Six years ago I started a simple habit of writing five lines in a daily journal. Today I share six insights I have from this practice as I try to encourage you to develop this four minute habit. Listen to me explain how I learned: 1. God is faithful 2. My seasons of discontent are truly seasonal 3. Ingrained habits take very little willpower 4. Many of my plans don't work out. Actually, most don't. 5. My wife just keeps getting more awesome. 6. It's only through journaling daily did I to discover some of the sneaky blessings of God in my life. Resources Mentioned: The Levenger 5-year journal: https://amzn.to/3TfRlJI Sign up for my Things for Thursday Email: https://tinyurl.com/292kv68y Support Let's Parent on Purpose! https://letsparentonpurpose.com/ support/
So often media companies hold back from being truly creative with their marketing. But when they let loose they become culture shapers. Find out how. In this 5-minute episode Adam breaks down three ways your company can stop sitting on the sidelines and begin to shape the culture around it. Because when you own the narrative, the world's your oyster. Grab a pen, this is a highly actionable run through. And if you want to get into it further, follow Adam on Twitter:https://twitter.com/AdamRy_n (https://twitter.com/AdamRy_n) and sign up to the Perpetual newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/perpetual (https://workweek.com/brand/perpetual) And if you love listening to Media Moves, please leave me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast:https://ratethispodcast.com/mediamoves ( https://ratethispodcast.com/mediamoves) Thank you so much!
How long is your day? Ingrained in the society I live in is the eight hour work day. However, to get ahead, to be salaried, to be a manager, a mover and shaker or someone who is launching businesses or being an entrepreneur it's expected that you work 10, 12, 16 or more hours. Is […] The post The 4 Hour Day first appeared on Alchemy For Life.
Ingrained in each of us is an understanding that the world is not as it should be. According to John, those who are born of God through faith in his Son, Jesus, will overcome the world. What does it look like to overcome? Is it winning at life, or is there something else, something more? How do we as followers of Jesus live the life God has promised in Jesus? It's only through faith and trust in God that we can live an overcoming life. Today Jeri brings the message. If you'd like to connect with us or share a prayer request, feel free to fill out a connect card here: vineyardaltoona.churchcenter.com/people/forms/288405 We're always grateful for your continued financial support. To give securely online, you can visit this link: vineyardaltoona.churchcenter.com/giving Thanks so much for your continued support of Vineyard Altoona!
Ingrained in all of us is an automatic response that causes us to make decisions we don't want to in the surf. Control it, or it will control you.Start the free OMBE Method Training Programhttps://community.ombe.co/courses/6865409Not sure where to start with OMBE or what programs is for you?https://www.ombe.co/where-to-start-with-ombeGet OMBE Membership and all the training:https://www.ombe.co/shopSubscribe to our coaching newsletterhttps://ombe97827.activehosted.com/f/2Full written guide:https://www.ombe.co/guides/freeze-flight-and-fightJoin the Free OMBE Communityhttps://community.ombe.co/sign_upSubmit an episode suggestion:https://www.ombe.co/indepthasurfingpodcast
Guest host Arlene Bynon is joined by Taylor McKee, an assistant professor in sports management at Brock University. Arlene and Taylor discuss the culture of silence that exists within Hockey Canada, and why this problem starts way earlier than the NHL. Let's get talking See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Have you noticed that as we grow, we pick up on discrimination against a certain religion or culture because people around us have those biases? It takes much rewiring to first, recognise that we are biased and second, to unlearn those biases. In this episode, I talk to Soraya Deen who is different from me but also similar to me. Listen to our conversation on seeing differences, yet coming together on account of our similarities. Our identity is shaped by things that we agree and disagree upon but it's vital to acknowledge our biases to survive in a divided world by practicing unity, harmony and freedom. About Soraya Deen: Lawyer, award winning international activist, community organizer and motivational speaker. Works to defend human rights and dignity of women of faith. Contact: email@example.com ---------------------- Do you have a story to share? DM me on social media Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sharonangeld Twitter: www.twitter.com/sharonangeltwit Instagram: www.instagram.com/sharonangelig TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@sharonangeltok YouTube: www.youtube.com/SharonAngel This podcast is the result of my successful book, “The Courage to Identify Who You Are” (#1 New Release, 4.9 rating). Buy my book available everywhere: https://sharonangel.com/book/ THANK YOU TO ALL MY SUPPORTERS!
Today we're joined by Jade Eloise. Jade self identifies as a fat Black, queer, artist, writer, and spiritual healer. Jade breaks down for us in this episode what body positivity truly means, what its roots are. Jade is a mental health and self-love advocate, but in this episode, breaks down the distinction between self-love and body positivity in its truest form.This episode we explore:The true definition of body positivitySeparating our worth from productivityIntersections of identity and creative freedomPushing back against social programing/conditioning This episode is too good to keep all to yourself. Episode Resourceswww.etsy.com/uk/shop/ArtbyBodiposipoet www.instagram.com/reclaimingbopo/Get your copy of Decolonizing Wellness A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet Trap, Heal Your Self-Image, and Achieve Body LiberationDalia: Hello and welcome to another episode of Body Liberation for All. I'm your host and decolonized wellness and body image coach Dalia Kinsey. I help queer folks of color heal their struggles with shame and self-acceptance through nutrition and self-care so they can live the most fierce, liberated, and joyful version of their lives.Today we're joined by Jade Eloise Jade self identifies as a fat Black, queer, artist, writer, and spiritual healer. A bunch of my favorite things there back-to-back. So, this is a fabulous conversation, Jade breaks down for us in this episode what body positivity truly means, what its roots are. Jade is a mental health and self-love advocate, but in this episode, breaks down the distinction between self-love and body positivity in its truest form. This was a really informative interview when it was originally recorded and listening to it again.So that I could transcribe it before it posted it here on sub stack. I got so much more out of some of these observations Jade shared about entrepreneurship.I've been learning so much about myself in terms of what a affirming business space looks like for me and what type of marketing feels authentic and genuine and natural for me as I continue to promote Decolonizing Wellness, I have had such a time reckoning with the difference between what success is in terms of what I wanted from this project- which is to share, to use it as another tool, to reduce the suffering of all kinds of folks with marginalized identities that have a difficult relationship with their bodies because of the systems that we've been raised in but then also having a lot of residual hang-ups from how I was taught to measure success as a child in the public school system, in the United States and in general as a working class person. So. It has definitely uncovered a lot of areas for more growth. And while I've accepted that growth as an ongoing thing, it's even something that I discussed in the book that it's really crucial for us to get comfortable with that fact that there is no finish line in order for revolutionary change to really have a chance to take hold in our lives.But still I've been finding this particular experience to be a real catalyst for growth sometimes in an uncomfortable way but listening back to Jade's take on what it really looks like to do something creative or entrepreneurial was really helpful for me. So, I hope you enjoy this episode as well.If you love it, please be sure to share it with other people. Now that the podcast is on the Substack it's so easy to forward this episode to others. Alright, let's get right into it.Body Liberation for All ThemeYeah. They might try to put you in a box, tell them that you don't accept when the world is tripping out tell them that you love yourself. Hey, Hey, smile on them live your life just like you like it is.It’s your party negativity is not invited. For my queer folks, for my trans, people of color, let your voice be heard. Look in the mirror and say that it's time to put me first. You born to win. Head up high with confidence. This show is for everyone. So I thank you for tuning in. Let's go.Dalia: Hello. Thank you so much for taking out the time to come on the show.Jade: Thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here.Dalia: When we did the livestream, I had nothing but positive feedback and there was just so much more that we could get into. But, you know, I didn't want us to make like a massive four-hour recording.So, I'm so grateful that you're able to come back again. So, we could talk about a couple of other areas. So, we already know that you're a gifted artist and that you are really leading the way and helping us reclaim body positivity. Can you give us a little bit of a rundown of where body positivity started?Then what happened to it? Like how it got hijacked and what you're working on now?Jade: Yeah. So, I think the general kind of misconception about body positivity is that it is synonymous with self-love. It's all about reclaiming your body image for yourself and learning to love yourself. And obviously self-love is so, so important.I'm a huge advocate for self-love. And I know how it affects your wellbeing. Actually, learn to love yourself. But body positivity is not in fact similar sort self-love. What if acidity is born from fat liberation movements which started to kind of back in the 20th century mid to late and it was mostly led by Black fat women and fat women in general as well, just leading the way in actually reclaiming their bodies.And just making the world know that they were tired of not having their needs as fat woman looked after of you know, medical discrimination, stopping them from getting the care that they needed of constantly being told that their bodies were wrong and needed fixing And, you know, moving into kind of the early 2000s, and then obviously the rise of social media platforms and Instagram in particular, that sort of led to this movement of Black fat women and fat women and femmes and people who lived in marginalized bodies actually saying, do you know what, we want to show people what our lives are like, that we're proud to live in our fat bodies and that we're reclaiming them for ourselves. So, then body positivity was then born into this community of people online just saying we're here. We deserve to be here. And look at us just living our best lives in our bodies exactly as they are.Which was beautiful for the time that it lasted. But with a lot of big movements, it always comes to the point where capitalism sweeps in, and corporations always try to find ways to make money out of movements. And I think, you know, that was the start of the decline of body positivity where of course, you know, we want fat people to get the bag and, you know, making their money from their movements.And that was great at the start, but actually as it started to being capitalized on, it also started being co-opted. And that was when we started to see the body positivity that we have today, where if you search body positivity online, you're mostly see slim white able-bodied women claiming self-love and claiming body positivity without knowing what body positivity really means.Dalia: That just makes so much sense. And it brings up a really big question. When it comes to people who are trying to do work, you're part of a movement. It affects you. It affects a population you belong to, but as we all know anybody who's trying to affect change in the world around them it can be very time-consuming.So, for it to be sustainable, it's really helpful if you're also able to earn an income working in that area. But how do you strike that balance of the need to survive, the fact that we all deserve to be able to take care of ourselves and live somewhat comfortably, and the desire to stop capitalism from completely running our lives.Someone made a point to me online recently that they personally didn't believe that there's any way to ethically make money because you're participating in a really broken system. But I also thought that was very convenient for them to say, because they have access to generational wealth. So, they technically can opt out of actively trying to support themselves.And so, it's like, okay. So where does that leave the rest of us who also know what it's like to live with intergenerational poverty and knowing that that is not it. Like that is not where we want to be.And you're also so limited as far as how much energy you can put into effecting larger change when you don't know where your next meal is coming from or how to keep a roof over your head from one week to the next.Jade: Yeah, I think, you know, that is a lot of problem for a lot of activists and advocates in all sorts of movements. There is no one right answer. Honestly, everyone is just doing their best to stand by their beliefs and their morals and the goals that they have. Whilst also caring for their own needs and the needs of their family.I think for me, I've realized that when I first started within self-love and then into body positivity movements. I was in that mindset of, you know, any opportunity that comes my way. I just want to grab it because I'm helping to perpetuate the message that I want to get out there whilst also looking after my financial needs.But then actually there's a beautiful woman on social media @michellehopewell over the last year. She's really inspired me to be looking at, actually am I questioning the companies and the people that I want to work with and looking into what are their morals, what are their ethics? Are they standing by the communities they claim to be standing by what are the motivations behind the campaigns and the things that they want to be running?And actually, realizing that I'm empowered to question that and by questioning that and by looking into in great depth the people that I want to work with, I can be selective about the work that I take on. And actually, you know, choose to work with communities and seek out communities that I want to work with.But of course, again, I understand that there's a huge amount of privilege within that, to be able to pick and choose who you work with. I would say to people, if you have that ability to actually turn down work, when it comes up if you feel like that there's some ethical issues surrounding that, then that is a choice you might consider it.But at the end of the day, it's all about you as an individual and what you're doing for the communities that you're trying to work for. So as long as you're standing by the morals and as long as you're conveying those within your work. I think that's the most you can do.Dalia: I think that answer's really helpful. And the nuance there, that's one of the biggest differences between kind of a white supremacy culture, very misogynistic or patriarchal way of viewing everything is that under that system, there's a definitive right, a definitive best. And then everything else is trash, right?When in reality, everything is more nuanced than that. And all of our lived experiences are so distinct. We need to give ourselves room to make individualized decisions and understand that maybe the right answer for you will shift and change over time as you have changes in other areas of your life, maybe with income, maybe with having better support, having better options.And that's okay too. It doesn't really serve us to beat ourselves up for trying to do good things worrying, am I doing good things the absolute perfect way, the right way?There is no absolute perfect or right way to do much of anything. So, yeah, I think that's a really helpful answer is to understand that there is no one answer.Jade: Yeah, I think we've lost this understanding and you know, honoring the gray area in a lot of topics there is everything isn't always yes or no, black or white, it isn't always, you know, there was a correct answer and there's a wrong answer in reality that everything in life, it's a spectrum. And, you know, we can only do our best to seek out the right answer for us.We can only do our best to stand by our communities. You know, and also, you know, the whole idea of cancel culture and, you know, you did one thing wrong and now you instantly have to be ashamed of yourself and there is no redeeming yourself from it. We're always learning. We're always growing. And I think so long as we're always striving to do our best, and it's almost, we're always willing to listen and learn and always do better than that is the best that we can do.Dalia: Yeah. And I think it's really helpful when, when your goal is to communicate with someone or to try to do something collaborative with someone and, you know, you'll have to deal with them on an ongoing basis. So, let's say. You know, it's a coworker or it's a family member or someone that, you know, you can't just cancel them and keep it moving.We really want to call people in and give people room to make mistakes and be imperfect. And at the same time, I'm all about the accountability, like you said with companies and individuals reaching out to you, being able to look and see, do you really seem sincere based on your previous behavior? And even then you're looking at a pattern of behavior, not necessarily cutting off opportunities or people based on one thing, but just the same, you know, if it feels like a hard no for you and a boundary, and it's not like this person or entity or organization has to be in your life, you know, you can dismiss them and make more room for other folks. So again, it's like, both its yes and instead of just one or the other, which is really interesting to me, I saw some, well, you're always seeing so much pushback and back and forth about the concept of cancel culture and some people really just wanting to never be held accountable for anything.But at the same time also seeing some people going over the top and asking people who are being preyed upon by a system to be held responsible for responding to the system. So again, so much more nuanced and complicated than what most people want to deal with.Yeah,Jade: absolutely. I think things like that, they always have their place, you know, we do have to hold people accountable and people should want to be held accountable as well, because again, If you're striving to be better and do better in everything you do, you cannot expect to be above reproach and actually, you know, be told what you're doing in this situation isn't okay where you can do better. If you're not open to that I would question why I would question why, and are you really aware of the privilege that you hold in these situations? You know, so it, I definitely think that it does have this place It's again, it's, it's just nuances. It's about understanding that everything is not yes or no. It's like you say yes, and.Dalia: Yeah. Speaking of everything not being yes or no. Before the call started, we were talking about the beauty and the challenges of trying to be self-sufficient in your business, living off of your talents or your gifts and it always being put out there at least to millennials and gen Z as the ultimate dream, because, you know, later in the gen X era, people were starting to have the freedom and the time to even think about, maybe my work should light me up.Maybe my work should be an extension of my life's purpose. Right. And then we lead even harder into that. And we're like, if this job doesn't light me up, I got to get out of here. It's trash and I need to be self-employed and everything's going to be great once I'm self-employed. And then once we actually get into trying to live the dream. We realize it's really challenging as well. And yeah. Can you speak to a little bit of your journey with realizing number one, that your art could be used to support a bigger social movement? And even maybe before that realizing that art was going to be a big part of your life, what did that look like for you?Jade: Oh, well, I never thought that art would be a big part of my life in terms of my personal wellbeing and my mental health it always has been because it's always been an escape for me and a way to express myself. I mean, even when I was a child I did art therapy for a time just to help me cope with the feelings and emotions I didn't necessarily understand always been quite artistic as opposed to a more logical person so in that respect, it has always been important to me, but in terms of my financial security, I never felt that art would play a part in that because it was kind of drilled into me that that was impossible.In terms of schooling and things like that, you know, it was always look for the logical career options. You know, the types of careers that people are expected to go for rather than the creative type, you know, that sort of wishy-washy career, as people seem to think it is, especially here in the UK. So, you know, I didn't think that I'd be able to do art as a career and actually it was only when I think about a year and a half ago, I started to get back into my art. And at the time I was teaching myself, I didn't have to be a perfectionist and that I could love my art for what it is rather than trying to make it something that it just wasn't. And I just had a real sense of fulfillment from just allowing myself to express myself through my art.And you know, I had people express that they actually really appreciated my art for what it was, and that was really affirming for me. Okay, well, maybe there might be more people out there who might be interested in what I do. And so, as a creative expression medium body positivity obviously is incredibly important to me.So, it just felt natural to incorporate the two. In fact, I didn't even realize I was doing it until people were saying to me, wow, you know, I haven't seen fat bodies and Black bodies depicted in this way before, or at least not as much as we should be seeing it. And I was like, wow, I didn't even realize I was doing it.Dalia: Oh, that is so, so cool. That's definitely not the answer I expected, but then when you make the point that, of course everyone had told you, like artists starve, I don't know why that didn't occur to me because I keep seeing people make it work. Maybe like over the last 10 years, I almost forgot that that's what we were all told.I wanted to be a writer since elementary school, even though I grew up in an incredibly racist public school system, even in that environment, teachers kept telling me, oh, I feel like, you know, she's going to be a writer, but all of the adults in my life are like, ha ha. Why? Because you want to starve like that doesn't even make sense.Don't listen to them. They're just blowing smoke. Don't pay attention to that and it's taken almost. 30 years to come back around to what I wanted to do in the first place, which is very, very strange. So, kudos to you for coming back so quickly before you got like deep, deep, deep, into a career that maybe didn't light you up as much. The way it's usually depicted in movies and in books is that artists have a tortured relationship with their art. And since you were using art as a self-expression and self-soothing tool, have you had any stickiness around your relationship with your art?Jade: I think in terms of art was always really personal for me.So, I'm trying to make it into a career and make it productive. Oh, I hate productivity. I hate it with a passion. So, you know, when it sort of felt like I had to do things on a schedule and I had to jump. Create create, create and create for other people rather than creating for myself. I had a moment of do I even want to do this anymore?But actually, I tried to pull myself back out of that again, and I'm not creating to a schedule. My Etsy store I had planned to update it every two months. It has been three. I still have not updated it because, you know, I haven't created what I want to create yet. And I'm just leaving space for myself to create as I want to.And not as I feel like I should, or I have to because I always find that the art that I create on a whim is art that other people appreciate the most. And the art that I love the most. So. I'm sort of sticking to that, but of course, in terms of actually being financially sustainable, that's, you know, not quite as sustainable as I would like it to be, but, you know, again, that's what we were talking about before people don't talk about those elements of creative careers in terms of, you know, living the dream, you know, if you're self-employed, then you're living the dream, but actually in reality it is very stressful and very unpredictable.And there's parts of that I absolutely love, but there's parts of it that keeps you up at night, completely stressed out of my mind. So, you know, there's two elements to it.Dalia: Yeah. I can understand now why some people, they have their passions, but they know for a fact that they want to work for someone else.They know that they want to be able to demand their paycheck when its due regardless of what has changed in the world around them, right? Like you don't get to decide whether or not you pay your employees. They know that check is coming on a schedule. And when you're self-employed, you know, there's just so many different things that can affect what your income is going to be like from one month to the next.When I was a kid, my parents always it's, it's funny because. It seems like, no matter what your parents tell you, you're probably going to be skeptical about it. Like, so you hear like some kids who are raised by very creative parents who always lived off of their own talents, pushing their kids to do the same.And they're like, I don't know about that. And then they decide I want to go work for the man and then vice versa. But my dad had a really stable job, but it was for fairly large organization. And so when they went through a period of deciding to tighten their belts and get rid of people who had more experience, so they could pay younger people half as much to do the same thing, he ended up deciding to go his own way, took his severance package and decided self-employment was a better fit for how he and my mom wanted to live.And they've always tried to stress us that the security you feel when you're waiting on that one check from your company is an illusion, like we've seen living through this global pandemic. Checks that seemed really, really dependable evaporated into thin air. And in theory, when you work for yourself and you have multiple clients or multiple contracts, you lose one, but you're not down to zero income, but at the same time, it just is a lot of mental work to accept that instability and flexibility are normal and have to be part of our lives as adults if we ever want to have any sense of peace around our income. It's such a struggle because when you do work for someone else and you get that check at the same time every month, you completely buy into the illusion that you have security.Jade: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I just, I think there is no one right answer when it comes to either working for yourself, working with someone else or finding that balance between the two. I think for me having a bit of both works really well because the stresses I get from one or alleviated by the other and vice versa.So, I worked part-time for someone else and I worked part-time for myself. And I always know, as far as I'm aware that I'm getting my monthly to check from working for someone else, but I always have my business to fall back on should that something ever go wrong with that role. And you know, when it comes to creating, it does give me more creative license. Because it means that I'm not relying on my income from my own business, you know, to get me through the month. And I think we have this sort of expectation on people when they are self-employed that, you know, you have to focus, you always see those things, you know, those like motivational quotes and things online when they're like, you know, you have to dedicate your whole time, like stop splitting your focus, just focus on the thing that you want.Go out there, grab it, manifest it, all these other things. And you know, it's like, that's great. I love that mentality, but is it realistic? Because I know the stresses that my business brings me and, you know, If I focused on it full time, I don't know if I could deal with that overwhelming stress of not knowing if I was financially, financially secure.So, I think you have to have a little bit of understanding for people, regardless of what a job is, regardless if they're working for someone else or work for themselves, it's great to have dreams and hopes and motivations, but I think realism also does play a part. And you know, not just expecting people to give up security for the sake of creative freedom, I think it is no, it's just.You can't, it's not sustainable and it's a lovely dream, but I just don't know if we can always obtain it straight away. But we can take those steps to obtaining it further in the future.Dalia: Yeah, I think that's one of the biggest gaps is that it's presented as something that we can make happen in a really narrow window of time when I think in reality it's normal for a business to be in the red and the negative for maybe the first three years. Like that used to be an understanding that that's normal, but because the internet supports the illusions that are like, zeitgeist we think that people wake up one day and realize, you know, that the hustle culture is where it's at and the magically by the end of the week, they're making millions of dollars.And I don't think that's really a thing. And it really makes sense to me, especially for people who hold identities that are being marginalized in that environment, that they're living in to understand that if you are under a lot of stress or pressure, that may be additional stress from having to work through fears around security and stability is going to be a major obstacle for you. That may be the person who wrote that post about like staying focused and manifesting your dreams. Maybe they didn't have those other factors. And that statement made perfect sense to them and their life. And you even think about how will people regard you if you're in a large body and you have brown skin and you are an artist and you're living off of that art and things, don't go quite as planned and you go to get support from some social system or safety net that exists in your country, how will you be perceived versus someone doing exactly the same thing as you and a smaller body with white skin? You know, even the reluctance to be in a position where you might need help is influenced by our identities.ItJade: really is. I mean, you know, up until.Literally this month I was on benefits. I was on called universal credit. And you know, in a lot of ways, if I wasn't on benefits, I wouldn't be able to start my business because they actually helped me to get the initial funding to do that. But that was a source of shame or embarrassment for me because I'm very much hyper aware of how people might perceive me because of my body. And I didn't want to live up to that fat, lazy stereotype of, oh, you'd rather just live on benefits rather than working hard. I think for me, because I, I am disabled. I have chronic illnesses. And also, I am, you know, I have a creative mindset, you know, I'm, I'm not someone who can be hyper-focused on manual activities my brain just doesn't work that way.And, you know, people might think that's an excuse, but really that is just how my brain works and how my body works. We're all different in those ways. So, for me, you know, working for myself has provided me with the opportunity of working in a way that suits me and looks at myself. No, I'm not interested in hustle.And I think people would be horrified, but you know, oh, you don't want to work hard. You just want to be lazy, whatever. And again, I feel that stereotype, especially living in a larger body and especially with being disabled as well, because again, I know within the working classes in the UK, there is this idea of if you're on any sort of disability benefit that you're just trying to scam the government out of money.So, there's all these stereotypes around different body types. Hustling doesn't interest me. I think we have this very odd colonialist mindset that you have to work yourself into the ground, but you have to work until you, you, your health has just deteriorated and only then are you benefiting society only then are you worthwhile.My wellbeing matters to me. I'm not interested in stressing myself out in making myself ill. So yeah, I want to work hard, but my perception of what working hard is not someone else's perception. And I think when it comes to things like being self-employed, there's this idea again, that if you're not working 60, 80 a hundred-hour weeks that you're not working hard enough. So, your failures are caused by you. It's no, that's all I can say to that. No, because we have to look after ourselves. You know, we're not just here to be placed on this earth to work. And then for that to be it, we have to live. We have to look after ourselves.We have to find purpose in whatever way it works for us. So, hustle is great if someone's, if someone loves hustling absolutely go for it. Do that thing. For me, I want to look after myself. I want to enjoy whatever it is that I do in all capacities. And often that just means slowing down.Dalia: Yeah. Oh, that's such a, that is a whole word like that is such a crucial message.And what's so funny is when you really look at how people perform at their peak, following your body signals and knowing when to slow down and knowing when you're just not feeling it, you know, you sit down to write something, you sit down to record something, and your energy is not there. If you make yourself sit there for eight hours, it doesn't get any better.Sometimes what you need to do to get the best product is to leave. Stop what you're doing. Go do something different. Do something that activates a different part of your consciousness. Relax. Sometimes you find, when you sit down to do something that you thought you'd been putting off, you'd actually been ruminating on it in a positive way, in the back of your mind all week.And then when you sat down all the information you have been kind of letting simmer comes back to the surface. So sometimes even, or concepts of what is working, it doesn't fit the reality of the situation. You don't have to be working in a way that someone walking by would be able to validate, you know, if you have your own creative process and you honor that and you're willing to respect yourself enough to tailor your life to what works for you. Then your productivity may actually surprise you like how much better your productivity is when you respect your body.Jade: Yeah. And I also think it's really important to have a really strong sense of self and to work on understanding of self, because a lot of people, again, will look at you and tell you things about yourself.You know, you're not working hard enough, you're not working in the right way, but if you understand yourself, you can acknowledge those times when you are actually, you know, being productive without being physically productive.And also knowing the ways that you work might be different to other people and that those ways are completely valid. So, you know, a lot of things, when I was younger things that people would say, speak of me, quite negative things about the way I worked. But for instance saying that I'm, you know, flaky or I don't commit to certain projects and I felt that for a long time and I am still working through those feelings now, but what I recognize now is those things that might make someone consider me to be flaky or to not commit are also the things that on new projects get me to absolutely push through and bring ideas together and pull them into something and, you know, birth them into the world in a way that I wouldn't have been able to perceive if I didn't have those qualities, they allow me to multitask.They gave me the energy and the drive. You know, when I have short deadlines, I am never more committed when I have a short deadline, because that's how my mindset works. So, we all work in different ways and all those ways are completely valid. And actually, when it comes to then collaborating on projects, you know, you