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ECONEWS Arcata, California

Vol. 41, No. 5

Oct/Nov 2011

A Publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center Since 1971

The Ball was a Ball! | Coastal Cleanup Roundup | The Quality of Temperature GPU - Water Resources | Avatar Grove | MLPA Update | Shasta TMDL

Northcoast Environmental Center


791 Eighth St., P.O. Box 4259 Arcata, CA 95521

Desert Ghost Town

                      A city is being installed in the New Mexico desert that stretches across more than 30 square miles, has roads, office buildings and residential areas—but no people are going to live there.    Instead the $200 million facility will let firms try out their renewable energy technologies, intelligent traffic networks or smart grid systems in a realistic setting rather that a sterile lab environment.    Green technology firms could see how well—or badly—systems work by modeling in a real place, says Pegasus Global Holdings, which simply calls the facility, “the Center”.    Here at the NEC, we’ve been doing a similar kind of modelling— from creating the initial rural recycling center 35 years ago, to being the first to organize a volunteer beach cleanup (that’s now spread all the globe on September 17).    In fact, your environmental center has been in the forefront of almost everything ‘green’ around the North Coast since it was started four decades ago—in a real setting, with real people. What’s more, with your help, it has no plans to stop.    So please contribute ideas, time and/or donations to your ‘Center.’ Thank you!

Join the NEC and support our conservation work! In our fast-paced lives, the indispensable life supports like air, water and wild nature are often overlooked. Your tax-deductible membership donation will get EcoNews delivered into your mailbox every month— and allow us to continue to educate and inform the public about crucial environmental issues that affect this region and our entire planet!

Mail in this membership form to: NEC, PO Box 4259, Arcata, 95518 or join online at

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Klamath River in the Balance: Decoding the Federal Dam Removal Process The NEC, EPIC, the North Group Redwood Chapter Sierra Club, Redwood Region Audubon and Oregon Water Watch are co-sponsoring a public forum on October 19 to discuss the recently released Klamath DEIS/DEIR and ongoing dam removal efforts that will have lasting implications for the health of the Klamath River. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about this complex process and form your own educated opinions. Please join us! Wharfinger Building, Eureka October 19 Doors: 6:00 p.m. Presentations: 6:30-7:45 p.m. Public Q&A following the presentations until 8:30 p.m.


Reporting on Environmental Issues Since 1971

Drill Baby, Drill: Groundwater Conservation in a Thirsty World Although California’s groundwater aquifers have already suffered from a century of pumping and surface water diversion, water districts are now calling for increases in groundwater extraction to offset demand for in-stream flows. Because above ground and underground water are part of the same cycle, this would only be a short-sighted, short-term fix and exacerbate a very long term problem. It is widely understood by scientists, legislators and the State and Regional Water Boards that surface water and groundwater are hydrologically unified and therefore should be adjudicated together. The Boards, under the direction of the State Water Board’s Executive Officer, are working on a statewide strategic work plan for groundwater, but they may have limited success in isolating and enforcing groundwater conservation measures. Their strategic work plan for groundwater will address three major problems: groundwater quality degradation due to discharged and naturally-occuring pollutants; loss of volume and

Rain Ananael

Water: Arguably our most vital resource. Among the many challenges in water conservation across the state and around the country, the importance of conservation of groundwater is not well understood. Groundwater refers to a complex system of water found below the earth’s surface, in the interstitial spaces between layers of soil and rock. Surface water percolates downward through pores, faults, fissures and fractures. The process of water moving through the soil and water table, repleneshing deeper aquifers (groundwater recharge), is hydrologically slow, moving only inches per year. California’s most significant source of groundwater recharge comes from surface flows from upland mountains though perennial, intermittent and seasonal flows of rivers, streams, and wetlands. When groundwater tables are fully charged and aquifers are full, the overflow seeps and rises through springs to feed cold water to rivers and lakes, providing vital cold water habitat. More than 40% of California’s drinking water is derived from groundwater sources. With regulatory restrictions on surface and groundwater withdrawals increasing throughout the state, and projections of decreased snowpack reaching 25-40% less than historic levels by 2050, clearly groundwater is one of our most pressing regulatory issues in the state. In most of California, evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation— resulting in a net annual moisture deficit. Groundwater recharge only occurs during seasonal periods where precipitation exceeds evapotranspiration, such that not sign of the future? Photo: woodleywonderworks, all areas having a net water surplus are AFlickr Creative Commons. groundwater recharge areas. Northern storage capacity, and the spread of contamination; coastal California and the northern and eastand, reduced groundwater recharge due to increases central mountains are the only areas that do not in man-made impermeable surface areas, generally experience a moisture deficit. channelization, and onsite water retention. About 80% of California’s annual Thirty-five percent of California’s water precipitation falls between October and April, supply comes from groundwater. In some regions, making water conservation measures very such as the agricultural Central Valley and the important even for regions where a moisture dense urban areas of the south and central coasts, surplus exists for part of the year. Given the that figure is as high as 80%. Rapidly increasing severity of our water crisis, it is surprising that population levels and subsequent agriculture California is one of only two states that do not and economic development have put intense have groundwater monitoring programs in place demands on already scarce water supplies. (the other being Texas). Managing groundwater resources in California leads the nation in agricultural California is complicated, to say the least. In and municipal uses of water. The demand, part, this is due to the limitations of the State however, exceeds the natural supply of water in Water Board’s permitting authority, which does almost every agricultural and urban sector of not specify percolating groundwater. Only the state. In terms of water diversions, irrigated surface water and subterranean flow in “known agriculture represents the greatest usage of and definite channels” is subject to a water right groundwater in California. permitting authority. Permitting is also a lengthy Prior to European settlement and irrigated process—delineating percolating groundwater agriculture, California rivers overflowed their versus flowing underground channels is an banks during the wet season, contributing to vast arduous task. The distinction itself makes the stretches of seasonal wetlands and marshes. With regulatory process almost impossible in regions massive river modifications and water diversions that do not have a clearly defined aquifer or for irrigation and urban water demands, rivers subterranean channel, often resulting in illegal now seldom exceed or fill their banks, resulting in diversions of groundwater. a substantial reduction in groundwater recharge.

Pumping of groundwater is also a contributing factor in the reduction of surface water flow and, in turn, negative impacts on public trust resources such as fisheries, as well as water available for authorized beneficial public uses. Tackling the extensive issues related to groundwater contamination and pollution will likely require a movement away from strictly point source management to a more broadly landscape-scale management plan for pollution control actions, particularly agricultural and irrigation activities associated with nitrate and salt pollution. Likewise, the management of impaired water tables may require either a statewide groundwater ordinance or several regional ordinances. To improve insufficient groundwater recharge, adequate measures will have to be developed addressing road surface runoff, soil permeability issues and surface permeabilty standards for new structures. Unpermitted and unstable pumping resulting in groundwater depletion, land subsidence and permanent loss of storage capacity, as well as seawater intrusion and reductions in surface flows, will be among the most critical and difficult issues to address at the State level. In 2004, USGS estimated that in the previous 40 years, almost 60 million acre-feet of groundwater was depleted in the Central Valley, and that over 30 feet of subsidence— compaction of earth resulting in permanent aquifer storage loss—occured in the San Joaquin Valley. In the North Coast region, even in areas of heightened rainfall, many of our watersheds are impaired for temperature, nutrients, dissolved oxygen and sediment, as well as for excessive diversions of groundwater and surface flows. A Scott Valley Community Groundwater Study Plan was approved in 2008 to address potential impacts to surface flows, riparian vegetation, and elevated stream temperatures. However, as previously stated, one of the challenges to protecting groundwater is the lack of jurisdiction for water rights permits. Despite the obvious negative consequences to the public of groundwater depletion, application of the pubic trust doctrine to groundwater is still legally uncertain. There are many precedents for the application of the public trust to surface flows, including a landmark Mono Lake case which emphasized the state’s role in affirming the public trust for the allocation and management of water resources whenever feasible. However, in Scott Valley groundwater lawsuits, the defendent (Siskiyou County) simply stated that the SWRCB does not have jurisdiction over groundwater and the public trust doctrine does not apply. This, more than any other issue, seems to be at the heart of the problem for the protection of sub-surface flows, and as a result, of all of California’s watersheds and water resources.

Rain Ananael is the Executive Director of the NEC.

Inside This Issue

All About the Ball.....................................3 An oppulent evening of of species celebration!

GPU Water Resources Update................9 Planning Commission supports strong protections.

Coastal Cleanup Roundup.......................4 Legislation to Watch..............................14 Tons of trash and reams of recycling!

U.S. Congressional bills HR 302 and HR 758

Kin to the Earth........................................6 EcoMania.................................................15 Peter Douglas retires from the Coastal Commission.

A Melange of Salient Sillies.

Water quality protections need better enforcement.

Canary in the coal mine for the Klamath?

Shasta TMDL............................................7 Suckerfish................................................18 Avatar Grove.............................................7 Creature Feature.....................................18 Protecting stunning old growth in B.C.

MLPA Update...........................................8 Proactive protection for the California Coast.

The six-rayed sea star.

Kids’ Page................................................19 Ecosystems around us.

A boat to nowhere. Photo: Vladimer Shioshvili. Flickr Creative Commons.

News From the Center ECONEWS 791 Eighth Street Arcata, CA 95521 707- 822-6918 Fax 707-822-6980

EcoNews is the official bi-monthly publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center, a non-profit organization. Third class postage paid in Arcata. ISSN No. 0885-7237. EcoNews is mailed free to our members and distributed free throughout the Northern California/ Southern Oregon bioregion. The subscription rate is $35 per year. Editor/Layout: Morgan Corviday, Advertising: NEC Staff, Proofreaders: Karen Schatz, Midge Brown Writers: Sid Dominitz, Morgan Corviday, Rain Ananael, Pat Higgins, Dan Ehresman, Jennifer Kalt, Wendell Wood, Ken Wu, Ruthie Schafer and Sarah Marnick. Artists: Terry Torgerson Cover Photo: Ewan Bellamy, Flickr Creative Commons

NEC Mission

To promote understanding of the relations between people and the biosphere and to conserve, protect and celebrate terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems of northern California and southern Oregon.

NEC Staff

Executive Director: Rain Ananael, Office Manager: Ruthie Schafer,

NEC Board Of Directors

President: Larry Glass - Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment , Vice-President: Bob Morris - Trinity County Representative, Treasurer: Chris Beresford, At Large Secretary: Jennifer Kalt - California Native Plant Society, Martin Swett - At Large, CJ Ralph - Redwood Region Audubon Society, Lynn Ryan - Sierra Club North Group, Diane Fairchild Beck - Sierra Club North Group Alternate, Beth Werner - Humboldt Baykeeper,

NEC Affiliate Groups

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), North Group/Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, Redwood Region Audubon Society, North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Humboldt Baykeeper, Safe Alternatives for Our Forest Environment, and Friends of Del Norte. Volunteer submissions are welcome! Full articles of 500-800 words or fewer may be submitted, preferably by email. Please pitch your idea to the editor prior to submitting a draft. Include your phone number and email with all submissions, to The ideas and views expressed in EcoNews are not necessarily those of the NEC.

Every issue of ECONEWS is printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks. Please Recycle.

The NEC is very happy to announce that we have welcomed Chris Beresford as a new board member and treasurer of the NEC. Chris has a long history with the NEC, (as a former wife to Tim Mckay), so she has a unique perspective on what it takes to run the NEC. Chris is also friend and colleague to many NEC supporters. Perhaps her most impressive asset, however, is her passion for native plants and ecosystems, gardens, seed and soil. We have heard that her garden is most impressive! We could not be happier to have her involvement, and feel that this foreshadows a great new transition for the NEC board. The NEC is currently considering several other potential new board

recently released Klamath draft EIR/EIS, with the North Group Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, EPIC and Oregon Water Watch, as well as local scientists. The workshop, entitled: Klamath in the Balance: Decoding the Federal Dam Removal Process , will be held at the Wharfinger building in Eureka, on October 19th. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with presentations scheduled from 6:30-8:30. The NEC is also presenting at the College of the Redwoods Biodiversity Panel and Science Night on October 21st (see page 18) Rain Ananael will be giving a presentation on bat ecology and evolutionary strategies in honor of the International Year of the Bat.

members as well. New board members will be announced as they are officially elected. The NEC is also happy to announce that we are currently taking resumes for NEC internships. Internships will focus on: managing NGO’s; environmental advocacy; media development; EcoNews archiving, research and content development; web and database development; grant writing; program development; and event planning. Serious applicants only, please. Interns will be expected to provide 10-25 hours of service per week. Interested applicants can contact Rain at 707 822-6918 or preferably by email to The NEC is co-sponsoring an informational workshop on the

Klamath River in the Balance: Decoding the Federal Dam Removal Process The NEC and other local groups are co-sponsoring a public forum on October 19 to discuss the recently released Klamath DEIS/DEIR and ongoing dam removal efforts. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about this complex process and form your own educated opinions. Please join us! Wharfinger Building, Eureka October 19 Doors: 6:00 p.m. Presentations: 6:30-7:45 p.m. Public Q&A following the presentations until 8:30 p.m.

Many thanks to Allison Toomey, one of the NEC’s work study students, for creating this wonderful chalk drawing as part of Arcata’s Pastels on the Plaza! Allsion’s square was sponsored by Poletski’s Appliance Center. Great work Allison!

Bouquets Two of our most beloved board members are leaving the NEC to move on to even greater challenges, opportunities and personal devotions. Pete Nichols: Long-time Board President and NEC supporter, Pete Nichols, resigned from the NEC Board as of September 1st. Pete’s leadership, charisma and dedication will be greatly missed. Pete has accepted a new position with Water Keeper as the Western Regional Representative. Because his job requires so much travel and his workload is extensive, he was unable to give the NEC the time and attention the organization needs as it rebuilds. Pete is a natural leader, a savvy political advocate, with a warm and generous nature, and an extensive base of knowledge about the regions most difficult and pervasive ecological issues. He will be missed greatly by all

of the board members and the community. His record of accomplishment with the NEC is too long to list here, but those who knew him and worked with him, know the depth of knowledge he has, and the relationships he built with those working in conservation policy, environmental advocacy, and the political arena. He guided the NEC through a vastly challenging time for the organization and found a way to give the NEC a new chance and a new beginning for which we are all grateful. His depth of knowledge and experience will be greatly missed. He leaves a void that will be very hard to fill. Thank you for being at our NEC 40th anniversary mixer and for always speaking out on behalf of the environment. Wewanttothankyouforallyouradvice, support and warm energy, and to honor you for your leadership and dedication to the NEC.

Martin Swett: NEC treasurer, Martin Swett, who has given years to the NEC, and guided the NEC through the most difficult financial times it has ever experienced, will be leaving the NEC

board in October/November. Martin will be greatly missed by the staff and board because of his bright light, his generosity of spirit, his humor, the constancy of his positive attitude and his capacity for sharing novel strategies and direction for the NEC. He has managed and overseen the financial aspects of the NEC, built relationships with potential funders and project partners, and always represented the NEC in a professional and generous manner. Those who know Martin love his encouraging positive attitude and we cannot express how much he will be missed. Martin has dedicated a lot of his time to the NEC alongside his very successful, and demanding business career. In addition, Martin is a dedicated father, who has made the difficult decision to give more of his time to the most important thing in his life, his son. He will be missed greatly but has promised us that he will always be there if we need him and we are very grateful for that! We want to honor you for your reliability, kindness, and dedication to the NEC.

Arts!Arcata at the NEC Friday, October 14 6-9pm

Friday, November 11 6-9pm

Rick Tolley

considers himself a wilderness painter, hiking to find striking vistas and wonderful wildflowers that he’ll paint “plein air”, (in the open air). Recent work features an August horsepacking trip to Hancock Lake in the Marble Mountains Wilderness, and spring along the North Fork of the Mad River. Rick has had numerous group and solo shows locally, including organizing benefits for“the Wild Heritage Campaign, the NEC’s building fund, and the California Native Plant Society. He also hosts the CNPS’ “art night”, and teaches workshops, recently with Klamath River Early College of the Redwoods.


Susan Dill Cooper translates the natural world, her travels, and the faces of those she loves. She moves small everyday reverences from mind, to hand, to canvas, in the lush world of feeling and depth in oils. “I consider it an act of anarchy to tenderly record the simple, the quiet, the essential. I do believe the ordinary is quite extraordinary. I cherish the messy, unpredictable and nourishing act of painting.”

October/November 2011 ECONEWS

NEC's All Spe cies Ball! An opulent evening made possible by the dedication of local organic farmers, artists, businesses and wonderful volunteers.

