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.
• (Yesterday) Exploring California's Coasts, With Obi Kaufmann
Obi Kaufmann, naturalist and best-selling author, joins Gang Green to talk about his new book, The Coasts of California: A California Field Atlas. Like his previous best sellers, The Coasts of California explores the Golden State’s wild places in a way only Obi can, through hundreds of watercolor paintings and maps, woven together with philosophy and lyrical naturalism. Obi also has a new podcast—shameless cross-promotion here—Place & Purpose, where he and co-host Greg Sarris, Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, explore deep questions of purpose and belonging. Grab a cup of tea, sit back, and enjoy this far-ranging conversation.
• (Saturday, Aug. 6) Big Doings on the Beautiful Eel River
On this weeks EcoNews Report, Scott and Alicia from Friends of the Eel River join Gang Green to talk about damn removal and FERC relicensing. Also, the coal train is officially dead! Let's take a moment to celebrate that big victory.
• (Saturday, July 30) Healing Humboldt's Wildlife
From skunks to songbirds, the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center is here is help the wildlife of the region. Gang Green sits down with Monte Merrick, director of the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, to talk about the center's work, what to do if you see an injured animal and the center's upcoming big move.
• (Saturday, July 23) #LandBack is Environmentalism
On this week's EcoNews Report, Gang Green talks about the Land Back movement—the indigenous-led campaign to return political and economic control to indigenous people and tribes—and why rank-and-file environmentalists should support this movement.
• (Saturday, July 16) Marbled Murrelets Win in Court
Marbled murrelets, the ocean-going bird that was once at the heart of the showdown with the Pacific Lumber Company over Headwaters Forest, are back in court in Oregon. Nick Cady of Cascadia Wildlands joins Gang Green to discuss their recent victory protecting the large, old trees that murrelets need to survive. And there is a Humboldt connection: local biologists testified on behalf of the environmental plaintiffs, establishing that the proposed logging would violate the federal Endangered Species Act.
• (Saturday, July 9) Supreme Court's Climate Decisions are Catastrophic (and Not Just for the Climate)
The Supreme Court's recent decision in West Virginia v. EPA not only throws a substantial hurdle ahead of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants, it takes a vicious swipe at the entirety of the modern administrative state. Using a new invention—the “major questions doctrine”—the Supreme Court has set up an easy way for conservative judges across the country to invalidate any regulation that a judge finds to be of “vast significance.” How can environmentalists and progressives restrain the Supreme Court before we lose any more rights and still have a democracy? Listen in to hear more.
• (Saturday, June 25) Elections Wrap-Up
What can we learn about the national and political landscape from the results of the 2022 primary election? Those enviro-political nerds at the Redwood Coalition for Climate and Environmental Responsibility and the Lost Coast Outpost's own Hank Sims break down election results and reflect on lessons learned from this election.
• (Saturday, June 18) California's Climate Plan Misses the Mark?
On this week's EcoNews Report, Gang Green talks with Professor Dan Kammen of UC Berkeley and Gary Hughes of Biofuelwatch to investigate how the state of California intends to meet its climate targets and whether its plan is sufficient. (Spoiler alert: it's not). The California Air Resources Board has released its draft scoping plan, a document intended to guide the state's climate actions moving forward. The plan has been poorly received by environmental groups. Find out more on this week's episode.
• (Saturday, June 11) Power Grid Issues Limit Future Wind Development
The transmission lines running into Humboldt County are fairly small. This has big implications for local efforts to decarbonize our local electricity supply. The lines are too small to supply enough of Humboldt’s current power demands, necessitating the Humboldt Bay Generating Station, run off methane gas (Gang Green refuses to call it “natural gas”). It also limits our ability to fully realize our offshore wind resource as, again, the damn lines are too small, thereby limiting our capacity constraints. Arne Jacobson from the Schatz Energy Research Lab joins the show to talk through the lab’s new report on grid constraints.
• (Saturday, June 4) Toxic Tires?
On this week’s EcoNews Report, Warner Chabot of the San Francisco Estuary Institute joins Gang Green to talk about micro-plastic pollution, including that which comes from car tires. A chemical in tires has been found to kill coho salmon. Now the California Department of Toxic Substances Control is considering regulation to address this threat.
• (Saturday, May 28) Coal Trains Inch Forward with Surface Transportation Board Decision
Two weeks ago, the federal Surface Transportation Board made some important decisions about the future of trails in our region. Tune in to hear about the latest developments including what's in store for the Annie and Mary Trail and what comes next in determining the future for the Great Redwood Trail. Will it be a spectacular 300-mile trail connecting communities from San Francisco to Humboldt Bay, or will rail entities succeed in taking the right-of-way from the public and using it to poison our future?
• (Saturday, May 7) Composting 101
Organic matter—things like banana peels, coffee grounds, and newspaper—clog our waste system and when it reaches a landfill, breaks down into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. That's why California is requiring more and more diversion of this organic matter from our waste stream. Two compost nerds — Layla Richardson of Zero Waste Humboldt and Daniel Hosapple of the Blue Lake Rancheria — join Gang Green to talk about how individuals can start composting in their backyard and how large producers of organic waste, like the Blue Lake Rancheria's brewery and restaurants, can compost their food waste and returning it back to the soil.
The McKay Community Forest is one step closer to reality with the release of the draft Forest Stewardship Plan. The McKay Community Forest looks to join its famous neighbor to the north, the Arcata Community Forest, as a local hub for recreation, wildlife, and even timber production—all directed by the Forest Stewardship Plan. Hank Seeman of Humboldt County and Stevie Luther of the Humboldt Trails Council join the show to talk about the future of the McKay, trail building, and just how soon you can take your dog for a walk in the woods here.
• (Saturday, April 23) Bear Dogs on the Job!
Karelian bear dogs were bred to hunt large game, like bears. Now they are being used to save them. Jessica Reyes of the Wind River Bear Institute joins Gang Green to talk about how these fearless dogs train bears to avoid humans and how the dogs train humans to be better for bears.
