Action Alerts

Get the Frack Out of California

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
By

FrackingPoisonsFamilies

Take Action Now: Support Bill to Ban Fracking in California. Fracking is a technique used to extract natural gas whereby millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and highly toxic chemicals are injected into the earth. This process has been proven to result in massive environmental effects including wasting large quantities of scarce water resources, ground water contamination, air pollution and earth quakes.

Please take action to ban fracking in California by supporting Senate Bill 1132, which will prohibit fracking until the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency convenes a committee to review a scientific study and put specific measures in place to ensure that fracking does not pose a threat to the public health and welfare or to the environmental and economic sustainability of the state.

SB1132 is strong on addressing the environmental justice issues raised by fracking. Residents living close to fracking wells or downstream of fracking wells are exposed to hazardous chemicals. This exposure has been illustrated to cause negative health impacts. As Senator Mitchell points out: “There are a million Angelenos that live within a 5-mile radius of the largest urban oil field in the country…when industrial operations like fracking and acidization disproportionately impact minority communities, environmental justice has been breached and needs to be restored. SB 1132 will do that.”

We are thankful for Senator Leno’s comments that “a moratorium on fracking is especially critical as California faces a severe drought with water resources at an all-time low.” While the current drought in California has highlighted the issues related to water and fracking, it is our perspective that fracking is never an acceptable use of the state’s water. Water is scarce in California even when we are not in drought conditions.

Please click here to take action. Ask SB 1132 sponsors to strengthen requirements for environmental assessments for fracking and to ensure that adequate time is provided for public participation in the review process.

EPIC is collaborating with a larger coalition of organizations to support SB1132 and has submitted a letter of support to Senator Leno and Senator Mitchell, thanking them for introducing the bill.

 


Take Action to Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests in California

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
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dead_coyotesTake Action Now: Please join EPIC, and our allies, in calling on the California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to prohibit predator killing contests statewide and to develop comprehensive regulations and policies to reform and modernize predator management in California. Killing predators – or any wild animal- as part of a ‘contest’ ‘tournament’ or ‘drive’ is ethically indefensible, ecologically reckless, and contravenes new legislation (AB 2402) that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law requiring the Fish & Game Commission to use “ecosystem based management” and the best available science in the stewardship of California’s wildlife. Such wildlife killing contests have no scientific basis and degrade the reputation of the ethical sportsman of California.

We would like to thank Project Coyote for providing content for this action alert. Here is a link to their petition on Change.org.


Action Alert: Protect Marine Mammals from Navy Sonar and Weapons Testing

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
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NOAA_whalecalfTake Action Now! The US Navy has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the impacts associated with a five-year authorization of military testing and training operations off the coast of the Pacific Northwest in an area that stretches from Cape Mendocino all the way north to the Canadian border, including Alaskan waters. The proposed activities are expected to injure, disturb or kill more than a hundred thousand individuals consisting of 29 different marine mammal species, which are supposed to be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Proposed activities would subject marine mammals, fish, sea turtles and other sea life to countless impacts including mid-frequency sonar, which is noise that is billions of times more intense than natural sound. The use of sonar has been directly connected to many instances of beached whales that have died from baro-trauma after military sonar exercises.  Even 300 miles from the source, sonar can be up to 140 decibels, which is 100 times more intense than the level known to alter whale behavior.

Additional testing and training activities that would affect marine mammals include the use of explosives, electromagnetic devices, physical strikes from missiles, underwater detonations and ships, entanglement and ingestion of toxic chemicals and munitions. These activities often result in the disruption of basic behaviors of marine mammals including activities necessary for survival such as migration, surfacing, navigating, hearing, nursing, breeding and feeding.  Many of the species that would be affected are listed as threatened or endangered, making the Navy’s proposed project a direct violation of the Endangered Species Act.

EPIC has participated in the scoping process of this project, attended public meetings, compiled related action alerts and will continue to stand up to the Navy in an effort to stop the unnecessary killing of marine mammals and other marine species. We need your help to show the Navy that people on the North Coast care deeply about ocean life.

There are several things you can do to help:

  • Attend public meetings, including a meeting this Thursday, March 6 at the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka from 5-8pm.
  • Submit comments to the Navy.
  • Share this action with your friends via social media networks.
  • Contribute to our efforts to fund this campaign.

Please click here to take action now.  Tell the US Navy to rescind the proposed training and testing activities and explore other alternatives to train military personnel that do not significantly degrade the environment and put hundreds of thousands of marine animals at risk in the global commons. If you can add a personal touch, your comment will go even further in letting the US Navy know that the public does not approve of the Navy’s destructive training operations.

Public “open house information sessions” will be held at multiple locations along the Pacific Coast, including one in Eureka this Thursday, March 6, at the Red Lion Hotel Redwood Ballroom at 1929 4th Street.  If you live outside of the Humboldt Bay area, you may be able to attend one of the other sessions in your area.  All written and verbal comments delivered during these meetings will be added to the administrative record, so please urge as many as you can to turn out and let the Navy hear your voice.

Click Here to Take Action Now!

Click here to see EPIC’s past efforts to stop the Navy’s unnecessary killing of marine mammals for their testing and training operations.


Take Action Today to Protect Wolves in California

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
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brenders_-_den_mother-wolf_family_premier_edition Take Action: Gray Wolves in California may be left without state protections under the California Endangered Species Act if the California Fish and Game Commission were to follow the recommendation of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to not list the species.

On February 5, 2014, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released it’s final status report for the Gray Wolf. It advised the California Fish and Game Commission to not list Gray Wolves as “endangered,” as requested by a petition from EPIC and a coalition of other groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity, because there are currently no wolves in California.

The Department is instead recommending alternative measures to protect wolves. These measures include:

  • The designation of the wolf as a “special species of concern;”
  • The existence of the wolf stake-holder group that is producing a Gray Wolf Management Plan;
  • Commission actions under the existing California Fish and Game Code that would prevent “take” of the Gray Wolf, even in response to depredation of livestock; and
  • The possibility of listing the Gray Wolf under California Endangered Species Act at a later date.

These measures are considered inadequate by our staff at EPIC because they fail to afford the fullest protection of California endangered species law to these imperiled species.

