A quarterly eNewsletter covering upper & lower watershed news, events, and funding opportunities for the Tulare Basin.   
December 15, 2016 | Winter Issue
Water, Land, & Sky of the Tulare Lake Basin event at Summer Night Lights | Allensworth, CA
photo by: Dezaraye Bagalayos

Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners announces Edison International and BLM funding for SW Tulare County rural community support 
The Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners (TBWP) is pleased to announce continued support by Edison International and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Atwell island Project (AIP) for work in the SW Tulare County communities of Allensworth and Alpaugh through September/October 2017.  Funding from these two entities will combine with significant in-kind support from key partners including Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park and the Angiola Water District for the Allensworth-Alpaugh-Atwell Island Trail (AAAT) project. The AAAT will tie the communities together physically and provide opportunities for youth and citizen science education and engagement that will advance drought or flood readiness, climate change adaptation, and regional underserved community sustainability.

Funding from the BLM AIP will also advance implementation of the Allensworth-Alpaugh Ecology Work Based Learning Program, begun by BLM in the summer of 2016.  This program will enable Allensworth and Alpaughschool students to develop career readiness ecological and technical skills to address drought, flood, and other climate change adaptation issues.  Students who have participated in this program will be able apply these skills not only to the AAAT but to other rural communities with similar needs.  The Tulare County Office of Education is a key partner in this effort.

The above initiatives will be sustained through the Allensworth-Alpaugh Restoration and Conservation Collaborative (AARRC) now under development.  This group of community advocates will gradually assume management and fiscal responsibility for these and future community-sustainability projects. 

These initiatives will enable inter-community resource-sharing, governance development and regional advancement of drought or flood climate change adaptation measures.  The TBWP is grateful to the many partners involved and for the inspiration and guidance of the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) Climate Change Team, and to Michelle Selmon, DWR Climate Team lead for the Tulare Basin Watershed Connections Workgroup. 
For more information please contact Dezaraye Bagalayos, TBWP Program Coordinator dezaraye@gmail.com, and visit the TBWP website to see upcoming issues of the TB WCW E-News.

2016 Prop 1 IRWM Planning Grants Awarded in the Tulare Basin

Congratulations to:
Southern Sierra IRWMP
Tule River Basin IRWMP
Kings Basin IRWMP
Poso Creek IRWMP

DWR has released the Draft Funding Recommendations to award $4.18 million to 13 proposals for updating existing IRWM plans and two proposals for developing new plans. $1,192,761 of the $4.18 million total will be awarded to these Tulare Basin IRWM groups, providing a significant boost to integrated water management in the Tulare Basin.

Draft Funding Recommendations [PDF Map and Table

New Aerial Survey Identifies More Than 100 Million Dead Trees in California
USDA | Nov 2016

More information about tree mortality and efforts to deal with it can be found here:
Tree Mortality in the Sierra Nevada
Our Forests are Changing 
Tree Mortality Task Force

Floods and Sedimentation in the Kaweah River in the Age of Climate Change

John T Austin | Dec 2016

To keep up on highlights and critical issues of the Sierra Nevada please explore the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) website.

Establishing Common Ground: Finding Better Ways to Communicate About Climate Disruption
Authors: Anthony D. Barnosky, Teenie Matlock, Jon Christensen, Hahrie Han, Jack Miles, Ronald E. Rice, LeRoy Westerling, & Lisa White
University of California Press | Dec 2016

How California Plans to Make Conservation a Way of Life
Water Deeply | Dec 2016

More information on Executive Order B37-16 can be found here:
DWR's Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life
A Public Review Draft of Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life 
Comments on the draft report are due by Dec 19, 2017

Tulare County Considers Emergency Groundwater Ordinance
Valley Public Radio | Dec 2016

Year in Review: Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) formation status in the Tulare Basin
by Kristin Dobbin, Regional Water Management Coordinator for Community Water Center | Dec 2016

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change
New York Times | Nov 2016
Student-based Ecological Restoration & Habitat Improvement Project (ECO-HIP) at
Circle J-Norris Ranch

Students are key in United States Fish and Wildlife Service grant!

by Nancy Bruce | Lead Teacher, Circle J-Norris Ranch/SCICON
Restoring land, improving wildlife habitat and increasing rangeland health has long been the goal of student activities occurring at Circle J-Norris Ranch.  For the past 10 years, high school students, teachers, land managers and resource specialists worked together to plan and implement small-scale ecological projects during an annual event called Field Science Weekend. The student-driven projects included hanging bluebird nesting boxes, creating turtle basking islands, pulling invasive plants, planting willow trees and other native vegetation and monitoring songbirds. A six hundred and twenty acre ranch of rolling hills dotted with oak trees, a pond and seasonal stream serves as outdoor education field trip campus operated by Tulare County Office of Education.

