Archive for May, 2011

Send a Letter for Spring Chinook Salmon

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The Klamath and Trinity River system was once the third-largest producer of salmon and steelhead on the West Coast, but now produces fewer and fewer wild fish as a result of antiquated dams, habitat degradation and massive water withdrawals.  Dams and dewatering have made hundreds of miles of spawning habitat inaccessible or unusable. As the National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) considers listing the Chinook salmon, the agency must use the best available science.  Importantly, political and economic arguments may not influence the decision to list the species.

Please take a moment to support the recovery of wild spring Chinook salmon in the Klamath Basin, by writing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). – Comments close June 13th.

The agency has been reviewing the status of the fish after registering a positive “90 day finding”, the first step to listing the Upper Klamath-Trinity Chinook salmon under the federal Endangered Species Act. The agency has the power to make a real difference for these fish, by acting swiftly and decisively for the recovery of this species.

Nearly ten years after the horrific 2002 fish kill on the Klamath that resulted in tens of thousands of dead salmon washing up on the river bar, a tremendous effort by local river communities, Tribal governments and environmental organizations has emerged to improve conditions for the fish. While complex negotiations, litigation and legislative strategies are on going, the fish continue to face grave threats.

Now marks an opportunity for people concerned about salmon to tell the agency representative why you think these salmon need protections offered under the Endangered Species Act. To send a letter, click here.

Links to relevant documents:

Federal Register Positive 90-day Finding on Petition to List Chinook Salmon

Petition to List Upper Klamath Chinook Salmon as a Threatened or Endangered Species

Klamath River Expert Panel – Scientific Assessment of Two Dam Removal Alternatives on Chinook Salmon –  Draft Report

EPIC Files Motion to Stop Richardson Grove Project

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
Challenge Seeks to Halt Highway Project That Would Destroy Ancient Redwoods

SAN FRANCISCO— A coalition of conservation groups and local residents today asked a federal judge to stop California transportation officials from moving ahead with a controversial highway project that would jeopardize ancient stands of redwood trees in northern California’s Richardson Grove State Park: Case No.3:10-cv-04360 WHA (below).

The coalition seeks to halt plans by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to realign a section of Highway 101 that winds through old-growth redwoods in the park. The work would require crews to dig into the roots of towering redwoods that stand along the highway within park boundaries. Today’s filing asks a judge to stop the project until legal proceedings are complete.

The threat of possibly fatal damage to the prized ancient trees, as well as harm to sensitive wildlife posed by the controversial project, is driving today’s legal challenge, which is the second filed by the coalition. Caltrans has failed to evaluate impacts of the project in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

“The importance of this old-growth redwood stand, in view of the important heritage of the redwood forest, requires special consideration before projects that would impact the stand are allowed to go forward,” (see attached) Joe McBride, a professor of forestry and landscape architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, said in today’s filing. “Substantial, irreparable damage would occur to the trees in the project area. This would, in turn, cause negative impacts to the overall health of the forest.”

McBride’s finding is based on his scientific review of the potential of impacts to each tree along the project route — a review plaintiffs show Caltrans failed to undertake.

“This project will cause major damage to one of our most prized state parks,” said Gary Hughes of the Environmental Protection Information Center, one of the plaintiff groups and spokesman for the coalition. “For Caltrans to railroad this multimillion-dollar project by grossly understating its impacts is a violation of the public’s trust and a wasteful use of taxpayer money.”

“With less than 3 percent of our ancient redwood trees remaining, we cannot allow Caltrans to injure and kill the precious giant trees of Richardson Grove State Park,” said Peter Galvin, conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We will fight this project to the end, no matter how long it takes.”

Plaintiffs are Trisha Lee Lotus, Bess Bair, Bruce Edwards, Jeffrey Hedin, Loreen Eliason, Environmental Protection Information Center, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and the Center for Biological Diversity. They are represented by a team that includes Philip Gregory and former congressman “Pete” McCloskey of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, a law firm in San Francisco.

