Emergency drought funding gives Calif.'s Conservation Corps a chance to cut forest fire risks
The whine of chain saws fills Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, located just a few miles north of Santa Cruz, Calif., a beach town best known for its surfing. From atop the wooden observation deck, perched on the rare and unique Santa Cruz sandhills -- an area of the park that 10 million years ago was part of the Pacific Ocean -- two dozen California Conservation Corps members wearing brightly colored hard hats can be seen hacking away at everything green down in the forest below.
Takings arguments bubble up as Calif. cuts water rights
In drought-stricken California, lawyers are asking a simple question with a complicated answer: Can the state take away water rights? At issue is the U.S. Constitution's 5th Amendment, which says no property shall be taken without just compensation. If California gets more aggressive in requiring irrigation districts -- and particularly so-called senior rights holders, whose claim to divert and use water dates back more than a century -- to curtail water use, some property rights lawyers think they can sue the state.
Feinstein to unveil bill before August recess
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is preparing to release her much-anticipated drought measure before lawmakers leave town for August recess.