News From the Center

by Larry Glass and Carrie Tully

The staff here at the NEC couldn’t be happier about the way Coastal Cleanup Month went! With transitioning from a one-day mega event, to a month-long series of cleanups, we weren’t sure how the community would respond. We are so happy with the turnout, commitment, and support from our community. While we await all the final numbers from September’s cleanups, we want to be sure to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers, and organizations that came out or showed up for us in order to make this event possible. For a full list of participants and sponsors, please be sure to check out the Community Coastal Column.

In case you have been out of the loop on the NEC’s other Coastal Programs, we have been working hard to beef up the ways you can get involved. Whether you’ve never done a cleanup before or you’re a seasoned expert, we have opportunities and tools that can help you contribute to our citizen science data while caring for our beautiful planet. Be sure to check out the NEC’s Coastal Programs by visiting and clicking on our programs tab.


Living with the smoke and terror of wildfires this summer has been bad enough. To add insult to injury, The Shasta Trinity National Forest’s performance has ricocheted from totally unprepared to overly aggressive, heavy-handed and just plain reckless.

First their heavy-handed use of bulldozers in roadless areas and designated Wilderness areas where the resource desecration and damage will be long lasting. These special areas call for a much lighter touch.

Swift Creek Trail destruction. Photo by Jotham Barragar

Next on my list of grievances is the reckless use of burnouts or backfires. Don’t misunderstand me, I fully promote returning fire to the landscape, but just not like this. They admitted at a public meeting in Hayfork that they will light these off in the afternoon intentionally so they can take advantage of the lowest humidity and gusty winds (WTF?). What a horrible thing to say to all the people south of Hyampom Road who had to flee for their lives when the Forest Service burnout got away from them and jumped the road, unnecessarily burning thousands of extra acres.

Then there’s been the overly aggressive and unnecessary use of hand crews practicing what is sarcastically refer to as “sport falling” of old growth trees along trails miles deep in the Wilderness areas, resulting in additional ground fuels and unrecoverable resource damage, The Forest Service admitted at the Trinity Board of Supervisors meeting that this was done to protect timber values.

Parker Meadows old-growth cutting. Photo by Jotham Barragar.

People in the agencies need to be held accountable for these decisions and destructive actions. It is the lack of accountability with both USFS and Cal Fire that allows these actions to get worse every fire season.