Outdoors

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Here Comes the Rain ... and Snow

Posted By on Sun, Oct 17, 2021 at 11:07 AM

weatherstory_rain_snow.png
A cold front is ushering in a taste of winter this afternoon, with moderate rainfall possible and even snow at higher elevations, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

The rest of the week is also expected to be wet.

Highs for today are forecast to be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than Saturday and 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected this eventing above 4,500 to 5,000 feet. There is, according to the NWS, a "30 percent chance for 2 inches of snow around Scott Mountain Pass on (State Route) 3 this evening."
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Gusty Winds Expected to Increase Tonight, Last until Tuesday

Posted By on Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 12:45 PM

245109121_229706875857973_8236249020258509009_n.jpg
The Eureka office of the National Weather Service reports that today's blustery winds are expected to increase tonight and last into Tuesday, with gusts up to 35 mph along the coast and 40 mph across interior ridges in the wake of a dry cold front.

"Gusty winds will be capable of blowing unsecured objects around and also capable to bring down some trees and/or tree limbs," a NWS Facebook post states.

Visit weather.gov/eka for more information about your specific location.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, October 1, 2021

Restoring the Name of Sue-meg State Park

Posted By on Fri, Oct 1, 2021 at 4:16 PM

sue-meg_village.jpg
Since time immemorial, the Yurok people have called the coastal area north of Trinidad — located in the heart of their ancestral lands — Sue-meg. Now, some 170 years after the name was usurped, the 1-square-mile property with meadows, forest lands and long beaches stretched out below soaring cliffs will officially be known as Sue-meg State Park.

The State Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously Thursday to — as one commissioner said — “restore the name” to the unit originally designated as Patrick’s Point State Park.

“Reclaiming a name is really the core to this,” Commissioner Sara Barth said, noting she did not consider the decision a “renaming.” “It’s restoring a name that was inappropriately taken.”

The change is the first for a State Park under California's "Reexamining Our Past Initiative," which was launched by the state last year to address what California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot described as "historic names that stem from a dark legacy that includes discrimination, violence and inequity."

California State Parks Director Armando Quintero, who appeared emotional as the final vote was cast, his hands clasped together in front of his face, called the decision “a momentous step to heal relationships with Native Americans and working together in recognition and honor of indigenous cultural and linguistic relationships.”

Several members of the Yurok Tribe talked to the commission about the importance of giving the land back its rightful name and removing the moniker that referred to Patrick Beegan, an Irish immigrant who briefly laid claim to the jutting peninsula in the 1850s as whites infiltrated the area amid the gold rush.

Historians believe Beegan to be responsible for numerous atrocities, including the murders of Native Americans, among them a young Yurok boy. He lost the property after fleeing law enforcement in connection with the killing.

Yurok Tribal Chair Joseph L. James said Thursday’s historic decision was a move toward healing.

“Indigenous people across the world … are either watching or listening and looking at the opportunity we have here today,” he said. “By renaming Sue-meg back … that’s bringing balance back to us as Yurok people.”

Yurok Tribal Heritage Preservation Officer Rosie Clayborn spoke of the attempted genocide and destruction of Indigenous communities that occurred after contact, with Native people subjected to institutionalized violence and driven from their ancestral lands, their families ripped apart as children were forcibly sent to boarding schools in an attempted to strip them of their culture. Not all of them came home.

“My ancestors and Yurok ancestors fought hard to stay connected to this place that we call Sue-meg and surrounding places. They fought with their lives,” she said, noting the name of the boy killed by Beegan was never documented in the official records of the time, and that he will never receive full justice for what was done to him.

“But what we can do,” she said, “is honor their legacy by using our language.”


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

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

Thursday, September 30, 2021

State Commission Votes to 'Restore the Name Sue-meg,' Remove Patrick's Point from Park's Name

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2021 at 11:32 AM

Top: Agate Beach at Patrick’s Point State Park. Bottom: Maiya Rainer, Yurok Tribal member and State Park Interpreter at Sumeg Village, Patrick’s Point State Park. Photos from California State Parks. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
  • Photo courtesy of California State Parks
  • Top: Agate Beach at Patrick’s Point State Park. Bottom: Maiya Rainer, Yurok Tribal member and State Park Interpreter at Sumeg Village, Patrick’s Point State Park. Photos from California State Parks.
The State Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously today to — as one commission described — “restore the name of Sue-meg” to the unit currently known as Patrick’s Point State Park to honor the designation used by the Yurok people for the area since time immemorial.