Entering the Arcata Veteran’s Hall the evening of September 16th, the outside world was left behind. Woven willow arbors bowed over the doorways. The amber-lit ambiance was brightened by bouquets of sunflowers adorning white linen dressed tables and windows, also draped with rich fabrics and sparkling lights. Children dressed in bright colors and big smiles pranced about with wings flapping and tails dragging as they scuttled in and out of the children’s room. Music and conversation filled the main hall. A gorgeous array of food was arranged buffet-style along an entire side of the hall. The night’s menu: a variety of delectably prepared gourmet dishes with local, fresh salmon; sun dried and heirloom tomatos; greek olives; penne and bowtie pastas; fresh local bay shrimp cocktail; organic vegetable, fruit, and lentil and rice salads; fresh fruits; organic pesto and artisan cheeses, baguettes, and much, much more! Thirsts were quenched and spirits were lifted by a variety of local beers and wines. Gift baskets, gift certificates, fine artwork, and a variety of other wonderful items donated by community businesses were on display for the Silent Auction. A billowy, turkish style tent housed a face painter who adorned the bodies of children and adults with ecological designs all night! A lively fox darted about, gathering kids of all ages for an amazing puppet show in the children’s room, which also featured an animal bean bag toss, eco-hopscotch, and ecological arts, crafts and games. Early in the evening, Matt and the Family Stubbs began the night’s musical entertainment with lovely acoustic folk songs. Next, the Sky Miller Quartet filled the room with contemporary jazz-fusion during the extravagant feast. The Singing Nettles followed, a harmony-laden female string band that captivated the crowd. And then, after a sizzling performance by the Ya Habibi belly dancers, the Miracle Show rocked the night away and got everyone on their feet dancing with their excellent interpretations of classic and rare Grateful Dead. And costumes! What would the All Species Ball be without costumes? We had a three-way tie for best children’s costume, and, of course, all children were given prizes for their costumes! For the best “grown-up” female costume: Anita Tavernier, dressed as the ocean, complete with pollution, trash and wildlife snags in homage to International Coastal Cleanup Day. The best male costume award went to a 7 foot tall alligator, in recognition of the importance of predators in our ecosystems. An honorary award was presented to a husband and wife duo dressed as trees, whose branches a n d leaves bounced about the room in honor of the plants and forests that are so vital to our global ecosystems. Our volunteer chefs were also honored and given a standing ovation for their talent and hard work throughout the evening. We would like to honor all those who donated their time and energy to making this event a success! Continued on page 14

More pic www.youtures on the web!

ECONEWS October/November 2011


l a t s p a u o C Clean

y a D

A Humboldt County Legacy Since 1978

Ruthie Schafer September 17, 2011 was not just another ordinary day on the North Coast. On this day, hundreds of people from all walks of life came together, as millions do from diverse communities around the globe, for a united cause—to protect our coasts, marine life and public health. Most don’t know, however, that this important community action program originated right here in Humboldt County! Coastal Cleanup Day in Humboldt is an annual tradition that attracts hundreds of dedicated volunteers to clean up beaches, sloughs, marshes and riverbanks around the county. It all started in 1976, well before beach cleanups became popular, when the NEC received a federal grant as part of the Beach Beautification and Restoration Act. The NEC was awarded the Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) grant that funded three full-time staff to clean our beaches and conduct bird and whale surveys over fifteen months. In 1978, when the seed money dried up, the NEC created the Adopt-A-Beach Program. The idea was simple: community members were asked to adopt their favorite beach and make a commitment to clean it up three times a year. Humboldt County should be very proud of this legacy. What began as a simple idea and an underfunded grassroots movement has grown into something extraordinary. Today, the 33 year-old Adopt-A-Beach Program is a major statewide program spearheaded by the California Coastal Commission. What’s more, this effort inspired the creation of both Coastal Cleanup Day (lead by the California Coastal Commission) and International Coastal Cleanup (lead by the Ocean Conservancy) in 1985. For 25 years, Coastal Cleanup has been taking place across the state of California and has been adopted by 152 countries around the globe! International Coastal Cleanup is recognized as one of the largest volunteer efforts in the world. A single day, when millions around the globe are united by a single cause— to mitigate the devastating impacts of marine

debris to marine life, human health, coastlines and local economies. Based on research, it is estimated that 60-80% of marine debris comes from inland sources. 75% of that amount is comprised of plastics. In 2010, it was estimated that nine million individuals participated and 145 million pounds of trash were collected globally. The state of California in 2010 reported a turnout of 82,500 volunteers, 2,600 miles of beaches and streams cleaned, and 1,200,000 pounds of trash collected. Preliminary results from the 2011 California statewide Coastal Cleanup Day indicate that “trash kicks the bucket.” With 80% of the results in, thus far an estimated 62,963 volunteers collected 600,000 pounds of trash. Based on local data collected thus far, 866 volunteers collected over 8,000 tons of trash. All of our volunteers deserve special recognition. Humboldt County residents have done it once again! And, notably, many folks are return participants every year! We would like to give a big round of applause to all of our volunteers this year! School groups, organizations, and businesses pulled together for the beauty of our local environment and the health of our planet. We’d like to give special thanks to an extraordinary group of volunteers led by Executive Director, John Shelter of New Directions. John has a deep love for the disenfranchised and the environment, mentoring the homeless of all ages to be “good neighbors”, aiding their personal development and employability, as well as instilling a respect for our local environment. John recruited 15 homeless volunteers and, with the help of other NEC volunteers, tirelessly cleaned the Palco Marsh of 5,000 tons of trash! We’d also like to commend return participants the Humboldt Skin Divers, who dove over 50 feet deep near “the Curtain”, located at the east end of the Whiskeytown Reservoir National Recreation Area, and collected over 200 lbs of underwater trash!

Many Thanks to our Sponsors! 4

October/November 2011 ECONEWS

The N hco ast Environmoert n ta l C en r is your local Adopt-A-Bte coordinato each learn morer.aShould you wish to and adopt a bout this program cal beach, co the NEC alo ntact t 707-822-6 918.

Every Volunteer is Extraordinary!

Many thanks to ALL participants this year! YOU made it happen! • Coastal Gro ve 6th, 7th, 8 ers iv D in k S t ld o th G ra • Humb d e s d (M e iv a d d , n R w iv o e T r y Beach) • Sunnybrae (Whiske M • Faith Cente iddle School “the Curtain”) River Beach) r lly (Mad • Marine Ma (King Salmon) ) h c a •Winzler & Ke e B r m e iv mal Ed (Mad R Research Pro ucation and • Elaine Hogan ollege Cove) g (C HSU (Moonst ram, • Sid Dominitz dian Beach) one) n (I • Humboldt S • Carol Mone k 99 (Clam Beach) w im T eam (Clam B ac • Trinidad Un each) • Boy Scouts P Family (Moonstone) io n (T ri n & id r le a b d • ie S F F ta re sy te shwater Elem • Mis entar y (King Beach) r (Ferndale) le il • M F y e re rn Salmon) d u d A a le Elementar • y of Caring a y /D ts n e d tu S (Center ville B • HSU sula, Manila iver) ea • W (Samoa Penin R o lk o d /E ley Island We ch) each B y k n ti S s, e n Du (Murr y Road ather Station ) rk a P y a h (S , Beach) • Kokotat (Big • The Quakers ureka Waterfront) L (E • East High S agoon) • Eureka High Lopez ch y n • California C ool (South Jetty) • Maria & To onser vation C s) es) ri ta u (Manila Dune b (C ri T o r o e p iv er Gulch Park orps lR e (E h ig H a n u ) & Eel • Fort River Tributa r (North Spit e p e e k y a ri B e t s) ld • Stitch In Tim • Humbo com Slough) e is (L d a te ls a H • ) Tobacco Free (Samoa) Spit • Ted h rt o (N n o ti Humboldt a nd • Surfrider Fou rticultural (N o rt h Spit o • SHN Engin /Samoa) • Northcoast H oonstone Beach) eering (Palco Supply (M Marsh) ) h rs a M o lc (Pa s n o ti c e ir D w • Ne th entary 3rd & 4 • Arcata Elem a-le’l Dunes) Grades (M

ECONEWS October/November 2011


Kin to the Earth


Executive Director of the CA Coastal Commission Retires Jennifer Kalt

and conflict, which is reflected in his career as an attorney with a background in social and environmental activism. In 1987, Douglas successfully resisted Governor Deukmejian’s order to close the Coastal Commission offices in Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. The Commission supported Douglas on the basis that the Governor didn’t have authority over an independent commission. The offices remained

Everyone who enjoys open access to California’s amazing beaches, coastal ecosystems, and panoramic views has Peter Douglas to thank for it. From the inception of California’s coastal protections laws, he has shaped our coast for future generations. As a legislative aide, Douglas co-authored Proposition 20 in 1972, which created the Coastal Commission. After the election, he went to work as a consultant for the Assembly Natural Resource Committee and the Select Committee on Coastal Protection, where he co-drafted the California Coastal Act of 1976. With this Act, the Coastal Commission was made permanent and the era of coastal awareness began. The following year, Peter left the Legislature and was hired as the Coastal Commission’s Chief Deputy, a position he held until he was appointed Executive Director in 1985, becoming the third Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. This past August, he announced his retirement after a long career focused on balancing appropriate development with public access and protecting coastal resources. His 26year tenure at the Commission is the second-longest of any Executive Director Peter Douglas. Photo courtesty of the California Coastal Commission. open and continued to protect the coast in those in state history. Born a Jew during the bombing of critical areas despite severe budget cuts. In 1996, Governor Wilson tried to fire Berlin in 1942, Douglas sees himself as a very fortunate survivor who is no stranger to adversity Douglas, but was unable to convince enough

In Honor of Wangari Maathai Environmentalists the world over mourn the loss of Wangari Maathai, the mother of the Green Belt Movement, an environmental NGO focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. The recipient of the Right Livelihood Award as well as the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism, leadership and contributions to conservation, She was revered as a national hero in her native Kenya. Maathai died September 26, 2011, after battling ovarian cancer. She was 71.

“Anybody can dig a hole and plant a tree. But make sure it survives. You have to nurture it, you have to water it, you have to keep at it until it becomes rooted so it can take care of itself. There are so many enemies of trees.”


of the state legislature. Douglas, who survived nearly a dozen efforts to have him fired over the years, said he takes special pride that the agency has never been corrupted. “The Coastal Act has remained as strong as when it was enacted in 1976,” he said. According to one Commissioner, “An old political science rule of thumb says regulatory agencies become captured by the industries that they regulate within seven years. Yet Peter has managed to keep the Commission independent despite enormous pressure.” According to Douglas, one of the Commission’s key accomplishments is the empowerment of citizen activists around the state. With a track record of listening to members of the public and really hearing voices that might not otherwise be heard, the agency has inspired activists to stay involved and get engaged in other environmental struggles. The Coastal Commission was created by the public, and it is sustained by strong public support even when under attack by developers and local governments. In a recent interview, Douglas said, “You can’t take our relationship with the coast for granted, because it took a lot of sweat, blood and tears to preserve it so we have what we have today. These things didn’t just happen. The coast is what it is because a lot of people worked really hard and sacrificed to protect it. And if we want it to be there for our children, we have to keep fighting to protect it. In that way, the coast is never saved, it’s always being saved.”

Citizen X

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things: Earth n’Hands Ruthie Schafer Missy Gruen and Dean Gilkerson are homesteaders and the proud owners of Earth n’ Hands—a small organic farm remotely nestled in Maple Creek. An all wheel drive vehicle with high clearance is required to access the farm, via a steep and slippery red clay earth road. Or, there’s the “back way”—crossing a low point on the Mad River and hiking in. For more than 20 years, Earth n’ Hands farm has been a regular vendor at local farmers markets and for five years they’ve been mentoring future farmers via the WWOOF program (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). The Mad River snakes through the land untamed and tranquil, giving way to vast meadows with fertile soils, tall majestic trees and mountains soaring upward to greet the blue, cloudless sky. It is wild country—home to bears, bobcats, mountain lions, deer, skunk, raccoons, salmon, heavy winter rains, and occasional snow. Missy, Dean and their two children, Myel (14) and Aliana (8), live in a cozy strawbale hobbit house made from timber Dean milled. Myel and Aliana run around barefoot, comfortable and happy in nature; eating straight from the vine sweet purple peppers and delicious golden tomatoes. Homesteading is an art of living in balance with nature, not man against nature, states Dean, and not for the weak of spirit or body. The sustainable homesteader’s life is perhaps dreamy and ideal, yet a labor of love and serious

Missy Guen, Dean Gilkerson with their children at Earth n’Hands. Photo: Ruthie Schafer.

commitment. However, farming, feeding and serving the community is very gratifying to Dean and Missy. Dean began farming after graduating from HSU in the late 1970’s. He majored in Oceanography, but quickly became disillusioned with the limited career opportunities and was not willing to compromise his values for deepsea oil exploration. He began farming with his first wife and two daughters (Laurel & Nani) in the early 1980’s in Hawaii. Missy was an intern in the early day,s of the Arcata Community Farm. She continued her interest in farming with an internship at Earth n’ Hands, where she and Dean met and fell in love. For more than seventeen years they have enjoyed Continued on page 16


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October/November 2011 ECONEWS

Shasta TMDL Enforcement Weak Rain Ananael The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWB) recently reviewed progress on the Shasta Valley TMDL, as part of a five year report. The Shasta River is listed as impaired by the Federal Clean Water Act due to elevated temperatures and reduced dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations. The RWB and the SVRCD have identified several land use problems which contribute to increased water temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen concentrations. The TMDL has addressed fencing to stabilize and restore stream function, riparian canopy closure, stream bank stabilization, temperature and DO improvements and removal of dams and impoundments to improve fish passage and water quality. The SVRCD has succeeded in protecting many miles of stream from cattle intrusion, and as a result, 63% of stream banks system-wide are not impacted by livestock. In addition, several impoundments and dams have been removed. The Grenada Irrigation District Dam is currently in the process of removal, leaving two remaining major barriers to fish passage, the Novy-Rice Dam and Cardoza Dam. Cultivating a better understanding of the relationship between groundwater and surface water flows as they relate specifically to the geology of the Shasta Watershed, is crucial. Monitoring of both in-stream flow targets and groundwater processes will be essential for meeting requirements of the Shasta TMDL,

especially as they relate to protecting critical seeps, springs and sub-surface storage which directly provides essential cold-water refugia for aquatic species of concern. Important issues include nutrient rich runoff from tailwater, surface flows and groundwater allocations. Best management practices (BMP’s) and the best available science has shown that controlling tailwater runoff is an important issue for correcting temperature impaired watersheds. Tailwater is especially critical in areas where cold water refugia are important for salmon rearing habitat. Identifying key habitat areas and quantifying levels of impairment throughout the watershed are important to achieve the greatest benefit to the entire system. The SVRCD has incorporated a Tailwater Reduction Project for monitoring impacts associated with tailwater pollution, but thus far, it is not likely to significantly address associated issues like runoff, nutrient loading, sediment transport, tailwater, or groundwater-surface flow. Healthy in-stream flows throughout the year are essential to addressing water quality issues and providing necessary habitat for salmon rearing. Although there is a process for allocating more water for in-stream flows using the 1707 in-stream flow dedication process, and although many landowners would potentially agree to such dedications of water; it is long, arduous, costly and landowners may be afraid they will lose their water rights if they allocate flows or participate in water conservation measures. The State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB)

can work with landowners to streamline the process and address fears in cooperation with the Regional Water Boards efforts to secure adequate in-stream flows for water quality standards as well as compliance with habitat requirements for endangered species listings and ESA. The TMDL Action Plan requires landowners to take actions to achieve water quality standards and reduce pollution discharged to the river. Landowners are to submit annual reports either individually or through the Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District (SVRCD) relating to protection of riparian habitat for in-stream temperature reductions, sediment discharge and nutrient runoff reductions, and of other oxygen-consuming materials. The TMDL and Action Plan are primarily facilitated through the SVRCD, however the RWB and the SVRCD have not adequately followed through with requiring the annual reporting process. Certain land management activities in the watershed can be conditionally waived, and many of the programs required under the Action Plan are essentially voluntary due to lack of enforcement, which is therefore problematic. Annual reporting is an essential part of gauging successes and failures in many aspects, including: landowner cooperation, establishing priority areas where cold-water refugia are essential to Coho rearing, site-specific landowner issues, monitoring and compliance progress, and identification of enforcement areas, where necessary. Continued on page 14

Across the Border: Protecting Ancient Forests in BC Ken Wu While most Americans know of the ancient forests in California, Oregon, and Washington, fewer are aware that equally magnificent forests occur in neighbouring British Columbia (BC)—on a much larger scale. One newly found ancient grove in particular is supercharging the campaign to end logging in BC’s endangered ancient forests— Avatar Grove (yes, named after James Cameron’s blockbuster movie). Avatar Grove has quickly become BC’s most heavily visited unprotected ancient grove in decades. Located on Vancouver Island, only a 15 minute drive from Port Renfrew, thousands of visitors from around the world have flocked to marvel at Avatar Grove’s giant red cedars— some over 14 feet wide—including “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree” with it’s crazy 10 foot wide burl. Wolves, cougars, black bears, elk, and perhaps a few Bigfoot roam the forest, while salmon spawn in the adjacent Gordon River. A new BC organization, the Ancient Forest Alliance, discovered Avatar Grove around the same time the organization was founded in early 2010. Although the grove was marked to fall, we’ve held off logging through huge public support and hundreds of provincial and national media reports. The Avatar Grove campaign has been distinguished by a new approach to forest protection. Rather than immediately moving into combat mode to fight the logging company or the government—often an instinctive activist reaction—we primarily focused on building broad support from a large diversity of people and interests in the Canadian mainstream, beyond the typical environmental community. In particular, the support of local tourism and small business owners in Port Renfrew has been decisive. We’ve funnelled thousands of supporters into town, asking them to spend their

ECONEWS October/November 2011

As a result, the BC government recently stated that Avatar Grove will not be logged and is planning to designate the entire 130 acre grove as an Old-Growth Management Area. This designation will be an important step towards securing its permanent protection as a Provincial Conservancy or Park. However, the Avatar Grove campaign is primarily a catalyst for a much larger ancient forest campaign. While 75% of Vancouver Island’s original ancient forests have been logged, significant tracts remain. This is particularly true around the town of Tofino in Clayoquot Sound, where over 200,000 acres of largely contiguous old-growth temperate rainforests remain. The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC government to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests, to ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, and to ban raw log exports. Now is an important time for the Ancient Forest Alliance to grow their international support. For more information, visit www., and come visit beautiful Vancouver Island to see the incredible Avatar Grove!