get to work with people who have work in different ways to you and you all compliment each other.So just because you don't work in the same way that someone else does doesn't mean that you're not valid, actually it makes you an amazing team member and an amazing contributor once you know what those qualities are and how to make them work for you for the better.Dalia: That's the key is knowing what those qualities are.And I appreciate that you acknowledge that maybe you've been trained to devalue working style or your creativity, maybe that is not just something you're going to be able to wake up and say, oh, now I know that this is valid. Maybe it will be a process. Maybe you'll really have to push to work through it.And with some of the obstacles, we have mindset obstacles from childhood. This may be something we're always working through. You know, you kind of go in cycles, you go through phases where you understand your worthiness and then something rocks you and you take a couple steps back and then a couple of steps forward.That's natural too. Thinking we're going to magically erase everything that conditioning has done to us up until now isn't really realistic. And I think that also ties back into how there's no nuance in a lot of the bod pos things we see out there that you're going to erase all of your conditioning and love yourself completely every single day and want all these pictures of yourself from strange angles and want to share them with the world. Like that’s just, just not the reality for most people. It may not even be the reality for the people posting those photos and some people. And I don't say this to be a hater, but some people aren't even posting images that they haven't tampered with.So that's something to consider too, just because someone puts out an image and they use all the right hashtags and it looks like, oh, they're revealing something that it's brave of them to show like that one roll. That doesn't mean there was no airbrushing in other areas. Everything could be an illusion, right.And whatever that person is comfortable with, that's fine. But at the same time, if we internalize that I have to be at this point where I've just going to take pictures from all these angles and post them and feel great about it not understanding that that person curated that image too, that puts you in a really tough spot.And you will end up being too hard on yourself as you try and work toward greater self-acceptance.Jade: Yeah. And you know, like in terms of social media it’s a highlight reel, regardless of the types of content that people are posting, you know, whether it be body positivity and all the different forms of what people perceive as body positivity.People are posting the highlights of their journey with their bodies and with the, you know, overcoming conditioning they don't share those moments when they've actually, you know, reverted to an old mindset, or they're still trying to overcome old patterns because it doesn't fit into the image of ourselves that we've curated online. And actually, this idea that we overcome conditioning, but we're still living in that conditioning. It is constantly being forced at us all the time. So, I think there's no way to overcome the conditioning all we're doing is constantly pushing back against it and finding ways to rewrite the narrative for ourselves and for others in particular within body positivity.And I think, again, that's another mistake that people make in this comparison to body positivity and self-love because if I was gonna compare body positivity to anything, which I don't like to do, but if I was going to, it would be body neutrality. Body positivity is the understanding that all bodies are equal and deserve to be treated equitably within our society.There is no good or bad within body positivity. It's not about creating a beauty ideal, in which all bodies are accepted. What it's actually about is removing the body ideal understanding that we shouldn't be hierarchically categorizing bodies. Bodies are just bodies. You know, they don't define us, and we can't put moral value on them.And I think body neutrality is far more important in that sense than self-love because it's understanding that you don't have to look at yourself every morning and go, oh my God, I love myself. Let me take a selfie immediately from all these different angles. It's not actually saying I am neither here nor there about my body, because I'm know that I'm more than my body.I am most important. And people might perceive things about me because of my body but as long as I understand how I perceive my body is enough, that is what matters. And as long as I am carving out space, for my body to be seen and heard and valued for exactly what it is and as long as I'm searching for equal treatment within any space that I take up, that is what's important.So, I think, you know, even if we take away the fact that body positivity has been co-opted, the fact that it's being compared to self-love again, is really problematic in that sense of making people feel like they have to love themselves in order to be body positive. Cause they don't.Dalia: That's such a helpful reframe and that makes so much more sense with the reality of our lives and the fact that we're still in environments that are hostile to our bodies. So pushing back is the goal like, and that is as far as it's probably going to get for a while and seeing the ways in which corporations and other people want to use our sense of self to commodify us is really helpful when it comes to understanding that it's most important that we have a strong relationship with our sense of self and knowing that we are more than our body and more than these individual things that marketers want us to focus on correcting and taking your body back and really living in it on your own terms. It's a vehicle for you to do all the things that you're on this planet to do it isn't a self-improvement project to spend all your days on.Jade: Absolutely. Yeah. I, I know that's a concept that when I'm talking to people about body positivity, I often try to get them to understand that your body is a vessel. It is a vehicle for navigating with the world, for communicating with the world.It is not the be-all and end-all of who and what you are. We place so much worth on aesthetics of a body when the ascetics of the body are the least important, part of all the functions that it has for us. And sure, I think that's a deeper conversation that doesn't really go into body positivity, but in terms of understanding self-worth and having a strong sense of self, it is a really important concept to grasp.Because on days when I am not happy with my body because I understand that it doesn't fit into these Eurocentric beauty ideas that we have and that, you know, for the rest of my life, I have to deal with the fact that maybe we'll never get to a point within society in my lifetime where my body is accepted. But what I can do for myself is understand that regardless of what society is telling me about my body and about my worth because of my body, I can push back against that because I understand deeper than that, that the conditioning that we are facing does not define us.Dalia: Yeah, that's extremely helpful when it comes to work. In online spaces, knowing that it's a highlight reel and also knowing that people are in different stages of their journey toward understanding the things that you're teaching about, how do you navigate creating boundaries and creating safer spaces for the people in your community?Jade: I think the first thing is that I don't engage in any kind of troll like behavior. I used to, I used to feel like because of the privilege that my body holds in certain senses I want it to have the capacity to be able to speak for those who might not be able to have the resources and tools to speak for themselves in these situations and actually try and reeducate people wherever possible in whatever way they were coming at me.So, when I used to have people comment on the things that I was doing online or engaged with members of my community, under my posts, I would always try and reeducate and engage in conversation. But I realized that there are people who don't want to engage in these conversations they're either so wrapped up in the conditioning that they've faced, that their self-hatred is pouring outwards onto other people or, they really do have a deep disdain for my communities. That's, that's none of my business, you know, if, if that is how they want to present themselves to the world, I don't need to engage with that. So, I've set a really strong boundary in that sense of actually saying it's not my responsibility to engage with that person.So, I don't at all. I block any comments that come up, which are clearly antagonistic. And I focus my energy on engaging with the people who want to be there and who are searching for better for themselves. And it's also not just to protect me, but it's to protect anyone who comes onto my page because they don't need to be subject to the nasty, cruel comments that people feel the need to express.So that's sort of a hard boundary that I have recently had set in the last year, kind of a firm for myself that that's not my business to be doing that. And then in terms of, you know, sometimes I don't have the tools and resources to help people through something because I'm working for it myself.And often you'll find in community spaces that you're always triggering things for each other areas of your life that need healing, which is wonderful and it's really important for continued self-growth and self-development. But also, you have the hold space to yourself first. So, in those instances, I'll often say to people, I really appreciate you coming to me with this.Unfortunately, I can't help you with this right now, but you know, please continue to be in this space and it's not because I don't want to be there for you in this moment. It's just that I don't have the resources myself to do that.Dalia: That's really helpful knowing that you have to hold space for yourself first and knowing that that is the nature of community, is that we continually hold up mirrors to other people and trigger growth in them, and sometimes it doesn't feel great. So that can make being in community a challenge, but it really is a place where so much healing happens, but where I've seen it go kind of off the rails is where you don't have someone who's leading the conversation who can help guide the community with community agreements, community standards, like what we don't entertain here, what the space is not for.I've seen a lot of people lately, especially who say they want to grow. And I believe they believe they want to grow, but they're going to all the wrong places, asking for people to guide them when there are so many people who have created resources meant for those folks who are on that one-on-one level stuff with their anti-racism, with their body liberation, with their fat liberation.There are places dedicated to that. There are resources dedicated to that. And when you jump into a community where people have gotten beyond the concept of, oh, are these types of humans worthy of care and respect? That's not the place for you to show up asking, like, but are you sure though? Because I heard that bodies have to be this one way to be worthy of belonging and respect.Jade: Yeah. And I think, you know, I would hope, expect, I guess, from any community members that show up in my space, that they have an understanding of that. And obviously that's not always the case. And depending on what's been going on for me and how many instances I've had of people maybe overstepping their boundaries in certain spaces.I do have time to talk to people and just say, you know, maybe it's good for you to go away and do some research on this before you come back into this community space, because we've moved beyond this conversation. Sometimes I don't have the kind of emotional freedom and I don't have the emotional capacity to be able to have those conversations.In which case I just step away from it. Because again, I, I created this space for myself first for my own self-healing first, and then it moved beyond that and it moved into advocacy, but I will never put my mental health into detriment because of dealing with other people. But again, that's not to say that people can't get things wrong sometimes, which is why I always try and give people the benefit of the doubt.But, you know, if someone's continuing to show up into a space and they've been told multiple times, we're not having this conversation and they continue to have that conversation. Yeah, I just, you know, I have, I have a limit when it comes to that.Dalia: That's a good model for the rest of us, that it is okay and crucial if you want to do advocacy work and if you want to lead community spaces to prioritize your own wellbeing. Because the work is not sustainable without that.Jade: Yeah. And I would expect. Or hope for that for anyone sharing the body positivity space and the online space. I think we do have to be looking after our mental health, because it can become overwhelming.We can expect too much from ourselves. We can expect perfection from ourselves. And I think when it gets to that point of expecting perfection from ourselves, I've seen instances where people start to create another false sense of identity where they don't even realize when they might be causing problems and being problematic within the communities that they are trying to be a voice of reason within.So, checking back in with yourself and reconnecting with yourself and understanding, you know, maybe I don't have the right words, the right tools for this situation, because we're never going to be completely perfect, we're always learning. I don't know everything about body positivity because I wasn't around for its conception.I've had to learn and research all the things that I know about it as a community member and grow with it over time. So, when there are instances where I don't know things, either I go out of my way to research it and bring back the information that I found or I just have to turn around and say, I don't know.I really don't know. I need to do this work for myself before I can bring you into this space with me. And you do see instances of people in different communities, not just body positivity where that's not being done, because we trick ourselves into this thinking, we have to be perfect. And we have to know everything because this expectation has been placed upon us.It's not, it's just not realistic. And I think reconnecting with yourself and holding space for yourself helps to prevent that as much as possible. And also, then being open to accountability and being open to being told, maybe you're wrong in this instance is also important for keeping our privilege in check and for making sure that we're doing the work that we want to be doing rather than what we think we're doing.Dalia: Yes, do you have any practices that you can share that are good for restoring your sense of being grounded? Like after you've had a negative interaction with somebody onlineJade: For me, I, I have lots of little silly sort of practices that I do because I think they're so human that they sort of, they just make sense to me.They might not make sense from people, but little things. Like whenever I pass a mirror, I always make sure to make a face at myself. And this seems like such an odd thing when I tell this to people. It takes away the seriousness of all connection mural reflection, because I don't think it's normal for us to see our reflection as much as we do.It's not really. Ingrained within us to be staring at mirrors all the time or seeing pictures of ourselves all the time. So, whenever I see my reflection, I'll just pull a face or a smile at myself. Just little things like that, that creates a positive interaction with my reflection and grounds me within myself to be like, whatever stresses are going on, whatever kind of negative interactions that I've had that might make me feel negatively about my self-worth or about my body they're sort of irrelevant on the grand scheme of things. That one interaction does not define me, does not define my work. And so just doing little small things like that to connect with myself really make a big difference. And then as kind of a spiritual healer for me doing things like meditation and doing things like you can visualize body scans and connecting with your body and just feeling at home in your own skin.Those sorts of things are really great for just feeling grounded within yourself. And also, being outside whenever possible, obviously is really helpful as well, just for connecting with the world on a wider scale, rather than focusing on the internet, because it is still a very small community, even though it seems like it connects us to everything, it can become a bit of an echo chamber.So, stepping outside of that and back into the real world is definitely, really helpful as well.Dalia: Yeah. Oh, that really resonates with the body scans. Do you guide people through those or is it, can you show us how to do that?Jade: It's a little bit of a longer process that I'd be able to share with you right now.But in terms of I was running meditation classes and it will be something that I'm doing again. But you can find body scans and guided meditation during a body scan online. Or if you just search on YouTube, there's lots of wonderful ones. When it comes to meditation, I think the voice is the most important.So, finding a voice that resonates with you and that you feel comfortable and secure with, because it is mostly auditory led. So, you have to find one that works for you. Often people find one meditation, don't connect with it and then think they hate meditation. But in reality, it's just, they haven't connected with the right person.So just keep searching for one that works for you or write your own, just focus on connecting with the body, the sensations that are around you. I like to imagine my energy coming together as a ball of light in my chest, and then that light moving to different areas of my body and just allowing myself to feel that, connecting with the ground, those sorts of things.They just help to center you. And help you see your body as more than its aesthetics and actually understanding all the things that our body does for us on a day-to-day basis. And that's, you know, as someone with chronic illnesses, it can be difficult to appreciate your body when you feel like it's almost working against you.But those little moments of connecting back with myself really helped me to have appreciation for all the things that my body does do as opposed to kind of berating it for the things that it doesn't do.Dalia: That's really helpful. Where do people keep up with you so that they can be in touch when you start offering those again?Jade: So, I do have a Facebook page it's called a Safe Space to Grow. There hasn't been much on there for a few months. Cause we were talking about before we started I kind of needed to create space for myself to focus on certain projects. So that has taken a back seat to now. I do also share sort of mini meditations to my Instagram page @bodiposipoet. I'm hoping to start showing them short.Really short one-minute snippets as well to TikTok at some point, just to add a little bit of sort of body positivity and grounding into that space as well, because it can be a little bit chaotic at times.Dalia: Yeah, absolutely. Just a few people who've done that really creatively since, you know, the video just starts over and over again, the way they did it, it feels like a full meditation, like as long as you want it to be because of where starts over. So, I love that idea. We'll be looking out for that. Are you, is it the same handle on TikTok?Jade: Yes. It's actually @artbybodiposipoet, because I was originally using it for my artwork and will continue to use it for that purpose as well. But yeah, I'm sure if anyone wants to find it, they should be able to.Dalia: Wonderful, thank you so much for coming on. I'll definitely have the links to your Etsy store and all of those other places.Jade: Oh, thank you so much for having me. I love that every time we talk, there's always something new and different that comes out of the conversation. So, yeah, I've loved it. Thank you so much.Okay. I know it wasn't just me. Was that, or was that not just packed full of gems? Jade really dropped a lot of knowledge on us in this episode. Be sure to look for Jade on TikTok and on Etsy. I am really pulling back with social media these days thinking about how to use my energy in the most effective way for all of the things that I want to do so you probably won't find me on social media.But you will be able to find me in the comments on Substack. I'm working on building community there, doing coaching asynchronously there because that's a way to make myself accessible to a lot more people at once. So, I hope you will check out that option that is for the supporting members. Of the show and the body liberation for all community in general.I will have links below in the show notes to give you more details about that. If you feel called to check it out. Thank you so much for joining me. I will talk to you next time. Get full access to Body Liberation for All at daliakinsey.substack.com/subscribe
What is the ego? Evolutionary mechanism. Allows for individual personality and identity (rather than losing self in group). Ingrained part of every personality. What is ego-based consciousness? Mental dimension that is characteristic of the physical realm. On our life journey, our vibration naturally increases overtime, which means we are always pushing up against the boundaries of the ego. The goal is to expand our awareness beyond ego-based consciousness while still understanding how to navigate it. Why ego-based consciousness is important. We are incarnated, which means we need mechanisms to navigate the incarnate (physical) realm. On the mental dimension, this is reflected as the ego, the “I”, the self-identity. In many situations, our ego helps us navigate important life experiences, regardless if deeper spiritual work is ongoing. When does the ego become problematic? When it impedes our natural expansion by hindering self-growth and evolution. This happens when unhealthy perceptions or beliefs perpetuate until they become limiting (we cannot move past them). This is why enlightenment practices (reaching for higher vibrational frequencies) requires ego-work (releasing of lower vibrational frequencies). In this episode, we discuss the nature of the ego, why it's important to integrate, the harms of trying to 'kill' or 'get rid of' your ego, and why the ego is necessary to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. The "Rules for Being Human" that I discuss in this recording were written by Cherie Carter-Scott. They can be found at this link.
Many travelers heading north on Interstate 5 or Highway 99 only get a fleeting glimpse of the Sacramento Valley. However, those who know this region understand and appreciate how unique and valuable it is. The Sacramento Valley is an impressive patchwork of farms and communities, living and working in harmony with the environment. A worsening drought has led to major water cutbacks. Farmers will grow less and the communities with agriculture as their foundation will be impacted. Local officials are concerned about how lost farm production will impact their communities. “Those impacts are actually huge,” remarked Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter, who farms with her husband, Ben. “You can just measure the magnitude in dollars, revenue to the county, and that revenue to the county and to the growers is there's a trickle-down effect. You have the equipment companies, you have the chemical companies, you have the fuel suppliers. You have also the people. In a drought like this, none of us can afford to hire as many people as we normally hire.” Colusa County has an annual value of all crops produced of more than $900 million and is America's top rice growing county. Cutbacks from the Sacramento River this year are unlike anything experienced before. Concern for drought impacts is pervasive throughout the region. “Butte County, like many rural counties throughout America and California, is the economy revolves around agriculture,” said county supervisor and farmer, Tod Kimmelshue. “The farmers make money, but also the support services that serve agriculture, also do very well when things are good. Now, if land is going to be fallowed this year in Butte County and Northern California, we're concerned that some of those support services will also not do as well. So it has quite a ripple effect going through the whole county.” As this season plays out, the Sacramento Valley will be tested. Even with a difficult year ahead, optimism remains for the long haul. “We care deeply,” remarked Yuba City City Councilmember Grace Espindola. “The diversity of community is in our blood.” Espindola said building Sites Reservoir would be an excellent step to help California weather future droughts. Jim Morris: It's late April in the Sacramento Valley and, at least here along Highway 99 in Butte County, things appear somewhat normal. The recent rain is unusual, but unfortunately the lack of rain in the winter months is an all too familiar occurrence. What we're left with is unprecedented drought, which has extended for three years and it's causing uncertainty and concern like never before. Denise Carter: Quite honestly, no one has ever seen it this bad. Jim Morris: Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with farmers and ranchers throughout the state for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. During that time, there have been all too many dry years, but what's happening this time has never been experienced in the Sacramento Valley. Concerns are real and rising. Butte County is one of the state leaders in agriculture, with a crop value of well over $600 million a year. Farming is the foundation of this county and of our valley. Tod Kimmelshue is a family farmer and a retired ag finance banking advisor. He's now serving on the Butte County Board of Supervisors. Tod, for someone who isn't familiar with your area, how do you convey to them what farming and ranching mean here? Tod Kimmelshue: Butte County has always been a very strong farming community and we're very lucky also, to have an agricultural university here, Chico State, which trains farmers and agricultural people. We grow several different crops here, mostly almonds, walnuts and rice, and agriculture has a great deal of impact in this area. Jim Morris: I think many from afar think California weather is absolutely perfect. And we certainly have some perfect times, but we're in a bit of a rough stretch right now to be sure, not only the winter freeze for almonds, but also the awful drought entering year three now. Prime examples of how this has already been an agonizing year for many. What are your concerns about drought impacts? Tod Kimmelshue: The drought has had a huge impact on our water supply in this area. Much of Butte County rice is grown with surface water. And, when we have a drought, the reservoirs don't fill up, and so there's not enough water for the rice crops in this area. The other water source we have in Butte County are aquifers. And most of the orchardists in this area use the aquifers. However, those aquifers have been declining as well during the drought. Jim Morris: When land is idle and crops aren't abundant, what is the effect on non-farmers in your area? Tod Kimmelshue: Butte County, like many rural counties throughout America and California, is the economy revolves around agriculture. The farmers make money, but also the support services that serve agriculture, also do very well when things are good. Now, if land is going to be fallowed this year in Butte County and Northern California, we're concerned that some of those support services will also not do as well. So it has quite a ripple effect going through the whole county. Jim Morris: I've lived in Butte County, and I know Butte Strong is more than a slogan, it's a way of life. Looking back to the Camp Fire in Paradise, several years back, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. This region struggled mightily, but came through and rebounded. How much will your area need to rely on its resiliency to whether this latest setback? Tod Kimmelshue: Well, this is just another setback in many that has affected Butte County, and we consider ourselves very resilient. We've made it through some of these really terrible disasters. Drought is just another disaster that may impact us here in Butte County and probably will impact us economically. So we believe that we will weather this storm, just like farmers weather many different storms and weather conditions, and we will come out of this in the next couple years when we get more rain. Jim Morris: Colusa County is America's top rice growing county. Its crop values usually exceed $900 million a year. There are legitimate concerns about how this year will play out due to water cut backs. The biggest drought impacts are along the Sacramento River. Denise Carter and her husband, Ben, farm in this county. She's also a county supervisor, a role she served for nearly 15 years. Her background includes an engineering degree from UCLA. Denise, can you convey your concerns about the drought from the perspective as a grower and someone who's working on behalf of your county? Denise Carter: As a grower, I would say the cutback is significant. For us in our situation, since we are a settlement contractor along the river, with our 18 percent of Sacramento River water that we are going to receive, we are dedicating that to our rice crop. So we will grow basically half of what we normally grow. It's a small quantity and we grow organic rice, and obviously there's a real need in that market. So we're doing our little part with the water we have, to grow a little bit of rice. Jim Morris: How about your community that you represent and your concerns about those impacts? Denise Carter: Those impacts are actually huge. You can just measure the magnitude in dollars, revenue to the county, and that revenue to the county and to the growers is there's a trickle-down effect. You have the equipment companies, you have the chemical companies, you have the fuel suppliers. You have also the people. In a drought like this, none of us can afford to hire as many people as we normally hire. So quite frankly, that's my biggest concern is having jobs for people. And if we don't have jobs for people, what are they going to do? Are they going to leave their area? So, eventually maybe we will have more water, hopefully next year, will those people come back? Many of these employees have been in this county for years and have lived here and farmed here for years. And in Colusa County, agriculture is the number one industry. We are an agricultural-based county. So consequently, it's going to have a big hit on our county. Jim Morris: You mentioned economics, but I caught a bit of emotion, too. People know each other here, they're concerned for each other. So how emotional is this year going to be? Denise Carter: I think everybody knows each other in this community and there's going to be significant job loss in the county. People in this county do really take care of others in this county. I truly, truly believe that, and I've seen that so many times, but the magnitude of this job loss is going to be significant. And we have farmers who aren't going to be able to afford to hire as many people. And they're also not going to get the hours that they're used to getting. I was actually talking to someone about, at a tomato processing facility and they say, "People aren't going to be working 12 hour days. They'll be working 8 hour days." Denise Carter: Because again, you can hire more people at 8 hour days or maybe you don't even have enough product, but you can hire more people if they have less hours, and maybe that's enough to keep people, at least, going. I had a conversation a couple days ago at our local paint store. And I asked him how things are going. And he said, "They're going okay. The big projects are still happening, but what I'm not seeing is the walk-in traffic, the people coming in who want to just paint a bedroom." And I think it's because people can't afford to, quite honestly. There are priorities, food, shelter and transportation. Jim Morris: Agriculture, by nature, is cyclical. Have you seen or heard from other people, anything like what's happening this year? Denise Carter: No one has ever seen it this bad. And, you couple the lack of surface water with the strain on our groundwater and it's kind of a perfect storm right now. And it's very frightening from a lot of different aspects. Jim Morris: Grace Espindola legally immigrated at the age of two and has been a trail blazer, including becoming the first Mexican-American elected to the Yuba City, City Council. And Grace, can you tell me a little bit about your background and also the diversity of this area? Grace Espindola: I came to this country at a very young age. I was two years old, carried by my mother with one luggage and we were destined to come to Colusa. My father was working there in Colusa with Mayfair Packing Company. So he had established a place for us to live. So here we are, I'm now a City Council member. Jim Morris: That is so awesome. And reading from your biography at the age of 12, you began working in the orchards of Sutter County and your work has evolved into a variety of jobs, including fast food, a waitress, dishwasher, housekeeper, retail, insurance, home health, clerk, secretary, counselor, and many other jobs. So you have seen many different sides of this Sacramento Valley economy. How much is agriculture intertwined with all of the people here? Grace Espindola: One hundred percent of our community is connected to ag business or ag industry. One of the things that my mom said to me when I was 12 years old, that the reason that she thought I was going to be successful, is because I knew how to pick walnuts faster than any other kid. So having that kind of experience, working out in the orchards and knowing the value of the farm worker, working with the farmers and within the city of our city, who purchase a lot of consumer goods, it is a relationship. It is a community and that's what the value is. Jim Morris: And the Yuba Sutter area is amazing for agriculture when you look at walnuts, peaches, prunes, of course, rice. And so, what are your concerns specifically for agriculture, as we look at a year that we haven't seen before, a third year of drought? Grace Espindola: The biggest concern is having enough water for all of us. As a city, as an ag business, as a community, do we have enough water? Well, fortunately we are in a better situation than other parts of our state, that is good. But in the future, what would that look like? So we, as a community, part of my mission, part of my priority, working with farming community, working with local businesses, working with the farm workers and their families is to be able to come up with solutions that we can both live with. And I'm also working with the State Water Board, DWR, for that voice to be heard from local community members. Jim Morris: How much do people care for each other in this region? Grace Espindola: We care deeply. The diversity of community is in our blood. That in a farmer when you have, there's a family, and sometimes farm workers in that farming industry become part of the fabric of family. My family, working for Mayfair Packing Company, we had that connection and I have continued to utilize that philosophy in my work as an elected official, but, at the same time, as just another person who is trying to do the right thing for all of us. Jim Morris: I can feel your positivity and it is a very challenging year. How positive are you that through perseverance, this region is going to make it through? Grace Espindola: I have everything to believe that we're going to make it through. We have to be much more mindful on how we utilize water. We have to connect all of this, in order to be able to live amongst the needs of how we're going to utilize the water when it becomes less. But, when we have extra water, we also have to know how to store it, how to keep it, to utilize it for those times when we have droughts, like we are in now. Jim Morris: Sites Reservoir would be an excellent addition to California moving forward. Grace Espindola: I completely value Sites Reservoir. I went up there and did a tour and seen firsthand, and I see the entire benefit of all of our community. It will offer many jobs, it will bring economic boost, but most of all, what we all need, is we need to reserve water and be prepared for when those moments of drought, like we're living now, so let's get this built. Jim Morris: That will wrap up this episode, but you can find out more on the drought and on our podcast at calrice.org. We will keep you updated as the year progresses. I appreciate Tod Kimmelshue, Denise Carter and Grace Espindola for their time, comments and concerns for our region. Thanks for listening.