Click the links below to view the Original Documents:

Preliminary Injunction Motion Press Release

Plantiffs Motion Preliminary Injunction Memo

McBride’s Expert Declaration for Preliminary Injunction

Caribou Fire Project

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Caribou Fire
The Caribou Fire area on the Wild and Scenic South Fork Salmon River on the Klamath National Forest was logged the past few summers.  EPIC was able to get some of the best snag habitat saved for wildlife.  The Forest Service’s environmental analysis (EA) was replete with “Project Design Features” and “Best Management Practices” that were put in place to protect fisheries, hydrology, soils and wildlife.  However, after on-the-ground monitoring we discovered multiple inconsistencies between the EA and what is actually happening on the ground.

Countless mitigations were ignored.  The Forest Service severely failed to meet their promises, surveys for threatened and sensitive species were not completed, most all of the largest snags and large logs that were to remain standing or within the logged areas were removed, all of the hardwood snags were removed and sold as firewood, despite the requirement for it to remain on the landscape, riparian areas were logged and much of the work took place during rainy weather.

We were extremely disappointed to discover the broad swath of disparity separating the Caribou Project description from the reality of what actually has occurred in this Key watershed that, is critical for Salmon recovery.  Further, this project cost over $1.6 million dollars to plan, the contractor paid a less than $50,000 and did not make a profit, leaving taxpayers holding the bill for the destruction of their national forest.

To add insult to injury the Klamath National Forest is not being held accountable.  There is no recourse that can come to them aside from your public outcry.

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Snags in Riparian Reserve.
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Post-fire recovery in the Caribou.
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Large snag marked for cut in the Caribou Salvage sale.
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Two large snags marked to be cut alongside a recovering creek.
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Native plants and insects return to burnt landscapes following fire.
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Native birds such as this woodpecker take advantage of the post-fire landscape.
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Seasonal ponds form in depressions caused by bears wallowing (rolling around) in the soil.
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou post-fire, pre-salvage logging implementation: Unit 8 and large snags
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou post-fire, pre-salvage logging implementation: Unit 8 and large snags
Caribou Pre-Salvage

Caribou Pre-Salvage

These four foot snags were saved by EPIC.
Caribou Post-Salvage

Caribou Post-Salvage

Post Salvage Logging: the hillsides along Caribou have been ravaged.
Caribou Post-Salvage

Caribou Post-Salvage

Unit 10 of the Caribou Salvage Sale. The hillside is left barren and desolate.
Caribou Post-Salvage

Caribou Post-Salvage

Post-Salavage Logging of Caribou's Unit 8.
Caribou Post-Salvage

Caribou Post-Salvage

Logging equipment leaking oil and fuel into the ground.
Caribou Post-Salvage

Caribou Post-Salvage

The non-merchantable timber is culled, rejected, and left to waste on the log landing.
Caribou Post-Salvage

Caribou Post-Salvage

Unit 10: the hillside is left barren and desolate.


Liquidation logging—The story of Green Diamond in Maple Creek

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Green Diamond Resource Company (aka Simpson Timber) owns approximately 400,000 acres of highly valuable and productive redwood forest on the North Coast.  Despite the green-washing of the company name, the intensive and damaging logging practices of the old regime has not changed.  The Maple Creek watershed serves as a stark and grizzly example of intensive and systematic liquidation of forest resources as practiced by Green Diamond/Simpson.

Maple Creek is a perennial fish-bearing stream that drains to Big Lagoon, and then the Pacific Ocean. Maple Creek supports threatened populations of Coho and Chinook salmon, as well as anadramous Steelhead trout. The Maple Creek watershed has been subjected to a high and rate of very intense harvest over the last 13 years. The Maple Creek watershed totals 16,841 acres . According to Calfire’s GIS database of logging plans, between 1997 and 2009, 63 percent of the watershed has been logged. Over the next ten years, Green Diamond/Simpson plans to log 5,063 more acres, or 30 percent of the Maple Creek watershed.  This would bring the total logging in the watershed to 93 percent over a 23-year period.  Approximately 75 percent of the total logging over that time will be clearcutting.