Ken Wu is a co-founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance.

Canada’s Gnarliest Tree, located in Avatar Grove. Photo: TJ Watt.

dollars in local businesses on their way to visit Avatar Grove. As a result, the local Chamber of Commerce has now become the lead champion for Avatar Grove’s protection. We’re also working with local forestry workers and unions to advocate a ban on raw, unprocessed log exports to foreign mills to save BC milling jobs.

Giant redcedar logged near BC’s Avatar Grove in 2010. Photo: TJ Watt.


MLPA: A Proactive Approach to North Coast Marine Protection Jennifer Savage

bigfoot rafting

After historic collaboration between community members, the promise of ocean conservation on the North Coast moves ever closer to fulfillment. In the final coastal piece of California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), fishermen, conservationists, educators, birdlovers, urchin divers and tribal representatives have together created a plan for a network of marine protected areas from Alder Creek to the Oregon border. Once implemented, this network will link with other regions to create the nation’s first statewide chain The south side of Cape Mendocino is one of the proposed MPA’s. Photo by Kip Evans. of marine protected areas. While Secretary John Laird recently unveiled a plan marine protected areas are not a new method of to support tribal gathering within the scope of protection, the MLPA’s focus on using the best the MLPA, earning the approval of many tribal science available to determine how to best protect leaders, elected officials and conservationists. ocean wildlife means a vast improvement in how State and tribal representatives are currently we use this proven tool to protect California’s collaborating on this process, documenting iconic coastal waters. historical use to be incorporated into Recent reports from the United Nations future regulations. and the National Oceanic Atmospheric In a press release, Laird explained, Administration (NOAA) highlight the urgent need “We have devised a pathway to begin the for ocean habitat protection as the devastating process to allow tribes on the North Coast to consequences of overfishing reverberate around continue ancestral fishing practices in many the globe. The good news is, the effectiveness of of the areas most important to them. This is marine protected areas also continues to make an extremely important decision to move the headlines. Most recently, a new report was issued Marine Life Protection Act forward and to from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in show respect for the sovereign tribal nations‌ which scientists documented record-breaking [We] hope this provides a framework for benefits from Baja California’s Cabo Pulmo future efforts on important conservation and marine reserve. The formerly diminished stretch environmental issues.â€? of ocean now boasts booming fishing and At the September 15 California Fish & Game tourism—in 10 years, the number of fish in Cabo Commission, Executive Director Sonke Mastrup Pulmo’s reserve has increased by 463 percent. praised the work done by North Coast tribes, calling Closer to home, we have an opportunity the collection of data submitted “fantastic.â€? for proactive protection of both our environment “This reflects a new era of cooperation and our economy. Stocks that have been between California Indian Tribes and the diminished can rebound and those fisheries that Commission,â€? states Hawk Rosales, executive are healthy will have a chance to stay that way. director of InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness The North Coast’s marine protected area proposal Council. John Corbett, senior attorney for the is currently working its way through California’s Yurok Tribe, expressed appreciation that the Fish and Game Commission and the California MLPA was moving forward, pointing out the Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. An shared goals of protecting marine life. “It feels important part of making the MLPA work on the good to work on solving a problem,â€? he said. North Coast is finding a way to accommodate The next step is for Department of Fish historical ceremonial and subsistence use by & Game staff to build the tribal requests into the area tribes while still implementing these legally regulations. Mastrup expected a “rough sketchâ€? mandated—and critically needed—protections to be available for discussion at the commission’s for local sea life and habitats. October 19 meeting in Monterey. Those involved in the Marine Life North Coast residents will have Protection Act planning process on the North additional opportunities to weigh in before the marine protected area plan for our region is Coast unanimously support the importance of finalized next year. For more information, visit respecting traditional tribal cultural practices. or The unified community plan put forth by local stakeholders was designed to avoid favored Jennifer Savage is North Coast Program Coordinator gathering grounds. California’s Natural Resources for the Ocean Conservancy.


Current Ocean Legislation AB 376, a bill that will help end the practice of shark finning by prohibiting the sale, possession or trade of shark fins in California was passed with a bipartisan vote of 25-9, on the Senate floor Sept. 6, and is now awaiting Governor Brown’s signature. Join tens of thousands of other supporters by adding your name to a petition urging Governor Brown to sign the bill at AB 1112 a bill that authorizes the Office of Spill and Prevention and Response to temporarily increase the per barrel fee on oil from 5-cents to 6.5 cents beginning January 1 2012, has also passed through the Senate. The increase will help ensure that the OSPAF will continue its critical oversight on oil extraction in our precious waterways. Like AB 376, it still needs a signature from the Governor to become law. To learn more about Ocean Conservancy visit


National Wildlife Refuges Week and the

40th Anniversary of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Ma-le’l Dunes

Saturday, October 15 1pm -4pm, Grand Opening of the Ma-le’l Dunes Unit Meet at the Bureau of Land Management Ma-le’l Dunes South Parking Area off of Young Lane in Manila and shuttle, walk or bicycle, 7 miles north. Shuttles will run 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 and 3:00 to 4:00. A brief program will begin at 1:45. The day will include music, light refreshments, informative displays and fun, educational activities for all ages including guided walks beginning at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, October 16 11am -3pm WildWing Deck Grand Opening & Historic Hunt Cabin Preview at the Richard J. Guadagno Headquarters and Visitor Center. Fun, educational activities for all ages including hands-on wetland/pond life exploration, birdwatching and a glance at the past. For more information about these events, call (707) 733-5406 or visit

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October/November 2011 ECONEWS

Planning Commission Votes for Strong Protection of Water Resources

Dan Ehresman On September 23, the Planning Commission concluded its review of the Water Resources Element of the General Plan Update. We are pleased to report that, after years of hard work and valuable public input, the Planning Commission has recommended a suite of forward-thinking, water-wise policies that will be going before the Board of Supervisors next spring. Hopefully the Board of Supervisors will adopt these policies, which are critical to recovery from decades of damage to our watersheds. The General Plan Update process has benefited substantially from numerous individuals and organizations who took time to make recommendations on the alternatives in front of the Planning Commission. Healthy Humboldt contributed to the community vision as a member of the Healthy Watersheds Working Group. The Working Group, which consisted of numerous local conservation-based organizations such as the Mattole Restoration Council, Humboldt Baykeeper, and the Salmonid Restoration Federation, was formed to develop a collective vision addressing such issues as watershed planning, restoration of river flows and stormwater management. Members of the Humboldt Watershed Council, Environmental Protection Information Center, Friends of the Eel River, and Northcoast Environmental Center have also contributed significantly by commenting on water issues throughout the ten years that the GPU has been under review.


is the element that connects us all together; clean, abundant water is fundamental to all life on our blue planet, and is essential to a healthy future. Of the policies under consideration, many were unanimously supported by the Planning Commissioners, which has been a rarity in the oftentimes contentious GPU process. But this consensus on water is as it should be: water is the element that connects us all together; clean, abundant water is fundamental to all life on our blue planet, and is essential to a healthy future. Of the many policies voted on, a few stand out as changes that we see as critical to the restoration, recovery, and enhancement of this region’s wondrous watersheds: The Commission voted in support of adopting a “Watershed Planning” framework to identify the interrelated nature of land use and watershed health. This approach will set in motion a more collaborative, watershed-based approach to planning, and is a much needed step to collect relevant data and remove barriers that are interfering with watershed recovery. This will

The Healthy Watersheds Working Group also help facilitate the prioritization of resources recommendations to streamline the permitting such as staff time and funding, which will help process for graywater system installations were get important projects off the ground. also supported by Commissioners. A new policy The Commission also discussed at will make the graywater permitting process length—and voted in support of—the protection of groundwater recharge areas. Groundwater more affordable and accessible for individual recharge areas are critical to watershed health. households by bringing the County up to speed Groundwater provides a much-needed source with the State’s recently-adopted graywater of water to keep streams and rivers flowing code. This will open the door for many other year round, even during the driest of months. households to simply and legally conserve water Groundwater not only replenishes instream and lessen the strain on septic systems and flows, but also keeps streams cooler during the sewage treatment facilities. In Humboldt County we have seen the hot summer months—an absolute imperative for healthy fisheries and healthy river systems that detrimental impacts our land use decisions have had on the quality and quantity of water in our are not inundated with toxic algae. Given the flow-impaired conditions of streams and rivers. If adopted, these policies many watersheds throughout the County, the could play a crucial role in the restoration of Commission unanimously approved rainwater our degraded watersheds. The Commission’s catchment and water storage requirements for nearly unanimous decisions illustrate the broad new development in impaired watersheds. This understanding that the health of our communities is a crucial step to guarantee that households and the health of our watersheds are mutually have an adequate supply of water during drought related. Hopefully our Board of Supervisors will conditions while ensuring that water stays in the have the same awareness when they are faced creeks to support salmon and steelhead runs. The with the final decisions on this crucial element. Commissioners also unanimously supported Dan Ehresman is Policy Analyst for Healthy Humboldt. the Healthy Watersheds Working Group’s recommendation to require forbearance agreements, which will ensure that water is only being withdrawn from streams and rivers during times of plentiful water, and not during low-flow conditions. There was also unanimous support for adoption of Low Impact Development standards in all watersheds to protect water quality and promote infiltration of stormwater to replenish groundwater supplies. This will be a welcome change from the status quo of developments that have not adequately addressed problems from runoff, such as increased erosion, A water storage tank Photo by Kip Evans. sedimentation, and pollution.

Strategies Towards Watershed Health and Local Self-Reliance

Dan Ehresman As our world population fast approaches 7 billion, more and more people continue to vie for diminishing resources. There is an increasing need to adopt better strategies to safeguard the health of our communities and the well-being of the planet. This is particularly true when it comes to water. The world over, it is clear that our relationship with water must change, to view it as the precious, finite resource that it is rather than as a commodity ripe for exploitation. While the adoption of water-wise policies through the County’s General Plan Update (GPU) to protect our rivers, restore salmon populations, and safeguard drinking water supplies is important, it is also vital to look at strategies that we as a community and as individuals can employ NOW—absent new policies or regulations—to benefit the watersheds where we live.

So where can we begin?

The south side of Cape Mendocino is one of the proposed MPA’s. Photo by Kip Evans.

ECONEWS October/November 2011

Developing and Teaching Watershed Awareness Without an understanding of how a watershed functions and how our actions impact the health of aquatic systems, we have no reason to change. By fostering more of a watershed awareness we can retool our practices to ensure availability of clean, fresh water for future generations of humans and other species alike. Responsible Roads Roads are one of the biggest threats to watershed health. Roads are extremely expensive to maintain and can alter the hydrology, dumping vast amounts of sediment that chokes out salmon. There are countless local examples of road failures, undersized culverts, obstacles to fish passage, and erosion—all of which are

negatively impacting watershed health and the survival of the salmon. One of the most effective strategies to prevent further road-related impacts is to build as few new roads as possible. This means better planning to reduce the roads needed to get where we need to go. When we do need to put in roads, it is crucial to design them well. Humboldt County has no road maintenance standards on private roads to protect water quality. This makes it imperative that community members work with the local Road Associations that are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of private roads, and to make sure they are following Best Management Practices such as can be found in the Five Counties Road Maintenance Manual (“A Water Quality and Stream Habitat Protection Manual for County Road Maintenance in Northwestern California Watersheds”). Proper road maintenance not only improves aquatic habitat, but results in safer roads that cost less in the long-term. Examples of water-wise BMPs include culverts that are properly sized and placed, cross-drainage features such as rolling dips and waterbars, and the use of vegetation and filter strips for erosion control. Managing Stormwater through Low Impact Development Abundant seasonal rainfall on the north coast coupled with poorly-planned development can result in erosion, flooding, and polluted runoff that ends up in streams and ultimately, the ocean. Many of these development-related problems—which are largely attributed to high levels of impervious surfaces—can be addressed through Low Impact Development. Rather Continued on page 17


Jennifer Kalt

Appropriate Development and Coastal Protection in Arcata’s Coastal Zone

On September 8, the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the first comprehensive update of the City of Arcata’s Local Coastal Program in over 20 years, taking an important step in ensuring that coastal resources in Arcata continue to be protected by implementing the California Coastal Act. The Local Coastal Plan (LCP) is the planning framework used by local governments to guide development on the coast of California in partnership with the Coastal Commission. The Coastal Commission—established by voter initiative in 1972 (Proposition 20) and later made permanent by the Legislature through adoption of the California Coastal Act of 1976— has protected California’s coast by guiding appropriate development while protecting public access and environmental values for future generations. The LCP currently in use in Arcata was adopted in 1989, and is not up to date with state laws protecting coastal access, water quality, sensitive habitats, and other coastal resources.

Prior to the meeting there was some uncertainty as to the outcome of this proposal, with the City of Arcata being hesitant to agree with Coastal Commission staff regarding the changes that they had provided to ensure that the LCP would properly protect coastal resources. But in the City Council meeting the night before the Coastal Commission hearing, it became clear that the differences between the City of Arcata and the Coastal Commission were not extensive enough to warrant walking away from the progress that had been made, and the Arcata City Council gave staff clear direction that they wanted them to keep working with the Commission. Humboldt Baykeeper supported the Coastal Commission staff ’s recommendations, which will ensure that the Arcata’s plan will meet Coastal Act standards in protecting coastal access

Dock Dredging Delayed Due to Dioxin

Guided Tours of Humboldt Bay

Every year, from about June to September, Humboldt Baykeeper brings hundreds of community members aboard our 25ft Boston Whaler to share the natural history of Humboldt Bay and estuary. A long time Baykeeper program, Bay Exploration tours connect people to the Bay though wildlife sightings, education about past and current uses, and up close views of eel grass beds and salty spray. This year the tours brought out a diverse group of interested people from farmers to Fish and Game employees, teenagers to groups of grandmothers. Bay Exploration tours run every weekend, weather permitting, and are guided by experienced skippers and docents with a deep knowledge and passion for Humboldt Bay ecology. The skippers and docents of the Baykeeper boat are committed volunteers who contribute greatly to Humboldt Baykeeper as an organization and also to the community of water and nature enthusiasts on the North Coast. We would like to recognize the contributions made by the tour volunteers and thank them for making it yet another wonderful season. Skippers: Charlie, Chuck, Terry and Phil, thank you. Thank you to the docents: Maggy, Bob, Midge, Susan, Ed and Janine. From the bay, the coast, the sloughs and Humboldt Baykeeper, there is much gratitude for the work you do. For more information, or to contribute to the program please contact Humboldt Baykeeper at 707-268-8897 or email

said Michelle Smith of Humboldt Baykeeper. “The levels of dioxin at a neighboring property were determined, and Humboldt Bay was listed as Impaired for dioxin in 2006. A decision to dredge in our Bay cannot be made without assessing the potential for dioxins in the area Humboldt Baykeeper raised these concerns with the Harbor District and was pleased when the District decided to require additional sampling by SPI before they would move forward with considering the project, and before approving environmental review of the project site. Humboldt Baykeeper will continue watching for this on the horizon, and ensure that the full impacts of dioxin are analyzed prior to a decision being made.

Jennifer Kalt

The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District recently delayed a plan to dredge at the Sierra Pacific Industries dock in Eureka. The plan proposed to dredge approximately 10,000 cubic yards from the Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) dock over the next five years (about 2,000 cubic yards a year). The decision was delayed by the Harbor District as a result of concerns raised by Humboldt Baykeeper, most notably the failure to address the potential for dioxin in the dredged materials. The SPI dock is right next to the former Simpson Plywood Mill—a site that has known dioxin issues and was recently remediated after a settlement agreement was reached between Jennifer Kalt is Humboldt Baykeeper’s Policy Director. Humboldt Baykeeper and Simpson Timber. Dioxin is one of the most toxic substances known, with both cancercausing and negative reproductive effects. Humboldt Baykeeper was surprised when they determined that the sampling, conducted in 2006, did not contain dioxin analysis. “We’ve learned a lot about Humboldt Bay and the sediments since the sampling was conducted in 2006,” Sierra Pacific Industries Dock, Humboldt Bay. Photo: Jennifer Kalt. ...working with clients to improve  the social, economic and  environmental performance of  their organizations and projects.  



