Sonia Waraich covers the environment and natural resources in Mendocino County for the online news outlet The Mendocino Voice. Before joining, Waraich did stints covering a variety of beats, ranging from Indian American entertainment to homicide trials, at newspapers in California, New Mexico and North Carolina. Her previous coverage includes North Carolina’s transition from public to private management of Medicaid, the impact of sea level rise on public infrastructure in Humboldt County and citizen groups’ efforts to ban uranium mining in Gallup-McKinley County in New Mexico. Waraich was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and was editor in chief of San Jose City College’s student-run newspaper. She graduated with a sociology degree from California State University at East Bay, where she was campus editor of The Pioneer.
Beat: The effect of environmental regulation on salmon runs, wild fires, the economy and other issues
Here on the North Coast our entire economy and way of life have long been structured around nature and the legacy of natural resource extraction. First with fishing, logging and ranching, later with cannabis, wine, and even carbon-credit sales. This means that environmental protection and regulatory agencies have a disproportionate impact on us, as do large logging, wine and ranching companies. Most of the environmental agencies are state agencies, and have been poorly examined by media. This beat involves covering board meetings with regular government reporting, breaking news on important policy shifts as well as environmental occurrences such as salmon run numbers and wildfires. It will also entail working on enterprise stories exploring deeper issues and engaging in some investigative pieces on the major corporations that control so much of our land and environment—focusing on the impacts to local residents but with a regional perspective.