The intensive and systematic liquidation of forest resources in the Maple Creek watershed left the watershed devoid of a variety of forest ages and types, and has resulted in the loss of habitat structure and complexity necessary to support the variety of wildlife that once inhabited the watershed.  In particular, the intensive rate of clearcutting in Maple Creek has lead to large-scale conversion of recovering forests to moonscapes and plantations. 

The Maple Creek watershed is just one of many examples of Green Diamond/Simpson’s overall management goals– intensive evenaged management that relies heavily on the application of clearcuts and herbicides, short forest stand rotations, and ultimately, forest liquidation. Public agencies such as the Department of Forestry (Cal Fire) and the Department of Fish and Game have utterly failed to uphold the law and applicable forest practices regulations in the context of the high rate and intensity of logging in the Maple Creek watershed.  These agencies have failed to enforce meaningful limits on logging rate and intensity in Maple Creek, resulting in the accumulation of logging impacts to fish, wildlife, streams, and forests. 

Green Diamond/Simpson’s heavy-handed approach reveals a fatal flaw in the paradigm of private industrial forestry; Logging without limits leads to watershed liquidation, and subsequently, harm to fish, wildlife, streams, and forests.  The rampant and pervasive use of clearcutting, herbicides, short rotations, and plantations on Green Diamond/Simpson lands betrays a lack of adequate regulatory methods and control, as well as exposing the wizard behind the curtain: A large out-of-town corporate entity that disregards the law, the viability of the forests, and the recovery of fish and wildlife in favor of conversion, liquidation, and sterilization of forest resources. 

EPIC is committed to confronting the intensive industrial management of our forest resources and changing the dominant management paradigm on Green Diamond/Simpson lands.  Restoration forestry, community forests, and ecologically justifiable forestry are all viable alternatives to the intensive, whole-sale liquidation of forest recourses in the Maple Creek watershed.  We will continue to advocate for these and other ecologically viable alternatives in hopes of creating a new management regime that will be more viable now and into the future.

Save the Date: June 16th Presentation on Green Diamond.  Join us in Trinidad- Location TBA

Green Diamond Planning Watersheds: Cear-cuts Near Maple Creek and Little River.

State Parks Slated for Closure

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Grizzly Creek State Park, Slated for Closure

Our state parks are slated for the budget crisis chopping block.  This will affect many important parks within our region, including Standish Hickey State Recreation Area, Benbow Lake State Recreation Area, Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, Fort Humboldt State Historic Park and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. Click here to view a map of the state parks slated for closure and to ask your state representative to stop state park closures.

On Friday May 13, Governor Jerry Brown released revisions to his budget proposal, which included major cutbacks and tax increases to bring our state’s almost $35 billion deficit into the black.  The Legislature in March approved $11 million in immediate cuts to state parks.  As a result of these budget cutbacks, State Parks officials announced the scheduled closure of 70 parks, including five in Humboldt County.   The parks are expected to be fully closed on July 1, 2012, but service cutbacks – including reduced hours and amenities will start this summer. 

EPIC’s Gary Hughes spoke with Elizabeth Goldstein, Executive Director of the California State Parks Foundation on the KMUD Environment Show.  Listen to the show here.

The California State Parks System was directed to identify which parks would be closed based on attendance rates and historical significance.  Parks officials said they tried to protect the most significant cultural and natural resources, while maintaining the parks that provided the most public access and state revenue.

There are two bills that may help keep our parks open.   SB 580 (Wolk/Kehoe), could enact strong, statewide policy to protect our state park system to preserve the integrity of California’s state park system and protect taxpayers’ investments in our state parks.  Additionally, AB 42 (Huffman) helps encourage partnerships by allowing the Department of Parks and Recreation to enter into operating agreements with nonprofit organizations in order to help keep state parks open and accessible to the public.

