The EcoNews Report | Lost Coast Outpost | Humboldt County


The EcoNews Report

Timely interviews on environmental issues that matter most on the North Coast and our bioregion, along with news and information on upcoming meetings, hikes and events. The EcoNews Report features a rotating cast of representatives from local environmental groups.



• (Saturday, Nov. 21) Let's Talk About Broadway

Highway 101 through Eureka is one of California's most dangerous stretches of road. Structurally, the road is bad for non-vehicular users: it is wide, fast, and crosswalks are too spaced too far apart, to name a few problems. Local agencies and advocates are looking for ways to make Broadway safer for people walking and biking. What do wetlands, contaminated soil and traffic congestion have to do with it? Listen to find out.

• (Saturday, Nov. 14) Election Post-Mortem

Gang Green goes around the horn with thoughts about the outcome of the most recent election.

Much has been made on how Justice Amy Coney Barrett will rule on questions of abortion and healthcare, but what about her stance on the Chevron deference? If you don't know what that is, you are not alone. On this week's EcoNews Report, Gang Green goes law nerd and dives into the bedrock of our federal administrative state. We promise this isn't boring.

New Zealand mudsnails are small—about the size of a peppercorn—but they can be a BIG problem for watersheds where they are found. On this week's EcoNews Report, the Green Gang sits down with Darren Ward, Associate Professor of Fisheries Biology at Humboldt State University, and Jacob Pounds, environmental scientist at the Blue Lake Rancheria, to learn about new infestations in the Mad River and how you can prevent the spread of these snails and other aquatic invaders.

Washington is a mess. With the Feds failing to lead on climate change, is there any hope for our planet? On this week's EcoNews, Gang Green dives into what it would take to translate the principles and values of the Green New Deal - you know, the thing that your crazy uncle says will ban hamburgers - into local legislation. Special thanks to Colin Fiske, Executive Director of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities and Katy Gurin of 350 Humboldt for joining the show.

On this week's EcoNews Report, Gang Green interviews fire ecologist Lenya Quinn-Davidson about this year's record fire season and what people can do to reduce fire risk on their properties. (Did you know it can be as easy as cleaning out your gutters?)

This week, we are joined by Jacobs Pounds of Blue Lake Rancheria Environmental Department, who recently detected toxic algae in the Mad River from Blue Lake to Arcata. Anatoxins are powerful neurotoxins produced by blue-green algae when populations explode or “bloom” during unusually warm, low-flow conditions. These toxins have been detected in other local rivers and across the West, but never before in the Mad River. With limited testing due to high costs, it's best to avoid freshwater with visible algae mats, since these toxins have led to dog deaths and could be harmful to people, especially children.

On this week's show, we hear from the award-winning California artist-naturalist Obi Kaufmann about his latest book, The Forests of California: A California Field Atlas. Like his two previous best sellers, The California Field Atlas and The State of Water: Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource, The Forests of California explores the Golden State's wild places in an attempt to center those of us fortunate enough to live here. The book is a collection of hundreds of watercolor paintings and maps, woven together with philosophy and lyrical naturalism to present a story of the forests of our past, present and future.

• (Saturday, Sept. 19) Interpreting the Parks

This week on the Econews report we hear from California State Parks, North Coast Redwoods District staff about their Interpretive programs, how they are working to tell unique stories, uplift diverse voices, and how use of digital technology during Covid has increased access to learning about these incredible public lands. Our guests include Interpretive Program Manager Marnin Robbins, and Interpreters and Humboldt Redwoods State Park John Griffith and Erika Granadino.

• (Saturday, Sept. 12) It's Coastal Cleanup … Month?

This week on the EcoNews Report Casey Cruishank, Coastal Programs Coordinator for the Northcoast Environmental Center, talks with us about Coastal Cleanup Day. This year the event lasts all month, so there's still time for you to participate and find out for yourself why picking up a little trash is really about so much more.

• (Saturday, Sept. 5) Building Cities for People, Not Cars

Three major phenomena are shaping the future of the transportation system in Humboldt County and nationwide: climate chaos, autonomous vehicles, and the road safety crisis (particularly for non-vehicular road users). These phenomena will only grow in importance and influence in the decades to come. Yet today, as transportation officials at every level continue to repair and maintain our existing transportation system and draft plans for the future, these phenomena are often relegated to the status of minor considerations, or are ignored completely. A new report from the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities documents what all this means for local transportation and identifies specific actions local governments should be taking. CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske joins hosts Tom Wheeler (EPIC), Alician Hamann (Friends of the Eel River) and Larry Glass (NEC) to give you the details.

