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Our Take on the McKay Tract Community Forest Plan

by EF!Humboldt ~ April 30th, 2013

This is the message we’re delivering to county planners and those gathering tonight at the public meeting about the McKay Tract community forest plan. Humboldt County is asking for public input and visions for what the community forest should be as well as how it should be administered. We found out late that the meeting was being held tonight however, some of our group will be delivering the following message. Earth First! Humboldt will continue to engage in this process as events unfold.


Back Ground

Earth First! Humboldt began a tree-sit campaign in 2008 that protected the only remaining large grove of mature forest in the Mckay Tract. Many of the trees are over 100 years old, some of them may be over 1,000 years old.

We ended the tree-sits last summer when Green Diamond filed paperwork ending that timber harvest plan.


We want to see the grove and surrounding area protected as a wildlife sanctuary and a habitat core for species that require mature forest habitat.

We think that restoration forestry is in order for most of the forest in the McKay Tract, due to the heavy usage of clear-cutting in the past few decades. Restoration forestry means taking only one third of the timber growth per year, while sustainable logging means taking two thirds of the growth. Restoration forestry allows the forest to regain habitat complexity and timber volume in a more timely fashion. Truly sustainable timber harvest of sizable amounts of wood can only occur once the habitat and timber volume has reached the level of a functional mature forest.


We support a hike, bike, and equestrian trail system that is similar to the one at the Headwaters Preserve in such that this trail system would avoid core mature forest habitat.

We are opposed to new road building in the Mckay tract due to the danger of increased rapid runoff during heavy rain, as well as the threat of contaminating the watershed with vehicle fluids.

We think that all the money raised by logging should go back to the community park, in the same way that the Arcata Community forest was previously funded.

We think that expenditures on infrastructure and maintenance should be limited by the amount of funding secured through restoration forestry, and that park expenditures should never necessitate more intensive logging of the area. This means simply that growth of the park should be dependent on growth of the forest.


We also believe that the decision making process for management policies needs to be transparent and have real community control.


We want to see restoration forestry at the forefront of the management plan, as well as see some adjustments to current plans put forward by the county, but we are in support of the concept of a community forest in the McKay Tract.


We Support Strawberry Rock Tree-sitters!

by EF!Humboldt ~ April 26th, 2013
EF! Humboldt is announcing our support and assistance to the tree-sitters in Trinidad.
After a break from direct action following our successful four year campaign in the McKay Tract, we are ready to join our fellow community members in the defense of the forest around Strawberry Rock.


Forest practices we are opposed to:

 Clear-cut logging by any name
 Toxic Herbicides
 Old-growth logging
 Logging on unstable slopes

Forest practices we support:

 Restoration Forestry
 Preservation of Old-growth trees and mature forest habitat
 Protection of rare and endangered species
 Forestry that is both ecologically and economically sustainable
 Selective logging that removes wood from the forest at a slower rate than which it grows

Tar Sands Blockade Presentation 4/30 6:30-8pm

by EF!Humboldt ~ April 15th, 2013


Come on down to the Ink Annex in Old-town Eureka on April 30th for a presentation on Tar Sands Blockade. Hear from people who have been on the front lines resisting the Keystone XL Pipeline construction in Texas. The evening will start with a slide show and video, followed by a Q&A session with Tar Sands Blockaders from California and Texas.

Sliding scale donation $3 to $100 are appreciated, no one turned away for lack of funds.

All proceeds go directly to TSB.


Call to Action in Little Lake Valley

by EF!Humboldt ~ April 2nd, 2013

April 3rd Update: The Warbler and fellow tree-sitters have been forcibly taken down by CHP officers in cherry pickers and climbing gear. The officers aimed guns loaded with “less than lethal” “bean bag rounds” at the tree-sitting highway construction blockaders and shot one of them multiple times. See more below and at the Save Little Lake Valley website.


Rally for the Valley: Saturday, April 6th


The following is reposted from: Save Little Lake Valley website

Also see their Facebook for current updates.

Saturday, April 6th, 2:00-6:00pm
Willits’ Recreation Grove Park
@ E. Commercial St & S. Lenore Ave.

