News From the Center

Thanks to everyone who financially contributed to our Summer Fund Appeal! We greatly appreciate your continued support. It’s contributions like yours that have allowed the NEC to be an important voice in northwest California since 1971.

Trespass Grows

The Northcoast Environmental Center is part of the Advisory Board for the CROP Project—Cannabis Removal on Public Lands. Illegal cannabis grows on California public lands, known as “trespass grows,” constitute one of the leading issues threatening California’s wildlife and communities. Trespass grows—90 percent of which are controlled by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs)—contain copious amounts of illegal pesticides, rodenticides, and herbicides. These toxicants contaminate water, poison wildlife, and pose a serious threat for widespread human exposure. Trespass grows undercut the legal market, place rural and tribal communities at risk, threaten natural resource economies, and undermine the original purpose of our public lands.

The three primary goals of CROP are to 1) greatly increase federal and state resources for trespass grow reclamation and enforcement; 2) keep the funding local—direct remediation and restoration funding to trained local and regional agencies, tribes, and science organizations; and 3) implement a statewide public education campaign, focusing on public service announcements about human health and environmental impacts of unregulated cannabis use.  We’ll keep you informed as this project expands.

Climate Refugees

There is a lot of talk and hysteria around migration these days. One of the main drivers causing people to flee Central America (but receiving little media attention) is a prolonged five year drought in the region—made much more extreme by the climate crisis. These countries have little or no infrastructure for water transport or storage, so in dry times it’s the poorest people that suffer.  Combined with repressive governments and criminal organizations—who would not flee under those conditions? Climate refugees fleeing to North America may be the first warning signs of the climate crisis spinning out of control.

The EcoNews Report Rides Again

Good news regarding the EcoNews Report! We have forged a new alliance with Lost Coast Communications and we will be airing a revamped EcoNews Report show on radio station KHUM 104.7/104.3 on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. starting in September. Shows will be available on lostcoastoutpost.com and our website.

H.R. 2250 Committee Hearing

On July 10, House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands heard testimony on the NEC-supported “Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act” (H.R. 2250), introduced by Rep. Jared Huffman. This bill would conserve approximately 262,000 acres as wilderness, designate 379 miles of new wild and scenic rivers, and create a special restoration area to protect communities from fire. Six years of input from business leaders, conservationists, anglers, mountain bikers, fire management professionals, and other stakeholders—including the NEC and its member groups—has led to broad public support for the legislation.

Local Trinity County resident Kent Collard, owner and director of the Bar 717 Ranch/Camp Trinity in Hayfork, CA, testified before the committee. While the committee took no action this was an important first step in the long process of the bill moving through Congress. California Democratic House members Judy Chu and Salud Carbajal are original co-sponsors of the bill, along with Presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris, who introduced the bill in the Senate.

Coastal Commission in Humboldt

The Coastal Commission’s August meeting will be in Humboldt County on August 7, 8, and 9. The meeting will be held in Eureka at the Wharfinger Building on Waterfront Drive. The agenda should be available online a week before the meeting. The Humboldt Alliance for Responsible Planning (HARP) expects the Trinidad Rancheria Hotel Project to be discussed during this local session (read more on page 6). There will also be a discussion on CalTrans 101 corridor projects.

Giant Wind Project Comments

TerraGen has proposed a large commercial wind turbine project on Monument and Bear River Ridges south of Ferndale. EPIC and the NEC submitted extensive comments, thanks to the brilliant work of Tom Wheeler. Read more on page 4, or read the extensive comments online at https://tinyurl.com/terragen201907. We’ll keep you updated as this develops.

War on Plastics

There have been a number of bills brought forward in the California state legislature that would put restrictions on plastic packaging (SB 54), cigarette butts that contain plastic (SB 424), and single-use plastics (SB 372). The NEC strongly supports these efforts. Be sure to contact your local state representative and express your support for these bills!

Massive Development in Trinidad

As if the giant hotel on the bluffs at Trinidad wasn’t enough cause for concern, now comes news of the connected action of building a new Highway 101 interchange specially designed for this project. The NEC submitted our concerns to the California Transportation Commission over the wisdom of allocating $775,000 to study this special interest demand versus funding critical highway upgrades and protective measures for sea level rise.

Upcoming Exciting Events

We are entering one of our busiest times of the year for fun, and there are ample opportunities for you to get involved. First up, we’ll be pouring wine on August 2 at the Trinidad Art Gallery for Trinidad Arts Night—stop by to say hi!

Next, plans are underway for our Summer Patio Party! This ‘don’t miss’ event will be held Sunday, August 25 at Gary and Jan Friedrichsen’s beautiful residence. Only 60 tickets are available in advance until August 23 for $60. We’ll then have a limited number available at the door for $70. Delicious food, guided walks, local beer and wine, lawn games and more at this highly anticipated NEC fundraiser!  Get your tickets and more information here: www.yournec.org/patioparty2019.

September caps off a busy summer with a whole flurry of events! Not only is the NEC pouring wine at the Garden Gate on September 13 during Arts!Arcata, but we’re also hosting a Mask Making workshop at the Sanctuary that same evening in preparation for the All Species Parade! On Saturday, September 14, we’ll be tabling at the Planet Humboldt Resiliency Fair.

The following weekend brings our busiest weekend! Starting on Friday, September 20, we’re hosting another Mask Making workshop at Arts & Drafts in Eureka. Then Saturday, September 21 is both Coastal Cleanup Day and the All Species Parade!

Stop by our booth at the North Country Fair that weekend to learn more about our current projects, view art from this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day artist, and support the NEC!