Archive for June, 2010

Stop Herbicide Sprays Near Your Home

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Last week, EPIC received a phone call from a concerned community member who explained that PG&E was spraying chemicals on her property, near the well she uses for drinking water. We referred the dangerous situation to our close ally, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. The following dispatch and action alert has since been distributed by CATS in response to the inquiry.

We encourage everyone to monitor the health of our shared environment. No one knows your back yard better than you.  If you witness a crime being committed against the environment, take action by alerting the proper authority.

Stop Herbicide Sprays Near Your Home

Courtesy of Californians for Alternatives to Toxics

Last week, a concerned Humboldt County resident contacted Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) to report PG&E cutting trees and spraying vegetation on her property in Freshwater without the owner’s consent.

Davey Tree Company, working on behalf of PG&E, cut two trees and sprayed Garlon 4, a triclopyr formulation herbicide made by Dow Agro Sciences, near the resident’s year-round springs and well. Triclopyr has been shown to disrupt the normal growth and nutrient cycling properties of microorganisms, fungi and mosses, as well as having moderate toxicity to amphibians.

While it is currently unknown exactly where and how much was sprayed, other PG&E rights-of-ways may have been sprayed with Garlon 4 in the Jacoby Creek neighborhood. CATs is currently investigating and attempting to contact PG&E’s vegetation management department who is notoriously difficult to reach.

PG&E cannot spray toxic chemicals on your property without consent. If you see a spray crew in your neighborhood, ask the crew what they are spraying and ask to see a Material Safety Data Sheet (required to be on premise of all pesticide applications). Contact neighbors, your district supervisor and report the spraying to CATs. Late Spring and early Summer is generally a heavy pesticide use time of year. Avoid dead, yellow-looking grass around power poles and utility boxes, and keep children and pets indoors if spraying occurs near you.

Challenging the Richardson Grove plan: It’s just the beginning

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Former US Congressmen Pete McCloskey works to protect Richardson Grove.

It’s been one week since EPIC and our allies filed a lawsuit challenging the Caltrans plan to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park. In addition, we established the Richardson Grove Legal Fund, and made a fundraising challenge to our supporters to match donations and raise $5000 in one week.

We have seen great success through the announcement of the lawsuit through favorable and extensive media coverage across the state of California. In addition, thanks to supporters like you, we have surpassed our kick-off goal of $5000!

Of course, a lawsuit and state wide campaign depend on continued donations. We sincerely appreciate the support and look forward to continue to provide high quality advocacy work in defense of the Humboldt County and the old growth redwoods in Richardson Grove State Park. If you haven’t already pledged your support, please take a moment and join the effort.

I also encourage you to take a look at the legal challenge that we wrote with our co-plaintiffs and incredible team of first-rate attorneys.  The well-crafted words in the complaint layout 14 points to review, the first of which lays out the issue: This is a case of Trees vs Trucks.

In addition to the legal advocacy, we have been busy reaching out in every way possible to build our public campaign. We celebrated with the local community at the Southern Humboldt Arts and Music Festival, and took the message to the Fairfax Festival, with a booth at Ecofest. These adventures returned almost 1000 signed opposition postcards to the Governor, and the material support of selling over 100 Save Richardson Grove t-shirts to supporters.

Lastly, this week we hosted an unconventional format on Tuesday, during KMUD’s Environment Show. During the show, we heard live in the studio from Joanne Rand, Bud Rogers, Jan Bramlett and Jefferson Parsons. These dedicated activists sang songs they had written specifically to support the Save Richardson Grove campaign.

During the show we made a call out to musicians, artists, poets, performers and the like, who want to join in the movement to protect this important place by contributing their important skills to the campaign. To join in this effort and make a creative contribution to the larger campaign, please write kerul

Of course, this is only the beginning. If we are to succeed in providing real protection for the ancient trees in Richardson Grove State Park and the long term sustainability of Humboldt County, we must take these seeds and plant them. We are looking into the future to several large, public events, including coordinating with Tree Spirit Project photographer Jack Gescheidt in his effort to organize a photograph, host a large gathering with exciting special guest musicians, and more.