• (Saturday, April 16) The Beginning of the End for Eel River Dams
On Thursday, we celebrated the expiration of PG&E's 50-year license for the Eel River dams. Next up comes license surrender, decommissioning, and ultimately dam removal. Tune in to hear about what this process might look like and why it is so important to act swiftly to seize the opportunity for recovery of the Eel River's wild runs of salmon and steelhead. And in other celebratory news: Klamath dam removal is on track to begin by the end of this year. Two of California's largest rivers are in for monumental change over the next few years!
• (Saturday, April 9) Microplastic in My Blood?
Plastic pollution in our oceans is a high-profile problem. Jen Savage, Senior Manager of the Plastic Pollution Initiative of the Surfrider Foundation, joins the show to talk about just how bad the problem has gotten — if the headline didn't give it away, it's so bad that a recent study found microplastics in human blood — and what can be done to stop the problem.
• (Saturday, April 2) Understanding 'Urbanism'
On this week's EcoNews Report, planning expert Dan Zack joins Gang Green to talk about “urbanism”—a term that might sound scary for rural Humboldt County. But despite its name, principles of urban design can be applied across the whole of the county, from Bridgeville to Eureka. Because at its core, urbanism is just about making planning work for humans. Dan also breaks down “form based codes,” a relatively new idea in urban planning that is at the heart of the Gateway Area Plan, Arcata's new planning effort to allow for mixed-use infill development near the city's core. Like what you hear? Dan is giving a slightly longer presentation on “The Principles of Good Infill Development” on April 7 at 6pm via Zoom. There will also be the opportunity to ask him some questions.
• (Saturday, March 26) Bike Back Better! Getting Back on Two Wheels as an Adult
With gas prices spiking and a climate crisis making you feel guilty everytime you get into your car, you might be thinking about dragging your bike out of the garage for a ride. But what about the rusty chain, the flat tire and old brakes? And what about your own anxiety: Will I look dumb? Where is it safe to bike? Your friends at Moon Cycles are here to help! Sage and Sprout, the owners of Moon Cycles, Arcata's queer-owned bicycle shop, join Gang Green to talk about getting back on your bike and how they are working to make bicycling more inclusive.
• (Saturday, March 19) What do You Know About Alternative Energy?
Humboldt County is faced with some important and difficult decisions regarding our energy future, and if the TerraGen project taught us anything it’s that the public needs to be involved as energy projects are planned. But civic engagement requires an educated populace, so the Northcoast Environmental Center is working to figure out what folks do and don’t know about renewable energy sources and how to fill those information gaps to make sure we move forward with the best possible energy sources for our future. In this episode Gang Green are joined by CalPoly Humboldt graduate students Lorelei Walker and Alexander Brown to talk about our energy past, our energy future and the survey they are working on with the NEC to learn Humboldt County residents’ perspectives on renewable energy sources. Take the survey by March 31 at yournec.org/energysurvey
• (Saturday, March 12) Housing is an Environmental Issue
Ask anyone who has tried to look for rental housing lately and they'll tell you that housing in Humboldt is expensive. Humboldt, like California generally, suffers from a housing affordability crisis brought on chiefly by failing to build enough housing. Our housing crisis is an environmental issue and local green groups are working to support new infill housing development. On this week's episode, Gang Green talks to housing policy experts Lulu Michelson and Brian Heaton about why California has failed to build enough housing and what policy changes can be made to support housing creation.
• (Saturday, March 5) Our Planet is On Fire, but the Supreme Court Might Throw Away the Extinguisher
On this week's EcoNews, the gang's nerdy lawyers — Tom, Matt and Scott — are joined by CalPoly Humboldt's own professor of environmental law, Jennifer Marlow, to talk about the recent oral argument in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. Is the court going to jettison Chevron deference in favor of its newly constructed “major questions doctrine” or will we see a return to Lochner-era non-delegation doctrine? Learn what that all means and why it should terrify you on this week's episode!
• (Saturday, Feb. 26) Build Broadway Better
This week, Gang Green sits down with Caltrans' Jeff Pimentel to discuss Caltrans' work to improve Broadway for all road users (and not just motorists). Through fixing sidewalks, adding pedestrian crossings, and other changes to the road, we can influence individuals to make safer decisions. Caltrans' work on Broadway is also a reflection of larger cultural changes within the agency. Once almost solely focused on traffic speed, the agency has made great progress towards broadening its horizons to prioritize traffic safety and incorporate the interests of non-car road users. Progress!
• (Saturday, Feb. 19) Is California's Carbon Credit System a Failure?
Gary Hughes of Biofuelwatch joins the show to talk about the creative accounting of “net zero” carbon emissions. Can we “offset” emissions or is this sending us down the wrong path? Gary discusses Biofuelwatch's new report, Carbon Capture or Captured Futures?, which examines the politics and influence of the fossil fuel industry in shaping California's climate policy.
• (Saturday, Feb. 12) What's Next for Eel River Dams?
On this week's edition of the Econews Report, Friends of the Eel River discuss developments in the thrilling drama of Eel River dam removal. It's a story of injustice and opportunity— a 100-year-old water diversion that takes from one watershed to give to another, and the chance to correct the harms by returning salmon and steelhead to excellent cold-water habitat locked behind the dams. Starring characters like the charismatic Northern California summer steelhead, the most athletic and endangered fish in the watershed; Congressman Huffman, who is working diligently to arrive at a win-win solution; and countless stakeholders all taking part in a process which will see the Eel River become the longest free-flowing river in the state.
• (Saturday, Feb. 5) Talking Tough, With the Huff
Congressman Jared Huffman joins Gang Green for a fun conversation about his legislative priorities for 2022, the prospect of the Build Back Better agenda and voting rights legislation currently stalled in the Senate, and his thoughts on California's legislative redistricting.
