Today’s quick hits, Sept. 30, 2019

Interior changes its mind about Shasta Dam (New York Times): Preliminary work has begun to raise the height of Shasta Dam in Northern California. It marks a change of direction at the Interior Department that coincides with the tenure of Secretary David Bernhardt, who was chief lobbyist for years for the heavily agricultural water district that would benefit from the higher dam.

Landscape corridors work (Washington Post): A long-running experiment in South Carolina shows that landscape corridors of undeveloped or restored land that connect wildlife habitat result in a wider range of plants and fewer extinctions than in isolated pockets of land.

Trump signs bill with trade-war payments (White House): The president signed into law a stopgap funding bill that will keep the government open until Nov. 21 and replenishes funding for the USDA agency that pays billions of dollars to farmers to mitigate the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Separate track for USMCA (KTIC): Congressional action on the “new NAFTA” will run on a separate track than the impeachment inquiry announced last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Rep. Henry Cueller, Texas Democrat and an advocate for adoption of the free trade pact.

Orchards go RAD and it’s bad (Allegheny Front): Variously called Rapid Apple Decline or Sudden Apple Decline, a mysterious malady is killing young apple trees from the Carolinas to Pennsylvania.