Posts by EPIC Intern

California’s Wild Turkeys

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Prior to European colonization of North America, more than ten million wild turkeys roamed the continent, but by the turn of the twentieth century, wild turkeys were at the brink of extinction. Four hundred years of westward expansion and the overhunting, deforestation, and resource extraction that came with it left the population decimated. Today, due to conservation and reintroduction efforts, wild turkeys populations have rebounded to around seven million, and they inhabit about 18% of the state of California. While this successful reintroduction has often been deemed a conservation success story, there is debate over their place in California’s ecosystems.

Into the Haunted Forest: Ghost Pipe

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Wandering through a dark and shady forest, perhaps foraging for mushrooms, you might happen upon a small cluster of ghostly pale flowers growing through the leaf litter. This curious and elusive plant is the Monotropa uniflora, also known as Ghost Pipe, Indian Pipe, or Corpse Plant. Formerly considered to be part of the Heath family (Ericaceae), recent evidence suggests they are worthy of their own classification, Monotropaceae. The single, bell-shaped flowers of Ghost Pipe grow on curved stems, Monotropa meaning “one turn.”  Each stem and flower resemble a small upside down pipe, hence the name “Ghost Pipe.”

An Ode to an Indigenous Justice Movement During Indigenous People’s Week

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

This week, we are to remember the lives taken and the relatives (natural resources) that are plundered to this day. It is also important to remember the people who have fought and continue to fight to end violence and the exploitation of nature. Because of this, we wanted to make an ode to highlight an incredibly important Indigenous justice movement in our country. 

Stop the Salvage Logging of Post-Fire Forests

Monday, September 21st, 2020

Post-fire logging is sold as a way to recover at least some of the economic value of timber the trees can be made into. But, while private timber companies do profit from the cheap raw materials logging provides, the costs to the public and to our forests are immense. Not only is it an economic ripoff, post-fire logging is also an ecologically disastrous practice that does not protect us or forests. As we face the effects of a changing climate, including more intense wildfire across the west, it is essential that we invest our limited resources into programs that will both increase wildfire resilience and protect habitat.

Victory! Old-Growth Redwood Saved from Caltrans Project

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

The original plans for the Hely Creek bridge would have negatively altered a half-acre of the forest, a six-foot-wide old-growth redwood, other large trees along with their root systems, as well as pruning sacred old-growth redwoods. We are pleased to announce that the liaison between Caltrans and EPIC informed us that they will now be cutting their previous eight-foot shoulder down to a four-foot shoulder on the new bridge to preserve the lives of several large trees including a magnificent six-foot-wide old-growth redwood.

EPIC Tips for Recreating Responsibly During Shelter-In-Place

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

After days of self-isolating it’s easy to long for the outdoors. One of the many appeals of Humboldt County is our close proximity to redwood forests and scenic beaches. The benefits of being outside are numerous, with outdoor areas providing fresh air and an escape from all the fears and anxieties we’re currently experiencing. Recently The Department of Health and Human Services of Humboldt County’s updated shelter in place order directs all residents to self-isolate, leaving their homes only to perform “essential activities” and practice social distancing when outside. This order allows for outdoor recreation including walking, hiking and biking activities, not utilizing communal equipment like playgrounds and picnic tables and in open areas or designated trails/ pathways where social distancing guidelines can be met.

Superb Owls of Northern California

Monday, January 27th, 2020

In honor of the SuperbOwl Sunday, we wanted to share a delightful compilation of facts, information, and photos of Northern California’s varied owl species. Included you will find the Northern Spotted Owl, the Great Horned Owl, the Short-eared Owl, and the Northern Pygmy Owl, among others. Sit back with a cup of tea and learn about the incredible owls you may hear or see in our area!

UPDATED: CA Governor Newsom Sides with Industry, Vetoes SB1

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Newsom has decided to side with corporate interests, mining and water management companies and the Trump administration in his potential decision to veto a bill that was passed by the senate 26 to 14 and the assembly 43 to 21. Ultimately, the policies of SB 1 were aimed to protect our supply of natural resources, clean water, air, and endangered species that depend on them. Newsom claims to support the principles behind the bill, but the action of vetoing it is a more powerful indicator of where his loyalty lies than any words coming out of his mouth.

Action Alert: Rare Tule Elk Need Our Help!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The small, mostly isolated population of Tule elk are in danger due to the National Park Service’s (NPS) commitment to cattle ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore. Point Reyes is currently the only national park in the country that hosts this subspecies of elk. Today, there are around 4,000 Tule elk in total, all residing in California; this is a stark contrast to the population of 500,000 that existed in California in 1880.

Trinidad Art Night

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Hello from the team here at EPIC! We just wanted to let everyone know that we are going to be tabling at the upcoming Trinidad Art Night and are excited to see you there!  EPIC will be at the Trinidad Art Gallery serving libations and collecting signatures for wolf protection from 6-9pm on Friday, May 3rd. Several different locations are participating in this event. Come on out and say hello and support this awesome event in beautiful Trinidad!