Right now, we are busy preparing activist toolkits for satellite organizers to use to garner support for the campaign across California. We plan to include postcards, colorful brochures, stickers, posters and other materials in the packets. Please write to request yours!

Ongoing funding will be needed to see this campaign through, so the trees are safely protected. If you have not already, you can still help by pledging your support. Again, thanks to all of the donations our supporters have sent in, these are the folks who made it possible to take the first step to filing this lawsuit.

Now that EPIC has sent out our press release the story has hit the headlines.  You can view and share various articles by clicking here.  Feel free to check them out and leave comments letting them know how you feel about the project.

Thanks for the amazing work everyone!

Kerul Dyer

Save Richardson Grove Campaign coordinator

Eye on Green Diamond: Aerial Mission 1 Clearcuts

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Last month, EPIC’s Green Diamond Stop Clearcutting Campaign staff and volunteers flew over the timber giant’s patchwork ownership in Humboldt County. This truth-telling mission included video documentation by the Klamath-Salmon Media Collaborative shown here on EPIC’s new Youtube Channel.

From a bird’s eye view, the company’s reliance on clear cut logging and chemical herbicides across their ownership becomes crystal clear.  A century of bad logging by Simpson Timber and their corporate partner Green Diamond Resource Company has left behind a barren patchwork of clearcuts across whole watersheds as is visible in the short film.

Of course many important forest groves still remain across Green Diamond’s 430,000 acres, that must be protected. The forests could regenerate for future generations if the company weened themselves from boom and bust logging habits and integrated sustained yields into their planning process. With rotations of around 45 years, how do they expect these sensitive forest ecosystems to recover from the blade?

EPIC and Allies File Suit to Protect Ancient Redwoods From Caltrans Project

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Today EPIC and our allies filed suit to protect the ancient redwoods in Richardson Grove State Park from Caltrans’ ill-conceived plan to widen Highway 101. We are very pleased to have the pro-bono support of the Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy law firm, including the inspiration of Pete McCloskey, former US Congressman and veteran environmental advocate.

We are teaming up with the Center for Biological Diversity, Californians for Alternatives to Toxins and local citizens Loreen Eliason, Trisha Lee Lotus, Bruce Edwards and Jeff Hedin in our upcoming court battle.

Our plaintiff group is confident that we can protect the ancient trees at Richardson Grove, and unravel the misinformation campaign that Caltrans, big business interests and local officials have waged to promote the project.

I want to offer a special thank you to all of the amazing supporters who have made our own challenge to raise $5000 in one week to support this effort. With your help, we have had great success in exceeding our goal!

Please take a moment and read our joint press release, and keep checking back for more updates.

This filing marks an important elevation in our campaign to protect the grove, but it is only the beginning.

In addition to winning on legal merits, we must continue to build momentum so that we also might win in another, very important arena. The court of public opinion has been swayed by years of lobbying and deal-making by a few businesses influencing Caltrans and local officials to support this disastrous project.

To achieve these efforts, we will need volunteers and further financial support, as well as the support of our cultural activists, including musicians, poets and artists who support our campaign to protect Richardson Grove.We look forward to bringing our community a number of entertaining events locally to highlight the offerings made to us from a plethra of artists.

We look forward to finding many more creative ways for people who oppose this project to participate in a grassroots campaign to protect these ancient trees from harm.

Additionally, please feel free to download our Endorsed Richardson Grove Complaint (petition for writ of mandate).

Thanks for your attention!

Kerul Dyer

Richardson Grove Campaign Coordinator

Eye On Green Diamond: Week 10

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

This week in our Eye on Green Diamond dispatch, Rob Diperna has written about issues surrounding the vulnerable Pacific Fisher population within Green Diamond’s ownership boundaries. These small carnivores have become something of a mascot for our team at EPIC, as they have somehow survived a century of boom and bust logging. Without further protections like those provided through the California Endangered Species Act, the Pacific Fisher will likely face more of the same: loss of habitat and food sources.