"The Student-based Ecological Restoration and Habitat Improvement Project (ECOHIP) will produce multiple lasting benefits for students, wildlife and rangeland health," stated Nancy Bruce, Circle J's lead teacher. She added, “With the $25,000 Partners for Fish and Wildlife grant, we are excited to scale-up our efforts to include more land and students in the process of ecological restoration.”  

Continue to read in full HERE
Funding Opportunities
Sustainable Communities Planning Grant & Incentives Program
Deadline: January 11, 2017

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) Matching Awards Program (MAP)
Deadlines: January 17, 2017 at 11:59 pm MST | June 26, 2017 at 11:59 pm MDT

2016-17 CAL FIRE Forest Health Grant Program
CAL FIRE will accept public comments through December 30, 2016

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
Deadline: January 31, 2017

Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program
Deadline: February 1, 2017

California Arts Council Local Impact (LI) Program
Deadline: February 15, 2017

The Strong Foundation for Environmental Values
Deadline: February 15, 2017

The Federal Lands Access Program
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Legislation Updates
AB-2594 (Gordon): Stormwater resources: use of captured water
This bill would authorize a public entity that captures stormwater from urban areas before the water reaches a natural channel to use the captured water under certain circumstances.

Legislature Adopts New Approach to Conservation Planning and Mitigation
California Legislature passed AB 2087 (Levine), which provides the legal authority for the creation of advanced mitigation credits based on Regional Conservation Investment Strategies.

SB 1000 (Leyva): Land use: general plans: safety and environmental justice

This bill would add to the required elements of the general plan an environmental justice element, or related goals, policies, and objectives, that identifies disadvantaged communities & more.

SB-58 Wildlife (McGuire): Wildlife management areas: payment of taxes and assessments
Authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife, when income is directly derived from that real property, to annually pay to the county in which the property is located an amount equal to the county taxes levied upon the property. The law further authorizes the department to pay the assessments levied upon the property by any irrigation, drainage, or reclamation district.

The Tulare Basin Watershed Connections Workgroup (TB WCW) is a collaborative of natural resource managers working together to advance whole watershed planning and resource management in the Tulare Basin based on sound science and mutually identified needs for regional economic and ecological sustainability. 

For more information about the work of the TB WCW and how to get involved contact:

Michelle Selmon                     
Climate Change Specialist
CA Dept of Water Resources
(916) 376-9667
Upcoming Events
December 15, 2016

Fresno Workshop:
CAL FIRE Climate Investments Forest Health Grant Program Public Comment
& December 20, 2016 WEBINAR

December 17 & 27, 2017

116th Annual Sequoia Christmas Bird Count &

30th Annual Kaweah Christmas Bird Count

January 5, 2017

Drought from the Perspective of Plants: a John Austin Presentation

January 25-26, 2017

2017 California Climate Change Symposium

Click for current and upcoming events year round on the Tulare Basin calendar of events!

On September 29th the California Department of Water Resources (CA DWR) and the Tulare Basin Watershed Connections Workgroup (TB WCW) hosted a workshop on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Agriculture and Disadvantaged Communities in the Tulare Basin Watershed.

Southern California Edison provided the venue, and over 20 people from a variety of organizations attended the half-day event. Speakers included staff from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, CA Department of Water Resources, UC Davis Cooperative Extension, and Kamansky’s Ecological Consulting and John T Austin, author and National Park Service retiree. The workshop agenda and speaker presentations can be found on the TB WCW webpage.

If you are interested in learning more about the TB WCW you can contact Michelle Selmon at michelle.selmon@water.ca.gov.

If you are interested in Climate Change news and science specific to California please check out the Department of Water Resources Climate Change News Digest and DWR Climate Change website.
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