While the Department is charged with conducting the status review, and preparing the status report with recommendations to the Commission, the Commission itself is the final authority as to whether or not listing of the Gray Wolf as “endangered” is warranted. The Commission is tentatively scheduled to hear the Gray Wolf listing and make a final determination at it’s April 2014 meeting in Ventura, California.

Meanwhile, the Federal proposal to “de-list” the gray wolf in the lower 48 states has hit a substantial snag with the recent release of the peer review report regarding the scientific foundations of the “de-listing” proposal. Scientists clearly state in the peer review report that the “de-listing” proposal is not based on the best available science.

For California, the decision as to whether the Gray Wolf warrants state protections must be informed by public opinion as well as the best available science, both of which largely support the “endangered” listing.

Click here to tell the Commission to protect tomorrow’s legacy by listing the Gray Wolf as a California Endangered Species today.


Take Action For the Love of Wild Nature ♥

Friday, February 14th, 2014
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MtnLionTreeFWSTake Action Now ♥  Save the Siskiyou 1 Roadless Area

300 acres of native forest in the Siskiyou 1 Roadless Area is threatened with road building and logging.  The Crawford Timber Sale on the Klamath National Forest (KNF) is located in one of the largest unroaded low elevation areas remaining on the Forest.  This vital wildlife connectivity corridor links the Marble Mountain and Siskiyou Wilderness Areas.

With a likely to adversely affect determination for the Northern Spotted Owls the KNF is now preparing an Environmental Impact Statement. Not only would tractor logging destroy the untouched nature of these stands it would also degrade and remove essential habitat for owls, fishers and multiple other plants and animals that depend on older forests with dense canopy cover.

In the rapidly changing climate these low elevation north facing forest slopes are increasingly important by providing cool and moist microclimates they are areas of refuge for both plant and animal species.

The Forest Service reasoning for the Crawford Timber Sale is to improve forest health and biological diversity and also to extract forest products. As in most timber sales on our national forest, the project would be damaging to forest health and biodiversity, with taxpayers footing the bill for corporate timber profits at the expense of wildlands and wildlife.

Please click here to tell the KNF to protect the Siskiyou 1 Roadless Area wildlife corridor.

 


EPIC Will Keep Pressure On Caltrans in 2014

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
By

Tall.RGsmall

EPIC will continue in 2014 to advance initiatives that challenge unnecessary, wasteful, and environmentally harmful highway development projects proposed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) on the North Coast of California.

In late December 2013, EPIC and partners received a significant set back in our efforts to “Rein in Caltrans” due to an unfavorable federal court decision regarding the challenge to the Willits Bypass Project. Despite the unfavorable ruling, our campaign to reform the largest road building agency on the planet will continue in earnest in 2014. Whether it be demanding that the State of California and Caltrans come to terms with the real implications of our transportation habits for local and global climate change, defending site specific sensitive environments like Richardson Grove State Park or the precious Smith River, or protecting the right of our communities to meaningful public participation in the decision making that can affect our daily lives, EPIC will keep the pressure on Caltrans in the coming year.

EPIC will endeavor along with strategic partners to hold Caltrans accountable to environmental law, and to increase the effectiveness with which local communities can influence the planning and decision-making processes of this behemoth agency. Our legal challenge regarding the Willits Bypass Project may have been unsuccessful in convincing the federal court that our concerns regarding Caltrans merited intervention in the implementation of the project, but we are steadfast in our commitment to defend and protect irreplaceable natural treasures on the North Coast of California from poorly conceived highway development projects.

In that context, on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, EPIC and partners, the Center for Biological Diversity and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, will present oral arguments before the State of California Court of Appeal regarding our California Environmental Quality Act challenge to the Caltrans Richardson Grove highway-widening project. The oral arguments for this case will be heard at 9 AM on Wednesday January 15, 2014 on the Fourth Floor of the First Appellate District Court of Appeal at 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco.

Two lawsuits were filed challenging the unnecessary project, which intends to widen Highway 101 as it winds through the towering ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park. EPIC and partners prevailed on the federal lawsuit when the federal court ruled in April 2012 that Caltrans had been “arbitrary and capricious” in their use of “faulty data” in the Richardson Grove project documentation, and the court ordered that Caltrans develop new documentation that would accurately assess the potential impact of the highway development project on rare ancient forest ecosystems protected in the State Park. A parallel state law case was developed challenging the permitting of the Caltrans project under the California Environmental Quality Act. Hearings for that case were originally held before the Humboldt County Superior Court on March 29, 2012, with a decision favorable to Caltrans issued at the end of June 2012. In the wake of that unfavorable decision, plaintiffs explored all of their options in the legal defense of the ancient redwoods against the unnecessary highway development, and in December 2012, EPIC filed a formal appeal of the Humboldt County Superior Court decision. It is that appeal that will be heard in San Francisco on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. We encourage defenders of Richardson Grove to come to the hearing and to be present in a respectful manner in support of our state parks and ancient redwoods.


Take Action! Protest Destructive Post-Fire Logging on the Salmon River

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
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Photo#1_KellyGulch

Kelly Gulch Hillside- within the Salmon Fire Project

Take Action! The Wild and Scenic (W&S) North Fork Salmon River is threatened with post-fire “salvage” logging. The Salmon/Scott River Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest (NF) is proposing to streamline activities within Inventoried Roadless Areas and riparian reserves, including extensive new road construction over trails and overgrown roads.  Over 60% of the 1,872 acre project area is within Critical Habitat for the threatened Northern Spotted Owl.  The W&S North Fork Salmon River is designated a Key watershed, meaning it is critical for salmon recovery.  The river is also listed under the Clean Water Act as being impaired. This project jeopardizes the wild nature of the North Fork Salmon River and the well-being of the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Photo#2

“Existing Road”

The Klamath NF deceptively claims that no new temporary roads are needed, however some of the “existing” roadbeds have not been used for decades, have completely grown over and are covered in trees, rocks and landslides. One of these very old unused roads, which is nearly a mile long, is located on a steep and extremely unstable hillside. A great deal of heavy equipment and severe earth moving would be required to make it ready for logging trucks and equipment. Further, when there is a road there is often a need for a landing at the end of the road to accommodate large trucks and heavy equipment.  Landings are bulldozed flats that are 1/2-acre to up to two-acre openings.

Photo#3_LookCloseFlaging

Same “road” look closely for the flagging which indicates location of the road.

