The Week’s Newsbytes

The Week’s Newsbytes

CalTrout Receives $922k Grant for Sierra Meadow Carbon Sequestration Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2015

CONTACT
Severn Williams, sev@publicgoodpr.com
O: 510-336-9566
C: 415-336-9623

$922k GRANT GIVEN TO CALIFORNIA TROUT TO LAUNCH SIERRA MEADOW CARBON SEQUESTRATION PROJECT

Funded through California’s cap-and-traded program, project will establish protocol measuring greenhouse gas reductions associated with restoring meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Mammoth Lakes, Calif. – How does a robust Sierra meadows ecosystem help fight climate change? That is a question that non-profit group California Trout is preparing to answer. The organization received a grant for $922,000 from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of a package of $21 million in funding aimed at reducing greenhouse gases statewide. The funding comes from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which is supported by the state’s cap-and-trade auction proceeds.

San Francisco-based California Trout will leverage the grant to develop a protocol for measuring carbon sequestration associated with restoring meadows in the Eastern Sierra. In addition to sequestering carbon, meadows play an important role in supporting healthy watershed systems throughout the Sierra Nevada that are so critical to California’s water supply. Sierra watersheds also provide essential habitat critical to the recovery and survival of native fish and other wildlife in the state.

“For more than forty years, California Trout has been working to protect and recover our state’s native trout, steelhead and salmon,” said executive director Curtis Knight. “With this project, our organization is taking its first step into the larger arena of addressing climate change, the most complex ecological problem of our time.”

The recent grant from CDFW will allow California Trout, with core partners Plumas Corporation and Stillwater Sciences, to lead a new multi-organizational effort to create a standard quantification protocol for measuring greenhouse gas dynamics in Sierra Nevada meadows. This effort evolved out of ongoing conversations among a broad coalition of groups, academic institutions and agencies working to support conservation in the Sierra. These groups include Sierra Foothill Conservancy; American Rivers; Sierra Streams Institute; Spatial Informatics Group – Natural Assets Laboratory; South Yuba River Citizens League; Truckee River Watershed Council; University of Nevada, Reno; University of California, Merced; University of California, Davis; California State University, Chico; Tahoe National Forest; and, Sequoia National Forest.

As a result of this project and the support of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Sierra Meadow Restoration Research Partnership will be established and will develop a tool to measure and credit carbon sequestration associated with restoring meadows throughout the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The partnership will coordinate with groups working throughout the Sierra with the goal of increasing ecological resilience and recovering species and habitat associated with alpine meadow systems – all while capturing climate-disrupting emissions on a meaningful scale.

“The interconnection between healthy ecosystems and addressing the threat of climate change is becoming more and more clear,” noted Dr. Mark Drew, Director of the Sierra Headwaters Program with California Trout. “It’s exciting for us and we feel fortunate to be in a position to take a leadership role in this effort, working with key partners to improve watershed health in Sierra Nevada that is so critical to California’s water supply.”

The partnership’s work will, in part, respond to the needs identified in the California State Water Action Plan to restore Sierra Nevada meadow systems. It will work to restore multiple meadow systems across the Sierra, including Osa Meadow, a 90 acre meadow system supporting Kern River rainbow trout, Mountain Yellow Legged Frog and local communities downstream.

California Trout is a non-profit conservation organization that strives to solve complex resource issues while balancing the needs of wild fish and people through science-based advocacy. Some of its landmark achievements include legal victories that helped to restore the streams that feed the iconic Mono Lake and cutting-edge research aimed at recreating wetland habitat on off-season Central Valley farmland to support imperiled native salmon. With headquarters in San Francisco, the organization has six regional offices, including one in the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

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CalTrout Combating Climate Change

Kirkwood Meadow 2For more than forty years, California Trout has been working to protect and recover the state’s native trout, steelhead and salmon.  With a new project, just funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), CalTrout is taking its first step into the larger arena of addressing climate change, the most complex ecological problem of our time.

As the lead organization in the Sierra Meadow Restoration Research Partnership (SMRRP), comprised of eight NGO’s, four academic institutions, a number of forests and resource agencies, consulting scientists and volunteers, CalTrout and the SMRRP will work to develop enhanced meadow restoration practices resulting in increases in net carbon within meadows throughout the Sierra Nevada.

