EPIC Saves Big Old Trees

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Last December, we ventured out into the Klamath National Forest to monitor the Jess Timber Sale to ensure that trees that were marked for logging were consistent with Forest Service decisions and environmental policies. At our first stop in the timber sale, we noticed that dozens of mature trees were marked to be logged in riparian reserves, where they were supposed to be protected.

We went back to the same timber sale unit last week, and because of our effort, were very pleased to see that the trees we had documented on our previous trip were no longer marked for logging. The blue paint telling loggers to cut had been painted over with black paint, which means that we have saved them (for now).

The Jess Timber Sale is located in the Jessups Gulch area of the Wild and Scenic North Fork Salmon River watershed. The project includes approximately 2,000 acres of treatments including: over 800 acres of commercial logging and ridgetop, roadside, silvicultural and meadow treatments. EPIC has engaged throughout the environmental review process by attending public field trips, conducting on-the-ground-monitoring, submitting substantive comments, participating in the multiparty monitoring group, filing an objection to the project and getting out into the field to verify whether the project is planned out according to the environmental documents.

Throughout the process it has become clear that one of the most effective ways to protect a place is to get out into the field and document what you see. This is much easier now that we have new technology to identify exactly where you are on a project map, and where protected areas, like riparian reserves should be preserved.

If you have a background or knowledge of wildlife, botany, water quality, or just have the time to explore the remote reaches of your wild backyard, please apply your skills. Photographs with GPS coordinates are incredibly important to illustrate the uniqueness and fragility of our mountain landscapes. To learn how to get the most out of your field trip, check out our public lands advocacy page, an excellent resource for citizens to use when surveying a particular area where a project is proposed.


EPIC 40th Fall Celebration Features Casey Neill, Alice DiMicele and Joanne Rand

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

You are cordially invited to celebrate forty years of grassroots activism for forest and wildlife protection at the EPIC Fall Celebration on Friday, November 3rd from 6pm-midnight at the Mateel Community Center in Redway, CA. We are very pleased to present musical activists Casey Neill and the Norway Rats, Alice DiMicele and Joanne Rand who will be sure to take us on a trip back in time down memory lane, through the redwood curtain and to the roots of the North Coast environmental movement.

Joanne Rand will play her sultry tunes during an organic locally sourced gourmet dinner catered by Humboldt County favorite, Sue’s Organics kitchen crew, featuring mouth-watering tempeh or salmon dinner with fresh seasonal vegetables, soup, salad and rice. Sue’s Organics began as a vegan catering business in Humboldt County, California. Their mission is to make the most delicious organic vegan combinations of dressings, sauces and food available to the community.

During dinner, we will be honoring the late Judi Bari with the Sempervirens Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented to her daughters Jessica and Lisa in recognition of Judi Bari’s renowned environmental, labor and social justice leadership. Her activism with Earth First! and philosophy of nonviolent protest set the tone for success of Redwood Summer and future direct action movements against corporate logging.

Judi Bari was far more than simply an environmentalist; she was an avid advocate for workers, and the rights of working people. In addition to being a prominent member of Earth First! Judi was also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and spent tremendous time and energy not only working to slow the destruction of the last of the old-growth redwoods, but also to organize and cooperate with timber and mill workers, many of whom knew and understood the consequences of the destruction of the forest would also mean an end to their jobs and way of life.

After the awards, we will have a throw back experience dancing on the ruins of multinational corporations with Casey Neill and the Norway Rats and Alice DiMicele.


Casey Neill has been engaged with EPIC and the forest protection movement since the Headwaters era. The music of Casey Neill & The Norway Rats combines high energy rave-ups and haunting sonic reveries built around narrative songwriting. Their latest CD/LP “All You Pretty Vandals” garnered rave reviews from national press, online blogs, and widespread radio play. His songs are stories of American life, anthems for social change, and occasionally something about outer space. The Norway Rats are Chet Lyster (guitar), Kathryn Claire (fiddle), Jesse Emerson (bass) and Stuart Murray (drums). Casey Neill tours extensively throughout the US, Japan, and Europe with the band and solo. A new record ‘Subterrene’ is slated for release next year.

“Reclaiming tradition and social consciousness as weapons of resistance and tools for significant societal change, Neill appeals to our desire for collective experience, spinning touching and uplifting stories of hope, dignity and progressive politics. Be it through raucous rockers, fragile acoustic ballads, passionate bursts of punk fury or soulful touches of Irish folk, Neill’s narrative talent and concern for real people’s struggles stand out.” Marco Rivera, SPLENDID

 “I hear the passion in his singing” – Pete Seeger


Alice DiMicele seeks to uplift the human experience through music. Her lyrics are love incantations to the elements earth, water, fire, and air. Drawing from a rich musical background including folk, jazz, funk, rock, and soul DiMicele’s acoustic music incorporates many styles creating a fresh funky stew all her own. With her powerful band behind her, or alone with her acoustic guitar Alice’s multi-octave voice soars high and rumbles deep. As a lyricist and singer DiMicele invokes passionate emotion.With thirteen self-released albums and almost 30 years of touring under her belt, DiMicele is a master of her craft and knows how to delight her audiences be it on a large festival stage, a theatre, or a house concert.


Touring nationally for 30+ years playing original “Psychedelic-Folk-Revival” music, Joanne Rand has just released her 16th indie CD of original songs. Rand’s vocal styling is all her own: “magical and luxuriant, like the best brandy in the world” (-No Depression). Her songs have been called “Nothing short of brilliant,” by Santa Rosa Press Democrat. “Joanne Rand’s voice raises your hair. Elegance and fierceness in the same deep breath,” writes poet Gary Snyder. Rand’s 2015 & 2016 CDs both made the folk DJ most-played-list nationwide and are receiving worldwide airplay.

Born and bred in the Deep South, Rand has performed in Manhattan, L.A., Toronto, Atlanta, Seattle, Hawaii, Alaska & the Amazon. A North Bay readers’ poll once voted her “Best Acoustic Band.” Based in rural Northern California, with a BFA in music composition, she has performed alongside such greats as Bonnie Raitt, Micky Hart, John Hartford, John Trudell, Dougie McLean.

