Archive for April, 2018

Action Alert: Tell CAL FIRE to Deny Green Diamond Plans to Log Marbled Murrelet Habitat

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Green Diamond clearcut adjacent to Redwood National Park. Remaining trees are supposed to be “habitat” retention areas.

Take Action! Green Diamond Resource Company is refusing to appropriately map known-marbled murrelet habitat, and is refusing to accept recommendations from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect suitable nest trees and stands associated with known-occupied marbled murrelet habitat. Naturally, Green Diamond would rather clearcut the marbled murrelet habitat instead.

Astoundingly, the California Department of Forestry is siding with Green Diamond and is poised to approve THP 1-17-124HUM, located near Maple Creek and Big Lagoon, in the absence of requiring mapping and protection of the marbled murrelet habitat as required by CDFW, and over CDFW’s official Non-Concurrence with CAL FIRE’s recommendation to approve the THP and allow the logging.

Stand up for marbled murrelets, and help us stand up to Green Diamond and CAL FIRE.

Take Action Now: Tell CAL FIRE it must deny Green Diamond THP 1-17-124HUM according to State Law and State Forest Practice Rules unless the mapping and protection of habitat stands and trees for the critically-endangered marbled murrelet are included in the THP, whether Green Diamond likes it or not!

Click here to take action now!

EPIC Forest Prom Court Nominees

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

We have selected 7 wonderful enviro-nominees to fight for the EPIC Forest Prom crown—and they need YOUR votes to win!

Join EPIC’s Forest Prom this Saturday, April 28th to cast your vote. Like any election, your dollar matters. Each nominee will have an EPIC donation jar set up at the bar, and whoever garners the most donations by the end of the night wins! If you can’t join our funtitivies this weekend, but want to support EPIC’s work please donate HERE! 

Check out whose in the running:

Mitra Abidi, Redwood Community Action Agency. Mitra graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Natural Resources Planning, she was an active CCATer, then tree planter and restorationist, and has been in Humboldt County for 10 years now. She is currently running a garden program through the Redwood Community Action Agency, supporting local community gardens and running a large garden that feeds a local drug & alcohol rehab center/shelter’s kitchen. She’s extroverted, funny, and is outside everyday with her big dog. She cares deeply about our environment and made a promise to herself many years ago to work for the betterment of our earth, either through environmental or social work, for the rest of her life. Mitra has served on the Board of Directors for the Environmental Protection Information Center since 2013.

Natalynee Delapp, Humboldt County Growers Alliance. An avid nature enthusiast and amateur mycologist, Natalynne has made it her life’s work to help “shift people’s cultural relationship with environment and community.” Natalynne holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Humboldt State University in Environmental Science: Public Policy. Between 2008 and 2017 Natalynne worked with the Environmental Protection Information Center. In 2014 and 2015, Natalynne helped facilitate dialogue between environmental organizations, cannabis farmers, and the public. By working across political boundaries Natalynne helped shape Humboldt County’s landmark Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance for the benefit of farms, forests and fish. In 2016, Natalynne left EPIC and started the Humboldt County Growers Alliance, a non-profit trade association for legal cannabis businesses who are working together to protect the people, environment and community.

Jennifer Savage, Surfrider Foundation. Jennifer is the California Policy Manager at the Surfrider, she keeps a watchful eye on what’s going on in Sacramento and along all 1,100 miles of California coastline, supporting Surfrider’s 20 California chapters on local and statewide campaigns. With experience as an environmental journalist, radio personality, event organizer and freelance columnist, Jennifer has a lot of tools in her toolbelt to spread the word about threats and solutions to our ocean’s health. She divides her time between San Francisco and Humboldt, and considers the entire California coast her backyard! When not working, Jennifer spends as much time in or around the ocean as possible surfing, hiking and taking photos, preferably with family and friends.

Briana Villalobos, Director of Communications and Development at EPIC. Briana attended Humboldt State University where she earned her degree is sociology with an emphasis on human ecology and ecofeminism. Her passion for environmental and social justice is exemplified by her time and research dedicated throughout her undergrad career, and professional work at EPIC. All of EPIC’s social media posts, radio shows, and outreach events have a little bit of Briana’s touch to them. Briana has been with EPIC for a total of 3 years, and is most passionate about her collaboration with Latino Outdoors and the bilingual hike series. Briana is dedicated to connecting diverse communities with the outdoor narrative, and creating more community-student relationships through internship and volunteer opportunities with EPIC. Briana more commonly goes by her nickname “Bean”, and loves going on hikes with her kitten Arlo, roller skating, cooking with friends, and dancing the night away.

