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FROM THIS EPISODE

Drought has turned local forests into a massive tinderbox of dead trees, and the predicted El Niño is unlikely to bring them back to life. We hear about a high-tech aerial investigation that's turned up new challenges for fire control, erosion and water quality. 

Later on the program, after years of embarrassing scandals, LA County's newly elected Sheriff wants to "change the culture" of his department. We ask Jim McDonnell about transforming the nation's fourth largest local police agency with 18,000 employees.

Producers:
Christine Detz
Gideon Brower

Imagine the Southland without Any Trees 11 MIN, 41 SEC

The US Forest Service knew it was bad, but not how bad. After four years of drought, it figured the 12.5 million trees had died. Then Greg Asner of the Carnegie Institution for Science spent many days flying over the territory with high-tech equipment that measures the amount of water in tree leaves below.

Guests:
Greg Asner, Carnegie Institution for Science (@greg_asner)
Ashley Conrad-Saydah, California Environmental Protection Agency (@CaliforniaEPA)

More:
LA Times on technology that reveals CA forests are in for a radical transformation

LA County Sheriff Seeks Recruits with Moral Compass 9 MIN, 40 SEC

Jim McDonnell served with the LAPD and as Chief of Police in Long Beach. When he was elected Sheriff of LA County last November he was new to a department that suffered through four years of reports of brutality and other forms of misconduct. Now he says it's time to "change the culture."

Guests:
Jim McDonnell, Los Angeles County Sheriff (@LACoSheriff)

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