Agriculture

Monday, December 9, 2019

Trump Administration Food Stamp Cuts Will Hit 3,600 in Humboldt

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 9:05 AM

The Trump administration has announced that it will be changing food stamp eligibility requirements, which could cut nutrition assistance to 688,000 Americans, including more than 3,500 in Humboldt County.

On Dec. 4, the administration announced it would be eliminating waivers that allow counties with high unemployment rates to allow able-bodied adults without dependents who work fewer than 80 hours a month to receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than three months. Currently, 52 of California’s 58 counties, including Humboldt, have such waivers in place.

FILE
  • File
Nationally, 13 percent of the population receives assistance buying groceries through SNAP.

According to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Humboldt currently has 3,606 residents who receive benefits through the program — administered as CalFresh in California — who would be impacted by the change. They receive anywhere from $16 to $194 a month in benefits, which come in the form of an EBT card that can only be used to purchase food, including fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, grains and other staples.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 14, 2019

CHP, Sheriff's Office Upping the Enforcement Ante on Driving Around Livestock

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 10:04 AM

Cattle on Old Briceland Road will have to share their grazing ground with impatient travelers later this month. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIANNE ODISIO
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIANNE ODISIO
  • Cattle on Old Briceland Road will have to share their grazing ground with impatient travelers later this month.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and CHP are jointly “beefing up” (their words, not ours) enforcement around and awareness of driving on county roads with livestock crossings.

According to a release, both agencies “CHP have received numerous reports of livestock being struck by motorists” over the last year.

“As a rural county, several Humboldt County roads have easements granting the public passage through otherwise private lands; some of these lands being livestock pastures,” the release states.

“On county roads with easements, livestock have the right of way. While a fence is still needed to keep them on their property, it is not needed to keep them off the section of the road running through the property (often marked by cattle guards).
This does not apply to state highways, where a lawful fence is required, and livestock are not permitted to freely cross,” it continues.

One of the roads where this might occur is Old Briceland Road, which is receiving an upgrade to act as a detour for when the county starts repairs on Briceland Thorn Road, likely at the end of month.

As Marianne Odisio — who delivers mail in the area — says in this week’s JournalRough Road Ahead," Old Briceland Road runs through the working cattle ranch and this is calving season.
Calves from a previous year watching a vehicle pass along Old Briceland Road. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIANNE ODISIO
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIANNE ODISIO
  • Calves from a previous year watching a vehicle pass along Old Briceland Road.
"For the first few days of a calf's life, they are pretty clueless about vehicles," she said, adding that she’s also worried about the safety of domestic animals and wildlife in the area. "Sometimes ... a newborn calf will be standing on its wobbly little newborn legs in the middle of the road and you will have to slow down or stop until they get safely out of your way."

The release also notes that a driver can face hit and run charges for leaving the scene after striking livestock.

Read the full HCSO and CHP release below:


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, September 9, 2019

'Responsible Resilience' on Display at Cooperation Humboldt's Edible Garden Tour

Posted By on Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 10:24 AM

As you walk into Karen Shepherd and Bradley Thompson’s backyard in Arcata, you are met with a beautifully diverse food forest with an array of vegetables, flowers and fruits, from asparagus and pears to onions and cabbage. Shepherd and Thompson began working on their food forest after they moved into their house 19 years ago. Like most homeowners, their backyard was just a lawn but, with much determination and hard work, they transformed it into a sustainable, food-producing garden and, in some ways, an ecosystem.

“When we first moved in here, we had a lawn but we wanted to be experimental. The grass kind of gave us a fresh start, a blank slate to begin our garden,” Shepherd said. “It’s become less of a garden and more of a habitat, with all the animals, bugs and even the weeds that grow.”

Cabbage in Karen Shepherd and Bradley Thompson's food-producing garden. - IRIDIAN CASAREZ
  • Iridian Casarez
  • Cabbage in Karen Shepherd and Bradley Thompson's food-producing garden.

Shepherd and Thompson’s yard was one of eight edible gardens within Eureka and Arcata that participated in Cooperation Humboldt’s first Edible Garden Tour, which the group hopes will become an annual event. Cooperation Humboldt (CH) is Humboldt County nonprofit that looks to create a solidarity economy with a few different areas of focus: food production and distribution, economic democracy, arts and culture, housing and care. CH’s food program works under the premise that food is a basic human right and has piloted programs like Little Blue Pantry and Food Not Lawns to try to make food more available to everyone. CH’s food program is also designed to help residents take back skills needed to build responsible resilience, like growing their own food, which helped inspire the edible garden tour. 