Our guest is Mike Cipra of Friends of the Dunes, a local conservation organization which is in the process of acquiring the Samoa Dunes and Wetlands Conservation Property (a.k.a. the Dog Ranch and Poovey Tract). The 357-acre property is scheduled to be purchased from Security National this fall. Friends of the Dunes has decided to be interim owner for up to 5 years while a permanent plan is developed to manage the area for habitat conservation and public access.

This week's show is a lightning round on various environmental developments around the region and the world: New developments on Eel River dam removal, the NEC's “Trashathon,” socially distanced ways to experience nature in groups, billboards and more!

The Northwest Forest Plan — first adopted in 1994 — guides the management of federally owned forest lands in Washington, Oregon and Northern California. A lot has changed in the last 26 years, but the plan has mostly remained static. Until now! Mike Anderson of the Wilderness Society joins hosts Tom Wheeler (EPIC) and Scott Greacen (Friends of the Eel) to preview an upcoming effort to revise this important document, and to think about how to incorporate everything we've learned in the last quarter-century.

Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission either moved along the Klamath Dam removal project, or else it threw a big wrench in the works. S. Craig Tucker, consultant to the Karuk Tribe, and Mike Belchik, senior water policy analyst with the Yurok Tribe, joins Scott Greacen (Friends of the Eel) and Tom Wheeler (EPIC) for a spirited discussion on the new news about the state of dam removal. What does the FERC ruling mean? Will it speed up dam removal or slow it down?

The Green Gang checks in with Tom Stokely, salmon water policy advocate at Save California Salmon, to talk about the Sites Reservoir — a big new dam and reservoir proposed near Colusa. If this goes through, how might it affect the health of the Trinity River — the only Humboldt County river that contributes to the massive Central Valley Project?

• (Saturday, July 11) Treesits and Forest Defense in 2020

Tom Wheeler (Environmental Protection Information Center) talks with Meredith of Redwood Forest Defense, a group conducting treesits on Green Diamond Land near Trinidad.

• (Saturday, July 4) The State of the Klamath

What's the state of the Klamath River in July 2020? Not great. Mike Belchik, a senior water policy analyst with the Yurok Tribe, and Daniel Cordalis, a staff attorney for the Tribe, walk the Green Gang through what's happening on the region's largest river this season — including the threat of upcoming low flows and, with it, fish-killing disease.

Explore the exciting world of abalone! Author, naturalist, and environmental historian Ann Vileisis talks to the Gang Green about the sad, strange and sometimes hopeful history of California’s abalone.

A discussion of spring-run Chinook and summer-run steelhead. With Bill Tripp of the Karuk Tribe, consultant Craig Tucker and fish researcher Sam Kannry.

John Griffith waited 20 years for his dream job. At long last, he is a naturalist at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which he describes as church for nature-lovers.

A roundup of local environmental news from Gang Green. Humboldt Baykeeper celebrates that the Planning Department has refused to allow reconstruction of a downed billboard. The NEC reports on a new air curtain burner being tested by the Forest Service that will hopefully keep smoke levels down from debris burning. EPIC announces new lawsuits and the successful settlement with Humboldt County over the controversial contract with Wildlife Services. Friends of the Eel River previews the big news: we are one step closer to the end of Scott Dam!

Humboldt State professor Sarah Jaquette Ray talks with host Tom Wheeler about eco-grief and climate anxiety, and how to cope with despair, apathy and amygdalas flaring at the end of the world. Or the thought of it.

Everything you ever wanted to know about e-bikes! Tom Wheeler is joined by Chris Johnson of Adventure's Edge and Nancy Stephenson and Sofia Valenzuela of the Redwood Coast Energy Authority to about the miraculous new generation of electric bicycles and why they're kind of a game-changer. Plus: everything you need to know about the RCEA's new electric bike rebate program. What is it, why is it, and how do you take advantage of it?

• (Saturday, April 25) Backyard Birding for the Bored!

Are you bored at home? Do you keep seeing a bird in your backyard and wonder, “what are you?” On this week's EcoNews Report, the Green Gang investigates backyard birding! Stay sane during the shelter in place by birding without having to leave your house!

Connor McGuigan, lead planner on the county's multijurisdictional Climate Action Plan, joins host Tom Wheeler to talk about Humboldt's biggest climate challenges, the development of the plan and more.

• (Saturday, April 4) Victory Gardens!