A third straight drought year poses major challenges for California's environment, cities and farms. While cooperation, collaboration and innovation are needed in the short term, many feel a major part of the long-term water solution is additional storage. A remote area on the west side of the Sacramento Valley could be a big part of the solution. Sites Reservoir has been debated for decades, and getting this critical addition to water infrastructure appears more likely than ever. One major development in getting this project completed is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month formally invited the Sites Project Authority to apply for a $2.2 billion low-interest loan through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, which would bring the project significantly closer to construction and completion. Jerry Brown “This really is a game changer,” said Sites Project Authority General Manager Jerry Brown. “Additive to the other sources of funds that we have, a prior loan from USDA and Proposition 1 funds from the state and federal sources, really rounds out our financing picture to a great extent. This puts us on a to track where we are now in a position to fund construction of the project, which is really exciting!” Brown said there are several steps needed, including applying for a new water right to the State Water Resources Control Board. There are other permits needed from the state and federal government. If all goes as hoped, ground will be broken in 2024 and the new reservoir will be in place in 2030. He said if Sites were in place prior to the wet years of 2017 and 2019, it would have been completely full at 1.5 million acre feet to start 2020, and would have been able to provide about 400,000 acre feet of water for the state's cities, farm and environment. Brown said while Sites will provide significant benefits for urban and agricultural customers, it's commitment for environmental water will set it apart from all other projects. “I don't think there's ever been a project like Sites that will provide the kind of assets and benefits for environmental purposes.” As the drought will provide significant impacts to the Sacramento Valley and state in the months ahead, hopefully getting Sites Reservoir built will provide major help in the future; especially vital considering our volatile climate. Episode Transcript Jim Morris: After a promising start to the rainy season, California has gone extremely dry. The lack of water provides serious widespread challenges. As our climate volatility grows, the need for a more reliable water supply is even more vital. For a growing number of people, that's where Sites Reservoir comes into play. Jim Morris: Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. A lack of rain and snow has extended the drought for a third year, creating the likelihood of widespread pain. One hopeful sign for the future would be carrying out a project that's been discussed and debated for decades, Sites Reservoir. Jerry Brown is general manager of the Sites Project Authority. Jerry, let's start with key updates on the project. First, can you relay the big news from the US Environmental Protection Agency, what happened, and how important is this news? Jerry Brown: This really is a game changer. What happened was the Environmental Protection Agency is making an invitation to the Sites Reservoir Project to apply for what's called a WIFIA loan, Water Infrastructure And Finance Investment Act. And what that is, is a mechanism by which the federal government makes a loan available to a project like Sites. In this case, it's in an amount of about 49 percent of the project cost, which for Sites is roughly $2.2 billion. So it's a $2.2 billion loan that has been offered to the Sites Reservoir Project, and, additive to the other sources of funds that we have, a prior loan from USDA, the Proposition One money from the state, and the federal sources really rounds out our financing picture to a great extent and puts us on a track to where we are now in a position to fund the construction of the project, so that's pretty exciting. Jim Morris: Let's talk about that construction. Realistically, and perhaps optimistically, what is your timeframe that you're looking at? Jerry Brown: The loan doesn't really necessarily accelerate the project. There's still several steps that we have to take to get to the point where we can start construction. Probably most notable is the upcoming application that we're making for our water right. We are going to be seeking a new water right for the Sites Project, and that will be submitted within the next month. And, with that, it will kick off about an 18 to 24 month period that the State Water Resources Control Board takes to evaluate our application and make a final determination as to the water right that will be established for the project. Beyond that, there are some very critical permits that we need to secure through the Fish and Wildlife Service of both the state and the federal government. Those are under way. We've made an application recently for one of those, and there's a couple more to do, and we expect those to occur within the next 18 to 24 months, as well. So those critical activities will lead up to the point in time when we will be able to have the assets in place to then secure the loan with the federal government through WIFIA. Once that occurs, we'll be able to initiate construction fairly shortly after that. So, hopefully, by mid to late 2024, we'll start construction. And it's about a six-year period, which would put us at operational completion in about 2030. Jim Morris: If Sites were in place now, how much of a difference would it make? Jerry Brown: Because largely of the 2017, 2019 wet years, if we would've had Sites in place then, Sites would've started the 2020 year completely full at a million and a half acre feet. We estimated last year, had we had Sites in place, we would've had about a million acre feet of water in the reservoir for the farms and cities and environment. With the use that was projected last year, we would probably have about 400,000 acre feet available this year, which is still a very substantial amount, especially considering the very low conditions at our upstream reservoirs, Shasta, Oroville, Folsom. Jim Morris: We have three distinct segments in California, and they sometimes intertwine, the environment, cities, and farms. How would each of these benefit if Sites is built? Jerry Brown: The one piece of this, while I believe the benefits for the cities and farms are very important and necessary to make the project work, is the environmental element. I don't think there's ever been a project like Sites that will provide the kind of assets and benefits for environmental purposes. We're still figuring the final participation by the federal government, but, on a high end, there could be up to around 40 percent of the project, the Sites Project, that would be dedicated for environmental purposes. And that is huge, because never before has the state or the federal government owned and operated an asset like Sites, that will have both storage and water supply for the environment in the driest of years. And with that, we recently entered into some collaboration with some environmental groups to evaluate how we can optimize the use of this environmental storage to provide the optimum benefit for all the different environmental objectives that are out there. So we're super excited about that. And the board is very committed to this as a component of the project. I think one other thing to note, one of the criticisms about the Proposition One investment in environmental purposes is that maybe it's going to be somewhat of a bait and switch where we say we're going to do something, and then, when times get tough, it's not going to happen. But I can tell you with a hundred percent confidence that this board and this project is going to seek to have an ironclad contract with the environment, with the State of California, to the point where, as long as there's a California, there will be an environmental component to the Sites Reservoir. Jim Morris: When you look at rice, we have shown that you can grow a crop that's very helpful for our cuisine and incredible for our economy, but then we also have the Pacific Flyway Benefits, and looks like salmon will be benefiting from rice farming as well. So does it need to be an or conversation, or can Sites be part of a greater and picture that help our water overall in California? Jerry Brown: I've been involved in California water for decades. And we are at a stage where it seems like we are at odds a lot in terms of what kind of strategy to take to improve our situation. There's the or camp, which seems to be of a mindset that we can extend and optimize what we have. That we don't need to do much of anything, but we just need to conserve and recycle, and that will take care of all of our issues. That is a strategy, but I believe that what we're seeing today and the stresses that are occurring in our natural and developed systems, which are significant, we're seeing the results of that just an or strategy. There is an element to extending our supplies that we have, but there's also the and part of this, which is we need to build new facilities and find smart ways to extend the resources that we have to provide for the changing climate, the growing population, and all the needs of California, including the environment. And we think Sites Reservoir is a great tool that will allow us to do the and. Jim Morris: I've lived in the Sacramento Valley my entire life. And, I have to say, it's a big concern when we look at what the drought is doing to our region. So let's talk about some optimism. If not now, when would this ever happen? What kind of momentum do you see for this project, and what kind of optimism do you have at this time that this is going to get done and help our state? Jerry Brown: We are at a critical juncture where the Sites Reservoir and other storage projects, whether it be groundwater, storage, or surface storage, recycled water, conservation, desalination, all of these things are necessary to secure our future. And with SGMA, with the stresses that our existing resources are under, we have to invest. And I think more and more people are recognizing that. Somebody asked me this the other day, "What is different today than maybe 10 or 20 years ago in terms of the possibilities for Sites Reservoir?" And I think a big part of it is the recognition of the changing climate and the effect that that's having on the availability of our water supplies. And, I think, people see the sensibilities of essentially providing additional storage of water, so that as we get more of our precipitation in the form of rain instead of snow, that we have someplace that is reserving this supply, diverting it during the wettest periods, when that can be done safely, and saving it for the dry periods when we really need it most, all of us. Jim Morris: I appreciate Jerry Brown taking time to visit on this key project. As the year progresses, we will keep you updated on developments with Sites Reservoir, as well as drought impacts in the Sacramento Valley. You can find out much more at podcast.calrice.org. We appreciate your comments, questions, and reviews. Thanks for listening.
Since fundamental changes were made to the way rice straw is managed following harvest in the early 1990s, Sacramento Valley rice country has steadily grown as a vital rest and refuel stop for millions of birds. Local rice fields not only provide habitat for nearly 230 wildlife species, the value of rice fields for the environment is proving to be even greater during drought years, because there is less water on the landscape and fewer habitat options. What's next for the environmental crop? If promising research by the Rice Commission and UC Davis pays off, Sacramento Valley rice fields may one day help dwindling salmon runs. The third year of field work for the salmon project has just completed, and the last of the baby salmon raised on Steve Neader's Sutter County rice farm have been released and are heading out to the ocean. Through sophisticated tagging, their journey will be studied. The ultimate hope is that rice fields specifically managed for this purpose will provide an even greater role in preserving and enhancing the California environment. “I'm extremely optimistic about it,” remarked Andrew Rypel, one of the study leaders and professors in the Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology at UC Davis. “All of the data we have collected points to the fact these fields are going to be helpful for, not just salmon, but lots of native fishes.” There were new elements in the latest year of the project that will ultimately help researchers adapt the habitat management strategy and understand prospects for future success. “This is the first time we've ever done the project on full size rice fields, with about 125 acres devoted to testing the practice at scale, “ said Paul Buttner, Environmental Affairs Manager of the California Rice Commission. “One of the things we needed to make sure is that we could allow the fish to move freely through all of the checks in the field and out of the field when they want to, which is called volitional passage. We put in specialized boards with holes and notches to allow the fish to move through the system entirely.” Buttner stressed the importance of partnerships to make this multi-million dollar project successful, including the scientific research from UC Davis and other technical partners. “It would not be possible without funding, that comes first and foremost from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service,” he said. “They provided over half of the funding for the project. All of the funding they provide has to be matched with private sector contributions, both financial and in-kind. Syngenta and State Water Contractors have really stepped up with major contributions, and we have a long list of other sustaining contributors as well. The full sponsorship list can be seen at http://salmon.calrice.org/#Sponsors.” As the salmon left the rice fields to start their journey to the ocean, it was a somewhat emotional time for researcher Alexandra Wampler of UC Davis. “I'm very excited,” Wampler said. “I can't wait to track their migration to the ocean. We have a very dense receiver array, so we should be able to track each step they take, and it's going to be very exciting.” It will take a while longer to determine the viability of the project, but those involved remain optimistic that, perhaps one day, Sacramento Valley rice fields will add a significant new area to their environmental benefits. “I think that rice fields have the same opportunities for the salmon as they did for waterfowl,” said Carson Jeffres, research ecologist at UC Davis. “It's a little bit different. It takes different opportunities because fish can't fly, so you have to make it available for them, as opposed to having it just available for them to fly to. There's those same possibilities that we have, and I think that we've really turned a big corner in doing that, and we're starting to see those benefits being realized on the landscape right now.” Episode Transcript Jim Morris: The environment holds special importance in California, and salmon represent one of the most beleaguered species in what now is year three of a major drought. There is a ray of hope in the form of a partnership being lived out in the rice fields of the Sacramento Valley. Jim Morris: Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with the state's farmers and ranchers for more than three decades to help tell their stories. Environmental stewardship among the rice industry is unparalleled. Not only do Sacramento Valley rice fields serve as a vital part of the Pacific flyway migration of millions of ducks, geese, shorebirds, and other species, those same fields offer great promise to help salmon. Jim Morris: I'm at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, where researchers play a pivotal role in exploring how local rice fields might help salmon. I'm speaking with research ecologist, Carson Jeffres. First of all, Carson, salmon in California have been struggling. What are some of the factors that have led to that decline in their population? Carson Jeffres: They face multiple threats, both in the freshwater environment where we've experienced drought for multiple years. We're on our second major drought in the last 10 years, which is probably much more of a long term drought. Water and fresh water environments is limited, but also there's other factors from thymine deficiency coming back from the ocean. It's just one thing after another that they've experienced over the last, probably, a hundred years. Now, we're starting to see the culmination of climate change and management really affect the populations. Jim Morris: Rice fields may help in two different areas. Can you comment on those? Also, your degree of optimism that these two areas may significantly help. Carson Jeffres: There's two ways that those, what we think of as historic floodplains, which are not rice fields, can benefit the salmon. One of them is that, unlike birds, fish can't get to the dry side of the levee, but we can take the food that grows on the dry side of the levee and the rice fields and pump it into the river for the fish that are out migrating to the ocean. The other way that rice fields are used for salmon during their out migration, is that in the flood bypasses. In particular, is that when we have flood events, many of those habitats are rice fields now, and fish can use them during their out migration. If we manage those habitats well, we can benefit salmon during their out migration on those habitats, and the food that we grow that they consume, and they get big, and then they head out to the ocean. Jim Morris: In a larger picture, reactivating the floodplains of the Sacramento Valley, do you see multiple benefits from that, not only just for salmon? Carson Jeffres: Many species rely on these habitats, from waterbirds, the waterfowl, there's the waiting birds, there's fish, there's groundwater recharge. There's lots of benefits from having floodplains activated in the Central Valley. For human uses, for wildlife, it's really a win-win to see those habitats inundated. Jim Morris: Fish food, and rice fields, how nutrient rich is that, and how optimistic are you that can make a difference? Carson Jeffres: Fish food is really interesting in that what happens is as the rice double breaks down, when it's flooded, is it's basically carbon that's being released in the water. Carbon is the currency of energy in the floodplain. When carbon is released, microbes eat it, and zooplankton can eat it, and that's creating food for the salmon. It's really that ability to create that carbon out and make it usable for the animals in the system. That's what happens when you flood during the non-growing season. Jim Morris: How important is it to consider the long term in this process? I imagine the salmon population probably won't rebound immediately, but steps need to be taken to help this important part of our environment. Carson Jeffres: This is a problem that's been constructed over the last 150 years, since the Gold Rush. We shouldn't expect that we're going to fix it in one, or two, or five years. This is a long term idea that we need to change. The decisions that we're making now are something that will affect the future. Understanding that we have climate changing, being able to be plastic with our decision making, and our management, is really important. Jim Morris: Rice fields have helped a lot with the Pacific Flyway and are essentially surrogate wetlands in California. Do you feel that they might be able to play a similar role down the road for salmon? Carson Jeffres: I think that rice fields have the same opportunities for the salmon as they did for the waterfowll. It's a little bit different. It takes different opportunities, because fish can't fly. You have to make it available for them, as opposed to having it just available for them to fly to. There's those same possibilities that we have. I think that we've really turned a big corner in doing that. We're starting to see those benefits being realized on the landscape now. Jim Morris: Andrew Rypel is a professor and the Peter Moyle and California Trout chair in cold water fish ecology at UC Davis. Andrew, this is year three of field work of the pilot salmon project between UC Davis and the Rice Commission. At first glance, it may sound like a wild concept, but good things are happening. Can you provide an overview on the project? Andrew Rypel: What we're trying to do this year is to really scale out some of the lessons we've learned from previous years, such that we're working on production scale rice fields, working with growers, using the infrastructure that they already have in place, and trying to do things to help fish, to help salmon, using that infrastructure. Jim Morris: Let's talk about that infrastructure. How suitable is a rice field to raise salmon? Andrew Rypel: Well, we think it's very productive habitat. When you look at the river habitat that salmon have been using in recent years, it's functionally equivalent of a food desert. What this is really about is activating the floodplain, activating the food factory that already grows food for people, but now might grow food for fish, and grow salmon to be big and healthy. Jim Morris: To have this work, you really do need quantifiable data, and of course, good results. How are those achieved? Andrew Rypel: Using sound science. What we're really trying to do here is get down in the weeds, get down in detail with the kinds of questions that managers and agencies are really interested in here. Trying to understand how well salmon move through the infrastructure, through the modified rice ports that we have, how well they survive in the fields, how well they egress out to the river, out to the bypass, out to the ocean, these sorts of really nitty gritty science questions that are hard to do, but we need to really advance the practice. Jim Morris: What level of optimism do you have that this will ultimately work and help the salmon population? Andrew Rypel: I'm extremely optimistic about it. Everything we've collected so far, all the data we've collected, points to the fact that these fields are going to be helpful for not just salmon, but lots of native fishes, but the key is to really do the hard work, do the science, to work with the agencies that manage these fisheries, and these stocks, to address their questions, to do things in a partnership-oriented method, and to move the practice forward. Jim Morris: When you talk about native fish, I have seen some of your writings on that. That's an area of passion for you. It sounds exciting that maybe salmon are just the first part and there could be other species that could be helped by rice fields. Is that one of your hopes? Andrew Rypel: Absolutely. Many of the native fishes in the Central Valley are adapted evolutionarily for floodplains. Though we only have 5 percent of the natural floodplains left, we have 500,000 acres of these rice fields. We think they can be used smarter to help lots of native fishes, including salmon, but including a lot of other are kinds of native species, things like Sacramento black fish, and Sacramento perch, and maybe even smelt, who knows, but a lot of these species evolved to exploit the food rich areas of these floodplain areas, which rice fields can still provide. Jim Morris: Oftentimes, when you have fish and farming, particularly in California, can be rather adversarial. What's different about this arrangement as far as you see? Andrew Rypel: Fish and farms have been pitted against each other for a really long time in California. But to me, that's becoming somewhat of an old trope, and something that we need to get past. This is a great example of an interesting project where fish conservationists, growers, can work in collaboration to really help the resource, while still helping make food for people. That's the kind of thinking that we need in California. That's the kind of thinking we need in the world. This is just one example of how a project like that can come together. Jim Morris: Paul Buttner is environmental affairs manager with the California Rice Commission. Paul, it hasn't been easy at all times, but after three years of field work, what are your thoughts about the potential viability of this project? Paul Buttner: Well, Jim, I'm very encouraged about the possibilities for this project. As you know, what we're really trying to accomplish is to do for fish, what we've done for birds, for many, many years, that is develop habitats that's ideal for them. Of course, there's a lot more challenges with the fish side than the bird side. Of course, the birds fly over the habitat. They see it, they come down, they use it. With fish, it's all about the plumbing. It's how do we get the fish there? How do we get them off of the fields? These are the types of questions that we're really trying to answer. Jim Morris: What were some of the new areas that you were working in this year? Paul Buttner: Well, first of all, this is the first time we've ever done the project on full size rice fields, 125 acres or so, with five or six checks. One of the things we needed to make sure is that we could allow the fish to move freely through all of those checks, and out the field when they want to. It's called volitional passage. We put in specialized boards with holes and notches, allowing the fish to move through the system entirely. Jim Morris: Carrying this out takes a lot of coordination, creativity, and partnerships. Let's talk about the latter. How vital are partnerships to make this effort a success? Paul Buttner: Yeah, this is a very significant project. We're in phase two. Both phases are pretty expensive. They cost about $1.2 million apiece. Tremendous amount of science being done by UC Davis, and our other technical partners. It's a really significant endeavor and it would not be possible without funding that comes first and foremost from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Services, which has provided over half of the funding for this project. Of course, all of the funding they provide has to be matched with private sector contributions, both financial and in kind, and Syngenta and State Water Contractors have really stepped up with major contributions, and then we have a long list of other sustaining contributors as well. Jim Morris: We've come to the final day of the third year of field work for the salmon project. Alex Wampler of UC Davis, you've been here through the start. What are your thoughts as the fish are going to head from the rice fields out to the ocean? Alex Wampler: I'm very excited. I can't wait to track their migration to the ocean. I suspect the fish will make it out in about 14 days. We have a very dense receiver array, so we should be able to track each step they take. It's going to be very exciting. Jim Morris: Is it at all emotional? You're kind of in a different area. You're working with living things. We sure hope that the salmon will ultimately be helped by all of this. Alex Wampler: Oh, yes. It's very emotional. I care about these fish deeply. I've hand raised them since they were eggs, in November. I suspect that they will do very well out at sea. It feels great to know that our efforts, and our research, are going immediately to species survival and helping these endemic and endangered species have a great chance while working within human boundaries. Jim Morris: Hopefully, those same rice fields that provide major benefits for wildlife, especially during drought years, will also play a valuable role in restoring salmon, an icon of the California environment. Jim Morris: That will wrap up this episode. Thank you to Andrew Rypel, Carson Jeffres, Paul Buttner, and Alex Wampler for their comments about this promising project. You can find out more at podcast.calrice.org. Please subscribe and leave us a review. Thanks for listening.
Did you know that certain behaviors, instilled in you by culture since early childhood, can impede your progress with Jesus? Especially if you want to become a bold, empowered Christian woman? In my 30s, I began to realize just how much I'd been programmed by culture. I knew that if I continued in these "normal" or common female behaviors, I would never be free. I would never be empowered. I would never fully step into my God-given identity, authority, and calling. So I began reprogramming myself to shed them and, today, I'm going to help you do the same. Because, sister, culture does *not* get to define who we are in Christ - or how much we grow in Christ. Are you with me? Let's do this! Learn More: https://www.relateescape.com Join the Online Community: https://www.relateescape.com/online-community Be the first to hear about new podcast episodes, product releases, and special announcements! https://relate-escape.ck.page/jesus-maiden Shop the Store: https://www.relateescape.com/store Follow on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/relateescape
I wish I could be a leasing consultant again, because I can think of four different channels I would have going at the same time, and I would be making four times the commission for every appointment slot available within a given day. – Rebecca Shaffrey, SVP Corporate Services at Bell Partners On this week's episode of Sync or Swim, we share a highly valuable conversation from the most recent Retcon, a best-in-class real estate technology conference, hosted in Miami, Florida. In the recording you'll hear from Max Steinman, Interim CEO for Rentsync, as he moderates the event's marketing and leasing panel. He is joined by four trailblazing multifamily industry professionals: David Perez, COO of Carroll Rebecca Shaffrey, SVP Corporate Services at Bell Partners Michele Tate, National Director of Leasing at Toll Brothers Clint Lee, Co-founder and CEO of Convey by OneDay The focus of the panel centers around how technology has become ingrained in the marketing and leasing process, and how it is fostering greater innovation, streamlined operations, and more competition within the industry. Key points from this episode: Getting to know the panel and their role in supporting multifamily organizations How digital marketing is improving the leasing process How chatbots are helping increase the speed to lease How video technology is personalizing the touring process How self-guided tours are streamlining multifamily operations What's next for multifamily marketing and leasing technology If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe or follow Sync or Swim wherever you get your podcasts, Apple, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.