CA Bobcats May Gain Additional Protections With New Bill

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Bobcats have remained an integral part of California’s native ecosystem and their dwindling populations deserve protection. The state legislator has introduced a new bill, AB 1254, which will set a new ban on the trophy killing of bobcats across the state of California. Mountain lions were protected from trophy hunting back in 1971, so we here at EPIC think it’s high time that bobcats are protected. Bobcats have a special place in the hearts of those here at EPIC. Back in 2015, EPIC and other environmental groups worked together to gather a huge amount of support for a bill that banned the senseless trapping of bobcats.

Another Attack on Wolf Recovery

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Once again the federal government is trying to ease its responsibility to protect America’s wildlife, and once again wolf recovery is targeted. On March 14, the US Fish and Wildlife Service formally announced its plan to delist gray wolves across the country. Ten years ago the Obama Administration tried to remove Gray Wolves from of the Endangered Species Act, and ten years ago enough lawsuits and complaints from wolf advocates, including EPIC, stopped the administration from proceeding.

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Turns 50!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, a law that has preserved 12,754 miles of 209 different rivers in 40 states (including Puerto Rico)! This act was created by congress and signed into law by Lyndon Johnson in 1968. While Teddy Roosevelt was heralded as one of our country’s most famous conservationists, surprisingly Lyndon Johnson has quite the track record as well, signing more than 300 conservation measures into law in his term. This iconic law sought to preserve certain rivers with, “outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Logging, Not Wildfires is a Greater Threat to Northern Spotted Owls

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Science in action: Defying current assumptions, a new scientific review of northern spotted owl studies discovered that current forest management practices meant to protect them may instead be hurting them. In a recent meta-analysis, Pennsylvania State University researcher and quantitative ecologist Dr. Derek E. Lee examined 21 published scientific studies on the spotted owl and found that wildfire impacts were less than previously believed, challenging the narrative that fuel-reduction logging is necessary or helpful for their survival. The study found that mixed-severity fires may in fact be beneficial to their habitats.

Inbred Spotted Owls Doomed By Their Own Genes?

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Northern spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest are facing a new threat: decreasing populations and a lack of suitable mates are forcing the owls to breed with their own parents or siblings. This may lead to an “extinction vortex,” where each new inbred generation further amplifies harmful genes from already-inbred parents, resulting in weaker and weaker offspring until a population goes entirely extinct. Once caught in this downward spiral, recovery is difficult without human intervention, like capture-and-translocate programs that shuffle owls between areas to improve genetic diversity.

EPIC in Review & Annual Report

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

EPIC team helps save this beautiful post fire stand on the Garden Gulch trail after 2013 fires on the North Fork Salmon RiverOver the past several months EPIC has been working countless hours collaborating with citizens, advocacy groups, agencies and politicians on a variety of local, national and international issues. The list below includes letters or comments in which EPIC, alongside fellow NGO’s and agencies support or oppose various proposed or existing programs, laws and acts to protect our environment. EPIC business includes the most updated independently run efforts brought on by the EPIC staff.

EPIC in Review

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Trinidad. Photo by Amber SheltonAt EPIC we work countless hours collaborating with citizens, advocacy groups, agencies and politicians, but the bulk of our work is not always obvious to our readers. We have compiled a long list of letters and comments that address contemporary issues facing our region, state and nation. Our staff has been very busy speaking up for our forests, rivers and wildlife. Below are examples of some of the collaborative and individual work we have done in the past few months, to help make our world a better place for generations to come.

State of Water

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

IMG_0458Here on the North Coast, our six rivers are running dry. The Bureau of Reclamation’s recent releases from Lewiston Dam, aimed at preventing another massive Klamath fish kill shows how scientifically-based citizen advocacy can be successful. However, much more action is needed to implement a lasting solution to the mismanagement of water supplies, especially during drought conditions.

EPIC in Review

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Hole in Headwaters Hike ReducedAs the summer heats up, so have some of EPIC’s ongoing projects. This past week, EPIC along with other environmental organizations wrote letters opposing H.R 1363 and H.R. 4742, two bills that seek to circumvent the National Environmental Policy Act process and threaten fisheries. Additionally, H.R. bills 5021 and 2363 attempt to open loopholes in the environmental review process and public involvement that undermine our checks and balances.

Old Growth in the New Economy

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

grandfather treehuggerthumbnailReaching capacity, people nestled tightly into Nelson Hall at Humboldt State University eagerly awaiting a lecture sponsored by Pacific Forest Trust entitled “Old Growth in the New Economy.” The lecture featured preeminent Northwest forest ecologist Dr. Jerry Franklin of the University of Washington, and Humboldt State University’s distinguished redwood ecologist Dr. Steve Sillett. The dialog focused on the roles and characteristics of Northwestern old growth forests, the ecosystem functions they provide, and how forest stewardship can benefit climate, wildlife, water, and a sustained resource economy.