Rand’s songs reflects a wide array of styles (folk, rock, jazz, Celtic, psychedelic, gospel), weaving tales of: War, peace, loyalty, betrayal, hope and humor. “One of the year’s freshest, most distinctive offerings.”-Roots Music Report.

Rob Diggins will accompany Joanne Rand. Diggins is a principal violinist with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra and San Francisco’s Magnificat and will be showing off his fusion, folk, world music and psychedelic rock chops as well as his classical virtuosity.

Volunteers are needed to help with the production of this event. If you are interested in getting involved, please email or call 707-822-7711.


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EPIC Victory: Klamath Old-Growth Saved From Logging

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

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!

In total the Forest Service agreed to:

  • Drop 450 acres of the most controversial and harmful logging units, protecting old-growth along the Siskiyou Crest (check out the great Siskiyou Crest blog for more information on why this area is so important);
  • Drop 2 miles of road building;
  • Retain all large snags over 45” in diameter;
  • Commitment to prescribed burning and fuels treatment;
  • Work with the Karuk Tribe on vegetation planning;
  • Decommission new and existing temporary roads post project; and
  • Work with stakeholders to develop a burning plan.

As a result of the agreement, the final project design will more closely mirror that of the “Karuk Alternative,” a post-fire restoration plan developed by the Karuk Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources. In total, the project would provide rural jobs, protect the best old-growth wildlife habitat in the project area,  and would begin work on fuels reduction activities to protect homes and ranches from future fires. We are satisfied with this outcome, as EPIC had pushed the Forest Service to adopt the Karuk Alternative.

This was a large fire season and we are not over it yet. National Forests in the area will undoubtedly feel pressure to log trees that were damaged by the fires. We hope that the framework of the final Horse Creek Project is something we can build on when developing future projects with the Klamath National Forest.

A Long Strange Trip: 10 Years of Richardson Grove Defense

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

On Saturday, we celebrated 10 years’ worth of friendships forged over litigation and turmoil. EPIC would like to thank all of our friends who have stood with us. A special thanks goes to our co-plaintiffs: Friends of Del Norte, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, and the Center for Biological Diversity, Trisha Lee Lotus, Bess Bair, Jeff Hedin, and David Spreen. Many thanks goes to our partners at the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities. We appreciate your support and allyship.

The anniversary also gave us time to pause and reflect on those we’ve lost. We still miss the warmth and passion of Bruce Edwards, one of our original plaintiffs. We will never forget Stu Moskowitz, who painted the “Save Richardson Grove” sign that still stands, and alerts motorists that the park is in danger. We lost a great advocate in Loreen Eliason, a co-owner of the Riverwood Inn in Phillipsville and one of our original plaintiffs. Finally, we are down a friend and ally with the passing of Sydney King.

Our celebration was muted because Caltrans continues to press for the Richardson Grove Project. EPIC is back in court—our fourth trip—to force Caltrans to do an honest accounting of the damage to the grove. We won’t back down, even if we are at it for another 10 years.

Help support the fight to protect Richardson Grove by donating to the Save Richardson Grove Campaign.

Tipping the Scales

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Horse Creek watershed July 2017 showing checkerboard ownership. Private lands logging has already begun, the untouched portions are targeted by the Klamath National Forest.

EPIC recently submitted an objection to the Horse Creek Project— 1,700 acres of post-fire clearcutting in the 2016 Gap Fire footprint. An administrative objection is the way to formally challenge a Forest Service project, prior to litigation. Our lawsuit against the Klamath National Forest, for clearcutting nearly 10,000 acres after the 2014 Westside Fires, has yet to be heard in Federal Court. Both of these timber sales expect to kill or adversely harm salmon and their essential fish habitat.

Wild Salmon are Suffocated by Sediment

Wild salmon are struggling to survive and experiencing collapse after the lowest numbers in history while post-fire logging and the Klamath National Forest are pushing them closer to extinction. Unstable watersheds which provide vital cold water refuge to ailing fish have seen heavy use by thousands of logging trucks or have experienced massive road failures and landslides including, Beaver, Horse, Walker and Grider Creeks to name a few. The Horse Creek project invites more of the same.

Coho salmon in Southern Oregon and the Klamath Basin have been declared threatened for twenty years. In 2011, EPIC petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to list the spring-run Chinook salmon and to designate critical habitat. That petition was denied because, the Service argued, the springers were not genetically distinct from fall-run Chinook. Now six years later, thanks to research by UC Davis, springers have been proven to be genetically distinct. The Karuk Tribe has submitted a notice of intent to, once again, petition to list the species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Our Future with Fire

Getting a smart grip on pre- and post-fire management is key to the salmon’s survival. There are over 50,000 acres of wildfire on the Klamath National Forest and approximately 225,000 acres on the Six Rivers, Modoc and Rouge-Siskiyou National Forests. The wet winter has certainly helped these fires burn cooler and some strategic allowances of fire for ecosystem benefit have been made. However, as witnessed, scouting for opportunities to clearcut our forests and in turn to lose money, harm wildlife and water quality begins before the smoke clears.

EPIC will defend wild salmon, water quality and wildlife in the wake of post-fire madness with the goal of reversing the damaging and continuous cycle we are beginning to see every year. Wildfires are inevitable and can have an impact. It is industrialized timber sales, which take all the big trees and leave all the flammables behind (which may or may not be treated), in our salmon dependent watersheds that are entirely avoidable.

We are slowly trending in the right direction. We continue to live with fire and learn from Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Prescribed burning is increasing, more cultural burning is revitalized and pre-fire strategies are gaining traction with implementation pending. After fires break out, depending on leadership, less extreme fire fighting tactics are being considered and forest communities are better prepared. However, we need a sense of urgency throughout California and beyond to shift from the age of the military-style fire industrial complex and massive post-fire logging to protecting communities and our wild places. As embers burn and smolder responsible officials and agencies need to stand up, follow their missions, make sound decisions and work fast to restore the last strongholds of wild salmon.

Help Support EPIC’s Forest Defense Work.