This week, Sandy has a conversation with Dr. Emma Osong (Elkridage, MD) about an ongoing humanitarian crisis in her home country of Cameroon.Beat the Big GuysHost: Sandy Rosenthalhttps://www.sandyrosenthal.netProducer: Jess Branashttps://www.branasenterprises.com
Kyle is a professional MMA athlete/fighter training under the famous gym American Kickboxing Academy. He is also the Vice President HFSE Combat Sports Division. Podcast Topics: -Training during Covid -The power of reading -Falling in love with learning -Childhood -Wrestling at a young age -Out working everyone -Ingrained to wrestle -The start to fighting -Noticing improvement -Gym wars -Over training -Adversity shows true character -Mental workouts -Fighting correlates to life -Getting to high on wins -Taking different perspectives -Face offs -Meditation -Concussions -Controlled sparring -Having a supporting partner -Fighting in the UFC's Contender Series -Cutting weight -Studying opponents -Having a PHD in fighting -Staying in your lane -Anthony Do -When to walk away -The sport evolving -The mental edge -Tracking your health -Goggins -Putting your money to work -The next chapter -Consistency -Cut the snakes -Russ -Build now play later -Be that risk taker -Greatest lesson learned -Be great Connect with Daniel: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmqE4tnWDXoiSPyaaqn7Nmw Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danieljohngonzalez/ https://www.instagram.com/talkinoutmyasspodcast/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MultiMillMind TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@danieljohngonzalez Connect with Kyle: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kydriscoll/ https://www.instagram.com/hfse.combatsports/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/kydriscoll
Episode 83: Loving Yourself is the Simplistic Foundation You Need to Be Authentic Show Description: The foundation you need to be determined every day to be your authentic self is based on your ability to love and accept yourself as you are. Top Takeaways: · [2:23] Always Being Wholly Yourself· [4:14] The Foundation Of Inner Conflict· [6:04] Benefits of Always Being Authentic· [7:43] Foundational Steps To Authenticity· [10:10] Moving Forward With The Foundation To Live Authentically Episode Links: Ø You are more than enoughØ You are whole, not brokenØ You belongØ Loving connectionsØ Blaming othersØ You're focusingØ Personal boundaries Ø Podcast hostØ YouTuber Ø How you behave Ø Shine all the timeØ The ego uses fear Ø React to a situationØ Can pivotØ Masks and armor Ø Stuff your pain Ø Perspective Ø The offseasonØ The influence you have Ø Create change Ø Be compassionateØ Live your truthØ SynchronicitiesØ Ingrained belief systems Ø Words have powerØ Awareness Ø Be inspired Ø Enjoy the time Ø Support the show (https://paypal.me/TerriKozlowski)
For all of the high-tech advancements California is famous for, one part of the state's infrastructure – providing enough water for its environment, cities and farms – is lacking. It has been more than four decades since the last major water storage facility was built in the Golden State, and our total population has nearly doubled since that time. Proposed for the west side of the Sacramento Valley, Sites Reservoir provides an opportunity to dramatically boost water storage capability, which would help safeguard the state during drought, like what we are currently enduring. Sites would provide up to 1.5 million acre-feet of additional water storage, with a dedicated supply of water for environmental uses, including a significant amount of water for our state's wildlife refuges, particularly in dry years, to support the ducks, geese and other wildlife who greatly rely on our system of refuges to survive and thrive. The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is not taking a position on Sites. They do have an interesting concept to help the environment, should the project be completed – an environmental water budget. “This approach to water for the environment would have really big advantages,” said PPIC Senior Fellow Jeff Mount. “Right now, the way we manage everything, it's all set on minimum in-stream flow and water quality standards. It's kind of like a hydrologic flatline- it doesn't change enough. We're suggesting that the most efficient and effective use of water has to have some flexibility in that use – especially if you want to mete it up with investments in physical habitat. That's why we're promoting an ecosystem water budget managed by a trustee of some kind –a restoration administrator like on the San Joaquin River. This is probably the best way to go. It's nimble. It sets the environment as a partner, working with the people who are managing the operations of storage all the time. And there's certainty. The key bottom line is the flexibility this would bring.” Sites would also provide more water for urban needs, something very appealing to many, including General Manager Valerie Pryor of Zone 7 Water Agency, which serves the East Bay Area. “Our community places a lot of value on increasing water storage and especially the Sites Reservoir,” Pryor remarked. “Our board and community are excited about this prospect. Seventy percent of our water comes from the State Water Project, and that supply is increasingly less reliable. Also, we are not all the way to build out, so we do expect to add population over the next 30 years, so we need additional water supply – both to make up for decreasing reliability and also for growth. The Sites Reservoir really helps with that equation.” This enthusiastic support, plus increased momentum from favorable state and federal reviews of the project, are welcome developments for those trying to get this reservoir built – including the top person tasked for this job. “I am 100 percent confident that Sites Reservoir will be built,” remarked Jerry Brown, General Manager of the Sites Project Authority. “It must be built. The thing that we are striving for, and I believe is a need in order to proceed, is that we must do this together.” Episode Transcript Kai Tawa: We had a really good start to the water year with that atmospheric river event in late October. A lot of the valley got somewhere between 4 to 8 inches of rain. Quite historic, really. Jim Morris: Meteorologist Kai Tawa of Western Weather Group in Chico commenting on the positive start of the water year, building hope that the drought might be broken. Kai Tawa: From there our luck really continued going into December with some more atmospheric river storms with things looking good. Jim Morris: Unfortunately, 2022 has been underwhelming for rain and snow. Kai Tawa: We know it was certainly one of the driest January's recorded throughout northern California, and now we're going into February here. The medium to long-range models are pretty confident that we're going to remain quite dry. Jim Morris: Today, we take a look at California's water shortage and how long-term planning can help the state survive and thrive. Jim Morris: Welcome to Ingrained, the California rice podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris. Proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for the past 32 years to help tell their stories. As if the pandemic wasn't enough, this year has started with little rain and snow fueling concerns that once winter is all over we may be in another dry year. That would be painful for our environment, cities, and farms. It's been more than 40 years since the last major water storage facility has been built in our state and our population nearly doubled over that time. Many are eyeing Sites Reservoir as a big part of a more stable water future. Proposed for the west of the Sacramento Valley in Colusa and Glenn counties, Sites would provide a major boost to the amount of water that can be stored during wet years to help during the dry ones. Jerry Brown is general manager of the Sites project authority, and Jerry, it would be good to get caught up on how the project is proceeding. I understand there's important news from the California Water Commission, so can you tell us a little bit about some of the latest developments with the Sites project. Jerry Brown: Just last month, the state made a feasibility determination for the project, which they went through a very extensive review process of several elements of the project and came to the determination that the project continues to be feasible and investible from the state's perspective under the Prop 1 storage program. That compliments the earlier decision by the federal government for a similar feasibility determination, and between those two that represents anywhere from 30 to 40% of the project. Beyond those investors, there's the local agencies, and they are going through a process right now to evaluate their continued participation in the project, and we're getting really good and positive responses from the local agencies. Collectively we're looking really strong as far as where we are, and the funding levels to proceed with the project, and have a lot of momentum to move forward with some great work in the coming years. Jim Morris: Those who are unfamiliar with Sites, this would be an off stream reservoir fed by excess water from rainstorms. Is that right? Jerry Brown: That's right, Jim. Sites is not your old dam. It is a reservoir that is set off the Sacramento River, but does receive water diverted out of the river, but only taken during the highest flow periods in the river, pretty much the very wet times like 2017, 2019 would be the timeframes, that would store the water in the reservoir during those periods until we need it in the drier times when we would release it back into the river for meeting demands of our participants or directly serving demands within the area of the reservoir. It's really an insurance policy for those drier times which we're seeing more often and more severely. It's something that we need in order to prepare ourselves for our future. Jim Morris: Past years, we've certainly seen, we've had tremendous amounts of rainfall and we haven't been fully able to capture all of it. Is it feasible to think if we have an incredibly wet year, that Sites can fill rather rapidly? Jerry Brown: If you look at averages and the analysis that we've done, we're expecting that we could fill the reservoir in anywhere from five to seven years. But from my experience in my prior life as the general manager of Contra Costa, we were able to fill Los Vaqueros on first spill in one year, and we had originally anticipated a five to seven year fill period as well. That's a question that a lot of people ask me is how long is it going to take to fill, and it couldn't be anywhere from one year to, on average, five to seven years. Jim Morris: The environment is talked about a lot in California and for good reason, it's vital, of course. The diminished salmon runs come up a lot, and at the rice commission, we're working with UC Davis on a pilot project raising salmon and rice fields. There's also promising work where fish food is being produced in rice fields and then returned to the river to help salmon. Jerry, what would Sites do to help this area? Jerry Brown: There's two aspects to Sites that I think need to be understood. First, the state is an investor in the project, and as such, they are receiving benefits for the environment. There will be a dedicated storage space and amount of water that is provided for the state to manage for the benefit of the environment, including the salmon, and including the delta smell, for example, is another species that could be helped with the project. What they will be able to do is storing this water in the wet years for use in the dry years. In these dry times like we've been seeing and the effects that we're seeing on the salmon, this water could help the salmon survive these periods, so that's number one. Number two, being where we are on the Sacramento River and where we are located relative to Shasta and Orville and Folsom Lake, there are opportunities to coordinate the site's operations in a manner that could provide for greater cold water in those reservoirs. Cold water can, especially in the dryer years, can enhance our ability to help the salmon survive in the river. Jim Morris: Yeah, keeping that water temperature at a certain level is critical for the survival of the salmon. Projects like this take time. What is a realistic timeframe to get Sites completed? Jerry Brown: Our current working estimate of our schedule is that we will be operational and complete by 2030, so within this decade, the project will be built. Jim Morris: To help that process, I think it sounds like good news that you have now an engineering and construction manager starting soon as well. Can you comment on that? Jerry Brown: A very important component of our upcoming work is to advance the engineering to a level that will give us more confidence in the cost estimate for the project. That's something the investors really need in order to proceed. With that ramp up of work, we need some additional oversight and some additional capabilities, and so we've hired a gentleman by the name of JP Robinette, who has actually worked on the project for a couple years and has a lot of experience and great capabilities to help us advance this part of the work. One of the other aspects of JP's background is that he grew up in an area in southern Oregon similar to where we're trying to build the project, so he has a real sense of the local community's needs and will be able to bring that to the project. Jim Morris: I could speak with you a hundred times, and I have to ask you this every time out. Sites is a very polarizing topic for many people. Some people love it and they understand the value of it, other people are negative and they feel it would never get done. What level of confidence do you have, Jerry, that Sites is going to be built? Jerry Brown: I am 100% confident that Sites Reservoir will be built. It must be built. The thing that we are striving for, and I believe is a need in order to proceed, is that we must do this together. There is, as you said, polarizing effects from surface storage project of this nature, but I think we've reached a point in our development of the project where we've been able to address many of the areas of concern that people have had. We've reached a point where we are at a spot where it makes sense. We can do this safely and protective of the species and all of the other concerns and considerations that go into building something like this, but we must do this and we must do it together. Jim Morris: Speaking of that, can you comment a little bit about the level of support that you're seeing locally, broader terms as well? We have very different sections of water in California environment, urban, agriculture. What level of support are you seeing for the project? Jerry Brown: Probably the one area that stands out most for me is the local support. We would not be able to do this project without that support. We're seeing that in other big projects across the state where local support just doesn't exist, and there's a lot of difficulty moving forward. It's because of that local support that we're able to move forward, recognizing that our board is made up of the local community leaders. That is important to everyone on the project, not just the folks that are in this area, but other folks that are to be served by the project that are located outside of this area. I think that aspect of it makes it unique and also makes it possible. Jim Morris: An important part of the water supply equation is meeting urban needs. Climate change and several other factors have put pressure on that supply. Valerie Prior is general manager of Zone 7 Water Agency, and Valerie, can you tell me a little bit about your agency, the region you cover, and who you serve? Valerie Prior: We are largely a water supply wholesaler, and we serve the East Bay area. We serve the cities of Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and portions of San Ramon. We are a state water project contractor, and we deliver state water project water through four retail agencies. Those agencies are the ones that serve water to homes and businesses. In zone seven, we actually also serve 10 to 15% of our water supply directly to agriculture. Those water supplies go to largely to the Livermore valley wine growing region, which is an important economic center for our community. Our local water supplies include some local groundwater, some local runoff, and then the retailers provide recycled water as well. I'd also like to mention that we are the groundwater sustainability agency for the region, and we recharge a groundwater basin with that state water project water that I mentioned, and we've been sustainably managing the basin for several decades now. Jim Morris: You have a lot of different clientele, a lot of different ways to get the water. As we're in another dry period unfortunately, there are short-term ways to make that water go farther, conservation, innovation included, but still long-term answers needed in California. How much value do you put on increasing water storage specifically with the Sites Reservoir? Valerie Prior: Our community places a lot of value on increasing water storage and especially the Sites Reservoir about which our board and our community's very excited. I mentioned that 70% of our water comes from the state water project and that water supply is increasingly less reliable. Also, we are not all the way to build out, so we do expect to add population over the next 30 years, and so we need additional water supply both to make for decreasing reliability and also for growth. The Sites Reservoir really helps us with that part of the equation. It compliments the state water project, so our thought process is in wet years we take state water project water, and in wet years we could store water in Sites Reservoir. Then in dry years, we'd be calling on the storage and the Sites Reservoir to meet our community's needs. Jim Morris: Sites Reservoir is proposed for a very agricultural area and the Sacramento valley, but just to be clear, this project would help urban areas as well. Valerie Prior: Very much. We are an urban area, and we're very interested in this project. One of the many things that's very exciting about the Sites Reservoir is that it meets environmental needs, agricultural needs, and urban needs. It's very nice to be participating in a project where all those needs come together to work on the project. Jim Morris: Any in-depth discussion of water in California would benefit from covering the environmental side of things. Jeff Mount is senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California's Water Policy Center. He's an emeritus professor of earth and planetary sciences. I also understand you're a geomorphologist. Never heard that before. Can you tell me what that is Jeff? Jeff Mount: It's the people who study the surface of the earth and the processes that shape it. Jim Morris: Very good. I learned something already, so that's awesome. You also were founding director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis, and that has been critical for the rice commission and rice growers and a lot of interesting environmental work. I'd like to start by asking you about that. What are your thoughts about rice farming in California? How it's changed, how birds and now salmon are being aided by those rice fields. Jeff Mount: Yeah, this is one of the classic examples of multi benefit uses. Twenty years ago rice was vilified as this big water hog, and then we started to discover it was extremely important for wildlife, the Pacific flyway being the classic example. Then in these last 10, 15 years, we really have caught on to the value of those rice fields as food production factories for salmon. This is actually pretty exciting. I don't know of another crop that you can point to that has anything quite like that. Jim Morris: One of the major priorities in the state is making sure the environment is protected. I believe your institute is reviewing a concept that may help and may involve the site's project. Can you explain what that might look like? Jeff Mount: For some years now we've been saying the problem is we treat the environment like a constraint all the time, rather than a priority or better yet a partner. What we're proposing is we think about the environment as a partner in managing water. One of the ideas we've been promoting is the notion of setting aside a block of water for the environment that can be managed, kind of like a water right. Flexibly it can be managed that way. The advantage such an approach is it's great for the people on the other end who are looking for certainty, how much waters go into the environment, and it's a guarantee that the environment will get a certain amount of water. Now, the novel idea is how to do it with reservoirs. An environmental water budget in a reservoir, that's a set aside of water that can be flexibly managed for the environment. Jeff Mount: If the Sites project is built, it is my understanding there's a proposal to do just such a thing, to set aside a portion of that storage for the environment. This has really big advantages. Right now, the way we manage everything, it's all set on minimum instream flow and water quality standards. It's like what you'd call a hydrologic flat line. It doesn't change enough, yet the biota that evolved here all depended on a lot of variability. We're suggesting that the most efficient and effective use of water has to have some flexibility in that use, especially if you want to mate it up with investments in physical habitat. That's why we're promoting this idea of an ecosystem water budget managed by a trustee of some kind, a restoration administrator like on the San Joaquin River, is probably the best way to go because it's nimble. Jeff Mount: It sets the environment as a partner, that is the environment's in there working with the people who are managing the operations of storage all the time, and there's certainty, and a key bottom line, I can't stress this enough, is flexibility. Hey, a storm is coming next week. Maybe we should hold onto our environmental water, and when the storm comes, we should let some of it go to move salmon farther down the system, or put salmon out onto the flood plain, for example, or, hey, the spring, we really need a little extra flow, a little boost in the river this spring so that water that we've stored, that belongs to the environment, can be released to help push the salmon out to sea, or we need a pulse flow to help bring cues for salmon to come up. Jeff Mount: Those are examples. The problem is the way we do it now it's just, you got to let out this set amount of water and have this quality all the time. The argument would be give some flexibility so we can be adaptive and responsive and nimble just like somebody who has a water right or somebody who owns water. Jim Morris: When you look at water, it's incredibly contentious in California. We never seem to have enough. How important is it to have divergent interest coming together for a common goal? Jeff Mount: At PPIC, we have been crystal clear on this for seven years now. Almost every year we say the same thing. Litigation is not the solution. It's expensive. It takes forever, decades to resolve. Meanwhile, nothing gets done for the environment. There's no benefit for the environment. The real progress comes through negotiated solutions. We call them comprehensive solutions. People call them voluntary agreements, whatever you want to call it. But when you have multiple people at the table, multiple interests at the table, so that they're interests are represented, and they're people of goodwill and good faith who are willing to give something up to get something. That something that they get is durable instead of every five years you're back in court trying to deal with these things. We strongly advocate for people negotiating solutions to water problems rather than the usual approach, which is litigation. Jim Morris: It seems like that there is a little more cooperation in this region than perhaps some other areas of the state. What are your thoughts about that? Jeff Mount: At PPIC we've been saying for sometimes perhaps the most environmentally progressive groups in the farm community are in the Sacramento Valley. It helps that you have lots more water in the Sacramento Valley, one can't ignore that, and you have crops in the Sacramento Valley, which are ideal for working with the environment. I mean, in particular, the fall wet up for the Pacific flyway and the ability to start thinking about using these agricultural fields for raising fish and restoring that most essential element of access to the flood plain. What's been particular is that I don't know how to put it. I'll put it simply, people are a little more friendly to these ideas in the Sacramento Valley than they are in other places and that's great. That's the first step, by the way, to getting toward those negotiated solutions where people of goodwill are willing to give up something in order to get to where they want to be. Jeff Mount: I've just been impressed over the years, the evolution in the Sacramento Valley and the willingness of landowners to be involved. The fact of the matter is let's be direct on this. Most farmers are stewards of the land, and so they consider themselves stewards of the environment also. For some reason, they seem more stewardish in the Sacramento Valley, and I have no explanation for that, but they just are. Jim Morris: That will wrap up this episode, although we will, of course, have updates as the year progresses about the water outlook and impacts to our region and state. Thank you to Kai Tawa, Jerry Brown, Valerie Prior, and Jeff Mount for their time and expertise. You can go to podcast.calrice.org to find out more and listen to other episodes and subscribe. Thanks for listening.
This is #StudioInter, the world's number 1 podcast in English dedicated entirely to FC Internazionale Milano – where it's 100% Inter, 100% of the time, only on SempreInter.com.In this weeks episode the boys are joined by BT Sport pundit and The Athletic's Italian football journalist James Horncastle.Topics include: Milan derby deep dive against AC Milan; Comprehensive breakdown of Inter's transfer window; The improvement of the Serie A; All of this plus this week's Moggi, Moratti, Frog and much much more on this weeks episode of #StudioInter.So sit back, relax and join the boys as they delve deep into the black and blue world of the Nerazzurri.Host: Nima Tavallaey.Guest: James Horncastle.Panelists: Mohammed Nassar, Rahul Sharma and Jake Smalley.Edited by: Renato Brea.Illustration/design: Tin Milekic.
Warning: miscarriage and child loss are mentioned in this recording. If you are only here to learn how to cook, I suggest you skip this episode. This podcast episode is a personal one where I tell the story of a dream - actually a nightmare - that woke me up in horror recently. It's also a reflection on motherly loss and how it made me transform my most ingrained habits.
There are so many scripts, and then there are all the flipped scripts. It's a gut trust thing. Ingrained in our culture are control traits. Stifling freedom's nature goes with the eating of crow. What makes a good slave? Freedom means more than owning guns. Our collective goal is to inform more. Making the NOVAXT into new minions. A raging debate restarts around the filibuster rule. The Senate was always the target. Wide spread reports of women's changing menstrual cycles. The best political slogan ever might be "gut the place." Are the VAXT more angry? The J6 Babbitt murder, and continued questions. Don't count on winning while doing nothing. Join the fight. Stand up for freedom and your country. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Winter is approaching, and that will soon translate into the arrival of millions of birds to the rice fields and wildlife refuges in the Sacramento Valley. For many, including Suzy Crabtree, it's a magical time. Suzy has visited Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Butte County thousands of times over the years, to photograph the amazing array of ducks, geese, shorebirds, raptors and other animals there. “There's so many things to see there,” she remarked. “We find it to be a place of refuge and solace. The drive down through the rice fields and the orchards is just the beginning of bringing us peace.” In addition to viewing Bald Eagles and other stunning birds, Suzy is among those who has seen a rare white deer at the refuge, as she's had four sightings over the years. Tim Hermansen is wildlife area manager at Gray Lodge. He has worked to help the Sacramento Valley ecosystem since 2008, including working with rice farmers to maintain and enhance waterbird habitat in their fields, which are vital to hundreds of wildlife species and millions of birds. Gray Lodge Wildlife Area has a long history as a wildlife sanctuary. Initial land was purchased in the 1930s. The area and scope has expanded over the years, including nearly 9,300 acres covered today. It's home to upwards of one million waterfowl at its winter peak. A highlight for visitors is a three-mile long auto loop, which includes more than $1 million in improvements carried out by Ducks Unlimited and the Wildlife Conservation Board. Hermansen said the improvements include widening the road and flattening the shoulders, with wider turnouts so visitors don't need to feel rushed. Also, they added islands and enhanced the topography in the ponds to make it more suitable to birds and draw them closer to viewers. “You can drive around and there are pullouts for people to stop and observe the wildlife that is out there,” Hermansen said. “It gives you a chance from your vehicle to be up close and personal with the birds and not scare them away. They're not as scared of a vehicle as someone walking. In some cases, they will stay within 10 to 20 yards from your vehicle.” The entire Pacific Flyway has struggled due to prevailing drought in the west. Fortunately, rice growers have worked with conservation groups and other stakeholders to do what they can to provide enough shallow-flooded fall and winter habitat. “We continue to be concerned with issues like disease and starvation as more birds arrive and they may not have the habitat that they need,” remarked Luke Matthews, Wildlife Programs Manager with the California Rice Commission. As steps are taken to protect the millions of birds that will visit the Sacramento Valley, their presence here is a joyous sight for many. Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is one of the best places to enjoy this annual gift. Episode Transcript Suzy Crabtree: I have been to Gray Lodge probably thousands of times over the years. We find it to be a place of refuge and solace. Just the drive down through the rice fields and the orchards is just the beginning of bringing us peace. Jim Morris: Suzy Crabtree is among those who appreciate wildlife refuges in the Sacramento Valley. Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley is indeed a special place. Ducks, geese, raptors and eagles are just the beginning of your wildlife viewing. Suzy Crabtree: There's so many things to see there. There's deer, there's muskrat, there's mink, there's fox. We've seen bobcat there. Probably the most magical time I've had at Gray Lodge has been when we have come across the white deer, a leucistic deer. We usually see her in the evening and we've seen her probably about four times. It's pretty magical to see her. Jim Morris: This magic - an affordable, memorable outing, great for families, is only part of the benefits that come from wildlife refuges, and we're entering the time with the absolute best viewing. Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. I've lived in the Sacramento Valley my entire life, and my appreciation for our ecosystem continues to grow. I've learned the awe-inspiring sights that come from living along the Pacific Flyway. We'll find out more about fantastic ways to see wildlife right from your vehicle, but first, an update on how birds are faring during this drought. Luke Matthews, Wildlife Program's Manager with the California Rice Commission, what are you seeing and hearing from the field about the wildlife migration? Luke Matthews: There's definitely a lot of birds here already. We're not at the peak of the migration on the Pacific Flyway yet, but we're nearing that. Numbers are continuing to build, but there's definitely experiencing some issues with drought conditions across the west. Jim Morris: That is a factor. So by the time the birds are arriving here, they haven't really had their full rest and refuel capability. What have you seen elsewhere in the west that really impacts their health as they head to the Sacramento Valley? Luke Matthews: Drought conditions throughout Oregon, Washington, Utah, a lot of these areas where birds normally rest have been pretty significant. And so, we're assuming that when they get there, they're struggling and needing habitats. So when they arrive here, it's even a greater need. Jim Morris: So the value is great in the Sacramento Valley every year, but particularly in a year like this. And there is a program with the Rice Commission and the State Department of Water Resources that is helping. Can you tell us a little more about that effort? Luke Matthews: So we have a program that looks to create more flooding on the landscape with a shallow amount of water, both on rice fields and wetlands. For total, the program has about 50 to 60,000 acres across both components. And it's really just a strategic effort to increase flooding on the landscape because, in a normal year we would have on the order of 300,000 acres of flooded rice and this year, even with the program, we expect to only have probably 100,000 acres of flooded rice. Concerns are that we will not have enough habitat. And as we reach the peak migration, that will just get worse, less habitat, but more birds. So there is our effort and other efforts down in the San Joaquin Valley, for example, to increase flooding for the migration, for the duration of this winter. But we are just worried about disease and starvation and other things like that as birds arrive and may not have the habitat they need. Jim Morris: Time to learn more about one of the jewels of the Sacramento Valley, Gray Lodge. I'm visiting with Tim Hermansen, Wildlife Area Manager. Tim, let's start with your background and your experience with our valley ecosystem. Tim Hermansen: So I got the start in the Sacramento Valley ecosystem in 2008, when I became the wildlife biologist for the Colusa Natural Resources Conservation Service office, working with private land owners in the Sacramento Valley to enhance habitats on their private ground. That included habitats in the areas such as the Butte Sink, but also private rice growers throughout the valley. In 2011 and 2012, I was working with the California Rice Commission to pilot some of the initial waterbird enhancement programs throughout the Sacramento Valley to enhance that waterbird habitat across the private landscape. In 2013, I became the area manager for the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area, located just north of Gray Lodge along Butte Creek. And then about a year ago, I became the area manager for Gray Lodge. Jim Morris: Gray Lodge was established many decades ago. Can you give me a little bit of background on the history, how much land we're talking about and other important details? Tim Hermansen: The initial purchase was in about 1931. It actually used revenues generated from pari-mutuel horse betting through the Lee Act. The design was to provide sanctuary habitat for migratory birds to draw them off of the surrounding private rice grounds and reduce depredation issues. For a few decades it was just a sanctuary where people could come out and enjoy seeing the birds. In the 1950s, they through one of the expansions, started to allow hunting. And since the initial purchase in the 1930s, we're now up to about almost 9300 acres. It's about 9260 acres where we have both sanctuary habitat for wintering waterfowl to rest and still do that depredation. But we also provide public hunting across about two-thirds of the wildlife area. Jim Morris: Your job is to balance all that, to make sure that we can enjoy this ecosystem for many years to come, I imagine? Tim Hermansen: We try to balance that. A lot of our revenue comes from hunting, license sales and things of that sort. We want to continue to provide opportunities for the hunters to come out, enjoy the area that their licenses are going to fund. But we also want to make sure that the people that just want to come out and enjoy seeing the wildlife have an opportunity also. So we have a large auto tour loop public trail system. That's open 365 days a year that people can come out and go for a hike, go for a drive, see all sorts of wildlife in our sanctuary area and still enjoy that. And it provides that sanctuary for the wintering waterfowl. Jim Morris: What can people expect when they come out? It is an amazing array of wildlife, but what are some of the things that people would see this time of the year? Tim Hermansen: We can have up to a million waterfowl on the wildlife area. A lot of snow geese, a lot of white fronted geese, pintail, mallards, but we also get other birds in the area. Last winter for example, we had six bald eagles using our closed zone all winter long. There're other raptors. In the springtime, you'll start seeing some of the Neotropical migrants, the songbirds moving through. And then year round, we have deer, quail, turkeys can be found out here, all sorts of local wildlife that don't migrate away. But this time of year the primary attraction is the waterfowl. Jim Morris: I was distracted coming in on this foggy day because right across the road from your office, there was a deer just sitting there waiting for its photo to be taken. So it is really fun to see and a great way for people to experience this is the auto loop, which is about three miles. And tell me about what that offers and also the improvements that have been done on it. Tim Hermansen: It's about a three mile auto tour loop where you can drive around. We have pullouts for people to stop and observe the wildlife that are out there. It gives you a chance from your vehicle to have an opportunity to get up close and personal with the birds and not scare them away. They're not as scared of a vehicle as they are of someone walking. So, for three miles you can drive around and from your vehicle and with your binoculars or spotting scopes or cameras see the wildlife from, in some cases, they'll stay within 10 or 20 yards of your vehicle. Tim Hermansen: Over the last two years, we've partnered with Ducks Unlimited and the Wildlife Conservation Board to do improvements to our auto tour loop that widen the road and flatten the shoulders out a bit, for safety. Before, you could easily drive off into the canals or ditches and they improved all of that. And it also made those turnouts wider so you don't have to feel rushed if someone's coming up behind you. Out in the ponds, we added islands and enhanced the topography to make it more suitable for the birds and draw them in closer to you in your car. So that project just finished up this summer. It was a huge success, huge project, over a million dollars worth of funding went into it. And I just can't thank our partners enough for that. Jim Morris: A few suggestions when you're driving through, please drive slowly out of respect for everyone. And of course the birds that are there. Also, my wife always suggests go a second time if you can through a loop because you often see different wildlife that you can appreciate. This has been a tough go for our world, with the pandemic and other stressors. And I am jealous of your work environment. So what is it like to work out here regularly? Tim Hermansen: When you drive in you see deer right off the side of the road. From our office we can look up from the computer if we're stuck in the office for the day. And oftentimes seeing those deer, seeing the waterfowl flying by, ducks and geese. In the springtime, you have California Quail right outside making their calls and having a good time. So it's great. You get to see the wildlife from your office. And then when you aren't in the office, you're still working. So you get to drive around, if we're checking water or doing a survey, or just seeing how the wildlife area is doing and you're out there in the wild, you have the great view of the Sutter Buttes in the background and you're still doing the job and getting paid for it. So can't beat that. Jim Morris: You mentioned it right up top. There's a coordinated effort to help the Pacific Flyway Migration and our entire Sacramento Valley ecosystem. What have you seen in terms of cooperation among rice growers, conservation groups, state, and federal government, water districts, and other stakeholders in this area? Tim Hermansen: There's a huge partnership in this area between all of those groups you just mentioned. Through this last year in the drought, we were having coordination calls between the state agencies, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service. We had other partners like USGS, Ducks Unlimited, California Waterfowl Association, and the California Rice Commission was involved with those calls, trying to help coordinate where we might strategically place the limited water supplies on the landscape during this critical drought year. It was a very large effort. We met regularly to try to coordinate. And, it seems like when you look around the valley, that those coordination efforts paid off because the birds are spaced out. We're not having any disease issues yet. Thankfully. Let's hope it stays that way. We have the partnership with the rice growers to pump water and have it on their fields, through programs that California Rice Commission or DWR have worked on. We've been able to meet many of the needs of the waterfowl that came down from the north lands this year. Jim Morris: So good to hear about this great partnership. And a lot of the refuges are right around the rice fields. A quick comment, if you would, about how important the rice fields are, those surrogate wetlands. They've largely replaced the original wetlands that California had. How important are the rice fields to maintain this ecosystem? Tim Hermansen: Like you mentioned, most of the natural historic wetlands in the basins around here, they did large reclamation projects to turn it into agricultural ground. So, we have small postage stamps of state and some privately owned wetland habitats, moist soil management wetland habitats, but we also have hundreds of thousands of acres of rice. After the harvest is complete, those rice fields, if they are flooded or even if they're not, if they're properly managed, they can provide great food resources for waterfowl. Both the waste grain that doesn't get picked up by the combines, but also invertebrates that are in the soil that the birds will eat. It's important, not just for ducks and geese, but also waterbirds, shorebirds, the little sandpipers and killdeer, black-neck stilts. All of those really rely on those fields in the wintertime for those supplemental food sources that our wildlife areas just can't provide. Tim Hermansen: We don't have enough space. Rice fields also provide some good habitat for resident nesting and breeding wildlife in the spring and summer months. A lot of birds will use the checks for nesting habitat. More barren checks are used by some of the shorebirds, like the stilts and avocets to nest on. If they're allowed to get more weedy cover, mallards, and some of the other local ducks will nest on them. And then they can use the flooded rice fields to raise their young in and have a bit of a supplemental habitat, in addition to the wildlife areas. The fields that are closer to the wildlife areas, the state areas and the federal refuges they're generally used more, but they're important throughout the valley. Jim Morris: The other day, I was at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, and it was great as always, but across I-5 in a rice field were tens of thousands of snow geese so I understand exactly what you said in that last comment. Probably unfair of me to ask, but do you have a favorite sighting that you ever had here or a favorite bird or mammal that you've seen at Gray Lodge? Tim Hermansen: A sighting that stands out to me. I had a friend, he was actually a mentor from when I worked in the Midwest. He came out to visit. It's been close to a decade ago before I worked for the department, but I took him out here and he wanted to see Gray Lodge. And as we're driving the tour loop, he had never seen a Eurasian Wigeon before, and I would drive the tour loop regularly just to see what's out here before going hunting. And I told him usually right around this corner, there's a Eurasian Wigeon. So we came around the corner and sure enough, there he was. I got proven right on that account and my friend from the Midwest got to see his first Eurasian Wigeon which was pretty neat. And it still stands out in my mind as a neat sighting. Tim Hermansen: That's something to keep note of. If you come out for our auto tour loop or our public trails, or if you come out to go hunting, we do get those odd visitors from other flyways from time to time. The Eurasian Wigeon, blue-winged teal - some of the birds you normally wouldn't see in the Pacific Flyway, we will get through here. And you have an opportunity to perhaps see the bird for the first time in your life. Jim Morris: Take your time, enjoy it. And then when you see a lot of birds, look carefully, because there may be an unusual visitor in the mix. Hopefully after what you heard today, you will soon plan a trip to a wildlife refuge near you. Before we wrap up, a few final suggestions from Suzy Crabtree on how you can get it the most out of your Grey Lodge experience. Suzy Crabtree: If you are going to Gray Lodge the one thing that I would suggest is to take the walking hiking trail first, and then take the auto loop. And when you are going to take the hiking trail, always make sure that when you're walking to take a moment to stop and look back from where you've just been. It's a good way to find things that you may have passed that you didn't see. Owls are really great at hiding and blending in with their surroundings. If you go and park at Lot 14, and you head out on the dirt trail, not on the asphalt trail and just that first trail that you go along right across from the canal, there is a pair of great horned owls that you, if you're really good at looking, they're very hard to find, but you can find them. And they're right before you make the first right hand turn on that trail. Suzy Crabtree: Bald eagles are really a thrill to see at Gray Lodge. You can see the adults as well as the juveniles. And it's really interesting to watch the adults training the juveniles on how to hunt. And it's really fun to watch them teach the juveniles and the next upcoming ones that are coming onto the lodge. Jim Morris: We will continue to chronicle the Pacific Flyway Migration and drought impacts in the coming weeks. You can go to podcast.calrice.org to find out more information. Thank you to Suzy Crabtree, Luke Matthews, and Tim Hermansen for their time and expertise. Be sure to subscribe for future episodes. We appreciate your comments and reviews. Thanks for listening.
Ingrained in most children is a strong and innate desire to create. Our artist in this interview, Pooja Pittie, always felt drawn to making art, but it wasn't until she was well into adulthood that she centered her career around it. Raised in Mumbai, India, Pooja was encouraged to see art as a great hobby, […]
It took longer than normal, but fortunately it is happening. A shallow amount of water is showing up in rice fields throughout the Sacramento Valley – essentially a welcome mat for the 10 million ducks, geese and other wildlife migrating through our area for their annual Pacific Flyway journey. This year was the driest in a century in California. The water shortage led to about 100,000 fewer acres of rice planted in the Sacramento Valley. It also threatened to leave many rice fields without a shallow amount of water after harvest, which helps decompose leftover straw and provides vital wildlife habitat. Fortunately, through an innovative new program and a large recent rainstorm, the outlook for migrating wildlife has improved. “We went from historic drought to record-setting rain, and it has helped,” said Luke Matthews, Wildlife Programs Manager with the California Rice Commission. “It has saturated the soils and added a bit of water to creeks, streams and reservoirs. It's definitely going to benefit migratory birds, but one storm doesn't change a couple of years of drought. We're not out of the woods yet, but definitely hope here.” Matthews said a new program funded by the California Department of Water Resources will be a huge help. It provides for about 42,000 acres of rice fields to be shallow-flooded for birds, along with about 12,000 acres of private wetlands. Sutter County rice grower Jeff Gallagher has participated in many conservation programs, including this effort to provide more water for wildlife. He said wildlife viewing is good and getting better by the day. “It's nice to be able to come to work every day and see thousands of geese and ducks, as well as tons of shorebirds,” Gallagher remarked. “It's a good thing for everybody!” Among those closely monitoring the Pacific Flyway migration is Jeff McCreary, Manager of the Western Region for Ducks Unlimited, a key conservation partner with the Rice Commission and other stakeholders. McCreary said the Sacramento Valley is perhaps even more valuable for migrating wildlife this year, due to water shortages elsewhere on their journey. “What we're seeing with the dry conditions in the Klamath Basin and the Great Salt Lake is that birds are not staying in those locations, they're moving on quickly and coming to the Sacramento Valley earlier than they normally would,” McCreary said. “We're seeing lots of ducks and geese really early. This recent rain actually provided more habitat in the Sacramento Valley, because it's shallowly-flooding up the dry rice fields unexpectedly. We thought there would be a lot more dry ground out there all the way into the middle of winter, when the rains have typically come. Now, we're seeing rain on the landscape, which is right in the nick of time, because this is when the birds are starting to come. We're cautiously optimistic about how things are going to progress this winter.” He said those in the Sacramento area have a great opportunity to see the amazing sights from the millions of visiting birds, through local wildlife refuges. Ducks Unlimited just completed a major project at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Butte County, making the auto tour loop safer and providing better access to viewing these stunning birds. Episode Transcript Jim Morris: It's an amazing annual spectacle. The Pacific Flyway wildlife migration through the Sacramento Valley is one of the largest waterfowl migrations you'll find anywhere. It has been a difficult year in the Sacramento Valley, but seeing why rice is the environmental crop, seeing all of the birds in the fields provides a chance to exhale and appreciate something beautiful. Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. The water outlook in California has improved as we get deeper into fall, but we have a long way to go, according to meteorologist Alexander Mellerski of Western Weather Group in Chico. Alexander Mellerski: We saw a pretty significant atmospheric river event slam into California. We saw multiple inches of rainfall across the state ranging anywhere from right about three inches up north of the valley near Redding, a little bit farther south in Chico and then near Oroville about four to five inches kind of in that range. And then even down further south in the Sacramento area, we got about five to six inches of rain, maybe even a little bit more kind of closer to the foothills. So pretty significant rainfall. And, to put that into perspective, for all of last water year, so in 2020 to 2021, the water year, Sacramento for example, got anywhere from about six to seven inches of rain the entire water year. So this one storm gave us about 75 percent roughly of what we got all of last year. Jim Morris: It's pretty amazing, but we're not out of the woods in terms of the drought? Alexander Mellerski: In terms of the drought. No, unfortunately I would say, one event, that's by no means is indicative of getting us out of a drought. Jim Morris: Conditions are better, but the drought continues. And while we hope for several more storms at the right time, that's far from guaranteed, I'm near the Sutter-Yuba county line at Gallagher Ranch near Rio Oso. Jeff Gallagher, it was a stressful year for water. How did it treat your operation? Jeff Gallagher: It's definitely been one of the most challenging years we faced. Starting out the season we were cut way short on our water. We get all of our water out of the Camp Far West, which our allocation got cut about 80 percent back. So, we ended up planning about 65 percent of our ground this year had to leave out a little over a third. So, it was definitely tough here. And then we're getting through harvest, got kind of an early storm here recently, and we have a few fields still left to cut. It has definitely been a tough year. Jim Morris: Too little the front, too much on the back end, boy that is tough. So you have participated in wildlife conservation programs. It's great to see the wildlife in the rice fields and those tremendous benefits. How do these programs help you carry out what you can to help the birds? Jeff Gallagher: We've been working with the Rice Commission and Luke the last three, four years now, and the programs have just been really great. Anything we can do to kind of co-exist with the environment, help that area out and ourselves production wise, it just kind of fits really good. We're doing kind of our straw decomposition anyway in the fall. It creates this great habitat for all the waterfowl. And plus, it's just nice to be able to come out to work every day and see thousands of geese and ducks and tons of shorebirds in the spring. And so it's just a good thing for everybody. Jim Morris: And when you do look out at the fall and we're going to have a lot more wildlife coming into our region, favorite wildlife that you see? Jeff Gallagher: I would have to say the ducks and geese. I think we get here, we'll get some geese, snow geese, and specklebelly geese packed in pretty thick down here. And just to drive across the field and see thousands and thousands of birds sitting out there. And then they all get up at once. I mean, it's definitely a sight to see and something that we look forward to every year. Jim Morris: Luke Matthews is Wildlife Programs Manager with the California Rice Commission. When we look at the weather this year and getting water on the rice fields, the conditions have improved a little bit for wildlife. Can you comment? Luke Matthews: We went from historic drought to record-setting rain and it's definitely helped. It's saturated the soils. It's added a little bit of water to creeks, streams, reservoirs, stuff like that. It's definitely going to benefit migratory birds, but one storm doesn't change a couple years of drought. So we're still not out of the woods, but definitely some hope here. Jim Morris: So we really do need the wildlife programs and there is one that's unfolding right now. Can you comment on how that will help the Pacific Flyway? Luke Matthews: So we have a program that's funded by the Department of Water Resources and it is to help get more flooded acres out this winter, given the drought conditions on both rice and on private wetlands. So, really just an effort to increase the amount of flooded landscape this year, because we knew there wasn't going to be much with surface water without any sort of program. Jim Morris: This is shallow flooding of rice ground. And how many acres should be involved with this? Luke Matthews: That's correct. We're looking at very, very strategic use of this water. It'll be shallow. For the rice we have about 42,000 acres enrolled. And then on the private wetland side, we've got about 12,000 acres. Jim Morris: Rice is amazing in terms of its environmental value. The Central Valley Joint Venture, in 2020 I believe, has some new numbers. It's very impressive. Can you relay those numbers? Luke Matthews: The Central Valley Joint Venture puts out a plan every couple years and the most recent one cited the food resource use from agriculture of waterfowl and that's that ducks in the Sacramento Valley rely on rice for 74 percent of their nutritional needs. And then for geese, it's even higher, that rice provides 95 percent of all their nutritional needs for geese in the Sac valley. Jim Morris: That's a lot of food when you consider seven to 10 million ducks and geese are spending their fall in winter in Sacramento Valley rice country in adjacent wetlands. There is already stress as these birds arrive because of dry conditions elsewhere. So how important is the Sacramento Valley to keep these migrating birds comfortable, fed and rested before they continue their journey? Luke Matthews: Well, in a normal year, the Sac valley is very important because it's sort of the final resting ground for a lot of these birds that migrate south along the Pacific Flyway. So they spend a lot more time here than most of the other areas. This year, I'd say it's even probably more important, because their key staging areas in the Great Salt Lake, up on Klamath, in Oregon - those are all historically dry right now. So as they come down on their migration, they're experiencing low food availability, low resting and loafing habitats. So when they get here, they're in worse body condition we assume. And so that just means that this year, the habitat we can provide is going to be utilized more aggressively, more heavily and be even more important. Jim Morris: Innovative conservation programs are only possible through collaboration with outstanding partners, Jeff McCreary is director of operation for the Western Region of Ducks Unlimited. Jeff, how is the Sacramento Valley leg of the Pacific Flyway proceeding for ducks? Jeff McCreary: Well Jim, we're in the heart of the Pacific Flyway and the Central Valley, and particularly the Sacramento Valley, is key for the wintering habitat for the Pacific Flyaway migrating birds, ducks, geese, swans, all those great charismatic megafauna that you see out there in the rice field this time of year, but we're in a Pacific Flyway drought. And, although we've just had record rain in the Sacramento area, we're still incredibly dry, exceptionally dry all across the Western United States. So, while things are definitely better here in the Sacramento Valley, it's still challenging in two of the other main migration habitats within the Western US, that's the Klamath Basin and the Great Salt Lake, both of which have seen record dry years along with the Central Valley. Jim Morris: So the drought continues and how important are the rice fields of the Sacramento Valley? Obviously very important, but even more important this year because these birds really need to rest and refuel now in our area more than ever. Jeff McCreary: Absolutely. In the Sacramento Valley, winter flooded rice provides up to 70 percent of the energetics for these wintering birds and what we're seeing with the dry conditions in Klamath Basin and the Great Salt Lake is that birds are not staying in those locations. They're moving on quickly and they're coming to the Central Valley, the Sacramento Valley, earlier than they normally would. As we drive around the northern part of the valley here, we're seeing lots of ducks. We're seeing lots of geese and this is October. This is really early. The peak of the migration is in mid-December. What we're seeing here is that this recent rain has actually provided more habitat in the Sacramento Valley because it's shallowly flooding up these dry rice fields unexpectedly. We thought there was going to be lot more dry ground out there all the way into the middle of the winter when the rains have typically come. But now we're seeing rain on the landscape and it's right in the nick of time because this is when the birds are starting to come. And I think we're cautiously optimistic about how things are going to progress this winter. Jim Morris: I mentioned at the start of our conversation, the importance of partnerships, probably more important this year than ever, because of the limited water supply. Your view, Jeff, on the importance of partnerships to best protect wildlife and our region as a whole. Jeff McCreary: Partnerships are essential for effective conservation without a good suite of partners, nothing's going to happen on the landscape and that's private landowners, that's nonprofit groups, that's federal and state agencies, local governments, water districts, when they can all come together. What we can do collectively is greater than we would've been able to do individually. I think one great example is a recent memorandum of understanding that was signed between Ducks Unlimited, California Rice Commission, Northern California Water Association and California Trout. And we're working to re-envision the Sacramento Valley's floodplain ecosystems so that the valley can support sure, ducks, but also rice agriculture and fish. It's a complicated system that we have with the floodplains and the rivers, but we think that there's space and there's an opportunity for us all to work together so that we can see a landscape that's vibrant with winter flooded rice, millions of ducks and geese in the winter and vibrant fisheries in our rivers and streams. Jim Morris: You mentioned the millions of ducks and geese. We see this all the time. I was in Yuba County this morning and enjoyed seeing thousands and thousands of birds. How best can someone who hasn't yet experienced this, take it all in, in the weeks ahead? Jeff McCreary: Well, we are blessed to be right in the middle of a spectacle of nature, which is the Pacific Flyway migration and ducks, geese and swans are starting to arrive here in the valley and Sacramento, one of its great assets is that it's central to most everything. And, in fact, in a short drive from Sacramento area, we can see lots of wildlife right outside the vehicle and right outside of walking trails. Some great places to go, I think are the Cosumnes River Preserve , which is south of Sacramento, great rice fields and wetland habitats, all with walking trails and there's a great sandhill crane viewing area if you go there in the evening Also the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area , which is just to the west of Sacramento, great auto-tour loop. And two other places that I think have some of the more spectacular wildlife waterfowl viewing, especially during mid-winter is the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Spectacular auto-tour routes, in fact DU just did a major project at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area where we reconstructed the auto-tour loop to make safer and better access for viewing these spectacular congregations of waterfowl. Jim Morris: I have gone through Gray Lodge recently and it is a major upgrade. So thank you to you DU for doing that. And I would also say Colusa National Wildlife Refuge has an excellent auto loop too. Hopefully we'll have abundant rain and snow moving forward, filling the reservoirs and helping cities, farms and the environment. Until then, there are many in our region doing what they can to make the most out of a tight water situation. Thank you to our interviewees, Jeff Gallagher, Alexander Mellerski, Luke Matthews and Jeff McCreary. We will keep you updated on fall and winter along the flyway. Until then, you can go to podcast.calrice.org to learn more and listen to past episodes. Thanks for listening.
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Water has long been a contentious subject in California. As the nation's most populous state, leading the nation in farm production and a state dedicated to environmental protection, it's easy to understand why. The severe, ongoing drought only puts a greater focus on water. While there's hope for a wet fall and winter, Sacramento Valley water managers and other stakeholders are doing what they can to prepare for all outcomes. Teamwork and coordination are invaluable, especially during difficult times. “We are really fortunate in the Sacramento River Basin,” said Northern California Water Association President David Guy. “We have a real cohesive set of leaders that work very well together. Our managers and counsel work well together. That's critical, particularly as we head into these next years that could be very challenging. I think every river system in the valley works together. We realize we're all invested in the same types of actions and need to do the same types of things to be able to make sure that we have water supplies for the farms, cities and refuges.” Guy said he hopes more robust scenario planning this fall will further bring the region together, to be unified and best prepared for whatever 2022 holds for our water supply. While the drought took its toll in our region, including a 100,000 acre reduction in rice planting, the familiar fall activities of harvest and the Pacific Flyway wildlife migration are welcomed. This year has been an uphill battle for those safeguarding water for all who need it and for future generations. “It's a daily, weekly, monthly and annual balancing act,” remarked Thad Bettner, General Manager of the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, the largest water district in the Sacramento Valley. “We're always making those sorts of decisions about how best to manage and use our supplies. A lot of environmental assets sit in our backyard, so we want to make sure we are meeting those needs as well. As a district, we're very transparent in all of the things that we do and we'd love to have other partners come alongside us in helping us make these key decisions.” Harvest of America's sushi rice is nearing its peak, with growers reporting good quality and production from the fields they were able to plant. Grower Don Bransford in Colusa said he planted about 25 percent less acreage this year due to the water cutbacks. Bransford has long been a leader in this region on key issues, and water is no exception. He said planning and coordination for 2022 must be a priority. “The challenges are great, as they were this year,” he said. “There obviously is not enough water to go around, so the environment was shorted and farming acreage had to be reduced because of the curtailments. Urban areas had a little better supply situation, so they have not experienced what agriculture has. Moving forward, I believe we have huge challenges in this coming year.” Those who know and love the Sacramento Valley understand the need to preserve this unique and essential part of California. “We are all very proud of our little communities in the Sacramento Valley, many of which are dependent on a viable rice industry,” Bransford said. “What other commodity can you grow that has over 200 wildlife species inhabiting a growing crop, and then once that crop is harvested, then you have the migratory waterfowl moving in for a winter feast. Here we have land that's producing food and habitat – and they coexist wonderfully.” Michael Anderson: This past year is ranking up there in the top five of our driest years, and you pair it with last year, 2020, which was also dry, and now you're looking at the second driest since '76, '77. Very extreme pair of drought years there. Jim Morris: California state climatologist, Michael Anderson, describing our greater climate variability, which has contributed to this highly disappointing year for rain and snowfall. Michael Anderson: We're a lot warmer now than we were in '76, '77. April, May and June, that was the warmest and the driest in 125 years of record. The narrative of climate change for California is that we see a warming in temperatures, more rain, less snow, and more extremes. And we're seeing that play out in this last decade. Jim Morris: Drought impacts are being felt far and wide, including 100,000 fewer acres of rice planted here in the Sacramento Valley. What lies ahead for 2022? Only time will tell, but there's already a lot of thought being put into water management for the next year. Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. This year has been extremely dry with significant impacts. There is widespread hope that fall and winter will be wet, but of course that's far from guaranteed. So I think it would be helpful to hear from regional leaders about this critical subject. Jim Morris: David Guy is president of the Northern California Water Association. He's been NCWA's president for 11 years. He also served eight years as their executive director. We spent time together a long time ago at the California Farm Bureau, and he and his family were in Yosemite living in the park from 2007 to 2010 as David was CEO of the nonprofit, Yosemite Association. And I will be forever jealous of that opportunity you had. So looking ahead, David, what can water managers do to prepare for the possibility of another dry year? David Guy: Well, I think that as we look forward to 2022, there's still some work that has to be done on 2021. And I think the Pacific Flyway programs that are underway right now with the Rice Commission, with the water suppliers, with the conservation organizations are really, I think, stage setting for next year. The birds are so important and the species are so important. We'll be doing some more of that in the floodplain later in the winter for fish. And then as we start to go into the fall, obviously we need to start thinking about precipitation. And if there is going to be any precipitation this fall or early winter, we want to be able to capture that precipitation. David Guy: So I think that's what the water managers in the Sacramento Valley and throughout the state do really well. So I think we want to pull as much water into storage as we can. I think we want to be able to recharge groundwater as much as we can, and we want to be able to get water out on the ground for birds and fish as much as we can. So I think there's going to be a real concerted effort to help make sure that we utilize our water this fall and winter the best we can because everything we do this fall and winter will set the stage for next year. Jim Morris: To effectively do the most with such a precious resource, you need a lot of people with common goals. How would you describe the cohesiveness of water management in our region? David Guy: Well, I think we're real fortunate in the Sacramento River basin and we have a real cohesive set of leaders that work very well together and our managers and council and everybody else work really well together, and I think that's critical particularly as we head into these next years that could be very challenging. I think every river system in the valley works together. We realize that we're all invested in the same types of actions and that we need to do the same types of things to be able to make sure that we have water supplies for the farms, cities, refuges. So we're going to be doing some scenario planning this year in the fall to start planning for 2022 in a way that we've really never done before, and I think that will even further bring the region together, hopefully to unify around some planning for next year, and then the actions that will be necessary. Jim Morris: Northern California Water Association has a ridgetop to river mouth holistic water management approach. For someone not fully immersed in the water world, what does that mean? David Guy: Well, I think is what it really means is that the water obviously starts in the mountains and then it flows down through the valley. And the bottom line is this really calls on the managers in this region to manage the water the best they can. And they already manage water in this way. A lot of our agencies manage water from ridgetop to river mouth. And I think the other couple things that it does is water obviously flows from one area to the other, and we try to utilize that water the best we can and sometimes that water's used multiple times as it goes through the system and we want to be able to continue that. David Guy:The other thing of course, that it really allows is that we know that salmon, for example, which is a big part of the region, you need to address every salmon life stage for them to be successful, and that means from the ridgetop to the river mouth. And then of course, we can't control what goes on in the ocean, but we can sure help influence what goes on from the ridgetop to the river mouth. And I think that's really just calling on the best of our managers to do what they really do well. Jim Morris: There is some criticism that comes up on how much water is used by farms and ranches, and my belief on this is it's really not an either or that that water can help in many different ways. And taking rice, for example, that water is used to grow a crop that's America sushi rice. It also helps rural communities and our economy, and it also helps the Pacific Flyway migration of millions of birds. And now salmon are benefiting from rice farming too. So when you look at the collaboration, the multiple uses of water, what thoughts do you have about how effective that is going on right now in the Sacramento Valley? David Guy: The Sacramento Valley does this better than anybody. Quite honestly, they use water for cities and rural communities. We get water out for the farms. We get water out for the refuges. And quite honestly, it's a lot of the same water. It's a lot of synchronized water management that happens in the region. So yeah, I find that when people want to say that one use is being used at the sacrifice of others, that's usually just a false choice. So we find that you can do all of that. You just have to be creative and you just have to get the leaders in the region to want to embrace that. David Guy: And we do that in the Sacramento better than anybody. This last year, for example, most agriculture in the state really received zero surface water. And there were some areas that received maybe about 50 percent of their supplies, and I think to their credit, these water suppliers utilize that water to their benefit and they not only use the water for the farms, but they're now working to use that water for the birds and will be using it for water for the salmon later in the year. And I think there's a sequence there that could actually work well in the Sacramento Valley as well. Jim Morris: And I'm glad you mentioned those surface water cutbacks because there was an incredible news cycle this past year, and maybe that was lost, but there were very significant, huge reductions in the amount of surface water available in our region. We've had dry years before and certainly will again. So what can be learned from our most recent dry year this year? David Guy: Well, I think we just have to call on everybody's creativity and working together. I think that's what we've learned. We have a program, our dry year task force, where we've worked with state and federal agencies, and I think having that communication is just essential. We're going to be doing this scenario planning going into next year and really focusing on what are the scenarios that we may see in 2022? And let's be honest, some of those scenarios are fairly ugly for the region and some of those scenarios may involve a wet 2022, which we're all hoping for, but the bottom line is we have to be prepared for all of those scenarios and I think having the managers thinking about that together, I think we'll be really effective. David Guy: I think there's also to a lot of actions that can be taken in the meantime that are not as high profile, but again, some of the things we talked about moving water into storage, moving water out on the floodplain, moving water out into the refuges, I think those are the kind of things that are happening and are really important as we head into 2022. Jim Morris: Moving water out on the floodplains, that is a growing area of emphasis in our region, and talk a little bit about that. What does that look like and how does it help? David Guy: Well, I think we've seen in the last 50 years in California, that we've used the same formula. How much water do we put into the Delta and who has to give up that water to flow into the Delta? Well, that path has led to declines in fish. That path has led to declines in water supply reliability. So I think a lot of people are saying, "Why don't we try something different?" Well, fortunately the scientists over at the University of California have been pointing to the floodplain for some time now and saying, "This is where we can get the best benefit for fish and wildlife." So I think there's a real concerted effort, big coalition, the Floodplain Forward Coalition, is working on how do we reactivate our floodplain? And of course, there's a whole lot of things that have gone into that, but I think we've seen that there's been success with waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway. David Guy: We've seen that there's been success with spring run salmon on Butte Creek. And a big part of both of those efforts is this idea of reactivating the floodplain. So, we think that's the new approach and the best part about it is that we can do that in synchronicity with the farming and all the things that we do in the region, and we can also do it probably with a lot less water than just putting a bunch of water into the Delta that doesn't seem to be providing any benefits for anything. Jim Morris: And it's interesting when you talk about reactivating the floodplain, it may sound like this incredible amount of water, but really it's a shallow amount of water that does get a lot of benefit from it. And we've seen that in the rice fields of the Sacramento Valley. So some of the issues in this past year we've had include voluntary agreements, water transfers, and groundwater. They came up a lot and those are pretty big topics. How do you feel those issues or maybe others may fit into 2022. David Guy:Groundwater of course is the resource that people go to when they don't have surface water, and I think that will continue. Obviously there's a concerted effort through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the plans that are coming early next year to really manage our groundwater basin sustainably. So I think there's a real concerted effort at the local level to do that. So we'll hopefully get that in place and people can start taking some of those actions as soon as possible to protect the groundwater for future uses. The voluntary agreements, I think are really just essential for the region. We need stability in that Bay Delta process. And without that stability, we're just going to keep having supplies in Northern California threaten in various regulatory processes. So we need that stability and I think there's some interest in the Administration in moving that forward. So I think 2022's got a lot in store, but I think we're going to be prepared for the year no matter what it looks like with respect to precipitation. Jim Morris: And you mentioned the word stability. How does that factor in when we look at the water rights system that is in place? David Guy: I think the water rights system in California works quite well and it works very well in the Sacramento River basin. It's painful for some, because some get their waters curtailed and other there don't, but I think everybody knows how that works. I think people have certain expectations. They've built their business models around that. So in our view, the water system works really well. We're going to continue to work with the State Water Board to make that process even better, but I really think that making the water rights system obviously work is really important. And we know there's going to be critics and some academics and others who are going to want to suggest that we have to rewrite our water rights system, and obviously that would destabilize California water immensely. So we need to make the water right system work, and then we need to be able to put water into storage and let the managers do what they do best, which is obviously a big part of the water rights system as well. Jim Morris: I am really impressed when I see the meetings in the Sacramento Valley. There are members of the environmental community, there's urban representatives, agriculture, water officials, of course. So what is your assessment on the willingness to find water solutions in our valley? David Guy: You're right, Jim. I mean, we have an amazing group of folks who are working hard out on the ground to really implement solutions. And again, they're for cities, they're for rural communities, they're for farms and ranches, they're for the environment. And I don't think anybody's done that better than the Sacramento Valley. Kudos to the leaders and the rice community in the valley for really step up and doing all the work that you've done. I think as we go forward, we're going to continue to work with that group and I think that work is really proving fruitful. David Guy: Unfortunately, we also know there's a group of litigators that