Over 40 Years of Environmental News
Vol. 44, No. 2 April/May 2014
Published by the Northcoast Environmental Center Since 1971
Standing our Ground for a
Coastal Programs Update | Earth Day Cleanups & Hoedown | History of Arcata Marsh Godwit Days | Spring Wildflower Show | Team Klamazon Returns | Remembering Tim Lillebo
1385 8th Street - Suite 226, Arcata, CA 95521 PO Box 4259, Arcata, CA 95518 707- 822-6918, Fax 707-822-6980 www.yournec.org
EcoNews is the official bi-monthly publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC), a non-profit organization. Third class postage paid in Arcata. ISSN No. 0885-7237. EcoNews is mailed to our members and distributed free throughout the Northern California and Southern Oregon bioregion. The subscription rate is $35 per year. Editor/Layout: Morgan Corviday Hollis, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Proofreaders: Karen Schatz and Midge Brown Writers: Sid Dominitz, Dan Ehresman, Sarah Marnick, Dan Sealy, Jennifer Kalt, Scott Greacen, Jennifer Savage, Jud Ellinwood, Ali Freedlund, Frances G. Beatty, Nat Pennington, Brandon Drucker, James Williams, Gary Graham Hughes Cover Illustration: Terry Torgerson Artist: Terry Torgerson
The ideas and views expressed in EcoNews are not necessarily those of the NEC.
NEC Executive Director: Dan Ehresman, firstname.lastname@example.org EcoNews Editor/Web Manager: Morgan Corviday, email@example.com Coastal Programs Director: Jennifer Savage, firstname.lastname@example.org Office Assistant: Brandon Drucker, email@example.com Office Assistant: Alanna Cottrell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Of Directors
Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment- Larry Glass, President, email@example.com At-Large, Trinity County Rep.- Bob Morris, Vice-President, firstname.lastname@example.org Humboldt Baykeeper- Jennifer Kalt, Secretary, email@example.com At-Large - Chris Jenican Beresford, Treasurer, firstname.lastname@example.org California Native Plant SocietyGary Falxa, email@example.com Redwood Region Audubon SocietyCJ Ralph, firstname.lastname@example.org Sierra Club, North Group Richard Kreis, email@example.com Friends of the Eel River- Scott Greacen, firstname.lastname@example.org At-Large - Dan Sealy, email@example.com
News From the Center
The generous rainfall over the last two months has brought much needed water to our region’s rivers— refilling community water supplies and providing flows for salmon and steelhead to continue their upstream journey. Unfortunately the showers are nowhere close to curbing extreme drought conditions currently plaguing North Coast counties, and indeed most of California. As part of a stated attempt to soften droughtrelated impacts to residents, businesses, and wildlife, lawmakers are pushing for action at state and federal levels. California assemblymembers are setting the stage for a 2014 water bond. Many experts have expressed that while the bond contains many sensible water strategies, there is concern that it unfairly puts agribusiness interests of central and southern California over the needs of northern watersheds. We hope that detailed
NEC Member Groups Humboldt Baykeeper
Sierra Club,North Group, Redwood Chapter
California Native Plant Society North Coast Chapter www.northcoastcnps.org
Redwood Region Audubon Society www.rras.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of the Eel River
www.eelriver.org, email@example.com 707-822-3342
Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment (SAFE)
Dan Ehresman, Executive Director
input provided by North Coast stakeholders will steer the state
from outdated water policies that favor dams and diversions to one that promotes conservation and resilience.
Our congressional representatives are also responding to the West’s water woes with proposed federal legislation. On March 13, Congressman Jared Huffman introduced a drought relief bill that aims to provide relief to those affected throughout western states, clamp down on illegal water diversions, and bring archaic policy and practice up to date with the current realities of global climate change and other resource challenges. Locally, the NEC, along with our member groups and colleagues, continues to fight for protection of our watersheds and community water supplies through coastal education and advocacy for an updated General Plan. We are encouraged by those who are standing up and letting our elected representatives know how much our communities value healthy streams and wetlands, and how important open space and regional trails are for humans, wildlife, and for the watersheds upon which we depend.
Leave a North Coast Legacy Give a gift that will endure beyond your lifetime. Leave a lasting legacy by naming the Northcoast Environmental Center as a beneﬁciary of your will, trust, or other estate plans.
Your bequest will help us advocate for and educate about the North Coast and the KlamathSiskiyou bioregion for future generations. To learn more, call us at 707-822-6918. The NEC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-proﬁt organization, EIN 23-7122386.
NEC Affiliate Members Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)
www.wildcalifornia.org, firstname.lastname@example.org 707-822-7711
Friends of Del Norte www.fodn.org
Mattole Restoration Council www.mattole.org, email@example.com (707) 629-3514
Zero Waste Humboldt
Be a part of our growing team of site captains and volunteers! Visit our website for more information and a list of available sites.
With seemingly endless commitments and deadlines, it is difficult to take a break from the day-to-day to reflect upon lessons of the past, assess where we are at present, and discuss the direction we should be heading. At the same time, we understand the consequences of not planning well. It was with that in mind that NEC staff and board members came together in early March above the mudflats of Humboldt Bay—amidst the spruce and lichens of Lanphere Dunes—for our annual strategic planning session. Through a series of exercises we examined our strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, envisioned what success looks like in 2020, and discussed our priorities to realize that success. In reviewing the priorities from the previous strategy session, we were able to see clearly how much we’ve accomplished in the past year. This helped to prepare us for what turned out to be a pretty lengthy list of objectives for the next year. The session also had a few surprises. One came as we were breaking for food: a group of us stepped out into the open air to be greeted by a magnificent rainbow over the Mad River Slough and fields of the Arcata Bottoms (later that night we came to understand that this event was part of Humboldt’s great rainbow deluge—photos of which went viral [locally, anyway] online). The other surprise came towards the end of the session when we all came to understand that there was a refreshing consensus on programmatic priorities. We’ll take both of these events as good omens.
In the year ahead, we will continue to focus our attention on protecting the region’s forests, farms, watersheds, and coastal resources. We will take action for sustainable North Coast communities and provide key support for Humboldt Baykeeper. We will focus on improving our website and providing high quality content through EcoNews. We will provide opportunities for the next generation of environmental leaders through our education and action campaigns. And we will continue to convene community conversations and bring people together through movie nights, workshops, and other community events. We are proud to live in a region with such an engaged citizenry, and we are honored to have such generous community and foundation support. This support allows the NEC to continue to grow our programs for environmental education, coastal protections, and healthy communities—while at the same time providing opportunities for students entering the workforce and bolstering our local economy. Of course a huge part of planning strategically is making sure we hear from you. So, whether you are a new member or long-time supporter it helps us immensely if you take a few moments to share your thoughts, whether by email, snail mail, phone call or dropping by our offices. The NEC celebrates our 43rd birthday in April! Help us celebrate by helping to clean beaches throughout the region on Saturday, April 19, and then join us at the 2nd Annual Earth Day Hoedown at Humboldt Coastal Nature Center.
Letters should be exclusive to EcoNews. Letters should be 200 words or less, should be relevant to material covered in EcoNews, and must include the writer’s address and phone number. No attachments, please. Letters may be edited and shortened for space. The NEC reserves the right to reject any submitted material for any reason (e.g. size, content, etc.). Letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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GPU-Go-Round Coastal Programs Update Earth Day Cleanups & Hoedown Spring Wildflower Show Godwit Days History of Arcata Marsh Eye on Washington Team Klamazon Returns Kin to the Earth: Tim Lillebo Zero Waste Humboldt Humboldt Baykeeper Friends of the Eel River EPIC Mattole Restoration Council Sierra Club, North Group California Native Plant Society Eco-Mania Creature Feature: Monarch Butterfly Kids’ Page: Giant Millipede
Bouquets A well-planned wildflower bouquet to Keytra Meyer for leading us through our Strategic Advance and to Carol and CJ Ralph for hosting the session at their lovely abode.
Catch the NEC’s EcoNews Report
Every Thursday, 1:30pm on KHSU - 90.5FM Each show features interviews with experts on a variety of important environmental topics! Past shows are also archived on our website for listening online anytime!
A landscape of thriving, bountiful bouquets along healthy creeks and trails to everyone who rallied to the numerous GPU hearings over the past few months. Your commitment to promoting regional trails and protecting North Coast streams and rivers makes a big difference! A bouquet of purple lupines to Congressman Jared Huﬀman for leading the charge to add approximately 1,600 acres of beach, river and forest along the Mendocino coast to the “Point Arena-Stornetta Unit” of the California Coastal National Monument—our newest National Monument!
Interested in our regional environmental history? DONATE to our EcoNews Archive project! Visit www.yournec.org/donate, specify the Archive! EcoNews
Aging Hippy vs.
his year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, created by congress in 1964. The goal of my NEC internship is to encourage people to embrace wilderness and experience it in any way possible. ilderness can be experienced in a variety of ways. It can be experienced directly, by visiting the area. People also benefit from just knowing that wilderness exists. Photography can give anyone an insight into the beauty and pristine qualities of such precious areas and I hope to inspire and provoke interest about such areas with my photographs. was greatly inspired by my grandfather Wilbur Vaughan who took me on my first backpack trips into Wilderness at an early age. I dedicate my wilderness preservation efforts and photographs to him.
Natalie Vaughn, NEC Intern
Photo: Lost Coast, King Range National Conservation Area
It was with the greatest reluctance that the aging hippy made his way to the Humboldt County courthouse steps, carrying his hand painted protest sign. His plan, if it could be called a plan, was to stare down the people of Eureka during rush hour on the Eve of another frustrating meeting of the county Planning Commission. He came armed with talking points. In case anybody really cared. This was not anything resembling the preferred pastime of the aging hippy, nor had it been for a long time. But something so infuriated his sensibilities, so upset the psyche, that holding a sign on the streets of Eureka, California seemed necessary. Lee Ulansey. And Morris, don’t forget him. The hippy couldn’t bring himself to attend the meeting, not in this condition. The bile, it was becoming a problem. Rules protecting the country he loved were rapidly being dismantled. The staring and the signage was the best therapy he could come up with. So today it would have to do. He held his sign up high at the intersection as the drivers sped home. As a rule, motorists in a hurry don’t like distractions, but they can’t help reading. They slow down. Many don’t care. Why bother? Then, someone toots a horn, another gives a thumbs up. Then another. There’s nothing like recognition to cheer the soul. A pickup swerves over and proclaims “that’s exactly right” a woman smiles, more knowing nods. Hey, this is FUN! I can do this! My people! But the best part was all those who slowed down to read, gave up a quizzical look, and wondered what it meant. -Howard Russell
Saturday, March 15 marked the largest antifracking rally in California history. In the face of an unprecedented statewide drought (see Feb/Mar issue of EcoNews), thousands of people of all ages descended on the state capitol to protest continued fracking in the state. The rally was organized by Don’tFrackCalifornia.org, a coalition of dozens of organizations fighting fracking. The rally comes on the heels of a new bill introduced in the state Senate, (SB 1132), which would impose a moratorium on fracking until studies examining the impacts of fracking and well stimulation on public health and the environment are completed. Visit www.yournec.org/econews/fracking/SB1132 for more information on the bill.
Photo: Amber Jaimeson-Shelton, EPIC
The General Plan Update-Go-Round, Back to Supervisors Dan Ehresman
The past few months have been a spectacle to behold in the realm of the beleaguered GPU. To review, as of early April, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will have spent a full two years reviewing the Draft General Plan Update (GPU)—the guide to future development in unincorporated areas of the County—and at this rate they are nowhere near finishing any time soon. What’s more, based on the substantial changes that the Board has proposed, the County will need to recirculate a new Draft Environmental Impact Report, opening the door to who knows how many more years of meetings and costing the county even more money that it can’t afford.
Shore Lines: Coastal Programs Update Jennifer Savage, Coastal Programs Director Between the tides, waves and wind, the place where land meets sea is never still—and the NEC’s dedication to protecting our coast likewise never rests. One of our main goals is reducing the amount of trash on our beaches and in our waterways. Both our Adopt-A-Beach program and our dedication to Coastal Cleanup Day provide ongoing ways to care for local beaches, as well as track data about what sort of debris litters our coastline. One of the most common items found on the beach and in the ocean—and along Humboldt Bay—is the single-use plastic bag. We were appropriately excited, therefore, when Arcata’s plastic bag ban went into effect on February 1, helping reduce the amount of plastic trash going into the environment. Office staffer Brandon Drucker donned Humboldt Surfrider’s “Bag Monster” costume to both the delight and confusion of passersby, when the NEC took to the streets to celebrate. We also stopped by City Hall to thank the Environmental Services staff in person for all their hard work. Looking ahead, we’re partnering with Friends of the Dunes to do classroom presentations on marine protected areas and fisheries at Redwood Coast Montessori and expanding our educational outreach thanks to grants from the Coastal Commission and the Coastal Conservancy. We hope to introduce the NEC’s Coastal Programs Education Specialist by the next issue of EcoNews!
Save the Dates:
Thursday, April 3: Ocean Night at the Arcata Theatre Lounge featuring Rebels With a Cause. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., all ages, $3 donation requested. Saturday, April 19: Earth Day cleanup at Samoa Beach followed by the second annual Earth Day Hoedown at the Coastal Nature Center in Manila. The cleanup starts at 9 a.m. and the party goes from 3 to 7 p.m. See page 5.
The Bag Monster tries to hitch a ride out of Arcata after Arcata’s bag ban went into effect February 1, 2014. Photo: Jennifer Savage.
Mediterranean food truck and catering service.
707-326-9803 Locally owned, locally sourced, locally loved!
