Environment / Natural Resources

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sundberg Selected for Coastal Commission

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 2:54 PM

Ryan Sundberg - COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
  • County of Humboldt
  • Ryan Sundberg
Gov. Jerry Brown’s office announced today that Humboldt County Supervisor Ryan Sundberg has been appointed to the North Coast regional seat on the California Coastal Commission.

Sundberg will be the first Native American to serve on the powerful commission charged with determining the fate of California’s 1,100 miles of coastline.

The McKinleyville resident replaces Del Norte County Supervisor Martha McClure, who suffered a resounding defeat at the ballot box in June. He sought out and was recommended for the post by supervisors in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, as well as the Humboldt County Mayor City Select Committee, which also forward the name of Trinidad Mayor Dwight Miller.

Sundberg takes the seat following a time of upheaval on the quasi-judicial body, including the controversial firing of the former director last year and a series of news reports on the cozy relationships that some commissioners had with lobbyists and developers, including McClure.

Read the announcement from Brown’s office below:
Ryan Sundberg, 41, of McKinleyville, has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission. Sundberg has served as a member of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors since 2010. He was a tribal council member at the Trinidad Rancheria from 1994 to 2010 and an insurance agent at Farmers Insurance from 2003 to 2010. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Sundberg is registered without party preference.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Updated: Last Chance Grade Losing More Ground

Posted By on Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 4:02 PM

The lasted  slip out at Last Chance Grade. - CALTRANS
  • Caltrans
  • The lasted slip out at Last Chance Grade.
Update: Motorists traveling along the Last Chance Grade on U.S. Highway 101 south of Crescent City should expect up to 20 minute delays - day or night - as Caltrans works to stabilize a section of roadway there that slipped out on Wednesday.

Caltrans District 1 Facebook post:
TRAFFIC ADVISORY / UPDATE: Motorists using U.S. Highway 101 at Last Chance Grade in Del Norte County (~10 miles south of Crescent City) should anticipate one-way traffic control via temporary traffic signal with 10-to-20 minute delays at ALL HOURS.
Delay lengths are subject to change, and we will update the public with any new changes to delays or work schedules.
Originally, we had anticipated that 60-minute delays would be necessary at this location during nighttime hours only. However, our engineers, field staff, and contractors have found a way to further minimize impacts to traffic while performing the work in a more efficient manner. As the nature of work changes, however, the delay schedules may change as well.
Previously:
A Caltrans spokesperson said today that experts are working on an emergency plan to shore up a section of Last Chance Grade that hasn’t moved in a few years but yesterday lost another 10 feet of roadway.
In the meantime, the geologically active portion of U.S. Highway 101 — located approximately 10 miles south of Crescent City in Del Norte County — remains open to one-way controlled traffic.

“Our priority is to keep the roadway open as long as it’s safe,” Caltrans District 1 public information officer Myles Cochrane said.

He emphasized that the area is currently under 24/7 monitoring during inclement weather along with “near real-time monitoring equipment” to keep a close eye on any movement.

With a long history of instability, the segment of 101 is down to 18-feet of roadway in that section and any further loss could lead to a highway closure, Cochrane said, adding that construction crews were headed to the site this morning. The current plan, he said, is to drive in “left over piles from the Willits bypass project to shore up the area so it doesn’t slide any further.”

"Of course, we will close it down if we have to,” Cochrane said.

That status of the roadway is subject to change and Caltrans will be posting updates. The approximately 9-mile stretch is the subject of a major replacement effort due to the frequency of roadway failure and mounting maintenance costs to keep the vital highway connection open.

According to Caltrans Economic Impact Study, the closure of 101 at Last Chance Grade would result in: $1.3 million per day in travel costs for commercial and passenger vehicles — $450 million each year, as well as $300 to $400 million in reduced economic output in Del Norte County, 3,000 to 4,000 jobs lost, and $130 million in lost wages annually.

Caltrans District 1 Facebook post:
U.S. Highway 101 about a half mile north of Rudisill Road (Last Chance Grade) is experiencing the failure of a retaining wall. This is at the location where 24/7 one-way traffic control with a temporary signal has already been in effect.
The highway lost another 10' of width and is down to 18' for the one lane of traffic. Caltrans staff believe the highway is still safe and the highway remains open at this time. Staff will remain onsite 24/7 to monitor the highway to ensure public safety.
We will provide updates as needed until repairs have been completed.

Updated Caltrans District 1 Facebook post:

UPDATE: U.S. Highway 101 at Last Chance Grade in Del Norte County will be under intermittent full closures during NIGHTTIME HOURS ONLY to accommodate equipment working at the side of last night's slide on the south end of the grade.