Nathaniel Pennington, he does it all! Nat currently sits on the Board of Directors for Klamath Riverkeeper, Nature Rights Council and Klamath Forest Alliance. He has also worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for over 20 years. Nat ran the Salmon River Restoration Council Fisheries Program for 10 years and has coordinated their annual cooperative spring-run Chinook salmon surveys for the past 20 years.  He is owner/CEO at EcoFlo Rafting Company, Klamath Justice Coalition Member, and was instrumental in the campaign to un-dam the Klamath River. Nat traveled to Borneo and the Amazon with indigenous youth delegations to advocate for the protection of the environment and rivers in regions that were threatened with mega dam proposals. In 2006, Nat secured funding for spring Chinook genetic research that was recently published in Science magazine and coauthored the endangered species act petition with the Karuk Tribe that was recently accepted by NOAA fisheries. Nat understands that a collaborative approach leads to success and would like to thank all of his friends and colleagues who have made contributed to these efforts

Robert Shearer,Botany Teachers Assistant and EPIC Board Member. Bobby has been with EPIC for 6 years now and currently serves as VP of the board. He graduated HSU magna cum laude with degrees in botany and ecology and is currently a biology graduate student and botany teaching associate. He’s a teacher, a dancer, a writer, a naturalist, outdoor adventurer, a political activist, and a lover of all life. The expertise he brings to the EPIC team includes campaign development, strategic planning, and plant-based conservation science. When he’s not in the lab or the classroom, there’s nowhere Bobby prefers to be more than with his loving wife, Ayana Paige, enjoying the incredible forests and rivers of northwest California that EPIC works to protect.  

Mike Wilson, Humboldt County Board of SupervisorsBorn and raised in SoHum, Mike Wilson is Humboldt through and through. Mike is a graduate of the Environmental Resources Engineering Department, Humboldt State University, and is owner of Humboldt Water Resources, a small company that creates new wetland habitats for wildlife species, while also taking advantage of natural ecosystem services to treat stormwater and waste water. Mike is a rabblerouser and punk rocker in addition to his duties on the Board of Supervisors. In his time on the Board, Mike has distinguished himself as the voice for the environment.

Buy Your Tickets for EPIC’s Forest Prom!

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Join us for EPIC’s Forest Prom  Saturday, April 28th at the Veterans Hall in Arcata.

This redwood carpet affair will provide an experience you do not want to miss! Whether you never went to your High School Prom, desperately want a “do over”, or just want to have a good time, this event promises to create lasting memories all in support of EPIC’s efforts to protect and restore the forests of Northcoast California.

EPIC Prom is ALL ages.

Come dressed to impress and be ready to capture new prom memories in our photo booth. Don’t worry about spiking the punch- our full bar will have mixed drinks, locally crafted brew, and non-alcoholic beverages. Be sure to pre-order and pick up you freshly foraged corsages and boutonnieres for your date (updates to follow!).

A live vinyl set will be provided by DJ East One and funky soul jams by the Apiary will close the night. You won’t be able to stop your feet from moving, hips from shaking and singing along with friends.


8PM: doors open for cocktail hour and photobooth
8:30PM: Live vinyl set by DJ East One
10PM: Prom King and Queen Commencement
10:30PM: Music by the Apiary

Tickets available online or at Wildberries.

Advanced Student Tickets $10

Advanced Non-Student Tickets $15

Stay posted for Prom King and Queen nomination updates and announcements!

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.

Action Alert: Seiad “Salvage”- Bad for Water, Wildlife and Wild Places

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

A view from the Siskiyou Crest and the Pacific Crest Trail into the Abney Fire and the Seiad Horse Project. The fire-affected forest at the headwaters of Horse Creek is proposed for clearcut logging and plantation development. The impacts to ecological, recreational and scenic values will be severe if the Seiad Horse Project is implemented. Photo by Luke Rudiger.

Protect the Siskiyou Crest: Click Here to Act Now!

The Klamath National Forest has done it again, planning over 1,200 acres of post-fire logging adjacent to the Pacific Crest Trail on the steep slopes of the Siskiyou Crest. The Seiad-Horse Creek project would: significantly increase sediment in already impaired watersheds critical for salmon, require “take” or killing of threatened species, harm wildlife connectivity, and affect Roadless and Botanical Areas. Rather than fully address the impacts through an Environmental Impact Statement, the Forest Service released a Draft Environmental Analysis (EA) initiating the public scoping comment period.