Even so, recent events give reason to keep fighting for a more sustainable GPU. First, on January 13, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted (3-2) to send the GPU’s Conservation and Open Space element back to the Planning Commission for a re-review. This element lays out the County’s plans for guiding future development in ways that protect streams and wetlands, fish and wildlife, open space, greenbelts between communities, trails, community forests, scenic areas, billboards, and cultural and mineral resources. The stated intent was for the Commission to focus on items that the previous incarnation of the Commission could not reach consensus on (known as “the short list”). Instead the Commission, dominated by the founders of property rights group HumCPR, proceeded to weaken provisions of the plan that promoted a regional trails network, community forests, and wetland and stream protection—more often than not making changes to policy items that had unanimous support during the 2009-2012 Commission review As was predicted in the last issue of EcoNews, the current property rights-leaning Planning Commission did in fact come up with much more divisive policies than were recommended by the previous iteration of the Commission. The majority of the meetings in this go-around were marked by heated debate amongst the Commissioners (with many of the votes split 4-3) and the Commission only made it through a small fraction of what they were charged to review in a 45-day period. The changes that were made unleashed the fury of a large contingent of our community who value trails, healthy watersheds, and open space. This was evident at the March 10 Supervisors’ meeting, when over 30 Humboldt County residents descended on the courthouse to voice their anger and frustration over the Planning Commission’s actions. Many spoke eloquently about the benefits of trails and the importance of protecting our streams and rivers, and how the Commission’s recommendations threaten to undermine much of what we hold dear. Numerous people pointed out that individuals with a clear private interest should not hold a majority of Planning Commission seats, and going on to demand that former HumCPR leaders Lee Ulansey (who was nominated by Supervisor Bass and appointed by Bass, Bohn, and Fennell) and Bob Morris (who was appointed by Supervisor Fennell) be removed. Continued on page 8
it feels good 4
Earth Day cleanups
NORTHCOAST ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER MAD RIVER ALLIANCE HUMBOLDT BAYKEEPER FRIENDS OF THE DUNES HUMBOLDT SURFRIDER TREES FOUNDATION ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INFORMATION CENTER DELL’ARTE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS OF THE EEL RIVER
Earth Day help us keep our beaches clean - for everyone! team up to clean up!
join a cleanup party at a beach near you! Northcoast Environmental Center - Samoa beach - 9am-noon Humboldt Surfrider - north jetty - 9am-noon Friends of the dunes - Humboldt coastal nature center - 9:30-12:30 Mad river Alliance/Epic - Mad River (blue Lake) - 9am-noon Friends of the Eel River - Crab park - 9:30-12:30
saturday april 19
Humboldt Folklife Societyand The Northcoast Environmental Center Present:
$12adv/$15door $12 for
NEC &HFS members www.jimpage.net
Westhaven Center for the Arts 5
Saturday, April 19 $5-$10 SLIDING SCALE 3-7pm FREE ADMISSION FOR CLEANUP VOLUNTEERS!!
Music by Lyndsey Battle &
Striped Pig Stringband BARN DANCE CALLING BY Nigella Mahal
MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE FOR SALE BY NATURE'S SERVING : WORLD FOOD, FAST!
Family Games and kids’ corner!
44th Humboldt Coastal Nature Center Earth Day AT THE
Saturday, April 26
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
FOR MORE INFO:
220 STAMPS LANE 707-444-1397
Invest in the Future Join our Monthly Giving Program For more information, call the NEC at 707-822-6918 www.yournec.org
32nd Annual Wildflower Show & Plant Sale
The Annual Spring Wildflower Show, a celebration of wild California plants, returns for its 32nd year. Presented by the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), the show features hundreds of wildflowers, both native and non-native, from seashore to mountains.Presentations and displays on topics as varied as edible plants, plants in the dunes, local insects, invasive plants, rare plants, and Native American use of plants are also available. Of particular interest this year is a unique display about bryophytes, presented by Marie Antoine and Tom Carlberg. Bryophytes are a group of non-vascular plants that include mosses, hornworts, and liverworts and are, along with the lichens, amazing and sometimes bizarre complex organisms of ecological importance. The opportunity to view specimens through magnification should prove to
Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4
Returns April 5
Clockwise from top left: Wildflowers on display, native wild iris, and sketching flowers during Art Night. Photos: Richard Beresford.
be quite an experience for young and old alike. The event includes guided walks in the neighboring dunes. Friday evening, artists of all skill levels gather to draw and paint flowers accompanied by local musicians to round out the evening. The spring version of our now famous bi-annual Native Plant Sale, featuring many representative
Art Show-Wilderness and Her Rivers
This May, join over twenty artists celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Federal Wilderness Act. The “Wilderness and Her Rivers” show will include photographs, oil paintings, watercolors, monotypes, silk screens, and wood block prints featuring northwestern California wilderness areas and the rivers that flow out of them. The Arts Arcata Reception will be Friday, May 9, 6-9p.m. at the Upstairs Art Galley in the Umpqua Bank, 1063 G Street, Arcata. Recreation, river and wilderness advocates will be available to talk about wilderness activities and river restoration work. Humboldt Wildlife Care Center will pour wine and display some of their birds, and musical entertainment will be provided by Mon Petit Chou. Participating artists include Gary Bloomfield, Sam Camp, John Crater, Andrew Daniels, Paul Fabian, Paula Golightly, Michael
species, will run concurrent with the Wildflower Show on Saturday and Sunday. Profits from the event provide important funds for the the North Coast Chapter of CNPS. The show is open to the public Friday, 1-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free. See the complete schedule soon and watch for updates at www.northcoastcnps. org. For more information, call 707-826-0259 or 707-822-2015.
The North Coast Growers Association (NCGA) provides ﬁve farmers' markets operating in Arcata, Eureka and McKinleyville throughout the year, providing access to every season of locally grown and produced food and farm products directly from the farmer. The winter market, located on the Arcata plaza, has grown signiﬁcantly. It is now the season of transition into the main season in which product availability reaches its peak and vendors line every side of the Plaza. On April 5 the Arcata Plaza market will be in full swing again with live music, delicious prepared foods, and the freshest local produce available. The rest of our area farmers markets will return in June! Saturdays on the Arcata Plaza (Year Round) Main Season Market: April-November 9am-2pm Seasonal Weekday Markets (June-October) Old Town Eureka: Tuesdays 10am-1pm Wildberries in Arcata: Tuesdays 3:30pm-6:30pm Henderson Center in Eureka: Thursdays 10am-1pm. McKinleyville Shopping Center: Thursdays 3:30pm-6:30pm.
For more information, visit www.humfarm.org
Hancock Lake, Marble Mountains Wilderness, oil painting by Rick Tolley
Harris,Vaughn Hutchins, Ken Jarvala, Joyce Jonte, Maureen McGarry, Jim McVicker, Terry Oats, Kathy O’Leary, Debee L. Holland-Olsen, Linda Parkinson,
Leslie Reid, Paul and Heather Ricard, Alan Sanborn, Patricia Sennott, Stock Schlueter, Janet Stock, Rick Tolley and John Wesa.
19th Annual Godwit Days
April 16-22 at the Arcata Community Center
Godwit Days is a spring migration bird festival that celebrates the Marbled Godwit and all birds of Redwood Coast forests, bays, marshes and mudflats. The Arcata Community Center serves as the departure hub for most trips and houses an art show and Bird Fair. Choose from nearly 100 field trips, lectures, workshops and boat excursions. Preand post- festival trips can extend your experience from April 16 to 22. Website: www.godwitdays.org; phone 707-826-7050.
Something for Everyone
Trips range north to Del Norte, south to Petrolia, and inland to Willow Creek. Workshops teach photography, choosing binoculars/scopes, native plants, insects, and bird ID by sound. Boat trips on rivers, lagoons, bays, and ocean are a highlight, ranging from 1-hour bay tours to all-day ocean trips. New offerings include trips to Mill Creek in Del Norte Redwoods State Park, Warm-up Wednesday & Shorebird Spectacular, Coastal Bird Blitz; Petrolia & Lost Coast (sold out), Reception at Stone Lagoon Visitors’ Center, Singing Tree Gardens, Birding Arcata with Libation & Farmers’ Market, Birding & Work Experience for Students, Birding with the Keynote Speaker, and Nestsearching Workshop.
Just for Kids (& Other Free Events)
The Festival offers many free activities of interest to children, including live birds of prey, display of all entries in the Student Bird Art Contest, drop-in family nature crafts, and a Bird Fair with vendors and information booths. Two field trips and two workshops are also just for kids: owl pellet dissection, drawing birds, and two Marsh birding trips. Godwit Days also offers free trips for all-ages to Patrick’s Point, Arcata Marsh, Headwaters, Humboldt Bay Refuge, Lanphere Dunes, and Stone Lagoon (preregistration required).
Live Birds of Prey
Experience a close encounter with owls, hawks, and other raptors. The Humboldt Wildlife Care Center education team will be on hand Saturday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.-3 p.m.).
Keynote & Opening Night Lectures
Saturday’s keynote, wildlife artist Keith Hansen, will share tales of his “CarbonFree Big Year.” By only counting bird species encountered while traveling carbon-free, Keith limited his modes of transportation to bicycle, kayak, canoe, skateboard, unicycle, pogo stick, hang glider, and Teva shoes! On Friday, after the opening reception, John Alexander, executive director of this year’s Spotlight Organization, Klamath Bird Observatory/Humboldt Bay Bird Observatory, will speak.
Student Bird Art Contest Display
For the 11th year, Redwood Region Audubon and Friends of Arcata Marsh have teamed to sponsor a student bird art contest. Over $500 will be awarded to Humboldt County K-12 students during an April 19 ceremony. All entries will be posted in the Community Center throughout Godwit Days, with copies of winners shown at the Marsh Interpretive Center in May.
Godwit Goodies: Buy or Bid!
Look over Silent Auction goodies on display in the main hall. Bid on binoculars, outdoor gear, wine, jewelry, restaurant certificates, and more! To donate, call 707-826-7050. Come into Registration to purchase 2014 Godwit Days T-shirts featuring a design by wire sculptress Elizabeth Berrien, as well as other clothing.
Registration & Important Information
On-site registration hours: April 18, 3-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-noon. Visit www.godwitdays.org for event descriptions and to register. Advance registration is strongly recommended, as trips fill fast!
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Continued from page 4 After nearly two hours of public comment, the Board reached a rare consensus on at least one GPU item: Sending part of it back to the Planning Commission was a bad idea. It remains to be seen whether the call to reverse the damage done by the Planning Commission fell on deaf ears. One thing that the March 10 meeting made clear is that there is still hope for a General Plan that will benefit future generations for all residents of this region. We need to keep the pressure on and keep advocating for a county-wide trail system, community forests, clean streams, and abundant salmon runs.
Take Action! We need our elected representatives to take immediate action. We call on them to: 1. Protect our supply of clean water by restoring and maintaining reasonable protections for streams and wetlands. Protecting clean water is critical to our quality of life, the health of our economy, and critical to the goal of recovering local salmon populations. 2. Restore language in the GPU prioritizing a regional (county-wide) trail system. Such a trail system provides environmental, economic, social, and health benefits for our region’s residents. 3. Restore language prioritizing acquisition of land for community forests. 4. Respect unanimous decisions of the previous Planning Commission. Now is not an appropriate time in this Update process to be making dramatic changes to the existing draft. Restore the General Plan process by honoring and protecting public input from the past, in present decision making, and in all future deliberations.
Call or write your Supervisor today!
visit www.yournec.org/gpu/restore for more information
freelance design for print and web www.corvidesign.net
Speaking of Place: Layers in the Land
Frances G. Beatty sought opportunity and economic prosperity Landscape is a palimpsest, a complex medium through technological progress and landscape with diverse layers and aspects both readily apparent consumption—undertaken on an unsustainable and barely traceable after the first attempts at seeing industrial scale. After the Depression, only four them. The Arcata lumber companies Marsh and Wildlife remained in business. he necessity of ruins Sanctuary is such a The timber lies in a meditation on the cycles of industry’s impact place—inter woven life over generations—use, appropriation, on the Sanctuary with historical and contemporary ecologies can be consumption, degradation, and renewal narratives. Its further understood woven into symbiotic and symbolic by inspecting notoriety is aptly relationships. the 1952 photo based in monumental below. In the upper left corner, the Arcata Marsh ecological restoration and the wildlife that finds it Interpretive Center site can be identified where home there. However, there is a cultural history in a mill building abuts Butchers Slough Log Pond. this landscape—in fact, several histories. Teepee burners used for incinerating mill waste The Wiyot peoples managed the indigenous punctuate the neighborhood. South I Street landscape of the Humboldt Bay area for sustenance, crosses diagonally from... Continued on page 19 and certain places are integral to their culture, such as Indian Island. Early settler accounts describe the bounteous flora and fauna of this “new territory.” Once the timber industry occupied the region, Arcata became a hub for the lumber, railroad, and shipping businesses. By 1860, Humboldt County ranked second in California counties for the production of lumber and had four operating sawmills. By 1892, there were 50 timber mills in Humboldt County that contributed to the international lumber Arcata Plywood Company (center), 1952. Photo: Shuster Aerial Photography Collection, Humboldt State University. market. The settlers
381 Bayside Road, Arcata, CA 95521
Robert Berg, D.D.S.
