Photo: Martin Swett



News From the Center

By Dan Ehresman

Throughout the west it is no secret that we are entering the fourth year of an unprecedented drought: snow pack is at an all time low, reservoirs are depleted and groundwater is being sucked out at alarming rates to serve California’s ecologically egregious agriculture.

In the midst of a worsening climate crisis, we are facing significant ecological threats within our bioregion. And, as it happens sometimes, several major threats are hitting us all at once. From the proposed fracked natural gas pipeline project in southern Oregon and the gold ore processing facility that was eyeing the old LP pulp mill on the Samoa peninsula, to unprecedented salvage logging proposals and a draft marijuana ordinance that would open up North Coast forests to more industrial marijuana grows—we need all hands on deck to ensure that bad ideas such as these do not see the light of day.




Advocating for Real Recovery in “Westside” Post-Fire Logging Proposal

By Amber Shelton, EPIC

The largest timber sale ever proposed in the Klamath National Forest calls for 43,883 acres of post-fire logging in steep, unstable high value watersheds. The proposal is deceitfully named the Westside Fire Recovery Project, but instead of acting as a prescription for recovery, the proposal would devastate watersheds, salmon, sensitive animal and plant species, fragment wildlife corridors, impact roadless areas and degrade watersheds. It also proposes to plant 20,000 acres of plantation forests that would increase the potential for high intensity fires in the future.




Supervisors Pass the Buck on Problem Pot

By Dan Ehresman

On March 12, a suspect in a violent Southern Humboldt home invasion robbery was apprehended near my house after a police pursuit through Eureka. The day before, the jury on which I nearly served found a man guilty of murdering an Alderpoint resident. And the week before, I was randomly assaulted outside my home. The previous encounter may not be directly related to our region’s #1 cash crop, but together these events are a personal reminder that Humboldt County’s violent crime rate has been rising—even as the state’s has been falling.

Tied to this violence is an endless string of abuses committed against our planet for profit. When some people look at our region’s remote places—our forests, secluded property and flowing streams—they see not wildness but mountains of money.



Single-use Carry-out Plastic Bags: Board of Supervisors Saga Continues

By Jud Ellinwood

Ever been stuck in rush hour traffic and had the sensation you are never going to reach your destination? Start. Stop. Start. Stop. And on and on. That’s the feeling you get if you’ve been watching the County Board of Supervisors (BOS) effort to eliminate generation of single-use carry out plastic bag waste in Humboldt’s unincorporated areas.




Lily Pesticides Contaminate Smith River

By Greg King, Siskiyou Land Conservancy

Ninety-five percent of all Easter lily bulbs (Lilium longiflorum) produced in North America are grown along a tiny sliver of coastline in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. The bulk of these bulbs come from the rich bottomlands of the Smith River Plain, in Del Norte County, which surrounds the estuary of the biologically critical Smith River. In order to sustain this sprawling monoculture, lily farmers have resorted to applying large amounts of pesticides. These pesticides, as we now know from four significant discoveries, since the 1980s, of toxic waters in and around the estuary, could prove to be the greatest challenge to the Smith River’s aquatic species, particularly its iconic salmon and steelhead populations.




Kin to the Earth: Eel River Cleanup Crews

By Justin Zakoren

In the first few months of 2015, community members from throughout southern Humboldt County have been rallying to roadsides, ridgetops, creek beds, and campsites, to confront the growing presence of trash in and surrounding their communities. So far, cleanup efforts in the Alderpoint and Garberville-Redway areas have resulted in more than 15,000 pounds of trash being removed from roadsides, campsites, and Eel River tributaries. The individuals leading this ongoing effort are a diverse crew who share the same common vision: a cleaner, healthier Humboldt.






Cleanup & Hoedown on April 25
for Earth Day!

Help clean up debris from our coasts and waterways in celebration of Earth Day! Then join us for the third annual Olde Time Hoedown at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center in the afternoon. Cleanup volunteers get free entry to the Hoedown!

Click here for more information


First Annual Tim McKay Birdathon May 1-9!

This May, have fun looking for birds while raising money! In memory of Tim McKay, longtime director of the NEC, our Birdathon will benefit both the NEC and Redwood Region Audubon Society.

Register as an individual or as a team, and gather pledges based on the number of birds you find in 24 hours. You can participate from anywhere in the world! Prizes will be awarded for the most donations collected.

The Birdathon will take place during the week of May 1 - May 9.

Click here for more information and to download pledge forms


OR-7 The Journey Film Night, Friday, May 1

Join the NEC, EPIC, Bird Ally-X and the Center for Biological Diversity for the Arcata premier screening of the documentary OR7 - The Journey.
OR7 - The Journey documents a remarkable wildlife success story that is taking shape in Oregon, with the rebouning wolf population and a young male wolf who wandered across the border into California - making history as the first wolf in California in nearly a century. 

The film tells Journey’s story, not just as an adventure thousands of miles in the making, but representing the return of his species to their native habitats and explores an awakening in how Americans view native wildlife and wild places.