“This genuinely historic decision represents a turning point in the relationship between tribes and the state. We asked the Commission to alter the name of the park because we have an obligation to ensure the next generation inherits a more just world,” Yurok Tribe Chair Joseph L. James said in a release. “On behalf of the Yurok Tribe, I would like to thank the Commission for accepting our request to restore the name of this important part of our ancestral territory. We are equally grateful for the support we received from California State Parks and North Coast Redwoods District Superintendent Victor Bjelajac. I’m so glad that Sue-meg will now be referred to by its correct name.”

State Parks acquired Patrick's Point in 1930 and kept the name already in use since the 1800s, in reference to Patrick Beegan, an Irish immigrant who laid a brief claim to the jutting peninsula located on Yurok ancestral lands.

Beegan was accused of murdering numerous Native Americans, including a young Yurok boy, and lost the property after fleeing law enforcement in connection with the murder.

“The Yurok people have always referred to this place as Sue-meg and now it will forever be called its correct name. We continue to practice our cultural traditions at Sue-meg just as our ancestors did for millennia,” added Rosie Clayburn, the Yurok Tribal Heritage Preservation Officer. “For me, the decision represents an acknowledgement of an injustice that we have endured for 170 years following the colonization of our ancestral homeland. Renaming the park is an important step toward healing the wounds the state inflicted on our people.”

The change is the first for a State Park under California's "Reexamining Our Past Initiative," which was launched by the state last year to address what California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot described as "historic names that stem from a dark legacy that includes discrimination, violence and inequity."

Read an expanded story about the meeting and the decision to restore the name Sue-meg to the Humboldt County state park here.

Read the Yurok Tribe's release below:
Today, the California State Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously approved the Yurok Tribe’s request to change the name of Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park, an acknowledgement of the designation the Yurok people have always used to describe the place.

“This genuinely historic decision represents a turning point in the relationship between tribes and the state. We asked the Commission to alter the name of the park because we have an obligation to ensure the next generation inherits a more just world,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “On behalf of the Yurok Tribe, I would like to thank the Commission for accepting our request to restore the name of this important part of our ancestral territory. We are equally grateful for the support we received from California State Parks and North

Coast Redwoods District Superintendent Victor Bjelajac. I’m so glad that Sue-meg will now be referred to by its correct name.” “We would not be able to achieve this amazing accomplishment without the generations of Yurok people who sacrificed so much to maintain our indelible connection to Sue-meg Village. I also appreciate the hundreds of community members who asked the Commission to vote in favor of the name change,” added Yurok Tribal Council Member Sherri Provolt, who represents the Orick District. “Sue-meg has been and will always be an important place for every Yurok citizen, many of whom have familial ties to the village dating back to the beginning of time.”

“The Yurok people have always referred to this place as Sue-meg and now it will forever be called its correct name. We continue to practice our cultural traditions at Sue-meg just as our ancestors did for millennia,” added Rosie Clayburn, the Yurok Tribal Heritage Preservation Officer. “For me, the decision represents an acknowledgement of an injustice that we have endured for 170 years following the colonization of our ancestral homeland. Renaming the park is an important step toward healing the wounds the state inflicted on our people.”

Based on the government-to-government relationship between tribal nations and the state, the Yurok Tribe requested and received an extended period of time for Chairman James to inform the Commission about why the park should be renamed. At today’s meeting, Chairman James described in detail the Tribe’s longstanding link Sue-meg Village, which occupies a prominent bluff on the far Northern California coast. Located in the general vicinity of the park, the village of Sue-meg is a culturally invaluable place for the Yurok Tribe. Every year prior to the pandemic, Yurok families held Brush Dances at a site within the current park boundaries. Hundreds of tribal citizens typically attend the healing ceremony.

Many ceremonial leaders attended today’s meeting to voice their support the name Sue-Meg State Park.