Over 300 acres of the project is within larger forest stands.  One of these areas along the Garden Gulch Trail provides high quality Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl, and is a popular gateway that leads into the Marble Mountain Wilderness.  EPIC and the conservation community have been defending this beautiful forest stand for a decade, first fighting the Meteor Timber Sale, and then recently in opposition to the Little Cronan Timber Sale.  Again, the agency is calling the trail an “existing” road, and now proposes to open the trail, which is adjacent to a creek, to bulldozers, logging trucks and heavy equipment.

Garden Gulch Trail next to the creek and proposed road location

Garden Gulch Trail next to the creek and proposed road location.

This particular forest stand exemplifies high quality mixed conifer habitat and contains hundreds of big older trees, many of which are still very alive and green.  Only very small patches of the forest burned at high severity, which actually contributes to the ecological qualities of this ideal post-fire forest stand.  These trees are providing shade and contributing to a healthy complex forest structure, and they will be providing future nutrients to the soil.  It is all part of a natural process. Bulldozers, trucks, roads and landings do not belong on this trail or in this showcase forest stand.

Southern Boundary next to the Garden Gulch Trail

Southern Boundary next to the Garden Gulch Trail

There are four Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) nest sites (core areas) within the project vicinity.  Recent science shows that the owls benefit from burned forest stands and that post-fire logging has the potential to increase extinction rates, especially when done within core areas.  The NSO species Recovery Plans calls for “conserving and restoring habitat elements that take a long time to develop (e.g., large trees, medium and large snags, downed wood).

In their rush to implement this ecologically damaging project, the agency has sought an Emergency Situation Determination (ESD) from the regional forester.  If the request for an ESD were to be granted it would mean that trees can be cut down as soon as a decision is issued and a contract is signed, despite any appeal or claims brought in court.  Seeking an ESD circumvents judicial review, eliminating the public’s recourse in challenging a poor decision that threatens our public lands, making public participation a mere charade. This project not only threatens the ecological viability of forests on the edge of the Marble Mountain Wilderness, the Klamath National Forest is attempting to undermine democracy.

Take Action Today to Stop the Salmon River Salvage Project! Let the Regional Forester and the Forest Supervisor know that you oppose post-fire logging that results in habitat destruction and road construction in designated Key watersheds like the North Fork Salmon River.

Post-fire landscapes are considered to be one of the most rare, endangered, and ecologically important habitats in the western U.S.  They are rich, vibrant and alive and often provide more biodiversity than green forests.  Read more about the environmental effects of post-fire logging.  Take a walk in Garden Gulch.   See the overgrown unused Kelly Gulch A Spur Road on steep and unstable hillsides proposed for re-construction.  View more photos here.

 


Take Action to Protect the Irreplaceable Treasure of Richardson Grove

Thursday, October 10th, 2013
By

Save Richardson Grove DonateClick Here to Take Action Now!

The fate of Richardson Grove State Park is in your hands. Caltrans is now accepting comments on the newly released Supplement to the Environmental Assessment for the Richardson Grove highway-widening project during a 30-day public comment period that will end on October 21, 2013. After a very serious remand from the federal court in April 2012, in which Caltrans was determined to have been “arbitrary and capricious” in their use of “false data,” Caltrans has defied the federal court order and has come back with inadequate documentation for the Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project. Caltrans is now communicating to the public that they will begin construction on the Richardson Grove project in mid-2014. This current public comment period is a critical juncture in the ongoing community supported campaign to stop Caltrans from conducting destructive activities amongst the ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove, which were to be protected in perpetuity under the California State Park System. Caltrans continues to downplay and ignore how road construction activities, tree thinning, old-growth root cutting, and long-term impacts of highway expansion will impact the irreplaceable old-growth ecosystem protected in the park.

Now is your chance to speak up for the trees. There is less than 3% of the original ancient redwood temperate rainforest left after more than a century of intense human economic development in the redwood region. Most all of the ancient redwoods that remain are held in isolated pockets of park-protected forests.  We can’t risk losing any of these last redwood giants. Don’t let Caltrans degrade this public trust resource when other viable alternatives are possible. Please take action now to ensure that this sacred and magical place is protected for future generations.

Why it is Important to Stop Caltrans from Destroying the Irreplaceable Public Trust Resource that is Richardson Grove

Richardson Grove is an irreplaceable ecosystem consisting of one of the world’s last remaining stands of old-growth redwoods. The Grove was designated as a heritage park and protected in the California State Park system, and is one of the state’s oldest and most popular state parks. Richardson Grove sits alongside the wild and scenic Eel River, and is a place that is of incredible value to a multitude of people from around the region, the state, the country, and the world. Richardson Grove has irreplaceable spiritual and cultural qualities and is known to contain important Native American archaeological sites. If Caltrans moves forward with the proposed project it will result in significant impacts to the state and federally designated wild and scenic Eel River, to known Native American cultural sites, to an irreplaceable old-growth redwood ecosystem, to habitat that is suitable for old-growth dependent species, and to the experience of visitors to the protected Richardson Grove State Park.

Caltrans should withdraw the Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project as it currently stands, and look to identify viable solutions that can effectively meet the needs and interests of the broad variety of stakeholders on the North Coast of California. If Caltrans does not drop the project, the agency must complete a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project. The new Supplement to the Environmental Assessment is inadequate, and it does not fulfill the Court’s order to prepare a revised Environmental Assessment or conduct an Environmental Impact Statement. The Tree Decisions Final Report fails to provide adequate analysis for individual trees, and completely fails to assess cumulative effects on the entire old-growth redwood grove that will be affected by the proposed project, as well as the region wide impacts of increased STAA truck traffic. Richardson Grove deserves better, take action now to express your concerns to Caltrans.

Over the past year, community concerns that Caltrans will have no regard for cultural and environmental resources at Richardson Grove have been confirmed by the manner by which the unnecessary and overbuilt Willits Bypass Project has been implemented. The destructive implementation of the Willits Bypass Project is relevant to the discussion, as there is ample evidence that Caltrans does not follow state or federal regulations that are in place to protect cultural or environmental resources. Caltrans installed wick drains and 3 feet of fill in an area that contained an archaeological site sacred to the Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians.  Caltrans was aware of the location of the site, and still destroyed it. Additionally, Caltrans has violated conditions of the wetland fill permit that was issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, and also had a nearly 900,000 cubic yard quarry and fill permit revoked by Mendocino County when irregularities for the fill permit came to light due to legal action by concerned citizens. With these clear and ongoing violations of the law, Caltrans has lost legitimacy in the eyes of thousands of North Coast residents. Caltrans insistence on pushing forward with the Richardson Grove project without doing the analysis required by the April 2012 court order reaffirms the concerns of conservation advocates regarding Caltrans ability and competence to implement projects appropriately in sensitive and rare environments.