For a full list of the closures from the parks department click here.

Help Stop Logging on the Wild and Scenic Salmon River

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Click Here to Take Action

The Salmon River Ranger District on the Klamath National Forest (KNF) is proposing to log 70 acres in old growth habitat on the Wild and Scenic Salmon River.  The Little Cronan Gulch Timber Sale is three miles outside the town of Sawyers Bar adjacent to the Little North Fork of Salmon River, which is an important wildlife corridor between the Marble mountain and Trinity Alps Wilderness areas.

Wild and Scenic River Corridor

The North Fork of the Salmon River is designated as a National Wild and Scenic River system based on its anadromous fisheries values. The North Fork and its tributaries provide 40 miles of habitat for spring and fall run Chinook salmon, winter and summer steelhead, winter Coho salmon and Pacific lamprey as well as many other native fish.  These watersheds are critical for the survival of Salmon.

Turning Trails into Logging Roads in Riparian Reserves (Streamsides)

The KNF is proposing to turn a popular trailhead into a logging road for approximately 2/3 of a mile.  This trail is directly adjacent and within a perennial streamside that leads to the Salmon River.  The Garden Gulch trail leads to Mud Lake and the Marble Mountain Wilderness.  Logging is intended to be all ground based, meaning possibly with bulldozers along with new landings and multiple skid roads.

Wildlife Habitat and Connectivity

The Cronan Gulch watershed was designated as Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) Critical Habitat in 1992.  The same area was proposed for helicopter logging in the 1990’s as part of the Knob Timber Sale, which was litigated and the federal judge eliminated these timber sale “units” because they were in Critical Habitat.   The Bush Administration attempted to eradicate thousands of acres of Critical Habitat and this watershed was one of them. EPIC challenged this plan in court and even though the Fish and Wildlife Service remanded the ill conceived plan and is currently writing NSO Recovery Plan the Salmon River Ranger district is moving as quickly as possible to log the area before Critical Habitat is reinstated.

The Forest Service (FS) itself has already determined that this watershed is an important wildlife corridor.  Some of the project area is within Late-Successional Reserves (LSR), which is supposed to protect and enhance conditions of old-growth forest ecosystems, which serve as habitat for old-growth related species. The FS has not surveyed to see if Threatened, Endangered, Sensitive and rare species such as the Pacific fisher exist in the project area.

The following are a few excerpts from FS planning documents:

“It is desirable to minimize the negative effects of roading within the LSRs, including a reduction in the amount of road related sediment within the watershed.”

Late Successional Reserve Assessment (LSRA).

“Reducing road densities on unstable lands within LSRs is likely to provide the greatest benefit to aquatic resources and is the highest priority.” -LSRA 1-22

“It is important to understand that some risk associated with fire and insects is acceptable because they are natural forces influencing late successional forest development.” – Land Resource Management Plan 4-105 (more…)

EPIC Challenge for Richardson Grove

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Challenge for EPIC’s Richardson Grove Legal Fund:

We need to raise $10,000 this week

Please help us achieve our goal!

Please join EPIC in protecting the old growth redwood ecosystem in Richardson Grove State Park. With your help, we can ensure the grove receives the type of stewardship that a world-class park deserves. For the last four years EPIC has successfully stopped Caltrans from starting construction on their ill-conceived project. To continue in those efforts, we need your support right now.

I am writing today to ask for your help to raise ten thousand dollars, for our Richardson Grove Legal Fund.

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. These globally famous organisms are found nowhere else on the planet except for Northern California.

Caltrans has plans to impact the structural root zone of at least 87 trees, averaging about eight feet wide, within Richardson Grove State Park.

