Blast From the Past: October & November 1978

Cover of the October 1978 EcoNews.
Cover of the October 1978 EcoNews.

Center of Attention

by Pat Ferris

This article is reprinted from the October 1978 issue of EcoNews.

After seven years of struggling for your environment and sometimes its own existence, the Northcoast Environmental Center still offers the community a place to discuss and learn the latest information on a variety of issues.

Some of those issues presently in focus are herbicide spraying and its alternatives, roadless areas and wilderness classifications, fishing rights, endangered species, wild rivers and all the lobbying and legislation concerning these and more topics.

Our library, which is open to everyone, includes current information on many local and distant environmental issues, valuable documents and research papers not available anywhere else on the North Coast, maps, slide shows, and easy reading.

The ECONEWS, our monthly newsletter, is the only local newspaper which regularly covers environmental issues and provides a forum for public input.

Another Center project is the Arcata Community Recycling Center, which has its own quarters at 9th and N Streets in Arcata. The Recycling Center itself operates at least six recycling depots around Humboldt County. It also established its first affiliate center in Garberville last year, and helped set up the new Eureka Recycling Center on Wabash near Broadway.

The Center can arrange for speakers, films, field trips, bird walks and programs on many conservation topics. We are working with other local non-profit organizations to pool our resources and pursue a course toward community self-reliance and education.
Like always, we aim to speak up for the mute portion of the community—the air, water and land which support us.

The Northcoast Environmental Center is supported by contributions, individual memberships (which include a year’s subscription to ECONEWS), and annual dues paid by our 10 member organizations.

Since we have only one full-time coordinator and two part-time aides, much of our strength and success has been due to the people who volunteer their time and energy to keep the Center going.

We welcome anyone who is interested and willing to spend a little time doing mundane tasks—filing, answering the phone, typing, or even sweeping the floor—and some not-so mundane. These include researching, writing and helping publish the ECONEWS, telling a class of third graders about the 8,000-mile journey of a gray whale or of a giant redwood tree, older than anything they can imagine.

Everybody has something to offer and something to learn at the Environmental Center.
Use your imagination and bring us something we can all benefit from—JOIN THE NATURAL GUARD! TODAY!


Cover of the November 1978 EcoNews.
Cover of the November 1978 EcoNews.

Congressional Scoreboard—Some Hits, Few Errors

by Tim McKay

This article is reprinted from the November 1978 issue of EcoNews.

The green side of the now-adjourned 95th Congress was notable for the important legislation that became law as well as for the bills that died.

The Alaska Lands Bill in the Senate leads the obituaries. However some people say the Carter Administration’s threat to hogtie the Alaska Lands with the Antiquities Act—by declaring all these lands National Monuments—could get an Alaskan Park Bill through the 96th Congress by next summer.

Surviving legislation gave wilderness to Montana, Wisconsin, and Colorado, and to Minnesota where the Boundary Waters Canoe Area was established at 1,075,00 acres.
The so-called “Park Barrel” legislation, authored by Rep. Phillip Burton, became the largest parks bill in U.S. history. More than 100 park areas were added to the federal system, from California where Mideral King was transferred from the Forest Service to the Park Service, to the east where the bill protects the famous New Jersey Pine Barrens.

The Endangered Species Act was extended for another 18 months, with a new provision for exempting certain federal projects after another layer of internal review. Four of six agency heads on a special committee would have to concur with any exemption proposal, so the Snail Darter is likely to be back in the news.

The appropriations bill, HR 12932, allows money for the Forest Service to increase timber sales to 12.4 billion board feet from 11.5 billion. That same bill sliced 39 percent off the budget of the Forest Service wildlife program. On the other hand, some dams were sliced out in President Carter’s veto of the public works bill.

The 1977 year of the 95th Congress is considered even more phenomenal by some observers with its record of an expanded Redwood National Park, legislation to regulate strip mining and air quality over national parks, and the creation of an Energy Department with broad powers to regulate the environmental impacts of energy leasing, etc.

The 95th Congress promises to be equally exciting as the Alaska Lands bill is at the top of a list with includes RARE II, the reconstitution of the 1872 mining law and reorganization of natural resources administration. It looks like they are really going to try to put the Forest Service in the Department of the Interior, though no one believes that it will be an easy task.