Posts by Tom Wheeler

Pruitt Declares Biomass Carbon Neutral, Contrary to Facts

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018
By

In a world no longer constrained by facts, Scott Pruitt is king. On April 23, 2018, Scott Pruit, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency declared that all biomass is carbon neutral. Pruitt’s sweeping declaration is not just inaccurate, but it will help further subsidize timber industry practices at the expense of our climate and our wallets.


Last Chance Grade Project Update

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
By

The Redwood Highway, also known as Highway 101, is the main north-south arterial connection for North Coast residents and visitors alike. “Last Chance Grade” is a stretch of Highway 101 about ten miles south of Crescent City, which sits precariously above the Pacific Ocean. Built on an active landslide, the road has steadily slipped towards the Pacific Ocean, including a fairly substantial road failure in winter in 2017. In many areas, the road is no longer in its original alignment, having slipped further down the slope. The area that has experienced the greatest movement has moved 40’ horizontally and 30’ vertically so far. The question is not if the road will fail, but when and how badly.


EPIC in Court (Again) to Defend Richardson Grove

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018
By

EPIC was back in court on March 28th to defend Richardson Grove against Caltrans’ effort to dismiss our most recent state lawsuit, filed last summer in Humboldt County Superior Court. (For more on our older but currently ongoing state lawsuit, click here.) Once again, the courtroom was packed to the gills with supporters of the Grove. And, once again, our longtime attorney, Sharon Duggan, put on a great show for supporters.


EPIC Petitions to Ban Humboldt Marten Trapping in Oregon

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
By

On April 4th, EPIC and four sister conservation organizations filed a rulemaking petition asking the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to ban trapping of Humboldt martens in Oregon’s coastal forests. The petition follows a new study that found that trapping could easily wipe out the species in the state.


Richardson Grove in Court: Supporters Needed!

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
By

Where will you be on March 28th?

Come show your support! EPIC and allies will be back in court on March 28th in Eureka at 1:45, defending our most recent case filed in the Humboldt County Superior Court. We should be in Courtroom 4, but due to a shortage of courtrooms, we might get moved on the day of. Please check the directory by the elevators to determine the correct courtroom.


Richardson Grove Fight Goes to Court

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
By

On Tuesday, EPIC and allies were back in court to stop the highway expansion through the ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park. Richardson Grove supporters packed the courtroom—an overflow-sized crowd that made the bailiff nervous and the judge pay attention. (Thank you for your help! It was so inspiring to see so many passionate community members. <3 <3 <3)


It’s Official: Humboldt County Opposes Offshore Oil Drilling!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
By

We are a forest group, but sometimes we get moved to work on issues a little outside of our normal stomping grounds. In January, Interior Secretary Zinke proposed issuing 47 new offshore oil leases—including two from Mendocino to Del Norte. The thought of oil derricks off our shore (and oil spilling onto our coast) moved EPIC to act!


Government Delays a Bad Sign for Humboldt Marten

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
By

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is playing political games with the Humboldt marten. The Department is holding up the listing of the critically endangered Humboldt marten. Why? Because it wants to blunt the impact of the listing on the timber industry by fast tracking a “Safe Harbor Agreement.”We expect this level of chicanery when dealing with the federal government, but we are sorely disappointed when it comes from the Brown Administration.


Hey, Governor Brown, EPIC’s Here to Help!

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018
By

In his final State of the State address, Governor Brown highlighted the need for reforms to how California’s forests are managed and directed the creation of a “task force composed of scientists and knowledgeable forest practitioners to review thoroughly the way our forests are managed and suggest ways to reduce the threat of devastating fires.…[and] consider how California can increase resiliency and carbon storage capacity.”


The Elk Death Trap

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
By

A herd of elk has gone extinct in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Why? Poor road design. The Boyes elk were first documented in Boyes Meadows in 1937. By the late 1940s, their population ballooned to around 100, taking advantage of the newfound forage to jump in size. Over time the population settled; between 1950 to the late 1990s, the population fluctuated between 20-60 individuals. In 1998, there were 30 elk. By 2011, the herd was extinct.


