“The current heat wave over California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico has temperatures hitting triple digits, with little relief at night. Hot weather is also baking the rest of the far West, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Utah and Montana.”
“One of the deadliest wildfires in a generation vastly expanded Monday to cover more than 8,000 acres, sweeping up sharp slopes through dry scrub and gnarled piñon pines a day after fickle winds and flames killed 19 firefighters.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
From the National Drought Summary:
“For a second consecutive week, California sees a push of D2 [drought-severe intensity] across all of the Sacramento Valley and points eastward into more of both the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada.
“State and local governments widely condition permit approvals on some kind of ‘mitigation’ – changing the design, enhancing some other piece of land or paying a mitigation fee.
“But in a narrow 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has now made such negotiations much less likely, making it easier for landowners to challenge these kinds of conditions and fees and leading to more litigation.”
“In a victory for advocates of private property rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that governments may owe compensation to property owners who are denied permits to develop their land. … The case is Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 1447.”
“President Obama laid out an ambitious campaign to address climate change Tuesday, mapping a course that would bypass Congress to cut emissions from hundreds of coal-fired electric power plants and setting the stage for a possible rejection of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.”
“In a teleconference on Wednesday, June 26, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes will join scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to release the first-ever detailed national geologic carbon sequestration assessment.”
“A veteran western water reporter says news entities in the West are not doing their job.
In a Columbia Journalism Review interview posted May 16, Arizona Republic and Las Vegas Review Journal reporter Shaun McKinnon said, “Water reporters are definitely an endangered group of people. It’s too bad because we are getting into this time when it’s probably a bigger issue than it ever has been.