Archive for March, 2016

4/20 Pints for Non-Profits ~ Celebrate Earth Day and All Things Green!

Monday, March 28th, 2016
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EcoNews Ad for Pints for NonProfitSMALL(Click here for upcoming Redwood Hikes)

Celebrate Earth Day and All Things Green with your Green Buddies! Join the Environmental Protection Information Center, Mad River Alliance the Northcoast Environmental Center at the Mad River Brewery for Pints for Non-Profits.

Wednesday, April 20th from 6-9pm.

Dance the night away with music by the Kingfoot String Band and don’t forget to bring some extra green for the raffle and silent auction!

All proceeds go to support local non profits working together to protect and restore the beautiful North Coast region.

Special thanks to Mad River Brewery for offering this opportunity, and to Cannifest & Green Week for partnering with us to promote this event!

Click here to visit the Facebook event page to join and invite your friends!

Pints for nonprofits Poster SMALL

 


Film Screening of “Tree-Sit: The Art of Resistance” April 7th at Arcata Playhouse

Thursday, March 17th, 2016
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Tree Sit Poster FinalSmall (2)The Environmental Protection Information Center will host a film screening of Tree-Sit The Art of Resistance on Thursday, April 7th from 6-9pm at the Arcata Playhouse. Tree-Sit is an inspirational film that documents the North Coast environmental movement that led up to the Redwood Summer era and efforts to protect some of the last old-growth redwood forests on the planet, including the famous old growth tree that was named “Luna,” a tree-sit that was occupied by Julia Butterfly Hill.

After the movie, film-maker James Ficklin and other cast members will hold a discussion regarding past and current forest protection efforts. Beer, wine and snacks will be available. Tickets will be available at the door and cost $10 or $5 for students.

Help us get the word out by sharing and inviting your friends to the event on Facebook!

About the film from 1999:
TREE-SIT The Art of Resistance

A film by James Ficklin (120 min.)

Music by Sean Andrews, Nedd Mud, Black Fire, Jim Page, Casey Neil , Land of the Blind

This controversial documentary takes place amidst the redwood rainforest of Humboldt County where a ragged band of young activists have taken the art of resistance to new heights. Surrounded by clearcuts while perched in the high canopy of ancient forests for extended periods of time, activists such as Julia Butterfly Hill (and dozens of others), have used creative, non-violent, direct action and civil disobedience to slow down the chainsaws and bring attention to the destruction of old growth forests.

A powerful, poignant look inside the Earth First! movement in Humboldt County. Here is the inside story that sets the context for this modern day myth. From the struggle to “Save Headwaters Forest; the assassination attempt of Judi Bari; the pepper spray torture of young activists; to the establishment of permanent “tree-villages” hundreds of feet up; and culminating in the WTO protests on the tear-gassed filled streets of Seattle, this film is historical, exhilarating, informative, and intense!

The soundtrack combines cutting edge “Drum & Bass” electronica, with tribal, pagan folk music. Balance is provided by Native Americans, Rural residents, Loggers, Scientists, Fisherman, and Government agents who all voice their opinions and concerns about the forest and interrelated issues such as Salmon decline, mudslides, flooding, herbicide spraying, labor issues and the globalization of corporate capitalism. Featuring Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Woody Harrelson and Mickey Hart.

Tree Sit Poster Updated


Environmental Groups Move to Intervene in Elk River Water Quality Lawsuit

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
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Elk River Flooding

Flooding of Elk River

Arcata, Calif. – The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Association (PCFFA), and the Institute for Fisheries Resources (IFR), filed paperwork this week to intervene in a lawsuit to defend clean water from logging pollution.

EPIC and allies seek to defend the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s May 20, 2015 decision to not authorize discharges of sediment and other associated waste into waters of the Elk River watershed from logging operations under Humboldt Redwood Company “McCloud Shaw” Timber Harvest Plan (1-12-110HUM). Humboldt Redwood Company brought suit in Sonoma Superior Court to force the Water Board to allow it to pollute.

The Elk River watershed, located just south east of Eureka, California, was declared significantly adversely and cumulatively impacted by discharges of sediment and other waste as a result of reckless and poorly-regulated timber harvesting operations conducted in the watershed by the then-Pacific Lumber Company, under the ownership of MAXXAM Corporation and Charles Hurwitz.

