Trouble is brewing on the San Mateo County coast. The State Legislature is considering a bill, AB 1991, that would exempt a development in Half Moon Bay from all applicable environmental laws. The silver lining to this threat is that it has provided impetus for the reactivation of the Chapter's Coastal Issues Committee.
If you opened your eyes or if you inhaled once or twice in the last few months, you know that there have been forest fires in California. Here's a rundown of the local effects and some of the associated issues.
Many conservation-minded committees and agencies have given up their usual summer plans to ensure passage of the Open Space Vote measure, which would amend the Redwood City charter to require a 2/3 majority vote for any nonpermitted development of open space, tidal plains, or city parks.
On July 9, the 22-member BAAQMD board unanimously voted to approve a far-reaching regulation making it illegal to burn wood in most fireplaces and wood stoves on announced "bad air" nights from November to February.
South San Francisco City Councilman Kevin Mullin introduced a resolution that the city favors water conservation as opposed to the increased water diversions from the Tuolumne River, proposed by the San Francisco PUC. The resolution passed unanimously.
San Jose Water Company has appealed the denial of its logging plan to the Board of Forestry. The plan, if approved, would allow for logging in perpetuity of 1000 acres of forestland along Los Gatos Creek upstream from Lexington Reservoir, southwest of San Jose.
Generations of backcountry skiers and snowshoers, as well as occasional shelter-seeking hikers and family campers, have enjoyed the four Donner-Tahoe cabins owned by the Sierra Club and maintained by volunteers.
If people who already drive a fuel-efficient car advertise that fact with MPG stickers on their bumpers, fuel efficiency will be more visible to everyone. Eventually it will become more socially desirable to drive efficient vehicles and will influence people's driving and vehicle purchasing behavior.
The good news: local governments around our Chapter are increasingly adopting significant green building standards for new public buildings. The not so good news: more effort is needed on standards for existing public buildings and for private buildings.
Lawns are as out of place in dry California as desert gardens are in moist New York. With its winter-wet, summer-dry climate, California is closer to Spain and southern Italy than to New York or Illinois. Why not prepare for our water-wise future by rethinking the lawn today?