Climate scientists have now set 2030 as the point of no return when it comes to the effects of climate change. Even if we could drastically reduce carbon emissions right now—today—it is unknown if the momentum that is already underway can be reversed in time to mitigate the worst climate effects. Even with these worrisome odds, we must try to take action. Doing nothing or continuing down the path we’ve been on will certainly lead to our extinction.
After incorporating community input and ideas from across the region, our congressional representative, Jared Huffman, reintroduced the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act in April. The bill would guard communities against wildfires, provide local jobs, restore lands impaired by illegal marijuana growing operations, and permanently protect many of northwest California’s spectacular wild places and pristine streams. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) also introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
This is the legislation that the NEC and other conservation groups have been working on for over six years. Extreme right-wingers are already ramping up false narratives around the bill. The tactic of lying about what the bill contains and what possible effects it may have seem to be borrowed straight from the current administration in Washington. Wilderness advocates go to public meetings and correct the record, only to have the same lies and misrepresentations voiced again and again. No, the bill does not take private land. No, the bill does not affect existing water rights. No, it does not prevent hunting. It does not close off access to people’s homes. And last, but certainly not least, it does not increase the risk of wildfire.
CalTrans has been spotted spraying for invasive weeds along highways in Humboldt County and is threatening to resume roadside spraying and invasive weed treatments in Trinity County. After decades of complying with the wishes of citizens of both counties that they remain spray-free, CalTrans, flush with SB 1 money, seems intent on going back to the 1970s with chemical treatments.
On another CalTrans note, it is projected that “improvements” to the 101 corridor between Eureka and Arcata are going to cost nearly 60 million dollars! What?! You read that right. As of print, the project is currently scheduled to go before the Coastal Commission not at their meeting in Humboldt County this summer, but two months earlier in San Diego—virtually eliminating the ability of local residents to have a say in the decision-making process. There remains a possibility that it will be delayed until August.
The California Coastal Commission hearing for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Trinidad Rancheria regarding a proposed multi-story, 100-room hotel has been postponed until its June meeting, at the request of the BIA. Once again, this decision prevents local residents from having a say in the decision making process. For more information, visit our website.
Around the Office
April and May were busy months at the Center. NEC staff tabled at the annual Godwit Days festival, educating the community about the 5th Annual Tim McKay Memorial Birdathon; organized a successful Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Mad River Beach, resulting in the removal of 50 pounds of trash from the area; and entertained people of all ages with our watershed model at the Sequoia Zoo’s Party for the Planet—all in one weekend! We also worked with Friends of the Dunes to bring the Climate Action Roadshow to Humboldt and with Humboldt Surfrider to bring Hands Across the Sands (a global, silent solidarity event organized to say no to fossil fuels and yes to renewable energy) to Moonstone Beach. We continue to present at the Redwood Environmental Education Fair, this year located at HSU. This two-day event allowed the NEC to educate over 200 school kids on plastic pollution, tactics for prevention, and cleanup options.
Bittersweetly, Rhiannon Lewis-Stephenson has moved on from the NEC and is now working full time with our member group EPIC. Congratulations on your new position, Rhiannon!
Our new Office Assistant is Chelsea Pulliam. Chelsea’s environmental education background, plus her wealth of fundraising and outreach experience, will be a great asset to the NEC. Find more info about her on our Staff page. Please be sure to say hi when you see her!
We’re also in the midst of interviewing for our summer interns. Our interns provide us with additional energy, passion, and commitment to our local environment. We provide them with training on a variety of necessary career skills and opportunities to expand their connections in the community. Do you know someone who might be interested in interning with the NEC? Visit the Get Involved section of our website or contact us for more information!
We will be staying in our current convenient and visible location for at least the next five years! We just signed a five-year lease and were able to negotiate the placement of solar panels on our roof. This is great news for our staff and board, who dreaded the idea of having to move our headquarters yet again. Thanks again to all our members who donated and supported our solar panel efforts!
Linen Lending Library
The NEC is now the facilitator for the Linen Lending Library, through which nonprofits and local government agencies can borrow tablecloths and linens for free, helping to reduce event waste. You can find more information about the Linen Lending Library on the Community Resources section of
our website at www.yournec.org.
Zero Waste Cleanup
We’re revamping Coastal Cleanup Day to incorporate zero waste principles and say NO to single-use plastics for this event! Our Coastal Programs Coordinator is working with local businesses to collect reusable materials and even collaborating with local thrift stores to obtain shirts to reuse as our Coastal Cleanup Day team captain shirts. Fast fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, second only to oil!
Mark Your Calendars
Plans are underway for our annual Summer Patio Party on Sunday, August 25! This relaxed social event will take place at a lovely private residence, and will feature music, guided walks, lawn games, and a variety of food and beverages. Be sure to mark your calendars for this “don’t miss” fun and delicious event!
Bouquets of gratitude to groups, businesses, and individuals who have recently helped the NEC or the environmental community, and others who deserve extra gratitude!
• To Rhiannon Lewis-Stephenson for her enthusiam and positive work at the NEC.
We wish you the best at EPIC!
• To Patricia Winter-Sun for rounding up over 15 water bottles from local thrift shops and dropping them off at the NEC for our reusable waterbottle drive for the RAVEN Project.
• To Arts & Drafts for hosting the NEC and a reusable workshop pints for non-profits evening in April.
• To Friends of the Dunes for partnering with us to bring the Climate Action Project to Humboldt!
• To Megan Bunday for taking photos at our awesome zero waste Earth Day Beach Clean!
• To our Special Projects Intern Reanne Lopez and EcoNews Archive Intern Ryan Call for their dedication and assistance during the spring semester.