Water Quality

All twelve of the creeks within Seiad and Horse Creek watersheds, which are tributaries to the Klamath River, are listed as 303(d) impaired for temperature and sediment under the Clean Water Act. This means that the current conditions do not meet water quality standards. According to Forest Service models, many of the streams are already over the “threshold of concern” yet the project would increase the risk of soil loss, sediment delivery and landslides and would further exacerbate adverse effects to aquatic and riparian habitats.

Wild salmon populations on the Klamath River are the lowest in history, suffering from disease and warm water as a result of dams, decades of mismanagement, years of consecutive wildfire, wildfire suppression activities and subsequent widespread industrial post-fire logging. Coho salmon are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and the Karuk Tribe recently submitted a petition to list the Klamath spring-run Chinook salmon, which is currently being considered. The Seiad-Horse project has a “May Affect, Likely to Adversely Affect” determination for coho salmon and for coho and Chinook essential fish habitat. Unconvincingly, the EA claims that logging over 1000 acres in impaired watersheds would improve aquatic conditions in the future by placing large woody debris in Horse Creek and by treating some sediment sources from roads sometime within the next twenty years.


Recent science shows that female Pacific Fishers, may find forests that burn at high-severity to be the best habitat for raising litters. Possibly due to increased abundance of small mammals in open forest canopies. Spotted owls also seem to prefer post-fire habitat for this reason. Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Like salmon, northern spotted owl (NSO) populations continue to decline. Both the Seiad-Horse and recent Westside project have a “Likely to Adversely Affect” determination. Westside allowed the take (harm or kill) of up to 100 owls. The directly adjacent Horse Creek post-fire logging project has a “May Affect, Likely to Adversely Affect” determination. This Klamath region has been recognized for being critical for NSO conservation by providing a “source” population; however, the intense harm in these watersheds from the Klamath National Forest continues to multiply.

The Siskiyou Crest connectivity corridor provides habitat for fishers, martens, wolverines, bald eagles, northern goshawks, bats and the endemic Franklin’s bumblebee and Siskiyou Mountain salamander. Vast swaths of clearcuts would create large and contiguous openings, which may impact all of these species. Fire-affected forests are fully functioning habitats. High severity patches generate critical ecological pulses of dead trees (biological legacies) that are associated with extraordinary levels of biodiversity and provide complex forest structure used by a plethora of animals.

Upper Horse Creek, the Condrey Mountain Inventoried Roadless Area, Johnny O’Neil Late Successional Reserve, and the Abney Fire viewed from the Siskiyou Crest. The burned forest at the center of this photograph is proposed for clearcut logging by the Klamath National Forest. Photo by Luke Rudiger.

Wild Places

The project area is central to the Klamath Siskiyou bioregion, which is home to the largest expanse of wild lands on the West Coast. These forests are a stronghold for rare species and ranks third in species richness (for taxa ranging from butterflies and plants to birds and mammals) for all temperate conifer forests across the continent. Seiad and Horse Creeks specifically rank some of the highest in biodiversity in the state. These forests also contain some of the highest biomass-dense forests in North America, sequestering carbon and storing carbon long after a fire.

The Pacific Crest Trail runs just above the Siead-Horse project. Logging on 1,270 acres is proposed between the Kangaroo and Condrey Mountain Roadless Areas, entirely within the Johnny O’Neil Late Successional Reserve, an area designated to maintain and restore habitat for old-growth dependent species. Post-fire logging is unequivocally damaging to fire-rejuvenated forests and aquatic ecosystems. The impacts to ecological, recreational and scenic values will be severe if the project is implemented.

Click Here to Act Now!


EPIC in Court (Again) to Defend Richardson Grove

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

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

Caltrans claimed that the court lacked jurisdiction because either EPIC had previously brought the same claims or could have previously brought the claims when we filed our earlier litigation. Sharon forcefully argued that neither was the case: the claims were based on new information presented by Caltrans and therefore could not have been brought before.

While Caltrans’ argument doesn’t pass the smell test, their motion is still dangerous. Should the judge agree with Caltrans, this would stop the new case. And given that Caltrans is trying to stop our old case at the same time, we could quickly get shut out of state court. (But don’t worry too much: we can always appeal either decision should we lose. Plus, we still have our federal lawsuit, for a total of three cases to protect the Grove.)

The judge said that she was going to take her time to review the briefings and other materials—a lot of reading, with all of the citations in our briefing to documents before the court—so EPIC doesn’t anticipate a decision imminently.

