Posts by Rob DiPerna

Agency Delays May Cook Owl’s Chance at Protection

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
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spottedowlhelperThumbnailIt is thanksgiving time here in Northwest California, a traditional time for giving, for caring, and for sharing. For the wild creatures that call our forests home, such as the northern spotted owl, it is a time for preparing to endure the long, wet winter. However, as we know, things are much different in the halls of Sacramento government and politics, where the rule of the day seems to be “if you aren’t at the table, you are on the menu.”


Environmental Groups File Suit to Challenge Implementing Regulations for In-Perpetuity Logging Plans

Sunday, November 15th, 2015
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Holm_Fay_date2008-02-25_time17.36.52_IMG_9998 copyFor Immediate Release: Two North Coast environmental groups filed suit in state court on Friday challenging the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection adoption of regulations that fail to meet standards of environmental protection or to ensure long-term sustained yield of forest products for in-perpetuity logging plans as required by state law.


The Case for Restoration in the Redwoods

Thursday, November 12th, 2015
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Forest Thinning in Headwaters. Photo Credit BLM.2California’s coastal redwood forests are the stuff that myth and legend are made of, like a species of dinosaur that has somehow managed to persist into the modern age. At one time, redwood forests grew across the northern hemisphere, with the oldest-known fossil evidence dating back some 200 million years to the Jurassic Period. Once, the ancient coastal redwood forests spanned some two million acres of California’s scenic and rugged coastline from Big Sur all the way to the Oregon border.


CAL FIRE Botches Green Diamond THP Approval

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
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aerial view of green diamond clearcutIf a timber harvesting permit is approved illegally, and no one is watching, does the landowner still get to log the plan? Apparently the answer, incredulously, is yes, at least if it is Green Diamond Resource Company. Green Diamond Timber Harvest Plan 1-15-060DEL, in the Turwar Creek watershed in Del Norte County, was approved by CAL FIRE in August, 2015, and is currently under operations, despite the lack of legally-required consultation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


State of the Redwoods – Remembering the Past, Envisioning the Future

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
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RNP RDWhat did Jedediah Smith think when he came here as the first-known European-American to explore the majestic coastal redwood forest, back in 1828? Did he know, or care about the Pandora’s Box that he’d opened by leading European settlers into this remote region? When Smith first arrived in Northern California, an estimated two million acres of native old-growth coast redwood forest spanned from Big Sur to the Oregon border, and these were certainly no ordinary forests.


No Small Feat—Your Comments Helped Protect Rare Mendocino Pygmy Cypress Woodlands and Marbled Murrelets

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
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SavedMendocino_Pygmy_Forest_in_Van_Damme_State_Park_2Wikipedia-commons-225x300Thanks to the actions taken by EPIC members, the City of Fort Bragg and the County of Mendocino have indefinitely postponed the hearing to consider certification of the Environmental Impact Report for the Mendocino Central Coast Waste Transfer Station Project. The Mendocino Central Coast Waste Transfer Station Project would have taken 12.6 acres from Russian Gulch State Park, which contains extremely rare Mendocino Pygmy Cypress Forests, Northern Bishop Pine Forests, and, as recently revealed, several old-growth Douglas fir trees.


A Day on the Elk River

Monday, September 28th, 2015
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Elk_River Flooding_Bridge Kristi WrigleyThe story of the upper Elk River watershed is fairly well-known—from the European settlement-era timber extraction, characterized by the highly damaging “splash-damming” method, to the boom-and-bust timber town of Falk, to the old Pacific Lumber Company, to the days of the MAXXAM take-over-era liquidation logging, and into contemporary times and the Humboldt Redwood Company era, logging and timber production have been the primary use and focus. The consequences of this intensive and perpetual focus on timber extraction in the Elk River watershed are also now fairly well-understood—landslides, bank erosion, gullying, road-related runoff, and failed road facilities.


Groups Fight to Save Rare, Mink-like Carnivore in California and Oregon

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
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Marten2ThumbnailLawsuit Will Challenge Failure to Protect the Coastal Marten – EPIC and our allies filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for failing to protect the coastal marten, a secretive member of the weasel family, under the Endangered Species Act. The groups petitioned in 2010 for federal protection of the rare carnivore, then known as the Humboldt marten, but the Service issued a decision denying protection earlier this year.


BLM Seeks Input on Management of Headwaters Forest Reserve

Friday, August 21st, 2015
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Headwaters Forest Thinning By Rob DiPernaThe Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on plans to amend the management plan for the Headwaters Forest Reserve, located just south of Eureka, California. The 7,742-acre Headwaters Forest Reserve was established in 1999 by the landmark Headwaters Forest Agreement, and in 2004, the BLM adopted a contemporary management plan for the reserve. The 2004 plan articulates nine management objectives for the reserve, foremost among these being preservation of old-growth dependent species and habitats.


Don’t Trash our State Park Lands—Protect Mendocino County Forests

Monday, August 10th, 2015
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Mendocino_Pygmy_Forest_in_Van_Damme_State_Park_2Wikipedia commonsTake Action: Would you trade rare state park forestland for a defunct waste transfer station? Neither would we. Yet, that’s what the County of Mendocino and the City of Fort Bragg are poised to do. In a complicated three-way land swap proposal, 12.6 acres of rare Russian Gulch State Parks forestland would be transferred to Jackson Demonstration State Forest, which would then transfer 17 acres of its property to the city and county for development of the Mendocino Central Coast Waste Transfer Station. State Parks would then have the option of acquiring 60 acres of county and city property, formerly the site of the Caspar Landfill and waste transfer station.