Water quality impacts include significant reductions in stream and channel capacity resulting from overwhelming sedimentation, resulting in increases in the frequency and intensity of flooding and destruction of traditional domestic and agricultural water supplies, and the destruction of salmon habitat. Because of its impaired state, the Elk River watershed was added to the list of impaired waterbodies in Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act in 1998. An October 2015 report on the conditions of the river and sediment impacts from ongoing logging now being conducted by Humboldt Redwood Company found that the company’s timber operations are still polluting the Elk River, and that the watershed’s condition continues to worsen.

Elk River Rd Flooding

North Fork Bridge on Elk River Road at intersection with Wrigley Road. Note, only the guardrails of the bridge are visible. Photo taken by Kristi Wrigley on January 17, 2016

In the nearly 20 years since the declaration that the watershed is cumulatively impacted and the 303(d) listing, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, the state agency responsible for administering the PorterCologne Water Quality Control Act, and protecting, enhancing, maintaining and restoring the quality and beneficial uses of waters of the state, has undertaken a 2 number of regulatory and non-regulatory actions aimed at addressing the sediment impacts and correcting the ongoing discharges of sediment and other waste resulting from industrial timber operations in the watershed.

“The time is long past due to address the sources of pollution and recover the Elk River,” said Rob DiPerna, EPIC’s Forest & Wildlife Advocate. “The forest, and the watershed and its residents have suffered long enough.”

Humboldt Redwood Company’s lawsuit comes against the backdrop of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s plans to adopt a Total Maximum Daily Load for Elk River, and to adopt a newer, and more restrictive water quality control permit for the company, at its April 7, 2016 meeting, to be held in Eureka, California.


Show Your Support for the Northern Spotted Owl

Monday, March 14th, 2016
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NSO fem&juv _0397Take Action NowThe Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), a once-abundant apex nocturnal forest raptor synonymous with the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, has experienced precipitous declines in the 20th and 21st centuries, with the advent of intensive logging of its old-growth forest habitat, and the more-recent incursion of a cunning competitor. The latest long-term range-wide study of spotted owl populations clearly documents that the species continues to decline in the present-day, despite over 20 years of federal ESA protections, and that, alarmingly the rate of decline is increasing.

In August 2012, EPIC filed a petition to list the northern spotted owl as either a “threatened” or “endangered” species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), on the basis that federal protections have not been enough to curtail the declines of the northern spotted owl, to bring about recovery of the species.

On February 10, 2016, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) finally released its long-overdue status report detailing the somber state of the spotted owl’s plight in the state of California, a key step in the process to listing the owl under CESA. The CDFW status report outlines the grim status of northern spotted owl populations in the state, and the myriad and ever-increasing threats to the survival and recovery of the species in the wild. The CDFW status report recommends that listing of the northern spotted owl as a “threatened” species under CESA is warranted, citing past and ongoing habitat loss, the increasing and pervasive adverse effects of competitive presence of barred owls, impacts from cannabis agriculture and exposure to rodenticides, impacts from wildfire, fire suppression, and post-fire logging, changing temperature and weather patterns resulting from global and localized climate change, and the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms to protect the owl as reasons for the recommendation.

On April 14, 2016, the California Fish and Game Commission will meet in Santa Rosa to make a final determination on whether the listing of the northern spotted owl under CESA is warranted. The deadline for comments to be received by the Commission on the northern spotted owl listing determination is March 30, 2016. Click here to send a comment to the California Fish and Game Commission or send your own letter to: fgc@fgc.ca.gov.


Cannabis Farmers Workshop Series

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016
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EPIC and Mad River Alliance are partnering with Humboldt Green, California Growers Association and the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District to produce a series Cannabis Farmers Compliance Workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to help educate people about: a suite of new laws and regulations for commercial medical cannabis agriculture, the steps necessary to have farms comply with the new laws, and how to protect the health of our forests, water, and quality of life here on the North Coast.

At these workshops, there will be presentations by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and experts on state and county laws there to answer citizen’s questions.

Upcoming Workshops: 

Sunday, March 13 at the Mateel Community Center in Redway

Saturday, March 19 at the Bigfoot Country Club in Willow Creek

Sunday, April 3 at the Mattole Grange in Petrolia

Sunday, April 17 at Redwood Acres “Cannafest” in Eureka

Sunday, April 24 at Ruth Lake Community Services Hall in 

People attending the workshops will also receive the 2016 Compliance Handbook outlining these new laws including California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, the Humboldt County Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Waiver of Waste Discharge for Cannabis.