CDFW selected the SMRRP’s project as one of 12 that will receive grant funding to conduct cutting-edge research, restore wetlands that sequester greenhouse gases (GHGs), and provide other ecological benefits as part of the Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program.

As a result of this project, CalTrout and the SMRRP expect:

  • A standardized quantification protocol for carbon, methane and nitrous oxide data collection and an advanced understanding of GHG dynamics in Sierra Nevada meadows;
  • A predictive tool to measure and credit carbon gains from restoration and, subsequently, a self – sustaining revenue stream for meadow restoration;
  • Strong regional partnerships and established local capacity to undertake this work;
  • A demonstrated restoration strategy that increases ecological resilience, sequesters GHG, and recovers species and habitat associated with alpine meadow systems; and,
  • On the ground restoration of multiple meadow systems across the Sierra – including Osa Meadow, a 90 acre meadow system supporting Kern River rainbow trout, Mountain Yellow Legged Frog and local communities downstream.

Click here for the CDFW press release announcing the awards.  For CalTrout’s press release, click here. Also be sure to look for more on this story in our next issue of The Current, issued this June.

 

Locating Trout in a Stream

A nice little article from FIX.com on reading water in relation to trout habitat suited to beginner or intermediate anglers.

how-to-locate-trout-header

The Week’s Newsbytes

Whose Water Is It, Anyway?

For a good summary of the very complex issue of water rights in California, take a moment to read this article from KCET.  From appropriations to riparian rights, the water grab and water wars will only continue to escalate in California’s ongoing drought.

Given the track record of both riparians and appropriators of winning so big they lost, more modern distinctions stressing the reasonableness of the way we use water and how dear we hold the public trust doctrine are emerging as the more important qualifiers.

In these challenging times, CalTrout is working to solve the state’s complex resource issues (such as water wars) while balancing the needs of wild fish and people.

Appropriators spread water across the state before being held accountable for destruction of the environment under the Public Trust Doctrine.| Image: Courtesy California Department of Water Resources

Appropriators spread water across the state before being held accountable for destruction of the environment under the Public Trust Doctrine.| Image: Courtesy California Department of Water Resources

 

Sportsmen Support Klamath Dam Removal

The push for congressional approval for the Klamath dam removal is now.

CalTrout, along with a host of other organizations, fly shops, and outfitters, submitted this joint letter to California’s congressmen seeking their support for the Klamath Basin Settlement Agreements.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

A Sign of the Times

Yesterday was a historic day and a sign of the times. 

The main stem of the Truckee river has been disconnected from Lake Tahoe since last October.  Below the spillway is a large pool below the Hwy 89 bridge.  The bridge is dubbed Fanny Bridge because tourist lean over it to look at the HUGE trout that have lived in that hole for decades.  Fishing is not allowed within 1,000 feet and they have become a major tourist attraction.  I have started many a guide trip by stopping there to let people look at and feed the massive fish.  There used to be fish pellet dispensers where you could buy a handful of fish food for a quarter.

Photo credit: Stefan McLeod

Photo credit: Stefan McLeod

Because the pool has had no flow for so long the temperatures were already climbing and the dissolved oxygen was getting low.  The water was super murky and brown when it should be crystal clear.  Local guides and conservation organizations took drastic measures and talked the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Tahoe City into letting us rescue the fish and put them into Lake Tahoe.  The pool is too deep to electro shock and too wide to seine net, so we decided to go with hook and line sampling.  Local fishing guides and Trout Unlimited volunteers turned out to help in the effort.  Thirty fish were caught all together, the biggest being the one I caught, shown here.

Sad day for the Truckee but good to see these fish relocated to some better habitat for the time being.

– Mike Wier, CalTrout Fly Fishing Ambassador

Water Talks: New Groundwater Policy and Regional Science – April 30th 2015

For Immediate Release: April 9th, 2015

Contact:
Meadow Fitton, California Trout 530.859.1411

Siskiyou County-CA
Shasta County-CA

 How will the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act change groundwater management in California? What is the basic groundwater science of the volcanic Northern California Cascade region?

California Trout invites the public to an educational Water Talks presentation, “New Groundwater Policy and Regional Science” on Thursday April 30th 2015 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum located at 1 North Old Stage Road in Mt. Shasta. The program is free and open to everyone.

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