State of Elk River—Cumulative Impacts, Contemporary Challenges

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
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Flooding at Elk River Road by Angela TellezIt is said that those whom forget history are doomed to repeat it. When it comes to the Elk River watershed, located just south of Eureka, in Humboldt County, California, perhaps the saying should read “those whom forget history are doomed to exacerbate its effects.” Over 150 years of intensive forestland management in the Elk River watershed have profoundly changed the landscape, and left behind a legacy that continues to confound contemporary forest policy debate.


California Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Nearly Extinct Humboldt Marten

Monday, June 1st, 2015
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Marten2ThumbnailThe Environmental Protection Information Center and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to protect the Humboldt marten under the California Endangered Species Act today. The Humboldt marten is a cat-sized carnivore related to minks and otters that lives in old-growth forests in Northern California and southern Oregon. Most of the marten’s forest habitat has been destroyed by logging, and the remaining martens in California likely number fewer than 100 individuals.


State of the Mattole

Thursday, May 21st, 2015
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Groupshotwith mikesmattoleNestled in a remote valley that drains to California’s famous Lost Coast, the Mattole River watershed spans from its headwaters near Whitethorn down to the sea where it terminates at Petrolia. The Mattole watershed is a peculiar Humboldt County coastal watershed in that its forests are largely composed of a mix of fir and hardwoods, rather than being dominated by the giant and majestic redwoods found elsewhere in the region.


Connecting Wild Places—State of Connectivity on Private Lands

Monday, May 11th, 2015
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GDRClittleriverHabitat integrity and connectivity for species movement, protection, enhancement and recovery — and for climate resistance, resilience, and adaptation – is essential as we move into the 21st century. The precipitous decline of our wildlife and biodiversity, exacerbated by the significant effects resulting from climate change, means habitat connectivity on our forested landscapes is absolutely critical. Privately-held forestlands in Northwest California are essential to the recovery of species, for landscape-level integrity with habitat connectivity, and for resistance and resilience to climate change.


Fish and Wildlife Service Finds Northern Spotted Owl May Be Endangered

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
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Owl-Self-Defense-wings-shadow-296x300Today, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service issued a positive initial 90-day finding on an EPIC petition to reclassify the iconic northern spotted owl from a “threatened” to an “endangered” species under the Endangered Species Act. The positive 90-day finding on EPIC’s petition to reclassify the northern spotted owl demonstrates that sufficient evidence exists that existing conservation measures have not been enough to protect and recover the owl, and that additional, more stringent and immediate measures are necessary to achieve this goal.


Fish & Wildlife Service Doesn’t Care About the Humboldt Marten

Monday, April 6th, 2015
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Humboldt MartenThe Fish and Wildlife Service issued their 12-month finding on the Humboldt marten listing petition submitted by the Environmental Protection Information Center and the Center for Biological Diversity. While the Service acknowledged that the populations of coastal martens are extremely small and isolated, the Service did not find the marten to be threatened or endangered. This conclusion is dubious and runs counter to the best available science.


EPIC Invites You to Hike the Headwaters Forest Reserve April 18

Monday, April 6th, 2015
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DCIM100MEDIAEPIC invites you to join us for an educational hike in the Headwaters Forest Reserve on Saturday April 18, 2015. This guided educational hike will be led by Rob DiPerna, EPIC’s California Forest and Wildlife Advocate. We will discuss the history of the struggle to protect Headwaters Forest, the mechanisms that created the Headwaters Forest Reserve, and the contemporary challenges to land management in the Elk River watershed. The hike will originate from the Headwaters Forest Reserve South Fork Elk River trailhead.


The Endangered Species Acts—Tools of the Trade for Protecting Species Diversity and Forest Health

Monday, April 6th, 2015
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Pacific-Fisher_Bethany-Weeks-300x200A brief primer on the federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act – In the time of the Anthropocene, human activities have triggered what has become known as the “sixth great extinction period.” As far back as the 1970s, citizens and lawmakers alike saw this massive crisis unfolding and began to take steps towards reversing the downward spiral of species in California and across the United States.


Action Alert: Speak Up for Rare Mendocino County Pygmy Forest

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
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Mendocino CypressTake Action: The Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority is proposing a solid waste transfer station for the City of Fort Bragg on a 17-acre parcel of undeveloped Mendocino Pygmy Cypress Woodland and Northern Bishop Pine Forest—another rare forest type—along state highway 20. The 17-acre parcel is currently owned by the state, and is being managed as part of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest, but the proposal involves a land-swap that would transfer it out of state ownership for the purposes of the proposed development.


Take Action—Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service to Protect the Pacific Fisher

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
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Pacific Fisher USFWSAfter 15 years of delays and subsequent litigation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the West Coast population of the Pacific fisher, a small, weasel-like forest carnivore, as a “threatened” species under the federal Endangered Species Act. In 2000, EPIC and 16 other conservation groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to list the West Coast population of the Pacific fisher under the Endangered Species Act . Now, the end is almost in sight; our goal is almost achieved.