From collaborating and working with the agencies to groundtruthing proposed logging sites, writing comments, objections and lawsuits- EPIC works tirelessly to protect wild places and wild salmon. As a membership organization, we are powered by your generosity. Thank you!



Sharon Duggan – Kin to the Earth

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

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.

Sharon started practicing environmental law in 1982. Having grown up in Humboldt, Sharon took inspiration for her work from her roots. She remembered what the landscape was once like: rivers with fish, big trees, and a vibrant, locally-based timber industry that was the lifeblood for the small towns in which she lived. And she saw the change that occurred when Big Timber started taking over the local timber companies.

Relatively fresh out of law school, Sharon took on her first forestry case, the storied EPIC v. Johnson, in 1983. Georgia-Pacific had filed a timber harvest plan to clearcut old-growth redwoods in Little Jackass Creek near what is now the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park along the Mendocino Coast. On behalf of EPIC, Sharon challenged the state’s approval of the logging plan, arguing that the state did not consider the cumulative effects of the logging. The case may have seemed like a longshot to some—environmentalists up against the good ol’ boys in local court—but that didn’t stop Sharon. With a thoughtful yet tough prosecution of her case, Sharon won. The lawsuit helped generate enthusiasm for the protection of the Sinkyone, eventually leading to its preservation in perpetuity.

This scenario—a longshot case that was won because of hard work— has repeated itself throughout the rest of Sharon’s career. In court, Sharon is a ruthless litigator. She is diligentin her preparation, often tasked with the needle-in-the-haystack work of reviewing banker-boxes of documents to find a smoking-gun. She is creative in her writing, massaging the narrative of a case to appeal to a certain judge or to catch favorable political winds. And she is dogged, pressing every angle and avenue she can find in pursuit of justice. To opposing counsel, Sharon must seem like a pit bull. But to her friends and clients, she is a saint.

She has been a mentor to many. Rob DiPerna, Forest and Wildlife Advocate at EPIC, counts himself as a disciple of Sharon’s. “Sharon Duggan is a master-strategist and staunch supporter of the rights of public engagement and enforcement in environmental decision-making,” said Rob. “I have been so very blessed to account Sharon as a friend, colleague, and my primary mentor as I have grown into my professional capacity over the years.”

Phil Gregory, co-counsel for Richardson Grove, says of Sharon, “Sharon constantly inspires me not merely to save our planet but to do everything I can to preserve our natural resources as our sacred heritage. Sharon has made a fundamental impact in my life both as the role model of a true environmental attorney and as a loving, compassionate soul.” Phil adds, “Go Giants!”

Rachel Doughty, Attorney at GreenFire Law, also counts Sharon as a mentor. “Sharon is a tireless advocate for the places and people she cares about. She has been a tremendous mentor to me. There is one thing she is terrible at: retirement. She continues to dedicate herself to the future of our children and to mentor the next generation of attorneys, even while maintaining a docket protecting the wild spaces that are so loved and such a part of our identity as Californians.”

Despite her threats at retirement, Sharon has not slowed down. Sharon continues to work as counsel to EPIC, most recently back in court in EPIC’s challenge to Caltran’s proposed widening of Richardson Grove at the expense of old-growth redwoods. Sharon is a board member at Our Children’s Trust, developing innovative legal doctrines to take on climate change. And she provides limitless advice to the attorneys, young and old, who call her out of the blue to pick her brain.

Outside of her legal work, Sharon is a passionate advocate for Palestine, women’s rights, and a liberal democracy. She is a longtime volunteer with Redwoods Monastery in Whitethorn and is often found there on weekends, putting in hard labor to help the people and place that she loves. Sharon is buoyed by her longtime partner, Anne.

This article was published in the August 2017 EcoNews.

Exploring Scattered Public Lands

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Remnant old growth Douglas fir on BLM land near Harris in Southern Humboldt. “Wolf trees” like this were left standing when the area was logged because their many branches would make low-grade lumber. Now they provide habitat complexity in the recovering forest. Photo by Susan Nolan.

Susan Nolan, longtime EPIC Supporter and 2010 EPIC Volunteer of the Year has visited some of the scattered tracts of land that the BLM manages throughout the region. The article below describes what she has found on her excursions and their ecological and community value.

The United States began with a great wealth of fertile farmable land, timberland, and minerals. The young nation devised a number of programs, including the Homestead Act, to settle and develop this huge potential. Over time, most useable land was claimed, and the Bureau of Land Management was formed in 1946 to oversee the remaining land.

The BLM manages a number of properties on the North Coast: the King Range, Headwaters and much of the oceanfront of Humboldt Bay. Besides these headliners, the BLM still holds dozens of scraps of leftover land in public ownership all across Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

They may be as small as 40 acres or range up to several thousand acres. Some are brushy rocky outcrops, but most are forested and some still have old-growth. Many are on high ground, but some are right on rivers, especially along the Eel. Some, surrounded by private land, don’t even have access for BLM personnel, while others are well known and visited by many.

One spot familiar to travelers on Highway 36 is Goat Rock, where a striking steep cliff soars above the Van Duzen River west of Bridgeville. It’s a popular access point for swimmers, sunbathers, fishers and boaters to enjoy the river.

Sometimes the Bureau of Land Management adds to its holdings. Up until 1970, the King Range had only ten miles of extremely remote coastline in eight disconnected segments, used by a few off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, and 35,000 acres of poor timberland. Today, the King Range has grown to 68,000 acres and 35 miles of oceanfront, with tens of thousands of visitors annually.

BLM land along the historic Littlefield Trail in Mendocino County, included in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness. Photo by Susan Nolan.

Gilham Butte is a high point in southern Humboldt adjacent to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Once slated for logging, it’s now (thanks to a long campaign led by its neighbors) an old-growth reserve, protecting ancient Douglas firs. In 1999 its size more than doubled when 3,800 acres were added from a timber company which had planned to log. It is now managed as a reserve by the BLM.

Lacks Creek is another, more recent, success story. The BLM held a long narrow spine of steep forested land north of Highway 299 and west of the Hoopa Reservation. The most accessible parts were logged, but some old-growth remained in the remotest corner. It received very little use, primarily from handful of deer hunters in fall.