PLANNING AND RESEARCH                                                                707.822.0597


and the environment while planning for sea level rise and tsunami hazards. “We are very pleased to see that the Coastal Commission staff and the City of Arcata staff will have the time to go through the update process more thoroughly,” said Beth Werner of Humboldt Baykeeper. “We strongly believe that the City of Arcata can continue to be a leader in environmental stewardship, and finalize a plan that meets the requirements of the Coastal Act.” In voting to approve the staff ’s recommendation, Commissioner Mark Stone of Santa Cruz pointed out that although the LCP process can be challenging, “We don’t want to leave behind any of the significant coastal resource protections that this commission has been standing for.” He went on to recognize that the City of Arcata is and has been good partners in coastal protection, and praised the City and staff for moving forward with the narrow set of outstanding issues that can be dealt with on an expedited timeline. The City now has six months to incorporate the Commission’s recommendations.

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October/November 2011 ECONEWS





Redwood Region Audubon Society 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 south end of I Street in Arcata at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, October 8: eBird Site Survey—Shay Park. This monthly trip sounds more formal than it really is! Join Rob Fowler (707-839-3493; as we survey the extent of Shay Park in Arcata for 1 to 3 hours and count every species present. Rob does the counting, and you do the enjoying of some of the 130+ species that have been recorded here at this small but birdrich urban location. For more info on the eBird site survey, visit this link at content/ebird/about/eBird_Site_Survey. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Shay Park parking lot located at the eastern end of Foster Avenue. Sunday, October 9: 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 (707-822-3613) or David Fix (707-825-1195) for more information. Sunday, October 16: Southern Humboldt Community Park. Robert Sutherland (707-9861112), Jay Sooter, 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 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot on Kimtu Road in Garberville. Saturday, October 29: Patricks Point State Park. Gary Lester (707-839-3373) leads a 3-hour walk through the forests and along the bluffs of this beautiful local park in search of land- and seabirds. Wear sturdy shoes. Meet in front of the park entrance at 8:30 a.m.; free parking is available along segments of Patricks Point Drive (watch signs for legal areas). Saturday, November 5: Bear River Ridge. Tour the open prairies and forest edges in search of Rough-Legged Hawks, Golden Eagles, Horned Larks, and bluebirds. Dress in layers and expect to return between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. Meet across from the Fernbridge Market at 8:30 a.m. Daryl Coldren (916-384-8089) will be the leader.

Lassen in July

By Bill Oliver, Wintu Audubon Society

The joint campout held July 22-24 at Lassen Volcanic National Park, hosted by Wintu Audubon, was enjoyed by all. Seven campers from Wintu were joined by 6 from RRAS. (Unfortunately, Jim and Donna Clark had part of a truck tire crash through their windshield on Route 299 while on the way over and missed the event.) Ten campers from Altacal Audubon occupied a neighboring site in the Lost Creek group campground. The weather was a welcome change for all 3 groups: an opportunity to cool off for Wintu and Altacal and to warm up for RRAS! We birded around the campground on Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning, Wintu campers and some from RRAS birded around Manzanita Lake with 4 Wintu members who came up from Redding for the day. Altacal and the remainder of RRAS folks hiked the trail to Paradise Meadows. On Sunday morning, we went our separate ways: some drove up the park road as far as the Bumpass Hell parking lot, stopping to bird around Summit Lake en route. The birds were a bit hard to find, mostly because few were singing, occupied instead by tending to their nestlings. Highlights were a male Western Tanager and Gray Jays that hung around the campsite, affording great views without binoculars, a Black-backed Woodpecker, and nestling Brown Creepers fed by adults. Fifty species were tallied over the 3 days. More information is available at the following link: http://www.

Saturday, November 12: eBird Site Survey—Shay Park. See October 8. Sunday, November 13: Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. See October 9. Sunday, November 20: Southern Humboldt Community Park. See October 16, but meet at 9:00 a.m.

Manzanita Lake bird trip. Photo by Larry Jordan.

October & November Programs How Many Ways Do Birds “Do” It? The Breeding Strategies of Birds in California

Displaying ? Purple Finch © Gary Bloomfield

Bob Stewart will take us on a journey through the amazing and varied ways in which birds populate our state’s varied habitats. From shared parental duties of many songbirds, to chauvinistic ways of most hummingbirds where males do limited seminal duties and “leave the rest to mom,” to Spotted Sandpipers where the female lays the eggs and then leaves to find another male to care for another batch of hungry mouths. Relationships between male and female adults run the gamut from tight togetherness in all aspects of breeding behavior (including singing) to promiscuity, with many variations in between. Bob has been a naturalist for nearly 5 decades, and authored butterfly books and an expert birding guide to the Southwest and Central America.

Friday, October 14, starting at 7:30 p.m.

What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earth’s Largest Animals Science writer Sharon Levy will describe recent research on the fate of mammoths and giant ground sloths and how this information can be applied to modern wildlife conservation. In her recently published book, Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earth’s Largest Animals, she digs through the evidence surrounding Pleistocene large animal ("megafauna") extinction events worldwide, showing that understanding this history—and the human role in it—is crucial for protecting elephants, polar bears, and other great creatures at risk today. These surviving relatives of Ice Age beasts now face an intensified replay of that great die-off as our species usurps the planet's last wild places, while driving a warming trend more extreme than any in mammalian history.

Friday, November 11, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The programs will be held at the Humboldt County Office of Education at Myrtle and West Avenues in Eureka,

Please come fragrance free.

CHAPTER LEADERS OFFICERS President— Jim Clark …..........................… 445-8311 Vice President — Chet Ogan …................… 442-9353 Secretary—Adam Treasurer—Susan Calla..................................465-6191 DIRECTORS AT LARGE Jan Andersen...................................................616-3888 Rob Fowler ………………..............……….. 839-3493 Lew & Judie Norton.......................................445-1791 Syn-dee Noel …...............................................442-8862 Chet Ogan ………………..............………… 442-9353 C.J. Ralph .......................................................822-2015 Josée Rousseau................................................839-5763 OTHER CHAPTER LEADERS Conservation — Chet Ogan ...........................442-9353 Education — Syn-dee Noel …........................442-8862 eBird Liaison — Rob Fowler …………..….. 839-3493 Field Notes — Daryl Coldren..................916-384-8089 Field Trips— Rob Fowler ………......…..….. 839-3493 Historian — John Hewston ............................822-5288 Membership — Lew & Judie Norton.............445-1791 NEC Representative — C.J. Ralph.................822-2015 Nominating – Vacant....................................................... Programs — C.J. Ralph...................................822-2015 Publications --- Vacant Publicity — Sue Leskiw....................................442-5444 Sandpiper (editorial) — Tom & Sue Leskiw......442-5444 —Jan Andersen ………616-3888 Sandpiper (layout) — Gary Bloomfield..........822-0210 Volunteer Coordinator — Josée Rousseau.....839-5763 Website Gatekeeper — Sue Leskiw ...............442-5444 Lake Earl Branch — Sue Calla.......................465-6191 RRAS Web Arcata Bird Alert .....................822-LOON (822-5666) The Sandpiper is published six times each year by Redwood Region Audubon Society P.O. Box 1054, Eureka, CA 95502.

President’s Column: Attracting the Right Species By Jim Clark During the last 2 years that I worked for the Humboldt County Health and Human Service Agency as an Environmental Health Specialist, it was my pleasure to participate in the creation of the Health Impact Assessment of the Humboldt County General Plan Update (GPU) Alternatives ( build-healthy-environment/HIA-download). Although the goal was to create a predictive study of the likely outcomes of GPU alternatives, I and others found studies that documented the positive effects of green space and natural-like areas on crime and individuals’ sense of well-being. These positive effects persisted, even after other factors were taken into account. Recent studies also suggest that humans may be hard-wired for nature and that “nature deficit disorders” could be a larger negative factor in public health than previously thought. Evidence has also shown that cities and towns with significant areas dedicated to open space, natural areas, and non-motorized transportation tend to attract businesses that employ more highly educated and skilled and higher income-earning employees. Open space and natural areas also attract birds. Many of us enjoy going on birding field trips, some for the chance of observing a rarity, all for the pleasure of the sights and sounds of birds in a natural area. The Eureka City Council recently started its most-recent strategic visioning plan, which includes the extension of Waterfront Drive from Del Norte Avenue to Truesdale Avenue, through the Eureka (aka Palco) Marsh and impinging on Parcel 4 behind Bayshore Mall. Our chapter holds the open-space easement over Parcel 4. The Waterfront Drive extension as proposed would go between Humboldt Bay and the marsh, theoretically to relieve traffic on Broadway. If implemented, this would

Conservation News: Klamath Restoration DEIS/DEIR By Chet Ogan

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.

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: 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

--------------LOCAL CHAPTER-------------


New Members

Redwood Region Audubon Society welcomes the following new members and subscribers:

Arcata – Carol Peters, Gary Garcia, Patrick Carr, Suzanne & Rusty Burke Bayside – Catherine Valentine, Diana Minton, Jimi Scheid Crescent City – Dawna Gunnerson, Doris Whalen, Marj Niebauer, Mr. & Mrs. Eulis Bradshaw, Sandra Ross Eureka – Bob Davis, Dolores Vellutini, George Branco, H. Whitney, Jerry Carter, Lois Gossard, Mary Kay, Nona Kraus, Richard Miner, Sherri Hicks Fortuna – Jonathan Boos, Norman Dyche, Regina Leiterman Garberville – Judy Baker, Pansy King McKinleyville – Kathy Layton, Linda Miller, Phyllis Willis, Tom Pratum & Peggy Leviton Redway – Kathleen Hartje, Michael Etter, Studebaker Hawk, Wendy Kornberg Santa Monica – Jeffrey Douglas Trinidad – Nancy & Jim MacKie We look forward to seeing you on field trips and at our monthly programs.

degrade the very qualities of the marsh that its multiyear enhancement is supposed to improve and degrade the pedestrian user experience by masking the sounds of birds with traffic noise and activity. Years after our acquiring the open-space easement over Parcel 4, the City of Eureka website continues to describe it as proposed for future industrial development in the notice of preparation for the environmental impact report for the Waterfront Drive extension. Would the extension of Waterfront Drive be the kind of project that says to a visitor “This community cares about the natural environment and quality of life for its citizens?” Or would a pedestrian- and bicycle-only trail with wildlife viewing and listening opportunities say it better? Currently no approving, commenting, or funding agency supports the extension of Waterfront Drive. Twelve years ago, it was declared that it would be ineffective for traffic congestion relief in 10 years. It has yet to be verified that it would serve its intended purpose. The City of Eureka needs to focus on attracting people who will bring businesses to Eureka that value a community’s commitment to a better environment more than they do roads and cheap goods and services. This is the path to true long-term economic growth. A nonmotorized trail through the Eureka Marsh and Parcel 4 from Del Norte to Truesdale avenues and southward to Pound Road will promote good habitat for birds and people. I urge members of RRAS, particularly those who are also citizens of Eureka, to encourage the Eureka City Council to abandon its misguided vision of extending Waterfront Drive to the south and embrace a non-motorized alternative that will benefit our community more than just relieving traffic congestion.

On September 22, 2011, the US Dept of the Interior and CA Dept of Fish & Game released the Draft EIS/EIR on Klamath Facilities Removal. The public has 60 days to prepare written responses. RRAS seeks complete ecological restoration of the Klamath River system, including dam removal. In 2002, at least 30,000 Chinook salmon were killed in the lower Klamath between Weitchpec and the mouth. Many of these were returning adult spawners. Low water levels and high concentrations of algae contributed to toxic conditions in the river. As noted by the elders of the Yurok Culture Committee on October 3, 2002: “Never in our time have we, the elders of the Yurok Culture Committee, seen such a mass destruction of our salmon resource.” Extensive use of fertilizers by farmers in the upper basin, as well as agricultural water removal and diversion and farming on the National Wildlife Refuges beyond the needs of waterfowl and other wildlife, has greatly decreased the capacity of the ecosystem to cleanse itself. Interested parties were excluded from the final Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) decision, including some downstream Native American groups, OregonWild, and Del Norte County. The DEIS/DEIR is expected to go before Congress in March 2012 for a decision. Upper basin decisions will affect the Klamath River fishery, coastal fishing, and wildlife dependent on a healthy ecosystem throughout the basin. Some information has leaked that the document allows “take” of certain bird species

There seems to be an attempt by parties in the upper basin to separate the issues and not treat the entire basin as a whole entity. This is not legal. Take a look at the DEIS/DEIR and formulate comments. Get informed on the issues. The 2,500-page document will be available online at Oregon Water Watch and Please advocate in any comments that the entire basin needs to be considered in any legislative decision. Comments should be submitted to and The following events should help you comment: • “Klamath River in the Balance: Decoding the Federal Dam Removal Process” Teachin, October 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Wharfinger Bldg, Waterfront Drive, Eureka; sponsored by North Group and Redwood Chapter, Sierra Club; Northcoast Environmental Center; Environmental Protection Information Center; Oregon Water Watch; and Redwood Region Audubon Society Public Hearings on Klamath Dam Removal Draft EIS/EIR • October 25, 4:30-8:00 p.m., Karuk Community Room, 39051 Highway 96, Orleans • October 26, 4:30-8:00 p.m., Arcata Community Center, 321 Community Park Way, Arcata • October 27, 4:30-8:00 p.m., Yurok Tribal Administration Office, 190 Klamath Blvd, Klamath

Parcel 4 Tour

By Sue Leskiw

On September 20, some 25 people participated in a public tour of Parcel 4, a property behind the Bayshore Mall that is owned by the City of Eureka but over which RRAS holds a conservation easement. Attendees hailed from the Coastal Conservancy, City of Eureka, and consultants Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA) and Greenway Partners, as well as RRAS, Humboldt Baykeeper, North Group Sierra Club, and California Native Plant Society. The tour was led by Kevin Wright of RCAA, who heads up the feasibility study Parcel 4 includes a sandy beach and pilings used by birds. Photo by Sue Leskiw now underway to improve the site’s public recreation activities would encourage you to visit Parcel access and enhance natural resources. Parcel 4 is zoned for 4 (and how often), what educational resources would coastal-dependent industrial use under Eureka’s current interest you (e.g., interpretive signs, walks), did you Local Coastal Plan, which conflicts with the conservation feel unsafe/uncomfortable, should the city seek grants easement. According to the publicity sheet for the tour, to improve public access/restore or enhance habitat, and “because the zoning and conservation easement effectively would you be interested in volunteering time to help cancel each other out, the property has sat undeveloped maintain or improve the site. The questionnaire is posted and largely unmanaged… largely succumbing to use as at waste disposal site, homeless encampment, after-school Input-Form.pdf or hangout....” the tour, Kevin handed out questionnaires Input-Form.doc; comments should be e-mailed to kevin@ to the participants. Questions included what types of


Tip #4


ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD HAVE IN COMMON? By Josée Rousseau, Program Director, Humboldt Bay Bird Observatory Both are hardy species that breed during the winter in Humboldt County. In terms of size, however, Anna’s Hummingbird (4”) is about the same length as a Great Horned Owl pellet (3-4”). Karen Ziemer of McKinleyville reported finding the pellet of a Great Horned Owl that may have thought of an Anna’s as a colorful delicacy, as it contained the skull of a hummingbird! Anna’s have greenish and gray plumage, unlike the other 2 common local hummingbird species, which are buffy, at least on their sides. Although Anna’s Hummingbird has been considered a resident in Humboldt County, its numbers vary greatly between summer and winter. Banding data from the Humboldt Bay Bird Observatory (HBBO) show 3 peaks in capture rate: 1 in mid-November, 1 in mid-January, and the biggest in mid-February, as nearly 20 times more Anna’s are captured then compared with summer. We start catching young fledglings in midMarch. By June, if an Anna’s Hummingbird is seen around Lanphere Dunes, chances are that is it a young of the year. Anna’s Hummingbirds will replace all of their feathers yearly, usually during summer or fall. In males, the last to be replaced are the throat feathers (usually called the gorget), most likely to have vibrant coloration for the start of the breeding season. A few years ago, for a time, HBBO marked the tip of 1 tail feather to find out if we recaptured the same individuals within a year. Our average recapture rate was about 5 percent, meaning that few individuals were caught a second time within a year, unlike the case with breeding species that are year-round residents. Here is a quick guide for telling adults apart from young and males from females: Annas with full, iridescent magenta gorgets and forecrowns are males at least 8-9 months old. Even at this young age, they are considered adults because they have reached reproductive age. Birds with a few scattered magenta feathers on the gorget are young males. However, if the bright feathers are confined to the center of the throat, it is an adult female. Young females do not have magenta gorget feathers. To volunteer with HBBO for some happy winter hummingbird birding and bird banding, contact Kim Hollinger (, 707-616-4787) and/or Josée Rousseau (, 707-825-2918). To become a member, e-mail or go to and mention HBBO in the designation section.

