Due to the Trump administration, it is expected that we will face unprecedented challenges to our fundamental freedoms and rights both as a nation and as individuals. This both angers and saddens me deeply.
Equally disturbing is the clear and present danger this administration and Congress pose to the air we breath, the water we drink, the land we love, and the planet we all share. At a similar dark moment—June 4, 1940—Great Britain was surrounded by enemies and all hope seemed lost, when Sir Winston Churchill said, “…when we see the originality of malice, the ingenuity of aggression, which our enemy displays, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous maneuver…we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”
Against seemingly impossible odds, the British won that fight and so shall we win ours. That was then, this is now. The Sierra Club has been winning environmental battles since 1892, the North Group Sierra Club since 1964. The Sierra Club never has and never will back down when it comes to the environment. Neither should you, and we want your help.
Some of our plans for 2017:
1. We are fortunate that we have an outstanding Congressional representative and environmental champion in Jared Huffman. We intend to work closely with him and his staff to protect the environment.
2. We will work closely with your North Coast Environmental Center and the many outstanding environmental groups here in Humboldt to leverage our strength.
3. We will initiate regular letter writing get-togethers. Personal handwritten letters are the most effective way to influence lawmakers. This will provide you with a simple and effective way to make a difference (everything matters!), and meet like minded others.
4. We will increase our presence on social media to make it easier for you to stay current with what we are up to.
5. We plan to increase greatly the number of regular presentations by experts so that you can learn more to do more. Besides, learning is fun!
6. You will be seeing a lot more of us at local events like Godwit Days and the North Country Fair. The time is now and the moment is upon us. I look forward to meeting you!
Elk River Defense
Residents of Lower Elk River have been struggling for decades to get the North Coast Water Board to curtail logging on the basin’s steep upper slopes. Past logging filled the channel with sediment, resulting in flooding that continues to make roads impassible and damages homes and orchards. Last year Water Board staff finally proposed Waste Discharge Requirements for Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) that would have curtailed wet weather logging and increased protection for riparian areas and unstable slopes.
Under pressure from HRC and Green Diamond Resources (another Upper Elk River timber company), the governor-appointed board first delayed a decision and finally, on November 30, gutted the extra protection staff had proposed. Board member Gregg Giusti acted as the timber industry’s top machete man, slashing riparian protection and restrictions on wet weather logging.
The North Group has steadfastly supported pleas of Elk River residents for protection from logging sediment. That’s why we’ve joined EPIC in appealing to the State Water Board to overturn the decision. Elk River residents are also appealing.
Water Board members are supposed to protect us and our water; they have no business acting as agents for timber corporations. Please let the governor-appointed members of the North Coast Water Board know what you think of their Elk River decision. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that your message be forwarded to all board members. Or write to Board Members John W. Corbett, David Noren, Hector Bedolla, Geoffrey Hales, Kelli Gant, Gregory Giusti and Valerie Minton directly: North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, 5550 Skylane Blvd., Ste. A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.
One need not be a Sierra Club member to participate in these outings. Please join us!
Sunday, February 12—North Group Ma-le’l Dunes Hike. Get away from it all, close to the town of Manila on Humboldt Bay. Expansive sand dunes, lush coastal forest, tidelands, the beach. No dogs. Bring water and lunch. Carpools by prior arrangement, or BLM trailhead off SR 255 and Young Lane at 9 a.m. Heavy rain cancels. Easy hike, 5 miles, less than 1,000 feet elevation change. Leader Ned, 707-825-3652, email@example.com.
Wednesday, February 22—North Group, Former Coastal Drive Hike, Redwood National Park. Walk old roadway closed to vehicles since 2011, hugging bluffs overlooking rugged coast. Maintained road resumes in 3 miles, near High Bluffs Overlook. Optional side trip north to disguised WWII radar station. Return same route. Dress for coastal exposure. Bring lunch, water. No dogs. Class M-6-A. Meet 9 a.m. Rays Valley West, 10:30 a.m. Trailhead (Coastal Drive south closure gate). Leader Melinda 707-668-4275, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 5—North Group Trinidad State Beach Hike. Let’s explore Trinidad’s coastline, from Elk Head to Trinidad Head and Indian Beach. Beaches, woods, cliffs, pounding surf. Visitor services. Bring water and lunch, or plan to get a meal in town. No dogs. Easy hike, 4 miles, less than 1,000 feet elevation change. Heavy rain cancels. Carpools: Meet 9 a.m. Valley West (Ray’s) Shopping Center. Leader Ned, email@example.com, 707-825-3652.
Saturday, March 18—North Group, Skunk Cabbage Trail, Redwood National Park. A favorite spring hike! The trail follows Skunk Cabbage Creek, passing stands of freshly-blooming namesake plant and a dainty sprinkle of others, to a high coastal overlook, then winds northward and descends gradually to the beach. Bring water, lunch. Wear layers, hiking footwear. No dogs. Class M-8-A. Meet 9 a.m. Ray’s Valley West, 10 a.m. Trailhead. Leader Melinda 707-668-4275, firstname.lastname@example.org.