Public Land Advocacy

Northwestern California’s public lands include some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in North America. Together, the complex of national forests, national, state, and county parks, lands managed by other federal and state agencies, and rivers protected under both state and federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Acts in this corner of California should offer significant protection to the region’s unique endowment of species and ecosystems. EPIC works to ensure that these lands are managed to maximize their benefits for conservation.

Some of the environmental issues affecting public lands include: timber sales, wildfire management, salvage logging, grazing, mining and illegal water diversions. EPIC staff and volunteers go out into field and monitor what is happening on the ground. Because our public lands are so vast, it is imperative that people get involved in their own wild back yards and monitor and advocate for wild places that are threatened by destructive practices.


Groundtruthing is an important tool used to monitor logging projects and other industrial activities on public lands. The information gained from groundtruthing allows EPIC to provide the public with information needed to understand, and engage in, decisions affecting public forest lands, waters and wildlife. Information from on-the-ground monitoring also helps EPIC challenge bad logging projects, destructive grazing and other Forest Service actions that degrade the environment.

Get Avenza Maps to help document what you see in the field

Avenza Maps is an application that uses satellite technology to geo-reference photos you take, so you don’t need cell reception to utilize this app. You can download project maps that are proposed by agencies and GPS reference yourself, photos and notes on that map through the Avenza Map application.

If you have a smart phone or tablet download the Avenza Maps Application and upload your project map into the application.

Go to the National Forest that you are interested in, and click on Land and Resources Management tab on the left and you can scroll down to locate current projects and download the project maps. For example, the Klamath National Forest has project maps here.


If you are going out into the field, it is important to be prepared with information and tools that will be needed to conduct an accurate assessment of timber sale activities. EPIC has developed a 1 page Guide to Groundtruthing form that is helpful to prepare for and assist with field monitoring. For a more extensive guide for timber sale monitoring, download the Bark Groundtruthing Guide. The Bark Groundtruthing Survey Form is an excellent resource for citizens to use for surveying a particular area for timber sales.


Since its inception in 2009, The Project to Reform Public Land Grazing in Northern California has utilized volunteers and interns to monitor grazing on-the-ground within Northern California wilderness and other public lands. All on-the-ground monitoring, including monitoring conducted by Project staff, is 100% volunteer. If you can carry a pack and hike off-trail, you can monitor how grazing is managed on Northern California’s public lands. And, with a little bit of training and support, you can monitor and document the negative results of poorly managed public land grazing on your own or with friends.

On-the Ground grazing monitoring as practiced by the Project involves walking those parts of wilderness areas and other public lands where livestock grazing occurs. We walk the grazing allotments from May through October conducting surveys and using photographs and video to document the impacts to springs, stream-side vegetation, water quality, meadows and wetlands that result from poorly managed grazing.

Click here to volunteer.

Northwest California’s Public Lands

National Forests
Four national forests, totaling some 5.4 million acres, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: the Six Rivers, Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, and Mendocino national forests.

Bureau of Land Management lands
King Range especially the smaller disjunct parcels across northwest California, California Coastal National Monument

National Wildlife Refuge lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge

National Park Service
Redwood National Park

State Parks
Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Sinkiyone State Park, Richardson Grove State Park, Tolowa Dunes State Park

County Parks
Clam Beach and Centerville Beach in Humboldt County

State Forest
Jackson State Forest in Mendocino County, managed by CalFIRE

Community Forests
Arcata, Weaverville

Click here to read news and updates in EPIC’s Public Lands Archive.