Subject: Studies in the News 06-38 (August 25, 2006)

Studies in the News
Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement

Contents This Week

   Controlling mad cow disease
   Air cleaners that pollute
   Beach water quality
   EPA sued over dirty beach water
   Healthcare costs of dirty beaches
   Beach report card
   Ruling against biopharming
   Public concerns about the environment
   Hurricanes and global warming
   Reducing greenhouse gas and the economy
   New idea to fight global warming
   Big increase in greenhouse gas emissions
   Inventory of greenhouse gas emissions
   Spotted owl protection rejected
   Investing in contaminated sites
   Local government can limit logging
   Protection for roadless areas
   Bay Area poorly accommodating growth
   Creating communities from base closures
   Sonar may have caused whale stranding
   Killing pumas doesn't lessen attacks
   Court rejects Yosemite plan
   Ocean acidity increasing
   Pesticide hazard to newborns
   Court upholds salmon fishing restrictions
   Environmental challenges in retailing
   Feds and Yurok cooperate on Klamath
   Federal cost sharing on wildfire suppression
   Global warming brings fire threat
   California's wildlife action plan
   Studies in the News, May 2006 - July 2006
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Animal Identification. By Doug Farquhar, National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL Legisbrief. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) January 2006. 2 p.

["The recent discoveries in this country of cows with signs of mad cow disease, along with concerns regarding global animal disease outbreaks, have prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to initiate a National Animal Identification System. This system seeks to identify specific animals in the United States and track where they have resided.... States, mostly through their departments of agriculture, are at the forefront of implementing this voluntary system....Currently, every state except Wyoming has either a recognized program or at least a program that is compliant. Most state legislatures have introduced legislation to authorize an animal identification program or to provide for some aspect of it, such as authorizing funds or protecting confidentiality of the information received."]

[Request #S63801]

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Evaluation of Ozone Emissions From Portable Indoor “Air Cleaners” That Intentionally Generate Ozone. By the Staff of the California Air Resources Board. (The Board, Sacramento, California) May 5, 2006.

["The Board reviewed an assessment of certain air purifiers that can generate unhealthy amounts of ozone -– a major component of outdoor pollution.... The study has provided more ammunition for state regulators as they step up a campaign to warn consumers by working with local officials, doctors and veterinarians about certain purifiers. That's about all regulators can do. The board has no authority to impose standards on indoor air cleaners." San Diego Union-Tribune (May 26, 2006) 1.]

Report. 31 p.

Fact Sheet. 7 p.

[Request #S63802]

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Testing the Waters, 2006: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches. By Mark Dorfman, National Resources Defense Council. (The Council, New York, New York) August 2006.

["Beach closings due to hazardous bacterial contamination in Los Angeles County jumped 50% in 2005, hitting a record high for the third consecutive year. More rain and better measurement methods accounted for much of the increase. Across California, the report showed 5,175 closings and health advisory days at beaches last year.... The pollution comes from a wide mix of sources scattered across the Los Angeles Basin, including animal waste, factories, septic tanks, sewage, pesticides and oil and metals deposited on city streets." Los Angeles Times (August 3, 2006) 1.]

Report. 349 p.

Executive Summary. 12 p.

California Report. 55 p.

[Request #S63803]

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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Stephen L. Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. U.S District Court, Central District of California. CV06-4843. Complaint. August 3, 2006. 13 p.

["Citing a spike in the number of beach closures in California and the nation as a wake-up call, an environmental watchdog group filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to adopt tougher water quality standards to protect beachgoers from waterborne illnesses. The complaint alleges that the EPA has failed to assess the full range of human illnesses related to beach pollution and all water conditions that contribute to sicknesses. It also alleges that the EPA did not identify all pathogens that pollute coastal waters and failed to devise methods to ensure rapid notification of unhealthful conditions." Los Angeles Times (August 3, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63804]

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"Regional Public Health Cost Estimates of Contaminated Coastal Waters: A Case Study of Gastroenteritis at Southern California Beaches." By Suzan Given and others. IN: Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 40 (July 15, 2006) pp. 4851-4858.

