Environment / Natural Resources

Friday, December 14, 2018

Death of 4 Roosevelt Elk, Including a Pregnant Cow, Under Investigation

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 2:47 PM

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating a elk poaching case. - FILE
  • File
  • The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating a elk poaching case.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking for the public’s help in an elk poaching case that was discovered in the Maple Creek region Dec. 9.

According to a release, wildlife officers responded to the scene southeast of Blue Lake to find four dead Roosevelt cow elk, one of which was pregnant. All had been recently killed with a firearm.

“CDFW closely manages the state’s Roosevelt elk herds,” the release states. “A limited number of hunting permits are available for this species in Humboldt County, and some hunters wait more than a decade to be successful in the drawing. Elk hunting season was not open at the time these animals were shot.”


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UPDATE: High Winds Taking Down Trees, Dropping Power Lines

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 10:39 AM

NWS
  • NWS
UPDATE 1:29 p.m.: All the earlier county roads that were closed are now open. However, Bald Mountain Road at mile marker 3 is closed due to downed trees. Crews recently arrived on site and expect to have the road open soon.

PREVIOUSLY:

High winds are knocking down trees and power lines this morning.

There are multiple power outages and closed roads. See here for power outages.

The roads closed as of 10:09 a.m. are:

Kneeland Road by Greenwood Heights Drive. There is a tree down and power lines down. Fire started.

Maple Creek Road east of Blue Lake. There is a tree down.

Murray Road by Central Avenue. There is a three-foot diameter tree blocking the road.

There are other roads with trees down but it isn’t confirmed they have been closed.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

North Coast's Abalone Season Closed Until 2021

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Urchins blanket a rocky reef. - CYNTHIA CATTON/CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
  • Cynthia Catton/California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Urchins blanket a rocky reef.
As we wrote about in the Dec. 6 edition of the Journal, the California Fish and Game Commission has extended the closure of the North Coast’s red abalone season until April of 2021.

The board made the decision Wednesday after once again hearing there is no positive news to report about the prized mollusks’ situation, the result of what scientists are calling a “perfect storm” of ecological events.

In short, the abalone are starving, unable to compete with marauding bands of purple sea urchins that are stripping bare local reefs and once thriving undersea forests of bull kelp following the mysterious starfish wasting disease outbreak that decimated the urchins' main predator.

According to a commission release, the vote was unanimous.


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Friday, December 7, 2018

Fish and Wildlife Says the Crab Aren't Ready Yet

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 2:16 PM

Another crab season, another delay. - C. JUHASZ/CDFW WEBSITE
  • C. Juhasz/CDFW website
  • Another crab season, another delay.
The North Coast’s crab woes continue as local crustaceans just aren’t fattening up enough for the commercial season to begin, prompting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue a second delay in opening day — which is now slated for Dec. 31.

According to a release, results from the Dec. 4 quality test “continue to show that Dungeness crab are not yet ready for harvesting." Another round of meat weighing is slated for Dec. 21, the results of which could either trigger a tossing of the crab pots or another postponement until mid-January.


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Thursday, November 29, 2018

North Coast Night Lights: Milky Way over South Fork Eel River — Painting with Light

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 12:29 PM

South Fork Eel River beneath the Milky Way at the California Federation of Women’s Clubs Grove on the Avenue of the Giants. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • South Fork Eel River beneath the Milky Way at the California Federation of Women’s Clubs Grove on the Avenue of the Giants.
The word “photography” literally means “light painting” and there is something about taking that idea and actually adding my own strokes of light that appeals to me. Nighttime gives me the opportunity to make images that are illuminated in ways we don’t usually see, whether from moonlight, artificial ambient light sources or light that I may apply to an area myself. Let me share with you one such light-painted image from a dark summer’s midnight in Southern Humboldt.

Coursing among giant redwoods, the South Fork Eel River slipped quietly by the California Federation of Women's Clubs Grove, while the Milky Way made its silent passage across the sky. Not a human soul was about that night after midnight, though during the day this Humboldt Redwoods State Park spot on the Avenue of the Giants is very popular. I had seen many people enjoying the river and day use area of the Grove when scouting here that afternoon to see how the Milky Way would lie at night.

One of the reasons I am drawn to photographing the night is for the opportunity it gives me to add my own touch in the form of painted light to create something unique. Because it is dark, I have to leave the camera shutter open for extended periods, and that gives me time to apply light selectively to areas of a scene, often using a flashlight. Such was the case with this image.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

UPDATE: 'Most Bud I Have Ever Seen in One Place,' Officer says of 16K Pound Bust

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 10:49 AM

Marijuana bud mounded over a trench which was created by law enforcement to bury and destroy the seized product. - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Marijuana bud mounded over a trench which was created by law enforcement to bury and destroy the seized product.
Yesterday, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) in conjunction with multiple agencies served warrants on four properties they believe to be related in the 4100 block of Wilder Ridge is southwestern Humboldt County.

