Where We Work
Welcome to the wildest corner of California: a land of ancient redwood groves, annual salmon runs, steep mountain valleys, and banana slugs.
EPIC was founded in Humboldt County on the state’s North Coast, but our work extends to environments and communities throughout the five-county area of Northwestern California. From our first legal battle to save Sally Bell Grove in Mendocino County to our work to keep cold clean water in the Trinity and Klamath Rivers, we cover a bioregion with an abundance of globally important ecosystems and biodiversity.
Our region is home to the Earth’s largest remaining stands of old-growth redwood trees, the striking Trinity Alps, the largest undammed river in California (the Smith River), and other unique natural features. EPIC also works extensively with local communities in the region, understanding that the environment of Northern California is an interconnected whole consisting of people, flora and fauna. EPIC’s goal is to protect Northwestern California so that people may live harmoniously in a community of all beings, one that respects and cares for the landscape in a way that demonstrates a serious commitment to the well being of the future generations.
Land Acknowledgement & Honor Tax
The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) is located on the land of the Wiyot peoples including the Wiyot Tribe, Bear River Rancheria, and Blue Lake Rancheria. Specifically, EPIC is located in Goudi’ni (Arcata) which means ‘over there in the woods’.
The ancestral homelands of the Wiyot people range from Plhut Gasamuli'm (Little River) in the north to Tsakiyuwit (Bear River Ridge) in the south, from Shou'r (Pacific Ocean) in the west to the first set of qus (hills/mountains) to the east. Waterways in the ancestral lands of Wiyot people include Baduwa't (Mad River), Hikshari' (Elk River), Wiya't (Eel River), and Girrughurralilh (Van Duzen River).
As an environmental organization, EPIC acknowledges that Indigenous peoples have an essential, continuous, and ongoing relationship with their ancestral homelands. The incredible landscapes and ecosystems of Northwestern California, which EPIC exists to protect, are the result of Indigenous land stewardship which has shaped these lands for millennia.
We pledge to always listen to Indigenous Peoples and work with them to ensure that our advocacy is respectful, informed, and just. We pledge to engage in meaningful and effective collaborations built on recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ longstanding relationships with ecosystems in their traditional territories, and the crucial role Tribes can take in defending and protecting nature.
WHAT IS THE HONOR TAX?
The Honor Tax is a way of recognizing and respecting the sovereignty of Native Nations, and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This is a "tax" out of respect for Native Sovereignty - rather than a gift or donation. We all live on traditional Native homelands. If you do not live in Wiyot territory you can initiate an Honor Tax in your community!
The Honor Tax was not in any way initiated by the Wiyot Nation, although they have formally agreed via their Tribal Council to accept the Honor Tax. The Honor Tax was initiated by individuals, organizations and businesses who want to actively recognize the sovereignty of the Wiyot tribe and their right to their traditional land.
The Honor Tax is a voluntary annual tax paid directly to the Wiyot Nation by people who are on their traditional territories. The amount is decided by the individual.