CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 1992 |
Surrounded by highways and within view of office buildings, the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve at the heart of this oceanside city is only a remnant of wetlands that once stretched north into Tustin. On weekends, bicyclists and runners follow the two-mile trail that gently curves along the bay beside scenic bluffs, steep cliffs and shallow mud flats. Nature lovers come to glimpse rare, endangered birds such as the brown pelican and the California least tern.
March 13, 1996 |
Four top California Department of Fish and Game officials were rebuked by angry Eastern Sierra citizens for the department's arrogance and insensitivity in proposing last month to close the historic Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery at Independence. And that was after the DFG had changed its mind. Whitney will stay open. For now. And then maybe it will become an interpretive center or a fishing museum. Not good enough. Not since the early part of the century when local activists bombed L.A.
April 7, 1993 |
They are disparaged by fly-fishermen as "liver-pellet guppies wrapped in rainbow skin," "fat, dumb, slow-moving fish" and "pathetic, goofy creatures." Raised in pens and fed fish chow by humans, California's hatchery trout are not bred to be wily or elusive or majestic. Their purpose in life: to end up on the business end of a fishing line. Last year, the California Department of Fish and Game spent $13 million to plant 9.5 million hatchery trout in the state's streams, rivers and lakes.
July 31, 1993 |
Lone Pine stinks. Thousands of dead fish are rotting along the nearby Owens River, and more are dying every day. Cause of death: oxygen depletion of the water caused by new, heavy flows bringing alkaline silt and organic material into the habitat. The fish are suffocating. Dan Harris, who runs Slater Sporting Goods in Lone Pine, said: "As far as I'm concerned, that ends the bass fishing in this area."
January 31, 1990 |
A mule deer is minding his own business in the back-country of northern Orange County when a helicopter swoops low and chases him into a net. The deer squirms and bleats a pathetic cry as handlers wrap leather hobbles around his legs. "Don't be afraid to pull it tight," says Bob Tiegle, a big-game capture specialist for the California Department of Fish and Game. "It's not going to hurt 'em." Easy for him to say.
November 22, 1989 |
Hunter, stepping carefully through brush with shotgun ready, follows dog into field. Dog comes to point. Pulse pounding, hunter turns in direction indicated. Pheasant flushed and takes flight. Hunter raises stock to shoulder, flicks off safety, takes careful aim . . . It's a familiar fall tableau, especially for the dog. Jake, an 11-year-old English pointer, has flushed more pheasants than the hunter probably will ever see.
December 27, 1992 |
Federal and state officials have lambasted the environmental plan for a proposed 5,000-home development at Bolsa Chica, warning that it is erroneous, deficient and in dire need of an overhaul. One U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manager called it the worst environmental impact report he has seen in 15 years on the job. "There are so many places where it is misleading or inadequate," said Jack Fancher, who supervises wetlands issues in Southern California.
January 13, 1993 |
Listen. There is nothing but the sound of birds--all kinds of birds. "As soon as there's water, the birds move right in," said Tom Paulek, manager of the San Jacinto Wildlife Area for the California Department of Fish and Game. "Look at this. It's terrific." Runoff from the raging San Jacinto River has filled adjacent Mystic Lake, which is normally dry farmland. Tony Metcalf, a biologist at UC Riverside, described it as "something to behold . . . awe-inspiring."
December 18, 1991 |
Boyd Gibbons has worked for National Geographic magazine for the last 15 years, hasn't lived in California for 41 years and had never heard of the Little Hoover Commission or its critical report on the California Department of Fish and Game, which he now commands. So is he the man to save California's living natural resources? "I'll be honest with you," Gibbons said after Gov. Pete Wilson appointed him to replace Pete Bontadelli as director of the DFG last week, "I'm in great ignorance here."
September 20, 1989 |
"You're down and armed," co-pilot Kevin McBride tells pilot Ron VanBenthuysen, who banks the plane over a ridge and dives into his run. The bomb-bay doors open, VanBenthuysen levels off, thumbs a button on his wheel and-- whoosh-- the plane drops its load. Fish away! Trout planting doesn't get any more sophisticated than this.