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State Water Project cutbacks | Dixie Fire security concerns | $100M proposed for California tribes

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The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Monday, March 21.

State water officials announce cutbacks due to ongoing drought

State water officials announced they will be cutting back on water allocations for contractors of the State Water Project, according to The Associated Press. The AP reports the State Water Project provides water for about 27 million people as well as to large areas of farmland. Officials said Friday they'll only give 5% of requested water supplies to those who rely on the project.

The news comes as California is bracing for another year of drought and a dry spring.

— Adia White, NSPR

Dixie Fire: Sheriff explores video security in Greenville

Law enforcement officials in Plumas County are exploring video surveillance options in Greenville. The move comes as the county sheriff, Todd Johns, said he expects property crime will increase as the community begins to rebuild following last year’s destructive Dixie Fire.

“We’ve seen it in every area that’s been burned out,” Johns said Saturday at a fire recovery meeting in Greenville. “When contractors start showing up and bringing their equipment in — lumber and stuff — we just know it’s going to happen.”

The sheriff said he was in discussions with a private contractor about the possibility of putting up cameras at multiple locations in the town.

— Andre Byik, NSPR

Newsom proposes $100M in funding for California tribes

Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday announced a budget proposal to allocate $100 million in funding to California tribes for climate change and environmental initiatives.

Newsom said the proposed funding could be used for projects that advance environmental goals that align with the state’s. Under the proposal, this could include tribes buying back ancestral lands for conservation. Newsom referred to the proposed funding as a step toward righting past harms and a “down payment” to that commitment.

“We know that California native peoples have always had interdependent relations with the lands, waters, everything that now makes up the state of California,” Newsom said. “Unfortunately, we also know that the state has had a role in violently disrupting those relations. And of course, in the mistreatment of California's lands and waters as well.”

Under the proposal, the California Natural Resources Agency would manage and distribute the funds.

— Adia White, NSPR

Audit finds state underestimated housing needs in some communities

California has underestimated the number of housing units some communities should build, according to a recent report from the California State Auditor.

According to the auditor, mistakes in the estimates led the Sacramento region to plan for nearly 2,500 fewer housing units than it should have and shorted the Santa Barbara region by more than 1,300 units.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development is responsible for producing these figures, but the department failed to consider key factors such as housing lost in wildfires and how much housing is needed in areas with lots of jobs. It also failed on occasion to verify underlying data submitted by local communities.

— CapRadio Staff

UC Davis researchers are using ultrasounds to help save endangered abalone

Abalone are near extinction, but UC Davis researchers think they can help turn that around with the help of an old medical tool used in hospitals for decades: ultrasounds.

Red abalone used to flourish along California's coastline but are now endangered due to a number of factors. Researchers are using ultrasounds to quickly detect when abalone are ready to spawn. That information is then passed onto aquaculture scientists who manage abalone reproduction in captivity. Read the full story.

CapRadio Staff

Stories from NPR partner stations are edited by NSPR Staff for digital presentation and credited as requested.

In other news

  • A dive back in time with Diamond Match Company: “Today, the land where the Diamond Match factory once stood is mostly empty with overgrown rubble amidst Chico’s farms and the Barber Neighborhood; the only remaining buildings are its engineering department and a small storage facility.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
  • Leaders, scientists discuss wildfire resilience and recovery at SNC WIP Summit: “After back-to-back devastating wildfire seasons, this year’s annual Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program Summit brought together California’s top leaders, scientists and community and tribal leaders to discuss wildfire recovery strategies that can help communities and landscapes not only recover from recent fires, but also become more resilient to major disturbances in the future.” — Lassen County Times
  • Stephon Clark’s family is still seeking justice four years later: “Four years ago, Stephon Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento police in Meadowview, and the demonstrators filled the streets with shouts of ‘Say his name.’ Now, every year on the anniversary of his death, the Clark family remembers his life and calls for justice for all families who’ve lost loved ones to police violence.” — CapRadio

In case you missed it

Headlines is published every weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and NPR One. Theme song Borough is courtesy of Blue Dot Sessions.

Sarah is an award-winning reporter, producer and editor. She’s worked at North State Public Radio for six years and was previously the station’s News Director before leaving to study at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
A graduate of California State University, Chico, Andre Byik is an award-winning journalist who has reported in Northern California since 2012. He joined North State Public Radio in 2020, following roles at the Chico Enterprise-Record and Chico News & Review.
Angel Huracha has been a part of the journalism field since 2006 and has covered a range of topics. He is a graduate of Chico State with a Bachelor's degree in news-editorial and public relations with a minor in English.
Adia White is a broadcast journalist and producer with nearly 10 years of experience. Her work has appeared on WNYC, This American Life, Capital Public Radio and other local and national programs. She started at North State Public Radio as a freelance reporter in 2017 before leaving for a stint at Northern California Public Media in Santa Rosa.