212 J Street Eureka, CA 95501 707-445-0784
If the continued threat of severe drought conditions persists, as it seems it may, some in Congress will struggle to enact real answers, while others will use the crisis for political gain. There are bills in the House and Senate. [Editor’s Note: On March 13, Rep. Jared Huffman introduced another drought relief bill in the House aimed to bring policies up to date and provide relief to affected states.] The Senate bill, spearheaded by Senator Feinstein, “...removes some of the worst parts of Representative Valadao’s (CA) bill, including a provision removing federal protection from a segment of the Merced Wild & Scenic River to allow for future reservoir expansion and federal authorization of new surface storage projects, including the raising of Shasta Dam,” according to Friends of the Rivers Program Consultant, Steve Evans. It also doesn’t directly exempt Delta exports from the Endangered Species Act or repeal the San Joaquin River (salmon) Restoration Program. However it does, as currently written, include ambiguous “emergency drought conditions” language that will likely be used to boost fresh water exports from the Delta.
. WANTED .
US Forest Service Director Stands by NEPA and Environmental Laws
The O&C Lands Forestry Bill proposes major changes in management of lands on the Southern Oregon border. Companion bills sponsored by Senator Wyden (OR) in the Senate and Representatives Doc Hastings (WA) and DeFazio (OR) in the House met a vocal hurdle from the Obama Administration at a Senate Committee hearing. Chief of the US Forest Service, Bill Tidwell, and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Steve Ellis, recommended changes that trouble even some of the bill’s congressional sponsors. A primary concern is the bill’s attempt to “streamline” or limit the National Environmental Policy Act and consideration of other environmental laws. As Chief Tidwell stated, NEPA provides for better communication in communities that are affected by Forest Service Actions and NEPA can result in broader community support: “…the Administration cannot support arbitrary deadlines in the NEPA process, as they have the potential to constrain decision-making, lead to rushed or incomplete analyses, and potentially lead to more litigation and delay.”
Ready to rumble!
Chair swapping has begun in Congress. In the House of Representatives, Doc Hastings (current chair of the NR Committee) has announced his retirement. In the Senate, Senator Wyden (OR) is vacating his position as the Energy & NR Committee chair, replaced by Senator Landrieu of Louisiana. Landrieu is known for her support for off-shore oil drilling—a major income driver in Louisiana— and her desire to retain more economic benefits
from oil sales for her state. She also does not have much of a track record on the other major conservation programs her committee will oversee, such as forest practices, endangered species act and other environmental laws. The 2014 mid-term election cycle, however, is about to begin. If the Republican party gains the majority of the members of the Senate (some pundits give the GOP a 40% chance of gaining the majority of Senate Seats) every single Senate Committee chairmanship will roll over. In that case, President Obama would be faced with an uphill climb in both houses with only his veto to stop the most egregious of legislation arriving on his desk. Our own current representative in the House, Rep. Jared Huffman, will be seeking reelection. Two candidates, Andy Caffrey (D) and Dale Mensing (R), have announced campaigns for his District 2 seat. On the Senate side, neither Senator Boxer nor Feinstein face reelection this cycle.
“Thank You” Dingell
We’d like to express thanks to 87-year-old Congressman Dingell from Michigan who is calling it quits after 59 years in Congress. Rep. Dingell played key roles in passage of the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. “I find serving in the House to be obnoxious,” he told the Detroit Free News. “It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.” It will be a wild and bumpy ride driving up to the election on November 4, 2014. Dan Sealy, NEC Legislative Analyst
. WANTED .
SUSPECT in DOG POISONING SUSPECT in DOG POISONING
from our back door...
ic integrity orgatonyour basket familydog dog named named Nyxo Nyxo was was intentionally intentionally and AAfamily and fatally fatally poisoned poisoned near near the town of Blue Lake in Humboldt County, California on February 3, the town of Blue Lake in Humboldt County, California on February 3, 2014. Anyone with information about this crime should contact the 2014. Anyone withSherriff’s information about this crime should contact the Humboldt County Office. Humboldt County Sherriff’s Office. JusticeForNyxo.org
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: 707-445-7251 JusticeForNyxo.org Or Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip Line: 707-268-2539 Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: 707-445-7251 Or Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip Line: 707-268-2539
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Team Klamazon Returns from Brazil Klamath River Indigenous Youth and River Activists in Solidarity with Tribes fighting the Belo Monte Dam
The Xingu River is one of the remaining Team Klamazon relatively intact tributaries to the Amazon Basin. After eleven productive days in Brazil, “Team The basin supports the world’s largest river, oneKlamazon” returned to California inspired and with fifth of the world’s fresh water, ninety percent of an in-depth understanding of the potential impact the world’s remaining rainforest, and is about of the massive Belo Monte Dam project in Brazil’s the size of the Amazon basin. continental U.S. The Team, comprised Rising over the of river activists and dirt airstrip above indigenous youth from the jungle during the Klamath River in their aerial tour Northern California and of the dam site, Southern Oregon, agree river activist and that the trip was one of Team organizer the most enlightening Nat Pennington experiences of their lives. observed, “My This feeling was shared heart sank as the by the indigenous people construction site of Kayapo-Xikrin Tribe appeared on the with whom they stayed: horizon. Shades “We did not know there of green and blue were any indigenous left in North America. Dania Colegrove (right), Hoopa/Yurok Tribal member and Team organizer, that I had never seen before in my We saw a movie once, a speaks with tribal elder in Poti-Krô Village. Photo: Nat Pennington. life turned to eroding brown mud fields, yellow Western. In it you were all being killed. It brings us cranes, thousands of dump trucks, concrete walls, hope to see you here now standing in front of us.” massive diversion canals and huge levees. The area Poti-Krô Village, where the Team stayed for that the dam will inundate is virgin rainforest. three days, was a full day’s journey by boat up the Over 600 fish species call the Xingu Basin home. Xingu and Bacaja Rivers from the nearest small Some of these are believed to be endemic only to the Amazon Basin town, Altamira (1873 miles from basin. Working as a fish biologist on the Klamath Rio de Janeiro). River I witnessed dams sending fisheries like this Yurok Tribe and Team member Samuel to the brink of extinction.” Gensaw, III, recalls profound interactions in According to 16-year-old Yurok Tribe and the village of Poti-Krô. “These people are facing Team Klamazon member Mahlija Florendo, a monster. If construction of Belo Monte Dam “Rivers like the Klamath, the Xingu, and the continues, we fear for the lives of the Xikrin, Amazon are the bloodlines of every human on the Kayapó, Juruna and Arara Tribes. [Their] planet. These people from the Xingu are family livelihoods...will be lost through the destruction and all our blood runs red.” of the ecology of the entire Xingu River region.” Team member Halle Pennington said, ”I believe The Team chartered a plane to film aerial it’s time we learn to unite together as brothers and footage of the construction of the destructive sisters, for in the end we are fighting the same dam, and held a press conference for the Brazilian battles, inequality, injustice and oppression. We media relaying tales of the struggles at home to may not win every battle but if we don’t fight at all, remove the dams from the Klamath River. They we have already lost.” hoped to educate Brazilians and the indigenous For more information and updates, visit: tribes about the potential socioeconomic and environmental perils of damming rivers. www.facebook.com/belomonteresistancedelegation N E E D T O U N W I N D ? Find great deals in our collections of crafting materials.
Navy Testing puts Marine Mammals at Risk
Jennifer Savage Fans of marine mammals and sea life in general are dismayed at the U.S. Navy’s plan to conduct extensive weapons testing and training exercises off a stretch of coast ranging from the top of Humboldt County up through Alaska. Over 100 whales and dolphins are anticipated to be killed in the testing, which utilizes sonar technology, electromagnetic devices and explosives. Thousands more may be permanently wounded from being exposed to an estimated 9.6 million instances of harm. The Natural Resource Defense Council’s Michael Jasny discussed the problems with the Navy’s plan on KHUM’s Coastal Currents. (Air date March 5, 2014. Listen to the interview at www.khum.com/ podcasts/coastal-currents.) “It’s not really a case of whales versus the military,” Jazny said. “There’s scientific consensus around what needs to be done to protect whales and other species from harm and it’s pretty simple—you just identify the most important areas and you keep the most dangerous kind of activities out of them.” Steve Mashuda, staff attorney at Earthjustice, emphasized the point on the NEC’s EcoNews Report. (Air date February 27, 2014. Listen to the episode at www.yournec.org/econews-report.) “There are a number of mitigation strategies,” Mashuda said, noting that there are “just a few” areas off the coast that are incredibly important to marine life, including the Klamath rivermouth and the underwater canyons off the Lost Coast. “These are areas that are not that large,” Mashuda said. “There is a way that the Navy could train responsibly even if they have to avoid those areas, a way more targeted and less categorical.” On March 6, the Navy held an open house and hearing at the Red Lion Hotel. Over 100 activists and concerned citizens showed up to provide public comment. Perhaps... Continued on page 19
Photo: xiffy, Flickr.com CC
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the proverbial flowers. “Tim taught everyone to stick their noses in the furrows of the bark of pine trees and smell them,” Morrow said. “He loved beginning and ending each day with a campfire,” said Mike Riley, executive director of the Environmental Center. “He just loved that part of being outside—that’s one of my the harvest of old growth trees was. In 1975, strongest memories.” Lillebo, who was living in Grant County near the This September marks the 50th anniversary of community of John Day, helped start the Grant Reprinted with permission from The Source www.bendsource.com the Wilderness Act, signed into law by President County Conservationists. Johnson in 1964. Wilderness is simply and elegantly Catherine Morrow, one of Lillebo’s longtime James Williams defined in the act as “an area where the earth and friends [recalled] the early ‘80s and the contentious Spread an eastern Oregon map over the hood its community of life are untrammeled by man, timber wars which raged in Oregon for nearly two of a decades-old pickup truck and point to any where man himself is a visitor who does spot at random. Tim Lillebo could not only tell you five intimate details about the Conservationist Tim Lillebo was the voice of eastern Oregon not remain.” Currently, only four percent of Oregon carries a wilderness designation. chosen location, he could recall everything But, Riley reminded, such protected that happened during his last visit there— areas wouldn’t exist without advocates like the bull elk he spotted over the ridge, the Lillebo, a man who tirelessly worked Indian paintbrush on the forest floor, the for the Portland-based conservation bottle of George Dickel whisky passed group Oregon Wild for nearly 40 years. around the campfire. “Every single wild area has people behind “He had an encyclopedic knowledge it—people who worked hard to protect that of the landscape of the area,” said Sean property,” Riley said. “Tim is one of those Stevens, Oregon Wild’s Executive Director. people who worked to do that in our state.” “And he knew how to share it with people.” As time wore on, Lillebo’s position Lillebo, it seems, is remembered on forest management evolved. Rather as much for his sharing as he is for his than promote an outright ban on logging, fighting—fighting to keep wild places wild, Lillebo began to advocate for active and working to preserve the old growth forest management through thinning ponderosas and high desert mesas he and controlled burns. He was also integral knew and loved. Lillebo was instrumental to two ongoing collaborative projects in in garnering a number of eastern Oregon the area: the Ochoco Forest Restoration wilderness designations over the years. Collaborative and the Deschutes Since the mid ‘70s he has worked both Collaborative Forest Project. Both involve through grassroots organizations and in Tim Lillebo speaks for the trees. Photo: Tom Davis. varied stakeholders, from conservation reps, to decades. “Because of Tim, I guess we were effective.” Washington, D.C., but perhaps his best work was Forest Service officals, to timber businessmen. Self-described back-to-the-land hippies, achieved around a campfire, brokering deals in Phil Chang, the Central Oregon Morrow and her husband were befriended by the desert. It was a great loss on Saturday, Feb. 8 Intergovernmental Council’s program Lillebo in Grant County 40 years ago. The wily when Lillebo, 61, died while shoveling snow at his administrator, worked with Lillebo on both Lillebo persuaded Morrow and others to do what Tumalo home. Friends, family and fellow forest collaboration projects. And Lillebo made sure they could to protect their wooded high desert advocates gathered at Aspen Hall to celebrate all sides knew that selective thinning would be home from logging: testify at congressional his monumental life. best for the forest’s health, best for preventing hearings, solicit financial contributions, make “It was tough for many, but the tone was high severity wildfires and best for the logging T-shirts, draft appeals—whatever it took, they did celebratory,” Stevens said of the service which companies (if you cut all the trees today, what will behind Lillebo’s smiling leadership. included a number of memorable stories about you cut tomorrow)? “There’s nobody that had the commitment to the bearded, grizzled but warm and infinitely “Tim was able to connect with them,” Chang Eastern Oregon, the depth of the knowledge and friendly mountain man. said of Lillebo’s ability to bring disparate groups to the relationships [that Tim did],” Morrow said. Lillebo grew up in eastern Oregon and the table. “There’s this misperception that he was a It was that depth of knowledge and deep love even worked as a timber faller in his youth— great compromiser,” Chang added. “But Tim didn’t for the land that set Lillebo apart. an experience that friends said gave him an have to compromise. He proved you can have a Lillebo, Morrow said, is a man who always appreciation for Oregon’s storied forests. His job win-win-win.” took the back roads and always stopped to smell also made him brutally aware how unsustainable
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andpiper APRIL/MAY 2014
Redwood Region Audubon Society www.rras.org Every Saturday: Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. These are our famous rain-or-shine, docent-led ﬁeld trips at the Marsh. Bring your binocular(s) and have a great morning birding! Meet in the parking lot at the end of South I Street (Klopp Lake) in Arcata at 8:30 a.m. Trips end around 11 a.m. April leaders: 5th, Carol Wilson; 12th, Cedric Duhalde; 19th, Ken Burton; 26th, Cindy Moyer.
