The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has announced it will resume water quality testing at area beaches beginning in May and continuing at least until August, as a result of newly discovered federal cash. Budget constraints forced the county to cease water testing last summer. Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and the City of Santa Barbara have been performing the tests in the county’s absence.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is readying efforts to rid between 100 and 200 feral, non-native cats from San Nicolas Island in efforts to restore the island’s natural ecological balances and preserve populations of birds and mice preyed upon by the endangered Channel Islands fox. The project, which could take as long as two years, will use live traps, but only a small portion of the kits will be available for adoption; most will be euthanized.


Several Santa Barbara representatives attended a 4/16 hearing about offshore oil drilling hosted by United States Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in San Francisco. The day-long affair was heavily attended by both opponents and supporters of increased oil exploration. The list of south coasters traveling to speak against new offshore leases included Santa Barbara City Councilmember Das Williams, the Environmental Defense Center’s Linda Krop, and county supervisors Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal.


The California Fish and Game Commission decided on 4/21 to table proposals for the expansion of black bear hunting in California. The California Department of Fish and Game had requested that the commission allow hunters to kill an unlimited number of bears and permit trophy hunting of bears in San Luis Obispo County. Wildlife advocates said they would pursue ending bear hunting statewide.


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