Grocery store shelves got you anxious about food security? Bored at home with nothing to do? Start a Victory Garden! Guests Julia Graham-Whitt and Mir de Silva of Two Green Thumbs share tips and tricks to get your first garden established, from seeds to soil and grass to garden.

• (Wednesday, March 25) Rep. Jared Huffman

Congressman Huffman joins the Green Gang to talk about the federal COVID-19 response—spoiler alert: he isn’t pleased with the Trump Administration’s handling of the crisis—and previews upcoming environmental legislation. Bored at home? Rep. Huffman also offers a book recommendation to keep your mind occupied.

Dan Jacobson of Environment California joins the Green Gang to talk about how we can reduce the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions: Transportation.

Scott Greacen, Jen Kalt and Tom Wheeler discuss a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times and ask each other the question: How can we be all be happy, healthy, effective activists without succumbing to gloom?

This week: Emily Allee of the Wildlands Conservancy joins Tom Wheeler (of EPIC) and Alicia Hamann (of Friends of the Eel) to talk about the ambitious work that the nonprofit is doing right here in Humboldt and across the state. Learn about the conservancy's two unusual seaside properties along the Humboldt County coast (and how you might visit them) and their large plans for the Main Stem of the Eel River.

Becky Chambers, local resident and Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, talks with the Green Gang about her work and her philosophy of science fiction. Her popular Wayfarers series focuses on the lives on regular people following an ecological collapse and their relationship with the alien species who somewhat reluctantly save humans.

It's an Econews roundup, as Alicia Hamann of Friends of the Eel joins us to talk about the latest on the Great Redwood Trail. Plus: The state of play with the safety corridor billboards, fuel management in the Six Rivers National Forest, summer steelhead and weird carbon sequestration ideas.

• (Saturday, Feb. 8) Monte Merrick of Bird Ally X

What do you do when a raccoon is living in the walls of your home? What about when a bird flies into your window? Why do more English majors than science majors volunteer to save wildlife? Bird Ally X — how is it related to Speed Racer? Monte Merrick, one of Humboldt County's foremost wildlife rescuers, joins the Green Gang to talk us through these questions and more, and to muse on the complicated question of feral cats and the people who care for them. Hear about the odd baby pelican he once saved!

• (Wednesday, Feb. 5) Lessons From Terra-Gen

We look back at the process that led to the Terra-Gen wind farm being denied last month. What did we learn?

On this week's episode, Luis Villa, Director of Latino Outdoors, joins the Green Gang to talk about how to make nature a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for all people. Latino Outdoors is a unique Latinx-led organization working to create a national community of leaders in conservation and outdoor education. Started in California, Latino Outdoors is now an international volunteer movement.

Urbanism is not just for big cities like San Francisco. To keep Humboldt bucolic and pastoral our urban centers need to grow up and not out. Colin Fisher from the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities lays out the case to the Green Gang.

With the recent power shutoffs and the proposed Humboldt Wind Project (RIP), our energy infrastructure has received considerable attention. But just how the heck does it work? On this week's episode, the Green Gang learns how our the grid actually works from Matthew Marshall, executive director of the Redwood Coast Energy Authority. What you learn may shock you.

You may have noticed it: the bay seems particularly high this time of year. The extreme high tides of winter have a name: King Tides. And they can help illustrate the effects of rising sea levels. Volunteers are needed to document the high tides and the way sea level rise will impact our bay. Sign up for the Humboldt Bay King Tides Photo Initiative! Photo by Ted Halstead for the Humboldt Bay King Tide Photo Initiative.

The Green Gang talks with the North Coast Regional Director of Caltrout about the state of play of dam removal on the upper Eel River.

In this week's episode, we have a treat for the holiday season. Poet Jerry Martien joins the Green Gang in the studio to read poetry inspired by the natural landscapes of Humboldt County. If you have never heard Jerry read his poetry before, you are in for a treat, as Jerry's sonorous voice and crisp lyrical poetry inspires and soothes the soul.

The Green Gang talks with Cheryl Seidner (Cultural Liaison, Wiyot Tribe), Adam Kanter (Natural Resource Specialist, Wiyot Tribe) and Corinne Alton (Wiyot Tribal member) about the proposed Terra-Gen wind farm project along two ridges in the Eel River Valley.

Maggie Gainer of Zero Waste Humboldt joins the show to talk trash.

• (Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019) (FIX) Here Comes the Electric Vehicle Parade!