Full Text at:

["Bacterial pollution sickens as many as 1.5 million swimmers and surfers annually at many Southern California area beaches and results in millions of dollars in public healthcare costs, according to a new study.... The study shows cleanup would prevent 394,000 to 804,000 gastrointestinal cases and save $13 million to $28 million in annual health costs in Los Angeles County." Los Angeles Times (July 18, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63805]

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16th Annual Beach Report Card for 2005 -2006. By Heal the Bay. (Heal the Bay, Santa Monica, California) May 24, 2006.

Full Text at:

["In an annual statewide beach survey, most of the 10 most polluted beaches are in Los Angeles County, including the five worst in the state.... The worst beach water quality occurs during rainy weather. All told, 80% of the beaches in Southern California received an A grade during dry weather, but in wet weather just 37% did, with 31% receiving an F." Los Angeles Times (May 25, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63806]

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Center for Food safety, et al. v. Mike Johanns, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, et al. U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii. 03-00621. August 10, 2006. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["The U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed four companies to grow crops genetically engineered to produce vaccines, hormones and other drugs without taking legally mandated steps to protect the environment, a judge has ruled.... Among the remedies plaintiffs will seek at a hearing next week is a nationwide injunction against biopharming permits until federal agencies complete a plan to evaluate the technology's compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act." San Francisco Chronicle (August 15, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63807]

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PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on the Environment. By Mark Baldassare, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) July 2006. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["Californians rank global warming among their top three environmental concerns, saying it is more of a problem than water pollution and pollution in general, according to a poll. While air pollution and energy issues remain the top two environmental concerns, voters are giving global warming more attention. When it comes to the gubernatorial race, 85 percent of likely voters said the candidates positions on the environment were important. While Angelides was the favorite among those who labeled the environment as very important, Schwarzenegger received more support from people who considered the environment somewhat important." Monterey County Herald (July 27, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63808]

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"Deconvolution of the Factors Contributing to the Increase in Global Hurricane Intensity." By C. D. Hoyos and others. IN: Science, vol. 312, no. 5770 (April 7, 2006) pp. 94-97.

["Of all the factors that drive a major storm -- such as humidity, wind shear or broad air circulation patterns -- only the steady increase in sea surface temperatures over the last 35 years can account for the rising strength of tempests in six oceans around the world, says a study....Research revealed that the increase in the most severe storms -- category 4 and 5 hurricanes have doubled since 1990 -- was directly linked to the rising temperatures of tropical oceans." Los Angeles Times (March 17, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63809]

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Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2004. By the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (The Agency, Washington, DC) April 2006.

["Overall, total U.S. emissions have risen by 15.8 percent from 1990 to 2004, while the U.S. gross domestic product has increased by 51 percent over the same period.... The following factors were primary contributors to this increase: 1) robust economic growth in 2004, leading to increased demand for electricity and fossil fuels, 2) expanding industrial production in energy-intensive industries, also increasing demand for electricity and fossil fuels, and 3) increased travel, leading to higher rates of consumption of petroleum fuels."]

Executive Summary. 11 p.

FastFacts. 2 p.

[Request #S63810]

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"Permanent Carbon Dioxide Storage in Deep-Sea Sediments." By Kurt Zenz House and others. IN: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (August 7, 2006) Early edition.

["Global warming could be slowed by injecting carbon dioxide into the Earth's crust -- perhaps in oceanic sediments that surround the U.S. coastline. Scientists propose liquefying the gas and burying it under several hundred feet of sediment. But some environmentalists argue there are better, cheaper and more immediate solutions to global warming, such as energy conservation. Managing a nationwide carbon dioxide sequestration program could cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Funding it might require levying a tax of up to $50 a ton on carbon dioxide producers." San Francisco Chronicle (August 11, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63811]

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The Carbon Boom: National and State Trends in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Since 1960. By Emily Figdor and Alison Cassady, Environment California Research and Policy Center. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) June 2006.

["Global warming-related emissions in California jumped a whopping 85% between 1960 and 2001, according to a new analysis of federal data by Environment California, which called for tough new state laws to reduce the trend. Increased carbon dioxide emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles were responsible for 61% of the increase, the group found, and carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas used for heating and to generate electricity were responsible for the rest." Los Angeles Times (June 21, 2006) 1.]

Report. 38 p.

Press Release. 1 p.
press release

[Request #S63812]

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Economic Impact of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. By Heather Brome, New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank. (The Bank, Boston, Massachusetts) March 3, 2006. 3p.

