Jul 23 2012

A Few Good Reads (7/23/12): Flood control on the Truckee River, Minot Moving Forward

This week: Flood control on the Truckee River finally moving forward? Collaboration and compromise in the Teanaway basin, Minot’s plan for the $68M grant, “Drought and downpour” across the U.S. from the Big Picture,  and bargain flood insurance for those in the High Park Fire area.

Feds renew work on Truckee River flood project (RGJ.com)

The Army Corps’ project, which would protect Reno-Sparks from a 50-year flood, is one of two under consideration. The flood authority is now preparing more ambitious plans to protect the region from a 100-year flood at a cost of roughly $500 million.

The local plan is scaled down from a much larger project adopted as a goal by the three local governments in 2006.

Why The Farmer And The Enviro Really Can Be Friends On Irrigation (American Rivers)

And yes, it’s a compromise. Like any compromise there are parts we don’t like. Building new dams, expanding reservoirs, and flooding some old growth forest aren’t things we usually get behind, to put it mildly. All of us have worked for decades to remove dams that cause more problems than they solve and protect forests and other important habitats. So we don’t take these compromises lightly. But the upside of the plan for wild lands and wildlife is spectacular.

Quite simply, the plan will result in impressive salmon recovery and habitat restoration, water quality improvements, new federal wilderness and wild and scenic river designations, and the addition of more than 70,000 acres of privately owned land to conservation status. This includes 45,000 acres in the Teanaway basin that has been the unobtainable crown jewel for Washington conservation groups for decades. The plan will protect 200 acres for every acre flooded by reservoir expansion.

Minot, N.D., June 5, 2012 -- A year after the Souris River Flood, the Souris River flows quietly through downtown Minot. Many Minot families lost ...

Minot approves plan for using $68 million in federal flood grants; HUD must also approve (The Republic)

The city is getting $68 million through Housing and Urban Development to help with recovery from last summer’s historic Souris River flooding. The city’s plan for spending the money includes helping homeowners with repairs as well as other measures such as developing affordable housing and repairing infrastructure.

 Downpour and drought (The Big Picture)

In the South, 14 states are now baking in blast-furnace conditions – from Arizona, which is battling the largest wildfire in its history, to Florida, where fires have burned some 200,000 acres so far. More than 70 percent of the nine-state Midwest was in some stage of drought this week. More extreme heat and scant rains were expected in the area, suggesting the poorest crop conditions since the historic 1988 drought.

Flood insurance for High Park fire victims a High Park bargain (Reporter Herald)

When fire burns at extremely high temperatures at ground level, as it did through parts of the 136-square-mile High Park fire zone, it not only destroys all the grasses, wildflowers, brush and small trees that had acted like sponges to soak up heavy rainfall.

It also changes the basic composition of the soil so that a waxy sheen forms on the surface.

When rain comes, it runs off as if it had fallen on a vast sheet of plastic

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