Come one, come all to an afternoon of music, speakers, and activities in honor of Little Lake Valley’s brave defenders—the tree sitters—and all those who have been working towards halting construction of the Bypass. Let’s move forward together into a new phase of our campaign to protect the valley’s ecology and economy from Big Orange’s unnecessary destruction.

The event will begin with a ceremony honoring the five tree sitters who were forcibly extracted by a CHP SWAT team on April 2nd: an opportunity for the greater community to demonstrate their appreciation. The War

DSC_1169-sm-cropbler is still on a hunger strike, and will be making her first public speech since she went up the Liberty Ponderosa on January 28th.

Confirmed musicians include Dirt Floor Band, The Real Sarahs, Madge Strong, and John Wagenet. Activities for people of all ages will take place, and literature tables will be set up.

Please spread the word, and bring the whole family. Stand with those who have risen up for Little Lake Valley!

Contact with questions or for more information, or stop by the new Save Our Little Lake Valley office space at 23 S. Main Street.

Bike Ride for Little Lake Valley

Saturday will also see a Little Lake Valley Support Ride via bicycle on Highway 101 from Redwood Valley to Rec Grove Park. Bikers will assemble at 10 a.m. on West Road’s North Bound Ramp. They will affix STOP CALTRANS BYPASS signs to their backs and their bicycles.


Eagle after extraction.

Eagle after extraction.

Here is a partial list (with links) of yesterday’s media coverage of yesterday’s events. There were many more papers, blogs, and websites picking up on the story. The Associated Press also picked up on the story.

  • Willits News, Linda Williams: Updated at 5pm. Tree-sitters blocking Willits bypass route pulled from trees
  • KQED Bay Area, Laird Harrison: Willits Tree Sitters Removed and Arrested in Highway 101 Bypass Protest
  • Press Democrat, Mary Callahan and Melody Karpinski: Willits tree sitters forcibly removed from protest spots.
  • San Francisco Chronicle, Ellen Huett: Willits road protestors’ trees cut down
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian, Tim Redmond: Tree-sitter shot, 70 feet up, by rubber bullet
  • KPFA: Flashpoints (minutes 0-24)
  • San Jose Mercury News, John Marshal: 7 tree-sitters arrested in highway project protest
  • CBS SF Bay Area: 7 tree-sitters protesting Willits bypass arrested
  • North Coast Journal, Heidi Walters: Climbers Bring Down Willits Warbler


Breaking News April 2, 9:30 am: The Warbler was been extracted from her tree-sit around 7:00am this morning and another extraction may be under way! This was apparently done from a cherry picker/bucket truck. The struggle is not over yet, there are at least 3 more tree-sits and the discovery of a Whitebreasted Nuthatch nest by a tree-sitter has put a halt to some of Caltrans destruction.


What’s going on?


The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) is attempting to construct a four-lane superhighway through Little Lake Valley, otherwise known as Willits.

This project would destroy some of the Valley’s last remaining wetlands, draining 86 acres — the largest wetlands fill permit in Northern California in 50 years. It is in the process of destroying oak savannahs and oak forests throughout the valley and on surrounding hillsides, and generating a massive quantity of CO2 emissions. It would severely damage the local economy, while doing remarkably little to prevent traffic congestion.

Action Camp Kicks Off

Defenders of Little Lake Valley are excited to announce the establishment of an action camp. This mobilization will begin on Saturday, March 30th and remain ongoing until we have stopped the CalTrans superhighway. We are calling on everyone interested in standing up against massive waste, destruction, and greed to travel to our fair valley and help us protect what we hold sacred.

In recent days, CalTrans has been on a rampage. Its contractors have laid waste to large areas of vegetation, installed more than three miles of construction fencing, and dumped gravel to reinforce their haul road. Owing to the strength of our opposition, CalTrans has called on an overwhelming California Highway Patrol officers, including 24-hour surveillance, to be able to carry forward its destruction.

Think of it! The California Highway Patrol’s operation in Willits is likely its biggest mobilization in the state, in a town with a municipal population of roughly 5,000 people.

But the CHP cannot maintain this sort of mobilization for much longer, nor are we going away. We have only come together closer so we can fight harder. We have delayed CalTrans’ construction start by roughly two months already. Meanwhile, a separate group has a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit pending, which will be heard in court in May. Early next week, we are also we filing a California Environmental Quality Act Lawsuit, which would stop this project in its tracks.

