Regional Water Board Proposes Rules to Protect Water Quality from Impacts Associated with Marijuana Cultivation

A substantial crowd was on hand May 7 at Eureka’s Wharfinger Building as the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (generally known as the Regional Water Board) held a public workshop at its board meeting to discuss a draft framework for regulating water quality impacts associated with cultivation of marijuana and similar crops. The … Read more

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Happening in Humboldt

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Happening in Humboldt

And Big Weed seems nearly as concerned about the loss of coho salmon as the timber industry was. In the last EcoNews, I wrote about the new federal Recovery Plan for coho salmon, and its warning that water diversions and sediment impacts associated with the booming marijuana industry present grave threats to coho recovery in … Read more

Learning from Yesterdays Mistakes to Avoid Tomorrows Tragedies

Though humans have lived along the bountiful shores and rivers of the far North Coast for tens of thousands of years, the span of our now-dominant civilization’s history here has only begun to exceed a century and a half. Looking particularly at the environmental history of the Eel River, it’s striking that some of the … Read more

Coho Recovery Plan Addresses Marijuana-Related Impacts

Coho Recovery Plan Addresses Marijuana-Related Impacts

A long-anticipated federal recovery plan for coho salmon in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon[1] was released in its final form this September. The plan says the continuing decline of the South Fork Eel River’s population of coho must be reversed, and the watershed’s runs recovered, to meet the Endangered Species Act’s  goal of protecting the … Read more

Would the Real NCRA Please Stand Up?

Would the Real NCRA Please Stand Up?

Railroad Agency Ducking Environmental Review to Avoid Disclosing Harms to River River advocates have been encouraged, if not surprised, by the rapid return of salmon after the two Elwha River dams in Washington state’s Olympic National Park were removed. Even a century’s absence won’t keep fish out once barriers are removed. Our generation’s best chance … Read more

Right vs. Reason in Severe Drought Conditions

Right vs. Reason in Severe Drought Conditions

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, August 2014 Responding to one of the most severe and persistent droughts in the history of California, state agencies are now moving to shut down water diversions that harm fisheries and wildlife, using a mixture of unusual and unprecedented measures. The State Water Board is issuing “curtailment notices” … Read more

Drying Times are Trying Times for Eel River Fish

Drying Times are Trying Times for Eel River Fish

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, June 2014 Serial Variance Requests Reveal Vulnerability of Eel River Fisheries to Demands from Russian River Irrigators The Eel River’s surviving salmonids—chinook, coho, and steelhead—are struggling to come back from near-extinction. Good returns from 2010 to 13, particularly for chinook, felt like recovery might be getting underway. Unfortunately, … Read more

Got Water? Drought, Resilience and the North Coast

Got Water? Drought, Resilience and the North Coast

By: Scott Greacen Originally published in Econews, April 2014 Friends of the Eel River’s 2014 Eel River Symposium was held at the Fortuna River Lodge, March 7. Many thanks to all who attended and especially to the presenters who made the event such a rich, engaging day of presentations and discussion. Our watershed, region and … Read more

Feds Clear PG&E to Cut Flows for Eel River Fish

Feds Clear PG&E to Cut Flows for Eel River Fish

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, February 2014 See detailed timeline of correspondence and media coverage. Utility cites risk of sediment collapse; drained reservoir may run dry. A few people in the Russian River watershed still have a greater claim to the Eel’s water than do the river’s own salmon.  After draining its reservoir … Read more