New EPIC Merch Celebrating Forests & Wildlife!
We’re excited to announce that new EPIC merchandise is coming to our online store this Wednesday, March 15th, 2023! We are bringing back one of our favorite designs from local Humboldt artist Pen+Pine featuring some of our favorite animal and plant members of the Forest Family, as well as embracing the classic EPIC logo, on a collection of hoodie sweatshirts, beanies, and stainless steel water bottles.
Please also be sure to shop our awesome existing collection of t-shirts, full-zip hoodies, hats, and stickers with beaver, marten, and redwood-inspired art by Skye Henterly, Fiona Bearclaw, Matt Beard, and more!
By purchasing EPIC merch, you support our ongoing advocacy for the protection and restoration of Northwest California’s spectacular forests, watersheds, and wildlife - as well as helping us with outreach by spreading the word about our name and work. Thank you — we need and appreciate you! Each species pictured on our merchandise is an important member of Northwest California’s ecosystems, which EPIC exists to protect:
First and foremost, the coast redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens) and North American beaver (Castor canadensis) are both keystone species upon which entire ecosystems of other species depend on, and without which the ecosystems they support drastically change.
Coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are evergreen conifer trees with lifespans up to 3,000 years, the tallest trees on Earth up to 380 feet, and the backbones of the complex communities of animals, plants, and fungi that are practically synonymous with California’s North Coast — but they are at risk. According to the Save the Redwoods League, “Since the 1840s, 95% of California’s original old-growth redwood forests have been logged. Of the state’s remaining 1.6 million acres (about 2,500 square miles) of coast redwoods, more than 1.5 million acres are recovering forests that have been logged at least once. Much of that acreage is managed as commercial timberland.” Coast redwoods are listed as endangered under the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as of 2013, but are not listed under the U.S. or CA Endangered Species Act.
Beavers (Castor canadensis) support river ecosystems as “ecosystem engineers” by building dams that create wetlands and habitat for a multitude of biodiversity — the only dams we need! Beavers, however, are currently missing from much of their historic range (though not protected under either Endangered Species Act), and the effects of their absence are suffered by all the species that co-evolved with them.
Next, we want to highlight some beautiful, unique local species of wildlife that are each integral members of North Coast California's ecosystems and each threatened by human-driven activities, regardless of Endangered Species Act listing.
The Humboldt marten (Martes caurina humboldtensis) is an elusive, cat-sized member of the weasel family that is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Once common in coastal forests in northern California and southern Oregon, marten populations were decimated by unchecked trapping and logging of its forest habitat. Today fewer than 400 of these fascinating carnivores remain in four highly isolated fragments of the species’ historic habitat.
The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is the Earth’s largest wild canine whose historic range covered most of North America, but is now listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, with population declines likely due to habitat fragmentation and loss, predator control, and hunting. As of 2022 the most recent data from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and its state partners show a meager estimated 132 wolves in Washington state, 173 in Oregon (with only 19 outside of northeastern Oregon), and fewer than about 20 in California.
The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) is a small native species of owl whose 1990 listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act spurred the creation of the Northwest Forest Plan and major changes to national forest management on over 25 million acres in California, Oregon, and Washington. Nevertheless, northern spotted owl populations are still declining today due to habitat loss from timber harvest, wildfire, and salvage logging, as well as invasion and outcompetition by the larger and more aggressive barred owl.
The rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa) is a poisonous*, semi-aquatic amphibian that lives in and along rivers and streams on the Pacific Coast from Northwest California to Southwest Alaska. Newts and other amphibians have been likened to “canaries in a coal mine” because of their permeable skin and high sensitivity to environmental changes and contamination. (*Poisonous = deadly to eat, including for humans! Generally avoid touching or handling wild amphibians and reptiles, but if you do, be sure to wash your hands before touching your face.)
The California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) — California’s state flower — is a bright-orange wildflower native to the western United States that blooms in the spring and early summer. Poppies’ beautiful bright orange color stands out even in California’s rare spring wildflower superblooms following particularly rainy winters, which is possible this year! If you’re lucky enough to visit a superbloom, be sure to take only pictures and leave only footprints — but NOT on the flowers. An aesthetic photo isn’t worth crushing flowers that represent a flourishing prairie ecosystem!
Sword ferns (Polystichum munitum) and salal (Gaultheria shallon) are common understory plants in coast redwood and other conifer forests on California’s North Coast. Sword ferns are some of the most conspicuous members of the fern family due to their large size, with bright green fronds reaching up to 6 feet in height. Flip over the fronds in the late summer to take a peek at the orderly brown spots (aka sori) bursting with spores that function like fern seeds. Salal is an evergreen shrub with glossy, dark green leaves and, come spring, reddish stems with pink flowers that grow into edible purple berries. Indigenous peoples on the North Coast use both of these plants for medicinal and other essential purposes.
Thank you so much for your dedicated support of our work continuing the fight for Northwest California’s ecosystems and communities. For the Earth!