“I will feel a lot better working in the park now that it is called its Yurok name, its original name,” said Dr. Walt Lara Sr, who managed the construction and maintenance of the ceremonial site at Sue-meg.

The park’s former namesake, Patrick Beegan, committed acts of violence against Yurok people. Around the time of the Gold Rush, Beegan murdered a young Yurok boy near Chue-rey (Tsurai - Trinidad) area and is believed to have killed additional tribal citizens. During this tumultuous part of the Tribe’s history, Yurok men, women and children faced unspeakable, state-sanctioned violence over the course of decades.

The renaming of the park aligns with a growing movement to remove public monuments bearing the appellations and likenesses of individuals who perpetrated atrocities against people of color. Since May of 2020, more than 100 symbols have been eliminated from numerous cities across the US.

Earlier this month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill — proposed by Assemblymember James C. Ramos and endorsed by the Yurok Tribe — to replace the statue of father Junipero Serra at the Capitol with an art installation that honors the many tribal nations in the state.

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2019 Executive Order N-15-19 also played a positive role in the state park name revision. The historic order included an apology for the state’s role in the attempted genocide of Native Americans and a pledge to work more with Tribes on addressing the wrongs of the past. The Governor also formed a Truth and Healing Council and appointed tribal leaders to serve on the advisory board.

Yurok Vice Chairman Frankie Myers was selected to be a member of the Council, which seeks to create an accurate account of California’s involvement in the massacre of indigenous people, so that the relationship between tribes and the state may one day flourish. The comprehensive record will serve as a sturdy foundation from which to mend the relationship between tribes and the state.

“The partnership between the Yurok Tribe and North Coast Redwoods District Superintendent Victor Bjelajac is a shining example of how state governments can work with tribal nations to create a more inclusive and prosperous future for generations to come,” concluded Chairman James.

The Yurok Tribe is the largest Tribe in California with more than 6,300 members. The Tribe’s ancestral territory comprises 7.5 percent of the California coastline, spanning from the Little River to the south and Damnation Creek to the north. The Tribe’s major initiatives include: holistic forest management, fisheries protection, restoration and management, Klamath dam removal, condor reintroduction, natural resources conservation, cultural preservation, sustainable economic development and land acquisition. 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, September 24, 2021

Lightning Could Spark more California Fires as World Warms

Posted By on Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 11:35 AM

The lightning-caused Monument Fire jumped State Route 299 in several places near Del Loma. Started July 30, it is now 61 percent contained. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The lightning-caused Monument Fire jumped State Route 299 in several places near Del Loma. Started July 30, it is now 61 percent contained.
Wildland firefighters don’t admit to fearing much, but lightning is one terror that even the most experienced veterans say they hope to never encounter.

The worry is not being struck by a bolt, although it can be deadly. Instead, their primary concern is that lightning, slashing down in remote areas, can trigger unseen fires that smolder for days before they flare up, bursting into a dangerous and difficult-to-fight wildfire.

In August 2020, a remarkable barrage of lightning in Central and Northern California spawned more than 15,000 strikes over a few days, igniting more than 600 fires and burning more than 2 million acres. Five simultaneous lightning-sparked fires destroyed thousands of homes and buildings and claimed the lives of at least seven people.

And this month, lightning ignited a nasty, uncontained fire that is still menacing groves of ancient sequoia trees in Sequoia-Kings National Park.

It’s starting to look like a preview of the future: As climate change continues to alter the landscape, particularly in the West, scientists warn that lightning strikes capable of igniting wildfires are expected to multiply.

One study predicts that lightning strikes nationwide will increase 12 percent for every degree Celsius of global warming and about 50 percent over the 21st century if people keep emitting planet-warming greenhouse gases at the current pace. Other studies over the past three decades have predicted similar effects of climate change.

“The evidence from looking at climate models is that we can expect that lightning will increase,” said David Romps, who directs the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center and co-authored the study. “My best guess is that by the end of the century — if we continue to burn coal and fossil fuels — we anticipate an increase of the number of lightning strikes by 50 percent.”

One study predicts that lightning strikes nationwide will increase 12 percent for every degree Celsius of global warming.