Saturday, April 12: Alderpoint. Enjoy the birds, plant life, and reptiles of the Eel River canyon on this half-day trip just south of Alderpoint. We will walk the railroad tracks about 2 miles to Cain Rock trestle and back (there are no trains). In 2012 there was a washout along the railroad tracks, and it took a bit of work to cross it; the same will go for this year. Be prepared to walk down a steep bank and back up to get around the washout. Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and similar birds of dry habitats in southeast Humboldt County can be expected. A short side trip to Smith Point Bridge to enjoy White-throated Swifts may be made following the trip. Diogenes’ lantern, interior live-oak, and birch-leaf mountain-mahogany will be seen as well. Take sun protection, layered clothing, and a small pack for carrying lunch and water. Meet in the Ray’s Food Place parking lot in Garberville at 8:30 a.m. We should return to the Humboldt Bay area by mid-afternoon. Contact Tony Kurz (559-333-0893; firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Sunday, April 13: Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This is a wonderful 2- to 3-hour trip for people wanting to learn the birds of the Humboldt Bay area. It takes a leisurely pace with emphasis on enjoying the birds! Beginners are more than welcome. Meet at the Refuge Visitor Center at
9:00 a.m. Call Jude Power or David Fix (707-822-3613) for more information. Saturday, April 19: eBird Site Survey–Shay Park. Join Rob Fowler (707-839-3493) to survey Shay Park in Arcata for up to 3 hours, counting every species present. For more info on the eBird site survey, visit http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/ eBird_Site_Survey. Though it says “survey” in the title, this is basically a birding trip. This trip will be part of the Godwit Days Spring migration bird festival and will be meeting at the Arcata Community Center. There is a $10 fee. See more at: http:// godwitdays.org/events/sa46-shay-park-e-bird-survey-ﬁeld-trip/ Sunday, April 20: Southern Humboldt Community Park. Jay Sooter (707-444-8001), and/or John Gafﬁn will lead this monthly walk. All ages and experience levels are encouraged to participate and revel in the beauty of the park and its avian inhabitants on this easy 2- to 3-hour walk. Binoculars are not provided, and dogs are not allowed; ﬁeld guides are usually available, but please provide your own if possible. Steady rain cancels. Meet at 9:00 a.m., parking by the kiosk near the farmhouse in the main entrance. Sunday, April 20: Eureka Waterfront. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the foot of Del Norte St. in Eureka where we will scope birds from the public dock until everyone assembles. We will then drive to the base of the Hikshari’ Trail at Truesdale Street and bird along the trail to the Elk River Wildlife Area. Leader: Ralph Bucher (707-499-1247; email@example.com).
Saturday, April 26: Blue Lake. Greet spring in this wonderfully birdy area along the Mad River. We’ll focus on songs and calls. Interesting possibilities include White-throated
F r i d ay , A p r i l 1 1 T H
Swift, California Towhee, Cassin’s Vireo, Western Scrub-Jay, Purple Martin, Bewick’s Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lazuli Bunting, and Bullock’s Oriole. Meet Ken Burton (707-4991146) at Espresso 101 in the Valley West Shopping Center at 7:45 a.m. or at the end of Taylor Way in Blue Lake at 8:00 a.m. for this half-day trip. Saturday, May 10: Seabirds at Elk Head. We will search the rocky shoreline for shorebirds (oystercatchers, turnstones, tattlers) and the offshore rocks for nesting seabirds (murres, cormorants, pufﬁns). We also will attempt to identify the landbirds and ﬂowering plants encountered along the trail to the bluffs. Bring spotting scopes if you have them. Meet Gary Lester (707-839-3373; firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Elk Head Parking lot at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 17: ebird Site Survey--Shay Park. Join Rob Fowler (707-839-3493) to survey Shay Park in Arcata for up to 3 hours, counting every species present. For more info on the eBird site survey, visit http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ about/eBird_Site_Survey. Meet at 8 a.m. at the parking lot at the east end of Foster Avenue. Waterproof shoes or boots are recommended, as we typically walk through a grassy ﬁeld offtrail and up and down steep stairs that aren’t maintained. Sunday, May 11: Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. See April 13. Sunday, May 18: Southern Humboldt Community Park. See April 20. Sunday, May 18: Eureka Waterfront. See April 20.
F r i d ay , M ay 9 T H
Global Economic Crisis, Energy Shifts, and Climate Changes: Let World History Be Life’s Teacher Natural resource scarcity and climate change are nothing new; they have occurred repeatedly throughout history. How have they shaped world history, and how can they inform and guide us in creating a sustainable future? Dr. Sing Chew, Professor of Sociology at Humboldt State University, will address these questions by examining recurring patterns as they relate to present-day ecological degradation, biodiversity loss, and socioeconomic and political trends. Please join us for a stimulating and thoughtprovoking discussion of factors that will affect the future of both birds and people.
Aviary Design - Studio Hanson Roberts
Creating Connections to Birds and Other Wildlife at Sequoia Park Zoo
Programs start at 7:30
Eureka is one of the smallest U.S. cities with a zoo. Zoo manager, Gretchen Ziegler, will give us a brief introduction to the history and evolution of zoos in general and ours in particular. She’ll familiarize us with the zoo’s bird collection and its management; discuss plans for exhibits of birds such as Bald Eagle, Spotted Owl, and Common Raven that are coming soon and interpretive themes for a planned free-ﬂight aviary; and describe the zoo’s education and conservation missions. This is a great opportunity to learn more about an important and rapidly evolving institution right in our backyard.
p.m. at Humboldt Area Foundation on Indianola Cutoff
Bring a mug to enjoy shade-grown coffee, and come fragrance free.
CHAPTER LEADERS OFFICERS President— Hal Genger …………............ 707-499-0887 Vice President — Ken Burton ....................707-499-1146 Secretary—Adam Brown............................. 707-826-0319 Treasurer—Syn-dee Noel............................. 707-442-8862 DIRECTORS AT LARGE Ralph Bucher …........................................ 707-443-6944 Joe Ceriani …............................................ 707-476-9127 Jill Demers ……………………………… 707-667-6163 Harriet Hill………………………………. 707-267-4055 Cindy Moyer.....................................…..… 707-822-1806 Chet Ogan …............................................… 707-442-9353 Susan Penn..................................…......…. 707-443-9660 C.J. Ralph ............................................….. 707-822-2015 OTHER CHAPTER LEADERS Conservation — Jim Clark ...............…... 707-445-8311 Eductn/Scholarships — Denise Seeger ....707-444-2389 eBird Liaison — Rob Fowler …………... 707-839-3493 Field Notes — Daryl Coldren...........…..... 916-384-8089 Field Trips— Rob Fowler ……….......….. 707-839-3493 Finance— Syn-dee Noel .............................707-442-8862 Historian — John Hewston ...................... 707-822-5288 Membership — Lew & Judie Norton....... 707-445-1791 NEC Representative — C.J. Ralph.......... 707-822-2015 Nominating – Jim Clark …....................... 707-445-8311 Programs —Ken Burton ...........................707-499-1146 Publications — C.J. Ralph..................….. 707-822-2015 Publicity — Harriet Hill............................ 707-267-4055 Sandpiper (Editor): Jan Andersen …...… 707-616-3888 Sandpiper (Layout): Gary Bloomﬁeld ......707-362-1226 Volunteer Coordinator — Susan Penn.…707-443-9660 Website Gatekeeper— Sue Leskiw……...707-442-5444 Lake Earl Branch — Sue Calla................ 707-465-6191 RRAS Web Page...........................……..... www.rras.org Arcata Bird Alert .........707-822-LOON (707-822-5666) The Sandpiper is published six times each year by Redwood Region Audubon Society P.O. Box 1054, Eureka, CA 95502.
New Members Redwood Region Audubon Society welcomes the following new members and subscribers: Arcata – Christine Aus, Kristine Avila, Jeffrey Fryer, Donna L. Hammers, Elisabeth Lund, Judith MacKey Bayside – Kathy Goodman Eureka – Leah Anderson, Terry Anderson, Harry Blumenthal, Christina Hutton, William J. Koch, Jane Merkel, Marj Montgomery, Henry Schuyler, Denise Seeger, Scott Sherman McKinleyville – Lorinda Dengler We look forward to seeing you on ﬁeld trips and at our monthly programs.
By Hal Genger As I begin my term as president of RRAS, I have been thinking about the many things Audubon has done for the area. Jim Clark did a nice review of some of the milestones (e.g., realigning a bridge for rookery protection, wetland protection and purchases, etc.) in the last issue of The Sandpiper. So what should we concentrate on now? Our bylaws state, “The purposes and objectives of this corporation shall be to engage in such educational, scientiﬁc, investigative, literary, historical, philanthropic and charitable pursuits as may be part of the stated purposes of the National Audubon Society, of which this corporation shall function as a Chapter.” This is a pretty broad spectrum!
We have 9 committees deﬁned in our bylaws, each staffed by at least 3 volunteers to fulﬁll all these tasks! Currently active committees are: Finance (Syn-dee Noel, C.J. Ralph, Adam Brown, Lew and Judie Norton), Membership (Lew and Judie Norton, Syn-dee Noel), Programs (Ken Burton, C.J. Ralph, Chet Ogan, Ralph Bucher), Field Trips (Rob Fowler, Ken Burton), Conservation (Jim Clark, Chet Ogan, Gil Saliba), Publications (C.J. Ralph, Jan Andersen, Gary Bloomﬁeld), Publicity (Harriet Hill, Syn-dee Noel, Gary Bloomﬁeld, Sue Leskiw), Education (Denise Seeger), and Volunteer Coordinator (Susan Penn). Many more people are involved and are helping fulﬁll our duties as a chapter. Thanks to all of you!
at the monthly general meetings. Thank you, Ken Burton, for getting the general meetings happening year-round! They are well attended and well received. Two committees are being reorganized or restarted: The conservation committee, co-chaired by Jim Clark and Chet Ogan, is becoming active again. The meeting times have been changed to noon on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Golden Harvest Café in Arcata. They are looking at recent land use and policies that inﬂuence birds and people. Please attend if you are interested! Denise Seeger, who has energy and enticing ideas; has agreed to chair the Education committee. I look forward to helping her and seeing what we can offer the community in this area. Contact Denise (email@example.com) for more information, suggestions, or willingness to help. I am currently planning a retreat (or a facilitation) with the board and committee members to develop a plan for what we want to concentrate on for the next 5 years. In this regard, please contact me via e-mail (hal.genger@ humboldt.edu) if you have suggestions for what you would like to see RRAS do in the coming years.
We will deﬁnitely continue on with the many (9+) monthly ﬁeld trips as well as the diverse topics presented
Thinking of Joining the National Audubon Society?
If so, please use the coupon below. By sending in your membership on this form, rather than replying to solicitations from National Audubon, $20 is sent directly to RRAS. This is how NAS rewards local chapters for recruiting national members. (Otherwise, the RRAS dues share per new member is only a couple of dollars.) Thank you.
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Chapter Membership Application
Yes, I’d like to join.
Please enroll me as a member of the National Audubon Society and of my local chapter. Please send AUDUBON magazine and my membership card to the address below. My check for $20 is enclosed. (Introductory offer)
NAME_______________________________ ADDRESS___________________________ CITY ______________________________ STATE____________ZIP______________ email ______________________________ Local Chapter Code: C24 C1ZC240Z Please make checks to the National Audubon Society. Send this application and your check to:
National Audubon Society P.O. Box 422250 Palm Coast, FL 32142-2250
REDWOOD REGION AUDUBON SOCIETY P.O. BOX 1054 EUREKA, CA 95502
Volunteering Opportunities at Godwit Days
Help hang student bird art contest entries on Friday, April 18, 1 to 3 p.m., Arcata Community Center. Bring a light hammer and something to hold pushpins (e.g., carpenter’s belt, fanny pack). Contact Sue Leskiw at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-442-5444. Godwit Café Fundraiser: Get to hear about Godwit Days participants’ adventures while serving them drinks and food. Shifts are at least 2 hours between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. April 19 to 20 at the Arcata Community Center. Contact volunteer coordinator Susan Penn at email@example.com or 707-443-9660.
RRAS Education Committee Is Back!
The RRAS Education Committee is looking for ideas and members. If you would like to participate in expanding our education program for K-12 students, contact Denise Seeger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-444-2399.
Glamour Profession “It’s a glamour profession. The L.A. concession...” --Donald Fagen and Walter Becker(Steely Dan)
Boredom descended as I closed in on the one-hour mark... of doing dishes. Around our house, Sue’s responsible for everything that gets loaded into the dishwasher, while I handle items best washed in the sink. Most times, I actually look forward to these duties: order from chaos, pride in a job well done. A little time for reﬂection. But today, there was a veritable Everest of dirty dishes, the result of Sue’s generous time spent preparing home-cooked goodies for a donor appreciation party. Suddenly, doing dishes seemed so mundane. Why, it was only yesterday that I felt like a Rock Star, my party ﬁnding a Pine Warbler on a Christmas Bird Count.
