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Drought planning leaves Don Pedro with 27% of full capacity

in Environment/News

As the drought throughout the state continues to worsen, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors received information on Tuesday regarding exactly how much water is available in Don Pedro Reservoir. 

TID hydrologist Olivia Cramer showed the Board during their meeting this week that while Don Pedro may appear to have substantially more stored water than a majority of reservoirs in California, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the numbers. 

According to data published by the California Department of Water Resources, Don Pedro currently sits at 64% of its 2,030,000-acre-foot capacity, or 1,305,688-acre feet. This is 84% of the reservoir’s historical average for the date and puts Don Pedro above every other reservoir in California except for Lake Perris, which is much smaller. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Turlock church 1 of 5 finalists for national agricultural grant

in Environment

TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) — Brook Baltazar is one of dozens of kids getting hands-on agricultural training as part of the Westside Ministries Food Literacy Program in Turlock. 

“This week, we’ve been out here every day at 8 a.m. just harvesting and picking the weeds,” Brook said. 

Founder Dr. JoLynn DiGrazia started the food literacy program at her church with her husband 22 years ago. 

“Starting kids as small children so they have an appreciation of growing plants and understanding a little bit more where their food comes from,” said Joseph DiGrazia. 

Continue Reading on FOX40

Blue Diamond Growers’ Turlock plant earns green recognition

in Environment/Recognition

After their Salida facility became the first business in Stanislaus County to earn the recognition in April, the Blue Diamond Growers plant in Turlock followed suit this month when it became Green Business Certified.

The plant was honored with the distinction following a comprehensive certification process through the Modesto Chamber of Commerce’s California Green Business Network, Stanislaus County program, and the achievement goes to companies that achieve a verified set of standards, including reducing water use, conserving energy, preventing pollution, increasing recycling, avoiding waste, encouraging alternative transportation and partnering with other local vendors.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Beautification Committee, others join in park clean-up

in Environment

Approximately 40 community members, including scouts, Army recruiters, citizens and city officials and workers reported for a two-hour Saturday work detail in Smyrna Park to pick up trash. They’re hoping the community takes notice and does its part by picking up trash throughout Ceres.

The event was organized by the city’s Ceres Beautification Committee which began in 2019 as a think tank for ways to reduce blight and improve aesthetics. After months of talking and coming up with ideas, the group decided to roll up their sleeves and pick up trash to draw attention to the problem of blight.

Continue Reading on Ceres Courier

Ceres celebrates trees

in Environment

Ceres city officials celebrated Arbor Day with a special tree planting ceremony at Smyrna Park on Tuesday, May 11.

The city Recreation Department staff and Public Work employees presided over the planting of an ornamental pear tree at the Presidents Grove along a Smyrna Park walkway in tribute of the nation’s new president, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The “Let Freedom Ring” presidential grove was dedicated in June 2012. 

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

Possible Wildfire Outcomes Summer 2021

in Environment

Wildfires have become an expected hazard during the summers in California. Recent information from Government institutions divulge potential outcomes for the summer of 2021 wildfire season.

California is famous for its mountain ranges; people travel from all over the world to visit places like Yosemite. California locals enjoy day trips to small towns ranging all throughout the foothills and higher elevations. In the past five years, due to the brutal destruction caused by wildfires, these towns and natural wonders have been in grave danger. This has been true more so in recent years than ever recorded previously. The fire season brings anxiety to those who live in the mid- to -high elevation towns along the Sierra Nevada’s.

CSU English Major Alyssa Schaffer (senior) and her family live in a state of uncertainty during the summer months being residents of Angels Camp, “The fire season causes a great deal of anxiety for me and my family…I always have a ‘go bag’ packed with important documents, pictures, and a few pairs of clothes during peak fire season,” Schaffer adds, “We get such short notice when it comes to fires, so we are always planning for worst case scenarios.”

Last summer, when Californians sought refuge in the outdoors to escape the confinement of COVID, many much needed outdoor adventures had to be cancelled because of the fires. Turlock local Cody Malmberg, after being stuck inside for months had planned and looked forward to a trip to Kennedy Meadows in early August 2020, but was sorely disappointed when a few days before a fire started in the Stanislaus National Forest east of Pinecrest.

Continue Reading on CSUsignal

Farmers Seek Options for Wood Disposal, California Farm Bureau Federation Reports

in Environment

Grape grower Chris Gillespie looks over one of many piles of recently removed zinfandel vines at his Acampo farm. Gillespie and his father, Curt, say no viable option exists for disposal of these vines other than burning, because of the steel wires enmeshed in the vines. The California Air Resources Board has voted to phase out most agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley by 2025.
Photo/Kevin Hecteman

March 8, 2021 - By Kevin Hecteman - Curt Gillespie and his son Chris have tall piles of grapevines awaiting disposal at their Acampo farm. The piles won't be going anywhere for a while.

There has been an uptick in vineyard removals in the area, resulting in a backlog of burn requests being made to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

Now, the California Air Resources Board has voted to require virtually all agricultural burning to be phased out by Jan. 1, 2025. The board's action, taken unanimously last week, affects eight counties under the jurisdiction of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern.

Continue Reading on Sierra Sun Times

Reducing Dust During Almond Harvest—A Big Goal of the Industry

in Environment

Brian Wahlbrink is with Sperry Farms in Stanislaus County and Vice Chairman of the Almond Board as well as being the chair of the Almond Board’s Harvest Working Group—focused on reducing dust.

“This is the real gritty and dirty group, who gets the pleasure of focusing on the major goal of trying to reduce harvest dust by 50% by 2025. But I think we've already learned that progress is never a straight line,” said Wahlbrink. “You know, when it comes to these initiatives, I've loved being involved with this group. It's such a diverse group. We have such an exciting future. We have growers, handlers, researchers, and there's eight orchard equipment companies on this group. It's remarkable,” he said.

“We had eight competing companies come into this room and talk about the betterment of the industry. It's really amazing. And I so appreciate everybody doing that. And we have so much participation. You know, this year, the main focus was the existing equipment. We were talking about conditioners. We were talking about the Low-dust harvesters,” noted Wahlbrink.

Continue Reading on AGinfo

Rural California Communities Struggle To Provide Clean Drinking Water

in Environment

Mo Mohsin has been trying to bring clean drinking water to the residents of the Cobles Corner mobile home park ever since he bought the property back in 2003.

The struggle, however, has been all uphill.

The water system that serves the rural Stanislaus County community of 20 or so homes has violated state drinking water standards 25 times since 2012, mostly for arsenic and 1,2,3 trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP), a manufactured chemical found in industrial solvents and soil fumigants, according to data from the State Water Resources Control Board.

Long-term exposure to both contaminants has been linked to numerous types of cancer by the state of California and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Continue Reading on SF Gate

Big Trees State Park adjusts operations amidst ongoing pandemic

in Environment

In a year of dislocating pandemic and destructive wildfire, it’s nice to get out into nature and take a break from the news.

But even the ancient redwood groves of Calaveras Big Trees State Park have not been immune from the events of 2020.

For about two months beginning on March 26, the park was completely closed to vehicular traffic in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, though walking and biking into the park were still allowed.

“We did this mainly to reduce the visitation surges that we would normally see,” California State Parks Spokeswoman Adeline Yee said. “We had to reduce large crowds and destination travel, which is still not encouraged right now. Because of the stay-at-home order, we were asking people to stay local.”

Continue Reading on Calaveras Enterprise

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