In this week's episode, the Green Gang talks with Stephen Kullman of the Blue Lake Rancheria and Nancy Stephenson of RCEA about the first annual Electric Vehicle Parade, electric vehicle expo and Holiday tree lighting. Along the way, we also talk about how the PG&E outages provided a unplanned test of the Blue Lake micro-grid system. (They passed with flying colors.)

• (Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019) Here Comes the Electric Vehicle Parade!

In this week's episode, the Green Gang talks with Stephen Kullman of the Blue Lake Rancheria and Nancy Stephenson of RCEA about the first annual Electric Vehicle Parade, electric vehicle expo and Holiday tree lighting. Along the way, we also talk about how the PG&E outages provided a unplanned test of the Blue Lake micro-grid system. (They passed with flying colors.)

• (Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019) 'We Cannot Move Fast Enough on This'

Gang Green talks with Pacific Forest Trust VP Paul Mason, veteran of both our own Headwaters Forest fight and more than a decade of lobbying for environmental causes in Sacramento. Why just saying no isn’t enough; how Pacific Forest Trust uses carbon credits and conservation easements to drive better forestry; community forests and carbon sequestration; protecting California’s water supply; the disastrous consequences of fire management; the state legislature starts to step up; and above all, making a big enough difference on the scale and time frame we need to address now.

• (Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019) Is Your Pot Killing Northern Spotted Owls?

On this week's episode, the Green Gang talks with Jackee Riccio of the CROP Project about trespass cannabis grows—those rascals growing pot on our public lands. With this pot often comes guns, pesticides, and poaching. Listen to learn more.

On this week's show, the Green Gang interviews author Jon Humboldt Gates about his new book, Firestorm, the true life account of living through the 2017 Tubbs Fire. Gates is also the author of Falk's Claim (about the historic lumber town of Falk) and Night Crossings, tales of historical mishaps involving Humboldt Bay.

• (Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019) Where's the Mercury in Humboldt Bay Coming From?

On this week's episode, the Green Gang investigates mercury in Humboldt Bay and the Eel River. (Could they be connected?) Need a costume idea? We've got you covered. Listen for scary (and maybe sexy) environmental costume ideas.

• (Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019) Massive Bird Declines Foretell a Silent Spring

A new study in the journal Science documents the staggering loss of bird populations in North America—a decline of approximately three billion birds in total over the past 50 years. Local ornithologist Ken Burton says that Humboldt County is not immune to this trend. Using available data, Burton has determined that of the most commonly-reported species in Northwest California, 69 percent of birds were reported less frequently. On the show, Burton digs into the data with the Green Gang to figure out the causes.

• (Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019) The Klamath River is a Person, My Friend

The Klamath River is now a person with full legal rights under Yurok Tribal Law. Amy Cordalis, General Counsel for the Yurok Tribe, joins the green gang to talk about what this means for the river and why giving recognizing “personhood” for the river is both a big and little leap under the law. (As Mitt Romney sez: “Corporations are people too, my friend.”)

In this week's show, the Green Gang discusses Interior Secretary David Bernhardt's attempts to fast track the approval of the Shasta Dam raise, which would benefit Bernhardt's former client, the Westlands Water District. (The losers? The ecological community that would drown under rising waters.) The Gang also discusses Gov. Gavin Newsom's veto of SB 1, a state bill that would improve state environmental law if the Trump Administration were to weaken federal law. Listen to learn how these two stories are connected.

Greta Thunberg and the children's climate strike. Being an activist for the ecology versus being a single-issue activist. Even a bore and terrible writer like Jonathan Franzen can be right once in a while. “One of the risks to the environment right now is environmentalism.” The Karuk Tribe's new climate adaptation plan is a very interesting document. A momma walrus gets hers.

This week’s guest is Troy Nicolini, Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service in Eureka. Troy has lots of practical, time-tested tips on avoiding sneaker waves, what to do in a tsunami, and why empowering people to take action and connect with each other is better than instilling fear, whether you’re dealing with disaster-preparedness or climate action.

On this EcoNews Report, your favorite Forest Grumps talk about “ecological grief” — the deep sense of dread and depression we get from thinking about how we are screwed in the face of climate change and the anthropocene.

The KHUM/LoCO premiere! Here's what we're planning for the newly resuscitated EcoNews Report! Plus: Sea level rise and the Eureka/Arcata corridor; nuking hurricanes. With Tom Wheeler (EPIC), Jen Kalt (Baykeeper), Larry Glass (Northcoast Environmental Center) and Scott Greacen (Friends of the Eel).