Caltrans claims that their actions will not hurt the trees, but the California State Parks issued guidelines that clearly direct the agency on how to conduct their construction projects within parks. (more…)

Hawthorne/Campbell Logging Plans Threaten Mendocino Coho

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Photo Courtesy of NOAA

Click Here to Take Action Now!

The Hawthorne/Campbell logging plans in Mendocino County threaten to impact critical habitat for endangered Coho Salmon in the Ten Mile River watershed.  THPs 1-10-078MEN, “Starvation Red” and 1-10-093MEN “Davis Yellow” threaten to directly impact Coho through misclassification of watercourses and subsequent application of inappropriate protection measures for streams that influence fish-bearing streams.  These plans also threaten to combine with a high rate and intensity of harvest to create cumulative impacts to Coho and Coho habitat.

These two THPs are implementing what is known as the “Anadramous Salmonid Protection Rules” adopted by the California Board of Forestry in 2009.  These rules have been decried by the NOAA Fisheries Service as inadequate and unlikely to avoid harm to listed fish species in Northern California.   In the case of “Starvation Red” and “Davis Yellow,” Hawthorne/Campbell is fundamentally misinterpreting  these already inadequate rules for the purpose of providing less protection to streams that influence flow, sediment, large wood, and nutrients in fish-bearing streams.  The end result could lead to direct impact to Coho and Coho habitat. The Department of Fish and Game has recommended correct classification of these streams and application of appropriate protections.  Hawthorne/Campbell has thus far refused to incorporate the DFG recommendations into these plans.

The Ten Mile River watershed is listed as impaired under the Federal Clean Water Act due to excessive sediment and temperature.  Coho are known to be hanging on in the Ten Mile, though recent surveys for Hawthorne/Campbell Timberlands is lacking.  The Bald Hills Creek region of the Ten Mile River basin, much of which is owned by Hawthorne/Campbell, has been subject to a high rate and intensity of harvest over the last 10-15 years.  The Department of Fish and Game field staff has expressed serious concerns over the combined impacts of these plans when recent past and future logging is considered, and has made recommendations aimed at lessening the potential for these combined impacts, including changing logging from clearcut to selection in some areas.

Coho salmon in the Central California Coast are on the brink of extinction.  According to Ms. Charlotte Ambrose of the NOAA Fisheries Service, the Coho are now going the way of the Condor.  Coho are so threatened as a wild population in the Central California Coast region that captive breeding and release may be the only way to save the Coho from complete extinction.  (more…)

Speak Up for the Snowy Plover

Monday, May 16th, 2011
Western Snowy Plover.  Photo Courtesy of


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to increase the land designated as critical habitat for the Pacific Coast population of the western snowy plover, a threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act. The snowy plover loves wild, undeveloped beaches, estuaries and river bars in our region. Like many of us, the plover frequents the same coastal locations that we enjoy too, but is easily stressed by too much disturbance. There is enough room for us all, but there are a few special places that really need to be protected for the plover. EPIC supports maximum protection for plovers throughout their range and is especially concerned about habitat in Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino counties.The proposed rule, including detailed maps, can be found at:

Please support the snowy plover by submitting comments to the FWS by Monday, May 23, 2011. Comments and information can be submitted electronically to the Fish and Wildlife Service. EPIC encourages individuals to make the following points in comments:

  1. The FWS should remove “disturbance” or “undisturbed areas” from the primary constituent elements defining critical habitat. Instead, “disturbance” should be part of the discussion relating to special management considerations and specifically included as an “activity’ that destroys or adversely modifies critical habitat.
  2. The FWS should extend Unit CA-1 (Lake Earl) to include the entire beach north to the Smith River, including the river mouth and gravel bars. Off-road vehicle disturbance in this area is a significant concern
  3. The FWS should maximize designations in Units CA-2 (Gold Bluffs Beach), CA-3 (Humboldt Lagoons), CA-4 (Clam Beach/Little River), CA-5 (Humboldt Bay, South Spit / Eel River, South Spit & Beach), CA-6 (Eel River Gravel Bars), CA-7 (MacKerricher Beach), and CA-8 (Manchester Beach).
  4. The FWS should include habitat buffers within the designation around both occupied and unoccupied habitat.