are sitting out there, who their business model is not to solve problems. Their business model is to file lawsuits and to try to disrupt what we're doing in the Sacramento River Basin. So unfortunately we're going to need to be part of that process as well, to make sure that they can't in fact disrupt the Sacramento River Basin. And in the meantime, let's keep working with those who show up and get their nails dirty and want to work out on the ground, because that's how this is going to get better. Jim Morris: What is at stake here? I've spent my entire life in the Sacramento Valley. Absolutely love it. But I think for a lot of people that are driving on I-5 or Highway 99, and they're just heading from one place to the next and don't understand the full beauty and importance of it. So what's at stake here in making sure this region stays whole? David Guy: Well, Jim, you started off by mentioning my time in Yosemite and of course, I just have wonderful memories of Yosemite and our national park system is beyond equal in this world. But I think the Sacramento Valley is on that level as far as the grandeur and as what it is, it's just so vast and big, but we have what? 2 million acres of farmland, some of the best farmland in the world. We have seven national wildlife refuges, 50 state wildlife areas, four runs of salmon. We have cities and rural communities that really sparkle and have wonderful people in them, and I think it's water that really brings this region together in a special way, and I think that's what's at stake and I hope that we can all roll up our sleeves, continue to work together to make sure that we have water for this region for all of those purposes. It's not and/or. It's how do we do both? And I think that's what this region really excels at. Jim Morris: I'm in Willows at the headquarters of Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, the largest water district in the Sacramento Valley, covering 175,000 acres, much of it farmland. There are communities and several wildlife refuges here, as well. There were fields that went unplanned this year, including rice, the underground water table has been pressured, and they've had to deal with severe surface water cutbacks. Thad Bettner has been head of this water district since 2006. Of course, that's included several dry years. And as we get through this year, Thad, how taxing has it been? Thad Bettner: I have to say that you have been here for 15 years and doing this water thing for over 30. I would say this has probably been the most challenging year I've ever experienced in my career. I look back and I've talked to other people about the COVID year of last year and how challenging that was, but honestly this year has been even more challenging than that. So just given the constraints, the challenging hydrologic conditions, the internal needs that we have for trying to meet water for our growers, for the environment, for the refuges that we serve, and then also the concerns about trying to protect salmon in the river, and just trying to balance all those competing needs has been very challenging this year. The good thing is we've kind of gotten through it. We're here in the fall, so that's good news, but certainly, we have another challenging year ahead of us going into next year. Jim Morris: What are some lessons that might be learned from this year as we head into a potentially dry 2022, which could magnify all of these impacts? Thad Bettner: I think certainly the challenge is just from a surface water standpoint, how do we manage the system to one, get water where it's needed for people, for the different crops that we grow, for certainly protecting fish and I'm not minimizing them at all by same fish. Thirdly, but just, I think in terms of just the environment, it's broader than just fisheries. We have birds that we're trying to manage for right now, et cetera. So I think the broader environmental needs are very significant. And then the other thing we're facing here in the Sacramento Valley is a lot of these groundwater sustainability plans are getting adopted in January. So we'll also be going into next year, once those plans are adopted, actually starting to implement them. So how we also manage our water supply for the benefit of maintaining our sustainable groundwater system here in the Sacramento Valley is going to be vitally important as well. Jim Morris: How important is coordination and cooperation among all of the stakeholders? Thad Bettner: It's very important. I mean, honestly I spend most of my day just working with other agencies, other managers, groundwater folks, talking to different regulatory agencies about operations, talking to our environmental partners on restoration projects, and then just trying to meet our own internal staff needs. We have about 75 employees here in the district. So just trying to make sure that just as an entity, as a company, we continue to have good bonds internally. So it's been most of our days, just trying to foster sorts of relationships. Jim Morris: Longer term, it would be great, I think to have more water storage like Sites Reservoir, and how would that help in the long term for all Californians? Thad Bettner: We've been an advocate for Sites for decades. It's right next to our district and certainly parts of our facilities would be used both to fill and drain sites. I think one of the most significant benefits of Sites, not just of the water supply, it would provide to those folks who are investing in the project, but the project would provide just a lot more flexibility to some of our backbone infrastructure like Shasta, like Oroville, which I'm sure everybody has heard are historic lows this year. So having additional storage up in sites could help some of these dry years to provide more water into the system and ultimately provide more water for environmental benefits. Jim Morris: The purpose is not to try to get Sites filled in a dry year, but when we have those abundant rainfall years, to take advantage of that in a better way than we're doing now. Thad Bettner: One of the things about the Sacramento Valley that a lot of folks don't recognize at least on the Sacramento River, is that it's really more of a rain-driven watershed than a snow-fed watershed. So, under climate change, a lot of the forecasts are saying actually that more rainfall will fall in the Sacramento River system, which could lead to more runoff, which, again, Sites Reservoir would be relying on those really wet years, high runoff years to fill Sites and then draw that water out of storage in the dryer years. Jim Morris: What responsibility do you feel you're trying to have as much reasonable water to all the needs here in your district, but you also have to safeguard this resource for down the road? What kind of a balancing act is that? Thad Bettner: Well, I would say it's a daily, weekly, monthly, and annually balancing act. I mean, we're always making those sorts of decisions about how best to manage and use our supplies and also looking for just broader from... A lot of these assets, like environmental assets sit in our backyard. So how do we make sure we're also providing and meeting those needs as well? So I would say for us as a district, we're very transparent in all the things that we do and would love to have other partners come alongside us and helping us make some of these key decisions. Jim Morris: It's harvest time in rice country, including here in Colusa, the largest rice growing county in America. I'm visiting with grower Don Bransford, who in addition to farming is extremely active in his community and with statewide service. Don, first of all, how is harvest going this year and how has the drought impacted your farm? Don Bransford: Well, so far harvest is going pretty well. This has been one of those years where we've had a few more breakdowns than we'd like, but we're progressing well and the moisture's holding up. As far as the drought goes, we fallowed about 25 percent of our ground due to our reductions in supply, according to our contracts. Jim Morris: Thanks for taking time during such a busy time. It is windy today, but the harvesters and the bankout wagons are going and things are looking great. So how important is it when we look ahead to 2022, that there is some planning and coordination in terms of water? Don Bransford: I think the planning and coordination is extremely important. For this cropping year, we started planning in early February for the potential of a drought. We worked with the regulators, NGOs and other water districts to see how we might adapt our systems to meet a lot of needs of the environment, the farms and the urban areas. So it was a challenge. Jim Morris: What kind of pressures are there on water supplies? It's always challenging in California, but it seems lately to be exceptionally so. There will always be discussion, debate, and dispute. So what kind of challenges from a farming perspective, do you see on the water supply? Don Bransford: The challenges are great as they were this year. There obviously is not enough water to go around. So the environment was shorted. Farming acreage had to be reduced because of the curtailments. Urban areas had a little better supply situation. So they have not experienced what agriculture has, but moving forward, I believe we have huge challenges in this coming year. A number of wells were used to make up for deficient supplies. I think moving into the new year, there's going to be concern about how much groundwater's available, which puts more pressure on surface supplies. And then you have urban areas who were able to get through this past year with... Their supplies are short. Don Bransford: We've been contacted by a number of urban districts about the potential for water transfers. And then obviously, those growers south of the Delta that have contracts are most likely going to be very short of water. It's going to be tremendously challenging. We are going to start planning and actually this next month up here in the north state, we're going to work with NGOs, the state and federal regulators and the other irrigation districts to figure out how to best use every drop of water that we have available and hopefully some of that water can be used two or three times to achieve or meet needs of any number of demands. Jim Morris: This is a really special area. The communities, Colusa, I love Gridley, Biggs, Marysville, Yuba City, Richvale, on and on. The farms, the environment, the unique communities, how important is it to have these discussions and try to maintain this special thing that we have in the Sacramento Valley? Don Bransford: I think it's very important. We are all very proud of our little communities in the Sacramento Valley, many of which are dependent on a viable rice industry. We're here at harvest this year and the wildlife are everywhere. I mean, where else... What other commodity can you grow which has over 200 species of wildlife inhabiting a growing crop? And then once that crop is harvested, then you have the migratory waterfowl moving in for a winter feast. Just this morning, I also saw some sandhill cranes. They arrive about this time every year. In the same fields, the geese have started to move into the fields at night to forage the rice that's left behind by harvesters. About 50 percent of the feed for all migrating waterfowl are located in these rice fields. These fields are ecosystems and the only way to replace those ecosystems would be to build wetlands, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but here we have land that's producing food and habitat and they coexist wonderfully. Jim Morris: Another sign of fall in our valley, the ducks and geese are coming back. I'm at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge in Willows, a great place for your family to visit. If we are fortunate to have abundant rain and snow in the coming months, perhaps everyone can exhale a bit, but at the moment, next year looks like it will be a major test. Hopefully with collaboration, cooperation, and creativity, we will persevere. Thank you to our interviewees, David Guy, Thad Bettner, Don Bransford, and Michael Anderson. We will, of course, keep you updated on this issue as we get farther into fall and winter. You can go to podcast.calrice.org to find out more. Please subscribe and spread the word. And thanks for listening.
Joining us today is Jess Wilson, a functional nutritionist with a keen interest in our relationship with food and what went wrong with it. In today's episode, Jess discusses:What went wrong with our food relationship and whenIs it Biology, Psychology or Both?Individuals relationship with foodExternal Influences Weight Management ToolsHow do we change "INGRAINED" habits?Reconnecting the brain and the body againSupplements to ConsiderShownotes and references available on your local Designs for health website www.designsforhealth.com.au DISCLAIMER: The Information provided in the Wellness by Designs podcast is for educational purposes only; the information presented is not intended to be used as medical advice; please seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional if what you have heard here today raises questions or concerns relating to your health.
Even during difficult times like we've been experiencing, it helps to look for the positive. In Sacramento Valley rice country – two positives are unfolding. After a difficult year where drought left 20 percent of fields unplanted, harvest of America's sushi rice is underway and early reports are favorable. Although acreage is down, initial reports on quality and yields look strong. “We're about thirty percent down from the total acreage that we can plant,” said Everett Willey, who farms with his dad Steve, at E.D. Willey & Sons in Nicolaus, Sutter County. “The growing season went alright. It was a fight to keep water on some fields. That's why we started harvest early. There was a lack of water on the bottom check of the sweet rice field we're harvesting now. We couldn't push water down to it, so that's a big reason we're harvesting this early.” A second positive is there's help on the way for the Pacific Flyway – a program should provide emergency water to support the millions of birds heading to our region's rice country to rest and refuel. “The Drought Relief Waterbird Program is focused on providing extra water from groundwater pumping to shallow flood rice and wetland acres in the Sacramento Valley for waterbirds, commented Luke Matthews, Wildlife Programs Manager with the California Rice Commission. “It's going to be particularly important this year, given the lack of habitat that we expect to see.” In a normal year, about 300,000 acres of rice fields are shallowly-flooded after harvest, which breaks down rice stubble and creates vital environmental benefits. This year, current estimates are only about 65,000 acres will be flooded. That's where the program with the State Department of Water Resources can provide substantial help for this vital part of the Sacramento Valley ecosystem. “Well certainly the current conditions truly heighten the importance of this landscape,” said Greg Golet, Applied Ecologist with The Nature Conservancy, one of the conservation groups that work with rice growers to maximize wildlife benefits from their fields. “These birds, when they arrive here, typically are ready to rest and refuel before either they continue further south or they set for their winter period in this region. But this year, they're going to arrive in likely poorer condition, due to the lack of good habitat in their traditional stopover sites. In addition to malnourishment, they can be susceptible to disease, and that's exacerbated by crowded conditions.” With such a dry landscape, rice field habitat is an even more important for the health of millions of ducks, geese and other birds. “It's really an incredible opportunity that we have,” Golet remarked. “There are all of these levers, effectively, that we can pull to create the conditions that these birds depend upon. We know what they want, in terms of timing, depth of the water and how long it stays out on the fields. With this system of rice agriculture and associated infrastructure, it's really very straightforward to create those conditions and then we see virtually an immediate response. The trick, of course, is getting adequate water to create that for the birds.” The wildlife migration has begun. Shorebirds and ducks have already started to arrive. We will keep you updated on harvest and the amazing annual wildlife migration about to unfold. Episode Transcript Jim Morris: COVID, fires, and drought. This year has been a rough one throughout our state. It helps to look for the positive where you can. And for me, what I'm looking at is a positive, the rice harvest in the Sacramento Valley. It's a momentary respite from the unrelenting news cycle, and it appears there's good news as well for the millions of birds that depend on the rice fields every fall and winter in this area. Jim Morris: Welcome to Ingrained, the California rice podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for 31 years. And it's funny how life can go full circle. Before, I was in ag communications. Ten years before, I was in the marching band at John F. Kennedy High School in south Sacramento, playing trombone alongside of Steve Willey. And this morning, I'm with Everett Willey, Steve's son, at ED Willey & Sons in Nicolaus, in Sutter County. And Everett and Steve have started harvest. So Everett, how have things gone with rice harvest to date? Everett Willey: Pretty good so far. It's a lot of downed rice right now, just because of the nature of the beast. So we're trying to get it out of the field while everything else continues to ripen up. Jim Morris: What varieties have you harvested so far? Everett Willey: Right now, just Calmochi-101, which is a sweet rice, short grain, made for mochi balls, mochi ice cream. That's what that rice goes into, a lot of flour, rice flour. Jim Morris: Yeah. And if anybody hasn't tried mochi, I suggest you go to Mikuni. And the mochi they have there wrapped around ice cream is phenomenal. It's well worth trying that out. So tell me a little bit about this year. It's been challenging in many fronts in California. So what did you see with the rice? You started off with not being able to plant everything. So talk a little bit about that, and then also the growing season. Everett Willey: Yeah. We're about 30% down from our total acreage that we can plant. So there's quite a few hundred acres that's just dirt right now because of lack of water. Growing season went all right because, I mean, it was a fight to try to keep water on some fields. And that's part of the reason why we're actually harvesting right now is because the field that we're in, there was a lack of water in the bottom check because we just couldn't, we couldn't push the water down to it. So I think that has a big part in why we're actually harvesting right now. Jim Morris: And it was very smoky throughout Northern California, in fact, still is. What impact did the smoke have on the rice, if any? Everett Willey: The smoke this year wasn't as bad as last year timing-wise. Last year, it hit really heavy right when the rice was all flowering and I think that actually killed yields. The smoke this year, it came a little later. So a lot of the rice was already flowered. It'll slow down the ripening process probably a little bit because it'll keep the temperatures a little cooler. And we're definitely not getting any of the north wind, that's really what helps dry out and ripen the rice for harvest. Jim Morris: In terms of the smoke, fortunately, rice has an external hull on it. So there's not going to be a damage to the kernel, but the lack of sunlight did slow some of the maturity down in parts of the valley. Also, to your point about not planning a full crop, we have about 100,000 acres less rice grown this year in the state because of the drought. So certainly, impacts have been felt there. So the rice harvest is interesting when you compare to other crops. Other crops are sometimes harvested late at night, early in the morning. Rice, not so much. So when do you start harvest and why do you start it at that time of day? Everett Willey: In the morning, our operation, we clean off all the machines, all the harvesters, we blow it all, all the chaff and stuff off, really looking for problems with the harvester, and that way we can try to fix it. But we won't start actually cutting rice until the dew is lifted because any excess moisture that you're pulling through the machine makes the machine work harder. And then it can end up in the trailer to have a higher moisture and you don't want that because that could affect your drying cost. It could make it more expensive. Jim Morris: What is the moisture range that you're looking for when you harvest the rice? Everett Willey: Kernel moisture percentage would be like... 18-22 is a good quality to cost ratio. If you cut a little higher, so like if you're cutting 22 to 26%, you might get a little bit better quality, but the cost for drying also increases. So that 18-22% range is pretty much where you want to be. Jim Morris: And how important is the high-tech machinery that you have? Everett Willey: Having good equipment is extremely important. Compared to 10, 15 years ago, before GPS was really incorporated into these machines, it was not as efficient. Everything was smaller. You had to go slower. So when the rice was ready to come out of the field, you had to plan for it a lot more. Now, you can react and go. It saves a lot of money in the end. Jim Morris: And the GPS, Global Positioning System, is important in other aspects of the growing season too. So how else is GPS technology helping rice farming? Everett Willey: It's a big fuel saver because you're not... It knows exactly where your implement is going and has been. So if you have something that's 24-feet wide and you want to have a three-inch overlap, it'll do that for you. Whereas without it, you're going back and forth, so you have no overlap to a foot overlap. So having that consistent tillage is where you can really save some money, and it makes everything more uniform, which will make a more consistent yield. Jim Morris: Other high-tech aspects include planting, which is done by airplanes, which are guided by GPS. So it's very high tech here in California, rice country. And it's water efficient as well. Water is a concern after harvest. There will be a shallow amount of water put out there, but it's very limited this year because of the drought. I've seen a lot of wildlife on your farm. What thoughts and concerns do you have about the months ahead and rice fields helping the Pacific Flyway, but with a very limited water supply? Everett Willey: I think with the reduction in acres planted, a lot of farmers won't do a decomposition flood. Because on a fallow field, you'd be just putting water on dirt, which isn't benefiting either wildlife or the farmer. So the reason that we flood in the winter is to decompose the straw that is left over after you harvest it. So when we're done harvesting, we'll come in, we'll usually chop up the straw into smaller pieces to create more surface area, and then we'll till that ground up just a little bit to help add some air into the soil, and then we'll put a couple inches of water on it and hold that. And it'll decompose the straw, but it also provides a plethora of food and habitat for mostly waterfowl. I mean, we'll get all kinds of other stuff out here too. I mean, you got skunks, and raccoons, and coyotes, and all other kinds of things. It's a circle of life out here. Jim Morris: I've seen minks as well out here. And talk about some of the birds that you've seen too, lot of birds of prey, and not only numbers, but a wide variety of species. Everett Willey: We'll get bald eagles out here. The mink are actually pretty... They're cool. You see one of them run across and you're like, "Oh, that was a mink. I haven't seen one of those in a while." All the different varieties of geese, we'll get all the varieties of ducks. It was pretty cool. In one of our ditch systems, I actually saw a mandarin duck, which is super rare to see here, super, super rare. It looks like a wood duck, but cooler. Jim Morris: At the moment, there's not a lot of water on the landscape, and the needs for wildlife will be great later in the fall and winter. I'm speaking with Luke Matthews, Wildlife Programs Manager with the California Rice Commission. fortunately, there's a new program the Rice Commission is carrying out with the state Department of Water Resources that should help. Luke, tell us about the program. Luke Matthews: The Drought Relief Waterbird Program is focused on providing extra water through groundwater pumping to flood rice acres and wetland acres in the Sacramento Valley for waterbirds. And it's going to be particularly important this year, given the lack of habitat that we expect to see. Jim Morris: How much of a shortfall going into this program are we expecting in terms of the amount of shallow flooded acres in the Sacramento Valley? Luke Matthews: In a typical year, there's about 300,000 acres of flooded rice lands in the winter. And that provides an amazing source of food and habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds, and more. This year, we expect, if conditions don't change, to maybe see about 60,000 acres flooded. So a very, very significant decline in flooded habitat. Jim Morris: And I imagine there's careful consideration when it comes to groundwater use. Luke Matthews: Absolutely. Yeah. We're being very sensitive to areas that may be experiencing depletions or issues with groundwater wells going dry. We also have considerations for proximity to rivers and streams, things like that. So we're considering all the options, but really focusing on providing the habitat for the resource of concern right now. Jim Morris: The Pacific Flyway is amazing, 7-10 million ducks and geese, many other birds coming through. It is really a jewel for the Sacramento Valley, important for our environment and something so many people enjoy. And how much is this water needed? Because I believe the birds are already stressed, correct? Luke Matthews: The water is really needed more this year because of a significant drought throughout the west. The Great Salt Lake is drier than it's ever been in recorded history, it's very dry up in Oregon, and Klamath as well is almost dry. So these key areas that migrating birds in the Pacific Flyway typically utilize are dry or drying out. So they're in a worst-body condition when they arrive here and they're going to need the water even more than normal. Jim Morris: As we've heard from Luke Matthews, the drought is a significant concern for the millions of birds that are heading our way for the fall and winter months. I'm speaking with Greg Golet, an applied ecologist with the Nature Conservancy, good friends of rice growers and the California Rice Commission. And Greg, as you look at the stresses that the birds have already had as they're heading our way, how much more important is the Sacramento Valley to provide food and a resting place? Greg Golet: Well, certainly, the current conditions truly heighten the importance of this landscape. These birds, when they arrive here, typically are ready to rest and refuel before either they continue further south or they set up for their winter period in this region. But this year, they're going to arrive in likely much poorer condition due to the lack of good habitat in their traditional stop oversights. Jim Morris: What concerns do you have for the wildlife? Disease and even death are possibilities unfortunately? Greg Golet: Yeah, that's definitely the case. In addition to malnourishment, they can be susceptible to disease. A lot of that's exacerbated by crowded conditions. So you get transfer of the disease through the aerosol when the birds are taking off and landing. And when they're in tight quarters and you have those high temperatures, it's just that much worse. Jim Morris: Let's talk about something optimistic. There is a program in place that's being unveiled that hopefully we'll get more water on the landscape. And we've talked about this recently, that rice fields are surrogate wetlands. And so does that give you optimism or some degree of optimism that we're going to get through this fall and winter in reasonable shape for the wildlife? Greg Golet: Yeah, it definitely does. It's really an incredible opportunity that we have. There are all these levers effectively that we can pull to create the conditions that these birds depend upon. And we know what they want in terms of the timing, in terms of the depth of the water, in terms of how long it stays out on the fields. And with this system of rice agriculture in the associated infrastructure, it's really very straightforward to just create those conditions, and then we see virtually an immediate response. The trick of course, is getting adequate water to create that for the birds. Jim Morris: I have to tell you, after a year like this, I cannot wait to see the birds. And I've been talking with the rice growers. They're keeping an eye out because it is such a joy for me to see it. What does that mean to you, when you see that wildlife come in to the Sacramento Valley every fall and winter? Greg Golet: It's extremely uplifting to see these species drop into our valley. And that's already happening for the shorebirds whose migration is earlier than for the waterfowl typically. But for me, it provides confirmation that the network of habitats that these migratory species have evolved to depend upon that stretch from the Arctic all the way to South America are still functioning at least in some way. Because they're depending upon that. It's if you take out a link in that chain, the whole system can break down. So when they show up, I have that affirmation that, "Hey, we still have this incredible natural phenomenon in place." And it's just so rewarding and personally gratifying to be part of making that possible. Jim Morris: As the migration intensifies and this innovative program takes shape, we will keep you updated on the progress. Thank you to our interviewees, Everett Willey, Luke Matthews, and Greg Golet. You can find out more @podcast.calrice.org. Please listen, subscribe, and comment. Thanks for listening.
This episode: Training a phage strain on bacteria can increase its ability to control those bacteria for much longer than an untrained phage! Download Episode (5.7 MB, 8.3 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Pepper yellow leaf curl Indonesia virus News item Takeaways With resistance to antibiotics spreading more and more among deadly bacteria, finding alternatives to treat infections is becoming more important. One option is phage therapy, using viruses that infect bacteria to weaken or wipe out pathogens, but this can be tricky. Sometimes it takes too long to prepare an effective population of phage for treatment, and sometimes the target pathogen evolves resistance to the phage too quickly In this study, a phage that was trained, or pre-evolved, to infect specific bacteria more effectively, was able to dominate the population consistently and prevent it from becoming fully resistant. For comparison, against an untrained strain of the same phage, the bacteria developed almost complete resistance after several days. Journal Paper: Borin JM, Avrani S, Barrick JE, Petrie KL, Meyer JR. 2021. Coevolutionary phage training leads to greater bacterial suppression and delays the evolution of phage resistance. Proc Natl Acad Sci 118. Other interesting stories: Engineered gut bacteria could sense and indicate bowel inflammation Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening! Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.
Prof. Dirk De Ridder is one of the most cited tinnitus researchers, a very eloquent speaker, and a passionate advocate for people with tinnitus. He also runs his own brain research centre and clinic Brai3n. We spoke with Dirk about how the brain can create phantom perceptions like pain and tinnitus, and the different schools of thought in this area. He also highlights the role of epigenetics and explains how tinnitus can become intertwined with our sense of self, and how effective treatment should attempt to break that connection. In terms of clinical work, he describes how he works with patients and what he can offer them. Although he does not see Lenire and similar devices as the solution, he does see promising developments in psychedelics-based treatments and suppressing chronic neuroinflammation. To watch this interview in video format, become our Patron at https://moretinnitustalk.com
Steve White preaches through John 1 on August 8, 2021. WALK IN THE LIGHT 1 JOHN 1 1 JOHN 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. God wants to be deeply ingrained in your life. JESUS CHRIST REALLY LIVED. JESUS CHRIST IS EXPERIENCED. 1 JOHN 1:3-4 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. JESUS CHRIST CHANGES US. 1 JOHN 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. JESUS CHRIST CONFRONTS US. 1 JOHN 1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. TWO MISTAKES WE TEND TO MAKE: That sin is not a problem. That sin is not a problem for me. PSALM 51:3-5 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me ... Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. ROMANS 3:22-23 There is no difference ... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. What do we do with our sin? 1 JOHN 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. What does God do with our sin? He will forgive us: (vs. 9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins... He will cleanse us: (vs. 9) ... and purify us from all unrighteousness.
In today's episode, Pete approaches complex deeply ingrained culture issues by sharing real leadership case studies. He address specific problems and obstacles submitted by 7 church leaders around the world. One by one, he offers practical wisdom for what needs to change in each culture in order to experience true transformation.
