Photo: Martin Swett



News From the Center

By Dan Ehresman

The year’s end and the new year’s beginning is an important time at the Northcoast Environmental Center in assessing the past, taking stock of what we have and setting a path for the days ahead. During this time of reflection and planning, one tool greatly helped in our assessment: the NEC Questionnaire that was sent out with our end-of-2014 letter. Thanks to everyone who provided such an invaluable response! Much of the feedback affirmed the work we are currently engaged in, but there were some surprises as well.

In the most popular part of the survey, respondents rated issues they felt were most important for the NEC to engage on.




Federal Legal Opinion Favors Humboldt County’s Claim on Trinity Water

By Tom Stokely

In a major reversal of past Interior Department legal opinions, the department’s solicitor, Hilary C. Tompkins, affirmed in January that Humboldt County’s 50,000 acre-foot contract for Trinity River water with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is in addition to fishery flows.




Enviro Legal Challenges to Rail Agency Head to CA Supreme Court

By Scott Greacen

When the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) refused to make good on its promises to conduct environmental review before rebuilding the failed, state-owned Northwest Pacific rail line from Humboldt Bay to the San Francisco Bay Area, Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics sued in state court. Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), was an explicit condition of tens of millions of dollars in state funding granted to the agency to rebuild the line. The California Supreme Court has taken the Friends of the Eel River v. NCRA case under review.




Water Board begins National Forest Clean Water Review

By Felice Pace

Most EcoNews readers are aware that Northwest California contains an abundance of national forest land. In Humboldt County, 34 percent of the land base is public land, with most being national forest administered by the US Forest Service. For Mendocino County, the figure is 20 percent, and Siskiyou County is 64 percent. Over 75 percent of Trinity and Del Norte County land is public. On the North Coast, national forests occupy the headwaters of our rivers; this makes them critical to maintaining the high quality cold water on which salmon and steelhead, as well as our river and tribal economies, depend.



Kin to the Earth: Martin Litton, the Resolute

By Dan Sealy

People who knew conservation stalwart Martin Litton use words like “determined,” “uncompromising” and “strong-willed” to describe his approach to saving important places in the American West. 

Lucille Vinyard, former head of the North Group of the Sierra Club who lives above Moonstone Beach, recalled that Litton “stuck to his guns” when confronted with opponents of efforts to save Redwood National Park from logging, the Grand Canyon from dams and Mineral King in the Sierra from a Disney resort. Latimer Smith, a young river guide who has rafted the Colorado River through Grand Canyon all of his life, uses the word “Resolute.” That word rings true. Martin Litton died on November 30th, 2014 at age 97, in his home in Portola Valley. He is survived by his wife and two sons.






Third Annual Earth Day Hoedown!

Click here for more information


First Annual Tim McKay Birdathon!

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


Humboldt Recycling Contract Moves to Front Burner

By Zero Waste Humboldt

The Humboldt Waste Management Authority’s recycling contract signed in 2011 with Solid Waste of Willits, the out-of-area company that beat out the now defunct Arcata Community Recycling Center for the contract, expires in 2016. The HWMA has initiated a Request For Proposals (RFP) process to culminate in a final RFP release approximately July 2015 and a contract award in the fall 2015. 

It is imperative that HWMA gets this right.
Your input will be most effective if received by mid-January 2015.



New NEC T-shirts and Hoodies!

Finally! We have some great new t-shirts and hoodies for sale with a vintage NEC design. The illustration features trillium, ferns, redwood leaves, an osprey, a sperm whale, a wolverine, a wolf and crashing waves. Short-sleeved Ts, long-sleeved Ts, girl-cut Ts, and a couple of women's hoodies.

Call the NEC to get yours today!