This spring, the North Group will join the Project to Reform Public Land Grazing in Northern California (www.grazingreform.org) to begin monitoring how grazing is managed on national forest land in the upper Mad River Basin.
Since the summer of 2010, Grazing Reform Project volunteers have monitored 18 grazing allotments on three national forests, including allotments within the Marble Mountain, Russian Peaks and Trinity Alps Wilderness and along the Siskiyou Crest west of Mount Ashland. Many allotments have been visited multiple times; volunteers sometimes “adopt” grazing allotments on national forest lands they frequent.
While we sometimes monitor for species impacted by grazing, including the Willow flycatchers and Cascade frog, most monitoring focuses on impacts to water quality, riparian areas and wetlands.
The Project has published 29 photo-illustrated Allotment Monitoring Reports (available at: https://tinyurl.com/grazingreform) documenting conditions on grazing allotments and the poor management practices which degrade water quality, riparian areas and wetlands. As Chapter Grazing Chair, I’ve used documentation from the Project’s reports to advocate for grazing reform.
Our calls for on-the-ground grazing management reforms go to District Rangers and Forest Supervisors, the officials responsible for assuring that private grazing is managed responsibly on public land. We also ask Regional Water Board officials to get Forest Service managers to require regular herding and other management measures needed to protect water quality. Modern grazing management practices can’t eliminate grazing’s negative impacts, but their proper use can dramatically reduce those impacts.
As a result of monitoring and advocacy, we are finally seeing modest improvement in grazing management in the Klamath National Forest. To join volunteer efforts to extend that advocacy to the Upper Mad River and to reform public land grazing across Northern California, send a message to [email protected] and I will contact you. e more pressure we can put on Forest Service and Water Board officials to reform grazing, the sooner grazing-caused degradation will end.
One need not be a Sierra Club member to participate in these outings. Please join us!
Saturday, February 24—North Group Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Ossagon to Carruthers Cove Hike. Hike this trail from south to north. We will drop off a car at the Carruthers end, and the present tide table shows an ebbing tide conducive to this late-winter coastal adventure. Bring lunch and water. Medium difficulty, 4.5 miles, less than 1,000 feet elevation change. Carpools: Meet 9 a.m. at Ray’s shopping center in Valley West. Leader Ned, [email protected], 707-825- 3652 message phone. Heavy rain cancels.
Sunday, March 25—North Group Humboldt Redwoods State Park Avenue of the Giants Hike. Two separate trails, about a mile apart, take us to a view of the Eel River from High Rock (an actual rock along the river), and to a grove of stately redwoods about 1,000 feet above. Bring lunch and water. Medium difficulty, 5 miles, 1,000 feet elevation change. Carpools: Meet 9 a.m. at Herrick Avenue Park & Ride in Eureka. Leader Ned, [email protected], 707-825-3652 message phone. Heavy rain cancels.
Please Join Us!
The North Group’s Executive Committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the first floor conference room at the Adorni Center on the waterfront in Eureka. The meeting, which covers regular business and conservation issues, begins at 6:45 PM. Members and non-members with environmental concerns are encouraged to attend. When a new person comes to us with an environmental issue or concern, we often place them first or early on the agenda.