Year End Highlights

Thursday, January 4th, 2018
By

2017 was another EPIC year: we stopped a train from being built through a potential wilderness area, we saved hundreds of acres of old growth on public lands from chainsaws, and we beat the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in court for failing to protect the Humboldt marten. In case you missed anything, check out our highlights!


Klamath National Forest’s Latest Projects

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
By

EPIC is sharpening our pencils because we have a lot of work to do: three new bad projects from the Klamath National Forest have arrived in our mailbox in three days. We have a new massive salvage sale, roadside logging (where there shouldn’t even be roads!), and road construction on public land to facilitate logging on private land. Ugh.


Give the Gift of Public Lands

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
By

I am sure you’ve seen the news: President Trump, acting upon Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation, has announced the shrinking of two national monuments: Bears Ears—created last December by President Barack Obama—by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante—designated in 1996 by President Bill Clinton—by nearly half. Now Zinke is recommending drastic changes to our local Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, reducing the size to exclude lands coveted by Big Timber.


Three Takeaways from the Draft California Elk Management Plan

Thursday, November 30th, 2017
By

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife have released their Draft Elk Conservation and Management Plan. For us elk fanatics—we have a couple of them in the office, including the author—we have been anxiously awaiting this report. Here are four quick takeaways from the report and how they can affect our wildlife and land management decisions.


BREAKING: EPIC Moves to Ban Clearcutting in Humboldt!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
By

EPIC has submitted a voter initiative to Humboldt County to ban the destructive forestry practice known as “clearcutting” within Humboldt County and implement well-recognized principles of sustainable forestry. Clearcutting and other evenaged management involves the removal of all or nearly of a forest stand in a single harvest. This extreme forest disturbance harms water quality and wildlife habitat, and exacerbates climate change. Volunteers will be collecting signatures on the petition with the intention of making it on the general election ballot in November 2018.


Action Alert: Oppose Federal “Logging Without Laws” Legislation!

Thursday, November 9th, 2017
By

Take Action Now! Last week, the House of Representatives passed the horrific “Logging Without Laws” bill, a piece of legislation that will suspend key environmental laws and push forward Trump’s radical anti-public lands agenda. The bill passed on a near party line vote: 232-188. Now the fight moves to the Senate. Let’s let our Senators know that we can’t sacrifice our public lands for private profit.


Welcome Judith! Fond Farewell Dian!

Thursday, November 9th, 2017
By

The ballots have been counted and we have a new Board of Directors at EPIC! We are excited to welcome Judith Mayer to the Board. Judith teaches in HSU’s Department of Environmental Science and Management, and Environment and Community graduate program. She holds MS and PhD degrees in City and Regional Planning. Judith is serving a fourth term on Arcata’s Planning Commission, currently as vice-chair, after two terms on Arcata’s Economic Development Committee. An Arcata resident since 2000, Judith has lived, traveled, studied and worked extensively in the US, Europe, and Asia.


EPIC Urges Supervisors: No New Grows!

Thursday, October 12th, 2017
By

EPIC is urging the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission to focus the county’s new cannabis land use ordinance on getting existing cannabis farms to comply with environmental regulations and enforcing against individuals who refuse to come into compliance, not expand growing by permitting new farms to out-of-area developers intent on getting rich from the green rush. Read EPIC’s letter to the Board of Supervisors.


Crisis and the Timber Industry

Thursday, October 5th, 2017
By

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This is the mantra of the Timber Industry in fire season. Although this summer’s fires are just about out, the Timber industry and its friends in Congress are already pushing forward a radical agenda to wipe away federal environmental laws and drastically increase the cut.


Stinky Zinke

Thursday, October 5th, 2017
By

On National Public Lands Day, September 30, 2017, EPIC held a renaming ceremony to rename all vault toilets on federal public lands “Zinkes” after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in recognition of the crappy way he is treating our public lands. Secretary Zinke is a bad dude. In a leaked memo to President Trump, Secretary Zinke recommended removing protections from 10 National Monuments, including our own Cascade Siskiyou National Monument. Why? Because Big Oil and Big Timber want to be able to drill and log these areas.