Lightning plays an outsized role in wildfires: More than 40 percent of wildfires in the West, largely in places other than California, were caused by lightning, and those fires accounted for more than 70 percent of the acreage burned between 1992 and 2015, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

“Lightning is so dangerous, usually it stays pretty much on the east side of the state, but last year it was all over the place, including the Coast Range,” said David Carle, whose book, Introduction to Fire in California, is a primer on the subject. “I think we have learned that dry lightning storms are a real problem.”

The strangeness of last year’s lightning-sparked firesstriking in coastal ranges unaccustomed to electrical storms — was underscored by the absence of rain, meaning that powerful natural energy hit the ground precisely where overgrown, dry vegetation waited, with no rain to quench the sparks.

“Dry lightning — it’s what everybody fears,” said Paul Steblein, a fire science coordinator with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Lightning strikes difficult to model

There’s little debate that climate change is driving larger and more frequent fires. But so far, scientists have not yet seen an increase in lightning events.

“I’ve looked at lightning trends over the last 25 years, and there hasn’t been a noticeable increase in global lightning or U.S. lightning,”said Chris Vagasky, a meteorologist who monitors lightning for Vaisala, a Finnish company that operates a vast U.S. network of lightning sensors, providing research and real-time data to governmental agencies and private companies.

Because lightning is caused by hyper-local, highly transitory factors, such as winds, it’s difficult for scientists to tease out patterns or project the future. “Lightning itself is such a small process that it can’t be modeled explicitly at climate scales,” Vagasky said.

A helicopter drops water on the edge of the now 98-percent contained and lightning-caused McFarland Fire, which started July 29. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • A helicopter drops water on the edge of the now 98-percent contained and lightning-caused McFarland Fire, which started July 29.

Lightning is created by static electricity in clouds, as ice droplets bump into each other and cause friction, heating the air in the cloud to as high as 54,000 degrees. About 80% of the time, lightning explodes from cloud to cloud, crackling and snapping in the upper atmosphere in thunderclouds that can rise 10 miles.

Last year, some 170 million lightning strikes occurred across the country, about 22 percent below average; California was 51 percent below average with 283,000 strikes, despite the deadly August 2020 surge. This year, nationwide strikes are trending about 15-20 percent below average, Vagasky said.

California does not rank among the top ten for lightning strikes: Texas, Florida and Oklahoma, where warm, moist air spends the summer, are the leaders. While lightning can set grass fires in those states, the repercussions are nothing like California’s expansive, destructive and deadly wildfires.

Still, the Golden State has a history of catastrophic fires sparked by lightning storms. In the Siege of ’87, lightning assaulted the California-Oregon border for two weeks, setting off as many as 4,000 fires. Lightning-sparked fires in 1999 also merged in Big Sur into a massive conflagration, and more than 5,000 strikes over a day and a half set off about 1,000 fires in 2008.

Fighting unpredictable lightning fires

While less lightning in California over the past two years is good news for fire commanders, the scientists’ projections of an increase in coming decades are sobering: This year’s stubborn drought and record heat mean that lightning strikes are particularly dangerous.

“There are some lightning strikes in these conditions where you have immediate fire activity,” said Anthony Scardina, deputy regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service. “In other instances, the strike may not show a flame for 72 hours. It could hit a single tree, and in the right environment, it could flame up later and grow. The fire is out there, hiding.”

Lightning “could hit a single tree, and in the right environment, it could flame up later and grow. The fire is out there, hiding.”

Anthony Scardina, U.S. Forest Service

Such blazes are known as “holdover fires,” said Robyn Heffernan, a federal meteorologist working at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, the nerve center for U.S. wildland firefighting. “When there are thunderstorms and lightning events, we know that these small fires can be out there and we look for them.”

Another complicating issue with lightning-caused fires is the unpredictability of their location. Lightning can strike as far as 20 miles away from the thunderstorm that generated them. Human-caused fires, which account for about 95% of wildfires in California, tend to start near people or equipment, generally within reasonable reach of fire crews. But lightning’s caprice means fires can pop up virtually anywhere, in the backcountry or far from firefighters.

Brian Rhodes, the U.S. Forest Service’s deputy director for fire and aviation management, said it’s almost impossible to forecast lightning-sparked fires, calling them a “ wild card.”

