Posts by Tom Wheeler

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.


Wolves in Danger- Act now!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 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.


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.


Action Alert: The Humboldt Marten Needs Your Help!

Thursday, November 15th, 2018
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Take Action Now: Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Protect the Marten and Not Play Games! The Humboldt marten is a slinky little fuzzball about the size of a cat that lives in the old-growth coastal forests of Oregon and California. A history of overtrapping and habitat destruction has nearly wiped out the species. The marten is so rare that scientists once thought they were extinct. In 1996, researchers rediscovered a population on Six Rivers National Forest. Now there are 4 recognized populations, each small and isolated from each other.


Vote for the Environment!

Thursday, November 1st, 2018
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The 2018 midterm election could determine the fate of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other important federal environmental laws. By choosing to vote, we can take part in the most effective and meaningful individual action to protect plants, fish, and wildlife.


Clever Gov’t Tricks Undercut Marten Protections

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018
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Last week was bittersweet. On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the Humboldt marten as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. I should have been thrilled—this was the culmination of eight years work and one successful lawsuit—but instead I was infuriated. Through a crafty trick, the Service cut a big hole in the protections for the marten, perpetuating some of the same threats which are forcing the marten to extinction. Here’s how the Service sided with the timber industry to sell out the Humboldt marten. As a warning: this might get somewhat wonky.


EPIC Fail: Oregon Denies Protection for Gravely Imperiled Humboldt Martens

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
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On September 14, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to deny state Endangered Species Act protection to the fewer than 200 Humboldt martens estimated to remain in the state. Once again, Oregon proves that it is a few steps behind California when it comes to conservation policy.


Murrelets in Monument Ridge Wind Farm?

Monday, September 24th, 2018
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It was a cold and blustery morning at the top of Monument Ridge. EPIC staff were in the field to investigate a proposed wind project, between 45-70 turbines churning out 135 megawatts of power, and their potential impacts to the marbled murrelet. The murrelet, a seabird that lays its eggs on oldgrowth branches, is threatened with extinction because most of its habitat has been logged. Although this project would not cut any murrelet nest trees, the project could still endanger the bird by killing birds as they commute between their inland nest sites and the ocean, where they feed.


Gypsy Remembered

Monday, September 24th, 2018
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This month is the 20th anniversary of the death of David Nathan “Gypsy” Chain, a forest activist killed by a tree felled by a logger employed by the Pacific Lumber Company. This sad anniversary offers a moment for reflection—on the gains extracted by activists like Gypsy, and on the battles not yet won.


Green Diamond HCP

Thursday, August 9th, 2018
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Green Diamond does it again! The company has gotten another sweetheart deal that allows them to clearcut with impunity, once again proving that the rules don’t apply to the big boys. Previously we reported on a deal struck with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that would exempt the company from protections for the Humboldt marten. Today’s story is similar: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just released a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that would allow Green Diamond to clearcut more northern spotted owl habitat than otherwise permitted in exchange for a promise to shoot barred owls. We think this deal stinks.


Martens Need Your Support August 23 in Fortuna!

Thursday, August 9th, 2018
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Take Action Now! The Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended that the Humboldt marten be listed as “endangered” under the California Endangered Species Act. This is huge news and the culmination of over three years of work by EPIC. (Phew!)


Green Diamond Strikes “Killer” Agreement for Martens

Monday, July 23rd, 2018
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Despite the recent spate of good news for the Humboldt marten—California is recommending they be listed under the California Endangered Species Act, EPIC petitioned to list the critter under the Oregon Endangered Species Act, and EPIC has filed a rulemaking petition to prohibit marten trapping in coastal Oregon—we have some major bad news to report. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has given a permit to Green Diamond Resource Company that would make marten recovery much more difficult. Under the so called “Safe Harbor Agreement,” Green Diamond only has to make minimal changes to its forest practices to get around the teeth of the California Endangered Species Act.


Run for the Board of Directors!

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018
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EPIC is your organization. You fund it – 62% of our budget was from our members in 2017—and you govern it by electing the Board of Directors. The EPIC Board of Directors is charged with ensuring that the good ship EPIC is well-equipped, pointed in the right direction, and fortified against stormy seas of financial turmoil. EPIC’s made it for 41 years because of committed volunteers willing to share their skills and services on the Board.