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday, February 11, 2019

Harbor District Approves Lease for Massive Fish Farm

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 8:29 PM

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass speaks at the crowded hearing. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass speaks at the crowded hearing.
The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District today approved a 30-year lease with Norwegian company Nordic Aquafarms to build a massive fish farm at the former pulp mill after hearing concerns the deal was ushered through without public review.

The plan is to build a land-based aquaculture facility that would eventually produce some 25,000 tons of fish a year – likely salmon or steelhead – to serve as the West Coast hub for Nordic Aquafarms, which is currently in the process of developing an East Coast equivalent in Belfast, Maine.

The agreement comes with two automatic 10-year renewals but also includes a three-year option, or “planning period,” during which the company will be pursuing the necessary permits before the full lease would go into effect.

During that time, Nordic will pay the harbor district $20,000 a year. The rent will increase to $159,128 annually after the three-year mark. Included in the terms is the right for the company to discharge 6 million gallons of wastewater per day using the site’s ocean outfall pipe, which extends 1.5 miles offshore.

Nordic would also pay a $500,000 fee to access the district’s electric substation.

The facility will use a recirculating aquaculture system, or RAS, which utilizes large tanks and water treatment systems, a method the company says prevents many of the common issues associated with raising fish in offshore pens, including pollution from waste, chemical use and the potential to pass on diseases and parasites to wild fish.

Read previous Journal coverage of the fish farm proposal here.

Nordic Aquafarms Concept from Netron on Vimeo.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Massive Fish Farm Proposed for Pulp Mill Site (Video)

Posted By on Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at 1:40 PM

A rendering of the Belfast, Maine, facility. - NORDIC AQUAFARMS
  • Nordic Aquafarms
  • A rendering of the Belfast, Maine, facility.
The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District and Norwegian company Nordic Aquafarms are set to formally sign a lease Monday for the development of a massive fish farm at the former Samoa Pulp Mill.

According to the harbor district, the project will include “the removal of all remaining deteriorating buildings and unutilized infrastructure” at the 30-acre property, which was the site of a multi-agency clean-up effort in 2014 to avert a looming catastrophic environmental disaster on the edge of Humboldt Bay.

Read previous Journal coverage about the removal of nearly 3 million gallons of caustic pulping liquors abandoned in failing storage tanks by Evergreen Pulp here, here and here.

The proposed project is forecast to “result in the investment of hundreds of millions dollars in the local economy,” the harbor district’s release states.

According to a report in seafood business publication Undercurrent, the project “represents a potential $400 million investment,” bringing around 80 jobs. Eventually, the article states, plans are to produce some 25,000 tons of fish a year at the facility.

In a Facebook post linking to the article, harbor district Commissioner Richard Marks described the fish farm as a nearly half-billion-dollar project, writing that “new construction will bring many hardhats to the area and then many high end Fishery jobs for biologists form Humboldt State.”

A land-based aquaculture facility – likely producing salmon or steelhead – the venture will serve as the West Coast base of operations for Nordic Aquafarms, which is currently in the process of developing an East Coast equivalent in Belfast, Maine, according to the company.

The facility will use what is known as recirculating aquaculture system, or RAS, which utilizes large tanks and water treatment systems in raising the fish. The company says the method prevents many of the common concerns associated with farm fishing in offshore pens, including pollution from waste, chemical use and the potential to pass on diseases and parasites to wild fish.

Nordic Aquafarms Concept from Netron on Vimeo.

“We will now be situated on both coasts, which fits into our strategy of locating fish farms close to major regional markets,” said Marianne Naess, Nordic’s commercial director, in a release. “The Humboldt location will enable us to reach more than 50 million people within a 12-hour drive or less, which reduces the cost and environmental impact of transportation while supplying the market with super-fresh, sustainably raised local fish.”


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

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

Friday, August 17, 2018

Judge Finds Animal Cruelty Case Against Rancher Can Proceed to Trial

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 12:45 PM

Ray Christie - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Ray Christie
A Humboldt County Superior Court judge has ruled there is enough evidence for local rancher Raymond Christie to stand trial on charges related to his treatment of animals and the disposal of dead livestock at properties across the region.

According to a Times-Standard report, Judge Kaleb Cockrum held Christine to answer Thursday to three felony charges of animal cruelty and 47 misdemeanors related to large amounts of cattle carcasses dumped near state waterways, including sloughs in Trinidad and Arcata.

Cockrum’s decision came after a three-day preliminary hearing with witnesses, including law enforcement officers and a state environmental specialist.