“I’ve been working in California my entire career and our weather models really struggle to keep up with predicting these events,” he said.

Understanding weather patterns and lightning risk is a critical piece of fire strategy, so much so that large blazes are assigned fire weather officers who receive special training and certification from the National Weather Service.

This month’s lightning storms in the Bay Area and Southern California lasted less than 12 hours, compared to two days of strikes that triggered the August 2020 fire siege. That siege caught authorities off guard for an array of reasons: the number of strikes, the speed at which the fires spread and converged, and how broadly dispersed the lightning storms were.

The five major lightning-sparked fires all ignited within three days, beginning on Aug. 16, reaching from Monterey Bay north to the Oregon border. In the end, lightning storms had spawned California’s first “gigafire,” a single blaze that grew to more than a million acres.

One of the biggest fires — the CZU August Complex fire north of Santa Cruz — was sparked by lightning around 3 a.m on a Sunday, on Aug. 16. By noon, 22 fires were detected, 15 of them unstaffed with firefighters.

That same day, lightning sparked the LNU fires, racing through Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Solana and Yolo Counties. Thunderstorms west of Big Sur sparked the SCU Lightning Complex fire that spread over five counties. Then, over the next two days, Butte, Tehama and Glenn Counties were struck with multiple lightning fires that killed one firefighter, and the Sequoia National Forest blew up with a fire that burned nearly 170,000 acres.


Once these multiple fires caught, they moved at a furious rate. Fire authorities had to rush crews from one blaze to another, a deadly and frustrating game of whack-a-mole.

“Resources quickly became scarce,” the 2020 Cal Fire report says. “Requests outnumbered available resources as initial attack activity outpaced available resources. The lightning storm continued across the State into the Pacific Northwest and Great Basin. Demand for available resources across the nation was impacted by multiple major fires in the western United States.”

One of the biggest threats, Rhodes said, was where the lightning siege struck: “A lot of the areas were very remote,” he said, “and it was dry lightning, the worst we can get on fires.”

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, September 17, 2021

Here Comes the Rain

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 10:37 AM

A wet weekend is in the forecast, with some parts of northern Humboldt County expected to see more than two inches of rain and the potential of localized flooding, “particularly in areas with poor drainage,” according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

Northern Trinity County is forecast to see around a half inch to an inch.

After a long dry period, the NWS also cautions that local roads may become slick during the storm due to a build-up of oil over the summer.

Rain is forecast to come down from the north beginning early Saturday morning, moving south along the coast and over to the east throughout the day, with the possibility of showers continuing into Sunday morning.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, September 10, 2021

State Parks Seeks Public Input on Patrick's Point Name Change to Honor Yurok Tribe

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2021 at 2:45 PM

Top: Agate Beach at Patrick’s Point State Park. Bottom: Maiya Rainer, Yurok Tribal member and State Park Interpreter at Sumeg Village, Patrick’s Point State Park. Photos from California State Parks. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
  • Photo courtesy of California State Parks
  • Top: Agate Beach at Patrick’s Point State Park. Bottom: Maiya Rainer, Yurok Tribal member and State Park Interpreter at Sumeg Village, Patrick’s Point State Park. Photos from California State Parks.
California State Parks is seeking public input on a proposal to change Patrick's Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park to honor the original name as used by the Yurok Tribe since time immemorial.

"At the formal request of the Yurok Tribe to rename the park, State Parks supports the proposal to change the park name from Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park and act on the promise of the governor’s apology, to heal relationships with the Yurok Tribe, and to work to make the Yurok community whole through honoring their cultural and linguistic relationships with this area," a press release reads.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Bill to Protect Dudleya from Poaching on Newsom's Desk

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2021 at 5:33 PM

One of the pilfered succulents replanted in Humboldt County. - CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
  • California State Parks
  • One of the pilfered succulents replanted in Humboldt County.
A California bill aimed at protecting dudleya, sometimes called “live-forevers,” from the international black market by imposing stiff fines for illegally taking the succulents from public and private lands is now sitting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

The bill authored by Assembymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego) and sponsored by the California Native Plant Society comes in response to a cascade of poaching incidents involving the plants, some of which are rare, that can fetch lucrative sums — anywhere from two figures to four figures — from the right buyer.