With support from nearby Redwood National and State Parks, BLM acquired logged-over timberland in the lower watershed of Lacks Creek about ten years ago. Public interest in developing mountain bike trails was strong, so BLM decided to meet the need on its newly acquired land. Now miles of bike trails have been developed, with more still planned. Besides being a recreation destination, Lacks Creek retains its old-growth reserve (no trails will be built there), elk are moving into the area, and the national park benefits from conservation-minded management of the land upstream from the park’s famous Tall Trees Grove on Redwood Creek.

Perhaps more parcels will grow with new acquisitions over time. Some may become recreation meccas like Humboldt Bay’s South Spit, Lacks Creek, and the King Range.

Most will probably remain isolated fragments of wild land, mostly unknown. But these can provide valuable ecological benefits by providing a place for a raptor’s nest, a quiet den site for forest carnivores such as bobcats or fishers, refugia for old-growth dependent lichens and fungi. Pat Higgins of the Eel River Recovery Project has noted that many critical salmon spawning creeks locally have their headwaters on BLM land, where undisturbed forest provides clean cool water.

For more information on BLM holdings on the North Coast, including information and maps on how to visit the most accessible, you can stop by the Arcata Field Office, 1695 Heindon Road (near Toni’s and the 101/299 junction).




Logging Threatens Unique Coastal Sitka Spruce Grove

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

South Beach Spruce Grove. Photo Credit F.L. Hiser Jr.

A proposed Timber Harvest Plan in Del Norte County near Crescent City threatens to devalue a sensitive and unique grove if coastal Sitka spruce. THP 1-17-034DEL “Hambro” proposes to harvest and substantially degrade the ecological value of 44 acres of mature unique grove of Sitka spruce that has been designated as a special and unique area by the California Coastal Commission and that presently resides in a Coastal Special Treatment Area that calls for special management considerations. The Hambro THP is surrounded by a State-administered wildlife area, and otherwise by the industrial complex of Crescent City.

The Hambro THP Sitka spruce stand is over 120 years-old, with many large, structurally-complex, and very old trees. Based on standardized forest classification methods, the Hambro THP stand represents a near-climax successional stage, and even meets the Forest Practice Rules criteria for designation as a Late Successional Forest, which also calls for special consideration and management of the stand.

EPIC is working cooperatively with Friends of Del Norte County to raise public awareness and interest in protecting the unique coastal Sitka spruce stand at-risk from logging degradation by the Hambro THP.

State Water Board Approves Strictest TMDL in State History

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Elk River Resident Kristy Wrigley testifying before the State Water Resources Control Board -August 1, 2017

The California State Water Resources Control Board has moved to ratify and strengthen conditions in the most stringent Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and watershed remediation plan (Action Plan) for remediation ever established in the State. At its August 1, 2017 meeting in Sacramento, the State Water Board ratified the now-15-year-tardy TMDL and Action Plan for the Upper Elk River Watershed, just south of Eureka, California. The State Water Board also moved to clarify the terms and expectations for the TMDL and Action Plan, and directed the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board to revisit sediment pollution discharge permitting frameworks for the two major industrial timberland owners in the upper Elk River watershed by no later than January 2019.

In May 2016, the North Coast Regional Water Board adopted the Upper Elk River TMDL and established the limit on additional sediment pollution in the upper watershed, known as the load allocation, at zero, meaning no new human-caused sediment pollution from activities such as timber harvesting, can be discharged without exacerbating the damaged conditions and their impacts on water quality, fish, wildlife, and local residents. A scientific synthesis report of sediment in the Upper Elk River Watershed (Tetra Tech 2015), found that sediment pollution resulting from past and contemporary timber operations had overwhelmed the river’s capacity to withstand or move through any further sediment inputs. As clarified by the State Water Board, the TMDL and zero load allocation apply to all human-generated sources of sediment pollution, past, present, and future, until the capacity for Upper Elk River to assimilate further sediment is expanded through remediation conducted through the TMDL Action Plan’s Recovery Assessment and Stewardship Program components.

The State Water Board sent a clear and direct message to the Regional Board, Humboldt Redwood Company, and Green Diamond Resource Company. In order to ensure the attainment of no new sediment discharge, current sediment waste pollution discharge permits for timber operations need to be revisited and revised until and unless the TMDL is revised as a consequence of expanded sediment loading assimilative capacity resulting from watershed recovery efforts.

EPIC has filed a challenge with the State Water Board of the sediment pollution discharge permit issued to Humboldt Redwood Company by the Regional Water Board. However, this challenge has been in a holding pattern in anticipation of the State Board’s decision on the TMDL and Action Plan. Now, EPIC will work to monitor and engage in the Regional Board’s mandated-revisit for both Humboldt Redwood Company and Green Diamond Resource Company’s sediment pollution discharge permits in the Upper Elk River watershed.

Holding the line for water, fish, forests and people, EPIC gets results.

Support New Draft Wilderness Legislation!

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Photo Credit: Native Fish Society

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.

But this is more than a typical wilderness legislation. It is a start at rethinking the way we interact with public land in Northern California. In addition to land protections, the legislation promotes sane forest management that will help restore fire to the landscape while protecting rural communities through the development of “shaded fuel breaks” around communities. It is would also help to promote our local recreation economy—the number one source of forest jobs—by creating a regional trail program. This legislation will help to move us out of the old false dichotomy of “trees vs. jobs.” You can read the bill in its entirety by clicking here.

Sounds good, right? There are two ways that you can help:

1. Show Your Support in Person at Upcoming Public Meetings with Congressman Huffman! Starting next week, Congressman Huffman will host several public meetings to discuss his proposal for Northwest California’s public lands. This is a fantastic opportunity to thank Congressman Huffman for his leadership in working to protect these special lands and waters for generations to come. Can we count on you to attend a public meeting and speak up for Northwest California’s unique public lands? Please RSVP by clicking the County links below and share with your friends! It is important that we bring out strong environmental voices to this meeting, as Big Timber will likely fight this legislation.