Stay tuned for more developments!

Modest Victory for Rare Plant – Volunteers Needed in Shasta to Remove Noxious Weeds

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Shasta snow-wreath

There are only twenty known populations of the Shasta snow-wreath (Neviusia cliftonii) on the planet, endemic to the shores and canyons around Shasta Lake. In a modest victory through the objection resolution process EPIC has protected a few of these populations from the possible drift of herbicides, glyphosate and aminopyralid. The Shasta Trinity National Forest has agreed to partner with EPIC and the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center to pull and cut scotch broom in areas growing near creeks and Shasta snow-wreath populations.

Neviusia have existed for over 45 million years, from the Eocene period, however the Shasta snow-wreath was not discovered until 1992! The Eastern Klamath Range, where this rare plant lives, is an ancient landscape, neither glaciated nor overlain by volcanic material, as were the surrounding Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and Trinity Mountains. The area is rich in biodiversity and is home to other endemic species such as the Shasta salamander, Hydromantes shastae, a state-listed threatened species and the Shasta Chaparral snail.

The Shasta snow-wreath is in the rose family and can grow from 2-4 feet tall. Its showy white dime size flowers only bloom for a week to ten days in April to early May and are covered with tufts of stamens rather than petals. This native shrub is included in the CA Native Plant Society Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants on list 1B.2 (rare, threatened, or endangered in CA and elsewhere). Many of the populations were lost when Shasta Lake was created and others are threatened by the proposal to raise the dam.

Scotch Broom

Scotch brooms have infested multiple areas near Packers Bay on Shasta Lake. The California State Department of Food and Agriculture has listed these brooms as a Class C pest species, that is, “troublesome, aggressive, intrusive, detrimental, or destructive to agriculture, silviculture, or important native species, and difficult to control or eradicate.” In response, the Forest Service has proposed the application of herbicides to eradicate these species. While EPIC was not able to stop the project entirely, we will be protecting the most sensitive areas near the water and rare plant populations by hand pulling the invasive weeds. By working together with volunteers consistently over the span of many years, as seed sources can last up to thirty years, we will demonstrate that people power is a better alternative to toxic chemicals.

Come join EPIC and the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center on Saturday May 19 from 10-3. Meet at the Garden Gulch Trailhead, which can be reached from the Packers Bay exit on Interstate 5 (from northbound I-5, take the O’Brien exit, get back on I-5 heading south, then exit at Packers Bay).

Bring lunch and plenty of water. Wear boots, gloves, hat and long sleeved shirt. We will have some tools available, but please bring digging tools, weed wrench, clippers and/or handsaws.

EPIC Petitions to Ban Humboldt Marten Trapping in Oregon

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

Photo credit: Center for Biological Diversity

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

Humboldt martens are under review for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act, but they can still be trapped for their fur in Oregon even though fewer than 100 survive in the Siuslaw and Siskiyou national forests. California banned the trapping of these secretive, mid-sized forest carnivores in 1946.

“Humboldt martens have been driven to the brink of extinction by logging and development of their old-growth forest habitat and historical over-trapping,” said Nick Cady, legal director at Cascadia Wildlands. “Banning trapping is a critical first step to prevent the imminent eradication of the species from the state.”

A newly published scientific study concluded that Humboldt martens are so rare in Oregon that trapping just two to three individuals could result in wiping out the population on the central coast. In addition to trapping, Humboldt martens are threatened by vehicle collisions on Highway 101 and ongoing logging of mature forest habitat.

“The state needs to follow the new science and stop the trapping of these cute and ferocious animals,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It would be tragic if Humboldt martens were lost for future generations of Oregonians.”

Relatives of minks and otters, Humboldt martens are found only in old-growth forest and dense coastal shrub in southern and central coastal Oregon and northern California. The cat-like animals were thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered on the Six Rivers National Forest in 1996.

Today they survive only in three small isolated populations of fewer than 100 individuals each — one in northern California, one straddling the border and one in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

“In addition to today’s petition, the Humboldt marten needs more lasting protections afforded through the Endangered Species Act,” said Tom Wheeler, Executive Director at EPIC.

There are two subspecies of Pacific martens in Oregon. Humboldt martens on the coast are critically imperiled, but interior martens from the Cascades and eastern mountain ranges are not imperiled. The petition seeks a ban on trapping west of Interstate 5.

Today’s petition was filed by Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Protection Information Center, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and Oregon Wild. The department has 90 days to initiate rulemaking or deny the petition.