“What is happening to California’s dudleya follows a disturbing trend in the international trade of plants and animals,” said CNPS Conservation Program Director Nick Jensen in a news release. “Whether we are talking about the ivory tusks of elephants, shark fins, or beautiful and charismatic plants like dudleya, when we put a price on living creatures, we put targets on their backs. Some dudleya are known from one or very few populations and poaching for the international market can send these imperiled species to extinction.”

Succulent poaching is on the rise, CDFW officials say, with some 2,300 recovered in Humboldt County in 2018. - COURTESY OF CDFW
  • Courtesy of CDFW
  • Succulent poaching is on the rise, CDFW officials say, with some 2,300 recovered in Humboldt County in 2018.

One such smuggling operation involving thousands of the plants worth an estimated $90,000 was uncovered in Humboldt County back in April of 2018 after California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials acting on a tip intercepted boxes of dudleya prepped to be shipped overseas and recovered more specimens while searching a Trinidad hotel room.

Volunteers and Redwood National and State Parks representatives replant the stolen succulents in April of 2018. - CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
  • California State Parks
  • Volunteers and Redwood National and State Parks representatives replant the stolen succulents in April of 2018.

Three people were arrested and later pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges, including conspiracy and stealing plants from public lands. The pilfered dudleya were later replanted along local cliffs by a team of volunteers and parks employees. (Read previous Journal coverage here, here and here.)

If signed by Newsom within 12 days, AB 223 will make it unlawful to sell or possess with the intent to sell any dudleya illegally taken from its natural habitat, with minimum penalties of $5,000 and up to $50,000 for the first offense and $10,000 to $500,000 for subsequent offenses.

“The illegal poaching of the California dudleya plant is removing thousands of these sensitive, native species from our state's wildlands" Ward said in a June news release from his office.  “AB 223 will assist in deterring dudleya poaching, establish clear enforcement guidelines for law enforcement, and give populations of this native plant species an opportunity to recover.”

Read the full CNPA release below:

Today, the state legislature approved the CNPS-sponsored Assembly Bill (AB) 223 in an important step to combat the rampant poaching of California’s native succulents known as dudleya. The bill, authored by San Diego Assemblymember Chris Ward, is the first California bill specifically drafted to protect plants from poaching.  AB 223 makes it illegal to harvest dudleya in California without permits or landowner permission, and establishes penalties for individuals convicted of doing so. Dudleya (aka liveforevers) live in rocky habitats statewide. Home to 42 of  68 species and subspecies in the genus, California is the epicenter of dudleya diversity, many of which are rare. Ten species are listed as threatened or endangered by the state and/or federal governments.

In recent years, law enforcement officials have documented an alarming increase in the illegal commercial-scale harvest of dudleya, with entire hillsides stripped of plants by poachers. While law enforcement officials have seized tens of thousands of plants destined for export and sale, experts fear that this is only a small fraction of the dudleya that have been taken from the wild. Some mature dudleya plants may be as old as 100 years and serve important functions in ecosystems from stabilizing cliffs against erosion to providing food for animals and nectar for pollinators. Individual dudleya can sell for anywhere from $30 to $1,000 on the international market.

“What is happening to California’s dudleya follows a disturbing trend in the international trade of plants and animals,” said CNPS Conservation Program Director, Dr. Nick Jensen. “Whether we are talking about the ivory tusks of elephants, shark fins, or beautiful and charismatic plants like dudleya, when we put a price on living creatures, we put targets on their backs. Some dudleya are known from one or very few populations and poaching for the international market can send these imperiled species to extinction.”

CNPS is grateful for the leadership of Assemblymember Ward in authoring and guiding AB 223 through the legislature. The bill provides law enforcement officials and district attorneys with the tools they need to effectively deter future poaching operations.

 “AB 223 is an important step toward protecting this precious and irreplaceable portion of our state’s world-renowned botanical heritage,” said Jensen. “We urge Governor Newsom to sign this bill into law and put a stop to the illegal trade in dudleya.”

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

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

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Knob Update: Evacuation Order Downgraded South of China Creek

Posted By on Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 4:38 PM

Firefighters from multiple agencies, including some that were pulled off the Monument Fire defended houses at the end of Enchanted Creek Lane on Monday. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Firefighters from multiple agencies, including some that were pulled off the Monument Fire defended houses at the end of Enchanted Creek Lane on Monday.

