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Environment & Forest Defense News

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Crude from Monterey County's biggest oilfield is more climate damaging than any other large source of oil produced in, or imported into, California, according to a new Center for Biological Diversity analysis of state data. The Center’s report, titled Stealing California's Future, found that crude from the San Ardo oilfield is even more carbon-intensive than notoriously dirty oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada. The report also found that the San Ardo field is the most carbon-intensive large oilfield in California, ultimately generating about 3.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution a year.
Sat Sep 10 2016 (Updated 09/11/16)
Three Federal Agencies Block Dakota Access Pipeline
On September 9, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. Minutes later, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement announcing a temporary halt to work on the pipeline. Actions in support of the Water protectors continue to be held across California in response to the global call for solidarity by the Standing Rock protest camps for September 3-17.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion on September 4 for a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of the Tribe’s sacred sites by the Dakota Access Pipeline. On the previous day, Water protectors clashed with security to successfully stop pipeline construction and some were viciously attacked by guard dogs. Protest camps have issued a global call for solidarity actions to be held September 3-17. In the Bay Area, solidarity actions will take place in Sacramento on September 7 and San Francisco on September 8.
The official campaign kick-off party for Yes on Measure Z, to ban fracking in Monterey County, will be held in Salinas on Saturday, September 10. A rally will be held in addition to the grand opening of the campaign's new headquarters, which is located in the heart of Salinas on Main Street. Measure Z made it to the November ballot as the result of months of work by volunteers with Protect Monterey County, a group working to safe-guard local water supplies and protect the county's agricultural production.
Sat Aug 20 2016 (Updated 09/05/16)
No Dakota Access Pipeline
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation is calling out to all indigenous nations of the world to stand in solidarity with them as they fight yet another pipeline on tribal lands. Some 250 supporters are camped along the reservation border, tribal youth have completed a run to Washington with petitions against the pipeline, and the battle against Bakken Oil has drawn the attention of environmental groups, tribal people and individuals from across the country. In California, the Winnemem Wintu, Yurok, and Klamath Tribes issued letters of support for the Standing Rock Protectors, and a demonstration of solidarity took place in San Francisco on August 24.
On August 11, the California Coastal Commission found by an 11-1 vote that the City of Santa Cruz' midnight to 5 PM RV (recreational vehicle) parking ban involved a "substantial issue" and so would require a new hearing in the months to come. The CCC was not convinced by Assistant City Manager Scott Collins's claims that Santa Cruz provides RV alternatives, is dealing with an RV "crime crisis", and is only duplicating what other cities have done.
On July 6, activists in Sacramento held a vigil memorializing the 47 people killed in Canada in the Lac-Mégantic Disaster three years ago. The Sacramento Oil Trains Coalition, including 350 Sacramento, ANSWER, Sac Activist School, and STAND, organized the event. The Central Valley rally and vigil was one of over 40 actions the same week across the U.S. demanding a halt to plans to run these explosive “bomb trains,” carrying fracked Bakken crude oil from South Dakota, through cities across the nation.
A report released on July 8 by the Xerces Society shows a sharp two-decade decline in the number of monarchs which overwinter along the California coast. A comparison of the average number of butterflies overwintering in California during the periods 1997–2001 and 2010–2014 shows a decline of 74 percent, a figure that is comparable to declines documented at monarch overwintering sites in Mexico. Listed sites span the monarch’s overwintering range along the Pacific coast and the East Bay of San Francisco
Thu Jul 7 2016 (Updated 07/09/16)
Peace and Dignity Journeys 2016: Dedicated to Seeds
Every four years since 1992, Peace and Dignity Journeys runners traverse the Western Hemisphere by foot, carrying stories, songs, and prayers, re-uniting Indigenous communities step by step. Departing simultaneously from Chickaloon, Alaska and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the journey culminates seven months later with a final ceremony in Panama. On July 6, runners were received by the community of Santa Cruz at the Beach Flats Community Garden.
The Watsonville Brown Berets are keeping the pressure on Driscoll's, the world's largest distributor of fresh berries, who are headquartered in Watsonville, California. On July 2, the Saturday before July 4th BBQs, the Brown Berets and other community members demonstrated in front of the Safeway on Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville to raise awareness and show solidarity with farmworkers in Washington state and Baja California leading the worldwide boycott of Driscoll's berries, including all products made with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries sold by Driscoll's.
Tue Jun 28 2016 (Updated 06/30/16)
Ventura Oil Spill is No Surprise
Tue Jun 28 2016 (Updated 06/30/16)
Crimson Pipeline Has Long History of Spills
Just thirteen months after the massive Refugio Oil Spill fouled the pristine waters off the Santa Barbara Coast, a leak in an oil pipeline in Hall Canyon in Ventura County was reported at 5:30 a.m. on June 23. As many as 700 barrels of crude oil — 29,400 gallons — have been spilled. According to information released by the Center for Biological Diversity, the company responsible for the Ventura oil spill, Crimson Pipeline, has a decade-long history of oil spills in California.
Why won't the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) support the Driscoll's Boycott? That's one of the questions UFW Vice President Lauro Barajas would not answer after he spoke at Hillary Clinton's rally in Salinas on May 25. The UFW will not reveal when their friendship with Driscoll's began. However, a photograph from May 2013 reveals their relationship with Reiter Affiliated Companies, an Oxnard-based subsidiary of Driscoll's.
The California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard is one of the largest outdoor annual events in California that celebrates the success of the multi-billion dollar global agricultural industry. However, this success has come at the great economic, social and overall health expense to those who pick the berries. On May 22, a protest outside the Strawberry Festival challenged the industry and governmental efforts to overlook the social and environmental costs of strawberry production, and questioned the logic of charity festivals.
Thu May 26 2016 (Updated 05/27/16)
Salmon is Theme at San Francisco's Anti-GMO Action
Demonstrators spotlighted salmon at this year’s March Against Monsanto. In their protest in San Francisco on May 21, protesters called out Aquabounty for creating a GMO salmon that will be farm-raised, fast growing, and has recently been approved by the FDA despite insufficient safety testing. If these GMO salmon escape, they could forever change the genes of ocean salmon. Salmon are especially important spiritually to the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Shasta County. In Santa Cruz, protesters demonstrated wearing medical masks to bring awareness to the destruction that is caused by Monsanto and GMO's.
New reports spotlight pesticides used in the food system and the harmful effects they are having on the nation’s children. In particular, the reports find that Latino children living or attending school near California agricultural fields face some of the greatest risks of exposure from pesticides linked to cancers and the developing brain. One report discloses for the first time internal Environmental Protection Agency documents that reveal the EPA’s persistent unwillingness to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Mon May 9 2016 (Updated 05/16/16)
Newcastle Coal Port Shut Down on Mother's Day
As part of the Global BreakFree mobilization, Australians blockaded Newcastle coal port on Mother's Day, May 8. The protest drew more than 2000 people to Horseshoe Beach, one of the largest climate protests against coal in the NSW regional city of Newcastle. Activists set sail in a flotilla of kayaks and canoes, sail boats, catamarans, and even surfboards to make a line across the harbour. More than 60 people were arrested.
Thu May 5 2016 (Updated 05/06/16)
May Day in Northern California, 2016
International Workers' Day was first declared in the late 1800's to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago and as a celebration of laborers and the working classes. Around the world on May 1, workers continue to unite to press demands in the streets through marches, rallies, and direct actions. In the United States, May Day is also a day to push for immigrant rights, especially since the massive "Gran Paro Americano" general strike and marches of 2006.
On April 26 the Santa Cruz City Council gave their six-month report on the progress of the City’s efforts to acquire the property containing the Beach Flats Community Garden. At the meeting, the City Council agreed to a three year lease for the garden. However Josh Brahinsky of the Beach Flats Garden Coalition points out, "The lease only covers 60% of the previous garden, and has a 60 day escape clause for Seaside Company, and thus does not provide long-term security for the garden."
iCal feed From the Calendar:
10AM Friday Sep 30 River Health Day
10AM Saturday Oct 8 17th World Veg Festival
5:30PM Tuesday Oct 18 Brower Youth Awards
Milpitas Residents Say No to Urban Landfill Expansion Sharat G. Lin and Charlotte Casey Tuesday Sep 27th 12:12 AM
Health Watchdog Sues Dow for Pesticide Air Pollution via Californians for Pesticide Reform Saturday Sep 24th 12:07 PM
ACLU Stands with Standing Rock ACLU of Northern California Friday Sep 23rd 11:39 PM
Benecia, California Votes Unanimously to Deny Crude by Rail Facility via Sierra Club (1 comment) Thursday Sep 22nd 4:50 PM
Analysis: Monterey County Crude Worse for Climate Than Alberta Tar Sands Oil Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Sep 21st 12:29 PM
No DAPL Call for Support! Help Luta today! via SSPRIT Tuesday Sep 20th 5:19 PM
We Stand with Standing Rock 9-18-2016 AutumnSun Tuesday Sep 20th 10:51 AM
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Groups Call on EPA to Correct Unsupported Claims in Major Fracking Study via Food & Water Watch Wednesday Sep 28th 3:17 PM
Bay Area Biologist Fighting for Sharks in South Africa Joanna McWilliams Wednesday Sep 28th 10:34 AM
Water Protectors Across Midwest Continue to Stop Active Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline via Indigenous Environmental Network Tuesday Sep 27th 5:11 PM
Welcome, Fracking! JohnMonet Monday Sep 26th 3:11 AM
United Nations Expert Validates Standing Rock Sioux Opposition To Dakota Access Pipeline via Indigenous Environmental Network Saturday Sep 24th 12:39 PM
Archaeologists & Museums Denounce Destruction of Standing Rock Sioux Burial Grounds via The Natural History Museum Thursday Sep 22nd 5:08 PM
Leonard Peltier on Solidarity with Standing Rock Leonard Peltier Thursday Sep 22nd 4:59 PM
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Leaders host public meeting on expanding the coastal national monument via The Wilderness Society Tuesday Sep 27th 5:42 PM
CEMEX Save Our Coast Surfrider Foundation Saturday Sep 17th 6:01 PM
Court overturns Canada's approval of Northern Gateway pipeline Obert Madondo (2 comments) Sunday Sep 4th 5:14 PM
Nuclear Shutdown News August 2016 Michael Steinberg Tuesday Aug 30th 3:28 PM
Blue Whale Strike of 2009 Scott Peterson Saturday Aug 27th 7:23 AM
How to cool your house without Air-conditioning Robert George Tronge Friday Aug 26th 12:03 PM
Renowned Marine Biologist Asha de Vos Joins Oceana Oceana Thursday Jul 28th 1:46 AM
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