August 2007


The National Park Service's top scientist says politics drove the decision...Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Todd Willens was the leader of the U.S. delegation who made the motion to take the Everglades off the list. Until last fall, Willens was a top aide to former Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., a frequent critic of environmental laws and environmental groups. -- St. Petersburg Times, Craig Pittman, July 31, 2007

Best little weekly on the Grapevine

For reasons unknown to Patric Hedlund, editor of the Mountain Enterprise, and to the Badlands editorial staff, we received a press release on the Enterprise's recent success garnering three awards for excellence in journlaism from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. What is more remarkable, for an CNPA award, the Enterprise in an independent newspaper serving unincorporated towns near and along the Grapevine and in the Los Padres National Forest.

Work in progress

I was recently asked to produce a bibliography of "essential books" on the San Joaquin Valley.


A dozen favorites leapt to mind; a few days later a dozen more; and the pleasant task began to turn into a real project destined for certain failure and remorse. It turns out not to be so easy to remember the books of a lifetime and each dive into the Internet provides more that look very useful but I haven't had time to read yet.

Water Board Acknowledges It Can’t Protect Water Quality

California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
“An Advocate for Fisheries, Habitat and Water Quality”
3536 Rainier Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204
Tel: 209-464-5067, Fax: 209-464-1028, E:

For immediate release:
9 August 2007

For information:
Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director, 209-464-5067, 209-938-9053 (cell)

Three pieces of UC flak in search of a headline

Robert Dynes, appointed by the Regents of the University of California as UC president on June 11, 2003, is stepping down. Love is the reason UC flaksters have confected. It being UC, the new bride was immediately appointed an Associate of the President, an honorific promotion from legal counsel at UCSD for which it is unimaginable there was not some nuptual emolument of public funds. The president would have known we the Californians would have settled for nothing less.

Where giants reign

Recently accused by a local planning commissioner of being a dishonest journalist, I reviewed my notebooks for moral reassurance. I found notes from an interview I once did with a city planning-department staffer in charge of maps. This Galilean fundamentalist believed that geography was the queen of the sciences and would set us free. I honestly reported this lunacy for the local newspaper.

Merced River Stakeholders public minutes of East Merced Resource Conservation District board meetings

Gwen Huff, Merced Alliance/RCD Watershed Coordinator/Merced River Stakeholders Facilitator
Karen Whipp, Merced Alliance/RCD Grant Administrator

Members of the Merced River Stakeholders

Re: Merced River Stakeholders public minutes of East Merced Resource Conservation District meetings

Date: August 22, 2007

Grateful Badlands refuses Regents' recognition

" In his paper, Blum said the office of the president "should become a model for transformation to efficiency and service, rather than the frequent butt of jokes and cynicism." --Los Angeles Times, Aug. 23, 2007

Blum also pressed the importance of nurturing the newest campus, Merced, to ensure its success and suggested creating a task force to oversee the needs there. --San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 23, 2007

Badlands Journal editorial leader, "Nimble" McMayhem, said Thursday,