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Salmon jumping spectacle in Marin draws thousands of viewers

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Watching coho salmon jump through the Inkwells is like watching a Fourth of July fireworks show: At each jump, people ooh and aah at the electrifying sight. You then can crown the day with a grand finale of your own to a nearby mountaintop.

What started as a cult event a few years ago — salmon watching in Marin — has turned into a show that attracts thousands of viewers. The annual spectacle started this week in the Lagunitas Creek watershed along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in west Marin County.

You then can top the day with a hike to nearby 1,466-foot Barnabe Peak, about a 5-mile round trip on a new suggested route, with a payoff view that reaches from the flank of Mount Tamalpais to the coast and Point Reyes National Seashore.

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California Court Upholds Challenge to Controversial Walt Ranch Vineyard Napa County Failed to Mitigate Climate Harms of Destroying 14,000 Trees

NAPA, Calif.— A California appeals court ruled yesterday that Napa County violated state law in approving the large Walt Ranch vineyard development in the mountains east of the city of Napa. The decision sends the project, which would destroy more than 300 acres of riparian, oak and native grassland habitat and convert it into vineyards, back to the trial court.

Responding to an appeal from the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club, the court held that Napa County failed to provide a clear plan to address the climate harms from the vineyard’s proposed destruction of 14,000 large trees.

“This is a victory for Napa County’s forests and California’s fight against climate change,” said Aruna Prabhala, urban wildlands director at the Center. “The court agreed that officials can’t let a developer destroy thousands of trees with no concrete plan to address the resulting harm to our climate. It’s time for Napa County to rethink its reckless rubber-stamping of vineyard conversions.”

The appeals court determined that Napa County failed to show how preservation of unspecified woodlands on the site would offset the climate harms of cutting down thousands of trees. Forests are critical to a healthy climate because they store carbon dioxide, while destroying forests releases carbon dioxide. The ruling could have statewide implications for developments that plan to destroy forests without addressing climate harms.

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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