Another ongoing concern is that Caltrans has failed to analyze and provide information about how the cumulative effects of the Richardson Grove project, along with the proposed widening of Highway 197/199 along the wild and scenic Smith River and the massive STAA highway-widening project on Hwy 299 at Buckhorn Summit, will impact our communities. An adequate analysis of the STAA access projects proposed and being currently implemented by Caltrans would take the necessary hard look at how highway development will affect not only the irreplaceable old-growth redwood ecosystem within Richardson Grove State Park, but how it could jeopardize the health of the entire redwood region: our safety, our environment, our roads, and our economy will all be impacted by this region wide STAA truck transportation project. Our community deserves an honest, transparent, and open discussion about the impacts of highway development, the costs and the benefits of such infrastructure development, and what viable alternatives are possible that will meet needs for goods movement and transportation, as well as protect the rare and sensitive environments that make Northwest California such a special place. Unfortunately, Caltrans continues to disregard state and federal law regarding transparency and access to information. We demand that the agency be forthcoming with an analysis of these region wide impacts resulting from the implementation of a variety of related STAA projects.

Unless an EIS is completed to analyze the full scope and effects of the proposed project, including an assessment of less environmentally damaging alternatives, this project should not go forward. Richardson Grove State Park is part of an irreplaceable, unique, and fragile ecosystem that is protected under state and federal laws. A federal court has already ruled once against Caltrans for their failure to provide adequate documentation for this project. A project of this nature and magnitude must be carefully analyzed to minimize impacts to this public trust resource. Caltrans needs to be prepared to work with a diverse group of stakeholders on the North Coast who want to work towards cost effective and environmentally sound solutions to our transportation and state park protection challenges.

Take Action Today! Rein in Caltrans! Protect the Irreplaceable Treasure of Richardson Grove!


Stop Pollution Pot—Ban Super Toxic Rat Poisons

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
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dconTake Action.  An explosion in cannabis agriculture activity on the North Coast of California has resulted in a higher degree of public understanding of the dangers of rat poison. On repeated occasions large amounts of rat poison have been found at damaging marijuana grow sites; the poisons have been cause for concern most especially in grow operations established in the remote and wild reaches of our National Forest lands. There is growing evidence of the horrible impact of the use of these super toxic poisons in trespass marijuana grow operations, and how they are killing endangered species. Closer to home these poisons can kill wildlife, and present mortal harm to our children and families.

Following the lead of community members, EPIC has been a part of organic and locally based organizing efforts advocating for a voluntary commitment by retailers and residents to ban the sale and use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides. We know that voluntary action may not be enough, but we also know that people acting together is where real change originates. The environmental harms associated with poorly managed marijuana agriculture are having an indisputable impact on natural and human communities on the North Coast. Taking action through securing the passage of a resolution from the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors that urges residents and storeowners to halt usage and sales of these poisons was a great community success. The passage of the resolution this past spring was effective in bringing people from different walks of life together to send a message to the public and to policy makers about the urgent need to eliminate these poisons from our rural residences and working places.

The public has learned that it is not only in producing nasty Pollution Pot (poorly planned and egregiously operated grow operations, often associated with thoughtless road building and clearing of land, the use of pesticides, and the abuse of scarce and invaluable public trust water resources) that these poisons are being used. The fact is that these poisons have become a widespread and common danger in residential, agricultural, and industrial workplaces across Northwest California—and yet there are a multitude of safe alternatives for rodent control, including natural predators. We don’t have to poison our families and wildlife to live and work in rural Northwest California.

Right now you have an opportunity to ask the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to protect our wildlife, pets, and children by banning super-toxic rat poisons. Take action today!

UNDERSTANDING RAT POISON AND HOW IT CAN AFFECT YOU

Widespread use of rodenticides is resulting in unintended poisoning of children, pets and wildlife. Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) work by interfering with normal blood clotting and result in a slow agonizing death by internal bleeding.

These poisons are often referred to as “super toxics” and they pose an unreasonable risk to non-target species. Between 1999 and 2009, the American Association of Poison Control Centers documented 160 severe domestic animal incidents each year and an average of 17,000 human rodenticide exposures each year, approximately 85 percent of which occurred in children younger than six.

SGARs harm numerous different types of wildlife in California. Studies show that more than 70 percent of wildlife tested in California has been exposed to SGARs. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, documented animals harmed by rodenticides since 1994 include the coyote, gray fox, San Joaquin kit fox, raccoon, fox squirrel, bobcat, red fox, gray fox, mountain lion, black bear, Hermann’s kangaroo rat, bald eagle, golden eagle, Canada goose, great-horned owl, barn owl, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, turkey vulture and wild turkey.  Since animals typically retreat to their dens, burrows or other hiding places in the final stages of anticoagulant poisoning, the number of non-target wildlife killed by these compounds is likely to be much greater than we know.

In our region, law enforcement has found numerous industrial marijuana grow sites located on public lands with thousands of plants and large quantities of super toxics. Non-target species such as the fisher, which is a prime candidate for protections under the Endangered Species Act, are being found dead near these industrial grow operations with lethal doses of SGARs in their system.  A study authored by Mourad Gabriel found that almost 80 percent of fishers found dead by researchers between 2006 and 2011 had been exposed to high levels of SGARs.

EPIC has joined forces with the Safe Rodent Control Coalition to address safety concerns for SGARs and to ban the use of SGARs in California. The bottom line is that these super toxics are unnecessary and obsolete. There are too many serious risks associated with their use, and plenty of cost effective alternatives to address rodent infestations.

Please click here to take action now and ask the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to ban “super toxic” second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in California.


