Dinner Under the Redwoods

 

Please join the fun at our Fourth Annual Summer Dinner under the redwoods.   Great food, lively music, awards and current forest news.  Plus a special guest:  Dr. Morgan Gray will give an informative talk about wildlife landscapes, connecting habitats, and habitat fragmentation.  Dr. Gray will present information gained from her interesting research in several counties including Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, and Santa Cruz counties.  Dr. Gray has researched the implications of land use on mammals, and is currently in conversation with land trusts and state and federal agencies with interests in landscape scale conservation.  Come learn the latest science on how wildlife respond to smaller habitat areas and the challenges of crossing from one island habitat to another.  Dr. Gray is a post doctoral researcher at U.C. Berkeley and Pepperwood Preserve.

Forest Unlimited will also presenting an Environmental Activist award to Jim and Leonora Wilson for their work in protecting the Napa County watershed.

When:  Saturday, June 10, 2017, 3-6pm
Where:  Anderson Hall, Camp Meeker
Live music:  All Swing Considered,  A four person gypsy/jazz ensemble.  Great for dancing!
Food:  Wild salmon is back as well as veggies on the grill!  There will be side salads, appetizers, and desserts.
Tickets: $50 salmon/$35 veggie per person before June 1. $60 salmon/$40 veggie after June 1.  Mail check to: Forest Unlimited, PO Box 506, Forestville CA 95436.  Please write “Dinner” on the memo line
or
Tickets Online: Click the “Donate”  in the sidebar.  Be sure to indicate that this is for the Annual Dinner.
Further information: call 707-887-7433 or email larryjhanson@comcast.net.

Don’t miss it.  Mark your calendar now!  This is a fundraiser for Forest Unlimited.

Coastal redwoods battle heats up along the Gualala River

by Will Parrish, Bohemian.com

The fight to save majestic coastal redwood groves in California has been waged for more than a century, starting with the campaign that created Big Basin State Park in 1902.

A RIVER TRICKLES THROUGH IT According to the EPA, the Gualala River has been “impaired” due to sediment caused by logging. - RORY MCNAMARAIn 1978, the Sierra Club dubbed its successful campaign to expand Redwood State and National Park the “last battle” of “the redwood war,” but the battles to protect this globally recognized icon of nature would only intensify.

In 1985, a junk-bond dealer named Charles Hurwitz engineered a hostile takeover of Humboldt County’s most respected logging company, Pacific Lumber, and folded it into Houston-based investment company Maxxam. Meanwhile, Louisiana-Pacific, a Georgia-Pacific spin-off, was cutting its more than 300,000 acres in Mendocino and Sonoma counties at roughly three times the forest’s rate of growth.

“We need everything that’s out there,” Louisiana-Pacific CEO Harry Merlot told the

Press Democrat in 1989 “We log to infinity. Because it’s out there and we need it all, now.”

This unruly phase of the story involves the birth of radical environmentalism on the North Coast, complete with tree sits and road blockades, and culminates in the campaign to save the largest remaining area of unprotected old-growth redwoods in California, and thus the world: the Headwaters forest, located between Fortuna and Eureka. President Bill Clinton made saving Headwaters an election pitch in 1996, and in 1999 the state and federal governments purchased 7,500 acres to establish the Headwaters Forest Reserve.

Continue reading “Coastal redwoods battle heats up along the Gualala River”

Going dry fast – Part 2

by Will Parrish, Anderson Valley Advertiser

Voluntary Measures

For years, wine industry leaders have opposed regulation on the grounds that it is burdensome and of questionable value. California agribusiness representatives have consistently maintained that they can manage their properties in an environmentally responsible manner without the need for government oversight. In the case of the wine industry, the leading edge of this effort is a marketing and certification initiative called “fish friendly farming” which has certified 100,000 acres of vineyards, including a majority of those that suckle at the banks of the Russian River.

The initiative was developed by the California Land Stewardship Institute (CLSI), a nonprofit organization based in Guerneville.

“I’m not a big fan of regulations,” the group’s executive director, Laurel Marcus, said in an interview. “I think they lead to a lot of conflict.”

Continue reading “Going dry fast – Part 2”

Going dry fast – Part 1

by Will Parrish, Anderson Valley Advertiser

going-dry-fast-300x200In July, roughly 1,000 rural Sonoma County residents overflowed classrooms and small meeting chambers at five informational sessions convened by the State Water Resources Control Board.  It would be hard to exaggerate many attendees’ outrage.  At one meeting, two men got in a fistfight over whether to be “respectful” to the state and federal officials on hand.

The immediate source of their frustration is a drought-related “emergency order” in portions of four Russian River tributaries: Mill Creek, Mark West Creek, Green Valley Creek, and Dutch Bill Creek.  Its stated aim is to protect endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout. Among other things, the 270-day regulation forbids watering of lawns. It places limits on car washing and watering residential gardens. It does not, however, restrict water use of the main contemporary cause of these watersheds’ decline: the wine industry.

“The State Water Resources Control Board is regulating lawns? I challenge you to find ornamental lawns in the Dutch Bill, Green Valley, and Atascadero Creek watersheds,” said Occidental resident Ann Maurice said in a statement to the water board, summing up many residents’ sentiments. “It is not grass that is causing the problem. It is irrigated vineyards.”

In what many see as a response to public pressure, the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, an industry trade group, announced last week that 68 of the 130 vineyards in the four watersheds have committed to a voluntary 25 percent reduction in water use relative to 2013 levels.  According to commission President Karissa Kruse, these 68 properties include about 2,000 acres of land.

Continue reading “Going dry fast – Part 1”

Colorful protest of tunnels under ancient trees

Forest Unlimited

Many friends of the ancient trees and their ecosystem visited Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve on Sunday, May 4 to protest the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s proposed water system developments there. After they learned of threats to the redwoods from new water wells, surface trenching, and underground tunneling among the trees in the natural reserve, local citizens joined together and visited the woods to express their concerns.

The weather was beautiful, the trees were majestic and the park employees were very helpful making sure everyone found the correct trails. Everyone was enthusiastic about having an opportunity to do something to protect the forest and people exchanged stories with each other about how the woods were part of their lives.

Guerneville resident, Linda Lucey stated, “The regulations posted at the entrance to this grove state, natural scenery, plants, and animal life are the principal attractions of most state parks. They are integral parts of the ecosystem and natural community. As such, they are protected by Federal, State and Park laws. Disturbance or destruction of these resources is strictly forbidden.”

“We respectfully refrain from disturbing even a twig in this reserve,”Lucey further stated. “Why doesn’t State Parks follow the same Federal, State, and Park laws that we follow? Do the benefits of more water for visitors outweigh the risks of harm to the old growth ecosystem the visitors come to see? How much is this project going to cost us taxpayers? Why won’t State Parks hold a scoping session so we can understand exactly what is going on?”

Protesters handed out informational flyers at the visitors center and then, walked quietly through the beautiful redwood grove, some dressed as large trees. Their object was to draw attention to what until recently some say have been the very closely held development plans of State Parks.

Many people from the local community, including members of Forest Unlimited, participated in the event. Everyone shared serious concerns about the impacts that State Park’s plans will have on this delicate and now rare ecosystem. All the park visitors encountered by the participants in the protest expressed interest in learning more about the state’s plans and were very supportive of protecting the Natural Reserve.

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