• (Saturday, Jan. 22) How Can Nature Teach Us to be Better Humans
Naturalist and best-selling nature writer Gary Ferguson joins the show to talk about how nature can teach us important lessons to make us better humans. From the interconnectedness of mycorrhizae bounding trees together to how a wolf pack moves through Yellowstone, the natural world is a countless source of wonder and inspiration that can help us overcome our climate blues. For more about Gary's work and philosophy, check out his new project, Full Ecology.
• (Saturday, Jan. 15) Year-End Wrap Up (We Ain't Gonna Miss You, 2021)
Join Gang Green for a review of the highlights and lowlights of 2021. Friends of the Eel River organized a motley crew of enviros, organized labor, religious leaders and others in a coalition to fight against the threat of a coal export facility and train line. Humboldt Baykeeper continued to keep the community safe by tracking mercury in commonly consumed fish. EPIC maintained the decade-long fight over the Richardson Grove Project, an attempt by Caltrans to realign portions of Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park, which would require cutting into the root system of nearby ancient redwoods trees.
• (Saturday, Jan. 8) How is Arcata Planning for Growth? Learn about the Gateway Area!
Urban planning nerds rejoice! Here is an episode for you. Humboldt is seeming a bit more crowded as of late. Whether it is climate refugees burned out of their homes or folks freed to move to the redwoods because of lax telework options, Humboldt's housing market has been white hot. If people are coming, how do we ensure that we have enough housing for those who are looking to join our community (and how we do have enough having for those of us who want to stick around)? As part of Arcata's strategic infill development planning, the city is giving a hard look at the future of the “Gateway Area” — that area of already-developed land west of K Street. City planner Delores Freitas joins Gang Green to talk about the city's planning process and how citizens can participate in long-term planning.
• (Saturday, Jan. 1) The Future of Humboldt's Nuclear Waste Site
One of the first nuclear power plants in the US was built on a bluff overlooking the Humboldt Bay entrance and the town of King Salmon. Shut down in 1976 and recently decommissioned, the site — located 115 feet away from the bay, on a bluff 44 feet above sea level — continues to serve as storage for 37 tons of spent fuel and other radioactive waste. The underground casks are relatively safe for the next 50 years, but rising sea level and ongoing bluff erosion raise questions about long-term safety in the absence of a federal repository. Our guests this week are Michael Welch, an activist who has watchdogged the nuclear plant since it was still operating, and Dr. Jennifer Marlow of Humboldt State University, who is working to facilitate inclusive community conversations about the future of the nuclear waste site.
• (Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021) Coming Soon — Camping by the Grand Canyon of the Eel River
Have you ever seen the “Grand Canyon of the Eel River?” Few have, but that might change soon thanks to a major new conservation deal engineered by the Wildlands Conservancy. The former “Lone Pine Ranch,” owned by San Francisco financial mogul Dean Witter, is now the Eel River Canyon Reserve, one of three reserves managed by the Wildlands Conservancy along the Eel River. Listen to this week's show to learn about when you can go camp along the Eel River and how the new lands will be incorporated into the Great Redwood Trail (and the risk that a coal train poses to this special spot).
• (Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021) Meet RCCER — Enviros Organize for Political Power
The Redwood Coalition for Climate and Environmental Responsibility — RCCER, pronounced “rocker” — is hoping to give a larger voice to environmental voters by holding elected officials accountable and by providing model legislation that local jurisdictions can adopt. Listen to this week's episode to learn who is behind this new organization and what they are looking to accomplish.
• (Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021) Enviros Challenge County Over Cannabis
Local environmental groups — Northcoast Environmental Center, Citizens for a Sustainable Humboldt and the Redwood Region Audubon Society — have filed their second lawsuit against Humboldt County concerning a controversial cannabis farm deep in the wild Eel River canyon. Larry Glass of the Northcoast Environmental Center and Mary Gaterud of Citizens for a Sustainable Humboldt join the show to talk about their lawsuit, why this farm is symptomatic of larger failings in the county's regulation of cannabis, and the politics of cannabis on the Board of Supervisors.
• (Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021) Restoring Blue Lake's Powers Creek, One of the County's Most Significant Urban Streams
The Mad River is isn't one of the county's largest, but it's the source of water for more than half of the county's population. One of its tributaries, Powers Creek, runs smack through the town Blue Lake — and through Blue Lake's industrial outskirts — and it's been much impacted by development over the years. But recently, people have started to do something about that. In this episode, we're joined by representatives of the Mad River Alliance and the Blue Lake Rancheria, who tell us about a recent restoration project aimed at bringing back the natural systems supported by the creek.
• (Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021) Celebrating the Hoopa Valley Tribe's Victory Over the Westlands Water District
On this week's EcoNews Report, Chairman Joe Davis and Mike Orcutt, Fisheries Department Director of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, join Gang Green to talk about the Hoopa Tribe's work to restore the Trinity River. Critical to this is wrestling water diversions that go to the Westlands Water District back to the Trinity River. Tune in to learn more about the Hoopa Tribe's work and what is needed to have a sustainable fishery again in the Trinity River.
• (Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021) Pomo Perspectives on Forest Protection at the Jackson State Forest
Chairman Michael Hunter of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians joins Gang Green to talk about his tribe's work to protect the Jackson Demonstration State Forest. Chairman Hunter has been on the front lines of the struggle to protect sacred cultural resources and protect the redwood forest that his people have called home since time immemorial. The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians' efforts to protect Jackson Demonstration State Forest is part of a larger story about how can America move towards reconciliation and reparation for lands stolen from native peoples.
• (Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021) Kelp Collapse?