Using eBird Comment Fields By Rob Fowler As an eBird reviewer in Humboldt County, I look at a lot of checklists, especially when gathering sightings for my quarterly North American Birds reports (http:// I notice that birders tend not to use either of 2 comment fields (checklist and species comments) on eBirder checklists to describe their outings or interesting sightings they may have. This eBird tip gives some insight into the importance of the 2 types of comment fields and how and why to use them. (The original, longer version of this article can be viewed on the eBird homepage at: content/ebird/news/a-comment-about-comments.) Checklist Comments and Species Comments Checklist comments are the section of an eBird checklist where you describe your outing. Things that are appropriate to include are what the weather was like, who you birded with, how you birded the area, whether or not you were looking for a specific species, and the highlights of your outing. Although all these types of checklist comments are helpful, probably the most important is to describe how you birded the area. Often when I bird the Arcata Marsh, I’ll describe the trails I took and specific areas I birded because it’s such a large area. Another thing to know about checklist comments is that they are private; only you and eBird reviewers can see them. Thus, this is not the appropriate place to describe a rare bird; that

belongs in the species comments section. Species comments are made on a per species basis for any eBird checklist. They are especially helpful when describing or noting a rarity or unusual species, early or late dates for species, or how a species was counted (when flagged by the species filter). As a general rule, if you enter a species that is flagged by eBird filters, consider typing in some kind of comment. If you found a rarity, take a moment to add a description of the species and/or a link to photos, where it was, and how to relocate it. If it is a widely reported rarity, at least add a comment like “seen by many observers” or “present and seen by many since [date].” If it was an exceptional count for a common species, add a note on how you counted that species. Basically, try to give some context for the sighting, to help—especially for rarities—eBird reviewers like myself evaluate records in an easier and faster manner. Your species comments are public, displayed on various eBird rarity alerts, and serve as a means of notifying other birders of your sighting. A final thing to consider adding to species comments is asterisks to highlight unusual sightings. The following suggested coding scheme has been provided by Team eBird: *early or personal high count; **first seasonal record for county; ***first state record! or mega (to indicate a “mega-rarity”).

Picnic Fun Three RRAS Board members and their guests were among the more than 25 people who accepted the North Group Sierra Club’s invitation to picnic at Patricks Point State Park on August 27. Participants brought wonderful food to share, and to quote North Group viceDonna Clark checks out the grill. chair Ned Forsyth, Photo © Sue Leskiw. “I’d heard of Jim Clark, but never met or had a chance to talk with him before.” Tom Leskiw led 2 bird walks, while Sue Leskiw organized the event and baked a special river and forest cake featuring salmon and bears.

Tom Leskiw leads first of 2 bird walks. Photo © Sue Leskiw.

It’s September September 7, 2011: Rob Hewitt, Ken Irwin, and I were doing trail work at a North Spit migrant patch when we got the phone call: “Todd Easterla’s found a Buffbreasted Sandpiper and a Stilt Sandpiper, and a flock of White-faced Ibis at the wetland near Centerville Beach.” This news initiated a semi-O.J. slo-mo chase: first, Rob had to pick up Daryl Coldren from HSU. I arranged with Rob to leave my vehicle in Eureka and jump in his on his way back from Arcata. I’d promised Sue that my birding efforts that day would be restricted to several hours of trail work, so I phoned to leave a message: “Todd’s found a bunch of noteworthy birds near Centerville. I’m heading there in Rob’s car… so my ETA home is unclear.” We headed south. Daryl needed his scope, so we detoured to his house. Finally arriving at the appointed spot, we parked near Todd’s vehicle and trekked across the sand. Greetings and congratulations were kept brief until Todd helped us locate the subject birds. Several Pacific Golden-Plovers ambled across the sand alongside the Americans, making for nice sideby-side comparisons. Todd disclosed that the last he’d seen of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, it was nearly in the clutches of 2 peregrines hunting in tandem. Fearing the worst, we scanned the general area, including the tall grass abutting the dunes. Finally, Daryl located it, a keen-eyed spot, as only the bird’s head could be seen above the grass. “Trying to keep from becoming someone’s lunch,” Todd observed. Several minutes later, we had 2 “buffies” in view at once. Todd wanted to work the wetland closer to Centerville Road, so we retraced our steps toward our cars. Daryl and Rob lingered for a minute, as Todd and I walked and talked. Two calling shorebirds flew overhead, 1 clearly larger than the other. Todd shouted

“Ruff,” and I struggled to get a decent look at the bird’s U-shaped white rump. Rob and Daryl soon caught up to us with news that they’d had good looks at the Ruff before it flew. We set up our scopes and began scanning. A peregrine continued to stir up the shorebirds, previously unseen flocks erupting from the grass as we watched the age-old cat-and-mouse game unfold. At close range, Rob located another buff-breasted, and together we reveled in its golden hues. “There’s so much cover, and they’re so hunkered down… who knows what’s out here?” Todd opined. “I swear, this spot looks good for a Temminck’s Stint.” Now if you don’t know “Captain Todd” and what he’s capable of, his statement could seem to be idle bluster. Over the 2 decades I’ve birded with him, he’s often voiced similar sentiments, such as “This field looks good for McCown’s Longspurs.” It’s easy to get caught up in his infectious combination of knowledge, field experience, and stamina. You forget for a moment that a McCown’s would be a first confirmed record for Humboldt County and reply, “Yeah, why not?” Todd practices a form of “creative visualization”: chance favoring the prepared mind. His belief that a shocker could occur at a given place seems to facilitate its eventual occurrence. Todd’s first state record Common Ringed Plover from several weeks ago is but one of his many “why nots?” that have born fruit. We studied the swirling mass of shorebirds that included numerous Baird’s and Pectoral Sandpipers as best we could. Daryl mentioned that Amy Patten was en route and he could get a ride home from her. Rob asked me, “I’ve got just over an hour to get to my appointment. Are you staying or going?” Now, as you can intuit, one in my position does not make their

decision lightly. Several factors come into play. Primary among them: It’s September. You’ve just experienced the hottest hour of shorebirding you can recall in quite some time, maybe ever. Scores of shorebirds have yet to reveal themselves, owing to harassment from peregrines. The site is so lively that Todd seems to have forsaken his original plans to head for home. But September’s a balancing act: staying on top of chores and other commitments so that one is free to head out the next day. So goodbyes were said, and Rob and I headed home, dreading the inevitable phone call. We made it nearly to College of the Redwoods before Rob’s cell rang. Rob said, “Common Ringed Plover.” “No way,” I said, calculating how soon we’d come to an overpass that would permit a U-turn. “No, that was just my guess,” Rob reassured me: “They have a Sharptailed Sandpiper, Daryl’s 4th county year bird of the day.” I shook my head in mock disbelief. Another September. Todd’s in town, this time, doing some major damage: beating us locals to the discovery of an amazing shorebird spot. Maybe the site’s productivity was a fluke, the result of an over-the-top winter and spring’s precipitation. Time will tell. I think back to the message I left for Sue to inform her that my birding could be headed for overtime. She knows me pretty well by now. Next time, I could just shorten my message to “It’s September.” Note: Joe Russ, the owner of the wetland property, has requested that all birders ask him for permission before visiting the property. His house is on the left, just east of the intersection of Poole and Centerville roads. Tom Leskiw September 7, 2011

Field Notes

By Daryl Coldren


July 15 to September 23, 2011 Field Notes is a compilation of bird sighting reports for Del Norte, Humboldt, northern Mendocino, Trinity, and western Siskiyou counties. Sources include the RRAS bird alert (707 822-LOON), the online northwestern California birding and information exchange (, the Mendocino County birders’ listserv (mendobirds@, eBird (, and reports submitted directly to the compiler. Future reports may be submitted to any of the sources mentioned above or to Daryl Coldren: (916) 384-8089; HBBO = Humboldt Bay Bird Observatory; HO = holdover from previous period; MOb = many observers; NC = not confirmed/documented; NWR = National Wildlife Refuge; Oxi = Oxidation Greater White-fronted Goose: 1, Humboldt Bay NWR, 15 Jul (RH) • Redhead: 1, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 31 Aug (AM) • Long-tailed Duck: 1, Crescent City, 19 Jul (AB, LB) • Hooded Merganser: 2, Arcata Marsh, 4 Aug (TK, JS) • Flesh-footed Shearwater: 1, RRAS Pelagic, 27 Aug (DF, RF, MOb) • Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 1, RRAS Pelagic, 27 Aug (TK, RF, DC, AM, AP) • Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel: 15, RRAS Pelagic, 27 Aug (RF, DF); 5, RRAS Pelagic, 10 Sep (RF, GL, MOb) • Leach’s Storm-Petrel: 70, RRAS Pelagic, 27 Aug (RF, DF); 1, RRAS Pelagic, 10 Sep (RF, GL, MOb) • Brown Booby (NC): 1, North Jetty, 5 Aug (BQ) • Green Heron: 1, Arcata Marsh, 27 Aug (PB); 1, Arcata Marsh, 3 Sep (GZ)

White-faced Ibis, © Sean McAllister Centerville Wetlands, Humboldt County

White-faced Ibis: 5, Centerville Wetlands, 7-10 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH); 7-18, Arcata Marsh, 9-11 Sep (RF, JO, MOb); 1, Arcata Bottoms, 16 Sep (KS) • Golden Eagle: 1, Horse Mt, 4 Sep (MM) • Crested Caracara: 1, Smith River, HO-9 Sep (MOb) • Merlin: 1, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 1 Sep (RF); 1, Redwood Creek, 22 Sep (TL, DC, RH) • American GoldenPlover: 2, Centerville Wetlands, 7-11 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH, MOb) • Pacific Golden-Plover: 1-4, Centerville Wetlands, 7-11 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH, MOb); 2, Ocean Ranch, 18 Aug (KS) • Snowy Plover: 2, South Spit, 1 Sep (TL); 5, Big Lagoon Spit, 2 Sep (TK, JS, AT) • Black-necked Stilt: 1, Centerville Wetlands, 10-11 Sep (SM, TK, MOb) • Solitary Sandpiper: 1, Arcata Marsh, 21-22 Aug (RF, TK, JS); 1,

Park, 22 Sep (DC, RH) • Black-and-white Warbler: 1, Usal Campground, 16 Sep (JW); 1, Mad River County Park, 19 Sep (KS) • American Redstart: 1, Horse Pasture, 9 Sep (TK, DC, MOb); 1 (banded), HBBO, 11 Sep (BV); 1, Shay Park, 13-14 Sep (AM, BH); 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 18 Sep (KI)

White-winged Doves, © Gary Bloomfield Arcata, Humboldt County

Ponds, 30 Aug (DC); 1, King Salmon, 2 Sep (JO); 1, Jacoby Creek, 3 Sep (DC, LT); 1, Virgin Creek Beach, 6 Sep (KH) • Semipalmated Sandpiper: many reports of 1-3 birds, Alexandre Dairy, Arcata Marsh, King Salmon, Virgin Creek Beach, 15 Jul-7 Sep (MOb); 9-10, Alexandre Dairy, 26-29 Jul (LB); 4, Centerville Wetlands, 7 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH) • Little Stint: 1, Crab Park, 15-16 Aug (DC, RH, TL); 1, Mad River, 21 Aug (RF, TK, DC, RH) • Baird’s Sandpiper: many reports of 1-3 birds, Lake Tolowa, Big Lagoon Spit, Arcata Marsh, Mad River County Park, Cock Robin Island, 18 Aug13 Sep (MOb); 20+, Centerville Wetlands, 7 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH) • Pectoral Sandpiper: 10+, Centerville Wetlands, 7 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH); 37!, Centerville Wetlands, 14 Sep (SM) • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper: 1, Centerville Wetlands, 7 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH) • Stilt Sandpiper: 1, Arcata Marsh, 21-24 Aug (RF, DC, TK, MOb); 1, Centerville Wetlands, 7-8 Sep (TE, MOb) • Buff-breasted Sandpiper: 1, Lake Tolowa, 28-30 Aug (LB); 1, Lake Tolowa, 6-8 Sep (LB); 3-4, Centerville Wetlands, 7-11 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH) • Ruff: 1, Lake Tolowa, 8 Sep (LB); 2, Centerville Wetlands, 7-10 Sep (TK, DC, MOb); 1, Arcata Marsh, 12-13 Sep (SH, MH) • Wilson’s Phalarope: 2, Arcata Marsh, 30 Jul (RF); 1, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 30-31 Aug (DC, AM, MOb); 1, Centerville Wetlands, 8 Sep (RF, MOb) • Red Phalarope: 1, Centerville Wetlands, 7 Sep (TE, DC, TL, RH) • Franklin’s Gull: 1, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 29 Jul (SH) • Black Tern: 1, Lake Tolowa, 26 Aug (LB) • Common Tern: 60, Lake Tolowa, 5 Aug (LB) • Arctic Tern: 3, Lake Tolowa, 30 Aug (LB) • Elegant Tern: 360, Crescent City, 19 Jul (AB, LB); 500, Klamath River, 20 Jul (LB); 285, Crescent City, 31 Jul (AB, LB) • Rhinoceros Auklet: 1, King Salmon, 17 Jul (RH, MW) • White-winged Dove: 1-2, Arcata, 15-22 Sep (GB, MOb) • Common Nighthawk: 1, Arcata, 30 Aug (TK); 1, McKinleyville, 19 Sep (KS) • Black Swift: 1, Klamath Glen, 8 Sep (LB) • Rufous Hummingbird: 2, Arcata, 31 Aug (JP) • Willow Flycatcher: 1, Arcata, 28 Aug (JP); 1, Widow White Creek, 5 Sep (GL); 1, Arcata, 5 Sep (RH); 1, Mad River County Park, 13 Sep (KI) • Say’s Phoebe: 1, Arcata, 17 Sep (BH); 1, Bald Hills Rd, 20 Sep (HB) • Eastern Kingbird: 1, Arcata Marsh, 2 Sep (JC) • Blue-headed Vireo: 1, Shay Park, 19 Sep (DC, RH, WL) • Philadelphia Vireo: 1, Orick, 11 Sep (KI); 1, Mad River County Park, 13 Sep (KI) • Red-eyed Vireo: 1, Ft. Dick, 18 Jul (LB); 1, Airport Patch, 9 Sep (KI); 1, Davison Rd, 11 Sep (KI); 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 18 Sep (KI) • Dusky Warbler (NC): 1, North Spit, 17 Sep (KI) • Gray Catbird: 1, Horse Pasture, 16-21 Sep (TL, DC, RH, MOb); 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 18 Sep (KI) • Tennessee Warbler: 1, Airport Patch, 9 Sep (KI); 1, Shay Park, 12 Sep (RF, DC, RH, AM); 1, Ft Bragg, 13 Sep (DT); 1, Shay Park, 17-19 Sep (DC, MW, WL) • Virginia’s Warbler: 1, Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary, 14-16 Sep (KS, TK, AM, MOb); 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 18 Sep (KI) • Northern Parula: 1, Horse Pasture, 16 Sep

Northern Waterthrush, © Sean McAllister Centerville, Humboldt County

Northern Waterthrush: 1, Arcata Marsh, 30 Aug (RF); 1, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 3 Sep (LT, DC); 1, Cooper Gulch, 7 Sep (TK); 1, Centerville Wetlands, 10 Sep (SM); 1, Shay Park, 17 Sep (DC)

Mourning Warbler, © Sean McAllister Eureka, Humboldt County

Mourning Warbler: 1, Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary, 14-16 Sep (KS, ST, TL, MOb) • Hooded Warbler: 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 18 Sep (KI) • Canada Warbler: 1, Cypress Patch, 11 Sep (DC, TL, CO, MOb) • Clay-colored Sparrow: 1, Ferndale Bottoms, 11 Sep (KS); 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 22 Sep (PC) • Lark Bunting: 1, Big Flat (Trinity), 21 Aug (KS); 1, Stone Lagoon, 29 Aug (JA, DC, RH, MOb) • Lapland Longspur: 1, McKinleyville, 11 Sep (GL); 2, McKinleyville, 21 Sep (KS)

Blue Grosbeak, © Tony Kurz Ferndale Bottoms, Humboldt County

Baird’s (L) & Pectoral (R) Sandpipers, © Sean McAllister Centerville Wetlands, Humboldt County

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, © Sean McAllister Centerville Wetlands, Humboldt County

Arcata Marsh, 3 Sep (BH); 1, Centerville Wetlands, 8 Sep (PC, RH) • Spotted Redshank (NC): 1, Smith River, 25 Jul (LB) • Hudsonian Godwit: 1, Crab Park, 15 Aug (TK) • Ruddy Turnstone: 1, Hilficker, 3 Aug (TK); 3, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 25 Aug (TK, AM); 2, Fields Landing, 25 Aug (DC); 1, South Jetty, 25 Aug (DC); 2, King Salmon, 2 Sep (JO) • Red Knot: 2, Jacoby Creek, 23 Aug (TK); 3, Arcata Oxi