Take Action: Bulldozers in the Trinity Alps Wilderness

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
By

CoralComplex

Take Action Now. The Corral Fire was started by lightning on August 10 in the Trinity Alps Wilderness and has reached over 4,000 acres.   The fire is currently less than a mile away from the Hoopa Reservation. The Six Rivers National Forest Supervisor in conjunction with the Hoopa Tribe have been granted permission from the Regional Forest Service Office to use bulldozers and heavy equipment within the wilderness to clear ridgetops and trails to create “fuelbreaks” or “firelines” in hopes of stopping the fire before it reaches the reservation.

Ridgetop fuelbreaks are often unsuccessful at stopping fires depending on weather and topography.  According to the Inciweb website there are currently seven bulldozers working around the fire area.  Up to 5 miles may be cleared, using a variety of treatments in different areas.  For instance, some of the firelines are on old decommissioned roads that are currently on the trail system.  Other firelines are just outside of the wilderness boundary on the Six Rivers National Forest.

While protecting life and homes is always a priority, there has got to be a better way.  Dozerlines in the wilderness will scar the landscape for decades, increasing habitat fragmentation, damaging soils and seriously spoiling wilderness characteristics.  Fire ignited by lightening in our forest ecosystems is as natural as life itself and post-fire landscapes are among the most rare and biologically rich landscapes existing.

Please click here to urge Regional Forester Moore to apply Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST) or call him at 707-562-9000.  Let him know you will be watching closely at what is happening in the Trinity Alps and that you greatly value landscapes affected by fire.  Voice your support for allowing fire to play its role, especially in the wilderness which is supposed to be safeguarded and untrammeled by mankind.

corral8_18

 


Wolves Deserve Recovery – Take Part in the National Day of Action

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
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wolf_pup_howlingTake Action Now. The future of America’s wolves is at stake right now. Wolf recovery is just beginning in the Pacific Northwest, yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) plans to strip Endangered Species Act protections from nearly all wolves in the lower 48 states.

The country’s most reputable wildlife scientists strongly oppose the delisting and have publicly contested this strictly political move.  Days ago those wolf experts on the peer review panel for delisting were eliminated from reviewing the plan. Now, the FWS has put the peer review process in its entirety on hold indefinitely. This strictly political move is contrary to science and the law.

When wolves lose federal protections, they die. As seen from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming where “delisting” has caused the death of 1,181 animals that have been hunted, poisoned, trapped and persecuted with the same vicious attitude that nearly drove them extinct a century ago.

Wolves once roamed California, which has extensive areas of suitable habitat.  Oregon currently has six established packs, approximately 46 wolves and Washington has nine packs with an estimated 51 animals.  For the first time in 85 years one lone wolf Journey or OR-7 was recorded venturing into California and traversed over 4,500 miles only to return to Oregon earlier this year.

Early in 2012, EPIC petitioned to list the wolf under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). As of October 2012, the Gray Wolf was designated as a “candidate species” which garners full protections under CESA.  EPIC is now involved with the statewide stakeholder group working on a California Recovery Plan.

At EPIC, we advocate for wolves and prepare for their return by defending our national forests and wild areas and by advocating for grazing reform to help native species such as Elk who receive competition from cattle grazing on our public lands.  We will continue to participate in the statewide recovery plan and will keep our members and supporters aware of those efforts.

It is not too late:

Tell the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to abandon this misguided plan.

Science is clear that wolves have not yet fully recovered.

Click here to take action now and advocate federal protection for this deserving and dignified canine.

 


Updated Action: Severe Drought Leaves Klamath Salmon Thirsty for More Water

Monday, August 5th, 2013
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Source: USFWS Klamath River Fish Die-off Report

Source: USFWS Klamath River Fish Die-off Report

Update: On August 22, Judge O’Neill ruled that water will be released from the Trinity Reservoir to prevent another fish kill in the Klamath River.  However, only about a third of the 62,000 acre feet will be released, so that the irrigators can store most of the water for next year.  The action below is still valid, as it requests water rights that have never been honored, which would give Humboldt County and downstream users no less than 50,000 acre feet.  This would alleviate the need for last minute emergency water releases to avoid future fish kills.

Take Action Now. Healthy wild salmon populations are a significant life source for our bioregion. They are a crucial part of the food chain that many other species depend on.  Salmon populations up and down the North Coast are just shadows of their historic abundance, but one species is of particular concern. Wild Coho salmon have been listed as threatened since 1997. Still, more than 15 years later these fish are experiencing pressures on many fronts: drought conditions, competition from hatchery fish, disease, road development, an explosion in unpermitted water use throughout the bioregion, and major dam infrastructures that are used to store and divert water for hydroelectric generation and agricultural irrigation.

Temperatures are up and water levels are dropping as the summer progresses into fall.  This year has been particularly hot and dry, and has been identified as California’s driest January through June on record.  According to experts at the National Marine Fisheries Service, it is estimated that 272,000 salmon will be swimming up the Klamath River to spawn this year, which is about 100,000 more fish than packed into the river when the 2002 Klamath fish kill took place leaving over 30,000 fish dead before they could lay eggs and reproduce.

Klamath-Trinity water wars have been taking place for decades.  During dry summer months, water becomes scarce, and the battle begins.  Farmers and ranchers want water for their crops and livestock, Pacificorp wants to use water for making electricity, tribes want to continue to sustain themselves as they have in the Klamath Basin for over 7,000 years, fishermen want healthy fish populations so they can make a living and feed their families, and environmentalists want to preserve wild fish populations and protect wildlife refuges crucial to migratory birds.

The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is a controversial framework that would remove four antiquated dams from the Klamath River, but it would also lock in what some would consider unsustainable water rights for irrigators.  If the KBRA were in effect this year, according to Michael Connor, Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation, 353,000 acre-feet instead of the current projected 319,125 acre-feet would be allocated to Klamath Project irrigators. Meaning even more water would have come out of the river to be given to irrigators.

Regina Chichizola, Rivers Communications Coordinator at Hoopa Valley Tribe, has “received reports that a couple thousand juvenile and at least 100 adult fish are pooled up in the refuge areas at the mouth of Blue Creek because the Klamath River is so hot.”  People are encouraged to take photos of and report the location of any pooled fish or fish kills to the California Department of Fish and Game’s CalTIP number (888) 334-2258.  Reports will be forwarded to the Klamath Fish Health Assessment Team who is tasked with responding to imminent or active fish kills.