Klamath Dams Must Go: EPIC Works to Restore Clean, Clear Water

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

The dams in the Klamath River obstruct fish passage to the upper basin and degrade water quality. For salmon, these dams create an impossible obstacle in their journey home. For river communities, the dams threaten cultural survival and public health. Today EPIC joined an effort to press the California State Water Resources Control Board to address the issue by reviewing PacifiCorp’s application for 401 certification. To compliment the the work of dozens of organizations and Tribal governments working to remove the dams through the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement/Klamath Hydro Settlement Agreement, EPIC is pursuing this initiative in order to press the process forward.

This spring and summer, EPIC expects to see a draft Environmental Impact Statement on the KBRA and draft legislation that has the potential to drive rapid dam removal on the Klamath. We will work steadily and in regional coalition until water quality is improved, flows are sufficient, dams are out of the river, and the salmon can return home.

For the last ten years, EPIC has worked to protect and restore the Klamath-Trinity Watersheds by fighting destructive logging, road building, mining, and grazing proposals on national forests by engaging in every process available.   Our work to protect clean and clear water in the basin includes supporting the recovery of endangered species like the coho and chinook salmon. This year, in addition to submitting a petition to list the Upper Klamath Spring Chinook Salmon under the Endangered Species Act, we participated in a successful lawsuit targeting the California Department of Fish and Game’s lack of enforcement for listed endangered coho salmon on two major tributaries to the Klamath, the Scott and Shasta rivers. In addition, we are engaged in fighting in-river gold mining operations that further threaten river health and fish habitat. All of these efforts would not be possible without our incredible allies. EPIC is proud to be a part of a growing alliance of conservation organizations and Tribal governments working to protect and restore these basins.

Joint Press Release:

Coalition Calls on California Regulators to Enforce Clean Water Standards

As the California State Water Resources Control Board prepares to meet next week in Sacramento, conservation groups concerned with Klamath River water quality sent a letter to the board today urging an end to the ongoing delay in Clean Water Act certification for Klamath dams. Four dams owned by utility company PacifiCorp have operated under annual license extensions since their 50-year license expired in March 2006. In that time, the State of California has failed to process a Section 401 certification application that would require PacifiCorp to meet certain water quality standards under the auspices of the federal Clean Water Act. (more…)

EPIC Forces Timber Giant to Defer Logging that Threatens Owls

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

This aerial photo shows the owl activity center, the THP proposed to log within the remaining habitat areaEPIC comments on Timber Harvest Plan 2-10-044SIS “China Cable” have forced Fruit Growers Supply Company, a major private timberland owner in Siskiyou County, to substantially modify proposed logging that would harm Northern Spotted Owls.

The “China Cable” THP covers a total of 303 acres, including 255 acres of clearcutting in the Soda Springs region of Siskiyou County.  There are three documented Northern Spotted Owl home ranges or “activity centers” within 1.3 miles of proposed logging activities.

The “China Cable” THP proposed to target nesting and roosting habitat for owls within close proximity to an owl home range.  The home range in question is already deficient in high quality habitat for owls, including a deficiency in nesting and roosting habitat.  Logging of suitable nesting and roosting habitat within close proximity of the nest site not only threatens to result in harm to resident owls, but also threatens to impair migration of juvenile owls from the nest site.

On February 22, 2011, EPIC submitted comments to Cal Fire regarding the “China Cable” THP.  We argued that logging as proposed under “China Cable” would likely result in harm to owls, and that the THP itself failed to demonstrate how harm to owls would be avoided.

Recently, Cal Fire informed Fruit Growers Supply Company that the “China Cable” THP was not adequate to avoid harm to owls and required the timber giant to make substantial changes to the plan, as well as provide an analysis demonstrating how the plan would avoid harm to owls.

