Archive for January, 2011

Exciting New Position Available at EPIC: Program Director

Monday, January 31st, 2011
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The successful candidate for EPIC’s new Program Director position will have a host of skills and qualities relevant to EPIC’s ongoing work to protect and restore Northwest California’s ecosystems. They will have several years experience in environmental advocacy and litigation, and substantial knowledge of both federal and California natural resource law and policy, in particular NEPA, CEQA, the Northwest Forest Plan, ESA, and clean water law. Excellent written and oral communication skills, and public speaking skills are a must. The ability to dialogue and work effectively with a variety of stakeholders is critical. Tolerance, flexibility, and humor are also vital qualities.
Application Deadline is February 11, 2011

Program Director Job Description:

Position Title: Program Director
Reports to: Board of Directors
Supervises: Program staff
Position Type: Full time, salary
Location: Arcata, California
Salary and Benefits: DOE

Position Summary:

The Program Director is principally responsible for developing, implementing and managing the policy agenda for EPIC’s four intersecting Program areas: Public Lands, Industrial Forest Lands, Biodiversity, and Clean Water. The Program Director is part of the EPIC leadership team, and serves as the anchor for EPIC’s conservation advocacy for the North Coast and Klamath-Siskiyou bioregions in northwestern California. The Program Director works both independently and in collaboration with diverse teams, supervises staff and volunteers, and represents the organization as needed, especially in public fora.

Organizational Background:

The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) is a community-based, non-profit organization that works to protect and restore forests, watersheds, coastal estuaries, and native species in Northern California. EPIC was founded in 1977 when Humboldt County residents came together to end aerial applications of herbicides. EPIC has played key roles in the protection of the Sinkiyone Wilderness State Park, Headwaters Reserve and many other areas; has a long record of effective advocacy on state-regulated forestry issues; and has successfully litigated dozens of cases, including key precedents and cases before state and US Supreme Courts.

For more than 30 years, EPIC has been at the forefront of environmental protection, ensuring that state and federal agencies follow their mandate to uphold environmental laws and protect endangered species. EPIC uses an integrated, science-based approach that combines public education, citizen advocacy and strategic litigation to secure protection for the globally significant biodiversity of the North Coast and Klamath-Siskiyou. (more…)


EPIC Petitions for Klamath Chinook Protections

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
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Today EPIC, the Center for Biological Diversity, Oregon Wild and the Larch Company filed a petition to list the Upper Klamath Chinook Salmon under the Endangered Species Act. The petition could provide additional protection and basin-wide planning, critical for the Klamath Chinook’s recovery.

“The Klamath River Basin and the salmon it supports are a global treasure,” said Scott Greacen, executive director of EPIC. “So far, federal agencies have managed spring-run chinook in the Klamath by ignoring them. Plans for the restoration of the Klamath need to put spring chinook recovery front and center.”

The Klamath River Basin provides the lifeblood for a complex and diverse region, stretching from the mountains of Southwest Oregon to the coast of Northwest California. Tremendous diversity of life depends on the health of the Klamath River and its tributaries, including Tribal river communities, fish and wildlife, farmers and recreational economies. Massive hydro projects like dams and water diversions have dramatically impacted the health of the Basin and its residents.

The petition seeks protection first and foremost for spring-run chinook, now near extinction in its last remaining stronghold. Biologists now count fewer than 300 – 3,000 wild-spawning spring chinook each year. These fish are marvels of evolution, living most of their lives in the Pacific Ocean only to return to the river in the spring with enough fat reserves to survive without eating until early fall when it’s time for them to spawn. They have long been prized as one of the best-tasting salmon species and historically the most economically important Klamath fish.

The Klamath Basin was once the third-largest producer of salmon and steelhead on the West Coast, but now produces fewer and fewer wild fish as a result of dams, habitat degradation and other factors. Overall, at least 300 miles of spawning habitat in the Klamath Basin have been made inaccessible by dams. Because of declines in the overall numbers of returning wild chinook, the petition also asks the Fisheries Service to consider protecting wild fall-run chinook.

Recent river management has exacerbated the chinook’s plight. In the fall of 2002, Klamath River chinook suffered one of the worst fish kills in Northwest history when as many as 70,000 adult salmon died before spawning. Excessive water withdrawals, primarily from the federally run Klamath Irrigation Project, resulted in low flows and warm water temperatures that allowed disease to develop and spread quickly. Continued low flows and warm temperatures are key drivers of an ongoing disease crisis in the river that has sharply reduced survival of juvenile wild fish on their way to the ocean.


Rally Caltrans to Stop Richardson Grove Widening: Noon Feb 7

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
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A new network of activists organizing against the ill-advised Caltrans project at Richardson Grove State Park, called Richardson Grove Action Now have organized a rally for the public, at noon on February 7 at District 1 Caltrans in Eureka. This rally will offer opponents of the project an opportunity to instruct District 1 Deputy Director Charlie Fielder to cancel the controversial project that threatens ancient redwoods and Richardson Grove State Park. Amidst two lawsuits challenging the legality of project planning and a lack of public input, the agency barrels forward toward project construction.

“It seems that we have no other choice than to bring our message straight to the decision-makers,” said Kerul Dyer, EPIC’s Richardson Grove campaign coordinator. “Even with two lawsuits pending, the agency continues to barrel ahead with tunnel vision. They seem dead set on damaging the gateway into the redwood region.”

Over the last three years, the campaign to protect Richardson Grove State Park from the ill-advised Caltrans project has collected thousands of letters in opposition, generated tens of thousands of online protest actions and organized dozens of events to educate the public about the myth that local businesses need the project to thrive.