Humboldt County August 14th 5:30-6:30 pm Wharfinger, 1 Marina Way, Eureka, CA 95501
Del Norte County August 15th 5:30-6:30pm Del Norte Educational Resource Center, 400 West Harding, Crescent City, CA 95531
Trinity County August 16th 5:30-6:30pm Trinity High School, 321 Victory Lane, Weaverville, CA 96093
Mendocino County August 29th 1:30-2:30pm City of Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Ave, Ukiah, CA 95482

2. Say Thanks! Congressman Huffman has been developing this wilderness legislation for over a year, meeting with countless groups, local businesses, tribes, and individuals to gather ideas. His hard work has paid off. Click here to send an email to Congressman Huffman thanking him for working to protect Northwest California’s special places, encouraging him to introduce legislation, and letting him know you love the region and want to see it protected now for future generations.


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

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Humboldt’s flying squirrel (Glaucomys oregonensis) perched on tree. Mendocino Co, CA. Photo by Brian Arbogast,

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.

It turns out that the squirrel was hiding in plain sight. Humboldt’s flying squirrel is a “cryptic” species, closely resembling in appearance another flying squirrel, the northern flying squirrel. There are slight differences—Humboldt’s flying squirrel is slightly darker and smaller than the northern species—but because the two species had overlapping ranges, scientists had assumed that these differences were unimportant.

But those small differences had puzzled researchers. Curious to see if there was something more at play, biologists collected DNA samples from 185 squires, some recently killed squirrels and others old museum samples. The results surprised scientists. Looking at the nuclear genome, scientists saw a clear and distinct split—two branches on the family tree diverging.

It is thought that the species diverged as a result of the last ice age. A northern population of squirrels became cut off from a southern population by glaciation. Isolated from each other, the two different populations diverged on separate ecological paths. Eventually, they became so different from each other that when the glaciers melted and the two populations came in contact again, they didn’t interbreed. (The fact that they don’t interbreed or “hybridize” shocked researchers, as the other two species of North American flying squirrels hybridize.) Scientists are puzzled as to what is keeping these two species from breeding. Is it behavioral or are they so physically different that they can’t interbreed?

Humboldt’s flying squirrel ranges the West Coast, from British Columbia in the north to the bottom of the Sierra Nevada forests. In its northern range, Humboldt’s flying squirrel shares its forests with its cousin, the northern flying squirrel. Although the two squirrels look alike and share the same forests, they do not interbreed.

Humboldt’s flying squirrel generally prefers older forest types, where it can launch itself from high branches to soar to another tree. Using a membrane that runs from its front legs to its back legs as a sail and its poofy tail as a rudder, the flying squirrel can glide up to 100 meters in the air. The squirrels forage at night, looking for berries, nuts, fungi, carrion, and bird eggs. They, in turn, are hunted by predators like the northern spotted owl, Pacific fisher, and the Humboldt marten.

The flying squirrel’s “discovery” is a good example of the impact that cheap, high-resolution genetic studies have had on the field of taxonomy. In some cases, genetic research has determined that there are less differences than we had previously thought—such as recent research that shows that coastal martens in Oregon and California are actually one subspecies and not two. In other cases, like here, scientists can discern separate species from physically similar individuals with overlapping ranges. Expect more discoveries like Humboldt’s flying squirrel in the future as genetic tests become cheaper, faster, and easier to perform.

New genetic studies also have regulatory implications. To the degree that a single species can be “split” into multiple species, the more likely it is that one of these new species is eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Similarly, if two species can be “lumped” into one species, the protections afforded to individuals can diminish.

The full text of the Humboldt’s flying squirrel genetic report can be found here: Genetic data reveal a cryptic species of New World flying squirrel: Glaucomys oregonensis 

Protections for Humboldt Marten Proving as Elusive as the Animal Itself

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

EPIC and our allies have been working for over seven years now to secure legal protections and forward long-term recovery of the Humboldt marten. Astoundingly, securing protection and conservation of this cat-sized mesocarnivore is proving as elusive as the marten itself. Once long-thought to be extinct, the improbable return of the Humboldt marten to our forests may be short-lived unless State and Federal wildlife authorities take action.

EPIC and allies filed a petition to list the Humboldt marten under the Federal Endangered Species Act with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2010. In April 2016, the Service issued an updated Species Assessment Report clearly indicating that the listing of the marten was warranted, while at the same time issuing a 12-Month Finding on our petition determining that the listing was not warranted. EPIC and our allies filed suit in Federal Court challenging the Service’s “Not Warranted” finding, and in April 2017 a Federal Judge granted our Motion for Summary Judgement, finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had indeed erred in determining that small, isolated populations of the marten were not a threat to the survival and recovery of the species.

EPIC and allies also filed a petition to list the Humboldt marten under the California Endangered Species Act with the State of California Fish and Game Commission in May 2015. In February 2016, the Fish and Game Commission determined that listing the marten, “may be warranted,” and directed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct a Status Review and prepare a Status Report for the marten in California to inform the final decision to be made by the Commission. State law affords the Department of Fish and Wildlife one year to conduct and complete investigation of the status of a species and prepare a report with recommendations. By March 2017, however the Department of Fish and Wildlife had not completed its review and report within the one-year statutory timeline and sought and was granted a six-month extension by the Fish and Game Commission, with a new target date of September 2017.

Meanwhile, forestry in the known extant range and dispersal area range of the Humboldt marten in California on private industrial lands continues, and is largely unchanged, even in the wake of the Fish and Game Commission affording “candidacy,” and interim legal protection to the marten. In fact, the primary private industrial timberland owner, Green Diamond Resource Company, has accelerated its submission of THPs in and around the Klamath River and north and east, the virtual ground-zero for protection, conservation and recovery of extant but isolated marten populations in California.

Recent and more up-to-date information on the status of the marten is also currently largely inaccessible to EPIC and the public. The inter-agency and landowner “Humboldt Marten Conservation Group,” has completed its own report on the marten with management recommendations, but this report has not been published or otherwise made available to EPIC and the public. EPIC was not allowed to participate in the conservation group by the participants despite our clear interest in the protection and conservation of the marten.