In an effort to reduce the likelihood of large-scale fish die-offs, the Bureau of Reclamation approved the release of 62,000 acre feet of water into the Trinity and Lower Klamath Rivers from the Trinity and Lewiston Reservoirs between August 15th and September 21st, but San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District (irrigators from the central valley), have filed a temporary restraining order with a Fresno Judge that has stopped the water from flowing into the Klamath.

Regardless of the status of the Bureau of Reclamation’s proposed Trinity River flow augmentation, at least 50,000 acre feet must be released downstream, as stated in the Trinity River Division Act of 1955: “not less than 50,000 acre-feet of water shall be released from the Trinity Reservoir and made available to Humboldt County and downstream water users.” To date, this allocation has not been honored, and now with current drought conditions, record-breaking heat days, a pending fish kill, and the Twin Tunnels – Bay Delta Conservation Plan looming in the background, the Trinity River’s water is more coveted than ever. EPIC is calling on you to ask the Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to release water downstream as guaranteed under the 1955 Act.

The Environmental Protection Information Center has advocated for the recovery of wild Coho salmon populations for decades.  EPIC has defended headwaters and forests that provide clean cold water and valuable habitat for wild fish, protected Coho under the Endangered Species Act and demanded that hatcheries apply the best available science to protect wild fish populations from hatchery fish that compete with, prey upon, and interbreed with wild salmon. EPIC will continue to advocate for keeping cold and clean Trinity and Klamath water flowing in the rivers.

Please click here to take action and call on the Department of the Interior to release more Trinity water and prevent future fish kills.

Updated 8/15/13.


Take Action Today: Tell State Assembly Member Chesbro to Improve AB904

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
By
Arcata Community Forest

Arcata Community Forest Trail

Take Action: Private non-industrial forestland owners in California are seeking an increase on the acreage cap that restricts the number of landowners that can enroll in the Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP) program.  The current program caps participation at 2,500-acre ownerships.  These smaller non-industrial forestland owners are required under the current NTMP program to only conduct unevenaged management (i.e. no clearcutting or similar methods). The current acreage cap has proved problematic for some of the larger non-industrial landowners, including our own Arcata Community Forest.

In an attempt to address the acreage cap, as well as addressing deficiencies in the current NTMP process, State Assembly Member Wesely Chesbro has introduced AB904. This proposed legislation would potentially increase the acreage cap to as much as 15,000 acre ownerships, and require landowners to manage for the goal of “unevenaged” stands and long-term sustained yield of forest products.  This new program, dubbed the Working Forest Management Plan (WFMP) like the existing NTMP, once approved, is valid into perpetuity, leaving considerable questions about public involvement and oversight of these projects in the long-term.

The devil, of course, is in the details.  The bill currently only requires small landowners to work towards the goal of unevenaged management, rather than explicitly banning clearcutting and requiring selection forestry.  Further, due to the increased acreage size, concerns persist over the ability of public agencies and general public members to adequately review, monitor, and enforce the implementation of the standards of the WFMP.  Finally, concerns persist about how the WFMP will achieve long-term sustained yield of forest products over the life of the plan.

Given these concerns, EPIC has taken an “oppose unless amended” position on AB904.  EPIC staff has participated in lengthy discussions with stakeholders, and has submitted several comments to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on the proposed bill detailing our concerns. As it stands now, the current version of AB904 is insufficient to address lingering environmental and process-related concerns.

So, what can be done?  AB904 can and must be improved to ensure a viable public process, long-term sustained yield of forest products, and overall management with the objective of growing older forests through application of “unevenaged” management techniques.  Tell Assembly Member Chesbro to amend AB904 to address these and other deficiencies identified by EPIC and others in the environmental community.

TAKE ACTION TODAY – Click Here to Tell State Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro: Protect Your Conservation Legacy and Improve AB 904

To put emphasis on the crucial importance of taking action and engaging with Assembly Member Chesbro today, the team at EPIC is publishing the following letter from our colleague Richard Gienger that drives home the critical nature of what is at stake with AB 904.

A LETTER FROM EPIC FOREST AND WATERSHEDS ADVOCATE RICHARD GIENGER IN CONCERN OF AB 904


Protect California’s Spotted Owls and Ancient Forests

Thursday, July 18th, 2013
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NSO Juvenile Oregon Fish and Wildlife ServiceTake action to protect Northern Spotted Owls today. This iconic species is of significant importance because they are vital indicators of forest diversity. Their presence in a forest is a gauge of the health of the habitat, and if their habitat is protected, the greater old-growth ecosystem is also preserved. Northern Spotted Owls are being pushed to the brink of extinction from all directions: most of their habitat and population has been destroyed by industrial logging operations, individuals in remaining nesting sites are preyed on and driven away by aggressive and invasive barred owls, and now they are dying from rat poison used around illegal pot plantations that are found sprouting up on California’s public wild lands.

Dwindling populations and rapid habitat loss have resulted in an immediate need for protections under the Endangered Species Act in order for Northern Spotted Owls to recover.  EPIC is asking the California Fish and Game Commission to vote to protect the Spotted Owl and to conduct a full status review of the species at their August 7th meeting.  This is the next step to listing the Northern Spotted Owls under the California Endangered Species Act, which would result in a long overdue protection status in the state of California.

Please click here to take action. Tell the California Fish and Game Commission that Northern Spotted Owls need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act so that we can preserve them and the unique ancient forests they depend on.


Save the Gray Wolf – Protect America’s Wild Heritage for Future Generations

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
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Wolf KissesTake Action Now.  The future of America’s wolves is at stake right now. Wolf recovery is just beginning in the Pacific Northwest, yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to strip Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from nearly all wolves in the lower 48 states.

The country’s most reputable wildlife scientists strongly oppose the delisting and have publicly contested this strictly political move.

Contrary to requirements of the Endangered Species Act that listing decisions be governed by the best available science, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service presided over a process in which political and economic considerations were at the forefront.

According to documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the federal government’s plan to remove the gray wolf from the protections of the Endangered Species Act was hammered out through political bargaining with affected states.

When wolves lose federal protections, they die. As seen from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming where wolves have been “delisted” and over 1,175 animals have been hunted, poisoned, trapped and ruthlessly persecuted with the same vicious attitude that nearly drove them extinct a century ago.

It also means that wolves — absent today from 95 percent of their historic habitat in the continental U.S.– are virtually guaranteed never to fully recover in places like Northeast California, most of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.

