Posts by Tom Wheeler

RCEA Biomass Meeting Friday

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
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The Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) is considering what role biomass should play in Humboldt’s energy future. RCEA’s decision was prompted by the community’s proposal, supported by EPIC, to require that 100% of our power come from clean, renewable energy by 2025. RCEA will be examining the future of biomass at a special forum at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center this Friday (10/18) from 1-4pm. EPIC encourages our members to attend and let their opinions be known.


Furry Friends, Never Fear: New Protections for Martens and Other Critters Coming!

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
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EPIC is happy to report two BIG wins! First, based on a petition submitted by EPIC and others, by a 4-3 vote the Oregon Fish and Game Commission baned the trapping of Humboldt martens in Oregon. Second, in a first-in-the-country move, California has banned all commercial trapping of fur-bearing mammals.


Coalition Letter to Terra-Gen

Thursday, September 12th, 2019
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Editor’s Note: The letter below was sent to Planning Director Ford and reflects the opinion of the major conservation organizations of the North Coast. Our organizations are not opposed to wind energy development but recognize that such development much include proven mitigation measures to reduce impacts to wildlife. The project, as conceived in the draft environmental impact report, lacks these measures and is therefore incomplete. A final environmental impact report is expected at the end of September.


EPIC Wishes Happy Trails to Rob DiPerna

Monday, September 9th, 2019
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All of us at EPIC wish Rob DiPerna, our long-time friend and staff member, happy trails as he retires from EPIC. Rob served two terms of duty at EPIC, first in the early 2000s and again for the past decade. In that time, he became California’s preeminent expert on the Forest Practice Act and Rules, helping individuals and groups across the state understand the law and their opportunities to shape.


Trump’s ESA Rollbacks

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
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In 1813, John James Audubon stood in amazement. The sky darkened as 60 million passenger pigeons blocked out the noonday sun. And this was only the start. The first group was followed by a larger flock, so many that they continued to fly over for three straight days. Modern estimates put the bird’s population around three billion. Less than 100 years later, in 1900, a boy in Ohio killed the last wild passenger pigeon with his shotgun. Something almost unthinkable occurred—life was extinguished permanently—and only in its absence did we realize what we had lost.


Terra-Gen’s Humboldt Wind Energy Project Presents Concerns for Wildlife

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
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EPIC and the NEC submitted comments in June on the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the proposed Terra-Gen Humboldt Wind Energy Project proposed for Monument and Bear River Ridges outside of Scotia. The project as described in the DEIR does not meet the environmental standards nor have the environmental protections we demand. Our organizations urge the project proponents and Humboldt County to undertake additional consultation and outreach efforts to fulfill their obligations to the County’s citizens and our wildlife. Read our detailed comments are here.


Action Alert: Stop Trump’s Plan to Gut NEPA

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
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The Trump Administration is trying to do through regulation what it can’t through Congress: gut the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Forest Service has initiated a rulemaking process to create huge loopholes in the federal law, killing public participation in federal land management and eviscerating science-based standards. In EPIC’s 40+ years, this is the most extreme proposal to come across our desk. Yet, because it is being done quietly, these changes are sneaking through without public attention and outrage. On behalf of EPIC and all of the other public interest environmental groups who use the law daily, WE NEED YOUR HELP!


Action Alert: Say No to McMansions and Yes to Land Use Protections

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019
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Before the Board of Supervisors is a crucial vote: Should we make it easier for people to de facto subdivide their property, allowing more McMansions in the hills, or should we try to protect our forests and agricultural lands from sprawling development? Against this threat, we need to show the Board of Supervisors that the people want better land use protections and not houses everywhere in the hills.


Wolves in Danger- Act now!

Thursday, July 11th, 2019
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Take Action! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act across the continental United States. The plan would do away with 40 years of wolf recovery and leave these intelligent animals vulnerable to trophy hunts, trapping, poisoning and persecution. This politically driven agenda is contrary to the clear scientific evidence that wolf populations have not rebounded across their range.


EcoNews Creature Feature: Hoary Bat

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019
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The hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is one of North America’s largest bats, boasting a solid 5.9 inches in length. Named for its “hoary” fur—meaning silvery or grayish-white—the bat’s body is encased in cinnamon brown fur tinged in frosty silver. Its tiny face is surrounded by a furry golden halo, making these bats even more recognizable and adorable.  The hoary bat is widespread throughout the U.S., found in 49 of 50 states. Out of the thirteen species of bats that live in Humboldt County, the hoary bat is an especially unique bat due to the fact that it migrates and hibernates, when most bats do one or the other.