And so, while we sit and wait for the wheels of the individual listing agencies and the conservation group to finish grinding, marten populations in California and Southern Oregon continue to be imperiled by logging, habitat fragmentation, small isolated populations, and the ever-increasing threats posed by a changing climate in favor of allowing “business as usual,” to go on largely unaltered.

EPIC is dedicated to ensuring the survival, protection, and recovery of the Humboldt marten and the forests on which it depends. But, as always, we cannot do it alone; we need your help! By donating to EPIC, and taking actions when necessary, everyone can help us make a difference for the forest and for the Humboldt marten and help us to hold the agencies accountable to ensure that the marten survives and thrives into the future.

Photos courtesy of the Bluff Creek Project, which has captured better images of the Humboldt Marten than the USFWS has over 20 years. The extremely rare Humboldt marten photos were captured from camera traps on Bluff Creek in Humboldt County.

1% for the Planet

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

You are already an eco-conscious business, why not claim credit for it? EPIC is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, which is a program that connects businesses, consumers, and non-profits, empowering all of us to drive big positive change. More than 1,200 member companies give 1% of their profits to more than 3,300 nonprofits. Click here if you have a business, and you would like to learn how to donate 1% to the Planet.

Beyond doing good, your generosity can be good business. Your customers will feel good that their local business supports their local environmental group.

Many of you already give your 1% (and more!) for the planet. Get recognized for doing so! Perks include recognition by EPIC on our website, twice annually in our email newsletter that is distributed to our 15,000 members and supports, and once in our Annual Report. EPIC is also open to working with you on cross-promotional advertising. Because EPIC gains a stake in your business, we have an incentive that you do well.


Welcome California’s Newest Wolf Family: The Lassen Pack!

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Northern California just got a little more wild! Biologists surveying the Lassen National Forests have confirmed California’s second wolf pack. An adult couple made a showing in Lassen county last fall. They now have a family of at least three pups born this spring residing in Lassen National Forest and adjacent private lands.

Biologists began surveying the forest in May this year after finding evidence of wolf presence. On June 30, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife captured and collared the 75-pound alpha female. A nearby trail camera operated by the U.S. Forest Service revealed photos of the mother and her playful pups.

OR-7, or “Journey,” is now a grandpa. The alpha male of the Lassen Pack is the three-year-old son of OR-7, who was the first known gray wolf to return to the Golden State in nearly 100 years. OR-7s sister is the alpha female of the all-black Shasta Pack, which had five pups in 2015 but has not been seen since last fall.

Gray wolves in California are listed as endangered under the state and federal Endangered Species Act, however, the California Cattlemen’s Association and the California Farm Bureau filed suit in court to remove state protections. EPIC and others, represented by Earthjustice, have intervened in this baseless lawsuit to ensure wolves get the best legal defense possible.

Recovery is just beginning in Northern California and we look forward to watching these canine families grow. There are more wolves on the way that will call our region home. EPIC is working to protect landscape connectivity so that they have the habitat and room they need to roam.

Help our wolf legal defense fund by making a donation today!

EPIC Midyear Review

Monday, July 10th, 2017

How is it already July? 2017 is flying by fast. Below is a brief recap of some of EPIC’s major accomplishments of 2017.

Like our work? Please consider making a donation today. Your donations fuel EPIC’s work.

New Faces at EPIC: EPIC began 2017 with some new staff and a change in jobs. Tom Wheeler, EPIC’s Staff Attorney, took over as Executive Director from Natalynne Delapp. Briana Villalobos, EPIC’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year, joined the EPIC team as our new Communications and Outreach Director.

Victory for Humboldt Marten: EPIC scored a victory for the Humboldt marten by forcing US Fish and Wildlife Service to go back and issue a new decision by October 2018. Hopefully this time the agency will listen to science and not timber lobbyists. If not, EPIC will be there again to fight for our favorite mustelid.

EPIC Tells Court, “Greenhouse Gas Accounting Matters”: In our first court case of the year, EPIC filed an amicus brief to let the court know that accurate accounting of greenhouse gases matter in our statewide effort against global climate change.

Stopped a Destructive Railroad Proposal in its Tracks: EPIC fought against a grant to study a railroad from Eureka to Gerber that would cross Wilderness Areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers. EPIC helped rally the good people of Trinity County to demand that the County not move forward with its proposal. Because of the massive groundswelling of support, the Trinity Board of Supervisors listened and voted down the railroad!

EPIC Back in Court to Protect Richardson Grove: EPIC is back in court to defend the old-growth redwoods in Richardson Grove State Park against a highway widening proposal that would cut and pave over their root structure. This is EPIC’s third time in court; each time we’ve been victorious. 1000+ year old trees are too precious to risk by cutting their roots.

EPIC Defends Wolf Protections: In 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission listed the gray wolf in California (based on a petition brought by EPIC!). In 2017, Big Beef took aim at those protections. The California Cattlemen’s Association filed suit to strip the wolf of protections. EPIC and allies intervened to give the wolf a voice and defend their protection. The case is still pending, but in the meantime, another wolf pack has been established. If we can hold wolf killers at bay, wolves will return home!

Getting Fire and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Back on the Ground: Kimberly Baker, EPIC’s Public Land Advocate, is a regular presence on the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership collaborative, a group that helps the Forest Service develop smart forest management projects. EPIC’s work is starting to pay off, as the Six Rivers National Forest is moving forward with a project developed in collaboration with WKRP! The Somes Bar Integrated Fire Management Project works to return fire’s role on the natural landscape, a job that will help to protect the wildlife and clean water of the Klamath Mountains.

On the Ground Monitoring Saves Big, Old Trees: When EPIC’s Conservation Advocate, Amber Shelton, bushwhacked into logging units to examine the Jess Project, she immediately knew something was wrong: trees were marked for logging immediately adjacent to streams. Amber quickly alerted the Forest Service to their mistake and marking crews returned to “black out” dozens of big, old trees. These trees will continue to provide habitat for owls and will help to preserve the cold, clean water of the Salmon River. 