Wolves once roamed throughout California, which has extensive areas of suitable habitat.  Our neighbors in Oregon currently have six established packs, approximately 46 wolves and Washington has nine packs with an estimated 51 animals.  For the first time in 85 years one lone wolf Journey or OR-7 was recorded venturing into California and traversed over 4,500 miles only to return to Oregon earlier this year.

Early in 2012, EPIC petitioned to list the wolf under the California ESA. As of October 2012, the Gray Wolf was designated as a “candidate species” which garners full protections under California ESA.  EPIC is now involved with the statewide stakeholder group working on a California Recovery Plan.

At EPIC, we advocate for wolves  and prepare for their return by defending our national forests and wild areas from exploitation and destruction and by advocating for grazing reform to help native species such as Elk who receive competition from cattle grazing on our public lands.  We will continue to participate in the statewide recovery plan and will keep our members and supporters aware of those efforts.

It is not too late:

90-day Public Comment is open. Tell the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to abandon this misguided plan.

Science is clear that wolves have not yet fully recovered.

Click here to take action now and advocate federal protection for this deserving and dignified canine.


Action Alert: Speak up for California’s Northern Spotted Owls

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
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northern-spotted-owls-USFWSTake Action Now: The Board of Forestry is set to decide whether or not to delete antiquated and unnecessary regulations that result in habitat destruction for spotted owls.  A major initiative in EPIC’s Spotted Owl self-defense program, the campaign to delete “option ‘g’” intends to reduce unnecessary regulations while at the same time providing greater protection for spotted owls. Deleting option ‘g’ will result in more habitat for owls and reduce the work load of state regulations and foresters alike.

Back in March of 2013, EPIC asked you to voice your support for our petition to delete option ‘g.’ We are now very close to our goal, but will need your support one more time.  We need the Board of Forestry to hear from you.  Please take a moment for the following action.  Your support will help EPIC give voice to the owls, the best available science, and simple common sense.

Click here to take action and tell the Board of Forestry that “Option g” is not an option.


Action Alert: Protect Trinity Alps Wilderness from Damaging Livestock Grazing

Monday, May 6th, 2013
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grazing 4Take Action:  The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to re-authorize commercial livestock grazing on over 33,453 acres of the Six Rivers National Forest, mostly within the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area.  The grazing allotments are located east of the Hoopa Valley within the headwaters of Mill, Tish Tang and Horse Linto Creeks.  These Trinity River tributaries are designated as “Key Watersheds” meaning they are critical for salmon recovery.  This sensitive area contains wet meadows, lakes and streams that have been degraded, trampled and compacted by grazing for decades. 

The Trinity Summit Range Assessment includes an amendment to the Six Rivers forest plan that adds 225 acres to the grazing allotments at Water Dog Lakes within the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area.  In fact, over two-thirds of the allotments are within the wilderness.  The remaining portion is within Late Successional Reserves, which must be managed to maintain and restore old-growth forests and species that depend on older forests for survival.  

Monitoring by the U.S. Forest Service shows a long history of unsatisfactory and degraded conditions in the Trinity Summit Allotments.  In order to facilitate the continuation of damaging livestock grazing, the U.S. Forest Service is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement, an admission that the proposed reauthorization is expected to have significant impacts on this critical area. 

Science illustrates grazing has a long list of deleterious impacts on the landscape:

  • Competition with native species such as elk and deer for forage
  • Degradation of aquatic ecosystems negatively affecting water quality and harming salmon, frogs and salamanders
  • Damage and elimination of native plants and grasses
  • Soil erosion and compaction
  • Spread of E. coli bacteria
  • Spread of invasive and noxious weeds
  • Harm to rare bird species, such as Willow Flycatcher, that nest in riparian willow stands
  • Negative affects to recreational and wilderness values.

The Six Rivers National Forest contains over 250,000 acres that are available for grazing, which is no small amount of our public lands.  It is clear that stricter management as well as limiting and retiring some of these allotments, would benefit a multitude of public resources, such as clean water necessary for recovering salmon populations and wilderness values cherished by many recreationists in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. 

Please act now to protect the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Click here to submit comments to protect salmon and the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Emerald_lake_trinity_alps


Action Alert: Endangered Species Deserve More Time and More Protections on the Mendocino Coast

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
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Murrelet USFWSTake Action:  Federal and state agencies are accepting public comment on a proposal from the Mendocino Redwood Company for an Incidental Take Permit and associated Habitat Conservation Plan. Please take a moment to request that more time be allowed for public participation and review, as well as an increase in protections for endangered species.

In response to receipt of an application from the Mendocino Redwood Company, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are considering the proposed action of issuing an 80-year incidental take permit for nine federally listed species and two currently unlisted species. The proposed permit would authorize “take” (harm and harassment) of individual members of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The permit is needed because “take” of species could occur during timber harvest, forest management, and related activities within 213,244 acres in western Mendocino County, CA.

Click here to take action now.


Action Alerts: Give Two Hoots for Northern Spotted Owls

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
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Spotted Owl PairAs we move into spring and celebrate the blossoming of flowers and return of vibrant life in our region, so too are Northern Spotted Owl pairs beginning their yearly nesting endeavors. This year, owls have some things to be happy about as two major initiatives advance in EPIC’s Spotted Owl Self-defense Campaign.

Hoot One

First, the EPIC petition to list the Northern Spotted Owl under the California Endangered Species Act that was filed last September received a positive evaluation from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in February, recommending candidate listing and full status review. The listing petition will now be heard by the California Fish and Game Commission on April 17th, and EPIC will be there to advocate on behalf of the owl. It is now time for the State of California to recognize its duties, and based on the overwhelming evidence, act swiftly to protect the Northern Spotted Owl.

Click here to take Action #1: Contact the California Fish and Game Commission and let them know that you support EPIC’s petition to list the Northern Spotted Owl under the California Endangered Species Act.

Hoot Two

Another major initiative in EPIC’s Spotted Owl Self-defense Campaign is reforming antiquated rules at the California Board of Forestry. On February 6, 2013, EPIC filed a rulemaking petition before the Board of Forestry to remove regulations that have resulted in harm to owls and significant loss of owl habitat. Existing state regulations have allowed intensive logging of spotted owl habitat within known owl territories resulting in the abandonment and loss of hundreds of historic nesting sites. Updating state regulations to reflect the most current scientific and regulatory guidance is necessary to conserve and recover owls and their habitat. In addition, changing existing state regulations will also serve to streamline review and approval of timber harvest plans, and save valuable public resources. Thanks to positive public comments and the participation of EPIC membership, on March 6th the Board voted to accept EPIC’s rulemaking petition and initiate a formal rulemaking process. Now we need the support of EPIC members and the public to ensure that the Board finalizes the rulemaking.