The destruction of the North Coast's redwood forests is well known to EcoNews listeners, but did you know about the loss of our kelp forests? Gang Green sits down with James Ray, a scientist with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, who studies bull kelp populations along the North Coast. James talks about the marine heat wave in 2014 and the resulting 90% decline in bull kelp, in part due to an explosion in purple urchins, which have overgrazed some bull kelp beds into oblivion. The purple urchin used to be kept in check by sunflower sea stars, but bad news: in 2013, a wasting disease killed 90% of sunflower sea stars along the West Coast from Mexico to Alaska. Is there any hope for our coastal kelp forests? James and his colleagues have seen some slight increases in some kelp beds, giving a glimmer of hope that this foundational species to the marine ecosystem could eventually recover even in the absence of sunflower sea stars.
• (Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021) Forest Defenders Threatened at Jackson State Forest
For the past six months, forest defenders have protested ongoing logging at the state-owned Jackson Demonstration State Forest. Their concern: logging the mature redwood forests is bad for climate, water and wildlife. In recent weeks, loggers have threatened physical violence against forest defenders in a manner reminiscent of some of the worst times of the Timber Wars. On this week's show, “Alder,” a forest defender at Jackson, and J.P. O'Brien, a climate scientist, share with Gang Green why they are concerned with ongoing logging operations and how the state of California is complacent in allowing threats of violence to occur.
• (Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021) Redistricting Ruckus
On this week's EcoNews Report, Gang Green breaks down redistricting efforts at the state and county. Could draft maps splitting Eureka apart be an attempt to draw Supervisor candidate Natalie Arroyo out of her district? Is the state serious about lumping Humboldt with Redding? Our politics for the next decade will be shaped by these mapping decisions, so you better to pay attention!
• (Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021) Broadway — Dangerous By Design?
Broadway is one the most dangerous streets in California for pedestrians. In the last decade alone, at least 10 people have been killed and at least 14 people severely injured while walking or biking on Broadway. What is being done about it? Colin Fiske of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities joins Gang Green to talk about what fixes can and should be undertaken immediately to make the roadway safer for all road users.
• (Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021) Eel River Salmon Win Before FERC
There’s a proposal to remove the fish-blocking Scott Dam on the Eel River but looming problems still remain. Cape Horn Dam, just downstream of Scott Dam, technically allows for fish passage through its fish ladder — but that’s only when the ladder is properly functioning and the trouble is that fish often can’t use the ladder because it gets so choked with rocks and debris. So what good is the removal of Scott Dam if salmon still struggle to get past Cape Horn Dam? Friends of the Eel River is pressing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address persistent issues with the fish ladder and – shockingly — FERC admitted that Friends of the Eel River is right! In an important win for salmon, FERC has agreed to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service as required by the Endangered Species Act. Find out what this victory means for salmon and dam removal across the West Coast on this week’s EcoNews Report.
• (Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021) What Smells at Stinky Beach?
The City of Eureka's wastewater treatment facility releases its treated wastewater into Humboldt Bay near its facility by the Elk River. Nearby, surfers play at Stinky Beach and Humboldt Bay residents collect seafood. The City had been operating on the assumption that the treated sewage discharged from its Elk River Wastewater Treatment plant washes out to sea, but a 2014 study determined that much more of the treated sewage remains in Humboldt Bay than was previously understood. In 2016, the City was ordered by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board to “cease and desist” discharging into Humboldt Bay and move to an ocean discharge by 2030. The City is instead asking for an exemption to existing water quality rules so it can continue pumping up to 12 million gallons of treated sewage alongside the Elk River Slough. Surfrider Foundation and Humboldt Baykeeper are requesting the City to thoroughly examine the feasibility of moving to an ocean discharge or to commit to significant upgrades that will improve water quality in Humboldt Bay and that they hold at least one public workshop on the matter. Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper and Delia Bense-Kang of the Surfrider Foundation join the show to talk about where your waste goes when you flush and the impacts to Humboldt Bay.
• (Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021) ECONEWS REPORT: What Fresh Hell is This Coal Train, Now?
A shadowy shell corporation is threatening our future with an apparent proposal to purchase the Northwestern Pacific rail line, kill the dream of the Great Redwood Trail, and ultimately export coal from the Midwest out of Humboldt Bay. Tune in to hear your friends from Friends of the Eel River, Humboldt Baykeeper, and EPIC discuss the details of how such an absurd proposal is even possible, and why we must take this threat seriously and fight it with everything we've got!
• (Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021) Walking in the Footsteps of Roosevelt and Muir
What would Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir talk about if they were alive today? A bushy bearded naturalist meets a pragmatic politician, both with an unabiding love of nature confronting climate change, colonization, fire, and how to conserve the planet in the 21st Century. Well, we have the next best thing: Best-selling author, naturalist and painter Obi Kauffman joins Gang Green to talk about his friendship with California Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot and the premiere of a short film where they following in the footsteps of Muir and Roosevelt on a camping trip in the Sierra Buttes.
• (Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021) The Climate Crisis is Here
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's most recent report is clear: the climate crisis is here and humans are causing it. Gang Green break down the major conclusions of the report and have a mild on-air existential crisis. The threat of climate change is immense and our collective response has been flaccid. Can we change the trajectory in time to avoid run-away warming? And how can Humboldt respond as a county? All this and more on this week's show.
• (Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021) It's Coastal Cleanup Time!
Folks, it’s that time of year again! Time for Coastal Cleanup Month! This week, Northcoast Environmental Center coastal programs coordinator Ivy Munnerlyn and co-director Caroline Griffith join us to talk about the tradition of beach cleanups on the North Coast — did you know that this worldwide event started at the NEC? — and how the event has shifted in response to COVID. This year promises to bring all the great elements of the last few years together for an event packed with citizen science, coastal stewardship and fun prizes. Tune in to learn more about this iconic event and why picking up trash is more than just beautification. Then grab your family and friends and head to your favorite beach, park, street or trail and start collecting data. Learn more about Coastal Cleanup Month 2021 and how to participate at: https://www.yournec.org/coastalcleanupmonth
• (Saturday, July 31, 2021) To Save an Owl, We Kill an Owl?