Spotted Owl Advocacy Gets Results: In 2016, EPIC successfully listed the northern spotted owl under the California Endangered Species Act. The listing has already generated results. The Board of Forest and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are looking at ways forestry rules can be improved to protect the owl. Hope is on the way for our favorite forest raptor.

EPIC Brings Legal Fight Against Massive Timber Sale: EPIC is back in federal court to challenge a massive timber sale on the Klamath National Forest, the Westside Project. This is the largest timber sale EPIC has fought in over a decade, with over 6,000 acres of logging proposed and the “taking” of more than 100 northern spotted owls.

First Annual EPIC Base Camp: EPIC staff and members braved harsh weather to investigate the propose Horse Creek Project, a post-fire logging project on the Klamath National Forest. Information gained in the trip helped EPIC write detailed comments concerning individual logging units. On the ground monitoring is a hallmark of EPIC’s work. We hope that all those that attended will continue to put their activist skills to good use.

EPIC Petitions to End Sale of Invasive Ivy: EPIC, together with our friends at the Humboldt No Ivy League, submitted a rulemaking petition to the California Department of Food and Agriculture to ban the sale of the invasive English ivy. Ivy is more than just a nuisance, it limits the biodiversity of our coastal forests by outcompeting native vegetation.

Monitoring Private Grazing on Our Public Land: EPIC’s Program to Reform Public Land Grazing in Northern California has been out monitoring grazing on our National Forests. Our advocacy has resulted in better management by the Forest Service, including holding rogue grazers who are out of compliance accountable. Passionate about public lands? Find out how you can help. Check out more at

EPIC on the Street: You may have seen us around. We’ve been at Godwit Days, the Climate March, the Women’s March, the Mount Shasta Earth Day Expo, Creek Days, Benbow Summer Arts, Kate Wolf Music Festival, and countless farmers markets. Keep an eye out for EPIC and come by and say hi. (We love to meet our members.)

EPIC Hikes: EPIC has taken community members all across the redwoods, from Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith State Park to the Lady Bird Johnson Trail in Redwoods National Park. There are still two more hikes scheduled for 2017. Come join us August 6th for the Trillium Falls Trail in Redwoods National Park and September 17th for a special trip on the Salmon Pass Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve.

Wanted: Professional, assertive, creative, problem-solvers interested in joining the EPIC BOD

Monday, July 10th, 2017

We are looking for people with experience in the following areas:

  • non-profit governance;
  • conservation science;
  • financial management;
  • environmental law;
  • policy development;
  • fundraising; and
  • event planning.

Current EPIC Members* may apply to become a Board Member between July 1 and July 31 for the next Board of Director’s year, which begins on January 1.

Prospective candidates are asked to fill out an application (available online or in hard-copy format at the office), describing qualifications, skills, and what they would bring to the Board. Applications must be submitted to the Executive Director ( by August 1.

Current Board of Directors can be viewed here.

*Current member: an individual who has donated $40 or more in the 14 months prior to July 31.

Action Alert: Defend Public Lands; Defeat Trump’s Environmental Agenda

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

TAKE ACTION! On the 4th of July, you can help save our forests by halting bad legislation. A new bad forest bill, the ironically named “Resilient Federal Forests Act” (HR 2936), is quickly heading to a vote. The bill recently escaped the House Natural Resources Committee through a party line vote. Now, Trump’s lawless logging bill will soon come up for a vote before the House.

This is the worst federal forest legislation in EPIC’s lifetime. And scarily, it might pass. Here’s four reasons why we are freaked out:

(1) Up to 30,000 Acres of Lawless Logging

The bill gives a free pass to lawless logging by exempting logging plans up to 30,000 acres—nearly 47 square miles—that are developed through a “collaborative process” from having to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). By comparison, under the existing law only logging projects 70 acres or less are exempted from NEPA. In one fell swoop, Congress could rollback decades of work by EPIC and allies to protect federal forests.

(2) Weakens Endangered Species Act Protections

Under current law, whenever the Forest Service proposes a project that could harm threatened or endangered species, the agency needs to consult the National Marine Fisheries Service and/or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The proposed legislation would change the law to remove this consultation requirement by allowing the Forest Service to choose whether or not to consult on a project. Further, the bill would exempt other forest management activities entirely from the Endangered Species Act.

(3) Closes the Courthouse Doors

The bill also limits the ability of citizens to challenge bad agency action in court. The bill would prohibit temporary injunctions and preliminary injunctions against “salvage” logging projects, virtually guaranteeing that logging will occur before a court can hear a challenge. The bill prevents plaintiffs from recovering attorneys’ fees if they win. While money is never the object of a lawsuit, the ability to recover fees is critical to enable public interest environmental lawyers to take cases for poor nonprofits like EPIC. Finally, it moves many forest management activities out from our federal courts to a “binding arbitration” program, whereby an agency-appointed arbitrator’s decision would decide the fate of projects.

(4) Shifts Money from Restoration to Logging

In a sneaky move, the proposed legislation would move money earmarked for forest restoration projects to logging. By adding one small phrase—“include the sale of timber or other forest products”—the bill would mandate timber sales as part of at least half of certain stewardship projects.


Breaking: EPIC Sues to Stop Richardson Grove Project Again

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Environmental groups and local residents today sued the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for approving a highway-widening project that would damage or destroy 1,000- to 2,000-year-old redwood trees in California’s iconic Richardson Grove State Park, along Highway 101 in Humboldt County.

Today’s lawsuit, filed in Humboldt County Superior Court, challenges the transportation agency’s latest approval of the controversial project. Three previous legal challenges blocked construction and forced Caltrans to rescind all project approvals in 2014. Caltrans quietly reapproved the project last month, purportedly to improve highway access for oversized commercial trucks.

“Caltrans keeps pushing this nonsensical project that would do terrible damage to ancient redwoods in our state park, with no benefits to the community,” said Aruna Prabhala, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “There’s just no compelling traffic or safety reason to destroy these beautiful trees. The changes Caltrans claims it’s made to the project won’t protect more than 100 giant redwoods from being damaged or killed.”