“The many citizen activists who have led this coalition have carried a message forward, but to deaf ears,” said Dyer. “These people can see no other option than to stage a rally at the doors of Caltrans. Perhaps then they will have to listen to the public’s concerns for the trees, and our local community.”

While EPIC, the Center for Biological Diversity, Californians for Alternatives to Toxins, and five citizen plaintiffs are engaged in a lawsuit challenging the plan in California and Federal courts, the grassroots campaign continues to gain momentum. A public update and planning event will take place at the Bayside Grange February 2, at 5 p.m.. In Southern Humboldt, Richardson Grove Action Now organizers have extended an invitation to meet on Sunday, February 6 at noon in the Garberville town square to coordinate efforts for their rally next monday.

For more information about the rally or other events, call (707) 602-7551 or write rgroveactionnow@gmail.com.


Help Build a Vision for Humboldt County’s Future

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
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Imagine Humboldt! is regional planning designed around a community-based vision of Humboldt County over the next forty years.  It is expected that there will be approximately 24,500 more people living in Humboldt County by 2050, which is slightly less than the current population of the City of Eureka.  A long-term vision is needed to guide future decisions regarding how to accommodate a growing population and economy, while sustaining our quality of life and the natural environment.

Imagine Humboldt! is about our shared future and identifying what Humboldt County residents see as the region’s most important livability features. It provides the community an opportunity to consider the region’s strengths and challenges and to express future growth values and priorities. It is vitally important that the community’s voice is heard and that Humboldt County resident’s work together to ensure we achieve the future we desire.

Please visit the web site at www.imaginehumboldt.com for more details, the schedule of workshops, and the survey.  It is important that this effort encompasses the widest spectrum of opinions from all sectors of our County.  Your input is extremely valuable and needed to truly reflect the vision of Humboldt County’s residents.
Barbara Kennedy, member of the Blueprint Advisory Committee, bkenn202@att.net


Beautiful ‘Secret Space Of Tides’ Framed Photographs Discounted, Benefit EPIC

Friday, January 7th, 2011
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EPIC announces an amazing and generous offering by acclaimed photographer J. Patrick Cudahy. Beautifully framed selections from his photographic series “The Secret Space of Tides” are on display at the EPIC office, at 145 South G Street (Suite A). These images provoke intuitive knowledge about visually universal patterns, including tidal, vascular branches that stretch just below the oceans’ surface around the world. Patrick Cudahy’s work expresses a keen sense for capturing expansive perspective and animates a sense of movement in still photography through his observation of color and light.

During the holiday season, these photographs have been deeply discounted to make them affordable for more supporters of EPIC! All of these amazing, framed photographs are available for only $79.00 each!

To look at his full collection, please visit his gallery and look through all of the images there.

To see them in realtime, just stop by the office in Arcata during regular business hours, and look for yourself at these photographic works.

Proceeds benefit EPIC’s work.


The Battle to Protect Richardson Grove Continues into 2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
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Three years after Caltrans first announced their intention to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park, no construction has begun. The agency may have cited an urgent need to complete the project, but has not been successful in forcing the project through amidst controversy. In response to deficient environmental documents and inadequate public review,  EPIC and our allies had no choice but to file a lawsuit to stop the project. In addition to a legal battle, the public campaign to protect the grove continues to build momentum. Starting later this month, we will have new opportunities to coordinate our efforts so we might build our political power and influence decision-makers to rescind the project altogether.

At this writing, EPIC, the Californians for Alternatives to Toxins (CATs), the Center for Biological Diversity and five citizen plaintiffs have filed two lawsuits challenging the project, one in State court and one in federal court. The two lawsuits raise many issues to the court, namely that Caltrans did not adequately assess the environmental impacts under either Federal or State laws designed to protect our rivers and forest ecosystems. We have an incredibly talented legal team, including the leadership of Sharon Duggan and the support of the acclaimed Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy law firm. Soon, these cases will be heard in San Francisco for the Federal lawsuit and in Humboldt County for the state lawsuit. As soon as we hear from either court about scheduled dates, we will post them on our website, so those interested may attend the hearings.  Even with many of the attorneys working pro-bono on this case, the cost of these legal challenges can be overwhelming. Please consider donating to the Richardson Grove Legal Fund, to support the effort.

Rumors and poor media coverage have led the public to inaccurate conclusions about the Richardson Grove highway widening project, including that Caltrans’ project planners have all but one permit to proceed, and that they intend to begin the project as soon as February, 2011.  Sources at Caltrans consistently state that they cannot begin the project next month, and that agency does not, contrary to popular belief, have all of their permits in order to even contract the construction work. Estimated start date for Caltrans is June 2011, but if we have anything to do with it, no project will proceed!

While construction will likely not start as soon as anticipated, our collaborative campaign to protect the ancient stand of redwoods along 101 must now get more organized, for anticipated public events in the coming months. Now is the time for campaign supporters to create visual tools, spread the word and organize regional meetings with a member of the coalition to keep informed.  One self-organized group of activists have taken the first step and organized a meeting (location TBA) during the last week of January. This free potluck gathering in Arcata will offer an opportunity for an in-depth update from EPIC, a strategic planning discussion, and plenty of time to paint banners and build puppets for future rallies. In addition, Richardson Grove Campaign materials will be available, including t-shirts, brochures, stickers and petitions. EPIC will send out an announcement on our Enewsletter list and post details on our website at wildcalifornia.org.

To get your own Save Richardson Grove t-shirt, please stop by the EPIC office at 145 G Street Suite A in Arcata, write epic@wildcalifornia.org, or call 707-822-7711 to make other arrangements. These organic T-shirts cost a minimum donation of $15, and are available in Chocolate Brown, Black, Forest Green, and Natural Beige.