Full Text at:

["Seven northeastern governors signed a pact committing to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide from electricity generation between 2009 and 2015 and then lower emissions by 10% by 2020. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) State Working Group has analyzed the proposal’s potential effects on the economy and found that, when coupled with an energy efficiency program, RGGI would have a modest positive impact on gross regional product, personal income, and employment. Without an energy efficiency program, RGGI is predicted to have a modest negative impact on the economy."]

[Request #S63813]

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"12-month Finding for a Petition to List the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) as Threatened or Endangered." By the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. IN: Federal Register, vol. 71, no. 100. (May 24, 2006) pp. 29886-29908.

Full Text at:

["The federal government determined that the California spotted owl does not need protection under the Endangered Species Act, a move that ruffled the feathers of environmental groups that are vowing to go to court on behalf of the bird. After a yearlong review, the government concluded that the populations of the rare hooters are stable or increasing in forests of the Sierra Nevada and the coastal range from San Francisco to San Diego." San Francisco Chronicle (May 24, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63814]

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Environmental Covenant Laws. By Andrea Wilkins, National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL Legisbrief. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) March 2006. 2 p.

["Environmental covenants are restrictions on the use of previously contaminated sites. They allow property to be cleaned to a safe level for future use, in cases where the contamination cannot be completely removed.... Environmental covenants can help states promote redevelopment of previously contaminated property and inspire confidence in potential property owners and developers who otherwise may hesitate or decline to invest in such sites. Many states, however, have not passed legislation or enacted laws that allow development or enforcement of land use restrictions for environmental purposes."]

[Request #S63815]

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Big Creek Lumber Co., et al. v. County of Santa Cruz, et al. California Supreme Court. S123659. June 29, 2006. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["In a decision that will have a broad impact in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other wooded areas, the court said that local governments can restrict where commercial loggers can harvest trees.... The court rejected arguments by timber interests and state forestry officials who claimed only the state can regulate commercial logging operations.... The court agreed that local governments don't have authority to regulate how logging operations are conducted, but it said they may decide where such operations take place." San Jose Mercury News (June 30, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63816]

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Petition of the Governor of California to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for Protection of National Forest System Inventoried Roadless Areas in the State of California. By Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. (California Resources Agency, Sacramento, California) July 12, 2006.

["One-fifth of all federal forests in California are untracked by roads, providing refuge for wildlife and a remote experience for human visitors. Those forests moved a step closer to permanent protection when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger petitioned federal officials to preserve those lands as designated 'roadless' areas. If approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the designation would mean a ban on road-building and large logging projects on 4.4 million acres state officials described as vital to California.... Petitions from Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina [have been approved]. Another is pending from New Mexico." Sacramento Bee (July 12, 2006) 1.]

Petition. 14 p.

Inventory of Roadless Areas. Various pagings.

[Request #S63817]

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Bay Area Smart Growth Scorecard. By Carey Knecht and others, Greenbelt Alliance. (The Alliance, San Francisco, California) June 2006.

["The Bay Area needs to make room for a million more people by 2020 but is doing a poor job preparing for their arrival....The region's leaders and city planners are doing just one-third of what must be done to adequately protect open space, reduce sprawl and make sure these new arrivals can afford to buy a house.... The report ranked city and county government efforts to build local parks, create affordable housing, increase density and protect open space, among other efforts. Of the 101 cities examined, only 17 earned even half the points possible." Oakland Tribune (June 28, 2006) 1.]

Report. 44 p.

Executive Summary. 2 p.

[Request #S63818]

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Turning Bases into Great Places: New Life for Closed Military Facilities. By Mary Kay Bailey and others, Development, Community, and Environment Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (The Agency, Washington, DC) January 2006

Full Text at:

["The report explores how to create a vision for former military installations that provide housing and transportation choices, create a mix of jobs and housing, and make the most of natural assets. Case studies [including San Diego] are used throughout the document to illustrate how bases closed in previous base realignment and closure rounds have been redeveloped using smart growth principles." TRB Newsletter (July 7, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63819]

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Hawaiian Melon-headed Whale (Peponacephala electra) Mass Stranding Event of July 3-4, 2004. By Brandon L. Southall, National Marine Fisheries Service, and others. (The Service, Silver Spring, Maryland) April 2006.