The “Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project” would cut into and pave over the roots of more than 100 of Richardson Grove’s ancient redwoods, including trees up to 2,000 years old, 18 feet in diameter and 300 feet tall. Caltrans has pursued this project solely to benefit passage for oversized commercial trucks and continues to rely on inadequate environmental review.

“EPIC is disappointed that Caltrans has continued to push forward, ignoring previous court warnings about the need to honestly evaluate the effects of its road widening on old-growth redwoods,” said Tom Wheeler, executive director and staff attorney at the Environmental Protection Information Center. “Caltrans’ road widening shows no respect for sacred parkland and irreplaceable ancient trees.”

“Caltrans does not seem to get that we the people, by law, have a place at the table when important decisions are made affecting our environment, and in the case of this iconic and beloved grove of ancient redwoods, just how important it is to protect irreplaceable magnificent old trees when decisions made are of such consequences,” said Patty Clary, executive director of Californians for Alternatives to Toxics.

Today’s suit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity; the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC); Californians for Alternatives to Toxics; Friends of Del Norte; and longtime local residents Bess Bair, Trisha Lee Lotus, Jeffrey Hedin and David Spreen. The suit challenges Caltrans’ violations of the California Environmental Quality Act, and inadequate evaluation of environmental impacts, a misleading conclusion that the project would have no significant impact on the environment, and a flawed determination that none of the proposed highway alterations would threaten the stability of any old-growth redwoods.


Richardson Grove State Park, where tourists often first encounter large redwoods when heading north on Highway 101, is home to one of the last protected stands of accessible old-growth redwood trees in the world and is a jewel of the state park system. The park also contains essential habitat for threatened and endangered species such as the northern spotted owl, and its creeks support runs of imperiled salmon and steelhead trout.

Caltrans first proposed the project in 2007, claiming the highway-widening is needed to accommodate large-truck travel. However, Caltrans acknowledges that Highway 101 through Richardson Grove is already designated for larger trucks and does not have significant safety problems. The agency cannot demonstrate that the project is necessary for safety or would benefit the local economy.

There has been substantial local opposition to the project, led by the Save Richardson Grove Coalition, a diverse group of community members including economists, business owners, scientists and Northern California tribes with longstanding ties to the grove. In 2012 a federal court stopped the project, citing numerous errors in Caltrans’ mapping and measurement of affected old-growth redwoods and stating that the agency had been “arbitrary and capricious” in its use of what the court called “faulty data.” In 2014 a California Court of Appeal ordered Caltrans to reevaluate the environmental impacts of the project under state law, finding that it had failed to fully assess impacts on ancient redwoods or provide measures to reduce potentially severe harm to the trees.

Caltrans re-approved the project again and now claims it made changes to better protect old-growth redwood trees, such as impacting fewer trees, less excavation, and less depth of surface pavement.

However, the “changes” to the project do not markedly differ from what the courts previously rejected as inadequate, and Caltrans has not answered the questions and concerns raised about structural damage to redwoods from cutting into their roots.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs in this suit are Philip Gregory of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP; Stuart Gross of Gross & Klein LLP; and Sharon Duggan, a staff attorney with EPIC and a long-time expert on environmental law.

Click here to read the petition.

Click here to view additional articles about Richardson Grove.


California Finalizes Listing of Northern Spotted Owl

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

EPIC’s Forest and Wildlife Advocate Rob Diperna at the Fish and Game Commission Hearing 6/21/17 advocating for listing northern spotted owls under the California Endangered Species Act.

The California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to adopt findings to support its August 2016 decision that listing the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), as a “threatened” species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) is warranted. At its regularly-scheduled meeting on June 21, 2017 in Smith River, CA, the Commission ratified and formalized its decision that the spotted owl warrants protection and conservation under California State Law, ending a nearly five-year listing process that began in August 2012 with a listing petition brought by EPIC.

Why Do Findings Matter?

Findings might seem like a dry matter, but they are critically important. The findings adopted by the Commission reflect the reasons why the Commission acted. Knowing this, the timber industry attempted to manipulate the findings to state that their bad behavior plays no role in the owls’ decline. At the meeting, timber industry lobbyists were in full force, pleading with the Commission to find that their logging does not harm the spotted owl and instead point all the blame at the threat posed by competitive barred owls (Strix varina). Despite their pleas, the Commission nevertheless unanimously ratified its listing decision which maintained that logging is a prime cause of spotted owl decline.

In the interceding months from the August 2016 listing decision and now, California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have been traveling around the state meeting with interested stakeholders, including EPIC staff, to discuss possible needs to address both barred owl and ongoing habitat loss and modification on private forestlands in the State.

In the wake of the Commission’s decision, EPIC is poised to re-engage the California Board of Forestry, which in 2013 declined an EPIC-sponsored petition to change forest practice rules pertaining to protection of spotted owls during the course of private lands timber operations on the basis that the Board did not want to “muddy the waters,” or confuse the decision pending before the Commission regarding the listing.

Vigilance, tenacity, and hard-hitting no-nonsense advocacy: as always, EPIC gets results.


Free EPIC Hike through the Ewok Forest of Endor!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Join EPIC for a Redwood hike through Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park on July 9th, 2017.  This hike will meander through an enchanted forest landscape where Star Wars Return of the Jedi was filmed.  The stunning old growth and pristine Smith River along the Stout Grove hiking trail makes it one of the most beautiful places on the North Coast.

Pack a picnic lunch for the gravel riverbar to enjoy at the end of the hike.

This .6 mile loop is well-maintained trail and designed to be accessible to almost anyone. Please come prepared with water and hiking shoes, as well as swimming gear so that you can fully enjoy the Wild and Scenic Smith River after the hike.

Meet-up is at the EPIC office in Arcata, located at 145 G Street, Suite A, at 10 a.m. As always, if you come, please be prepared for our local conditions and for the conditions generally found in our forests. Please wear appropriate clothing and foot ware, bring food, and water, and anything else you may need to be comfortable and safe in the forest. There is a strict NO DOGS rule in place for all our 2017 Redwood Hikes series, so please leave your furry friends at home.

For further information, or to RSVP, please call the EPIC office at: 707-822-7711 or email

This hike is free and all ages are welcome 🙂  Click here to join and share on social media!