Support for LAist comes from
True LA stories, powered by you
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Morning Brief: Grasshoppers Wreak Havoc, Missing Rent Relief, And CicLAvia Returns

A grasshopper is pictured on a flower stem with small yellow flowers in the background.
A grasshopper
(Photo by Mesh
/
Unsplash)
LAist relies on reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Good morning, L.A. It’s July 5.

California’s ongoing drought affects the state in myriad ways, from an increased risk of wildfires to devastation in wine country. Now, another issue is cropping up from the unusually dry weather: a plague of grasshoppers.

My colleague Olivia Richard reports that in Northern California, where the pests seem to be at their worst, farmers and ranchers are afraid their land will be decimated.

“[Grasshoppers] hate shade or darkness ... but now the sun’s out, and they are just everywhere,” said Deborah Jones, 70, who lives on a remote patch of land near the Oregon border.

Support for LAist comes from
About The Morning Brief
  • The Morning Brief newsletter is sent mornings Monday through Friday. Subscribe to get it delivered to your inbox.

Part of the problem, said Jones, is that the insects are encroaching on cows’ and other livestock’s usual diet of summer grass. That means farmers have to buy hay; an unexpected expense in an already difficult year.

“Ranchers are already short of forage because of the drought,” said David Lile, the Lassen County Director of the U.C. Cooperative Extension. “They can’t afford to lose more.”

Recent images taken from space show a shocking change in Southern California’s landscape between 2020 and 2021 as a result of the drought. The photos, captured by satellite courtesy of European Space Agency, show the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Reservoir looking lush and green in 2020, then as dry as the landscape of Mars in 2021.

In a statement, researchers with the agency said, “California is no stranger to heat and water shortages, but vast swathes of western U.S. are experiencing extremely dry conditions, the likes of which haven’t been seen there since 1977.”

Support for LAist comes from

The Morning Brief will be on hiatus tomorrow, and will return on Wednesday. Thanks for reading!

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Many local cities paid extra attention to Fourth of July-related misbehavior, including illegal fireworks and underage drinking.
  • Throughout Southern California, hundreds of millions of dollars available for rent relief have not been disbursed.
  • California’s colleges are not retaining Black and Latino men at the same rate as other groups of students.
  • U.S. officials will search former government-run Native American boarding schools, in which Indigenous children were forcibly enrolled for nearly a century, to look for mass graves.

Before You Go ... CicLAvia Is Back!

ciclavia-2013-ce.jpg
CicLAvia, April 21, 2013 (Photo by current events via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
Support for LAist comes from

After being off the roads for more than a year, CicLAvia is ready gearing up for it's first event since the COVID-19 closures.

The beloved local festival, which closes down streets throughout the city to make way for people on bikes, scooters, skateboards and on foot, recently announced its upcoming events. The first takes place on Aug. 15 in Wilmington.

Help Us Cover Your Community
  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.