We can win this! But we need your help.

Action Camp Logistics


To register for the action camp or for more details, please contact:
Phone: 707-845-1643

For updates and further information regarding Little Lake Valley:

Action Camp start date: Saturday, March 30th

Come prepared! Bring food, water, bedding, warm clothing, rain gear, art supplies, acoustic instruments, songs, and volunteer energy. Please no weapons, drugs, alcohol, pets, or fires. Explain any special needs you may have at pre-registration.

We will be mobilizing creative action towards halting the construction of the Willits Bypass. Your ideas are needed! No special prior experience is required to participate. There are many simple yet important ways to contribute, such as sign and banner making and legal observation.

As an action camp participant, you will learn about the imperiled wetlands, oak woodlands, and migratory bird nesting areas along highway 101 through ongoing hikes, tours, and campfires.

Statement From The Warbler

DranaPosterSmaller (2)

“I have been tree sitting for 55 days, the past three of which have been taken over by CHP and CalTrans. Right now, CHP officers deployed from all over the state are here to occupy Little Lake Valley and prevent supporters from bringing in supplies. They are also covering up the crimes being committed by Caltrans RIGHT NOW. There is a legal term for that: ‘aiding and abetting.’

No public presence has been allowed in some of the areas being destroyed, so I don’t know the extent of the damage. There are two other tree sitters, besides myself. CHP is not interested in protecting us. If they were, they would not be arresting our protectors and trying to destroy our home. We need to be able to monitor what is going on.

So we need you to come and help. This is not just about Little Lake Valley, this is about the future of this fragile matrix of life we are a part of that. And we have a responsibility to protect it. This is about solidarity. And the struggle that is going on everywhere. If this is not stopped here and now, the destruction will continue.”

Please join us in Little Lake Valley! We’ve got no time to waste.

Slideshow + Press Release of Yesterdays Action at Sierra Pacific

by EF!Humboldt ~ August 7th, 2012

Note: We put the photos on picasa for easier media access. Here are the THP numbers as some have requested- Mattole/Bear River #1-12-032, Redwood Creek #1-12-042.

For Immediate Release: 8/7/2012

Media Contact: Jeremy Jensen


Earth First! Blocks Sierra Pacific Sawmill Entrance

Manila, Ca. – 30 Earth First! activists protesting Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) logging practices rallied peacefully outside the gates of SPI’s Arcata mill on Monday, demanding a stop to the company’s logging of old-growth.

“We’re here to expose SPI’s destructive logging” said Jeremy Jensen. “They claim to be sustainable under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative label but SPI intensively clear-cuts and logs old-growth forests all over California.”

Demonstrators blocked the logging truck entrance to the mill, holding banners reading “SFI is a scam” and “Stop old-growth logging.” They stood in front of a truck trying to enter the mill, disrupting logging traffic for half an hour.

In addition, three activists delivered a list of demands directly to the administration office at the mill stating in part that EF! Humboldt wants “Sustainable, light, selection logging, restoration of wildlife habitat and a rate of harvest that restores rather than depletes the forest.”

Earlier in the day, an activist was handcuffed and detained by police in Arcata while hanging a banner on an overpass that read “Sierra Pacific Logs Old-growth”. He was later released with a warning.

The activists cite two examples of SPI’s clear-cutting and old-growth logging plans in Humboldt County. One, a 245 acre logging plan in the Mattole River and Bear River watersheds, and another in Redwood Creek totaling 241 acres. Click here to view photos.

In the 21st century the remaining old growth forests have incalculable value and these private timber corporations are stealing them from under our noses.  Forests like this need to be protected, and clear-cut logging needs to stop,” said Elise Gerhart.

The SPI timber company owns 1.9 million acres, making it the second largest private landowner in North America. The bulk of this land lies in the forests of northern California.  The company’s logging practices are certified sustainable by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

SFI is one of the largest certifiers of logging operations in the country. It was originally created by the American Pulp & Paper Association. For more information click here.

Earth First! is an international movement dedicated to using direct action to protect threatened ecosystems from runaway resource extraction.

Please check the Earth First! Humboldt picasa for photos.