The 2016 Compliance Handbook was created by EPIC in conjunction with Mad River Alliance, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Department of Fish & Wildlife and Humboldt County. Creating this handbook was a labor of love. We literally distilled hundreds of pages of regulations into 22 pages—into the essence of what is needed for people to understand and comply with the law.

Why trust us? We are not the government. We are not trying to sell people anything. We are apart of this community and here because we want to see people in this region as part of the solution. We want to help people navigate this task and series of laws and ordinances because it will be good for the environment. We believe it honors the original spirit of the back-to-land people and founding farmers of this unique region. We also hope it will help to keep our families and communities safer as we move into the future.

Presentation by California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Presentation by Tom LeRoy of Pacific Watersheds & Associates “Transitioning from a Grower to a Farmer

Presentation by Natalynne DeLapp on the Humboldt County Medical Marijuana Land-Use Ordinance

Presentation by Dan Mar of High Tide Permaculture “Water We Doing?

tabloid 2-26-16


Tribe and Conservationists File Suit to Protect Wild Salmon, Rural River Communities

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016
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Westside LawsuitGroups Seek Alternatives to Flawed Forest Service Salvage Plan

Happy Camp, CA – Today the Karuk Tribe, along with the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (KS Wild), Center for Biological Diversity, and Klamath Riverkeeper, filed suit in federal court challenging a massive post-fire logging plan in Klamath National Forest that will increase fire danger, degrade water quality, and harm at-risk salmon populations. The Tribe leads a diverse plaintiff group united by a common interest in restoring healthy relationships between people, fire, forests and fish.

ElkCreek, near Happy Camp, flows into the Klamath River

ElkCreek, near Happy Camp, flows into the Klamath River

The groups seek to protect rural communities from fire risks, restore watershed health, and provide economic opportunities for locals. The group is challenging a post-fire timber sale, the Westside Project, which fails rural river communities by implementing the same management practices that have for decades resulted in a landscape prone to dangerous fire events, degraded water quality, and contributed to declining salmon populations. The suit alleges the Klamath National Forest Plan, as approved by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, illegally increases the risk of extinction for threatened populations of coho salmon.

The Westside project would clear-cut 5,760 acres on burned forest slopes above tributaries of the Klamath River. This aggressive approach would fail to resolve long-term fire management issues and exacerbate wildfire impacts to recovering watersheds. The steep and rugged terrain contains old-growth forests and nurtures some of the most important salmon habitat on the West Coast. NOAA Fisheries is required to review Forest Service logging plans to determine if such projects will have harmful effects on ESA listed coho. In this case, NOAA Fisheries green lighted the Forest Service plan despite the obvious harm to coho spawning and rearing habitat.

“This project was ill-conceived from the start and failed to adequately take into account the input of the Karuk Tribe which has managed these forests since the beginning of time,” said Karuk Chairman Russell “Buster” Attebery. “We will not allow the Forest Service to further degrade our fisheries, water quality, or sacred sites while ignoring our call for community fire protection.”

The Tribe’s alternative proposal ensures that future fire events will be healthy for the environment and safe for local residents while providing marketable timber. The Forest Service did not analyze the Karuk Alternative because it rushed the environmental review process under the pretense of a “public emergency.”

“Unlike the massive Forest Service clear-cutting plans, the Karuk Alternative focuses on restoration,” explains George Sexton of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center. “It recognizes the need to restore watersheds and the natural fire regime while protecting homes and communities.”

“The Klamath River and its tributaries are strongholds for struggling salmon populations; they are also home to many rare and endemic species. Logging these steep slopes would only increase the perilous position our fisheries and wildlife are facing,” said Kimberly Baker of EPIC. “The Forest Service plan to clear-cut thousands of acres above the Klamath River disregards the reasonable Karuk Alternative and hurts at-risk salmon and river communities,” said Kerul Dyer of Klamath Riverkeeper. “A healthy Klamath River requires sensible forest restoration that addresses the needs of both fish and people, like that laid out in the Karuk plan.”

“We have a chance right now to restore healthy relationships among people, fire and forests,” said Jay Lininger, senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “It requires a fundamentally different approach from what the Forest Service put forward.”

The groups are challenging the illegal harm to fish and watersheds that will result from the proposed post-fire clear cutting timber sales in hopes that the federal government will change course. Initial arguments will likely be heard by the District Court in the very near future. The Western Environmental Law Center represents all of the plaintiffs and EPIC is represented by in-house counsel.

Click here to read the complaint