(TK, DC, RH, GB) • Chestnut-sided Warbler: 1, Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary, 5-6 Sep (TL, LT, DC, MOb); 1, Airport Patch, 11 Sep (TL); 1, Pudding Creek, 13 Sep (KH), 1, Palco Marsh, 21 Sep (TK); 1, Horse Pasture, 22-23 Sep (DC, RH, GS) • Black-throated Blue Warbler: 1, Horse Pasture, 11, 16 Sep (TK) • Hermit Warbler: 1, Eureka, 13 Sep (TL); 1, Shay Park, 18 Sep (TK); 1, Arcata, 18 Sep (WL) • Blackburnian Warbler: 1-2, Cypress Patch, 6-12 Sep (TE, DC, RF, MOb); 1, Airport Patch, 9 Sep (KI); 1, Shay Park, 15 Sep (TK, RF) • Bay-breasted Warbler (1st Mendocino record): 1, Usal Campground, 16 Sep (JW); 1, Redwood Creek Mouth, 22 Sep (PC) • Blackpoll Warbler: 1, Orick Dump, 11 Sep (KI); 1, Shay Park, 12 Sep (RF, DC, RH, AM); 1, Usal Campground, 16 Sep (JW); 1, Shay Park, 19-20 Sep (DC, RH, WL); 1, V St Willows, 20 Sep (RH) • Prairie Warbler: 1, Klamath Glen, 20 Sep (LB); 1, Manila

Blue Grosbeak: 1, Ferndale Bottoms, 10-12 Sep (TK, DC, MOb) • Dickcissel: 1, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 31 Aug (DC, AM); 1, Crannell Rd, 4 Sep (KI) • Bobolink: 1, Little River Airport, 3-5 Sep (RHu); 1, McKinleyville, 6 Sep (RF); 1, McKinleyville, 20 Sep (KS) • Yellow-headed Blackbird: 1, Arcata Oxi Ponds, 30 Aug-1 Sep (DC, AM, MOb); 1, Mad River County Park, 15 Sep (BH); 1 (adult male), King Salmon, 16 Sep (FA, MW) • Great-tailed Grackle: 3, Alexandre Dairy, 31 Jul (AB) • Hooded Oriole: 2, Arcata, 24 Jul (RF). Thanks to all who have submitted sightings! Jeff Allen, Frank Anderson, Alan Barron, Pat Bitton, Gary Bloomfield, Heather Brown, Lucas Brug, Joe Ceriani, Phil Chaon, Greg Chapman, Daryl Coldren, Todd Easterla, David Fix, Rob Fowler, Michael Harris, Stan Harris, Karen Havlena, Rob Hewitt, Brendon Higgens, Richard Hubacek (RHu), Ken Irwin, Tony Kurz, Will Lawton, Tom Leskiw, Gary Lester, Paul Lohse, Mark Magnuson, Sean McAllister, Annie Meyer, Chet Ogan, John Oliver, Amy Patten, Jude Power, Bernie Quetchenbach, Jesse Sargent, Keith Slauson, Gary Stacey, Scott Terrill, Dorothy “Toby” Tobkin, Amber Transou, Leslie Tucci, Ben Vernasco, Matt Wachs, Jerry White, George Ziminsky.

Community Wheel A PUBLICATION OF


Humboldt’s Advocate for Transportation Choices


A big performance by SambAmore!

Join us in presenting the

and honoring to the

retiring from Humboldt Transit Authority

Scrumptious local hors d’oeuvres served, no host wine & beer.

We hope to see you there!

SUPPORT greenwheels Members receive 10% off bike accessories at Revolution Bikes and Adventure’s Edge in Arcata. • Your membership contribution is tax deductable. • □ Yes, I support Green Wheels and its sustainable transportation mission! Your Favorite Mode(s) of Transportation:

Name Address

Membership Level: $15 Student/Low-Income $25 Individual $50 Family $100 Business $500 Sponser Other amount: $ _______ Make checks payable to Greenwheels and mail to Greenwheels c/o NEC


791 8th Street, P.O. Box 4259 Arcata, CA 95518

ECONEWS October/November 2011

Want to Get Involved? � Volunteer! � Speak at hearings! � Write letters to your representatives! What issues are important to you? � Trail development � Transit improvements � Smart land use planning � Other: ______________

You can also join online at: Thanks!


Join us for an EPIC Time! Celebrate EPIC’s 34th Year Friday November 4, 2011 Mateel Community Center 145 G Street, Suite A, Arcata, CA 95521

ep c

The Environmental Protection Information Center

(707) 822.7711

Billionaire Emmerson Destroys Spotted Owl Habitat Andrew Orahoske Archie Aldis “Red” Emmerson—a billionaire with a net worth of $2.5 billion—and his company, Sierra Pacific Industries—the largest private forestland owner in California—continue their onslaught of clearcutting Northern Spotted Owl habitat. Forbes ranks Red Emmerson at #153 amongst the wealthiest individuals in the United States and #459 worldwide. Operating in defiance of the law, Sierra Pacific stands as one of the last big logging companies in the State of California without an approved Habitat Conservation Plan. As owl habitat disappears, owl researchers recently issued a comprehensive report detailing the population demography for the species: Forsman et al. 2011, “Population Demography of the Northern Spotted Owls: 1985-2008”, Studies in Avian Biology, UC Press. The author’s conclusions paint a dire picture, detailing rangewide declines for this iconic forest raptor. In particular, some of the most precipitous declines have taken place on private timberlands, including lands owned by Emmerson and Sierra Pacific. While private interests liquidate oldgrowth trees and leave behind clearcuts visible from space, the state and federal agencies charged with protecting spotted owls and other wildlife have abdicated their responsibilities due to lack of

“Red” Emmerson, largest land owner in California

funding. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stopped reviewing Timber Harvest Plans in California, citing high costs, leaving it up to state officials at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Without federal owl biologists reviewing Timber

Harvest Plans, Cal Fire officials without any expertise in owl biology have relied on private foresters employed by the timber industry. Under this new arrangement, Sierra Pacific’s destruction of Northern Spotted Owl habitat has accelerated. Without a federally approved Habitat Conservation Plan, Sierra Pacific’s logging of owl habitat violates the Endangered Species Act. A conservation plan would not stop logging, but direct the operations in a more ecologically sound manner. Furthermore, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that Cal Fire’s approval of timber harvest plans without oversight by federal owl biologists results in harm to spotted owls, particularly on Sierra Pacific land. Cal Fire, for its part, insists that it has no mandate to manage for recovery of the spotted owl. Thus, state officials continue to allow Sierra Pacific to destroy habitat and compromise the integrity of Spotted Owl home ranges. The 2011 Revised Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan calls for the retention of high quality habitats on private forestlands in order to mitigate for habitat loss and the invasion of nonnative barred owl, a competitor. Therefore, conservation of spotted owl habitat on Sierra Pacific’s lands is absolutely essential to the recovery of the species. Andrew Orahoske is EPIC’s Conservation Director.

Spotlight on Salmon River, Klamath National Forest Kimberly Baker

With an increasingly intense proliferation of timber sales on our national forests the Forest Service is working hard to “get the cut out” despite growing evidence of long term harm to wildlife and salmon, and the decimation of old growth forests. With a new ranger in charge, projects on the Salmon River are getting increasingly worse. Nearly all projects are justified by a fear of wildfire and claim that the forest is overly dense. However, science shows that logging can increase the risk of fire. Generally northerly aspects are moist and dense, and southerly aspects are more open with an inherently higher chance of burning. Our forests need fire, and high severity fire is part of a healthy ecosystem that typically burns less than 10% of any given fire event. The Partially Good: The Eddy Gulch project covers a huge expanse of land—25,969 acres—between the North and South Forks of the Salmon River, including 8,291 acres of commercial tree harvest, 17,524 acres of underburning, and thousands of acres of brush clearing. Guidelines call for protecting trees over 20 inches in diameter, and units are concentrated on ridge tops where most fires start and where there is a chance to stop fire from entering into the next watershed. However, much of this area is set aside for protecting old growth forest

Panorama of Eddy Gulch

habitat, there are 23 Northern Spotted Owl nest sites in these watersheds, and yet some stands would be reduced to 40% canopy closure. The Bad: The Little Cronan project is being done with minimal environmental review with no opportunity for appeal. This project is on the Wild and Scenic North Fork Salmon River, which is critical for salmon recovery. The Forest Service is proposing to use a trail as a logging road, and is targeting old growth trees to make the forest “healthier.” However, it is those older, bigger, fire resistant trees that provide the best habitat for old growth dependent species.

The Ugly: The Petersburg Pines Healthy Forest Restoration Act Project proposes over 2,000 acres of commercial logging on the South Fork Salmon River. The Forest Service claims that it is following the Salmon River Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). This is a blatantly false claim. The CWPP calls for 60-100% canopy retention and demands a discussion for harvesting any trees over 27 inches in diameter. Despite this, more than half the project targets ancient trees in old growth/late seral stands. The project would remove Spotted Owl habitat and reduce canopy down to 40%. The Forest Service has no current baseline population information for the Spotted Owl, yet it continues to target habitat for logging. The Recovery Plan for the owl states that the main threats are competition from Barred Owls, and past and current habitat loss. Recent research indicates that logging reduces the competitive advantage that Spotted Owls have in dense forest and increases the chance for Barred Owl invasion. EPIC believes that management should prioritize small diameter forest stands and plantations (previous clearcuts). Our message is clear: no logging old growth, stay out of Spotted Owl territories, no new roads, keep adequate canopy and protect the soil, water, fish and wildlife. Kimberly Baker is EPIC’s Land Policy Advocate.

Arcata Theatre Lounge

EPIC Presents

Tuesday October 11, 2011 Doors open at 6:30pm Film begins at 7pm $10-25 sliding scale and $5 for students

BRANT ELECTRIC Calif. License #406330




October/November 2011 ECONEWS


News and Events from the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society 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. EVENING PROGRAMS 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.

Wednesday, October 12, 7:30 p.m. “New Guinea Plants I Have Known.” Photographer, linguist, restorationist, community developer, zoologist, and compulsive botanizer, New Zealander David Price will share a plantfocused glimpse into his 25 years in Papua and Indonesian New Guinea. November 9, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. “High elevation Pines of the Klamath Mountains: Past, Present, and Future.” Join teacher, researcher, and explorer Michael Kauffmann on an arm-chair journey through

Looking at a Lichen. Photo: Sylvia White.

time and the Klamath Mountains, focusing on the foxtail and whitebark pines. These high elevations conifers have survived shifting climatic conditions through recent geologic ages, but will they survive the next shift? Michael’s first-hand observations and others’ studies from across the West suggest the answer.

December 14, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Native Plant Show & Tell. An informal evening for anyone to share photos, artifacts, readings, or food relating to native plants and their habitats. If you would like to contribute, contact Dave Imper at or 444-2756. FIELD TRIPS AND PLANT WALKS Outings are open to everyone, not just members. All levels of expertise, from beginners to experienced botanizers, are welcome. Address questions about physical ability requirements to the leader.

November 5, Saturday—Looking at Lichens Dayhike. Questionably plants, definitely native, unquestionably important, and usually small, lichens are an overlooked link in our ecosystems. Learn how to focus on them during a day of roadside stops and modest hiking with Tom Carlberg, hopefully in the oak woodlands and Douglas-fir forests in the Horse Mountain-Cold Spring area. If the weather is snowy or stormy at high elevation, we’ll explore in the dune forest instead. Meet at 9 a.m. at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) or arrange another place. Dress for the weather! On the mountain it can be cold! Bring lunch and water and a hand lens if you have it. For information contact Jennie 4442553 or Tom 444-0530.

CHAPTER PICNIC October 2, Sunday—Chapter Picnic at Big Lagoon. An afternoon of good food and good company, among the sand plants, wetland plants, bog plants, and spruce forest plants in Big Lagoon County Park (Turn left off 101, 7 miles north of Trinidad). Bring a dish to share, your own item to BBQ, your own beverage, eating gear, and any friends or relations you want. Fire will be ready for cooking at 1:00 p.m. We will eat 1:00-2:30; then explore by foot or boat. Bring a canoe or kayak if it’s not too windy. Camp chairs, tables, and canopies will be useful too. Plan on a cool sea breeze. $2 day use fee. In case of rotten weather, call Carol to find out where we will be instead. 822-2015 Please watch for later additions on our Web site ( or sign up for e-mail announcements Northcoast_CNPS-subscribe@ Everyone is welcome. No botanical knowledge required. We are out there to share and enjoy!

Summer’s last rose and Autumn’s first fallen leaf. Season’s change! Photo: Sylvia White.


Events & Conservation Updates From the North Group Redwood Chapter Sierra Club New ExCom Member At the August meeting, Nick Vogel was appointed to fill Jennifer Wood’s vacant seat. Nick tells us that his passion for the planet and its natural beauty was re-energized when he discovered Humboldt County during a road trip, then moved here from Sacramento six months later (in 2008). He just completed a term as Board president for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters. Picnic Fun Over 25 people attended the North Group picnic at Patricks Point on August 27. Our invitation to Redwood Region Audubon members enticed three of its Board and their guests to share the experience with us. We thank Tom Leskiw for leading two bird walks and Sue Leskiw for organizing the event and baking a special river and forest cake featuring salmon and bears!

Horse Mountain Hike Popular On June 18, Melinda Groom led a hike to Horse Mountain on Six Rivers National Forest. Attendees enjoyed panoramic views at 4,000 feet in an area the public is proposing for trail development. While there were 14 “official” participants on the 5-mile Sierra Club afternoon hike, Redwood Region Audubon Society, the local California Native Plant Society chapter, and the informal “Old Geezers” group all hiked the area earlier that day, with some cross-walk between participants.

Camper Report Year 17 was very unusual for our Lucille Vinyard/Susie Van Kirk Environmental Education Fund, which provides camping experiences for deserving children. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry operated only one week of camping at Orick (usually, it offers two different age group Horse Mountain hikers enjoy lunch during June 18 outing. experiences) and unfortunately scheduled it Photo: Nancy Gregory. over the July 4 holiday. An overnight camp Outings & Meetings that rafted children down the Trinity River Sunday, October 9—Redwood Creek Levee, was substituted, but that session failed to get Orick. 8 miles, medium difficulty. Hike from Orick enough registrants after an article on river to ocean along Redwood Creek levee, along beach deaths was published in a local newspaper. toward Mussel Point before return. Bring water, Thus, in 2011, North Group funded just four lunch. Leashed dogs OK. Rain cancels. Carpools: children, ages 10-12, to attend the Arcata Meet 10 a.m. McKinleyville Safeway parking lot or 11 Recreation Department’s Natural Resources a.m. in Orick (Hwy 101 bridge over Redwood Creek). Science day camp, where they spent a week studying renewable energy, aquatics/fisheries, Leader: Bill 839-5971. wildlife biology, or forestry. We appreciate Tuesday, October 11—North Group ExCom the donations from 41 individuals and will Meeting. Discuss local conservation issues 8-9 retain the funds raised ($2680) in a dedicated p.m. or come for business meeting 7 p.m. Adorni account for underwriting future campers. Center, Eureka. Info: Gregg 826-3740. ECONEWS October/November 2011

Saturday, October 15—Headwaters Reserve, Eureka. 11 miles, medium difficulty. Hike level for 3 miles, last 2 steep climb through old growth. Return same route. Bring lunch, water. No dogs. Carpools: Meet 9 am Herrick Park & Ride or 9:30 am end of Elk River Road. Leader: Xandra 441-0702; Saturday, October 22—Table Bluff /South Spit. 9 miles, easy. Walk along road between ocean and bay, or alternatively along beach. Bring snack, water. Rain/tsunami warning cancels. Carpools: Meet 9 a.m. Herrick Park & Ride or 9:30 a.m. beach below Table Bluff. Leader: Xandra 441-0702; Sunday, October 30—Halloween Potluck for North Group Members/Supporters. Starts noon in Eureka. Bring food to share, indoor footwear, wrapped “strange gift” to exchange. Costumes optional; no young children. Directions: Sue 442-5444. Saturday, November 5—Russ Mountain, Ferndale. Class M-5-A. Stroll along Main Street, through cemetery to trail climbs through Russ Park on Lytek Ridge and Bluff Loops. Return along Grizzly Bluff Road and Ocean Street. Bring lunch, water. Carpools: Meet 9 a.m. Herrick Park & Ride or 9:30 a.m. Cream City Café, 543 Main St. Leader: Xandra 441-0702; Tuesday, November 8—ExCom Meeting [see October 11 listing]. Saturday, November 19—Table Bluff/Mouth of Eel River. 9 miles, medium difficulty. Walk along beach or on utility road through dunes between ocean and sloughs, estuaries, and marshes. Return varies along dunes and McNulty Slough. Bring lunch, water. Rain/ tsunami warning cancels. Carpools: Meet 9 a.m. Herrick Park & Ride or 9:30 a.m. beach below Table Bluff. Leader: Xandra 441-0702;