The driest year in decades has been a jolt to much of California. Challenges extend beyond cities and farms, as wildlife is impacted by a sharp drop in habitat. One saving grace in the Sacramento Valley is the continued creativity and collaboration between rice growers and conservation groups. Millions of ducks depend on areas rice fields and adjacent wetlands, and there is a concerted effort to help them make it through the drought. One helpful program from the California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation in partnership with the California Rice Commission and California Waterfowl involves protecting seasonal upland nesting habitat on rice farms and tracking nesting ducks that use the fields. One of those working to help ducks is biologist Marina Guzman of California Waterfowl; who is passionate about helping wildlife. Marina and colleagues spend many hours in the field, chronicling ducks and their nests. Small transmitters are even placed on some hens, to track their movements and behaviors. Every observation is key to building a better understanding of how to provide these beautiful birds their best chance of survival. “We're learning a lot,” she commented. “This study documents nesting ducks in ag, which hasn't been done since the 90s, so getting all of the information, all of the pieces and having everyone work together will help the birds in the long run. It's a lot of work, but it's all worth it.” Another key conservation partner is Ducks Unlimited. Regional Biologist Craig Garner is among those working hard to help maintain healthy duck populations. He says Sacramento Valley rice fields are critical to ducks. “The Sacramento Valley ecosystem is extremely important for waterfowl.” Garner said. “It's primarily important for wintering waterfowl. The ducks that migrate south to overwinter in more milder climates hang out here in the Sacramento Valley, and then return north when it's warmer up north.” Garner works with rice growers to improve habitat conditions on the ground, including water use efficiency – especially important when water is scarce. A future area of concern is ensuring sufficient water in rice fields during the peak Pacific Flyway migration. After harvest shallow water helps decompose rice straw – providing vital habitat. There is a lot of discussion to try to ensure ducks and other rice field visitors will have a place to rest and refuel during their long journey later this year. December is the peak month for ducks in our region. “The Sacramento Valley is unique for many reasons,” he remarked. “The complimentary benefits from having natural habitat and benefits provided by rice are just amazing. The agricultural community is very important for many reasons, but fall-flooded rice fields provide benefits to numerous species – not just ducks. It's amazing to see, not only the ducks out here, but the wading birds, the amphibians and frogs - everything that uses these wetland habitats.” Episode Transcript Marina Guzman: We're heading out to do some trap tries. We're going for a Mallard and two Cinnamon's. Jim Morris: It's another busy day for Marina Guzman, Biologist with California Waterfowl at Conaway Ranch, a rice farm in Yolo county. Marina and others are studying duck nests in cover crops on this rice farm and the news is not always good. Today has been a tough day, but this is key research, especially during this drought. Marina Guzman: We found this nest about seven days ago, she's incubating around two days, so now she should be about nine days. She still has about 20 more days ago, a little less than that, 19 more days ago. She got depredated. Jim Morris: What got the eggs? Marina Guzman: I'm assuming the way it's dragged out and how the eggs are, it could be a little mammal that comes and just pokes his nose right through the egg. They're all on the side, right? So usually avian birds, raptor birds will carry the eggs away where a mammal will come and eat it at the nest. So hopefully the hen got away. It looks like she did. Marina Guzman: This field has about 13, 14 checks. It's 176 acres. So it just goes on forever. Marina Guzman: Oh no. Oh no. Jim Morris: Too close for it to be…? Marina Guzman: Yeah, for it to be there. We know that these fields are getting hit hard by something, and so we want to figure out whether it's a coyote, a fox or ravens, and if it is, how can we help? Jim Morris: Have you always been an optimist or have you learned to be one when you're out here looking at the nests? Marina Guzman: I started off really well, like I was like, "Yeah, all the birds are going to make it, all the ducklings are going to make it." And then reality hits and it's like, but you can't give up you know. Sometimes they do make it and you get really excited, yeah, that made it, yeah. But there's no point in giving up Jim Morris: Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris, proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. And there are no two ways about it, this is a tough year. It will take ingenuity to get through. But fortunately there is plenty of that in our region. Marina Guzman is a biologist with Cal Waterfowl and Marina, before we get into the work that you're doing in the field to help ducks, let's talk a little bit about your background. You're the first one in your family with a college degree. Can you tell me about that? Marina Guzman: My family migrated from Mexico out here. I'm one of the first among with some of my cousins to be the first with a degree. I decided to go in the wildlife degree direction and then it's turning out well for me, actually. My whole family came out and there's a bunch of us, like 50 cousins and everything. So it was really exciting to have everyone there, especially my grandma to see her second generation to go and get a degree, you know, the reason why she came out this way, this far and worked so hard. Jim Morris: So, tell me about what the work is that you do. Marina Guzman: So we are doing a nesting setting, so we're basically seeing how many nests are using cover crop fields. Jim Morris: Tell me about working with ducks. What do you like about that? Just spending some time with you, it's clear you have a big passion for them. Marina Guzman: I love ducks. I'm so in tune with the nesting settings and the way mallards are using this land that I actually know where habitat or like I'll flush a bird, right? I'll flush a bird off a nest and to find the nest, you have to actually be like, okay, if I was a mallard, where would I hide? How much shade would I like, and what would I use? And so once you find those little key pointers, you're able to find these nests a lot quicker. Jim Morris: While more is learned, there are successes that more than balance the challenges seen this year. The day after my visit with Marina, they found more than 10 active duck nests at Doherty Farms in Dunnigan, and they even placed a transmitter on a mallard. So researchers are soaking up additional knowledge that will pay dividends now and into the future. Marina Guzman: Getting all the information, all the pieces and having everyone work together will help the birds in the long run. Whether this is like a sad year, a lot of depredation, it would be better in the future. Jim Morris: How important are rice fields to the whole equation? Marina Guzman: I was surprised to know how many rice fields and, just having those rice fields, birds really came into to that water. They really come and look for that water. You can have the most gorgeous fields, but if there's no water around and that's what rice fields provide is the water. If there's no water around, there's no birds. So rice allows the birds to come and key in to the land, whether it be on the side, the levees, or even the field adjacent to it, or like you see now across even a road like this, they'll travel up to three miles. We know like they'll travel up to like a mile, mile and a half, up to three miles to get to water. So having those rice fields close to dry upland fields like this, is super important for their survival, not only when they're laying, but once the duckling are hatched. Marina Guzman: Ducklings, as soon as they hatch, they're little snacks for anything that can put them in their mouth. The faster they're able to go into water, like a rice field, they're able to hide from predators and use that water to feed and to hide. So keeping both the ducklings and the hen safe from predators, especially since rice grows so quickly and so tall, it's able to protect them. Jim Morris: I've learned a lot in our short amount of time, driving in the ATV, including the cinnamon teals are the fastest of the ducks that you work with. So what are some facts that people may not know about the ducks that you look at? Marina Guzman: Cinnamon teal, mallard and gadwall would lay an egg one day until their average cut size. So normally mallards we'll do nine eggs. GAD will do 10, 11, maybe. And then cinnamon's would do a little more than that. Then once they have their clutch size or whatever clutch size they feel comfortable with, they'll start incubating and they'll incubate. Cinnamon teal will incubate to 24 days and then mallard and gadwall to 26. They'll take a nest break in the morning and a nest break at night. That usually starts around two, and then they'll come back right before dawn to keep those eggs warm at night and then stay throughout the night. Marina Guzman: Tell me about transmitters that are put on ducks. That's wild. Marina Guzman: Transmitters are always fun. If you're doing a nesting study, like obviously you're going to try to get some backpacks out. That's the whole point, right? And that's the key is having a backpack on a hen so that we can disturb her less. If once we have her in hand, we look at her, her age, we know her nest scene. And so we can put a backpack on her and then see where she goes, whether she is using this field, or is she using that field or where she's going. And then once her ducklings hatch, we know where they take them and whether they survive or not. Marina Guzman: So say she has nine ducklings and she goes out, takes the nine ducklings and for whatever reason, something picked them up, they didn't like the water she'll come back and lay again. And we'll know where she nests already because she has a backpack. So backpacks are vital, vital, vital, vital for these projects. Jim Morris: People may have the wrong impression of a backpack. It's not like the one my son would wear when he goes to school that's like 30 pounds or something. How small are these backpacks? Marina Guzman: They are very small. The mallards, usually they take the backpack and they're just off, this does not bother me, I don't mind having this on me. And Gaddy's same thing. They'll just take the backpack and take off. So we always look for that, when we put a backpack on her, how well they're flying when they leave; it's suited nice so we have no future problems and then we can continue to get information for that hen for years, hopefully if she stays in the sun, because it's solar powered, those backpacks are solar powered. Jim Morris: The drought will pass, we'll get to a better spot, and thanks to work that you're doing and others, these beautiful birds will still be here. So what joy do you have in all of this? Marina Guzman: Oh, it's so much fun. I mean, people always tell me like, "Oh, you get paid to do this." And sometimes I forget that because I do get paid to do this, and it's a blast. I come out here every day with a positive attitude. I look forward to seeing these mallards, seeing how they're doing and how far along their nesting comes and whether they do walk away with ducklings, that's important to me. I want them to walk away with ducklings, that's the key is to have these nets hatch. Just being grateful to be out here and having fun, especially with good coworkers and good teammates that's what makes it everything. It's being able to get the data we get and then having a good time, having everyone in a good attitude. Jim Morris: You have to be honest, have you ever dreamed about ducks? Marina Guzman: No, I don't think so. Jim Morris: You surprised me. Marina Guzman: I mean, I go to bed thinking about my nest cards and I wake up thinking about my nest cards all day. That's literally the only thing. But no, usually during the field season, if I hit that pillow, lights out. I'm so tired after just running around, trying to catch these birds. A lot of people don't think how much work I am putting into these fields. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of work to try to catch these hens, but it's all worth it. Jim Morris: I'm at the Norton Family Rice Farm, which is just about 10 miles from the State Capitol, visiting with Craig Garner, Regional Biologist with Ducks Unlimited. Craig, thanks for your time. Tell me a little bit about your background and the work that you do in the Sacramento valley. Craig Garner: I'm originally from South Carolina, I'm a Clemson graduate. After graduation I moved west and started working for Ducks Unlimited. I started working for them at a Western regional office in 2006. I did a short time working around the Great Salt Lake, about four years working for Ducks Unlimited. I moved back to California in 2012, and I've been here ever since then. Jim Morris: How does the Sacramento Valley ecosystem compare to the others that you've seen? Craig Garner: The Sacramento Valley ecosystem is extremely important for waterfowl and there are numerous areas around the country that are important for waterfowl. Craig Garner: The Sacramento Valley is primarily important for wintering waterfowl, the ducks that migrate south over winter and more milder climates, they hang out here in Sacramento Valley and then return north when it's warmer up north. The Great Salt Lake is primarily a migration habitat, so as the birds are migrating south, they need places to stop and refuel and rest. Areas like the Great Salt Lake and other migration habitat areas provide food resources while they're migrating to the wintering areas. Jim Morris: As a regional biologist, what are some of the projects that you have, and also Ducks Unlimited to try to maintain this duck population, particularly in a year like this it's really challenging with the drought. Craig Garner: So my responsibilities are delivering DU's conservation mission in the Sacramento Valley. Simply that means working with private and public landowners to improve habitat conditions on the ground. Craig Garner: We do a lot of habitat improvement projects, which includes improving water use efficiency. When you don't have much water, you want to use that water in the most efficient manner as possible. We do earth work projects, install infrastructures to help fill wetlands, drain them quickly if you need to get the water on and off fast, and use your water in the best way possible. Jim Morris: How cooperative are the growers that you're working with on these steps? Craig Garner: The growers are very receptive to that. Water is the most important thing to wetlands and rice. If without water, you don't have wetlands or rice habitat. So being able to use water is very important. In years like now when you don't have much water, it's even more important. Jim Morris: As we look towards the fall and winter, that is a critical time with millions of ducks coming through here, what are your concerns about the state that we're at right now? I know we want it to improve, but it's a little bit daunting to think about the Pacific Flyway migration in a dry year. Craig Garner: On an average year, the Sacramento Valley supports approximately three to 4 million waterfowl. These are ducks, and another three to four million geese. We primarily support those from managed wetlands and fall flooded rice fields. There's about just under 70,000 public and private managed wetlands in the Sacramento Valley in a normal year and about 350,000 acres of fall flooded rice lands in an average year. With that amount of habitat, we can support that population, no problem. Now, if those acres decrease to a certain level, then it becomes more challenging to support those high numbers of water fowl and geese for the entire winter that they're down here. Jim Morris: Will there be an effort in the coming months, depending on how the weather shakes out to make sure there's at least a minimal amount of flooded acreage to make sure the duck population stays healthy? Craig Garner: One important factor everybody can do, and they did this back when we had the five-year drought, if you're not going to get rice decomp water, put your boards in anyway, and when the rains come in November, December, you can capture that water and provide that habitat. The highest number of ducks and geese that arrive in the Sac Valley peak in December. So if you can capture some of that rainwater, we can still provide some of the habitat needed by these birds. Jim Morris: And you mentioned decomp. So at the end of harvest, a little bit of water is put in the fields and that helps decompose the rice straw, which is an important part of the growing season. When we look at the ducks and you were out here in the fields and you see them, what goes through your mind? I saw several pairs this morning. It always gives my heart a little bit of a rush to see that. Craig Garner: The Sacramento Valley is unique for many, many reasons, but you know, the complimentary benefits from having a natural habitat and benefits provided by rice is just amazing. That agriculture community is very important for many reasons, but fall flooded rice fields provide benefits to numerous species, not just ducks. So that was amazing to see not only the ducks out here, but the wading birds and all the amphibians and frogs croaking and it just everything that uses these wetland habitats. Jim Morris: That wraps up this episode. Thank you to Marina Guzman of Cal Waterfowl and Craig Garner of Ducks Unlimited for their time and comments. We also appreciate Ducks Unlimited, Cal Waterfowl and our many conservation partners who are helping rice fields be the best they can to help the environment. You can find out much more at Podcast.CalRice.org. We appreciate your comments, please subscribe and thanks for listening.
The driest year California has experienced since the 1970s will have wide-ranging impacts in the West. In the Sacramento Valley, a reduced water supply will lead to about a 20 percent reduction in rice plantings. The loss of about 100,000 acres of rice fields has implications well beyond the farm level. The reduced plantings will impact rural communities that depend on agriculture as their foundation. It’s also a concern for wildlife, which greatly depend on rice fields for their habitat. Fortunately, rice growers are collaborating with conservation groups to get the most out of what’s available. “Over the last 150 years, over 90 percent of the wetlands that used to be in the Central Valley have gone,” remarked Julia Barfield, Project Manager with The Nature Conservancy. “They've been lost to development and agriculture, and there's a shortage of habitat that birds migrating along the Pacific flyway need. And that is wetland habitat, specifically shallow wetlands for migratory shorebirds, which is a group of species that have declined precipitously in the last 50 years. And we are working hard to make sure there's enough habitat, especially in years like this that are really dry -- and there's not going to be much habitat on the landscape when they're migrating this fall.” The Nature Conservancy has spearheaded two key rice conservation programs, BirdReturns and Bid4Birds, which have helped during past droughts. “What we've found in the last drought,2013 to 2015, which was a critical period, was that the incentive programs, such as BirdReturns, provided 35 percent of the habitat that was out there on the landscape and up to 60 percent in the fall period during certain days,” said Greg Golet, a scientist at The Nature Conservancy who has spent years working to maintain and enhance shorebird habitat in Sacramento Valley rice fields. This cooperation wouldn’t be possible without rice growers being willing participants. For decades, rice fields have provided a vital link to the massive Pacific Flyway migration of millions of birds. “I've been doing this for 40 years now, every farmer that I know is an environmentalist at some level,” said rice grower John Brennan, who works at several places in the valley, including Davis Ranches in Colusa. “We're the ones that are out there in the environment. We're the ones that get to enjoy the birds. We're the ones that get to see habitat and all the excitement that it brings to the landscape. But on the other side of it, we need to make sure that rice stays relevant in the state of California. And so, we're not going to be able to maintain this habitat, as habitat. There's not enough money in the state of California to do that. We need to come up with a farming program that does both, that provides food and provides habitat.” As summer approaches, the value of rice field habitat – especially during drought -- will grow right along with America’s next crop of sushi rice. The rice fields, complete with their diverse ecosystem, are a welcome sight to Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, who has worked on several fronts to bolster such conservation. “It makes me feel relieved,” she said. “It makes me feel like there's hope. It makes me feel like there's the beauty that we have all around us in Northern California -- and then to appreciate every single moment of it, and not to take away, but to help enhance what we have and to continue it for our future.” Episode Transcript CBS 13 Newscaster 1: The drought impacting much more than how you water your lawn, but the way food is grown in the Sacramento Valley. CBS 13's, Rachel Wulff shows us the changes to a multi-billion-dollar industry that supports 25,000 jobs. Fritz Durst: Farmers are eternal optimists. You have to be, to risk so much with so many things out of your control. Rachel Wulff: Fritz Durst, trying to keep his spirits up in a down year. Jim Morris: The past year plus has been difficult for our world, and now a significant new challenge has hit much of the west. Precious little rain and snow fell during fall and winter, leading to the driest year California has seen in generations. As a result, there will be less rice grown in the Sacramento Valley this year. That has wide ranging impacts, including to birds that migrate along the Pacific flyway. But as the newly planted rice emerges and more birds arrive, there's at least a momentary lift during this difficult time. Welcome to Ingrained, the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris. I've worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years helping tell their stories. I'm at the historic Davis Ranches in Colusa, and even though drought has taken out about 20 percent of normal rice acreage, it is a beautiful time in our valley and an important one as well. Julia Barfield has been with the Nature Conservancy since 2010. After her undergraduate degree in English Literature and German, her early career was in publishing and editing, and then she made a big shift getting her graduate degree in biology with thesis work, including a field endocrinology and behavioral study on a nocturnal endangered species in a very remote field station in a desert grassland environment. And Julia, you need to go back to publishing after you write that book because I'll buy two copies of it, it sounds like a wonderful book. So we went from pandemic to drought and that is certainly challenging for protecting the environment, but let's start with something positive being out here in the country. What are your thoughts when you're in and around the rice fields and you see all the wildlife? Julia Barfield: Oh, it's so refreshing to get out, up here in the rice fields. And there's such a diversity of birds and we're out here today on Davis Ranches, and you can hear bird song in the background, and it's just such a release after being cooped up in the last year. Jim Morris: The Nature Conservancy has been contributing to this effort for many years, as well as some other conservation partners, and we're very grateful for that. So why is the Nature Conservancy using its time and expertise and resources to help wildlife in rice fields? Julia Barfield: Well Jim, over the last 150 years, over 90 percent of the wetlands that used to be in the Central Valley are gone. They've been lost to development and agriculture, and there's a shortage of habitat that birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway need. And that is wetland habitat, specifically shallow wetlands for migratory shorebirds, which is a species that has declined precipitously in the last 50 years. And we are working hard to make sure there's enough habitat, especially in years like this that are really dry and there's not going to be much habitat on the landscape when they're migrating this fall. Jim Morris: The Nature Conservancy has two specific programs they've worked with regarding rice farming and the environment. Tell me about those. Julia Barfield: Back in 2014 during the last drought, we developed a program called BirdReturns. I just mentioned that there's been a huge loss in habitat in wetlands, in the Central Valley. And during migration season, which is early fall and late spring for migratory shorebirds, there's often few places for them to stop and rest and feed on migrations that can go anywhere from Alaska down to Patagonia. So these birds are long distance fliers and they need to refuel along the way. And so, to make up this habitat shortfall, we developed this program called BirdReturns, where we work with growers to flood their fields for a few weeks at a time during the most critical times of year. And we call these pop-up wetlands. And another way to talk about it is we often refer to them as an Airbnb for birds. Jim Morris: And now there's a Bid4Birds. So tell me a little bit about that. Julia Barfield: So, the Nature Conservancy is part of a formal partnership with two other conservation organizations, Point Blue Conservation Science and Audubon, California. And we are working closely with the California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation to create a BirdReturns like program called Bid4Birds. It's the same kind of concept where we ask growers to submit bids to participate in the program, and we select growers who have the best quality habitat for the lowest price. Jim Morris: Tell me a little bit about working with growers, that's obviously a key element to make sure these programs are successful. Julia Barfield: Yes, the growers are a key component and since the beginning of doing burn returns, we work closely with the rice community and rice growers have been close partners for us. And the idea is that this is a win-win approach. So, by working with the growers, we are able to help promote their long term farming operations and also create habitat for birds. And we are kind of both an organization, if you will, where we want to have benefits for both people and nature, and rice growers are a very important part of this work. Jim Morris: Also here on the farm is Greg Golet, who has a PhD in Biology and an MS in Marine Sciences, and you spent time in Alaska with the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife biologist studying seabirds, sounds fascinating. And what type of birds did you study, and tell me a little bit about that Alaska experience. Greg Golet: I went up to go to Alaska after finishing college in Maine, because I wanted to go to one of the wildest places I could possibly find and do research biology. And there I studied blackleg kitty wakes and then pigeon guillemots out in beautiful Prince William Sound. Jim Morris: How long were you in Alaska and what was the most unusual thing that you saw, because Alaska is a very unusual place? Greg Golet: They say you judge your time in Alaska based on the number of winters that you spend there. And I will confess that early on, I was going to Alaska for field research and then returning to warm Santa Cruz for grad school. But I did put in four and a half winters there before heading back to Northern California. The wildest thing I think that I ever saw in Alaska was out at my field camp, which was tucked up in a fjord with a tidewater glacier at the head. The snow melted out beneath an avalanche cone and exposed this bear that had been taken out by a slide in the winter. And over the days we would go there and look at the various animals feeding upon it, including wolverines. Jim Morris: Oh, my goodness, Julia has a second book, she's going to need to work on too. So that's pretty amazing. And the rice ecosystem, doesn't have what you just described, but it is very diverse, and I think surprising to people. So tell me a little bit about your time in the rice ecosystem and some of the things that you've seen. Greg Golet: In Alaska, it was incredible because I had these remote experiences out in wild country where I saw incredible nature spectacles. But in the rice landscape, we see that as well. What's interesting to me about it, is that here it's a human dominated, managed, highly altered ecosystem. As Julia was mentioning, 90 percent of the historic wetlands are lost, and what's here is all tightly controlled with water allocations and specific management practices. But yet, when you do things right, you can see incredible responses of wildlife in spectacles, really as powerful as those that I had in Alaska with fields absolutely teaming with shorebirds. And of course the huge goose populations and so forth. Jim Morris: Let's talk a little bit about shorebirds. Rice fields provide internationally recognized shorebird habitat, and tell me some of the species that you've seen out here. Greg Golet: Well, we've seen many different species out here, and I'll tell you about a couple that I find to be extremely interesting. One is the Western Sandpiper and another is the Dunlin. And they're pretty similar, when you look at them, especially to the untrained eye, they might look just like these little brown birds. The Western Sandpiper only weighs about an ounce and the Dunlin isn't much bigger. Both of them breed up in the Arctic. Dunlin have a circumpolar distribution, whereas the Western Sandpipers are more just out on western Alaska, out by the Bering Sea. But what's really interesting and different about them, is that they have strikingly different patterns of migration. And so what that means is that when they head south for the winter, which both of them do, the timing is different. And so, the Dunlin typically come down, not until October, and then they spend the winter in the Central Valley and the rice country is extremely important to them. Whereas the Western Sandpiper comes down early. They come down, they peak in July when they move through the central valley on their way south, and then they don't come back until April. So there's really hardly any overlap between these two species out in the field. And what that means for us as conservationists, and what we really have to pay attention to, is that we can provide habitat over that broad range of time so that we can meet the dependencies of both of these species. Jim Morris: I find those shorebirds very interesting too, because I think almost every time I've seen them, they're eating. So they feed out of the rice fields as well as a place to rest. And so we are unfortunately in a drought situation. So how valuable are the rice fields in a year like this? Greg Golet: Rice field habitat is phenomenally important to these birds in droughts, as well as in regular years. What we've found in the last drought 2013 to 2015, which was a critical period, was that the incentive programs, such as BirdReturns, provided 35 percent of the habitat that was out there on the landscape and up to 60 percent in the fall period during certain days. Jim Morris: We've seen these dry years before, so do you have a degree of optimism that we're going to get past this, at some point? Greg Golet: I absolutely do. One of the things that we have on our side is that this is a highly managed system. And so therefore we can pull the levers that we need to, to put the habitat out there, where and when it will be most valuable to the birds. And what we also have now is this emerging science that tells us specifically what the habitat needs are and therefore where to best place them for maximum return on investment. Jim Morris: Essentially the Pacific flyway, that massive migration of millions of birds, even if we have a drought, you can't take a year off in terms of giving them the habitat in the Central Valley, right? Greg Golet: When these birds stop in here, it's likely that they need to replenish their reserves rapidly. They need time to rest. They need to have the time with their other members of the flock to establish the social connections that they do at these stopover sites. Or they need to just have the opportunity to set up for an extended period as they overwinter. Jim Morris: John Brennan is a rice grower, farm manager, Ag Business Management graduate from Cal-Poly, and one of those who has embraced wildlife friendly farming. John, why go the extra steps to help wildlife? John Brennan: I've been doing this for 40 years now, every farmer that I know is an environmentalist at some level. And we're the ones that are out there in the environment. We're the ones that get to enjoy the birds. We're the ones that get to see habitat and all the excitement that it brings to the landscape. But on the other side of it, we need to make sure that rice stays relevant in the state of California. And so we're not going to be able to maintain this habitat, as habitat, there's not enough money in the state of California to do that. We need to come up with a farming program that does both, that provides food and provides habitat. Jim Morris: And it is amazing any time of the year, but particularly in the fall and winter, the staggering amount of wildlife that are in rice fields. Is it something that you're used to? Is it still pretty impressive when you drive by and you see tens of thousands of geese in a field? John Brennan: Oh yeah. I don't think you'll ever get used to it, especially when they lift off. And then I think the one thing that we talk about is when we first started talking to the migratory bird partnership, they would quiz us or quiz our growers because we manage a lot of different farm land, if we see shorebirds out there. And I would say, "Well, we see Killdeer." And I didn't realize that everything that we thought was a Killdeer, was a lot of different shorebirds, right? We just didn't recognize the difference. And now 10 years later, most of our growers have bird cards and can identify different birds, and they can tell you exactly where they see those birds, right? John Brennan: Those birds are in one inch of water. Those birds are in mudflats. Those birds are in fields with deeper water. When we give the Bird Day out here at Davis Ranches, we've gone to a flooding program that we just fill up the field. So we fill it up fairly deep, 8 to 10 inches, and then we just shut it off and go to the next field and let it kind of draw down. So when you're out there at Bird Day, you'll see fields that are swans, pelicans, egrets, and then the next field, it'll be geese. And then the next field, it'll be ducks and the next field will be shorebirds. And the next field will be the little shorebirds. And you can just follow them around based on the depth of the water. Jim Morris: Oh, that is awesome. And those who love Japanese cuisine know Nigiri is fish over rice. And the Nigiri Project is a little different. It's an innovative way to help salmon. This project with Cal Trout has been around for a long time and it has yielded promising results. So how can rice fields help salmon? John Brennan: So, this whole discussion about getting fish out of the river onto the floodplain started in the late nineties. So the idea was we'd get more fish out of the river and onto the floodplain. And so, we actually bought the Knaggs Ranch to do the science out there. When they were talking about getting fish out of the Sacramento River and onto the floodplain, in the old bypass, all of the discussions were to put them over seasonal wetland habitat. And our argument was that, "Hey, we're in the rice business, these are the surrogate wetlands. We really just farm rice in the off season, the exciting season's the winter. There's no reason that the fish wouldn't do the same over rice fields in the winter that they do over seasonal wetland habitat." John Brennan: We named it then the Nigiri Project just to keep rice in the discussion, because we were going to do all the science on rice fields, and we didn't want people to forget about the rice, that's why we named it, the Nigiri Project. And so what the project has really shown is that when you get water out there on the floodplain, even though it's been farmed to rice, we still maintain all of those same benefits or can establish, or can garner all those same benefits that you get out there over the traditional floodplain. Jim Morris: And I know that with our Pilot Project at the Rice Commission, that we're also working with UC Davis and Cal Trout, very encouraging results. And there's also growing fish food in the rice fields of the Sacramento Valley and returning that to the river. So very exciting work for salmon. And hopefully there will be progress there, and rice fields will be able to serve salmon just like they are birds right now. So it's a great time for the environment, when you look at Sacramento Valley rice fields. And on that subject, what do you think the future is for wildlife friendly farming in the Sacramento valley? John Brennan: I think for the rice world, there's a tremendous amount of promise. Jim Morris: We've been talking about helping out, not only growing the crop, which supports a lot of different communities and infrastructure in the Sacramento Valley, there's also the environmental needs, birds and fish. So it's a pretty big juggling act this year, I would imagine considering we have a drought. John Brennan: This year, it started off dry and it stayed dry. And so we have all of these environmental conditions that we want to meet on our farm with flooding and some of the habitat that we create and provide here. But then also in the river system where our water supplies are dependent on meeting certain environmental factors with the cold water pool and flows and everything else, and so navigating that and being part of that discussion. But we're rotating out of rice on about 20 percent of our acreage and that complicates things. And that a lot of this is contracted, we have a lot of specialty varieties out here, we're moving fields around. And not knowing exactly which fields are going to have water and which fields aren't going to have water, is also a complex issue for most of the mills to stay up on. And then we have the infrastructure. I mean, we own the dryer there in Robbins. We're going to be at about probably two-thirds capacity. Most of the mills are probably going to be at about two-thirds to 80 percent capacity. And so, keeping the industry healthy and then serving all of our clients, I mean, people buy this rice every year and once we lose out on markets or don't supply rice to the markets, they go somewhere else. And then if there's water next year and we're in business again next year, we have to go out and try and get those markets back again. It's a roller coaster ride and there's more than just the fields to think about. Jim Morris: We're at Conaway Ranch in Yolo County and California Waterfowl Association just released Mallard ducks. They're trying to maintain and enhance that population. Assemblymember, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry is out here. How important are rice fields to help the whole process of preserving our environment, particularly in a year like this, where water is so short? Cecilia Aguiar-Curry: Well, the importance I think is just that number one is that after we collect the eggs and they grow and our little ducks grow, there's got to be a place for them to go into the water. And today we just released them into the water, but I'm concerned that with the drought, if our rice farmers are going to be able to do that, and to help us during this period of time. But that's why winter flooded rice is so important. Jim Morris: And in Northern California, in the Sacramento Valley, in particular, when you see that wildlife in the rice fields, all the birds, how does it make you feel? Cecilia Aguiar-Curry: It makes me feel relieved. It makes me feel like there's hope. It makes me feel like there's the beauty that we have all around us in Northern California and then to appreciate every single moment of it, and not to take away, but to help enhance what we have and to continue it for our future. Jim Morris: That wraps up this episode. Thank you to CBS 13 Sacramento for granting us use of an excerpt and the rice coverage. And thank you to our interviewees, Assemblymember, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Julia Barfield and Greg Golet with the Nature Conservancy and rice grower, John Brennan. You can find out much more information about California rice, including a link to all of the podcast episodes, and you can also find a special page we've set up with the latest on impacts of the ongoing drought. All of that, and more are at calrice.org, that's calrice.org. Thanks for listening.