Birders usually scoff at our TMZ-fueled, celebrityobsessed culture. However, in our own way, we, too, seek a kind of glamour that the natural world furnishes. Because I wanted to conﬁrm that my assertion was correct, I looked up the deﬁnition of glamour in an online dictionary. The listing read: “1. exciting allure: an irresistible alluring quality that somebody or something possesses by virtue of seeming much more exciting, romantic, or fashionable than ordinary people or things. 2. spell: a magical spell or charm.” By many birders’ standards, local vagrants, from a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher to a Brown Shrike to a Little Bunting, certainly meet the criteria of glamourous. I’m reminded of last summer—more speciﬁcally, of my promise to Sue to make progress on some projects before the fall rains hit, like painting an exterior staircase and getting several coats of paint on our neglected and peeling utility-boat trailer. I wrapped
up these projects in time, but it wasn’t easy. First, starting in late July, shorebirds intruded. Curlew Sandpipers are again in season. I still need it for a lifer! What a rush it would be to ﬁnd one in Humboldt, say on Cock Robin Island. Then September came, and passerines tried to undermine my best intentions. Ah, yesterday’s Northern Parula at Cooper Gulch. I’ll bet there’s even something better out on the North Spit today. Painting a staircase railing—even all 4 sides of every %*^! picket—is good, honest work. It can be relaxing, meditative. However, such a project is at a distinct disadvantage: glamour quotient-wise, it pales next to, say, ﬁnding a long-sought Humboldt County Broad-winged Hawk. Of course, for most of us, chasing birds hardly can be termed a profession. It’s a hobby, a diversion— although sometimes we seem to be diverted 24/7. And even among those who do make a living ﬁnding and sharing birds with others, certain aspects of their job must certainly be boring, tedious, or exasperating, like “running” a procession of slo-mo TSA gauntlets at airports. Not to mention logistical headaches and negative client feedback while traveling in thirdworld countries: “You call this a rest room?” But there’s one thing I think we all can agree on. Like Rock Stars that crave those 2 hours on stage, everything is made right—the prelude, preparation, and familial negotiations—once we get on the bird. Tom Leskiw
Tip # 16 By Rob Fowler
Make Your Checklist Comments Public Did you know that you now can make your checklist comments public for all eBirders to see? It’s easy to do. Just go to eBird and sign in if you aren’t already. On the eBird homepage next to the link Sign Out, you will see a Preferences link. On the Preferences page, you’ll ﬁnd a Checklist Comment Visibility header. If you want your checklist comments public, just check that box. To be clear, this has nothing to do with the Species Comments where you enter notes or embed photos for individual species you report on your eBird lists. This new feature gives you the ability to make your general checklist comments public, rather than being fully private as before. The Sandpiper eBird tip is a column that hopes to inspire increased eBird use in northwestern California. If you have suggestions for an eBird tip or any other eBird-related questions, contact RRAS eBird liaison Rob Fowler at migratoriusfwlr@ gmail.com. Rob reviews eBird records for Humboldt and Trinity counties and openly admits his eBird addiction.
Book Review: Rare Birds of North America - Ken Burton Rare Birds of North America (Steve N. G. Howell, Ian Lewington, and Will Russell; Princeton University Press; $35.00) In another book review (The Sandpiper, Nov. 2008) I expressed my longing for a ﬁeld guide to North American vagrant birds. With the recent publication of Rare Birds of North America, my wish has almost been granted. This book covers all the birds that averaged 5 or fewer records in the continental U.S. and Canada from “around 1950” to July 2011. That’s some 261 species; only 17 (7%) of these have been recorded in northwestern California, which is not surprising given that most vagrants occur in areas closer to their sources. Native birds that breed regularly (or used to) in North America are excluded. The introduction is comprehensive and on its own almost justiﬁes purchase of the book. It brieﬂy summarizes the mechanisms of bird migration and then explains the various factors (drift, misorientation, overshooting, dispersal, etc.) that produce vagrants and inﬂuence their likelihood of discovery. I found the maps showing examples of drift and mirror-image and reverse misorientation particularly enlightening. The introduction also presents apparent patterns of vagrancy in North America by region, taxonomic group,
cause, and origin (Old World, New World, or oceanic). I say “apparent” because what we know is the product of what we ﬁnd; the authors cite a sobering analysis that concluded that as many as 60% of “rare” birds in a heavily birded region may go undetected and point out that if we found them all, we’d cease to consider some of them rare! The ﬁnal section of the introduction summarizes bird topography, molt, and “aging” (meaning “age determination,” though the traditional deﬁnition of the word is equally applicable here). Knowing a vagrant’s age is interesting for its own sake, can help elucidate vagrancy patterns, and can even aid in identiﬁcation. Understanding molt strategies is a valuable part of any birder’s toolkit. The bulk of the book consists of individual species accounts, each about 2 pages long and divided into 5 sections: Summary, Taxonomy, Distribution and Status, Comments, and Identiﬁcation. Individual records are presented for the rarer species; it’s fun to sleuth out the ones you saw. Each species account also includes a half page or so of well-annotated, ﬁeld-guide-style illustrations of the species and, when applicable, similar North American species with which it could be confused. The illustrations, by Lewington, are magniﬁcent. His plates are a joy to look at, all the more so because the layout allows for images that are larger than in a typical ﬁeld guide. Each species is depicted in up to 11 poses and
plumages, with little if any substrate or background. My one gripe with the illustrations is that in some cases, where multiple species are depicted, it takes some work to ﬁgure out which images refer to which species. For me, the book’s biggest shortcoming is the organization of the species accounts. They’re grouped into sometimes arbitrary amalgamations of families − waterfowl, sungrebes, alcids, pelagic seabirds, gulls and terns, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors and owls, larger landbirds, aerial landbirds, and songbirds, in that order – most of which are divided into Old World and New World sections. This separates birds from widespread families based solely on their origin; for example, Old World pigeons and cuckoos are separated from their New World counterparts by hoopoes and Old World woodpeckers and corvids! Granted, each geographic group has its own introductory paragraph, but these could have been put together, and species easier to ﬁnd, with a strict taxonomic, family-level approach. In summary, I have mixed feelings about Rare Birds. It presents a lot of really good, needed, and accurate information, and it’s visually pleasing. It has changed the way I look at vagrants. But I wish it were organized differently, and it should have been 2 books: the identiﬁcation elements in a ﬁeld guide and the rest in a companion volume. I’m still longing for a ﬁeld guide to North American vagrant birds.
By Daryl Coldren
S U M M A RY O F N O R T H W E S T E R N C A L I F O R N I A B I R D R E P O R T S
January 15 to March 1, 2014 Field Notes is a compilation of bird-sighting reports for Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity counties. Sources include the RRAS Bird Box (707-822-LOON), the online northwestern California birding and information exchange (email@example.com), eBird (http://ebird.org/ content/klamathsiskiyou), and reports submitted directly to the compiler. Reports may be submitted to any of the sources mentioned above or to Daryl Coldren: (916) 3848089; QuiAvisPetit@aol.com. HBNWR = Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge; HO = hold over; MOb = many observers
Brown Booby, North Jetty, Humboldt Bay, HUM; © Rob Fowler
Black Scoter: 120+, N. of Redwood Creek Mouth, 5-24 Feb (JA, MOb) • King Eider: 1 (female), N. of Redwood Creek Mouth, 22 Jan-24 Feb (JA, MOb) • Harlequin Duck: 1, Patrick’s Point, 30 Jan (CB) • Long-tailed Duck: 2, King SalmomField’s Landing, 13 Jan-24 Feb (MW, RF, DC, MOb); 1, Trinidad Head, 25 Jan (GM) • Brown Booby: 1, North Jetty, 18 Jan (RF, DC, BE, MOb) • Cattle Egret: 1 (HO), Ferndale Bottoms-Goble Lane, 15 Jan-21 Feb (CR, MOb) • Black Vulture: 1 (3rd county record!), Ferndale Bottoms-Sage Rd Area, 20-23 Feb (BE, SB, MOb) • Golden Eagle: 1 (HO), Ferndale Bottoms, 15 Jan-16 Feb (MOb); 1, Bear River Ridge, 22 Feb (BH); 1-3, Kneeland, 1924 Feb (CR, BH, JH) • Ferruginous Hawk: many reports of 1-2 (HO), Bear River Ridge, Ferndale Bottoms, Loleta Bottoms, McKinleyville Bottoms, 15 Jan-1 Mar (MOb) • Rough-legged Hawk: many reports of 1-2 (HO), Bear River Ridge, Ferndale Bottoms, Loleta Bottoms, McKinleyville Bottoms, 15 Jan-1 Mar (MOb) • Gyrfalcon: 1 (white morph), Ferndale Bottoms, 2-24 Feb (MD, RF, DC, MOb) • Sandhill Crane: 1 (HO), Ferndale Bottoms, 15 Jan-23 Feb (CR, MOb) • Pacific Golden-Plover: 2, Arcata Bottoms, 19 Feb (CB) • Ruddy Turnstone: 1, Field’s Landing, 26 Jan (CR, AT) • Red Knot: 1-4, Arcata Marsh-Klopp Lake, 27 Jan-28 Feb (RF, CR, AL, MOb); 1-4, Humboldt Bay-Jacoby Creek
Long-eared Owl, Arcata Bottoms-V St Loop, HUM; © Rob Fowler
Mouth, 9-11 Feb (BE) • Rock Sandpiper: many reports of 1-6 (HO), North Jetty, 15 Jan-1 Mar (BE, SB, MOb) • Glaucous Gull: 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 19-26 Jan (CO, RF); 1, Arcata, 18 Jan-3 Feb (TM, RF, KB, MOb) • Long-eared Owl: 1, Arcata Bottoms-V St Loop, 4 Feb-1 Mar (BE, SB, IG, MOb) • Burrowing Owl: 2 (HO), South Spit, 15 Jan-1 Mar (RF, RH, MOb); 1 (HO), McKinleyvilleClam Beach Overlook, 15 Jan-1 Mar (MOb) • White-throated Swift: 1-6, Blue Lake, 22 Feb-1 Mar (BE, EF, AL, MOb); 9+, Garberville, 24 Feb (DB, ET) • Say’s Phoebe: 1-2, Arcata Bottoms, 21 Jan-19 Feb (CB, CD, PC); 1-2, Ferndale Bottoms, 20 Feb-1 Mar (CR, BE, SB, AL, GC) • Vermillion Flycatcher: 1 (HO), Ferndale Bottoms-Salt River, 15-22 Jan (GB, MOb) • Tropical Kingbird: 1, Ferndale Bottoms-Centerville Rd, 1 Feb-1 Mar (GC, MOb) • Loggerhead Shrike: 1 (HO), LoletaQuinn Rd, 15 Jan-24 Feb (GC, MOb) • Northern Shrike: 1 (HO), Blue Lake-Cottonwoods, 15-25 Jan (BE, MOb); 1 (HO), Redwood Creek Mouth, 15-19 Jan (TK, MOb); 1, HBNWR-Hookton Slough Unit, 1 Feb (GC) • Clark’s Nutcracker: 1, Dan East Trailhead, 30 Jan (CO) • Horned Lark: 1-10
18 Feb (MOb) • Black-and-white Warbler: 1, Eureka, 4-5 Feb (LBO?, KB, CB) • Nashville Warbler: 1 (HO), Arcata Marsh, 15 Jan-20 Feb (MC, MOb); 1 (HO), Arcata-H St, 15 Jan-2 Feb (SQ, TQ); 1 (HO), Eureka, 15 Jan-11 Feb (BE) • Yellow Warbler: 1, Eureka, 15 Feb (HH) • Palm Warbler: 1 (HO), Arcata Marsh, 15 Jan-20 Feb (MC, MOb); 1, McKinleyville Bottoms, 24 Jan (PC); 1-2 (HO), Ferndale Bottoms, 15 Jan-1 Mar (MOb) • Clay-colored Sparrow: 1, Eureka, 1-17 Feb (EF, MOb) • Swamp Sparrow: 1-2 (HO), HBNWR, 15 Jan-10 Feb (AL, MC, KB, MOb); 1-2 (HO), Arcata Marsh, 15 Jan-20 Feb (MOb); 2, Eureka-Hoover St, 2 Feb (AL) • Harris’s Sparrow: 1 (HO), McKinleyville-Salmon Ave, 15 Jan-14 Feb (KS, MOb) • Summer Tanager: 1 (HO), ArcataCalifornia Ave, 15-23 Jan (SR, ML, RF, DC, MOb • Tricolored Blackbird: 1-3, Arcata Bottoms, 17-21 Jan (RF, CB, KB) • Evening Grosbeak: 1, Arcata-Zehnder Ave, 24-25 Jan (GB); 3, Blue Lake-Mad River Fish Hatchery, 27 Feb (PC).
Summer Tanager, Arcata, HUM; © Rob Fowler
Thanks to all who have submitted their sightings! Special thanks to Rob Fowler for assistance with compiling records. Cited Observers
Tropical Kingbird, Centerville Rd., HUM; © Gary Bloomfield
(HO), Bear River Ridge, 15 Jan-22 Feb (RF, CR, BE, MOb) • Rock Wren: 1 (HO), Dyerville Rd, 15 Jan-1 Mar (RF, CB, KO, AL, MOb) • Northern Mockingbird: 1 (HO), Arcata-D St, 15 Jan-1 Mar (CR, AT, AF, MOb); 1 (HO; returning for 3rd year), Eureka-D St/Willow, 15 Jan (GC, DC, AL, BE); 1, Ferndale Bottoms, 21 Feb (CO) • Lapland Longspur: several reports of 1-4; Ferndale Bottoms, 19 Jan-22 Feb (MOb) • Northern Waterthrush: 1 (HO), Arcata Marsh, 15 Jan-
Jeff Allen, Samantha Bacon, Gary Bloomfield, Camden Bruner, Ralph Bucher, Danuta Burris, Ken Burton, Philip Chaon, Greg Chapman, Daryl Coldren, Mark Colwell, Matt Delgado, Cédric Duhalde, Brad Elvert, Elizabeth Feucht, Andrew Ford, Rob Fowler, Ian Gledhill, Holly Harvey, Rob Hewitt, Jared Hughey, Tony Kurz, Alex Lamb, Margaret Lang, Josh Lefever, Gabriel Mapel, Tristin McKee, Chet Ogan, Kurt Ongman, Michael Park, Shilo Quetchenbach, Tom Quetchenbach, Steve Railsback, Casey Ryan, Keith Slausen, Edwards Terence, Anji Trujillo, Matt Wachs, Andew Wiegardt.