Legislation to Watch

All Species Ball

Continued from page 3

U.S. Congressional bills H.R. 302 and H.R. 758

Several bills currently in the U.S. House of Representatives aim to reduce, if not eliminate, the ability of the President to bypass lengthy and politically complex channels to quickly save important areas of national importance. The Antiquities Act was created by Congress in 1906 to prevent the destruction of sacred sites and important natural areas from developers and exploitation. Congress, frequently burdened by conflicts between local pressures and national interest, can take years to create a National Park or other area. The Antiquities Act gave the President the authority to save treasured areas with the stroke of a pen; Congress can then follow with more legislation if they deem it necessary. Theodore Roosevelt saved Muir Woods in 1908, and since then 15 Presidents have used the Antiquities Act to set aside important archeological, historical and natural areas, ensuring the interests and desires of the people of the United States are not disregarded in favor of local or commercial interests which aim to exploit those national treasures. H.R. Bill 302 was authored by U.S. Representative Herger (R) of California’s Second district, which includes the Trinity Alps, Mount Shasta and many natural areas in Northern California that could potentially benefit from the Antiquities Act in the future. HR 302, however, would require the Secretary of the Interior to obtain “approval from the Governor and the legislature of each State within the boundaries of which the proposed national monument would be located.” Rep. Herger is also a co-author of H.R. 758, which would require the Secretary take more than a year to hold public hearings and provide an analysis to Congress to

include impacts the designation might have regarding “loss of sites to produce wind, geothermal, or solar energy, and the number of barrels of oil, tons of coal, or cubic feet of natural gas.” It would therefore appear that the underlying purpose of the bill is to protect the interests of resource extraction, rather than ensuring the protection of the land. The bill also requires Congressional Approval for land designations, which essentially guts the Antiquities Act. U.S. Rep. McClintock, representing California’s 4th district (including Modoc National Forest on the Oregon Border, south through the Northern Sierra to Lake Tahoe) is a co-sponsor of both bills. All authors and cosponsors are members of the Republican Party. Why is the Antiquities Act an issue now? A leaked internal draft from the Dept. of Interior indicates early discussions of current lands that might be worthy of National Monument designation under the Act, stating “further evaluations should be completed prior to any final decision, including an assessment of public and Congressional support.” Fourteen areas in nine states were suggested. But, instead of championing legislation to protect areas for our future, this anti-environment Congress has made this a convenient rallying cry against one of America’s most important legislative legacies. In the past, interestingly, more Republican presidents have used the Antiquities Act to provide quick protection to threatened national interests than have Democrats. Stay tuned. This is an important issue that could have long lasting effects on many areas in Northern California of interest to NEC members, as well as to areas that many Americans value across the country. Dan Sealy is the NEC’s D.C. legislative consultant.

Shasta TMDL

Continued from page 7 The Shasta TMDL conditional waiver expires on January 26th, 2012 at which time it will be up for renewal and/or modification. Currently, in terms of progress and the cumulative impacts to the stream system, water quality and status of endangered fisheries resources, it seems evident that, at the very least, modification of the waiver to include better, more rigid, standards for reporting and increased enforcement would be highly recommended. It has been suggested that incentives for those landowners who participate and comply with the restoration requirements of the TMDL and conditional waiver as well as the reporting process would be appropriate and beneficial. It has also been suggested that any fees or enforcement penalties should be born by those landowners who do not comply with requirements to meet TMDL standards.

What is Tailwater? Tailwater is water that is pumped from the river, diverted through irrigation ditches, sometimes for miles where warming occurs, then it is used for irrigation of crops or grazing lands. This water then travels across fields, causing further warming, and runs off into streams or tributaries, percolates into ground water or evaporates. Warmer, more sediment and nutrient rich water promotes algal and bacterial growth in streams which consumes dissolved oxygen, resulting in even more significant increases of instream temperatures..

To Learn More about the TMDL

Please visit: water_issues/programs/tmdls/shasta_river/

Save the Dolphin Save Yourself


We would like to express our gratitude to the Arcata Farmers Market farmers for their very generous donations—our event wouldn’t have been so delicious without them! Their support and encouragement of the NEC was absolutely touching and will never be forgotten! Special thanks to Wilathi Weaver of Willow Weavers for her lovely, living arbors that gave such a wonderful garden ambiance to the room, and to Flora Organica for the bunches and bunches of gorgeous sunflowers! Thanks to Pacific Seafood for donating fresh, local bay shrimp. Thanks again to our chefs (professional chef Mark Hubbard, chef Andrew Simmons and assistant chef Yannick Nadeu and Kenji) and kitchen volunteers, especially Mark, who worked tirelessly with the NEC to plan and prepare the evening’s menu, as well as staying up with us until 3 a.m. to clean-up after the event! Thanks to all of the bands and performers (Matt and the Family Stubbs, the Sky Miller Quartet, the Singing Nettles, the Miracle Show, and the Ya Habibi Dance Troupe) who donated their time and exquisite talent to the NEC. Thanks to Issac Bluefoot, our infamous and captivating children’s puppeteer! And, many thanks to ALL of our volunteers who worked so hard to make this event possible, including HSU Dive Team volunteers, Jada and Michael Best, Jessica, our talented face painter Missy Fiedler—who donated many hours of her time and a lot of her ingenuity and vision, Lynn Ryan and Sue Leskiew of the Sierra Club, Larry Glass and his fantastic security team (some of whom also helped out with the kitchen and cleanup), our bartenders, our wonderful sound engineer Mo Hollis, and our NEC work-study students! Join us next year for our next better-thanever All Species Ball—with more food, more music, more costumes, and more FUN! What species will you be? Photos from page 2 provided by Morgan Corviday and Kurt St. Amant. Counter-clockwise from left: Mo Hollis, sound engineer lion; Tree Woman; close-up of Anita Tavernier’s winning ocean costume; happy smiles; Candace Wase and Michelle Ganong of the Singing Nettles; Lynn Ryan and friend; the winning Alligator thanks the crowd; Cute face!; Alysia Gibbs and EcoNews editor Morgan Corviday of the Singing Nettles; NEC office manager Ruthie Schafer; Madeline and Ellyana Hollis, hamster sisters; Karate chopping butterflies; Missy Fiedler, face painter extraordinaire; and Shoshanna, director of Ya Habibi.

Thank You

to all the local businesses and individuals who donated items for our All Species Ball and Auction!

Eel River Brewery The Clothing Dock Mad River Brewery Wildwood Music The Wine Spot Gallagher’s Loleta Cheese Soul to Soul Spa Pacific Seafood Eureka Fabrics Flora Organica Booklegger New World Water Many Hands Gallery Global Village Gallery Belle Starr Baroni Designs Caravan of Dreams Chapalas Himalayan Rug Traders Abruzzi Old Town Coffee & Chocolates Plaza Grill Arcata Exchange Moonstone Grill Tomas Jewelry Harper Motors SPI Gallery Finnish Sauna & Tubs Cypress Grove Chevre Pierson Building Center Ancient Arts Moonstone Winery Holly Yashi Jade River Lodge Talisman Arcata Theatre Lounge Old Town Lighting Barnes Drug Coates Winery Tomas Jewelry Willow & Rags Erin Rowe Windspirit Pathways Bubbles Far North Climbing Gym Requa Inn Six Rivers Brewery Turtle Rocks Inn Sherria Tyler Robert Goodman Winery Linnea Tobias especially: the Sierra Club and the Arcata Farmer’s Market

Athing Wellness Center

More information at

Blue Dolphin Alliance 888-694-2537

Chiropractic, Massage and Acupuncture James Athing, Doctor of Chiropractic 735 12th Street, Arcata

Soft Tissue Specialist Work, Auto & Sports Injuries


October/November 2011 ECONEWS


ATTENTION COUCH POTATOES: You can live an extra three years if you exercise for just 15 minutes a day, according to an eight-year study of 400,000 people in Taiwan—but which will need further study to confirm if the effect is applicable worldwide. There were “significant benefits for men and women, young and old, smokers and nonsmokers, and even for high-risk groups such as diabetics and people with high blood pressure,” said chief researcher Chi-Pang Wen of the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan. The more exercise they did, the greater the benefits, but the biggest surprise was the disproportionately large leap in benefits for those doing just a little exercise—around 15 minutes a day—as opposed to none at all. In addition, the risk of cancer fell by 10 per cent and risk of heart disease by 20 per cent.

A Melange of Salient Sillies..

FARINELLI’S COMPLAINT: The 18thcentury singer’s falsetto voice made him a musical legend, but his castration also could have given him a skull deformity and may have affected his mind. After he was exhumed five years ago, researchers found the front of his skull had grown inwards in a thick, lumpy mass, caused by hormonal disorders, particularly too much estrogen— found in post-menopausal women and not men. Once thought to be harmless, it’s now linked to behavioral disorders, headaches and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. CHIRP, YOU TWERP: What sounds like harmonious song is really chirping sparrows trading insults, the noise of males trying to appear macho to impress the girls. “Song sharing among sparrows is actually an aggressive behavior akin to flinging insults back and forth,” said lead researcher Janet Lapierre, from the University of Western Ontario. CHOCOLATE FISH: Gary, a nine-pound gourami, has been bred only on Kit Kats. The giant Asian freshwater fish at the Sea Life Aquarium in London had to be weaned off the chocolate candy—which was the only food given it by the previous owners—because it had grown too big for its tank. Crushed Kit Kat pieces were put inside grapes and banana slices for the 16-inch-long fish.

ALTERNATIVE: Adolf Hitler ordered blowup dolls for his troops because so many caught diseases from prostitutes. Nazi scientists developed “synthetic comforters” for German soldiers after SS chief Heinrich Himmler wrote: “The greatest danger in Paris is the widespread and uncontrolled presence of whores, picking up clients in bars, dance halls and other places.” But the project was halted when German soldiers refused to carry the dolls because of the potential embarrassment if they were captured by the enemy.

WILY WIDOWER: Male black widow spiders mate with females who have eaten so they don’t become her next meal. Researchers at the University of Nebraska travelled to Arizona to study the North American black widow, Latrodectus hesperus, and discovered that males can detect tell-tale chemicals on the webs of females that let them know if they are well-fed or not—and therefore improves their chances of survival. Another advantage is that in choosing a larger lady, the male black widow is increasing the chance of a mate with a large number of eggs. POLAR BEAR INQUIRY: The government scientist who raised the alarm about the animals’ plight has been suspended from his post and is accused of scientific misconduct. Environmentalists say that Charles Monnett of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is the victim of a “witch hunt” aimed at opening up more of Alaska to oil and gas drilling. In 2006, they noted four drowned bears seen in 2004 were the first seen since the survey began in 1987—and speculated that such drownings may increase as pack ice retreats. Monnett was suspended last July this year. The specific allegations are unknown, but a transcript of an interview with investigators in February (available at suggests that he is accused of “potential scientific misconduct” relating to the 2006 paper.

NOT GATORADE: The search for non-food sources for biofuel has led to an unlikely source: alligator fat. Scientists say that oil extracted from ‘gator’ fat can easily be converted—and is more suitable— for biodiesel production than other animal fats. And the meat industry disposes of 15 million pounds of alligator fat each year. KITCHEN MELTDOWN: A Swedish man has been arrested for attempting to split atoms— in his kitchen. Richard Handl, 31, had radium, americium and uranium in his apartment when police seized him for possession of nuclear material. He said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home—even creating a small meltdown on his stove—before he sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, which alerted the police.

PLUMPY NUT: That’s the name of the best hope for the 12 million people facing a famine crisis in the Horn of Africa. About 14 tons of the enriched “therapeutic” peanut butter airlifted to Mogadishu for distribution to refugees trying to escape the triple crisis of drought-aggravated famine, war and escalating food prices. Children can eat Plumpy Nut, manufactured by French company Nutriset, straight from the packet instead of having to be fed intravenously.

Dandelion Herbal Center Presents Upcoming Classes with Jane Bothwell 10 Month Herbal Studies Program Feb-Nov 2012 • 10am-4pm Meets 1 Weekend a Month

Learn medicine making, plant ID, herbal first aid, herb gardening & much more.

Beginning with Herbs January 25 • March 28, 2012

Register Online or Call 707-442-8157


8 Wednesday Evenings • 7:00-9:30 pm Plus 2 Herb Walks •

ECONEWS October/November 2011

David Tyndall

1225 Central Avenue, Suite #4, McKinleyville Tax Preparer

826 -1996

Bella Vista Plaza at the corner of Central Ave & Bella Vista Rd.


Citizen X

Continued from page 6 their mutual love of nature and living on the land as a couple. Missy and Dean work 6-7 days a week between April and November. Rising at 5 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays to load the truck with produce, deliver the children to school and arrive in town in time to set up and greet market shoppers. The remainder of the week is dedicated to watering, weeding, planting, harvesting, tending to the land, the home and family life. In spite of the wonderful contributions this amazing couple make to our community feeding the people, advocating for community and the environment, raising consciencious children, and mentoring the next generation of farmers and homesteaders, their story has a dark side. At age 35, Missy was diagnosed with Stage 3C cancer. The next year, her diagnoses was changed to Stage 4 “terminal.” The cancer, first discovered in her right breast, was determined to have metastisized to her lymph system. Missy grew up in the Central Valley, where widespread use of DDT was common before it was banned. It is ironic that this beautiful family dedicated to serving their community and teaching the value of environmental ethics, is now confronted by the devastating effects of toxic pollutants. Six years ago Missy began her cancer treatment with a group of women facing the same arduous battle with cancer and for their lives. Today, Missy is the only survivor from the group. The reality of their situation is heartbreaking. Their family is in enormous debt. Every week, Missy commutes to Santa Rosa—the closest place for the best holistic care—making life on the farm difficult. Each family member struggles with the fear of loss, and it is difficult to talk about what is happening in their lives. Today they are working on a new kind of balance: the balance of love for one another, their family and Missy’s quality of life. In Missy’s own words, “we are all terminal, so live your life as full as you can.” Missy and Dean are exceedingly grateful to have such a special and generous community supporting them over the years, with love and financial help. They express sincere thanks from the bottom of their hearts. Recently, Pachanga Mexicana (restaurant in Eureka that has been trading for Earth n’ Hands peppers for 10 years) hosted a Chile Relleno Fundraiser for the family as part of Pastels on the Plaza. As money for the costly alternative therapies and travel for treatment, continues to drain, all level of support is needed and greatly appreciated. Ruthie Schafer is the NEC’s Office Manager.

Want to help? To contribute to the Missy Support Fund, please visit Give Forward: To provide words of encouragement to Missy, or offer other forms of care and assistance to their family, you can visit Caring Bridge: missyupdate. The WWOOF program offers amazing opportunities aroung the globe to intern on organic farms to learn sustainable living and farming practices from real people making a real difference. To learn more about the international WWOOF program and all it has to offer, whether interning at Earth n’ Hands or beyond, visit: Visit Earth n’ Hands three times weekly at Farmer’s Market. Dean loves “feeding the people.” He’s always happy to share creative receipes and ideas for preparing their delicious peppers, one of their specialties. Inquire about their CSA (Community Support Agriculture) and signup to receive a box of fresh produce in the coming year. • Tuesday: Old Town, Eureka; 10am – 1pm • Thursday: Henderson Center, Eureka; 10am –1pm • Saturday: Arcata Plaza; 9am – 2pm

Sucker Fish: Canary in the Coal Mine for Klamath Restoration Pat Higgins Salmon are well known to be central to the lives and heritage of the Klamath Tribes, but the importance of the sucker, dismissed by many as “trash fish”, is lesser understood. Tribes of the Upper Klamath Basin relied on the large and nutritious sucker fish that thrived in shallow lakes of the basin, particularly in times of drought, when lakes would shrink and create water quality conditions deadly to salmon and steelhead. Because the Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) were evolved to survive higher water temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen levels, they are an important indicator species for Upper Klamath Basin ecosystem function Native Americans of the Klamath River harvested suckers annually for thousands of years, a tradition that stopped 1988 with the suckers’

Endangered Species listings. The Lost River and shortnose suckers require protection because 80% of the 200,000 acres of shallow lake habitat and marshes of the Upper Klamath Basin have been converted to agriculture in the Klamath Project, which has eliminated some of the largest populations. Tule Lake was the habitat for the largest population, and the local natives prized the suckers there. Today, Tule Lake is called Tule Sump, and has been shrunken from 110,000 acres to 9,000 to 14,000 acres. Adult populations of both sucker species only number in the hundreds there. . No spawning takes place in the lower Lost River, which is essentially an agricultural wastewater ditch. Lower Klamath Lake was once a vast sucker habitat (95,000 acres) and served as the water storage and purification system for the Klamath River. Suckers could migrate from the Klamath River into the lake and back as the lake filled with water in the winter and then released it in summer and fall. Today, Lower Klamath Lake remnants are only 4,000-7,000 acres of wetlands and there is no water deeper than 3 feet. Suckers cannot survive there. The National Science Foundation report on Klamath River endangered fishes recommended refilling Lower Klamath Lake to help restore suckers and the river’s natural hydrology. Instead the KBRA would allow farming on the old lake beds in “Lease Lands” on both the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges for 50 years. This not only blocks sucker habitat recovery but also constitutes a major bottleneck for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. The KBRA ironically relies on the Lost River and shortnose sucker populations in Upper Klamath Lake to rebuild populations, which are currently in an alarming condition. The Expert

Panel on sucker fish convened by the KBRA stated that: “Unless a recruitment event occurs soon, these populations could become extinct in the near future given their current annual mortality rates.” It would seem that nutrient pollution in Upper Klamath Lake is killing juvenile suckers even in wet years, so expedient action is needed to reverse this condition. The solution would be to restore marshes around the edges of the lake that strip nutrients and also suppress nitrogen fixing blue-green algae species that have taken over Upper Klamath Lake, but such action is not specified by the KBRA. Marsh restoration in areas surrounding Upper Klamath Lake is taking place, but many reclaimed areas do not function as marsh. The subsidence of the land due to farming results in deep water where algae thrives. One robust population of both sucker species exists in Clear Lake in the upper Lost River basin and could benefit from recent raising of the dam at the lake’s outlet. However, water in the Lost River system will be used to balance the water budget in extreme drought, which could threaten this population. There is a concern that lower lake levels could create a problem for suckers trapped under winter ice and there could be a massive die off if oxygen levels are depleted by a large number of fish in a small space. There is no schedule for, or discussion about, when populations could once again sustain traditional harvest levels. Lower Lost River, Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Lake must first be restored to buffer the populations from extinction. Additionally, expanded marshes and lakes are needed to augment water supply and clean up nutrient pollution in the lower Klamath River, a problem that will otherwise confound success of salmon too.