["The unusual stranding of 150 melon-headed whales in a shallow bay off the island of Kauai in 2004 could have been caused by the animals being spooked by the use of sonar by Navy ships, a federal agency reported.... Still, without more information about the behavior of melon-headed whales, their reaction to noise and their location when the ships started using sonar, no final conclusion about the cause of the stranding can be made." Los Angeles Times (April 28, 2006) 1.]

Report. 73 p.

Press Release. 3 p.

[Request #S63820]

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Living with Lions: Does Sport Hunting Mountain Lions Reduce Attacks on People and Livestock? By Chris Papouchis, Mountain Lion Foundation. (The Foundation, Sacramento, California) August 7, 2006. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["The study compared the number of attacks in California with states allowing hunting, and said it took into account the human population and size of the mountain lion habitat.... Many Western wildlife management experts say species such as bears, mountain lions and deer show more caution around humans if they are hunted and more aggressiveness if they are not.... But the study disagreed. 'If sport hunting actually reduced attacks, then states with sport hunting should have had relatively fewer attacks than California,' Papouchis said. 'That was not the case.'" Reuters (August 9, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63821]

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Friends of Yosemite Valley, et al. v. P. Lynn Scarlett, Acting Secretary of the Interior, et al. U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California. 00-6191. July 19, 2006. 50 p.

["A court has rejected Yosemite National Park's revised management plan for the Merced River —- a decision that park officials warned might block numerous construction projects in the park's popular valley.... The court also criticized park officials for not going far enough in conducting a user-capacity study, a planning document that some environmentalists hope will usher in limits on the number of daily visitors in the mile-wide Yosemite Valley.... The remodeling efforts were among many ordered as part of a $442-million effort to modernize and shift mankind's footprint in Yosemite Valley after an epic flood in 1997 washed away many buildings, roads and bridges." Los Angeles Times (July 21, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63822]

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Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs and Other Marine Calcifiers. By Joan A. Kleypas, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, and others. (The Center, Boulder, Colorado) July 2006. 88 p.

Full Text at:

[The major greenhouse gas that drives global warming also is rapidly raising the acidity of the world's oceans, threatening widespread destruction of the tiny shell-building organisms that form the base of the entire marine food web and create coral reefs.... 'Unlike any possible controversy over global warming, as you increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, you're driving carbon into the oceans and increasing the ocean's acidity -- and this is not debatable,' said Joan Kleypas." San Francisco Chronicle (July 6, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63823]

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"PON1 Status of Farmworker Mothers and Children as a Predictor of Organphosphate Sensitivity." By Clement E. Furlong and others. IN: Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, vol. 16, no. 3. (March 2006) pp. 183-190.

["The regulation of pesticides might not be strict enough to protect newborns and infants, a study says. It revealed that a natural enzyme in the human body that breaks down toxicants, including commonly used pesticides, varies to such a degree that some of the population's youngest members may be virtually defenseless against some chemicals." San Francisco Chronicle (March 3, 2006) 1p.]

[Request #S63825]

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Oregon Trollers Association, et al. v. Carlos M. Gutierrez, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, et al. U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. 05-35970. July 6, 2006. 37 p.

Full Text at:

["Drastic cuts in commercial fishing for Klamath River chinook salmon last year were legally justified to protect the dwindling fishery, a court ruled.... The restrictions this year have been even more severe, allowing only 20 percent of the usual commercial catch. California fishing fleets did not join the lawsuit but have been hard hit. They have forecast revenues of only $20 million this season, compared to more than $100 million in a typical season." San Francisco Chronicle (July 7, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63826]

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Buying into Sustainability: Environmental and Social Challenges in Trading, Distribution and Retailing. By Michaela Collins, Bank Sarasin. (The Bank, Basel, Switzerland) June 2006. 36 p.

Full Text at:

["The trading, distribution and retailing sector is the interface between the production of goods and the consumer. This sector’s purchasing power effectively allows it to influence environmental and social conditions in the production chain. Its proximity to the customer also gives it the opportunity to develop markets for environmentally friendly and socially responsible goods, and to pass on these requirements to the supply chain. A parallel concern in this industry is the environmental burden associated with energy consumption and emissions generated by retail stores and transportation, as well as companies’ social responsibility towards a comparatively unskilled workforce that tends to be employed on a part-time or on-demand basis."]