Bag Bans Proliferate When Costs are Considered Just four years ago, only a handful of California’s urban local governments had banned the use of single-use plastic carry-out bags (“plastic bag bans”) within their jurisdictions. Regarded then as radical environmental law, 69 single-use plastic bag bans covering 90 cities and counties have since been passed by communities of every political stripe. As environmental groups have pulled aside the curtain of misinformation and falsehoods disseminated by the plastic industry’s media arm, the public and local officials are learning about the hidden costs associated with the use of single use carry-out bags paid for by taxpayers. Single-use plastic bags cause disproportionately expensive problems compared to their total volume and weight in the solid waste stream. The most commonly identified fiscal impacts are associated with: • Litter control • Storm water drain systems • Storm water catchments • Waste water systems • Frequent clogging of recycling equipment • Low market values for recycled plastic bags • Clogging of waste disposal equipment during collection, transfer and disposal • Public education about proper bag disposal
Once local governments began investigating the costs and benefits of adopting bag bans, they discovered to their amazement and consternation just how much single-use bags had been costing them over time. In an era of budget shortfalls and shrinking public services, even the most conservative of local governments are realizing that cutting these unnecessary costs frees up funding that can be re-allocated to under-funded high priority public safety and other services. A bag ban recently came into effect in the City of Arcata, and the City of Eureka and the County of Humboldt have begun investigating the benefits of passing bag bans as well. Available information indicates that Eureka may be able to save tens of thousands of dollars annually by banning bags. The City of San Jose (population 946,000) has calculated that they are saving at least $1 million and perhaps as much as $3 million a year by keeping single-use plastic bags out of their city’s environment. That is equivalent to $1.06 per capita on the low end and $3.17 on the high end. Multiplying these amounts by Eureka population numbers, we estimate that the savings for Eureka (population 27,000) would be $28,600 to $85,600; for greater Eureka (population 45,000) they would be between $47,700 and $142,600. If the County and the City of Eureka decide to move forward on bans they will have an abundance of examples and models to use, including the Humboldt Waste Management Authority’s model ordinance and the City of Arcata’s 18-page checkbox Negative Declaration, which illustrates the relative simplicity of what will be required in the way of CEQA environmental documentation.
Plastic bags litter the landscape. Photo: Adrian S Pye, CC.
For those wishing to get past the rhetoric and learn more about bag bans, Zero Waste Humboldt suggests reading two Myth vs. Fact fact-sheets, one from Californians Against Waste, and the other from Save The Bay. Both links can be found by visiting the online version of this article, at www.yournec.org/zwh/aprmay2014.
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Defunct Pulp Mill to be Cleaned Up, Revitalized
Jennifer Kalt, Policy Director
On February 10, an open house was held to brainstorm a smorgasbord of ideas for revitalizing the former pulp mill in Samoa. The event was co-sponsored by the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District and Humboldt State University. The proposed Research, Energy and Innovation Park aims to make use of the site’s assets by combining aquaculture, light industry and a marine energy research center. The site will first need extensive cleanup, starting with removal of millions of gallons of pulping liquors left behind by Evergreen Pulp. The Bay District, with assistance from the U.S. EPA and Coast Guard, is planning to ship the liquors to a mill in Longview, Washington, where they will be re-used in the pulping process. The liquors are used to Left, tanks of pulping liquors reflected in a wastewater pond. Right, a closeup of a liquor tank. Photos: Jennifer Savage. break down tannins in wood pulp site. The EDA’s goal is to encourage private and are very caustic—pH 13—so it will be a great investment in economically distressed regions relief to all to get them out of the old, leaking to create and retain higher-skilled, higher-wage storage tanks near Humboldt Bay. The belowFor more information, listen to these jobs. In addition, there is a focus on revitalizing ground contamination will then be cleaned up, EcoNews Report interviews at contaminated former industrial sites, designated with Louisiana-Pacific taking fiscal responsibility. www.yournec.org/econews-report: under the Environmental Protection Agency’s The first tenant of the former mill is Taylor Brownsfi eld Program. Mariculture’s oyster seed culturing operation that • August 22, 2013: Humboldt Bay Because the mill is now owned by a public will supply oyster farms in Puget Sound, where Commissioner Mike Wilson talks about the agency, it is eligible for grant funding for cleaning acquisition of the site by the District and the ocean acidification has prevented shell formation up the decades of contamination that were left subsequent cleanup. in oyster larvae in recent years. Other ideas behind. The federal government does have a under discussion included aquaponics (growing • February 20, 2014: Jennifer Kalt talks about mechanism for holding the polluters responsible aquatic species such as fish with vegetables in the Research, Energy, and Innovation Park open for paying the tab, but in the case of Evergreen closed systems) and marine energy research in house, including interviews with 15 people Pulp, the process is complicated by the fact that it conjunction with the Schatz Energy Research involved in revitalization of the site. was a Chinese company. Center at Humboldt State University. The removal of toxic chemicals from leaky, The site has a number of assets that could unstable tanks will be a success for the community benefit a variety of potential uses, including and will prevent possible harm to Humboldt Bay the abundant fresh water source that formerly supplied the two pulp mills. At the open house, in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami. a major emphasis was looking for economic Cleanup of the site is also a necessary first step development proposals that are protective of the before new businesses can be established. Humboldt Baykeeper moved in January to join environment, support high-skilled/higher wage It is long past time to take to heart the lesson our colleagues at the Link in Arcata. Stay tuned as jobs and will be supported by a broad crossthat environmental protection and stable, longwe continue our work protecting Humboldt Bay! section of the community. term economic development go hand-in-hand. Our new address: The Bay District is pursuing funding from The Bay District is collecting ideas for 1385 Eighth Street, Suite 228 the Economic Development Administration revitalizing the site: to give them your input, go to Arcata, CA 95521 www.humboldtbay.org/contact. (EDA) for planning and development of the
We’ve Move d !
of the Eel River
Got Water? Drought, Resilience and the North Coast Eel River Symposium 2014: A Recap
Scott Greacen, Executive Director In the afternoon, we turned from consideration of the challenges facing Friends of the Eel River’s 2014 our communities and watersheds Eel River Symposium was held at the An excerpt from Dr. Luna Leopold’s keynote address, later published as “A to look at some possible paths to Fortuna River Lodge, March 7. Many Reverence for Rivers,” delivered on the same date 37 years previously, to the solutions. First, Darren Mierau, thanks to all who attended and 1977 Conference on the California Drought convened by then-and-again California Trout’s North Coast Regional especially to the presenters who made Governor Jerry Brown. The eminent UC Berkeley professor of hydrology Manager, outlined work that he, Dr. the event such a rich, engaging day referred his distinguished audience to the lessons of our earliest history: Trush, and Gabe Rossi have been doing of presentations and discussion. Our to establish baseline data for North Coast watershed, region and society face streams, including tributaries of the serious challenges from drought and South Fork Eel critical to coho salmon other extreme weather, not only in survival and recovery, like Sprowel Creek view of California’s history of drought near Garberville. Mierau suggested a and flood (and the lessons that science Sprowel Creek resident might be able to presents, such as the fact that the 150 check in on a watershed-based network years of California’s official existance through Google Earth, learning from a appear to have come during a wetter glance at her phone how much water and more moderate time than usual she might safely divert that day. over the millenia), but also from the If such a network were to come changes global warming brings, making into being in Southern Humboldt, it severe drought and megaflood both will be because Dana Stolzman and more likely and more extreme. the Salmonid Restoration Federation The Eel is coming into focus as a have worked so hard to translate and watershed of tremendous promise— transplant the tank-and-forbearance facing some real peril, but capable still program that Tasha McKee and of self-renewal. The anchors of our Sanctuary Forest pioneered in the 2012 symposium, Drs. William headwaters of the Mattole, just Dietrich and Mary Power of UC west of Redwood Creek. Stolzman’s Berkeley, and their research teams presentation showcased the substantial were awarded nearly $5 million from progress already made to ensure the the National Science Foundation human community of Redwood Creek over the next five years to study not can meet its water needs without taking just the Angelo Reserve on the upper what fish need. South Fork of the Eel, but the entire watershed, and how its vegetation, Lastly, Sam Flanagan, a geologist geology and topography affect water with the Bureau of Land Management’s flow all the way to the Pacific. The King Range National Conservation funding makes the Eel River Observatory one Area, outlined Sanctuary Forest’s communityunderscores the need to do more than protect bits of ten Critical Zone Observatories which focus based program of water conservation and Tasha’s and pieces of watersheds if the streamflows that on the “critical zone”: the thin veneer of Earth, efforts to explore ancient practices in rural native fish need and resident humans want are from the bottom of the groundwater to the tree India built around the same ideas. In practical to be maintained. tops, that is critical to aquatic and terrestrial life. terms, Sanctuary Forest’s reverence for the The final presentation of the morning came Dr. Joshua Strange, a fisheries biologist who Mattole River has manifested most recently in from Dr. Bill Trush, who studied with Luna grew up on the Klamath and lives on the Trinity, a project at Baker Creek. Sam discussed both Leopold, and has now returned from private now working with Stillwater Sciences’ Arcata the design and construction process in detail, consulting to a role with the Humboldt State office, gave a thoughtful review of our climate bringing the project alive through its efforts University Rivers Institute. Dr. Trush worked challenges and a call to face our responsibilities to go beyond what had already been done in us through ways of thinking about water, flows with honesty and humility, rooted in his work restoring critical habitat for a failing Mattole and fish that yield powerful insights about how with native youth. Eli Asarian presented his coho population. The spectacular results: a streams work and what fish need, as well as analyses of North Coast and especially Eel restoration project that looks like a sculpture how to address complex problems with simple River streamflows, which shows flows declining garden, works like a beaver dam, and immediately tools. His techniques offer the prospect of in the South Fork Eel in Southern Humboldt attracted young coho seeking a place to shelter citizen scientists documenting and evaluating county, over the last few decades. The evidence and grow strong. flows in the Eel watershed’s many tributaries.
“Speaking of the Persians who dominated Asia Minor in the 5th century B.C., Herodotus said, “They never deﬁle a river with the secretions of their bodies, nor even wash their hands in one; nor will they allow others to do so, as they have a great reverence for rivers.” It is the last phrase that deserves our attention. The river is like an organism; it is internally selfadjusting. It is also resilient and can absorb changes imposed upon it, but not without limit.”
The Environmental Protection Information Center
Wolf Recovery an Imperative for Ecosystem Restoration
Gary Graham Hughes, Executive Director The importance of recovery of viable populations of wolves on the landscapes of Northern California has been clear since before the first time the famous lone wolf “Journey” crossed over into California two years ago. Since that time we at EPIC have dedicated important time and resources to engaging in stakeholder processes and endangered species advocacy in order to contribute to a broadly shared conservation community objective of seeing wolves return to the wild and thrive in California. Our organization is part of a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to have the gray wolf listed as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act, and has had an active role in a nationwide coalition challenging the scientifically unfounded and clearly untimely proposal to remove Federal Endangered Species Act protections for the wolf throughout the majority of the predator’s current and potential range in the continental United States. These advocacy actions for the wolf are crucial. We see wolf recovery as an important goal of its own accord, as well as being an indispensable watermark for measuring progress towards objectives of true restoration of ecosystems in Northern California. What has become clear is that wolf recovery is an absolute imperative in California because bringing back the wolf could very easily be one of the most attainable landscape level wildlife restoration accomplishments for working towards the reestablishment of natural processes, including predator-prey relationships, in our extended bioregion.
Take Action: Wolves need your help to make their recovery in California Possible! Tell the California Fish and Game Commission to vote to list the Gray Wolf as an “endangered” species under the California Endangered Species Act in order to afford the fullest protection of California law to this highly imperiled species.
When comparing wolf recovery with the recovery of wild salmon runs, we believe that there is strong evidence that getting the wolf back onto the landscape is probably going to be much easier than bringing back the salmon. Thus, if we cannot as a society bring back the wolf it is highly unlikely that we will bring back the salmon. And taking this a step further, if we cannot bring back the wolf, and thus cannot bring back the salmon, it is pretty much impossible to contemplate a time in the future when we will be able to restore populations of grizzly bear to California wild lands. Bringing back the grizzly bear would certainly require an amazing amount of preparation and planning, as well as commitment and willpower, on a cultural and political level. We now understand better than ever before, however, that if we cannot succeed in bringing the wolf back to California, then it is impossible to even contemplate bringing back the grizzly. Thus, wolf recovery is the moment of reckoning for Californians, because as goes the wolf so will go the grizzly. With the icon of the grizzly an integral part of state symbolism, especially with the grizzly so prominently displayed on the state flag, this is not an irrelevant matter. What does it mean to have a world renowned symbol of wildlife on our flag when there is a total absence of vision or commitment on the part of California residents and our state government to make the grizzly more than just a colorful symbol and to restore the great bear to its rightful place on the landscape? This is why at EPIC we believe that recovery of the wolf is so important, because it comes at the crossroads of the myth vs. the reality of our wild California, one in which wildlife is glorified, but little is done to rectify the disappearance and absence of that wildlife from our ecosystems. It is with a wry smile that we say then that we must bring back the wolf, we must bring back the salmon, and we must bring back the grizzly -- and if we cannot commit to bringing back the griz, let’s get it off our flag! Let’s stop playing make believe games about how wild our state really isn’t. Now is the time. The first step to keeping the grizzly on our flag, and eventually some day bringing back on our landscapes, is to show our commitment to having top predators in the wildlands of our state and to commit fully to wolf recovery now. There is not a moment to lose. www.yournec.org
EPIC Updates At A Glance Caltrans Reform—As EPIC and partners continue the legal defense of the ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove from unnecessary Caltrans highway development, an independent review from the State Smart Transportation Initiative cites that “Caltrans is out of step with the best practices in transportation planning” and drives home the need for serious reform of an agency that is “in need of modernization.” Stop Logging Old Growth on our Public Lands—The Klamath National Forest continues to target for logging the few remaining stands of old and mature forest on our public wildlands. More than a thousand cyberactivists recently took action with EPIC to oppose the new “Crawford” Timber Sale project proposed on the Klamath, sending a clear message to Forest Service managers that logging our last old growth is neither economically nor ecologically viable. Ask a Dolphin: Is The US Navy A Force for Global Good?—For many years now EPIC has provided comments and analysis of proposed US Navy training exercises that are estimated to result in the death of literally hundreds of thousands of marine animals. On March 6 EPIC was at a hearing in Eureka on the draft environmental documentation for the US Navy plan to test sonar and other weapons off the coast of North America, gathering signatures and supporting the resounding community “No!” to the testing plans.
