy

Author Center for Environmental Inquiry

Ever wished for a less stressful, more fulfilling life without being tethered to distracting technology? Join TreeGirl as we spend a day of re-enchantment engaging in multi-sensory experiences and simple ceremony to reconnect with the wisdom of forest. Learn skills to leave techno-stress behind and rebond with nature for health and well-being.

Leader

Julianne Skai Arbor, Forest Ecotherapy Program Director. Julianne (aka TreeGirl), is a certified UC naturalist, ISA Certified Arborist, forest therapy guide, award winning author, and Program Director of Forest Ecotherapy: www.ForestEcotherapy.com. She has been a multi-disciplinary conservation educator for over 20 years.

Read More