Due to successful work to contain the Knob Fire, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has downgraded its evacuation order to an evacuation warning for areas east of Brushy Mountain Lookout Road/Forest Route 6N08A to State Route 299, south of China Creek.

Residents who live in this area may begin to return home but should remain ready to evacuate again at a moment’s notice.

Evacuation Orders remain in effect for areas east of Brushy Mountain Lookout Road/Forest Route 6N08A to State Route 299, south of Victor Creek to China Creek.

The Knob Fire is currently at 2,414 acres and 89 percent contained.

Read the full press release below.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Knob Fire Holding as River Complex Grows

Posted By on Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 11:36 AM

Fire crews continued to make progress on the Knob Fire over the holiday weekend, as crews on the McCash Fire work to protect homes near Hyapom and stop the fire's advance toward Hayfork Creek and Hyampom Road and firefighters work to protect property threatened by the River Complex, which is expected to see another round of growth today.

While coastal Humboldt County will see pretty good to moderate air quality today, conditions around Hoopa, Orleans and Willow Creek will reach "unhealthy" levels.

With fires raging across the region and resources already stretched very thin, the U.S. Forest Service has temporarily closed nine National Forests, including Klamath, Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers.

Here's a brief look at each of the first burning near Humboldt and what you need to know.

The Fires
The Knob Fire, 2,414 acres, 89 percent contained

The Knob Fire burning near Willow Creek started Aug. 29 around 3 p.m. on Brush Mountain and resources from the Monument and McCash fires were sent to aid with firefighting efforts.

Crews held the Knob Fire to under 2,500 acres while increasing containment to 89 percent as of this morning.

"Last night, fire behavior was minimal, with no spotting outside of the fire perimeter," this morning's update states. "Today, crews will continue to work on the north side strengthening and improving containment lines and extinguishing any hotspots within 300 feet of the perimeter of the fire."

An evacuation order remains in effect for areas east of Brushy Mountain Lookout Road/FS Road 6N08A to State Route 299, south of Victor Creek to China Creek; areas east of Brushy Mountain Lookout Road/FS Road 6N08A to the eastern perimeter of the Knob Fire south of China Creek to Friday Ridge Road; and areas east of Brushy Mountain Lookout Road/FS Road 6N08A to South Fork Trinity River, south of Friday Ridge Road to the end of the FS Road 6N20. Evacuation warnings remain in surrounding areas. For the latest map of evacuation zones, visit tinyurl.com/humcoevacmap.

The Monument Fire, 185,505 acres, 41 percent contained
Located a half mile west of Big Bar along State Route 299 east of Willow Creek, the Monument Fire was sparked by lightning on July 30.

State Route 299 has reopened but only during the day and with pilot cars leading traffic in both directions from Burnt Ranch to Helena at designated times every hour and a half starting at 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. The road will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for everyone except local residents with proof of address and emergency traffic.

"Two areas of the fire remain active: the north side, which is primarily in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, and the southwest side, which is east of Hyampom," a Sept. 6 update states. "While suppression efforts are being implemented to protect the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, the Trinity Wild and Scenic River, Inventoried Roadless areas, and endangered species habitat, the highest priority remains the southwest side. Numerous resources are positioned near Hyampom to protect structures and make every effort to halt the fire’s southward advance toward Hayfork Creek and Hyampom Road."

Evacuation orders, as of yesterday evening, include all areas along Hyampom Road from Lucky Jeep Trail, east along both sides of Hyampom Road to Drink Water Gulch, including Fox Lane, Drink Water Gulch, and Phares Lane, according to the Trinity County Sheriff's Office. Warning areas include Hyampom Road east of Drink Water Gulch to Digger Gulch and South to Tule Creek Road and Green Gate Road are now under an Evacuation Warning. This includes: Turkey Track Road, Doctor Lane, Digger Gulch, Shangri La Lane, Green Gate Road, McAlexander Road.

For information on evacuation orders and warnings, evacutation sites and animal shelters, visit the Trinity County Sheriff's Office Facebook page here.