The barred owl, not native to California, is quickly becoming established in the state, having flown down the West Coast. The barred owl’s presence is bad news for its cousin, the northern spotted owl, the iconic species of the Timber Wars. The barred owl outcompetes the northern spotted owl and quickly takes over its territory. With the northern spotted owl on the road to extinction, now is the time for desperate measures. To save the northern spotted owl, researchers have tested whether killing barred owls makes a difference. The grim but good news: when barred owls are removed, population declines of the northern spotted owl stabilize. Owl researcher Dave Wiens joins Gang Green to discuss the results of his recent research.
• (Saturday, July 24, 2021) Charting a Course for Offshore Wind
Offshore wind has a lot to offer: Humboldt's wind resources are virtually unmatched in North America and we have the potential to produce gigawatts of low-carbon power off our coast and Humboldt Bay is one of the few ports on the West Coast capable of assembling the monster 600+ foot tall turbines, creating the potential that Humboldt Bay could become the American center of offshore wind technology. But the technology offers risks to the environment and the severity of these risks is hard to gauge because the technology has not been deployed in our ocean environments before. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is close to opening up the coast for competitive bids for development. What is in store for Humboldt County? Matthew Marshall from the Redwood Coast Energy Authority joins Gang Green to discuss.
• (Saturday, July 10, 2021) Clam Beach Pollution Mystery Solved?
Clam Beach landed on Heal the Bay's list of California's most polluted beaches yet again this year, getting an 'F' for water quality on the 2021 Beach Report Card. Today our guest is Dr. Jeremy Corrigan, who has worked for years to answer the burning question: why does Clam Beach have such high levels of fecal indicator bacteria? Dr. J is the Lab Manager at the Humboldt County Dept. of Public Health, and recently published a paper based on genetic analysis of the most likely sources. His findings point to birds as the main influence at Clam Beach, while cattle appear to be the biggest source of bacteria pollution in the Strawberry Creek watershed. Tune in to find out what this means for surfers and other beachgoers.
• (Saturday, July 3, 2021) ECONEWS REPORT: A Victory for Summer Steelhead
Only a small genetic difference separates winter-run and summer-run steelhead, but that little bit of nucleic acid makes a big difference. Last month, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to list the North Coast's summer steelhead under the California Endangered Species Act. This week, Gang Green dives into the difference between these two runs to learn why preserving summer steelhead may be important in a warming world, why the fish are teetering on extinction, and some strange hope for a rebirth of summer steelhead after Scott Dam is removed on the Eel River. Extra-special bonus: if you are also a fish freak that loves tacos, we have just your event. This weekend, fish biologist Samantha Kannry is hosting a taco feast at her farm, with all the proceeds going to benefit steelhead research. Get stuffed on tacos and help forward science? You bet Gang Green will be there!
• (Saturday, June 26, 2021) Rep. Jared Huffman on How the North Coast's Wild Lands are Faring in D.C.
Congressman Jared Huffman joins Gang Green to talk about this legislative session. Top of his mind, as always, is his public lands bill — the “Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act” — which packs together new Wilderness designations with fuel breaks, trespass cannabis clean up, new trails and visitor centers and more. Sen. Padilla has taken up the bill in the Senate and is proving to be an effective advocate. Also on the docket is dam removal on both the Eel and Klamath Rivers, protections for forage fish in the Magnuson Stevens, and the long problem of Trump's judiciary for the environment. Listen in!
• (Saturday, June 19, 2021) Is Your Fish Safe to Eat?
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, particularly harmful to young children and developing fetuses. Mercury is commonly present in fish, but in wildly different concentrations based on the life history of the species. What local fish species are safe to eat and at what amounts? Humboldt Baykeeper is there to help. With the help of fisheries biologist and EcoNews guest Ross Taylor, Humboldt Baykeeper tested 70 fish across nine species to examine mercury concentrations. Their results? Long-lived species that eat high on the food web have the highest concentrations and should be avoided by those most sensitive to mercury. Other seafood, like salmon, oysters and clams, are good for eating often because of their extremely low levels. Want to know if your fish is safe? Listen, then download Baykeeper's one-page summary.
• (Saturday, June 12, 2021) The Bundy Bunch Crash the Klamath (and Other News)
Drought-related tension threatens to boil over in the Klamath. Ammon Bundy's posse of right-wing terrorists are threatening to open irrigation gates of Upper Klamath Lake, by force if necessary, to illegally divert water held in reserve to protect endangered fish. Meanwhile in the mainstem of the Klamath River, juvenile salmon are experiencing a mass die-off caused by a disease-causing parasite (Ceratonova shasta) that thrives in the hot, warm waters resulting from the Klamath dams. “Flushing flows,” big pulses of water from Upper Klamath Lake used to prevent this mass die-off, have been called off because of drought. It is a mess. Meanwhile on the coast, Gang Green reacts to the good news that Nordic Aquafarms and Humboldt County have agreed to do a full environmental impact report for their proposed on-shore fish farm. What does this mean? Listen to find out!
• (Saturday, June 5, 2021) Enviros Cheer Caltrans? Last Chance Grade Planning Gets High Marks from the EcoNews
Caltrans is making progress on Last Chance Grade, removing multiple alternatives from further consideration. By cutting down the number of alternatives to study, Caltrans has cut the project planning budget and has lopped considerable time off the timeline. (Enviros are also happy because the highest risk alternatives were among those on the cutting room floor.) On this week's episode, Jaime Matteoli, Last Chance Grade project lead for Caltrans, joins Gang Green to talk about how Caltrans was able to reduce the alternatives in the project and why the public should feel confident about the decision.
• (Saturday, May 29, 2021) It Sounds Great on Paper: The 30x30 Movement
In October 2020, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, issued an executive order pledging to conserve 30 percent of California's lands and coastal waters by 2030. In January, President Joe Biden announced a similar effort, calling for conservation of 30 percent of the United States land and water by 2030. But what do these executive actions mean, and will they move the needle on our climate and biodiversity crises? Gang Green examines the potential of the “30x30” movement and the potential for disappointment. After all, more than 30 percent of California's lands and coastal waters are already held by the public, so “conserve” must mean something additionally, right?