The closures are to allow large equipment to drive "micro-piles" (steel rods approx. 8 inches in diameter which will be filled with concrete) into the ground below the remaining lane to ensure that it stays stable. Crews will drive one pile at a time, remove the equipment to allow traffic to clear, then resume driving piles.

This work will be done between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. until this portion of emergency repair work is completed. Motorists should anticipate 60-minute delays during nighttime hours. Daytime traffic remains under one-way traffic control, but should not experience further delays as a result of this work.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 6, 2017

More Rain Than Usual and More to Come

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 2:19 PM

Hey, look, rain! - FILE
  • file
  • Hey, look, rain!
Snowy mountains. Rainy days. Flurries of hard-hitting hail. Unless you’re a fish, the weather continues to be bleak. The optimistic among us are calling it a return to an “old-fashioned Humboldt County winter” after years of drought but how accurate is that?

According to Matthew Kidwell, a meteorologist at Eureka’s National Weather Service office, the Eureka area has been drenched with 48.64 inches of rain since the start of 2017, which is fully 167 percent of normal. He adds that this is about 10 inches more than we experienced last year, which was also above normal.

If you think the chill has been more bitter than usual lately, you’re right. Kidwell says the average high temperature in January was about 3 degrees below normal and that overall we’re coasting below normal for this time of year.

Looking ahead, we have … rain. And more rain. Also, snow. It snowed down to 400 feet above sea level over the weekend, dusting even Crescent City and Willow Creek.

“There’s an increased probability for above normal rainfall and below normal temperatures,” says Kidwell, adding that the hail showers over the weekend caused a lot of accidents.

So bring the pets and plants inside, and be careful on the roads. The NWS would like to hear about your snowfall situation, as well. Check out its Facebook page for more information on how to report snowfall and check its website for the latest weather alerts.

NWS
  • NWS

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, February 27, 2017

Discontinuing a Trail in Arcata's Community Forest

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 11:44 AM

Tim Canning relocates a fern during trail maintenance day in Arcata Community Forest. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Tim Canning relocates a fern during trail maintenance day in Arcata Community Forest.
Early Saturday morning, volunteers gathered in Arcata Community Forest for a trail building work day.

Organized through a partnership between the city of Arcata and the Humboldt Trails Council, 25 volunteers spent the morning working on a section of Trail 4, which was recently rerouted to avoid a steep and slippery section of trail.

Dennis Houghton, parks facilities natural resources supervisor for the city, was directing the transplanting of more than 30 ferns, aided by Rees Huges, a volunteer coordinator of the Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards (and sometimes Journal contributor).

“When we first started four years ago, we had seven or eight people showing up, and now we have a 25 person core group, which has been really good,” Houghton said. “Bottom line is each and every event is open to all, and we encourage people to come and help out. We’ve been partnering with [Humboldt State University], Arcata High School, and the local Boy Scout and Girl Scout Clubs, all helping make this forest accessible and safe to enjoy.”

By the end of the day, more than 100 yards of old trail had been filled with ferns, fallen logs, branches and forest duff and was clearly no longer a path for the bikers, hikers and equestrians who use the forest. David Guyer, a volunteer at the event, said, “I’ve recently moved back to the area after 20 years, and it’s one of the highlights of my week to come out make a good effort. Replanting ferns today was really fantastic.”

The Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards meet at 9 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of every month (excluding December), and welcome volunteers to come help out.
(Left to right) Gary Friedrichsen, John Sullivan, George Nickerson and Orleen Smukler pass limbs down the slope to mix in with replanted ferns. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • (Left to right) Gary Friedrichsen, John Sullivan, George Nickerson and Orleen Smukler pass limbs down the slope to mix in with replanted ferns.
City of Arcata Parks, Facilities and Natural Resources Supervisor Dennis Houghton. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • City of Arcata Parks, Facilities and Natural Resources Supervisor Dennis Houghton.
Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards Coordinator Rees Hughes. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards Coordinator Rees Hughes.
Dennis Houghton directs Naomi Winger, John Cortenbach, Rees Hughes, Alex Orozio, Zachary Matthews, Dan Calderwood and Joshua Sears as they move a fallen tree to block access to the discontinued trail. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Dennis Houghton directs Naomi Winger, John Cortenbach, Rees Hughes, Alex Orozio, Zachary Matthews, Dan Calderwood and Joshua Sears as they move a fallen tree to block access to the discontinued trail.
Volunteers pose for a group photo. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Volunteers pose for a group photo.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday, February 25, 2017

That Dam Breitbart Story

Posted By on Sat, Feb 25, 2017 at 11:39 AM

Irongate Dam on the upper Klamath River. - FILE
  • File
  • Irongate Dam on the upper Klamath River.
If you read a Breitbart News story earlier this month about the Klamath River, you’d be excused for thinking those of us who live along the river are doomed to die in watery graves as soon as the largest dam removal project in U.S. history is complete.