[Request #S63827]

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Cooperative Agreement Between United States Department of the Interior and Yurok Tribe for the Cooperative Management of Tribal and Federal Lands and Resources in the Klamath River Basin of California. By the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Yurok Tribe. (The Office, Washington, DC) June 16, 2006. 6 p.

["The Yurok Tribe and the U.S. Department of the Interior have forged a cooperative agreement to manage land and fishery resources in the Klamath River basin. The partnership will coordinate river monitoring, data collection, planning, land acquisition and other resource management efforts. The Yuroks have long been at odds with the Interior Department over the federal government's management of water in the Upper Klamath Basin, and how that affects salmon in the river." Eureka Times Standard (June 29, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63828]

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Wildland Fire Suppression: Lack of Clear Guidance Raises Concerns about Cost Sharing between Federal and Nonfederal Entities. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-06-570. (The Office, Washington, DC) May 2006. 49 p.

Full Text at:

["Some federal officials express concern that the current framework for sharing costs insulates state and local governments from the increasing costs of protecting the wildland-urban interface. Therefore, nonfederal entities may have a reduced incentive to take steps that could help mitigate fire risks, such as requiring homeowners to use fire-resistant materials and landscaping.... GAO believes that these concerns may reflect a more fundamental issue -- that federal and nonfederal entities have not clearly defined their financial responsibilities for wildland fire suppression, particularly those for protecting the wildland-urban interface."]

[Request #S63829]

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"Warming and Earlier Spring Increases Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity." By A.L. Westerling and others. IN: Sciencexpress. (June 6, 2006) 9 p.

Full Text at:

["The study doesn't address what causes fires or firefighting effectiveness. But it finds that climate change creates longer, drier seasons and better conditions for catastrophic fires... The increased fire activity is partly a result of reduced winter rains, earlier snowmelt and a resulting early start to the dry season. These are all linked to warmer temperatures....Forests are increasingly being viewed as a way to solve global warming, because as trees grow, they take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.... This could mean the problem could worsen, turning forests into a cause of global warming, rather than a solution. That's because there would be fewer trees to absorb carbon dioxide as forest fires intensify, releasing more carbon dioxide into the air." Sacramento Bee (July 6, 2006) A1.]

[Request #S63830]

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California Wildlife: Conservation Challenges: California's Wildlife Action Plan: Draft. By David Bunn and others, Wildlife Health Center, University of California, Davis. Prepared for the California Department of Fish and Game. (The Department, Sacramento, California) May 2006.

["The plan is an overview of the state's ecology, identifying 807 vulnerable wildlife species. Its creation is required by the federal government under the State Wildlife Grants Program....The draft plan breaks California into nine major regions in which major negative impacts or stresses on wildlife populations are assessed, as are what general actions may be undertaken to alleviate them.... The plan is one of the first comprehensive and science-based overviews of the state's wildlife situation." Modesto Bee (May 31, 2006) C3.]

Draft Plan. 524 p.

Executive Summary. 16 p.

[Request #S63831]

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[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement.]

"Environment and Natural Resources", "Transportation" IN: Studies in the News, 06-19 - 6-33, May 2006 - July 2006

[Includes: "State of the air," "Reduction in pesticide emissions ordered," "States challenge federal fuel standards," "Mexico and NAFTA's environmental provisions," "U.S.-Mexico border environment," "Good credit for tollroads," "Issues affecting dogs on beaches," "Parks in the Central Valley," "Salton Sea warning," "San Diego airport alternatives," "Transportation's role in disasters," "Biofuels implication for agriculture," "School bus pollution," "Climate warming and water management in California," "Court rules on wetlands," "Drivers still use cell phones," "Safety of push-pull trains," "Port's clean air plan," "Boutique fuels don't create shortages," "Near term CO2 caps hurt California," "Reducing crash risk for young drivers," "Commuter rail needs Amtrak," " Earthquake potential on San Andreas fault," "More thirsty lawns," "Climate change effect on California water," "Protecting the nation's seaports," and "Using toll roads for increased access."]

[Request #S61825]

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