• (Saturday, May 22, 2021) Salmon’s Struggle in the Shasta
The Shasta River should be chock full of salmon. (It was, after all, the largest salmon producing tributary to the Klamath prior to Euro-American colonization.) The sweet waters of the Shasta have the perfect combination of elements to help grow big, fat fish: low velocity and a prime gravel bed, key nutrients, and cold, clean water. But the river is a shadow of its former self. Agricultural development has lapped up and polluted its waters and salmon struggle to survive. Yet, hope remains. If the river is restored and fish are given enough cold, clean water again they will come back. Friends of the Shasta River, the scrappy defenders of this river, join Gang Green to talk about the incomparable Shasta River and ongoing threats to the river, including a free pass to a California billionaire to continue to despoil the river.
• (Saturday, May 15, 2021) From Pulp Mill to Salmon Farm? Examining Nordic AquaFarms' Proposed Fish Factory
Is a massive land-based fish factory the best next chapter for a former pulp mill nestled between Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean? Tune in to hear local environmental leaders discuss Humboldt County's assessment of the impacts Nordic AquaFarms proposed fish factory might have on the bay, ocean, wildlife and climate – and ways to avoid or mitigate them. Surfrider Foundation's California Policy Manager Jennifer Savage and Colin Fiske of Coalition for Transportation Priorities join co-hosts Tom Wheeler of EPIC, Larry Glass of NEC, and Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper for a discussion of what is proposed and top issues of concern as we gear up to submit comments on May 24.
• (Saturday, May 8, 2021) Protecting the 'Grand Canyon' of the Eel River
The Wildlands Conservancy is close to acquiring the 26,600 acre Lone Pine Ranch, a property with more than property more than 20 miles of river frontage, hundreds of acres of wetlands, and over 86 million board feet of trees in the standing forest, which can be protected to sequester vast amounts of carbon dioxide. This acquisition will build on an earlier purchase of 3,000 acres in 2019 and is sandwiched between two other ecological reserves, the Spyrock Reserve upriver and the Emerald Water Reserve Downriver. With the completion of the Great Redwood Trail, you will be able to bike or hike to Lone Pine in the future, where Wildlands Conservancy hopes to have an established campground. Here's the catch: while Wildlands Conservancy has raised over $20 million to purchase Lone Pine, they are still $9 million short and their purchase option will expire. Find out more about Lone Pine and how you can help safeguard the Grand Canyon of the Eel River by listening to this week's show.
• (Saturday, May 1, 2021) May = Bike Month Humboldt
May is Bike Month in Humboldt County and the EcoNews has all of the resources you need to zip around on two wheels. We all know that biking is great for the planet and makes your butt look good, but did you know that it is also totally fun? Dave Ryan and Colin Fiske join the show to discuss this year's festivities (all of which are COVID-friendly), ways cities can encourage more cyclists, and even how to start cycling as an adult.
• (Saturday, April 24, 2021) Sea Level Rise – Is California Doomed?
Rising seas are a greater threat to California than earthquakes or even wildfires – and Humboldt Bay is ground zero. Much of the land, communities and infrastructure around the bay is currently protected by low sea walls likely to be breached in the next 50 years. How will Humboldt adapt? A suite of bills before the California legislature could shape Humboldt's approach and provide hope for the county's future. Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager at the Surfrider Foundation, joins Gang Green to discuss what is before the legislature and how California — and Humboldt — should respond to this threat.
• (Saturday, April 17, 2021) Redwood Creek Still Struggling from 1970s Logging Pollution
In 1968, Congress created Redwood National Park — or at least part of it. Nicknamed “the Worm,” the park extended only .5 miles on either side of Redwood Creek. It was apparent that this was not enough and work began on a park expansion. Of course, expansion was opposed by local logging companies. In an attempt to blunt the expansion efforts, logging companies ran crews — sometimes 24 hours a day — in an attempt to cut the remaining old-growth in the Redwood Creek watershed, with the rationale that if logged, it would be less attractive to incorporate into the Redwood National Park. That plan failed. In 1978, Congress expanded Redwood National Park and took in many of the cut over lands, with only a fifth of the new land This decade of intense logging left a major impact on Redwood Creek. Large clearcuts, poorly cut roads, landslides and major floods sent a massive wave of sediment streaming into Redwood Creek. The National Park Service has spent the past 40 odd years cleaning up this mess and studying how Redwood Creek is (and is not) recovering. Two expert geomorphologists with decades of experience studying Redwood Creek join Gang Green to talk about their research. Mary Ann Madej is the author of the recent report, Redwood Creek Watershed Studies: Summary of Geomorphic Research at Redwood National Park and Vicki Ozaki is a staff geologist at Redwood National Park.
• (Saturday, April 10, 2021) Lawless Logging on Six Rivers National Forest
Government hijinx are nothing new to seasoned environmentalists, but Six Rivers National Forest is taking this to a new level in the wake of the 2020 August Complex Fire. In December, claiming an “emergency” (although the fire was already extinguished), Six Rivers National Forest authorized a logging company to start falling timber in the forest without completing the required environmental analysis ahead of time. Fast forward to now, Six River National Forest is now attempting to bypass environmental review in the “Three Forks Project” by claiming that roadside logging is exempt from a federal requirement to study environmental impacts — this despite an EPIC victory at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that found otherwise. Longtime forest defender Kimberly Baker joins Gang Green to break down what Six Rivers National Forest is proposing and why this lawless logging should concern North Coast residents.