For more info visit www.wildcalifornia.org Apr/May 2014
Why so Fired Up?
Prescribed Fire in the King Range
Ali Freedlund, fire if struck by dry lightning during MRC Program Director of the summer months. In addition, Working Lands and Human coyote brush has bubbled up thickly As our forests, fields, and across openings. These areas are streams receive less water and are rapidly losing habitat value for deer, exposed to hotter, drier conditions, rabbits, birds of prey, and livestock. there is more discussion about a The BLM evaluated several very hot topic: should we, as land alternative treatments and decided managers or stewards, put fire back that the most appropriate way on the landscape in the form of to manage this 800-acre former prescribed burns to help lessen the prairie/scrub habitat is to remove impacts from wildfire? the thick brush and Douglas-fir The 19 firefighter deaths trees, either manually or with the and huge blackened footprint of use of equipment in phases. Then, Arizona’s Yarnell Fire in June 2013 when material has dried sufficiently, impress upon us the catastrophic they planned to implement a potential of wildfire. There are prescribed burn contingent on risks and downsides associated federal funding. Unfortunately, the with prescribed fires as well, in ROD is currently in appeal. particular, the risk of escape. The Mattole Restoration However, in looking at a study Council has been actively helping to of lessons learned from escaped reduce fuels on private lands in the North King Range Prairie Being Encroached by Coyote Brush and Douglas Fir. Photo: MRC. fires between 1996 and 2004, the watershed through grant-funded look at the many ways of reducing local fuel loads, research concluded that 99 percent of prescribed projects. To better understand the proposed including prescribed burning to lessen the impact fires in that period of time turned out successful project above we visited the area and were able to of a wildfire when it comes. This is nothing new; (Dether, 2005. See full citation at end). compare acres that had previously been masticated indigenous peoples and the ranching community An unequivocal downside of prescribed (basically a giant shredder device used by the regularly burned ridges, woodlands and prairies to burning is the resulting carbon emissions. BLM to reduce fuels) with acres that burned (due manage for particular resources. Ranchers wanted Burning wood products releases stored carbon to an unknown ignition source) and acres that had to maintain grazing areas, while tribal societies into the atmosphere. However, a properly experienced both. We found the masticated areas wanted to promote the health of certain species conducted prescribed fire will generate far less that did not burn were coming back in a monoand keep ridgelines open for trails. But beginning Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or harmful story of perennial, non-native grasses whereas the in 1944, a clever fire suppression campaign known particulate pollution than a wildfire. This is burned areas supported a diverse assemblage of as “Smokey the Bear” taught generations of the due to the air quality controls mandating burn native and non-native species. public to fear forest fires, and equipment-heavy windows only when appropriate fuel moistures Those in support of this type of management firefighting tactics were the norm. exist. Dry material releases far fewer VOCs than hope that by strategically implementing prescribed The Arcata Resource Area of the Bureau of green material. In addition, prescribed burns are fire in our northern California fields and forests we Land Management, recently announced a Record restricted to times when wind conditions aid in can help safeguard the ecological values that we of Decision (ROD) for a restoration management the dispersal of smoke in order to reduce human want to protect and reduce exposure to particulate project in an 800-acre portion of the Northern exposure to poor air quality. These controls also smoke while increasing habitat diversity and King Range Prairie near the town of Petrolia. This ensure an efficient burn start and stop time. A climate change resiliency. part of the King Range National Conservation wildfire, in contrast, does not discriminate in fuel Study citation: Dether, Dierdre M, 2005, Prescribed Fire Area had historically been prairie and scrub— the type or moisture level, and can often result in Lessons Learned: Escaped Prescribed Fire Reviews and near miss incidents—Initial Impression Report, Working first Euro-Americans described the area in 1860 the prolonged exposure to toxic particulates and paper on file at Wildlands Fire Lessons Learned Center, as “destitute of timber. ” Common theory backed smoke as well as multiplying the actual footprint www.myfirecommunity.net by air photo analysis is that local tribes and/or of impact. periodic wildfire maintained the area in grass and As the climate heats up and our lands become To learn more about our projects, scrub, until recently. drier and more laden with fuels, particularly in After decades of fire suppression, Douglas-fir or to make a donation to support us, times of drought, the threats from wildfire to both have encroached into the grass and scrub. These our human and wildlife communities exponentially please visit www.mattole.org. thick, volatile stands could easily create a wall of increase. Resource managers are taking a serious
NORTH GROUP REDWOOD CHAPTER Opportunity Lost: The 2013 Scott River Coho Run Felice Pace, North Group Water Chair This past fall, what was by far the largest run of Coho Salmon in recent history entered Scott River. Unfortunately, the 2,657 Coho adults passing the counting weir in the Scott River Canyon did not make it to preferred spawning grounds in streams in and above Scott River Valley. What was perhaps the best opportunity in decades to recover ESAlisted Klamath River coho was lost. Different anadromous species have different habitat preferences. Coho spawn and their progeny rear for a year or more in small, low gradient streams like those found in Northern California’s mountain valleys. The coho’s preference for valley streams explains why, before the coming of Europeans, the Scott River Valley was likely a primary stronghold within the Klamath River Basin for coho salmon. Scott River coho runs declined precipitously as beaver ponds were drained and more and more water was taken from streams for irrigation. Beginning in the late 1970s, a massive increase in irrigation groundwater pumping further dried up coho habitat—a fact that has been graphically illustrated below by Klamath Riverkeeper (see photo). Fall 2013 was dry in Northern California. In the Scott River Valley, irrigation from surface
streams ends in October. Groundwater pumping, however, is unregulated. Because the rains did not come, those with groundwater pumps continued to irrigate. Usually Scott Valley farmers harvest three cuttings of alfalfa each growing season. In 2013, however, many took four cuttings. Groundwater pumping for alfalfa was a death knell for Scott River Coho. Because groundwater in the Scott River Valley is closely interconnected with surface flows, none of the small, valley streams preferred by coho for spawning flowed last fall, even after stream diversion for irrigation ended in October. The Scott River itself only ran through Scott Valley last fall because the Scott River Water Trust added water leased from irrigators. The best chance in decades to rebuild Klamath River Coho runs—and to make progress toward getting the species off the endangered species list—was lost so that a handful of farmers could get an extra crop. If the drought continues, many progeny of the coho which did manage to spawn in the Scott River Basin in 2013 will also be lost as tributary streams used for irrigation and the Scott River itself dry up next summer. Even if the State Water Resources Control Board curtails surface water diversions, unregulated groundwater pumping is likely to dewater Scott River. It is for this reason that salmon activists are calling on Governor Jerry Brown to use authority under the drought declaration to end surface and groundwater irrigation in the Scott River no later than October 1, 2014. Ending Scott Valley irrigation by this date would help the surviving young coho make it to the ocean and assure that the 2014 coho run is able to reach spawning grounds in and above Scott Valley. The Scott is only one of the many California rivers and streams dewatered as a result of unregulated groundwater pumping. Salmon and stream advocates are urging the Brown Administration and the State Water Resources Control Board to follow through on promises to finally regulate California’s groundwater resources. To learn more about the move to finally regulate California groundwater extraction, and more about the dewatering of Scott River and the resulting “take” of ESA-listed coho salmon, visit the online version of this article for links (www. yournec.org/sierraclub/aprmay2014). Contact Governor Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board and ask them to follow through and finally regulate groundwater pumping. www.yournec.org
The North Group offers the following hikes during April and May. All our hikes are open to the public. Contact hike leaders for more information: Sunday, April 13—North Group, Former Coastal Drive, Redwood National Park. Old roadway closed to vehicles since 2011 hugs bluffs above rugged coast. Maintained surface resumes in 3 miles, near High Bluffs Overlook, our lunch destination. Optional extension N to WW11 radar station. Return same route. Dress for coastal exposure; pack lunch, liquids. No dogs. Class M-6-A. For details, directions, call leader Melinda 707-668-4275. Friday, May 9—North Group, Lyons Ranch loop hike, Redwood National Park. From Lyons Ranch Trailhead, route meanders past historic sheep shed-with-a-view on through a wooded gulch to meet main trail a half mile from Lyons family “Home Place”. Here pause for lunch: explore restored barn and bunkhouses, remnant orchard before return by main trail. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, lunch and ample liquids. No dogs. Class M-5-A. Meet 10am Kuchel Visitor Center( hwy 101, 1.5 mi S of Orick) leader Melinda 707668-4275, or email@example.com
Can you help?
The North Group is on the lookout for citizens who want to help us educate the community about local, regional, national and international environmental issues. The Group would especially like to recruit a person to help with digital media and someone to serve as the Group’s forestry chair. If you are interested in getting involved with the North Group Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, contact chairperson Gregg Gold at 707-826-3740.
Spring Wildﬂower Show & Plant Sale See page 6 for details Beginners and experts, non-members and members are all welcome at our programs and on our outings. Almost all of our events are free. All of our events are made possible by volunteer effort.
Second Wednesday evening, September through May. Refreshments at 7 p.m.; program at 7:30 p.m. at the Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Road, near 7th and Union, Arcata. Botanical FAQ’s: At 7:15 p.m. Pete Haggard (or another presenter) shares a brief, hands-on demonstration and discussion of a botanical topic. April 9, 7:30 p.m. “Flora of the Italian Alps” with Kjirsten Wayman. A photographic botanical exploration of the Italian Dolomites—home to many plants and wildflowers, both familiar and unfamiliar to the California botanist. May 14, 7:30 p.m. “Hiking the John Muir Trail —botanical adventures and beyond.” Humboldt County botanists, Gary and Lauren Lester, describe their 250 mile trek along one of the world’s most famous trails.
Field Trips & Plant Walks April 6, Sunday. 1:00-3:00 p.m. Trinidad Head Walk, with naturalist Virginia Waters. Roughly one mile, part road, part gravel path. Meet at the base of the head, at the beach parking. 707-822-2015. April 12, Saturday. Wooley Creek Wildflower Day Hike (beyond Orleans). Meet at the Panamnik Building in Orleans at 10 a.m., or at the Wooley Creek Trailhead at 10:30. Bring a lunch and water. Contact Tanya at 530-627-3202 or firstname.lastname@example.org. April 12-13, Saturday-Sunday. Serpentine Grassland Spring flowers hike and overnight at the UC McLoughlin Reserve. Contact: Wendy Smit, email@example.com, or Carol Ralph (707-8222015, firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to go down Friday afternoon and camp. April 20, Sunday (Easter). 12:30-3:30 p.m. Native Plants in Yards and Forest. About 3 miles on sidewalks and good paths. Call 826-7050 to register for this free trip sponsored by California Native Plant Society at Godwit Days. April 26, Saturday. 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. Ferns of the Dunes. Meet at Pacific Union School, 3001 Janes Road in Arcata, and carpool to the protected site. Co-sponsored with Friends of the Dunes. Please register by calling 707-444-1397.
April 27. Sunday. 1-3 p.m. Wildflowers in a Hydesville Forest. Paths are gentle but slightly rough. The ground may be damp. For directions or to RSVP, please call 707-768-3287 or 707-822-2015.
May 10, Saturday. 2-4 p.m. Common Plants at Arcata Marsh. Meet at the Interpretive Center, 569 South G St., Arcata. For more information call 707-826-2359. May 10, Saturday. 2-4 p.m. 101 Common Plants at the Arcata Marsh. Celebrate a new field guide by local authors who will lead a plant-focused walk on the paths of the Arcata Marsh. For more information call 707-826-2359. May 17, Saturday. Rare Plant Big Day in the Dunes and Wetlands. Dress for the weather (and maybe wet feet); bring lunch and water. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at Pacific Union School or ask where we will stop first. Please RSVP to Carol at 707-822-2015. May 25, Sunday. 1:00-3:00 p.m. Azaleas! at the Azalea State Reserve with Pete Haggard. About a half mile easy walk on gravel path. Exit onto North Bank Rd. off 101 just north of the Mad River; after about one mile turn left on Azalea Dr. 707-839-0307.
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PROSARTES SMITHII: Fairy Bells Donna Wildearth Fairy Bells are ringing in the forest! Prosartes smithii, formerly classified as Disporum smithii, has the charming common name of Fairy Bells. It is also known as Coast Fairy Bells and Smith’s Fairy Bells (to distinguish it from another local species—Prosartes hookeri). This plant is an herbaceous perennial that grows from 1 to 3 feet tall. Ivory bell-shaped flowers, nearly an inch long, dangle in clusters of 1-7 amidst glossy green leaves with well-defined parallel veins. The flowers of the closely-related Hooker’s Fairy Bells are generally smaller with more widely flaring bells, and the leaves and stems are slightly hairy, in contrast to the smooth leaves and stems of Smith’s Fairy Bells. I have seen this plant blooming as early as mid-February, but you can find plants in bloom through spring and perhaps into early summer. The flowers are followed by orange berry-like fruits, which have given the plant yet another common name: Golden Drops.