The coming weeks will be busy in the Sacramento Valley, as highly-skilled pilots plant this year’s rice crop. Farmers are no stranger to challenges, and this year is no different. Below-par rain and snowfall have led to water cutbacks of at least 25 percent valley wide, which will lead to an as yet undetermined drop in rice plantings. “There are a lot of fields that won’t be planted on my farm and throughout the state because of a lack of water,” said Sean Doherty, rice grower in Dunningan. “That’s what you do in years like this. You cut back and work with what you have.” Less rice planted has repercussions beyond farms and mills. Rice is an integral part of the Sacramento Valley, providing more than $5 billion to the economy and 25,000 jobs. Rural communities that depend on farming will be impacted, as well as the environment – fewer rice fields planted means less habitat for hundreds of wildlife species. “Every year, we’re concerned about species that are already listed as threatened, endangered or species of concern,” said Meghan Hertel, Director of Land and Water Conservation at Audubon California. “Unfortunately, in a drought, it’s not just the species of concern that we’re worried about – the ones with the low populations – we’re also worried about common birds.” A recent study from Cornell University study estimates a plunge of the overall bird population by three billion over the last 50 years. She said rice fields are vital for wildlife, especially in a dry year like this one. “Every year, rice fields are important for habitat,” she said. “That’s because, in the Sacramento Valley, we’ve lost 90 to 95 percent of our natural habitat, so much of the ground that birds and other wildlife are using is actually in active rice production. We call it surrogate habitat for birds and wildlife, and in some cases it’s providing two-thirds of the diet of wintering waterfowl.” She said this dry year will mean birds will have to congregate on the fewer acres where water is on the landscape, which means less available food for wildlife. Hertel said there is excellent collaboration in the Sacramento Valley, to support farms and the environment. “Partnerships, communication and collaboration are key. Working together, we can make the best of what we do have.” Collaboration is also a key to helping the state’s struggling salmon population. Jacob Katz, Lead Scientist at Cal Trout has been working with rice farmers and water districts for years now, and said tremendous progress has been made to help salmon. He said rice fields can be used to mimic the incredibly productive wetland habitats that were in the Sacramento Valley before it was developed. “It means slowing water down across the floodplain,” he remarked. “It means spreading it out, creating the puddles that typified the floodplain wetlands before development of the valley, that’s similar to the surrogate wetlands that rice fields are managed as. What we’ve found is those fields fill up with fish food, with bugs. It only takes three weeks or so to go from a dry field to a shallow, wetland-like environment, and three weeks later it’s teeming with bugs, with fish food. We’ve been working with farmers, water suppliers and reclamation districts to grow the food on these fields, but then to actively drain it back to the river where fish can access it in dry years like this. That’s a really important piece.” “There’s extraordinary room for optimism,” he added. “We’ve shown that the Sacramento Valley can be resilient, can produce benefits for both people and for the environment. Look at the bird response over the last 30 years, as rice growers and water suppliers came together to offer our feathered friends some semblance of the habitat that they evolved in, that they were adapted to. And those birds recognized those flooded rice fields as wetlands…. We can do the same thing for salmon. We have every evidence to suggest that that’s true. That if we hit every link in the salmon’s life history, if we connect their juvenile and adult life phases, we can have a phenomenal response from our fish populations.” Water management is always a balancing act, but the job is especially challenging this year. Thad Bettner is General Manager of the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, the largest water district in the Sacramento Valley, spanning 175,000 acres, including rural communities, many rice farms and three federal wildlife refuges. He is navigating through several subjects, including potential voluntary agreements and water transfers. He said longer term additional water storage would pay major dividends in future dry years. “Water storage would be huge,” he said. “We are looking at Sites Reservoir… we believe the time is now for that. One of the great things about Sites Reservoir is it’s downstream from Shasta Reservoir, so it provides this midstream benefit of being able to regulate the system and really manage for multiple benefits—water supply, meeting the needs of the environment and carryover storage. Sites would help meet all of those goals.” Jim Morris: May in the Sacramento Valley involves an interesting sight - high speed, low flying airplanes planting America's next crop of sushi rice. In fact, I have an airplane heading my way right now! And there is excitement with a new season, but this year is not without its challenges. Welcome to Ingrained the California Rice Podcast. I'm your host, Jim Morris. Proud to have worked with California farmers and ranchers for more than 30 years to help tell their stories. I'm in Sutter County, watching precision GPS guided planting, and it is an amazing site. Even with the benefits rice has to our cuisine, economy and environment, we are not immune from impacts of a dry year. Jim Morris: There will be many things to keep an eye on during this dry year. One of them is the environment. And here in the Sacramento Valley, we're on the Pacific Flyway, so virtually every trip through this area, there are wonderful sites. I was at a farm this morning and they had a bald eagle sighting. So, that's great. However, this dry year won't be easy, not just for the cities and farms, but there are certainly pressure on our diverse ecosystem. Meghan Hertel is director of land and water conservation at Audubon California. And Meghan, as we have this dry year unfold, what are some of your concerns for wildlife? Meghan Hertel: Water is essential, not just for human life, but also for wildlife. And here in California, we have a really interesting water cycle. So the rain falls in fall and winter, and it creates water in the ground, it feeds the habitat and it feeds the wetlands and the rice fields that birds are using. And then most of our waterfall is in the form of snowpack. And that snowpack is released throughout the year and used for our farms and cities, and also to create river flows and to serve the habitats throughout the year. And this year we didn't get rain and we don't have much snowpack. And that means impacts to our habitat and to our wildlife. Jim Morris: Are there particular species you'll keep a watch on as the year unfolds that you're especially concerned about? Meghan Hertel: Every year we're concerned about species that are already listed as threatened or endangered or species of concern. So great examples of this are the salmon, least bell's vireo, from the bird example, or yellow billed cuckoo. Also, the giant garter snake, which we find frequently throughout the Sacramento Valley associated with rice fields and wetlands. But unfortunately in a drought, it's not just the species of concerns we're worried about, the ones with the low populations. We're also worried about common birds. So, Cornell University, last year released a study that showed in the last 50 years we've lost three billion birds, and it's not just the rare ones, it's actually the common birds. So in a year like this, where there'll be less habitat on the ground and less food for birds, we worry about those common birds as well. Jim Morris: How important are rice fields in the equation, particularly when you're looking at a year when there's not going to be a lot of water naturally on the landscape? Meghan Hertel: Well, every year rice fields are important for habitat and that's because in the Sacramento Valley we've lost 90 to 95 percent of our natural habitat. So, much of the ground that birds and other wildlife are using is actually in active rice production. We call it surrogate habitat for birds and wildlife. And in some cases, it's providing two-thirds of the diet of wintering waterfowl. So that's a big amount. Unfortunately in a year like this, we are seeing cutbacks, not just in race, but also in our wetlands. The water system that serves our rice serves our remaining wetlands as well. And so as we see the reduction of habitat, that means birds are going to have to concentrate in fewer areas and they're going to have less food. Jim Morris: One of the ways I hope that is helpful, are these great partnerships between organizations like yourself, rice growers, and other interested parties in the Sacramento Valley. Comment a little bit, please on those partnerships and how valuable they are, particularly in a year like this. Meghan Hertel: Absolutely. Partnerships, communication and collaboration are key. When there are not enough resources, particularly water, that's so important to all of us, to go around, we need to sit down and talk about how we use the limited amount of water that we've got. And that means using science to understand the trade-offs and then maximizing what water we have to reach multiple benefits. And so that's supporting farms, but also saving some water to support habitat, or looking for ways to put water out on the agricultural landscape that both grows food and also supports habitat. The choices won't always be easy, and we certainly are all going to feel a pinch this year and see cutbacks, but by working together, we can make the best of what we do have. Meghan Hertel: One of the things we learned during the last drought, is that it's very important to work together, to come up with scientifically sound collaborative solutions, to put water on the landscape when and where birds needed. A great example of this is the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership, which is a partnership between Audubon, the Nature Conservancy and Point Blue Conservation Science. We've been working with rice growers and water districts for almost a decade. And when the last drought hit, we were able to put special practices out, putting water on rice fields in spring and early fall to support migratory shorebirds. And there were days where it was the only water on the landscape for birds. And this just shows the importance of collaboration in hard times like drought. Jim Morris: The farm we're at here in Sutter County, is dry, they're working the fields, but it will have rice in it. And this is one of the places that I have seen cattle egrets in their marvelous breeding plumage. It is exciting to see the wildlife. And one of my favorite times is nesting season of shorebirds. Tell me a little bit about that. Obviously there will be a little pressure with less land available, but it is a marvelous sight to see the avocets, stilts, et cetera. So what are your thoughts when you see shorebird nesting? Meghan Hertel: It really gives me hope. It shows that, when we are able to provide habitat here, that nature responds and it wants to have a fighting chance. What we do on the landscape will decide the future of the Central Valley, both for people and birds. And the nesting is a perfect example. So when they are able to find suitable places to nest, that means future generations of birds will be here, and that's a hopeful sign. Jim Morris: It's a very busy time here in the Sacramento Valley rice country with planting underway. I'm with Sean Doherty, a third generation family farmer headquartered here in Dunnigan, near the Yolo Colusa County line. And he farms in Yolo Colusa and Sutter counties with his wife, Melissa, their three kids and famous rice dogs Skeeter and Miss Vegas. So, Sean, what's happening on the farm right now? Sean Doherty: Mainly right now, we are focusing on just putting water on the ground and getting the rice fields ready for water. We are not hurrying like we do in normal years, just because we're just not planning a lot of fields because we don't have the water for them. And so, consequently, we're just getting it done and we're not rushing and we're not working overtime, we're just watching our costs and trying to get this crop in as best we can. There's a lot of fields that aren't getting planted this year across the state, not just on my farm. Jim Morris: When the water goes on to the rice fields and then seeding occurs, people may drive by and they see that water out there, but they may not fully understand the efficiency and the care that's involved in that water. Can you comment a little bit about that? Sean Doherty: That's what we're doing today in these fields right now, in a lot of them as we are going out there and running these GPS controlled drag buckets and leveling our fields to level. And so when we flood it, that way we can cover the soil with as little water as possible. You're talking less than ankle deep. If you don't sink in the mud, just an inch or two skim across these fields is all we need. Jim Morris: You mentioned the muddy conditions out there and I've had a shoe or two lost in a rice field when I didn't wear the right mud boots. So how important is that kind of condition for growing rice and using water efficiently? Sean Doherty: It's bathtub out there. I mean, it holds water like no other soil. You just fill up the soil profile and it doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't go percolate deep underground into the aquifer. In most places, it takes forever to do that. It's just because our ground is heavy, heavy clay, and it's the same type of ground when it gets wet and you try and walk on it and you get 10 pounds of mud on each boot, that's the type of ground that we're growing our crop of rice in. And it's the best ground there is for growing rice because we don't lose the water deep. It just, you're filling up a shallow bowl, like a milk saucer, if you will, with a skim of water and then you're flying your rice seed onto that. And that's what we're working with. So it's really efficient for using that water. And there's a whole lot of multiple efficiencies that we're using across the state here to make the most of our water. Sean Doherty: In my particular irrigation district, where I farm a fair bit of rice, is RD-108. And we have a recirculation system in this district where we can take water from the bottom of the district, and with two pumps, with two lifts, we can take water three quarters of the way back up to the top of the district and we reuse it again. And it allows us to a much more flexibility in these really dry years and to take less water off the river and leave more for the Delta outflows and for fish and for the environment when we operate this recirculation system. It's not something that you can do year in year out, because you'll have degrading factors with using multiple uses of recycled water, but in these really dry, critically dry years, this is something that we can do to benefit the environment as well. Jim Morris: I'm continually impressed with the diversity of creatures that are out this way. And you've been great to send me photos. And we had a game camera up that captured a lot of the nighttime activity. So you live and work in this environment. Tell me a little bit about the wildlife and some of the things that you see. Sean Doherty: Just this morning, a big flock of pelicans riding the wind, giant garter snakes are the hardest animal to get a picture of, because as soon as you see them on the side of the road or side of the ditch bank and you stop to take their picture, they're gone, they are so fast. Gopher snakes, all kinds of reptiles aplenty. Beavers, otters, wild turkeys, along the riparian corridors alongside where we get our water and where we deliver water out to the fields, pheasants, ducks, shorebirds, herons, cranes, you name it. There's muskrats. I really like being out here and being a rice grower, just because you can see all of that. And I'm happy to provide that for the animals and make a living doing it as well. Jim Morris: And it is going to be a challenge for wildlife too. So, how important are the rice fields this year? Because there's even less opportunities for birds and all the other species that you talked about. It is very helpful to have that rice ecosystem in place. Sean Doherty: I'm worried about having water for the waterfowl this fall and winter coming back into the Valley. And if we don't have the water to put on these fields and these ducks and geese and swans and all the raptors that prey upon those on the flyway, if the habitat doesn't return, I'm worried about what happens to them and the lasting damage it could cause. We have to figure something out, because you can't have the primary wintering habitat for the Pacific Flyway not show up one year. If I'm going to stress about anything more so than the farm, it's what's to happen to the flyway. Jim Morris: I'm in Willows speaking with Thad Bettner, general manager of the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, the largest water district in the Sacramento Valley, covering about 175,000 acres. A significant part of that is rice ground. And GCID recently celebrated their 100th anniversary. And in the time I've known Thad, he's not one to stand still very long, especially in a year like this. So how does your work change during a dry year like this one that we're facing? Thad Bettner: Jim like you said, there's no time to stand still. These years are certainly one of the craziest ones that we face. There's just a lot of work that we have to do both externally and internally, obviously just from an external side, really looking at the drought conditions, how they're affecting the state. We look at things like Shasta Reservoir, status of fisheries, our operations, and then we look internally about, well, what choices are landowners making? How do we serve the multiple needs that we have within our district, from crop needs to environmental needs, to making sure we're being good stewards of the groundwater. So, in a year like this, there's just a lot of decisions that need to be taken into account. And a lot of those decisions happen daily. So it's not just, you can make a decision, expect the rest of the year to play out, but we have to make those decisions on a daily basis. Thad Bettner: We have about 175,000 acres, included in that is the three federal refuges. So working with them and their needs for water and getting water to them on a secure basis is a really important, but then all of our growers who need water from us, we need to make sure they have the information to make the decisions that they want to make this year. In these types of years, we know land is going to have to be idled because we just don't have enough water. So we want to make sure they have the tools to figure out how much land can they farm, what crops do they want to grow this year? How much water do they have to grow those crops? And then, we're also anticipating water transfers actually, which help us with operations and benefit the fishery. Thad Bettner: So, do they want to participate in water transfer? So trying to get all that information out to them so they can make that decision is really important. And then obviously, the decisions they make affects decisions that we then make. And so, it is sort of a process where we have to kind of do a constant level of feedback with them, just to make sure they're up to speed on decisions that we're making and they're making. Jim Morris: Water transfers, as you mentioned very likely this year, how helpful are they in terms of overall water management, including for the environment? Thad Bettner: Well, first look, water transfers are tough. Certainly, there's economic issues resulting from that, there's jobs that may be affected, there are some impacts that water transfers cause. And so I think we want to make sure we're careful in how we consider them as a potential solution to some of our problems. And one of the unique things that water transfers off offer for us as a district, and I think for our customers, is that when we're trying to benefit salmon and particularly this case, winter-run salmon, the thing that we can do with water transfers is, landowners, when they fallow their field, they don't take that water. And what happens is we take that water and we actually leave it behind Shasta Reservoir through the season. And then we move that transfer water in the fall. Thad Bettner: And one of the big benefits that we get is it actually increases the amount of water stored behind Shasta, where it also increases the amount of cold water that’s store behind Shasta. And then that asset can be used to provide cold water downstream to the river, to protect winter-run salmon as they spawn. So, it helps her eggs incubate and then it helps out migrating juveniles. So it really has a huge benefit to the system overall. So, in these types of really tight years, water transfers provide that benefit of being sort of a reasonable balance of protecting fish and then making sure the balance of our lands within the district continue to be farmed. Jim Morris: Another way you protect fish is your amazing fish screen. I believe it's the largest of its kind in the world. Can you comment about that? Thad Bettner: In high school, I used to be able to run a quarter mile in a minute. And so, if you could run that fast, you could basically cover the length of our fish screen. So it is a pretty big feature. I have to say predecessors before me got that project done, it's been in existence now for almost 25 years and it's been just a solid asset for the district. I think one of the interesting things is, as that project came about, there just wasn't a lot of knowledge known about fish screens, how to build them, how to make sure that they would provide a benefit to the species. So, I think our fish screen was kind of one of the first of its kind and really was a test case and a testbed for a lot of decisions that fishery managers had never needed to make before. Thad Bettner: And I think one of the exciting things is, one, that it's been a successful project. And then two, a lot of the other fish screen projects that are built on the Sacramento River, and I think other places in the country, have actually utilized a lot of the information that was gleaned from the actual construction of our project. And as well, some of the adaptive management. It was built, I think they got probably 85 percent of it right, but there was some about 15 percent of things that we've tweaked along the way to make it a better operating facility and continue to provide better protection for fish. And I think those lessons learned have helped other projects again, like in our area and other parts of the United States. Jim Morris: Besides fish, there's also a really vibrant environment in the Sacramento Valley with the Pacific Flyway. How important is it to maintain that environment? Thad Bettner: We take seriously a lot of managing the trade-offs and decisions that we have to make. And certainly continuing to protect the Pacific Flyway and the needs of birds moving up and down this part of the Western US, is important. And the Sac Valley plays a huge part of that. So we talked about fallowing earlier. We don't take lightly the fact that when we fallow lands, a good chunk of that is rice. And so, that's the food that these overwintering birds are relying upon. And so really our goal is to make sure that we leave as much land in production. So, while we're doing transfers, some land's coming out, but really the goal is to keep the maximum that we can to provide that food base for the Pacific Flyway. Thad Bettner: So, when we do years like this, we make sure acreage is spread around. So birds have places to fly. We coordinate with the local refuges and ask them, "Hey, where do you want lands? Where would it be okay to fallow lands or idle lands in here, versus what lands would you want to be in production?" Just because we know that every night you see birds fly off the refuge, they go out and they forage out in the rice lands. And during the day they fly back to the refuge. So the managers know how these birds are moving back and forth locally. So we really tried to make sure as we do some of the fallowing, we're focusing on the needs of the Pacific Flyway and what those birds need. Jim Morris: Our environment is impressive in the Sacramento Valley. I saw two bald eagles this morning in Willows, and we also offer significant habitat for the threatened giant garter snake. So, so glad that this effort is continuing. And in a dry year like this voluntary agreements have come up as a topic of discussion. Can you comment about what they are and how they may help? Thad Bettner: Voluntary agreements is really what we believe is the right solution for the State Water Resources Control Board update of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. And the board has really been looking at what they've called their unimpaired flow approach, which is, "Hey, we'll just take a percent of the flow in the river, we'll leave it in the river. And that'll fix a lot of the fishery problems that we have." And we just don't believe it's that simple of a solution to fix. It's a lot more complicated in terms of timing of flow, we need a lot more habitat that we currently don't have. And then we need a solid base of funding to get a lot of these projects done. So we've put together voluntary agreements as a proposal, and as an alternative, and we think our preferred alternative to that unimpaired flow approach, in 2020 the state had put out a proposal, what they believed was a voluntary agreement package. Thad Bettner: And then unfortunately we got COVID, a month and a half later we had fires, and fortunately no floods this year, so we're in drought. But I think we had about everything else pop-up that sort of just distracted us from getting back in the room and trying to get voluntary agreements done. So starting in about August, we got together with the water user community, and we really worked on our own version of what we thought was the right package to move forward and kind of had been working on that and telling the state we're ready to meet with them and kind of waiting for them to get back to us. Thad Bettner: And then oddly enough, right in the midst of a lot of this drought, decision making that we need to do, the state called us week and half ago and said, "Hey, we're ready to start meeting and let's get going on this." So, now as we speak, we're actually starting the conversations back up with the state to see if we can get a voluntary agreement package moving again. And obviously, we're hoping not to do this in the midst of a drought because it just means that we're trying to tackle other problems too, but we're trying to add this to our plate and see if we can't get this done. Jim Morris: Sleep is overrated this year, I guess. So we have the short-term issues that we're talking about, voluntary agreements, water transfers, obviously always maximizing efficiency. Looking longer term, how helpful would additional water storage be and who would benefit from that? Thad Bettner: Water storage would be huge. I think obviously we're looking at Sites Reservoir, one, it sits next to us. We've been involved in this project for decades. So we believe kind of the time is now for that. And I think one of the great things about Sites Reservoir is, it's downstream of Shasta Reservoir. So it kind of provides this middle, midstream benefit and being able to regulate the system and really manage for multiple benefits. So, we've talked about water supply, meeting needs of the environment, carryover storage. So looking at not just this year, but next year. Sites would really help meet all of those goals. So we really think it provides a lot of benefit. And, in a year like this where we're challenged with temperature and flows for a winter-run, Sites Reservoir would help integrating the system and provide those benefits too. Jim Morris: I'm in Knights Landing, one of the areas that's a hotbed for some interesting and promising research to help salmon, not only a key part of our environment, but a key indicator of water issues in our state. Jacob Katz is lead scientist at Cal Trout, an important partner in preserving and enhancing salmon in California. Jacob has a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis. And I have to say, perhaps a greatest opening line, short of “Call me Ishmael,” your bio starts with, “Jacob was born with gills.” That is so cool. And Jacob, pivoting to the dry year we're having, there are some concerns. And what are your thoughts for our Sacramento Valley as we head into a dry year? Jacob Katz: A dry year like this is a tough year to be a salmon. We've got used to the fact that it's our flood years happen maybe every two, maybe four lucky, three out of every 10 years, that prop up our salmon populations. And it's years like this one that are really rough because the Sac River and the other tribs are down low in their levees and those rivers are just real tough places to be a fish, when there's very little habitat, when the water is low and clear and tends to be warm pretty early. So yeah, this is exactly the kind of conditions where we really have to think out of the box, out of the levees, to get those fish as much food and habitat as we can. Jim Morris: How can you do that? Jacob Katz: Well, the field that we're standing in here, Jim, is one that River Garden Farms has been letting us trial some ideas with over the last four or five years. They've been a great partner as have a lot of the other growers in this region on the west side of the river, as well as over on the Sutter side, a lot of folks have been getting together to look at how we can use farm fields to mimic the incredibly productive wetland habitats that were here before the development of the Sac Valley for farms for our rural communities. So what's that mean? It means slowing water down across the floodplain, it means spreading it out. It means really creating the puddles that typified the floodplain wetlands before development of the Valley. Jacob Katz: That's similar to the surrogate wetlands that rice fields are managed as, but what we found is those fields fill up with fish food, with bugs. It only takes three weeks or so to do that, to go from a dry field to a shallow wetland like environment. And three weeks later, it's teeming with bugs, which are essentially fish food. But unlike the ducks and the geese, which have rebounded because of their use of these surrogate wetland habitats, the fish don't have wings. They can't access that fish food out here on the floodplain. And so we've been working with farmers and water suppliers and reclamation districts to grow the food on these fields, but then to actively drain it back to the river where fish can access it in dry years like this. That's a really important piece. Jim Morris: The very field that we're in. I have seen you and your colleague, Jacob Montgomery in there with beakers and the fish food, the zooplankton is absolutely unbelievable. You don't have to guess, you can actually see how much there is in there that could really help the fish. And how important is that this year when it's so dry out there? Jacob Katz: You can just ask the fish, the fish that we have reared in these fields, they swim around with their eyes closed and their mouth open. We call it floating filet if you're a salmon, they are just... They're gorging on the protein production from these fields. These fields are really mimicking the incredible productive capacity of wetlands. Sunlight is being captured by plants, those plants then are broken down by microbes in the shallow water that's out here in a flooded field. Those nutrients then are taken up by bacteria. The bacteria are grazed upon by zooplankton, by small bugs, and those small bugs then are the foundation of the food web for fish. That's how the Valley makes salmon, how it once made salmon. Jacob Katz: And so in a dry year like this, when there's very little out of bank flow in the river, when most of the river flow is stuck within those levees, it's critically important that we reconnect this energy source with the river, that we reconnect the floodplain food web, the energy that comes off these flooded fields back with the river. And that's exactly the program that we've been doing right here with RD-108 and River Garden, where we've been pumping this fish food-rich water back into the river and seeing how fast salmon grow on that Jim Morris: RD-108 meaning, Reclamation District 108, which is about 30 miles north of Sacramento, and a very key player in terms of making things happen to help the environment. And it's going to be a difficult year, but is there reason for optimism when you look at some of the partnerships that have been formed here? Jacob Katz: Oh, there's extraordinary room for optimism. It's already right here. We've shown that the Sac Valley can be resilient, can produce benefits for both people and for the environment. Look at the bird response over the last 30 years, as rice growers and as water suppliers came together to offer our feathered friends some semblance of the habitat that they evolved in, that they were adapted to. And those birds recognized those flooded rice fields as wetlands. And, in the midst of all of this doom and gloom, you hear about the environment. We're here in the Sac Valley, in the midst of this amazing recovery of waterfowl and waterbird populations, where when I was a kid in the Valley 30 years ago, not only was the sky black with smoke, but the birds were at all-time lows. And now, year in and year out, we get these really great counts. Jacob Katz: The work that I've been talking about really can do the same thing for salmon. We have every evidence to suggest that that's true, that if we hit every link in the salmon's life history, in that chain, if we connect their juvenile and their adult life phases, we can have a phenomenal response from our fish populations. We've seen that in Butte Creek, and we can see it again in the Sacramento River, even in dry years like this, if we can re-imagine and re-operate our water and flood infrastructure to mimic natural processes to get this incredible food resource that is now stuck on the dry side of the levees, in these dry years we see that we can make it out here and move it back to the river where the fish can take advantage of it, where they can grow big and strong and have a chance even in dry years like this one. Jim Morris: That wraps up this episode, but we will keep you posted as the year progresses. Thank you to Meghan Hertel, Sean Doherty, Thad Bettner, and Jacob Katz for their time and expertise. We appreciate you listening and we value your comments. You can go to podcast.calrice.org to find out more.