For more information, check the incident website here and a map of the fire's footprint here.

The McFarland Fire,
122,653 acres and is 98 percent contained
Sparked by lightning July 29 on McFarland Ridge south of State Route 36, the fire is burning in timberlands with fuels with historically low moisture levels in an area that hasn't burned in more than 50 years. The last update had the fire at 98 percent containment, with a full containment estimate of Sept. 9.

Find the latest information here.

River Complex 2021, 135,698 acres, 19 percent contained
Located in the Salmon/Scott River Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest, the complex consists of multiple lightning fires sparked in dry timber and brush on July 30. The full complex stretches more than 135,000 acres and originally included 31 fires, three of which remain: the Cronan, Summer and Haypress fires.

Crews lost ground on the blaze, which grew by more than 14,000 acres overnight and went from 21 percent containment on Monday to 19 percent containment, according to this morning's update.

"Fire behavior was active yesterday and will be active again today with increased growth expected. Crews will use all available tools and tactics to protect lives, property, and other values, while providing for firefighter and public safety," the update states. "The Summer Fire has merged with the Haypress Fire. On the Haypress Fire, crews are dealing with spotting in the northeast, near Blue Jay Ridge. A point of Parker’s Spot has burned into the main fire. The Coffee Spike Camp will be moved to Trinity Center today. The Cronan Fire remains in patrol status."

New evacuation orders were issued for Callahan, Mosquito Lake, and Eagle Creek.

Siskiyou County has issued evacuation orders and warnings for the communities of Ceciville, Summerville, Petersburg and Sawyers Bar while Trinity County has issued evacuation orders and warnings for the communities of Coffee Creek, Carrville, and Trinity Center. For specific information regarding evacuations please visit https://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/emergencyservices or https:///www.trinitycounty.org/OES.

Find more information here and a map of the fires' footprints here.

The McCash Fire:
57,038 acres, 15 percent containment
Sparked by lightning on July 31, the McCash Fire is burning near Somes Bar in the Marble Mountain Wilderness in Siskiyou County in an area of timber growth with an understory of tall grass and brush was held to just more than 57,000 acres overnight and notched up a tad to 15 percent containment.

"Firefighters are preparing for changing weather and future wind events," an update states. "Today, a southerly flow will bring increased winds from the southwest that have the potential to push the fire northward."

Evacuation orders and warnings are in place for areas of Siskiyou County. Visit the county's website for up-to-date information here.

The fire threatens significant cultural sites for the Karuk Tribe, as well as some structures on private lands. The current estimated containment date is Oct. 31. Find more information here.

Travel
State Route 299: Reopened during the day with pilot cars leading traffic in both directions from Burnt Ranch to Helena at designated times every hour and a half from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The road will be closed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to everyone except local residents with proof of address.

State Route 36: Open.

For the most up to date road information, visit CalTrans' road information site here.

Air Quality

Wildfire smoke has triggered an air quality advisory — with "very unhealthy" conditions — in areas of Trinity County and eastern Humboldt County, including Orleans and Hooopa, according to the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District.

For the latest air quality information, click here.

Here's the district's full rundown:
 Orleans – Overall Unhealthy; Hazardous this morning; potential for Good to Moderate tonight
 Hoopa – Unhealthy in the morning; potential for improvement in evening
 Willow Creek – Overall Unhealthy
 Trinity Center/Coffee Creek – Unhealthy in morning, Good/Moderate today; Hazardous periods overnight
 Douglas City – Overall Unhealthy
 Hayfork – Overall Unhealthy
 Eureka (including Scotia to Trinidad) – Good to Moderate
 Garberville & Redway – Good to Moderate, afternoon improvement
 Weitchpec – Overall USG; Very Unhealthy in the morning then potential for Good to Moderate tonight

"Good" — air quality is satisfactory and poses little or no risk
"Moderate" — Sensitive individuals should limit prolonged or heavy exertion "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" — Sensitive groups should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion
"Unhealthy" — Sensitive groups should avoid all prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion
"Very Unhealthy" — Everyone should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion
"Hazardous" — Everyone should avoid any outdoor activity

For the latest air quality information, click here and here.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

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

Recent Comments

Care2 Take Action?

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2021 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation