Protecting Nature from Cal Fire

An update on the lawsuit we filed in January against Cal Fire and the California Board of Forestry to stop the clearance of 250,000 acres of habitat per year.

We have a pre-settlement hearing scheduled with the Board’s attorneys in about two weeks. It’s the first step in the legal process – to attempt to reach an agreement between parties prior to beginning the courtroom drama. At this point it is impossible to predict what will happen, but we remain hopeful as always. We have been joined by four wonderful co-litigants: Endangered Habitats League, Sequoia ForestKeeper, Los Angeles Audubon, and Friends of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks.

One fundamental issue is to get Cal Fire to apply what they acknowledged in the first half of their Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to the action portion of their program. Namely, that chaparral is threatened by too much fire.

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Granite Sometimes Becomes Gneiss

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Exploring the domain of Cougar Canyon in Anza-Borrego State Park, California.

After spending four days in the wilderness of the Anza-Borrego Desert, we returned to a world that had turned to chaos – schools closed, roads empty, and everyone in quarantine from the Corona Virus. We should have just stayed out there.

But since we’re back, we thought we’d share some of our discoveries – one of which was that the desert’s arid shrublands, although beautiful, can be seen as mere decoration. It’s the plutonics that center stage – igneous rocks cooked deep underground.

Formed when the Farallon Plate was diving under the North American Plate (beginning about 170 million years ago), all shapes and forms of granite and granite-like rock were created from molten earth five miles deep. At times, reheating and extreme subterranean pressure transformed it all into beautiful, defoliated gneiss. At other times, cracks or weak areas filled with crystalline minerals of quartz, feldspar, and mica. Exposed to the surface after millions of years of erosion, decomposition sets in – it rusts, it crumbles, it’s turned to sand.

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Iron exposes itself to oxygen.

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