Christie was arrested March 19 after what the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office described at the time as a “long-term investigation” initiated by "ongoing complaints" of animal cruelty and reports of dead animals being improperly disposed of near or in waterways.

Christie has pleaded not guilty in the case and will be rearraigned on the current charges Aug. 30, the T-S story states.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, July 13, 2018

New Ban on Unsafe Target Shooting Approved by Supervisors

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 4:23 PM

The Alexandre family and employees pose next to their K-rails at Fernbridge. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • The Alexandre family and employees pose next to their K-rails at Fernbridge.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors took what some might consider a long-overdue action Tuesday on the issue of shooting on unincorporated land, unanimously voting in favor of a county ordinance that would prohibit target shooting in any area that does not meet standards for safe shooting. Those standards require a 20-foot birm of packed earth behind the target area.

Stray bullets have been a subject of concern for several years, especially on the Ferndale riverbar, where target shooting along the Eel River has endangered people, animals and property. The issue gained new scrutiny in 2016, when the Alexandre family, which owns property adjacent the the riverbar near Fernbridge, blocked access to drivers using K-rails, which remain in place today. At the time the Alexandres and their neighbors, the Vevodas, complained of bullets whizzing past their heads when they worked in the fields near Fernbridge.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Arcata Rancher Charged on 35 Counts Related to Animal Cruelty Investigation

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 12:40 PM

da.png
UPDATE: According to Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, at this morning’s arraignment on animal cruelty charges Raymond Christie waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within 60 days. A court date has been set for Aug. 14 and Christie is not currently in custody. The district attorney is filing a motion to increase bail, which should be heard sometime next week, according to Kamada.

PREVIOUSLY:

Raymond Christie, the Arcata rancher arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty on Mar. 19, has been formally charged by the Humboldt County District Attorney's office on 35 counts, mostly related to animal cruelty and neglect.

Included in the charges are seven counts of felony cruelty by "failing to provide sustenance, drink, shelter or subject any animal to needless suffering" to cattle, a goat and a pig across different Christie-owned properties in Orick, McKinleyville, Trinidad, Arcata and Eureka.

The remaining 28 charges are misdemeanors under California Fish and Game Code 5652(a) related to disposal of litter or carcasses "within 150 feet of a state waterway." Christie is charged with disposing multiple cattle carcasses near waterways on most of his properties. The complaint specifies that more than 200 cattle carcasses were dumped near waterways on his Jackson Ranch Road property in Arcata.

In March, the sheriff's office confirmed to the Journal that Christie had returned to the Humboldt County Auction and picked up more cattle after leaving jail. HCSO spokesperson Samantha Karges explained to the Journal that Christie had bid on the cattle prior to being arrested and — once he posted bail — he was able to pay for the animals.

If Christie is found guilty in the present case, the court will have the opportunity to mandate whether he can purchase or keep animals in the future, according to Karges.

According to Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, if Christie is convicted of animal cruelty, the law allows for a person to be prohibited from "owning, possessing or having custody or control of any animals for a period of five years."

"Prior to a conviction, there are legal procedures that could allow authorities to seize a specific, individual animal from a person, albeit temporarily," Kamada told the Journal.

A felony conviction would also prohibit Christie from owning or purchasing firearms.

Christie's arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, March 19, 2018

UPDATE: HCSO Serves Warrants on Multiple Properties in Animal Abuse Investigation

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 2:21 PM

2nd UPDATE:

On Mar. 22 The Humboldt-Del Norte County Cattlemen's Association sent out a press release rebuking Christie, calling the scene "horrific and disturbing" and saying the Christie was not a member of their association.

UPDATE:
Ray Christie - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Ray Christie
A press release sent out this morning by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Raymond Frank Christie was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, causing an animal to be cruelly killed, failure to provide proper care to an animal and disposal of a carcass within 150 feet of a state waterway. According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, officers served warrants yesterday on four properties across northern Humboldt associated with Christie.

Descriptions of what officers found on Christie's property are grisly, with the HCSO stating observations “validated community complaints that serious violations were taking place.”


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Locally Delicious Guidebook Drops

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 4:55 PM

LOCAL FOOD GUIDE COVER
  • Local Food Guide cover

The mantra of "eat local," isn’t just hipster folly — it's a critically important act of resistance against the corporate takeover of our diets, our bodies and our health. A dollar spent on local, sustainably grown food supports family-owned farms, reduces petrol dependency, can reduce the chemical contamination of your food and reinvests your money in the North Coast economy. Still, whether it’s fighting the convenience of living five minutes from Safeway or not finding cash in the budget for the farmer’s market, the challenge of eating local is real.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Recent Comments

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2019 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation