Environment / Natural Resources

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Korbel Mill Sold

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12:40 PM

FROM THE CALIFORNIA REDWOOD CO. WEBSITE
  • FROM THE CALIFORNIA REDWOOD CO. WEBSITE
The Korbel Mill, which has been for sale for almost two years and closed down last February, recently sold to the Trinity River Timber Company.

Green Diamond Resource Company, which owned the sawmill, announced the sale — which includes the fixed mill assets, a lease of the property and associated log and lumber yards and a log supply agreement with Green Diamond timberlands — in a press release today.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Local Conservationists Ask FLOTUS to Dance

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2016 at 10:39 AM

Griffith (in sunglasses) and CCC corpsmembers performing at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 2014. - YOUTUBE
  • Youtube
  • Griffith (in sunglasses) and CCC corpsmembers performing at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 2014.
Hey, Michelle Obama, have any plans for May 20 and 21? That's when three members of our local Fortuna California Conservation Corps will be in Washington, D.C. to help celebrate the National Parks Service centennial with a nature-inspired dance. And, yeah, they want you to join in.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Remains Found at Cuneo Creek Park Identified

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2016 at 1:16 PM

coroner.gif
Human remains found in Cuneo Creek State Park in 2014 have been identified by the county coroner's office as those of a Mexican citizen, 31-year-old Luis Eduardo Raya. The Journal originally broke the story here. (Heads up: the original story includes a photograph of the remains.)

While the press release says the remains were identified via DNA testing in August 2015, Undersheriff William Honsal told the Journal there was no call for the information to be released to the public at that time. The coroner made arrangements with Raya's family to transport his remains back to Mexico.

But a recent large-scale marijuana bust near the same area (see press release, below) renewed public attention to the remains, with some media outlets reporting that the two might be connected. This, says Honsal, is why the coroner's office was directed to send out a press release identifying Raya. Neither Honsal nor Deputy Coroner Roy Horton could confirm a connection between Raya and the grow site when the Journal contacted them Wednesday, and a cause of death for Raya is still unknown. 

From the California Department of Parks and Recreation:


WEOTT, Calif. - California State Park Rangers, assisted by multiple agencies, raided an illegal marijuana grow in Humboldt Redwoods State Park removing marijuana seedling plants, an assault rifle and toxic chemicals Monday, May 9, 2016.

Three armed suspects were located in a nearby illegal camp near Bull Creek and fled on foot when contacted by law enforcement. The three suspects remain at large.

At the illegal camp, rangers recovered an MK99 type assault rifle with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Rangers also found rodenticides and Furdadan, a highly toxic pesticide, within the grow site. Approximately 2,000 seedling marijuana plants were removed.

Twenty acres of State Park land had been illegally cleared of native vegetation. The marijuana plants were watered directly from water diverted from the tributaries of Bull Creek.

Forty cubic yards of trash, fertilizers, pesticides, rodenticides, water hoses, hazardous material and other supplies were removed from the area. Disposal costs were paid for in part with assistance from the Humboldt County Public Works’ "Measure Z" public safety funding.

The marijuana grow and camp was found within a quarter-mile of pristine old-growth redwood forest. Rangers were assisted by the California National Guard, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Lear Asset Management. A team from the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps assisted with trash removal.

Anyone with information regarding this particular resource crime or others on our State Parks lands please contact California State Parks at (707) 445-6547.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Celebration of Life for Lucille Vinyard

Posted By on Sat, May 7, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Lucille Vinyard - RON MASTROGIUSEPPE
  • Ron Mastrogiuseppe
  • Lucille Vinyard
The "Mother of Redwood National Park," a woman who once gave a funny, irreverent interview to the Journal about activism, widowhood and Ronald Reagan's predilection for makeup, Lucille Vinyard, is being honored at Humboldt State University on Sunday, May 22. 

Vinyard, who passed away in December, a day after her friend and fellow activist, Susie VanKirk, was instrumental in preserving sections of old growth redwood during the 1960s. The debate about logging was so contentious that, at one point, she had to be escorted in and out of meetings, for her own safety. Dan Sealy, vice-president of the Northcoast Environmental Center's board of directors, described her as a "really, really brave person."

"She loved to hike, loved to be outdoors and she wanted everybody to love the outdoors the way she did," said Sealy.

Community members are invited to bring their own recollections of Vinyard to share on May 22. 

From Sue Leskiw of the Redwood Region Audubon Society:

Community members are invited to gather for a Celebration of the Life of Lucille Bartlett Vinyard, who passed away on December 30 at the age of 97. The event will be held on Sunday, May 22, starting at 2 p.m. at the Kate Buchanan Room on the Humboldt State University (HSU) campus (directions at www.humboldt.edu/maps/rooms). A few invited speakers will share remembrances of Lucille. Then, attendees can add to her story via an open mic (2-minute maximum each). After the reminiscences, participants are welcome to mingle and enjoy champagne and desserts. A selection of Lucille’s journals, correspondence, diaries, reports, and photos from her HSU archival collection will be on display.