This delicate, graceful woodland plant is quite common in our area. Many plants can be seen, for instance, along the Rim Trail in Patrick’s Point State Park. Coast Fairy Bells grows in several California coastal counties from Del Norte south to Big Sur, and it grows as far north as British Columbia. It can also be grown in gardens; this picture shows the plant growing in my backyard, where it is happy in a shaded, moist, fairly well-drained soil. Coast Fairy Bells survived the recent decimation of Liliaceae and remains in the Lily Family. In fact, perusing the new edition of the Jepson Manual, I was struck by the fact that we are quite fortunate to have interesting/beautiful representatives of every remaining native Liliaceae genera—Calochortus, Clintonia, Erythronium, Fritillaria, Lilium, Scoliopus, and Streptopus—growing in our local area. In case you’re wondering, the species name “smithii” honors James Edward Smith (1759-1828), an English botanist who purchased the collection of manuscripts and specimens of Carolus Linnaeus and founded the Linnean Society in London. www.yournec.org
Donna Wildearth is a teacher and the owner of Garden Visions Landscape Design in Eureka. She is passionate about native plants. Photo by Donna Wildearth.
Continued from page 8 ...the lower left to the right top photo edge and meets the 1855 Arcata Wharf (extended in 1875). By 1892, the wharf was bustling with a capacity of 116 sailing vessels and 34 steamers—connecting Jacoby Storehouse on the Plaza with worldwide commerce. Now, only eroding remnant pier posts and an historical identification plaque mark the pier. The demise of the lumber and railroad industries was followed by the rise in 20th-century environmental determinism. In 1978, Arcata citizens rallied for an integrated wastewater system that used the natural treatment processes of marshes. By 1981, the first 75 acres of this abused landscape had been again transformed—this time to circulate wastewater effluent, and to provide wildlife habitat and a public park. This creative reuse from a Brownfield site into a multi-functional landscape was recognized in 1987 with a Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Innovations in Government Award. The 307-acre Sanctuary now includes 225 acres of public park and 4.5 miles of walking and biking paths.
Today, few fragmented layers of this landscapepalimpsest are recognizeable in the photo below. Rebuilt tidal marshlands recall the area’s indigenous landscape. The remnant mill piers and adjacent levees leave reminders of the location’s timber heritage, and suggest the large scale of its operations. The transformation of the Sanctuary landscape into a new proposition—a public park— indicates the social and public health importance of open spaces. A nearby railroad fragment combines with these features into a collage of incongruent landscape and built elements that reflect varying values on nature, industry, and progress. The importance of ruins lies in a meditation on the cycles of life over generations: use, appropriation, consumption, degradation, and renewal woven into symbiotic and symbolic relationships. By keeping these historic built fragments in location with restored ecologies and features, we can better imagine and understand our varied and layered stories—often several in one place. This article is part of an ongoing series in EcoNews looking at layers in our local landscape.
Below: The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary and Interpretive Center, 2011. Photo: Frances G. Beatty.
Continued from page 10 ...not surprisingly, not a single one spoke in favor of the testing. In addition to giving testimony requesting the Navy establish “exclusion zones” so that critical whale and dolphin habitats will be safe from the damage inflicted by the sonar testing, the NEC provided written comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. In January, Earthjustice, representing multiple environmental non-profit organizations, filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect the whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions within the Navy’s testing range. Check for updates by following the NEC on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yournec), listen to Coastal Currents and the EcoNews Report, and check the Lost Coast Outpost’s “Your Week in Ocean” at www.lostcoastoutpost.com.
For more links and information, visit this article online at
“Finally comes a time when we rediscover and seek to restore the world around us to something like its former beauty.” J.B. Jackson, The Necessity for Ruins, 1980
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DRONING ON: Not all drones are bad, says Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) who used them for wildlife crime-fighting, with funding from Google. Drones flew day and night missions to video black rhino herds and send live footage to poachertracking rangers on the ground. Smart radio tags attached to rhinos allowed the drones to home in. Illegal poaching in Africa nets criminals $10 billion a year.
A merry melange: salient or silly.
PARCHED: As California dries up, a committee at the State Department of Public Health will meet in the coming weeks to examine the possibility of permitting treated wastewater to be used as drinking water. New treatment plants are already running across California, although they are now legally prevented from supplying the water for human use. Santa Clara has a treatment plant coming online later this year, and Los Angeles is working to gather storm water in the midst of the city’s concrete jungle that would otherwise run off into the Pacific Ocean.
MORE COAL, LESS BARRIER REEF: Australia will dump millions of tons of sludge inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park just so that it can export more coal. The park authority approved the dumping, despite the pleas from more than 230 conservationists, fisheries experts and scientists who say it can smother corals and sea grasses and expose them to poisons. BOOM: An explosion tore the roof off a farm shed in Germany as a result of methane gas buildup from 90 flatulent cows. WHOPPER: Scientists are working to classify a new species of giant jellyfish that is five feet around and has been found in the southern Australian state of Tasmania on an Australian beach. Never has a jellyfish so large been found beached, the scientists added. It hasn’t been classified yet, hasn’t been named, it is unknown how it eats or breeds—although it’s related to the lion’s mane jellyfish, the largest known species.
GUESS WHO’S FIRST IN WARMING: The US is the clear leader in global warming over the last century, responsible for 22 percent. China is next, accounting for 9 per cent, then Russia with 8 per cent, Brazil and India 7 per cent each, and Germany and Britain 5 per cent each. Those seven deadly sinners account for almost two-thirds of the warming trends. DEPRESSION: Humboldt penguins suffering from the winter blues in England have been given anti-depressants. The South American seabirds are so fed up with the last month of British weather that staff have had to resort to medication to try and ward off any more serious symptoms. TUNNEL OF DREAMS: A four-mile-long tunnel, part of a 300-mile network, may bring relief to the drought-stricken northeastern Brazil. The $3.4 billion plan is to divert water from the mighty Sao Francisco River, which flows for more than 2,000 miles but turns to the ocean before reaching the four northeastern states, which are left parched.
RUDOLPH THE FLUORESCENT REINDEER: Glow-in-the-dark antlers are the latest bid to save thousands of road deaths of reindeer from being hit by cars in Lapland. Reflectors and reflective tape have proven unsuccessful as reindeer have torn them off, and road signs warning drivers of roaming reindeer often are stolen by tourists as souvenirs. Soon, some of the 200,000 animals with glittering antlers will be roaming the vast, deserted area in northern Finland. AT LEAST THERE’S THE INTERNET: A British woman is suffering from chloephobia, the fear of newspapers. It is a fear so strong that the 49-year-old woman says she can’t even look at them. “I can’t go anywhere near someone who has got one, and if they approach me, I freak out. At one time I could touch a newspaper as long as I knew I could wash my hands thoroughly afterwards. But now if I touch a newspaper, it feels like my skin is crawling,” she said. www.yournec.org
IT’S NOT SCIENCE FICTION: Katia Vega’s “Blinklifier” has false eyelashes and conducting eye shadow that complete a low voltage circuit when she blinks—and she has used the technology to fly a drone. Vega, a computer scientist in Brazil, says the trick is to only accept exaggerated, voluntary winks longer than half a second because the circuit does not respond to involuntary eye blinks. She hopes cosmetics companies will exploit the idea commercially and is investigating other wearable technologies like false fingernails that can open electric doors.
Brandon Drucker Indigenous peoples of Mexico believe that monarch butterflies are the souls of dead children revisiting the earth. With their bright appearance and spirited movements, the association is not a difficult one to see. Monarch butterflies are best known for their distinctive bright orange and black coloration. In many creatures, vivid patterns serve as a warning to predators that they are poisonous and not a good choice for food. White morphs are also occasionally found, and actually compose about 10% of New Zealand’s monarch population. The insect’s wingspan is 3.5-4 inches, with males featuring more narrow veins as well as a dark spot in the center of each lower wing vein. Monarch caterpillars are quite colorful, too– reaching 2 inches in length and striped in black, white, and yellow. The pupae are a translucent light green with golden spots along an upper crease. Similar to most butterflies, the monarch’s life cycle consists of 3 stages: caterpillar, pupa, and butterfly. Eggs are laid during the spring and summer on plants of the milkweed family and hatch after about 4 days. The caterpillars have evolved to feed only on milkweed. The toxins in the plant enable the insect’s poison defense mechanism. After around 2 weeks, the caterpillar
Map of the spring and summer monarch migration patterns.
Monarch Butterﬂy Danaus plexippus
finds a twig to hang from and transforms into a green chrysalis. Following 2 additional weeks, a fully formed butterfly emerges. The vibrant monarch may be the most iconic of North American insects, with a range of southern Canada down to the northern border of Brazil. Occasionally, when weather conditions are just right, wayward butterflies termed “wanderers” may also make their way to Western Europe, Hawaii, and Oceania. Since the mid-1800s, monarchs have established small breeding populations in Hawaii, Australia, and A spring-generation female monarch. Photo: Kenneth Dwain Harrelson, Wikimedia.com CC. New Zealand. The migration cycle, a key part of the monarch Remarkably, unlike most life cycle, evolved based on a stable climate. other butterflies, the monarch migrates long Scientists have determined that monarchs choose distances north and south every year chasing the to fly south based largely on seasonal changes receding warmth, much like many bird species. in temperature, but a rapidly warming climate However, butterflies have much shorter life has made it difficult for the butterfly to adjust spans than birds and one individual never makes its timing. Moreover, the increase in extreme the entire round trip. Instead, it takes multiple weather events associated with climate change, generations, each living only two to six weeks particularly heavy rains and prolonged drought, throughout spring and summer (and up to eight could spell trouble for the delicate creatures. months over winter), to complete the journey, Monarchs utilize a variety of habitat in the migrating from the eastern US and Canada United States and Mexico, but require specific to the forested mountains of South-Central habitats for reproduction and hibernation: their Mexico. A separate population of monarchs host plant, milkweed, and mild conifer forests for west of the Rocky Mountains has a range from wintering. Unfortunately, milkweed abundance Canada to southern California. Once reaching has drastically declined due to agriculture and their wintering grounds, monarchs congregate urban growth, and the Mexican forests are on tree branches in the same remote forests vulnerable to illegal logging. that served as refuge for countless generations Butterflies are also threatened by the before them. These migrants will head back widespread use of herbicides and pesticides. north with warmer spring temperatures to These chemicals not only kill milkweed, which breed and continue the cycle. many view literally as a weed and toxic nuisance Despite their impressive mastery of to livestock, but are also suspected to have lethal migration, several alarming issues threaten impacts on the butterflies themselves. the monarch’s survival across its range. Most Combined, these factors have resulted in some dangerous of all are climate change, habitat of the lowest monarch butterfly counts in 20 years. loss, and widespread use of herbicides. ...working with clients to improve the social, economic and environmental performance of their organizations and projects.
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Giant s e d e p i l l Mi
The redwood forest is home to many giants, such as giant trees, giant slugs, giant ferns, and giant salamanders. All these giants overlook the giant Paciﬁc Ocean.
Did you know there is another giant in our forest? It’s the American Giant Millipede!
These giants can be found in moist forests all over the country and right in our backyard. Its body is tube-shaped and dark gray with reddish stripes between body segments. They have 2 pairs of legs per segment, with one pair on the ﬁrst few segments after the head. Giant millipedes can grow up to 4 inches long! You can ﬁnd them under and inside rotting logs and in moist leaf litter. They have a rounded head with antennae and a couple hundred legs. They do not have a million legs, even though it may look like it. These gentle giants don’t bite when they feel threatened. Instead, they curl up into a spiral and try to trick predators into thinking they’re scat! If that doesn’t work, they are able to secrete a stinky liquid that will stain your hands. Their hard exoskeleton also helps protect them from predators such as lizards, toads, and birds. Shrews especially love to eat them. These gentle giants prefer to eat decaying plants and fungi. They play an important role in the forest ecosystem by breaking down dead plants and returning the nutrients to the forest. One giant millipede can have up to 300 babies a year. The little giants only have 6 legs. As they grow, they shed like a snake (called molting). The millipedes grow new segments and legs every time they molt. Next time you’re out for a stroll through the forest look for one of these gentle giants! Watch how their legs look like they’re moving in waves. by Sarah Marnick Below: Narceus americanus, about 10 cm (4 inches) long, found under a log. Photo: cotinis, Flickr.com CC. Above right: Photo: Jmalik, Wikimedia CC.
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Rock of Ages The Boy Scouts’ motto of “leave no trace” was seriously ignored when two scout leaders laughingly toppled a 170-million-yearold rock formation at a Utah state park last year. Glenn Taylor, 45, dislodged a massive boulder from its spindly rock pedestal in Goblin Valley State Park as fellow scout leader David Hall, 42, filmed him while laughing and singing. Both men face up to five years in prison, fines of $5,000 and restitution for damages to Utah’s protected natural resources. The sedimentary rock formations date to the late Jurassic era and were carved over millennia by water erosion and windblown dust in the high desert of southeastern Utah. By the way, how do you make “restitution” for destroying something that’s millions of years old? Here at the NEC, we inveigh against the same mindset, one that thinks it’s OK to ruin our beautiful natural areas—out of ignorance, apathy or greed—however long they have existed. We hope to make those people understand it’s “not man apart” from the natural world. Everything is interconnected; think like a rock. The rock of the NEC needs to leave no stone unturned in its quest to protect the natural wonders of the region. So send a few pebbles this way. Thank you.
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Published on Mar 20, 2014
EcoNews is the official bi-monthly publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center, a non-profit advocacy and educational organization. T...