• (Saturday, April 3, 2021) Friends of the Eel River Force FERC to Comply with the Endangered Species Act
There's a proposal to remove the fish-blocking Scott Dam on the Eel River but looming problems still remain. Cape Horn Dam, just downstream of Scott Dam, technically allows for fish passage through its fish ladder — but that's only when the ladder is properly functioning and the trouble is that fish often can't use the ladder because it gets so choked with rocks and debris. So what good is the removal of Scott Dam if salmon still struggle to get past Cape Horn Dam? Friends of the Eel River is pressing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address persistent issues with the fish ladder and – shockingly — FERC admitted that Friends of the Eel River is right! In an important win for salmon, FERC has agreed to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service as required by the Endangered Species Act. Find out what this victory means for salmon and dam removal across the West Coast on this week's EcoNews Report.
• (Saturday, March 27, 2021) Cars, Trains and Automobiles — Transportation Planning in Humboldt County
Transportation planning: that's what we are talking about on this week's EcoNews Report. How people and goods move throughout Humboldt County is something that we all experience on a daily basis, whether you are a bicycle commuter navigating potholes and cars, a long-haul trucker cruising up the 101, or just out to grab your morning iced chai latte (with oatmilk, please). The routine and ever-present engagement with our transportation infrastructure can obscure the fact that all of this was planned. Our transportation planning choices today will have long-standing impacts on our lives into the future, whether it is reducing road-related fatalities or how we can reduce greenhouse gases from our transportation network (Humboldt's #1 category of emissions). The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) is hard at work on an update to the “Regional Transportation Plan,” a blueprint for our current and future transportation needs. Oona Smith, Senior Planner with HCAOG joins Gang Green to talk about how good planning helps all road users and how the Regional Transportation Plan will shape our transportation investments in the future.
• (Saturday, March 20, 2021) Learn to Be a Good Activist (and Avoid Burnout) with the NEC!
The Northcoast Environmental Center is celebrating 50 years of activism, and its staff want to let you in on their secrets to success. They are excited to present two new programs – Activate NEC and Thrive: Eco Grief Circle—to teach you how to be a better, more effective environmental advocate and how to avoid the doom-and-gloom burnout that can plague activists). Plus, learn about how you can help keep our streets and beaches clean with this year's trash-a-thon and how to get a *FREE* cigarette butt receptacle outside your local business!
• (Saturday, March 13, 2021) The Trinity Alps' Last Glacier
What happens when a group of friends goes on a hiking trip? If they are science nerds (and employees of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife), they document and map a set of quickly melting glaciers (publishing their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal) and the nearby flora and fauna (in prep). Two of the adventurer-scientists join Gang Green to talk about the weird and unique life that lives amongst old ice (such as the endemic beetle, Nebria praedicta, that lives beside Grizzly Glacier) and how documenting dying glaciers can change one's perspective on life and time. Bonus feature: Learn how to make a Glaciertini, the new rage in haute mixology. All you need is glacier ice, vermouth, vodka and olives.
• (Saturday, March 6, 2021) Food Waste Fuels Climate Change
Before you throw away that half-eaten sandwich, you'll want to listen to this week's EcoNews Report. Every year, Humboldt County sends thousands of pounds of organic waste to our out-of-state landfill. In the oxygenless (anaerobic) landfill environment, organic matter breaks down into greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane. Luckily, there's an easy solution: waste less in the first place. But by taking on food waste, we can not only reduce greenhouse gas production at our landfills, but we can also take a bite out of local food insecurity. Maggie Gainer from Zero Waste Humboldt joins Gang Green to talk about how Humboldt can (and must) do a better job diverting organic waste from the waste stream.
• (Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021) How will Humboldt Reach 100% Clean, Renewable Energy?
In 2019, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority adopted a goal to deliver 100% clean, renewable electricity to all customers by 2025 and for 100% of that power be generated within Humboldt County by 2030. Richard Engel, Director of Power Resources at RCEA, joins Gang Green to talk about their plans to rapidly increase renewables in our power portfolio.
• (Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021) Busting Myths about the Klamath Dam Removal
Mike Belchik, senior fisheries biologist with the Yurok Tribe, joins Gang Green to give an update on the Klamath dam removal (spoiler: it's on track to be completed by 2024!) and helps resolve a number of myths concerning the Klamath dams that you might see shared on social media.
• (Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021) What's Next for Rep. Huffman's Wilderness Bill?
Congressman Jared Huffman has spent his entire federal legislative career on an idea: a holistic approach to address the needs of federal lands within his congressional district, combining new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River designations with prescriptions for active forest restoration and more. After six years of drafting and stakeholder engagement, Congressman Huffman released his bill in 2018. Of course, with Trump and a McConnell-led Senate, the bill never made it past the floor of the House. But, as the old saying goes, elections have consequences. The 2021 General Election and the Georgia Senate runoff have fundamentally improved the odds that Rep. Huffman's bill will pass this year. Among other things, Rep. Huffman's former Senate co-sponsor, is now our Vice-President. Ryan Henson of the California Wilderness Coalition joins Gang Green to talk about the details of the bill, some of his favorite new wilderness areas, and breaks down the prospects of the bill's passage in the 177th Congress.
• (Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021) What Can the August Complex Tell Us About the Fires of the Future?
The 2020 August Complex was the largest fire in recent history, burning over one million acres. Scientists warn that large fires like these will likely become more common in the future, as climate change produces longer fire seasons and more extreme weather. If large fires are the new future, what can we learn from the August Complex?
• (Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021) The Sagebrush Rebellion and the Sacking of the Capitol
On this week’s EcoNews Report, guest Carl Segerstron from High Country News joins Gang Green to discuss how Western far-right anti-government extremism contributed to the siege on the U.S. Capitol. From the Sagebrush Rebellion to Cliven Bundy to the Capitol, you can trace the roots of right-wing terrorism, and see how politicians (looking at you, Ronald Reagan) fed the movement by playing into their paranoia.
• (Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021) What is Jackson State Forest Telling Us, and How Should We Manage It?