Proposed Wind Project Presents Alarming Impacts

Thursday, May 30th, 2019
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There is a proposed wind energy project for the hills just outside of Scotia, California. Renewable energy is necessary to limit the harm of global climate change. And many species will be harmed from climate change, hastening the pace of the Anthropocene. Yet still, renewable energy is not without its environmental costs, and here the proposed project has many worrying impacts.


Wind Farm Update: Draft Environment Impact Report Released

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
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A wind farm is being proposed for Monument and Bear River Ridges near the towns of Scotia and Rio Dell. The wind farm is expected to produce 155MW of electricity from up to 60 turbines. On April 15, the county released its draft Environmental Impact Report, a document required under state law that examines the likely environmental impacts associated with the project and the potential mitigation measures to reduce the severity of those impacts. Its release has triggered a public comment period that ends on June 5 at 5pm.


EPIC in Court: Timber Industry Appeals Seiad-Horse Timber Sale to Ninth Circuit

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
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EPIC’s successful lawsuit against the Seiad-Horse Timber Sale is headed to the Ninth Circuit. The Seiad-Horse Timber Sale was the Klamath National Forest’s latest attempt to log fragile post-fire forests. To fast track logging, the Klamath National Forest avoided completion of an Environmental Impact Statement, a requirement for projects like this timber sale that present potentially significant environmental impacts.


EPIC Victory! RCEA Votes to Increase Renewables to 100% by 2025

Friday, March 29th, 2019
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On Thursday, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority unanimously voted to set a goal of 100% clean, renewable energy by 2025, directing the staff to begin taking steps to plan for this change. This step means that Humboldt will lead the nation in pushing for clean energy, setting an energy target that is 20 years more ambitious than under California energy law, which requires the entire state to move to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Currently Humboldt County draws approximately 42% of its power from renewable energy.


Richardson Grove Court Update

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
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On Monday, EPIC was back in court for what felt like the millionth time to defend the ancient old growth Redwood trees of Richardson Grove State Park from Caltrans’ proposed highway widening. Sharon Duggan, longtime attorney and friend of EPIC, represented EPIC and allies in court before Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Kelly Neel. As the plaintiff, EPIC was allowed to argue first. In her defense of the grove, Sharon was masterful.


Richardson Grove Back in Court: Help Fill the Courtroom!

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019
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Photo by Jeff MusgraveEPIC is back before the Humboldt County Superior Court to defend the ancient groves of Richardson Grove State Park from Caltran’s bulldozers. This is a major hearing and we need your support. Help us pack the courtroom to show the people’s support of the grove! Join us on March 18 at 1:45 p.m., Humboldt County Superior Court, 525 Fifth Street, Courtroom 4 (Hon. Kelly Neel). We do not anticipate the hearing to take more than two hours.


Fight Climate Change Through Community Forests!

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
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To help combat climate change, Humboldt County must do something bold: invest in its forests through the creation of a Humboldt County Community Forest. Humboldt County’s renowned redwood trees are the most carbon-dense in the world, capturing and sequestering more carbon per-tree than any other on the planet. Because these trees are long-lived and not prone to fire or disease, they make excellent carbon storage devices. Beyond carbon, our forests offer so much more: clean water, wildlife habitat, recreation, and jobs.


Trump’s Shutdown Threatens Public Lands, Wildlife and Human Health

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
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The government shutdown continues over Trump’s “ecological disaster” border wall. For our federal public lands, the shutdown stinks. The Feds are the largest landowner in the county—by far—with about 640 million acres, including over five million acres in Northwest California. While these lands largely remain open, there are reports at parks across the country of overflowing human waste and trash. Without caretakers, people are already wreaking havoc. In Joshua Tree National Park, vandals have hacked apart the iconic trees.


EPIC Delivers Early Christmas Present to California Beavers **WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS**

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018
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Today, EPIC and the Western Environmental Law Center notified the federal wildlife-killing program Wildlife Services of their plans to legally challenge the program’s beaver killing in California over its harm to endangered salmon. Wildlife Services, a program under the Department of Agriculture, killed more than 1.3 million non-invasive animals in 2017, including 956 beavers in California. The challenge aims to force the program to reconsider its lethal beaver management and to recognize the crucial role beavers play in the health of endangered salmon populations.


Richardson Grove Update

Monday, December 3rd, 2018
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On November 28, Richardson Grove supporters packed Judge Alsup’s courtroom to witness the latest oral argument in EPIC’s federal lawsuit to defend Richardson Grove. This was the third time before Judge Alsup, who previously found that Caltrans relied upon inaccurate data and failed to document the likely harm to the root structure of old-growth redwoods in the park.