Click here to take Action #2: Contact the Board of Forestry and let them know that you support EPIC’s petition to remove outdated and harmful regulations that damage Northern Spotted Owl habitat


Act Now to Stop Destructive Post-Fire “Salvage” Logging on the Mendocino National Forest

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
By
Dozerline backburn on the Southern end of Mill fire.  Credit Reuben/Feather River Hotshots

Dozerline backburn on the Southern end of Mill fire. Credit Reuben/Feather River Hotshots

Mill Fire Project

Update 3/14/13

The Mendocino National Forest has released an Environmental Analysis for post-fire logging on 985 acres in the Mill fire area, outside of the town of Stonyford.  Public comment is due by March 25thPlease Act Now to stand up for forests, wildlife and watersheds.

Although a vast majority of the forest marked as timber sale units actually burned at moderate and low severity, with many live trees remaining within these stands, the agency claims the stands are in a “deforested condition” and are not functioning “normally.”  This claim is used to justify removing most of the trees in the units, including live green trees, totaling nearly 1000 acres of ecologically unnecessary post-fire salvage logging.

The Emergency Situation Determination (ESD) that the Mendocino planners are seeking streamlines environmental review, reduces public recourse, and would allow logging to begin immediately after a Decision by the Forest Supervisor despite an appeal or pending lawsuit. Now is the time for the public to speak up and voice their opposition to this undemocratic decision making process.

It is clear that timber volume is driving this project running over ecology and the best available science.  One statement made in the ESD letter after land managers met with timber industry representatives:  “It was concluded that the sale would need to contain enough volume to cover move in move out costs of logging operations as well as high haul cost from this remote area of the forest.”

The project is within the Blue Slides Late Successional Reserve (LSR). The reserves are set aside to preserve old growth forest and species like the Northern Spotted Owl that depend on big old trees for survival. Damaged and dead trees (snags) are important structural components of late-successional forests and are key habitat for numerous species. They provide forage, cavities for nesting and protection, perch sites, and den sites. Large snags are considered to be one of the distinctive features of an old-growth forest.

Fire and tree mortality are natural elements in a forest ecosystem.  Logging of large snags does not contribute to recovery of forest habitat; in fact, the only activity more antithetical to the recovery process would be removal of surviving green trees from burned sites, which the Mendocino timber planners are proposing to do in this project. Much of the area is already naturally regenerating.  Logging with ground based equipment such as tractors and bulldozers on fragile soils will inhibit and kill natural growth.

Post-fire landscapes and snag forests are alive and vibrant. They are more biologically diverse than unburned forest, and provide for an array of plant and animal species. Post-fire landscapes are considered to be one of the most rare, endangered, and ecologically important forest habitat types in western U.S. forests, and the stand-transforming fires that create this habitat are not damaging the forest ecosystem. Rather, they are advancing ecological restoration.

Act now to protect your public lands!  Please ask Mendocino National Forest to cancel destructive post-fire logging within the Blue Slides LSR.

Update 1/8/13

The Mendocino National Forest is proposing to streamline more than 250 acres of post-fire logging.  The 30,000 acre Mill Fire burned outside the town of Stoneyford and within the Blue Slides Late Successional Reserve (LSR).  The reserves are set aside to preserve old growth forest and the species that depend on big old trees for survival.

A majority of these forest stands had a moderate severity burn with many green trees unaffected.  In fact, less than 10% of the fire area burned at high severity.  Much of the area is already naturally regenerating.

Mendocino National Forest planners are seeking to undermine and ignore meaningful environmental analysis, and declare an “emergency” that would allow logging to begin immediately after a decision by the Forest Supervisor despite an appeal or pending lawsuit.

Please ask Mendocino National Forest Supervisor and timber planners to cancel destructive post fire logging within the Blue Slides LSR.

 

North Pass Fire Project

Update 3/14/13: You made a difference!

A step in the right direction.

The North Pass post-fire logging project was recently rescinded due to serious watershed concerns.  The canceled 900-acre project area was proposed within the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Eel River, a key watershed that is critical for salmon recovery.  This watershed is also listed as being “impaired” under the Clean Water Act.

Due to the destructive effects of logging activities on fragile post-fire soils, in combination with the documented negative effects from the fire suppression activities such as “backburns” or “burnouts,” along with the excessive firelines created by bulldozers, the proposed salvage-logging project was predicted to increase sediment and disturb soils to an unacceptable level.  In short, it would have choked streams and harmed Steelhead trout and Salmon.

Mendocino land managers also received a flood of concerns from EPIC’s last Action Alert.  Thanks to all of you who took action! Your taking action makes a difference in protecting your public lands!

While it is not clear that land managers will totally abandon the idea of logging the fire area, they have indicated that future plans may be significantly reduced to focus on roadside cutting.

Your actions make a difference—take action on the Mill Fire salvage-logging project today! 


Update  3/7/13: Thanks to your participation, this proposal has been withdrawn.

The Mendocino National Forest is proposing two post-fire logging sales.  One is the Mill Fire project detailed above and the other is the North Pass Fire “Salvage” logging timber sale.

According to the September 25, 2012 Burned Area Report for the North Pass Fire lasted for 24 days and burned 31,050 acres on the Mendocino National Forest of which 21,693 acres were low severity, 8502 acres were moderate and only 855 acres burned at high severity (<3% of the fire area).  The Forest Service’s fire supression tactics created 46 miles of fireline and 79.35 miles of National Forest roads utilized during fire suppression efforts.

The proposed project would tractor and cable log within snag forest habitat on approximately 300 acres of Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat within Matrix and Riparian Reserve allocations and would subsequently damage natural regeneration and establish highly flammable plantations.  The project is within the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Eel River Tier 1 Key Watershed.  The project proposes- to construct .5 miles of new “temporary” road, 3 miles of road maintenance and log hauling.

Please  let the Mendocino NF know that you value post-fire habitat, and ask them to stop ill-conceived plans to clearcut our forests.