On this week’s EcoNews Report, Gang Green heads south to learn about the Jackson Demonstration State Forest outside of Fort Bragg and the new timber harvest plans that are being proposed for the forest. The planned logging raises important questions facing the future of sustainable forestry: Can we grow old-growth faster by logging mature second growth? What’s the best way to store carbon, in 2x4s or in forests? And should public forests be managed primarily for timber production?
• (Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020) 2020 Humboldt County Environmental Roundup
Our panelists take a look back at local environmental work in 2020, and take a look forward to big issues in 2021. Discussed: Mercury levels in Humboldt Bay fish, the Potter Valley dams on the Eel River, Caltrans' Richardson Grove project, management of the region's National Forests in the shadow of catastrophic wildfire.
• (Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020) Biden's First 100 Days for the Environment
A favorite American political tradition is the idea of the “first 100 days in office.” Gang Green breaks down the roots of this tradition, what President-elect Joe Biden has said will be his environmental priorities in the first 100 days, how the Georgia Senate run-off election may mean for his legislative agenda, and what environmental groups are urging him to do.
• (Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020) Are Toxic Tires Killing Salmon?
Researchers in the Journal Science report that a chemical in car tires, 6PPD-quinone (pronounced “kwih-known”), is a likely coho salmon killer. The chemical, used as a preservative in tires, was found to kill juvenile salmon in lab tests that replicated concentrations often found in nature. Warner Chabot, executive director of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, joins Gang Green to talk about the research and what California can do to protect its endangered salmon.
• (Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020) The Blue-Sky Thinking Episode
Big, radical, wild ideas. On this week's episode of the EcoNews Report, Gang Green shares their big ideas for how to save the planet. Geothermal power could be the low-carbon energy source of the future, utilizing the planet's hot core to turn turbines. Green hydrogen could replace fossil fuels to power airplanes and to store excess energy produced by wind farms and other renewable energy sources when there isn't a grid demand. Direct air capture to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas levels back to a sustainable level. What are your big ideas to save the planet? Share them to email@example.com and maybe we will feature them on a future show!
• (Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020) 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, 2020) Election Post-Mortem
Gang Green goes around the horn with thoughts about the outcome of the most recent election.
• (Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020) Is Justice Amy Coney Barrett a Threat to the Environment?
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.
• (Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020) New Zealand Mudsnails Invade the Mad River
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.
• (Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020) Let's Have Some Real Talk About the Green New Deal
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.
• (Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020) Local Fire Ecologist Lenya Quinn-Davidson on This Year's Record Fire Season
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?)
• (Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020) About Those Organic Toxins Found in the Mad River This Year
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.
• (Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020) Obi Kaufmann Paints the Forests of California and Tells Their Stories
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, 2020) 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, 2020) 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, 2020) 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.
• (Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020) 'Dog Ranch' Dunes Saved from Development
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.
• (Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020) ROUND-UP SHOW! Billboards, Birdwatching and the Trump Administration's Attack on Federal Environmental Laws
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!
• (Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020) What Will the Next Plan for the Northwest's Forests Look Like?
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?
• (Saturday, July 18, 2020) A Proposed New Central Valley Dam Could Have Big Impacts on the Trinity River
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, 2020) 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, 2020) 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.
• (Saturday, June 27, 2020) Let's Talk About Abalone, With Author Ann Vileisis
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.
• (Saturday, June 20, 2020) Why Spring- and Summer-Run Salmonids are So Damn Interesting and Weird
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.
• (Saturday, June 13, 2020) Kristen Lark, Ranger of the Six River National Forest's Mad River Ranger District
• (Saturday, May 23, 2020) Humboldt Social Media-Friendly Naturalist John Griffin
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.
• (Saturday, May 16, 2020) ROUNDUP: Dams, Billboards, Wildfire Smoke and All the Recent News
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!
• (Saturday, May 9, 2020) An Existential Toolkit for the Climate Generation
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.
• (Saturday, May 2, 2020) Welcome to the Wonderful New World of Electric Bicycles!
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, 2020) 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!
• (Saturday, April 11, 2020) Humboldt's Climate Action Plan, With County Planner Connor McGuigan
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, 2020) 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, 2020) 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.
• (Saturday, March 14, 2020) Let's Talk About Transportation Emissions
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.
• (Saturday, March 7, 2020) How Can We Be Happy, Healthy, Effective Activists and People?
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?
• (Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020) The Wildlands Conservancy Protects Valuable Ecology By Buying it Up
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.
• (Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020) Local Hugo-Award Winning Author Becky Chambers Talks About Her Worlds and This One
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.
• (Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020) Dead Billboards, The Great Redwood Trail and More!
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, 2020) 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, 2020) 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?
• (Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020) How Can We Make the Outdoors an Inclusive Space?
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.
• (Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020) What Does 'Urbanism' Mean in a Place Like Humboldt County?
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.
• (Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020) How Does Our Electric Grid Actually Work?
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.
• (Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020) Are Humboldt Bay King Tides a Harbinger of Sea Level Rise?
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.
• (Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019) The State of Play on the Eel, With Darren Mierau of Caltrout
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.
• (Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019) Poet Jerry Martien Helps Soothe Your Soul this Solstice
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.
• (Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019) Wiyot Tribal Members and Employees Talk Terra-Gen
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.
• (Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019) Zero Waste Humboldt is Working to Eliminate All the Garbage
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.
• (Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019) Living Through a Firestorm, with Jon Humboldt Gates
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.”)
• (Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019) Trump's Cartoon Supervillains and Their Surprising Ally in Gov. Gavin Newsom
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.
• (Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019) The Children's Climate Strike and the Dangers (or Benefits?) Of Single-Issue Environmentalism
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.
• (Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019) What Can Tsunamis Teach Us About Combating Climate Change?
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.
• (Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019) It's the End of the World as We Know It (And We're SO DEPRESSED)
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.
• (Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019) They're Back! Your Loveable Environmental Curmudgeons Have a New Show on KHUM and LoCO
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).