Students in buses head out for a field trip to the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area. File photo by Andrew Goff.

While the Bundy militia continues its divinely inspired defense of pocket-sized copies of the Constitution at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns (no relation), Ore., a tricorne alliance of local environmental groups is preparing its own takeover of federal land.

The Mike Thompson Wildlife Area on Humboldt Bay’s South Spit is operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and these environmental activists plan to make a bold statement about that fact next week by storming the property and unleashing an onslaught of flowers and handshakes on federal employees. They might also “sing a song or two,” according to a press release issued today.

Below you’ll find that joint press release, which comes from the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) and Humboldt Baykeeper:

On Wednesday, January 20th, members of the public armed with only binoculars, an ample supply of snacks, and their love of public lands will take over the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, located in the South Spit Cooperative Management Area.

During this takeover, the public will enjoy the vast beauty of the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, appreciate the foresight to put this land under public management, thank public employees with flowers and a hearty handshake for their good work, and maybe sing a song or two.

The takeover will last for only about an hour, at which point the public will peacefully leave. All persons are welcome.

“We are taking over the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area to express our love of their lands and our appreciation that they are held in trust for all persons,” said Natalynne DeLapp, Executive Director at the Environmental Protection Information Center. “Love trumps hate.”

“Living in Northwest California, we are blessed to be surrounded by national public lands,” said Dan Sealy, Vice President of the Northcoast Environmental Center and former National Park Ranger.

“From the towering redwoods of Redwoods National Park to the windswept dunes at the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, these lands provide habitat for wildlife, their beauty helps drive our local tourism economy, and recreating in them shapes our way of life on the North Coast.”

Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper is cognizant that public ownership imposes a duty on all persons. “Because these lands are our lands, we have a shared responsibility to protect these lands and ensure that they will be around for future generations. The best way to do so is to celebrate these lands and remind folks that these national public lands are invaluable.”

The actions of a few extremists at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon do not represent most Americans. As polls show, the overwhelming majority of Americans support our national public lands and oppose giveaways to ranchers and loggers.

The Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, which covers the South Spit of Humboldt Bay, is open 365 days a year to all persons. The Area’s dunes and beaches provide excellent opportunities for beachcombers, equestrians, and kite-fliers as well as providing important habitat for the endangered Western Snowy Plover.

The marshy tidelands near the bay provide a place to rest for migrating birds and excellent birdwatching. (Be on the lookout for Tundra Swans!) This rally is supported by the Environmental Protection Information Center, Northcoast Environmental Center, and Humboldt Baykeeper.