Groups sue to block a federal agency's decision to open up 1 million acres of public land for oil drilling and fracking. A group of homeless women illegally occupying an Oakland home to bring attention to the plight of homelessness are evicted at dawn. And the world pitches in to save ancient trees.
It's Arlene Martínez, handpicking the best stories on this very newsy Tuesday.
But first, a jet preparing for an emergency landing dumped fuel over several schools in Los Angeles, injuring 44 students and staff.
In California is a roundup of stories from newsrooms across the USA TODAY Network and beyond. Never miss a newsletter by signing up here. It's free!
Groups organize to block federal fracking plan
A coalition of conservation organizations filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday, challenging a plan by the agency to open more than 1 million acres of public lands in the Central Valley and Central Coast to new oil drilling and fracking permits.
The lawsuit — filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by the Center for Biological Diversity, EarthJustice, National Parks Conservation Association, The Sierra Club, Patagonia and others — alleges that the Trump administration failed to adequately consider how the plan could harm public health and recreation in the region or if it increases the threat of earthquakes.
Opening up the land would "accelerate the climate crisis, and Ventura County already ranks as the fastest-warming county in the continental U.S.," Robert Tadlock, associate general counsel at Patagonia, said in a statement.
No new oil and gas leases have been sold in California since 2012, when a judge ruled the BLM had failed to properly assess the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), which uses high-pressure injections of fluids, toxic chemicals and sand to extract natural gas from wells.
Use of the technique is on the rise, despite several studies that link fracking to negative impacts on air and water quality. It's also credited with creating jobs and making the country less dependent on OPEC oil.
Voting, shopping and working in CA
Going into Tuesday's debate, Californians preferred Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a new poll showed.
Express clothing retailer is closing another store. This one's in Visalia and is next to Forever 21, which announced last fall it's shuttering up to 178 U.S. stores.
Translators and interpreters, who are overwhelmingly comprised of women and immigrants, are losing big under California's new gig law (OPINION).
Sheriff's deputies evict Moms 4 Housing
As winter approached, a group of Oakland mothers grew desperate. Rent was too high, commutes to their jobs were long and they needed a place where their children could stay warm.
They found refuge in a vacant three-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,400-square-foot home that had been bought at auction earlier in the year by an out-of-town real estate firm. The women, known by the group they since founded, Moms 4 Housing, claimed they were exercising their human right to shelter. The real estate company said they were illegal squatters and asked city officials to remove them.
A months-long standoff that has come to encapsulate the region's growing affordable crisis came to a head Tuesday when law enforcement used a battering ram to enter the property and force the protesters out.
What else we're talking about
The remains of a man who went for one last hike at Joshua Tree National Park in July 2018 have been identified as a Canadian outdoors enthusiast who had been vacationing with his wife.
Days after being sworn in as San Francisco's district attorney, Chesa Boudin fired seven prosecutors and hired four new attorneys, including two from the public defender's office.
- Who's Boudin again? He's part of a group of "progressive prosecutors," so-called because of platforms that include eliminating cash bail, looking closely at police conduct and in general hoping to overhaul a system that disproportionately punishes poor people and minorities.
It isn't wildfires driving up the cost of fire protection in California, it's union-mandated staffing requirements and the way overtime is unnecessarily built into scheduling (OPINION).
Different versions of the past for Calif., Texas students
Students educated in California may learn that white flight to the suburbs in the 1950s existed to escape living among minorities and that African Americans were excluded from even buying homes there because of racist lending and selling practices.
Students in Texas may learn that people went to the suburbs to escape crime and congestion.
The two states use in some cases textbooks produced by the same publisher and the same authors. But there are stark differences between what and how two states choose to include, which works to shape the next generation of voters, leaders and activists. The New York Times took a deep look at differences between the two and why it matters.
- In Tuesday's California Today (the Times' Golden State newsletter), find out how NYT reporter Dana Goldstein got onto this story and what may come next.
- Here's how some readers have responded to the story.
The world pitches in to save the redwoods
Donations arrived from all 50 states and 31 countries to secure the future of the largest private grove of giant sequoia in the mountains of Tulare County. The former ski resort and hotel will eventually be gifted to the Giant Sequoia National Monument to keep its ancient residents around in perpetuity.
Buoyed by the help of 10,000 people, Save the Redwoods League raised nearly $16 million to buy the 530-acre property that includes ancient trees as old as 3,000 years. Nearly half of the donations arrived in just four months.
"This is a truly magical place, and it comes at a time when people needed some good news — something that protects the beauty of the world," said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League.
With the Alder Creek acquisition, 98% of California’s giant sequoia groves are now protected under public, tribal or Redwood League ownership.
Now you want to drive through a redwood? Start with the Chandelier Tree.
In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Contributing: New York Times, Transparent California, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, National Geographic, KQED.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: In California: A race to block new drilling and fracking