You’d also be very wrong, both for taking a Breitbart story at face value and for thinking dam removal will have any substantial impact on flooding along the Klamath River.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Food Sovereignty, Tribal Sovereignty

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Potawot Community Garden farm stand. - COURTESY OF POTAWOT COMMUNITY GARDEN, UIHS
  • Courtesy of Potawot Community Garden, UIHS
  • Potawot Community Garden farm stand.
When the Northern California Tribal Courts Coalition (NCTCC) was awarded a grant to improve tribal health last year, it didn’t hesitate in identifying food as the keystone. Spearheaded by Program Director Cynthia Boshell, NCTCC will roll out its first Tribal Youth Food Sovereignty Camps later this month. The all-day camps will consist of hands-on education, discussion and participation in growing and cooking native foods. In order to serve youth on the coast and inland, the camp will be repeated on consecutive days: Wednesday, Feb. 22 in Potawot; Thursday, Feb. 23 in Klamath and Friday, Feb. 24 in Orleans.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Salmon

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 11:21 AM

A coho salmon carcass observed during a spawner survey, in which dead adult fish and salmon nests, or redds, are assessed. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB PAGLIUCO
  • Photo courtesy of Bob Pagliuco
  • A coho salmon carcass observed during a spawner survey, in which dead adult fish and salmon nests, or redds, are assessed.
A U.S. District Court judge has sided with those trying to protect coho salmon in the Klamath River, ruling yesterday that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service must release more water from the Klamath dams. The release of the water is intended to mitigate the death of coho from a parasite,Ceratanova shasta, which causes cell decay in intestinal tissue, severe inflammation and death. Large percentages of the endangered species died from infection in 2014 and 2015, a phenomenon fisheries experts have blamed on low river flows and warm water, where the parasite thrives.

Judge William H. Orrick ruled that the Bureau had mismanaged the river, causing "irreparable" harm to the salmon. The Hoopa and Yurok tribes filed two different suits in 2016 alleging that the government had failed to adhere to the Endangered Species Act as it did not commit to mitigation measures when it became clear that low flows and warm water were causing immense salmon die-offs, impacting the long-term health of the species and the ability of the tribes to continue traditional fisheries practices.

The court has ordered the Bureau to release "flushing flows" of water in the winter and early spring that should flush out C. shasta worms. Additional mitigation measures will also be taken.

The legal decision is being hailed as an important first step as tribes and other groups work to remove the remaining dams on the Klamath.

Reached by phone this morning, Konrad Fisher of the Klamath Riverkeeper said his group was pleased with the judge's decision, but more work remained.

"This litigation was specifically about disease management, ultimately we need to not only manage disease but restore populations," he said.

In a press release, Thomas P. O'Rourke Sr., chairman of the Yuroke tribe, said that the ruling will give the salmon a "fighting chance until we can get the lower four dams out."

Louis Moore, of the Bureau of Reclamation's Sacramento office, stated that the agency was reviewing the court decision to "assess what it really means," adding that the the Bureau "always complies with the law."


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Next Generation March on Wells Fargo: 'Divest' the DAPL

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 10:50 AM

Four protesters brought a large white bucket filled with molasses, which mimicked the look of oil as they let it drip down their arms in protest of Wells Fargo. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • Four protesters brought a large white bucket filled with molasses, which mimicked the look of oil as they let it drip down their arms in protest of Wells Fargo.
A group of seven young protesters gripped a long white banner reading, “Divest,” which stretched across G Street in Arcata. As the youth leaders marched north, they yelled, “Water is what?” “Water is life,” the fellow protesters responded.

The protesters marched from the Arcata Plaza to Wells Fargo on Saturday, led by Indigenous youth from the Karuk, Hoopa and Yurok tribes. After gathering, the group of more than 100 marched to the local branch of one of the largest banks financing the North Dakota Access Pipeline.

Hoopa Valley tribal member Nah-Tes Jackson was the first to speak to the crowd of 100 or so protesters on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • Hoopa Valley tribal member Nah-Tes Jackson was the first to speak to the crowd of 100 or so protesters on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday.
“We are all connected in the same journey,” Nah-Tes Jackson, a Hoopa tribal member, said after he shared his own experience of protesting in Standing Rock for four months. The protest and march came three days after President Donald Trump inked an executive order to rekindle the pipeline project, as well as the Keystone XL.

On the plaza prior to the march, three native youths stepped nervously in front of the crowd as it continued to expand. Kis-dyan-te’ Joseph, a 16 year old from the Hoopa Shoshone Piute and Karuk tribes, lead a Brush Dance song she discovered while protesting in Standing Rock.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Return of the California Condor

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 11:01 AM

Yurok Wildlife Program biologist Tiana Williams releases a condor in Big Sur. - COURTESY OF THE YUROK TRIBE
  • Courtesy of the Yurok Tribe
  • Yurok Wildlife Program biologist Tiana Williams releases a condor in Big Sur.
The Yurok Tribe led a major effort to restore a bird that hasn’t been seen on the North Coast for over a century. The Tribe teamed up with a number of agencies, including PG&E, The National Park Service, U.S. Wildlife and Fisheries and the National Park Foundation to restore the California condor population.

“The condor has played a major part in Yurok ceremonies and culture since time immemorial,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., chairman of the Yurok Tribe, in a press release. “It is through collaborative projects like this that we will bring balance back to our natural world.”

The condors will be released into the Yurok ancestral territory located in Redwood National Park. “The park staff at Redwood National and State Parks is excited to work alongside the Yurok Tribe and our park neighbors to eventually return the iconic California condor to its historic range along the North Coast,” said Steven Prokop, Redwood National Park superintendent, in a press release.

The National Park Service is seeking public comments on Jan. 24, at the Wharfinger building, in Eureka. This public meeting will be one of five held in order to listen to public comment on the restoration project.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 9, 2017

Flooding Expected on the Eel, Van Duzen

Posted By on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 2:21 PM

A Mercer Fraser Co. crew rescues a stranded hiker near the Eel River this morning. Officials are warning of more flooding to come as rain continues to fall this week. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • A Mercer Fraser Co. crew rescues a stranded hiker near the Eel River this morning. Officials are warning of more flooding to come as rain continues to fall this week.

With more rain in the forecast, officials are warning that the Eel and Van Duzen rivers are expected to crest their banks as low-lying areas of the county flood on Tuesday.

This weekend’s storm, which dumped between 4 and 5 inches over the last 72 hours, left a Fortuna woman stranded with her two dogs this morning as the Eel River rose around her. Ultimately a Mercer Fraser Co. construction crew used a front loading tractor to cross the 4-to-5 foot deep flooded area and carry the woman and her canine companions to safety at about 8 a.m.

“She probably could have walked across,” said Fortuna Volunteer Fire Chief Lon Winburn, whose agency assisted with the rescue. “But it's a good thing she called us just in case. There was no current because it was just back water.”

The weekend's rainfall left multiple rivers and some roads flooded, and the area is expected to receive another 3 to 5 inches of precipitation this week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Charboneau said the two rivers with the largest flood danger are the Eel and the Van Duzen. Additionally, about 10 roads are currently closed due to flooding, with more expected as the rain continues to fall.

“People should be very aware that there is a high amount of water on the roads,” Charboneau said.

The Eel River is expected to reach about 20 feet by tomorrow afternoon and, by evening, the river is expected to pass flood stage and increase to 23.6 feet. The Van Duzen River is ex-pected to reach 18 feet, a foot above its flood stage.

According to the National Weather Service, “record river levels are expected with disastrous flooding throughout the Eel Delta. Most roads will be impassable including (State Route) 211 to Ferndale, and access will be severely restricted. All persons should take action to protect life and property.”

Charboneau said that between the rainfall and tomorrow’s high tide, some low-lying areas of Humboldt — like the Arcata bottoms and King Salmon — will see some flooding from both rain and tides.

Humboldt Bay Fire Battallion Chief Chris Jelianek said there have been no serious accidents or mudslides from the recent rainfall, but he says tomorrow may be a different story as more flood-ing is expected.

“We have been pretty lucky so far,” Jelianek said.

We are expected to gather another 2 to 3 inches tomorrow. The rain is supposed to slow down Wednesday before picking up again later in the week.

CalTrans spokesperson Myles Cochrane said there was a flood on State Route 254 through the Avenue of the Giants and the road is closed but expected to reopen to controlled traffic at around 5 p.m. today.

“Its best that people check their route with CalTrans before traveling,” Cochrane said.

Roads currently closed from flooding:
Redwood Drive at bluffs
Coffee Creek
Dillon Road between Riverside and Goble Lane
Goble Lane between Dillon and Fulmor
Goble Lane between Fulmor and Sage
Goble Lane between Sage and State Route 211
Fulmor Road past Goble Lane
Nissen Road
Camp Weott
Meridian Road
Port Kenyon Road


  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recent Comments

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2017 The North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation

humboldt