Now is the time for Green Diamond to take actions to protect these important mammals, by improving their practices across the forests within their ownership.

Thanks for reading!

~Kerul Dyer

Green Diamond Stop Clearcutting Campaign

Green Diamond and the Pacific Fisher

by Rob Diperna

The Fish and Game Commission is on the verge of deciding on the listing petition to protect the Pacific Fisher as “threatened” under the California Endangered Species Act. This action is urgently needed as Pacific Fisher populations decline and there is currently no regulatory mechanism to protect them.  The fisher is a specialized forest carnivore related to weasels and otters inhabiting mature and old-growth forests. They are arboreal hunters and are associated with dense canopy areas.

Pacific Fisher populations have been found throughout lands owned by Green Diamond.  In the past, Green Diamond has taken no measures to protect Pacific Fisher habitat other than to protect nests if discovered during logging.  Green Diamond does not survey for Pacific Fisher other than the use of track plates.  This method does not provide an adequate mechanism to determine population size and trends. This method also does not suffice to protect Pacific Fisher in the absence of Timber Harvest Plan level surveys. (more…)

Kick-off for EPIC’s Richardson Grove Legal Fund

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Please help us achieve our goal of raising $5000 in one week.

Please help EPIC protect the old growth redwoods in Richardson Grove State Park. With your help, we can ensure the grove remains fully protected.

Right now, EPIC needs your help to make the kick-off for our Richardson Grove Legal Fund a success.

Already  four dedicated people have pledged to match up to $2500 to support the kick-off.

Will you be a part of the EPIC Challenge, and pledge your support this week?

Ancient redwoods are some of the tallest and oldest living things on earth. Old growth redwood forests provide important habitat for endangered species and a cathedral-like, peaceful setting for personal reflection. The incredible roots of these trees provide the lifeblood for their health and the structural integrity they need to stand tall. (more…)

Stop Illegal Hunting in Tolowa Dunes State Park

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Take action now to stop hunting in Tolowa Dunes State Park.  The California Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) is planning to transfer interest in approximately 1200 acres of the Tolowa Dunes State Park to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).  The asserted purpose of this transfer is to allow hunting on this portion of the State Park land. However, hunting is not a legally permissible use of State Parks land.

The proposed transfer of State Park land is being considered and Parks intends to proceed with this transfer without public review, without compliance with the environmental regulations pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), without application for a Coastal Development Permit pursuant to the Coastal Act, and without regard to the terms and conditions which apply for management of State Parks, including those specific to Tolowa Dunes State Park.

This proposed action is being taken because Parks refuses to enforce the law which prohibits hunting in Tolowa Dunes State Parks, and rather than be bothered with enforcement, Parks is poised to transfer the land to allow hunting in violation of the law.

Parks is prepared to act in violation of the law, without any public process, and the proposed transfer is politically motivated in that Parks senior management are apparently trying to appease Governor Schwarzenegger, who is in turn appeasing hunters who wish to use State Parks lands for hunting.  This is a major betrayal of the public trust as well as a violation of other laws.

It is widely understood that the people of California want our State Parks to be protected, accessible, and adequately funded. The notion that a state agency would give away public State Parks land is outrageous. (more…)

Habitat Conservation Plan: Too Good To Be True?

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

hcpEPIC recently submitted scoping comments on Green Diamond’s new Northern Spotted Owl Habitat Conservation Plan proposal. The new HCP is meant to supersede the existing document and Incidental Take Permits and issue new ones.

Habitat Conservation Plans are a method via the Endangered Species Act whereby landowners can obtain Incidental Take Permits (ITP) for a listed species.  ITPs allow what are considered ‘lawful activities’ i.e. logging, to result in “incidental take” i.e., habitat modification, harm, harassment, or take of a listed species. In exchange, mitigations are proposed, such as set-aside areas.  Despite the name, a Habitat Conservation Plan is more like a habitat modification strategy. (more…)