Pat Higgins is a consulting fisheries biologist and watershed scientist in Arcata. Photos provided by Pat Higgins.

Something got your goat? If there’s a story you would like to see covered in EcoNews, contact us and let us know!


Martin Watson

Jeremy Watson







October/November 2011 ECONEWS

GPU Water Update Continued from page 9

from sinks, showers, and laundry. We can also minimize the water needed for irrigation by landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants. Lowering our Water Footprint Considering “embodied water” is another necessary step to address water shortages locally and worldwide. If we think in terms of the amount of water required in the production of a given good or service, we can more readily understand and reduce our impacts on watersheds throughout the world. For example, a cow raised locally on grass grown without irrigation has a far smaller “water footprint” than a cow raised on commercially-produced grain from another state. Habitat Protection and Restoration Along with the landscape-level solutions noted above, it is also critical to ensure appropriate in-stream and riparian conditions to achieve healthy aquatic systems. Salmon need abundant, clean, cool water to survive. There are local land trusts, restoration consultants, and government grant programs that work to help landowners protect and enhance our waterways through restoration projects, conservation easements, and improved riparian buffers. Our communities, farms, forests, and fish cannot thrive without a clean and abundant water supply. We have the responsibly to correct the harm that’s been done and to prevent future harm from occurring. We do not have the time wait for new regulations to be adopted nor should we rely on regulations to solve our problems. If we want to see the restoration of our watersheds and the salmon’s return to abundance, we must take action now.

Get Involved!

The Planning Commission is finally reaching the end of their deliberations on the draft GPU. In early 2012, the final decisions will be in the hands of our County Board of Supervisors. They need to hear from you about how important it is that we protect our water resources. Your Supervisors need to know that their constituents support policies that will move Humboldt County toward a water-wise future.

Moving Planet March Thousands of protesters around the world marched in support of’s Moving Planet’s campaign to raise awareness about climate change and alternative energy, including alternative transportation. Each year, International Day of Climate Action brings people together all over the planet, for thousands of events in over 160 countries. Arcata’s event was organized by Tanya “TR” Hunt. On September 24, about 100 people (including lots of kids!) marched from the Plaza to City Hall and back again. The march was led by lively drummers, and the event featured three guest speakers, (Rain Ananael, NEC’s Executive Director, and two Arcata City Councilman, Michael Winkler and Shane Brinton). Musician Clay Hawkins followed, with timely and poignant songs on solo guitar.

Water Temperature a Contentious Issue, Comments Needed

Rain Ananael RWB stated in response that the temperature The California Regional Water Quality implementation policy applies broadly to all Control Board, North Coast Region met Thursday, or any land use, while the forest practice rules September 29th in a public hearing to address issues only apply to forestry activities. In addition, riparian protections in the Forest Practice affecting North Coast water resources. Among the Rules only apply to water courses where salmon most contentious of these was an action item on are demonstrably present, whereas RWB’s Resolution R1-2011-0069—“Directing Staff to Use temperature implementation policy provides Existing Authorities to Implement Water Quality for more riparian protections, including streams Objectives for Temperature in the North Coast where salmon are excluded because of barriers to Region and Develop for Board Consideration fish passage. Essentially, based on a litany of best a Basin Plan Amendment to Incorporate a available science, The Anadromous Salmonid Temperature Implementation Policy.” Protection Rules is “insufficient for the protection Many north coast streams are listed as of beneficial uses of the State”. impaired due to elevated in-stream temperatures An extensive body of scientific literature and low dissolved oxygen levels, which are primary supports the fact that adequate riparian stands and factors driving a deadly cycle of water quality and gallery forests improve water temperature, stream bank habitat reduction. stabilization, sediment loads, turbidity and dissolved Eutrophication—usually a fairly slow and oxygen content. Th ese riparian forests also provide gradual natural process, occurring over a period critical habitat for many listed and endangered species of many centuries—is greatly accelerated by many and contribute to the overall health and functioning of human activities, including overfertilization. ecosystems that support all of our resource utilization Nutrient runoff from crop fertilization, irrigation, including agriculture and forestry. and confined livestock causes the proliferation of The forestry and agricultural interests, algae and bacteria in waterways, which speeds however, stated that the loss of riparian stands or up eutrophication. This increases in-stream canopy cover do not result in negative impacts to temperatures, which in turn reduces the dissolved stream temperature and that existing regulatory oxygen content, because the warmer water efforts are sufficient to provide water quality gets, the less oxygen it can hold. The end result guidelines for temperature. is reduced water quality, the loss of cold water CALFIRE, once the California Department refugia for coho and salmon, and ultimately the of Forestry and Fire, explicitly wrote to ask that extirpation of the waterway. the RWB not adopt this resolution because it is (1) In 2009, the Sierra Club and several other unnecessary, (2) redundant, and (3) fails to address non-profit organizations filed a suit alleging that recent changes to the Forest Practice Rules, as per the Regional Water Board (RWB) violated the the Anadromous Salmonid Protection Rules. Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act and Data supports that amphibians, salmon the Federal Clean Water Act by “failing to adopt and other organisms dependent on stream systems a program of implementation for total maximum for rearing and development are experiencing daily loads (TMDL’s) for certain water quality critical losses in population size and viability. impaired water bodies within the North Coast Water quality conditions also affect the health Region of California.” The EPA requires the board of human communities. The RWB needs to to incorporate TMDLs into its management plan. your public support for including temperature Presently, the RWB contends that it has in water quality objectives and a Temperature met all of its requirements of the TMDL, but has Implementation Policy. not compiled all of its temperature implementation efforts into a document that could be used as an implementation plan or guide for all land uses. The Get Involved! incorporation of a temperature implementation Send the RWB your comments! Comments policy does not create any new regulations or will be accepted until October 14. Please additional permitting, but instead directs the contact the Clerk to the Board at RWB to address temperature impairments when 916 341-5600, or send and email to developing permitting programs. The Water Board identifies “temperature as the most widespread impairment in the north coast region” and more influential in terms of aquatic species presence than any other factor. However, testimony heard in the public comment period—given almost exclusively by forestry and agriculture interests—was in opposition to temperature being adopted as a water quality objective, stating that there is no body of scientific evidence to support claims that logging or agriculture impacts associated with the loss of riparian stands or canopy cover result in negative impacts to stream temperature. Many individuals providing testimony heralded that they could not possibly “be responsible for the sun as a water pollutant.” Existing regulation covering water temperature, including the Forest Practice Rules’ recently incorporated Anadromous Salmonid Healthy riparian areas along riverbanks help keep water temperatures Protection Rules, was also emphasized. The cool. Photo: Patrick Dirden, Flickr Creative Commons. Helping Buyers and Sellers make “Green” Decisions about Humboldt County Real Estate. CALL TO LEARN MORE TODAY! Karen Orsolics, Broker/Owner 707-834-1818 655 F Street, Arcata, CA


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ECONEWS October/November 2011


Creature Feature SIX-RAYED SEA STAR Leptaserius hexactis

Wendell Wood During the winter months, Six-rayed sea When exploring the Pacific Northwest’s stars congregate together under a protective rock rocky shores at low tide, there’s a small sea star in groups of over a dozen or more animals. Both (or star fish) to be on the lookout for. Never sexes then spawn pretty much simultaneously, but larger than 4.5 inches across, and usually only the female immediately begins collecting the half that size, the six-rayed sea star is most eggs that are released from pores on top. These readily recognizable by its six arms instead of the are gathered with her tube feet and retained more commonly observed five, characteristic of underneath in the center of her body, which is most other species. then hunched up to create a sort of crude egg The scientific name, brooding pouch, Leptasterius is from Greek surrounded by meaning “slender” or “small”, and her upper arms. “aster” for “star”. Hexactis is from the Greek root “hex”, for “six”. Usually grey in color, and not nearly as conspicuous as the common (and sadly much over-collected) orange or purple ochre sea star, Pisaster ocheraceus, the six-rayed sea star is more likely to be found hidden under rocks. Studies have shown six-rayed sea stars are compete with small, young ochre sea stars for resources. Six-rayed sea stars, like other spiny-skinned (echinoderm) animals, have only a simple Above: Female six-rayed sea star with eggs displayed. radial nervous system, yet they Right: Female sea star hunched to create brooding pouch. demonstrate a maternal brooding Photos: Wendell Wood. behavior unlike most of their other echinoderm The end of each arm just cousins. Six-rayed sea stars brood (and protect) barely remains attached their eggs and young for as long as 2 months! to the surface of the rock Most other echinoderms, such as the urchin and under which she has sought protection. sand dollars, as well as most vertebrate fin-fish, Each yellow, yoke-filled egg is just under simply release sperm and eggs en masse into the a millimeter in size, and the broods range from as sea. This more common, “just-let-everything-go” few as 50 to almost 1,500 total eggs per female. method of reproduction, in echinoderms results These eggs are regularly cleaned by the female in first producing free swimming larvae that sea star over the next 40 days. Any eggs that show no resemblance to the adult. Eventually, are released to the environment and deprived of larvae settle to the bottom and acquire their parental care tend to accumulate various debris, characteristically recognizable adult forms. and soon die.

Star Fish?

Many people now object to calling sea stars, “star fish”, arguing they “really are not fish.” However our most common ochre sea star’s scientific name “Pisaster” literally translates from Latin meaning “fish star”. So, like it or not, it’s a common name we may be stuck with. Likewise, jelly-fish are now more often termed “sea jellies”. So, when talking about the true fish with vertebrae, they are sometimes distinquished by terming them “fin fish.”

During brooding, the female does not feed. The eggs not only block the opening to the sea star’s mouth, but maintaining this more erect brooding posture prevents her from catching small snails and other smaller mollusk prey. In around three weeks, the new little six-rayed sea stars begin to hatch. Only slightly more than one millimeter in size, they are fully formed. During this process, the mother sea star is also believed to assist her young in escaping from the membranes of the eggs that surrounded them. Finally, when their tiny tube feet are developed enough to attach to the substrate, mom finally gets to relax—flattening out again into a “normal” sea star posture. She will continue to brood her tiny starfish young beneath her body for another 20 days or more, before they all finally depart for life on their own. Wendell Wood was one of the first volunteer staffers of the NEC, and initiated the first Arcata Recycling Center. A “life” member of NEC, Wendell presently lives in Crescent City, CA, and serves as Wildlands Interpreter for Oregon Wild.

CR Biodiversity Day & Science Night

You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to attend a series of educationally-focused presentations, uniting University educators and crucial local NPO’s, all in one day!

Biodiversity Presentations at College of the Redwoods is an exciting project to help raise ecological literacy levels and get people excited about the science of nature. This year’s presenters will speak on a variety of ecology related issues.

Mark your calendars! College of the Redwood’s Biodiversity Day and Science Night is coming up on Friday, October 21. Rain Ananael, Executive Director of the NEC, will be presenting: International Year of the Bat: Flying Mammals, an Evolutionary Strategy Based on the Angiosperm Revolution Topics to include: Evolutionary strategies of bats, plant-animal interactions, symbiosis, contemporary conservation issues facing bats.

Day Session

10-11 Pete Haggard (Timber Press) 11-12 Kim McFarland (HSU) 12-1 Dr. Morgan Varner (HSU) 1-2 Dr. Susan Marshall (HSU) 2-3 Dr. Dawn Goley (HSU) 3-4 Peter Galvin (CBD) 4-5 Dr. Matt Johnson (HSU)

Evening Session

5- 5:25 Dr. Susan Marshall (HSU) 5:25- 5:50 Dr. Morgan Varner (HSU) 5:50- 6:15 Kim McFarland (HSU) 6:15- 6:40 Dr. Dawn Goley (HSU) 6:40- 7:05 Andrew Orahoske (EPIC) 7:05- 7:30 Eric Nelson (Refuge) 7:30- 7:55 Beth Werner (Baykeeper) 7:55- 8:20 Rain Ananael (NEC) 8:20- 8:45 TBA 8:45- 9:05 TBA

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October/November 2011 ECONEWS

the Kids’ Page ECOSYSTEMS AROUND US Word Search

Do you know that there are different

types of ecosystems? Some of our local ecosystems include: freshwater and salt water marshes, the dunes, the redwood forest, oak woodlands, and streams/ rivers. Over the next several issues of Econews, the kids’ section will be covering our local ecosystems. We will learn about different plants and animals (called flora and fauna) that live in that ecosystem along what makes it unique. We will also learn where to go to observe the unique things about our area. You can think of an ecosystem as all of the animals and plants in a certain area and the weather and land features with which they interact. It’s a type of habitat, or biological community. Ecosystems can be as small as a football field or as large as the ocean. I like to think of it as a puzzle where all the pieces (like the animals, plants, streams, sun, etc.) work together to give us that ecosystem (wetland, redwood forest, and so on). Like with a puzzle, if one piece is missing, the picture changes. Every single change affects our ecosystems and everything in it. By Sarah Marnick

Color this ecosystem!
























Illustration © Gary Bloomfield, created for Klamath River Studies High School Curriculum. Can you find these species? American Dipper, Black-tailed Deer, Mayfly, White Alder, Willow.

Robert Berg, D.D.S.

212 J Street Eureka, CA 95501 707-445-0784

ECONEWS October/November 2011


Northcoast Environmental Center 791 Eighth St., P.O. Box 4259 Arcata, CA 95521

Desert Ghost Town   A city is being installed in the New Mexico desert that stretches across more than 30 square miles, has roads, office buildings and residential areas—but no people are going to live there.    Instead the $200 million facility will let firms try out their renewable energy technologies, intelligent traffic networks or smart grid systems in a realistic setting rather that a sterile lab environment.    Green technology firms could see how well—or badly—systems work by modeling in a real place, says Pegasus Global Holdings, which simply calls the facility, “the Center”.    Here at the NEC, we’ve been doing a similar kind of modelling— from creating the initial rural recycling center 35 years ago, to being the first to organize a volunteer beach cleanup (that’s now spread all the globe on September 17).    In fact, your environmental center has been in the forefront of almost everything ‘green’ around the North Coast since it was started four decades ago—in a real setting, with real people. What’s more, with your help, it has no plans to stop.    So please contribute ideas, time and/or donations to your ‘Center.’ Thank you!


Join the NEC and support our conservation work! In our fast-paced lives, the indispensable life supports like air, water and wild nature are often overlooked. Your tax-deductible membership donation will get EcoNews delivered into your mailbox every month— and allow us to continue to educate and inform the public about crucial environmental issues that affect this region and our entire planet!

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Klamath River in the Balance: Decoding the Federal Dam Removal Process The NEC, EPIC, the North Group Redwood Chapter Sierra Club, Redwood Region Audubon and Oregon Water Watch are co-sponsoring a public forum on October 19 to discuss the recently released Klamath DEIS/DEIR and ongoing dam removal efforts that will have lasting implications for the health of the Klamath River. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about this complex process and form your own educated opinions. Please join us! Wharfinger Building, Eureka October 19 Doors: 6:00 p.m. Presentations: 6:30-7:45 p.m. Public Q&A following the presentations until 8:30 p.m.

Arcata, California

Vol. 41, No. 5

Oct/Nov 2011


A Publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center Since 1971

The Ball was a Ball! | Coastal Cleanup Roundup | The Quality of Temperature GPU - Water Resources | Avatar Grove | MLPA Update | Shasta TMDL

EcoNews Oct/Nov 2011  

EcoNews is the official bi-monthly publication of the Northcoast Environmental Center, a non-profit organization. Third class postage paid i...

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