Wildfire season in California started early this year, and researchers say the fires are burning stronger because of the dry winter. The news is adding urgency to the effort to prevent fires like the 1991 Oakland Hills blaze that killed 25 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. But a proposal to cut 100,000 eucalyptus trees or more has stirred up controversy, and now, a long-running battle over the plan is coming to a head.
(From left to right) Brendan Weiner, Howard Nathel, De’Jon Banks, Fredrick Lake, Joseph Stewart, Anton Jackson and Joe Green look for pikas. Photo: Molly Samuel/KQED
The American pika is a squeaky little animal that lives at high elevations in mountains in the West. It could one day have a huge influence on America’s battles over climate change. And a new program is enlisting students to help scientists learn more about the critters.
In the thick of the latest budget crisis, the state Department of Parks and Recreation has been told to cut $22 million over two fiscal years, and it’s planning to do that by closing 70 parks. Now legislators are debating which parks will feel the blow.