Posts by Tom Wheeler

Richardson Grove Fight Goes to Court

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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“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
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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.


EPIC Victory: Klamath Old-Growth Saved From Logging

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
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As you remember (because you read every word that we write, right?), EPIC had submitted an “objection” of the draft decision for the Horse Creek Project, a large scale post-fire logging project on the Klamath National Forest. In our objection, we laid out measures that the Forest Service must take to avoid breaking the law. Here’s the big news: the Forest Service listened!


A Long Strange Trip: 10 Years of Richardson Grove Defense

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
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Last Saturday, EPIC celebrated a strange anniversary: marking 10 years since the first public meeting regarding Caltran’s Richardson Grove project. That equals: 10 years of silence from chainsaws echoing throughout the grove; 10 years without old-growth redwood roots being cut; 10 years without construction and concrete covering the sacred grounds of Richardson Grove State Park. At this moment, 10 years later, we couldn’t be prouder of the inaction we’ve caused.


Sharon Duggan – Kin to the Earth

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
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California’s forest practice rules—often described as the most protective in the nation—largely stem from one woman: Sharon Duggan. Sharon is a one-woman force-of-nature, a potent combination of caring and cunning. For 35 years, Sharon has provided legal muscle to help individuals and grassroots organizations challenge the status quo and preserve our North Coast. She is a kin to the earth.


Support New Draft Wilderness Legislation!

Monday, August 7th, 2017
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Take Action! Congressman Huffman has released a draft bill that would help protect 326,000 acres of federal public lands as “wilderness” by expanding nine existing wilderness areas and establishing ten new ones and would designate 485 miles of streams and rivers as “wild and scenic rivers.” View a map with the new proposed wilderness areas below.


Meet Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel, a New Species in our Forests

Thursday, July 20th, 2017
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Scientists recently announced a “new” mammal species that calls our redwood forests home: Humboldt’s flying squirrel (Glaucomys oregonensis). The squirrel, named after the famed naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, is now the 3rd species of North American flying squirrel and the 45th in the world.