Lt. Mike Fridley of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office described the scene as having the “most bud I have ever seen in one place.” He told the Redheaded Blackbelt that there was over 16,000 pounds of mostly processed bud. While some wasn’t in final manicure form, it had been mainly broken down into palm-sized flowers. More than $40,000 was found as well.

The team dug a trench three feet deep to bury the marijuana in the mud in order to destroy it but, there was so much, it mounded over the top and additional work had to be done, he explained.

Fridley described a high level of sophistication at the grow, with about 30 workers on site. Most of them, he explained, used passports from Eastern European nations to identify themselves. “There was a 30 person manicuring room,” Fridley said. “And a commercial kitchen.” He added that they had the biggest generator he’d ever seen.

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Fortuna CCC Crews Heading Home From Florida

Posted By on Thu, Nov 22, 2018 at 3:01 PM

Fortuna Corpsmember Kali Madding hauls off a removed tree limb as her crew works to clear a resident’s driveway. - CCC
  • CCC
  • Fortuna Corpsmember Kali Madding hauls off a removed tree limb as her crew works to clear a resident’s driveway.
Fortuna crew members of the California Conservation Corps are scheduled to head home today after helping out with damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Florida.

According to a release, the corps members mainly worked in Bay and Gulf counties, two of the hardest hit by the massive storm that killed at least 60 and wiped an entire town off the map.

“You feel heartbroken that you cannot do more,” Fortuna corpsmember Kali Madding said in a release. “These communities need more help from everyone in the country.”


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Poor Quality Delays Commercial Crab Season

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 6:09 PM

Another crab season, another delay. - C. JUHASZ/CDFW WEBSITE
  • C. Juhasz/CDFW website
  • Another crab season, another delay.
The start of the North Coast’s commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 16 due to “poor crab meat quality test results,” according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to a release, more tests are tentatively scheduled to take place in the region around Dec. 1 and, if the conditions remain poor, another delay could be enacted until the end of the month.

"Last season, the northern Dungeness crab fishery was delayed until Jan. 15, the latest a quality delay can be extended," said CDFW Environmental Scientist Christy Juhasz in the release. "Results from our recent test are very similar to last year indicating that this delay may be extended past Dec. 16."

View the memo issued today by CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham here and testing results here.


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Signboard Fire Near Hoopa Continues to 'Creep and Smolder'

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 3:16 PM

Smoke from the Signboard Fire over Hoopa earlier this week. - COURTESY OF WES CRAWFORD
  • COURTESY OF WES CRAWFORD
  • Smoke from the Signboard Fire over Hoopa earlier this week.
The “low-intensity” Signboard Fire is continuing to “creep and smolder” in national forest land near the Tish Tang Ridge, growing to 53 acres, according to a release from Six Rivers National Forest.

An “inversion of fog and smoke” prevented helicopter water drops on the blaze, which began Nov. 13 when a prescribed burned escaped its boundaries. Moving through steep, rugged terrain, the focus has been on creating firelines to keep the Signboard Fire contained.

There have been no evacuations, closures or structures lost, according to the release.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Scenes From the Camp Fire

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 1:30 PM

“Volunteer organizations, including @NVADG, have been working to relocate and shelter animals from the fire area,” tweeted Butte Cal Fire. “We couldn’t have accomplished as much as we have over the past week without their help.” - BUTTE CAL FIRE
  • Butte Cal Fire
  • “Volunteer organizations, including @NVADG, have been working to relocate and shelter animals from the fire area,” tweeted Butte Cal Fire. “We couldn’t have accomplished as much as we have over the past week without their help.”
The Camp Fire raging in Butte County is now known to have claimed 48 lives – with six people found yesterday in residences that had been overrun by flames. That number is expected to rise as teams comb through the ashes in search of those not yet accounted for nearly a week later.

Around 7,600 homes and around 260 businesses have been destroyed. More have been damaged and 15,500 structures are threatened. Check out the online Camp Fire Structure Status map for more information.

Overnight the fire continued to grow but calmer winds moderated its spread. Today, it is estimated to have reached 135,000 acres and is about 35 percent contained. Over 52,000 people have been evacuated many of them with no homes to return to once the fire is out.

Below are maps and a breakdown of what to expect.

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