Lucille was an accomplished environmental activist and conservationist, known to many as the “Mother of Redwood National Park.” In 1964, she helped form the North Group of the Sierra Club’s Redwood Chapter and led in the battle to preserve the remaining ancient redwood forests in the region. She was a founding board member of the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) and the Redwood Natural History Association. Lucille is also remembered for her efforts to pass the California Coastal Zone Protection Act and the California Wilderness Act.

If you would like to contribute a short piece about Lucille for sharing through the NEC website, send them to fomuir@gmail.com. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the HSU Library’s Vinyard and Van Kirk Trust, to help pay for archiving the records of Lucille and Susie Van Kirk (who passed away one day after Lucille) or to the Vinyard/van Kirk Environmental Education Fund, which supports sending local children to outdoor camp. The link for the HSU account is https://library.humboldt.edu/giving/vankirk.html. To make a camp donation, send a check payable to North Group Sierra Club, P.O. Box 238, Arcata CA 95518. Please write “Camper Fund” in the memo line.

If you have questions, contact Sue Leskiw at sueleskiw1@gmail.com.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Full Report: Judge Allows Bulk of PalCo Marsh Evictions to Proceed, Saying "I Have 11 Litigants"

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 6:39 PM

A current camp in the PalCo Marsh. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • A current camp in the PalCo Marsh.
OAKLAND — Eleven homeless people in Eureka cannot be evicted from a long-established homeless encampment on Monday unless the city complies with yet-to-be-determined conditions for their alternative shelter, a federal judge ruled from the bench this afternoon.


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

'A Significant Threat': Eureka Responds to Lawsuit, Offers Contradictory Declarations

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 4:49 PM

The Devil's Playground, a looming liability concern for the city of Eureka, must be removed by early summer or the city risks losing its insurance coverage.
  • The Devil's Playground, a looming liability concern for the city of Eureka, must be removed by early summer or the city risks losing its insurance coverage.
The city of Eureka is arguing in a federal court filing that there is no need for a judge to issue a temporary restraining order halting the city’s planned May 2 eviction of homeless people living in the PalCo Marsh, because there’s no threat that they will be irreparably harmed by being forced to relocate. Further, the city argues, if there is a threat of irreparable harm, it would be to the city if it's forced to delay the evictions, which it argues could jeopardize millions in grant funds, expose the city to liability and enable an ongoing environmental disaster.

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'Minimum Standards': Federal Suit Seeking to Halt Marsh Evictions to be Heard Friday

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 8:55 AM

A camp on the waterfront. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • A camp on the waterfront.
On Monday afternoon, local attorney Peter Martin and Eureka City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson got together for lunch. The topic of the day was a lawsuit Martin was working on and looking to bring against the city stemming from its ordering about 150 homeless people in the Palco Marsh to vacate the area by May 2.

Day-Wilson had reached out to Martin in the hopes of dissuading him from filing the lawsuit and, according to Martin, during lunch she explained to him that the city simply didn’t have any money to help relocate the soon-to-be-displaced marsh residents. “I’m always a little bit suspicious of government officials who tell me they don’t have any money, because it seems they have money for the things they deem important,” Martin said.

By the end of the day, Martin had filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 11 plaintiffs, alleging the city was violating their constitutional rights and the protections of the federal Uniform Relocation Assistance Act. On the surface, the main tenet of Martin’s argument is a pretty simple one: By pushing people out of the marsh and enforcing its anti-camping ordinance when there isn’t enough shelter space to accommodate them, the city is illegally criminalizing homelessness and violating people’s rights.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

TL;DR: Five Themes to Up-cycle from the Green Issue

Posted By on Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 9:43 AM

green_issue.jpg
Did you throw away too much time this week? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a recycled version of this week's Green Issue, and five reasons why Humboldt County is a great place to go Zero Waste.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Droppin' (Recreational) Pots for Dungeness

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 6:53 PM

DREW HYLAND
  • Drew Hyland
Dust off your kayak and stock up on butter. While commercial fishing for both rock and Dungeness crab is still on hold in our county due to unsafe levels of toxic domoic acid, which can prove harmful and even deadly to humans, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced recreational Dungeness crab fishing is a go in Humboldt County. 

The department's press release today lists "Recreational Dungeness crab fishery open along mainland coast south of 40° 46.15 N Latitude, at the Humboldt Bay entrance, Humboldt County, including ocean waters of Humboldt Bay" as open and safe according to recent testing. Rock crab is still not clear for recreational fishing, and there is no word on when or if there will be a commercial crab fishing season.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

TL;DR: Five Things You Need to Know About This Week's Cover Story

Posted By on Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 11:10 AM

cover0414.jpg
Busy week? We get it, and we're not judging. Here are some highlights from “Until the Sun Sets” to get you caught up.

On April 6, federal, state and tribal officials descended on Yurok Tribal land to ink a new pact to remove four hydroelectric dams that have choked the Klamath River for decades. It was a historic day, but beyond the pomp and circumstance, what does the deal really mean for the river and the new path forward toward dam removal?

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