Fruit Grower’s Supply Company responded by moving all logging outside of the 1,000 foot radius of NSO home ranges, and the company also agreed not to log any nesting and roosting habitat for owls within 0.5 miles of any home range until the owl home range in question is deemed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to no longer support owls. These substantial changes will likely result in the recirculation (reopening of public comment) of this THP.

Cal Fire has demonstrated a pattern-in-practice of failing to address logging that would harm owls unless we raise concerns.  This represents a fundamental flaw in the interagency review team process that is supposed to assure that no harm comes to owls as a result of logging operations approved by Cal Fire.  Cal Fire consistently recommends THPs that would harm owls for approval, only to back track later as a result of our comments and the threat of litigation.  EPIC will continue to serve as a watch-dog organization, and will continue to push back against industry proposals that would harm owls, as well as pushing back on Cal Fire’s inadequate owl protection regulatory system.

Tell Administration Officials to Protect Spotted Owl Habitat

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Take Action Now! The Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan is now being finalized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency is facing heavy pressure to weaken the draft from the timber industry and states about provisions in the draft strengthening owl protections on private and state lands, as well as from the Bureau of Land Management and USDA Forest Service because of the agency’s plans to ramp up logging in owl habitat.

Due to a recent timber industry court victory, the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) is back into effect because the administration failed to provide for notice and comment of the withdrawal as required by law. Thus far the administration has given no indication if it plans to again withdraw the controversial logging plan that proposes to triple old-growth logging on BLM managed-lands in Oregon.

The recovery plan has broad implications about the future of the Northwest Forest Plan and the protection of the region’s remaining at-risk old-growth. The WOPR is scientifically flawed plan that claims a huge increase in logging owl habitat, will be good for the owl.

Click here to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and urge them to finalize the spotted owl recovery plan using the best available science and to withdraw the Western Oregon Plan Revisions.

Courtesy of Endangered Species Coalition.

Oppose Legislation that Prevents Clean Water Act Permitting for Pesticide Applications (SB 718)

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Photo Courtesy of Sylvia OunpuuClick here to protect our nation’s most precious resource from pesticide pollution.  

Currently, over 1,000 of the country’s waterways are known to be polluted by pesticides at levels that are harmful to fish, wildlife, and human health.  A 2009 US Court of Appeals case orders EPA to require pesticide applicators to get Clean Water Act permits before spraying toxic pesticides on or near the nation’s waterways.  However, current efforts in the US Senate, initiated by the chemical industry lobbyists, are attempting to undermine these environmental protections by eliminating EPA’s authority to issue permits to protect our watersheds from pesticide pollution.  Please help us to stop the industry shenanigans by contacting YOUR SENATORS today and letting them know that it’s critical to protect our fish, wildlife and human health from pesticide contamination.We need a strong EPA Clean Water Act permit to mitigate harmful pesticide applications and to restore the health of our waterways.

The debate over permits for aquatic pesticide spray is heating up in the US Senate Ag Committee.  Industry lobbyists are lining up fast to pressure our Senators to favor a bill that will allow toxic chemicals to be applied in our waters unchecked.  And a vote is expected in the next couple of weeks.  Right now, we’re hearing from our Senators, those we consider our “champions,” that they don’t think they can oppose the bill.  We can’t all go to DC to outnumber the farm bureau, chemical industry, and pesticide lobbyists head on, but we can let our Senators know that we care and that we want them to vote NO on S718

Here’s how:

  1. Click here to send your Senator a message that we want the Clean Water Act to protect our watersheds from toxic pesticide spray.
  2. Forward the action alert to just ONE friend and have them do the same.
  3. Contact your Senator’s office TODAY and speak with staff about why it’s important for your Senator to oppose this legislation.  You can talk generally about pesticides being harmful, or you can talk specifically about a waterbody you live or recreate near.