The Annual Salmonid Restoration Conference, March 2024

The Garcia River tour, at the SRF Conference, will visit habitat enhancement sites in the Garcia River estuary. Photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy Test

Holding Space: Creating Habitat and a Platform for Innovation Salmonid Restoration Federation Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) produces the largest salmon restoration conference in California, convening a diverse range of people in the watershed restoration field including planners, engineers, policy makers, students, Watershed Stewards Program members, consultants, academics, tribal members, on-the-ground practitioners, and landowners. It is…

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South Fork Eel River 2023 Pikeminnow Survey Provides Encouraging Results

UCB divers after lunch on Day 2 (l to r): Phil Georgakakos, Gabe Rossi, Jim Greenberg, and Rachael Hein. All photos this article by Pat Higgins

By Pat Higgins, Managing Director, Eel River Recovery Project The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) conducted its eighth annual survey of invasive Sacramento pikeminnow on the South Fork Eel River from Rattlesnake Creek to Standish Hickey State Park on June 28 and 29, and results were surprising. The invasive pikeminnow population was far lower than…

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Southern Humboldt Fire Safe Council: Part of the Web of Groups Working Together to Rebuild Our Relationship to Fire

The October 19 cultural fire burn at the Southern Humboldt Community Park—the first Cultural Burn in southern Humboldt in over 150 years—is a great example of southern Humboldt collaboration in action. Collaborators included Eel River Wailaki, Native Health in Native Hands, Wailaki Cultural Fire Crew, Trees Foundation, Briceland VFD, Garberville VFD, Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association, Southern Humboldt Community Park, and local volunteers. The burn was conducted where a natural Hazel Grove lives. The hazel, or lachindé in Wailaki, is an important basket-making material and provides healthy nuts for animals and people. The hazel has been managed for many thousands of years till recently and now is not producing nuts and the stems of the bush are not able to be used for baskets or other uses without being maintained with fire and pruning. Photo by Kai Ostrow

Submitted by Gail Eastwood, Chair, Southern Humboldt Fire Safe Council If you watch busy ants around an anthill for a while, you’ll see many ants industriously moving a bit of grain or chaff or something. It appears to be part of a coordinated effort to achieve some mutual goal. But where is the commander? Who’s…

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If You Build It, Will Coho Run? Marshall Ranch Ponds Constructed to Maintain Redwood Creek Summer Flows

Joel Monschke (Stillwater Sciences Senior Engineer and Technical Lead), Elizabeth Marshall Maybee (landowner), and Logan Edwards (Edwards Excavation) from left to right at the lower pond site. Photo by David Sanchez (General Manager of the Marshall Ranch)

By Dana Stolzman, Executive Director, Salmonid Restoration Federation The Build Up Coho salmon persist in scattered watersheds throughout the North Coast of California, especially in forested tributaries that provide habitat refugia. Redwood Creek is a rare example of a human-populated watershed that still retains intrinsic potential for coho salmon recovery. For over 10 years, the…

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Institute for Sustainable Forestry: A Brief Retrospective, Current Update on Projects, and Looking Ahead

ISFers at beginning of The New Forestry Trail at the Southern Humboldt Community Park. From left: Jesse Hill, Nonae Sears, Kathryn Lobato, Gray Shaw, Greg Condon, Liz Harwood, Chip Tittmann, Richard Gienger, and Tim Metz. Photo by Chip Tittmann

Submitted by Chip Tittmann, President; Greg Condon, Treasurer; Gray Shaw, Secretary; and Board Directors Richard Gienger, Jeff Hedin, Liz Harwood, and Connie Smyser Over the last 39 years, ISF has built a legacy of promoting forest health, forest protection, and sustainable forest products utilization in NW California, all while collaborating with local NGOs, Tribes, and public…

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SPAWN Nursery: The Power of Community Over 20 Years of Propagating Native Plants

Nursery Volunteer Crew at Propagation Bench, December 2022

By Audrey Fusco, Nursery Manager and Restoration Ecologist, Salmon Protection and Watershed Network The SPAWN restoration nursery, seaturtles.org/nursery, grew out of the desire to restore creek habitat for coho salmon by utilizing local genetic stock of native plants that were not available in any nursery. Beginning as a volunteer effort, we sought experts to mentor…

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Flowers for Susy

Susy Barsotti, a long-time member of the Hog Farm at Black Oak Ranch in Mendocino, and tireless environmental advocate, recently stepped down from the Trees Foundation Board of Directors after a quarter-century of dedicated service. She served Trees with aplomb, commitment, and boundless energy. Longtime Trees staffer Barbara Ristow recalls Susy “always promoting Trees” showing…

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Thank You for Supporting Trees Foundation!

Photo by Douglas Fir

We rely on the generous support of our readers to fund our work. Trees Foundation provides services to a network of over forty grassroots partner groups that are leading community-based efforts in healthy land stewardship throughout California’s Redwood Coast. Your donation enables us to continue supporting our partner groups, publish the Forest & River News…

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The Roots of Cooperative Management

A meeting of the minds: Michael Evenson All photos this article courtesy Michael Evenson

By Michael Evenson With the formation of the Trees Foundation in 1991, founding directors Rick Klein and I sought a path for forest communities to continue to work in the woods while “restoring ecological functions,” terminology that changes with the times, but means healing from the outrageous disturbances of the past. The path to achieve…

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Willow Walls, Cottonwood Containment, and Flood Control

Lourance Hall passes out willow cuttings to RVES 2nd-graders, while teacher Casey Cann looks on. All photos this article by Patrick Higgins

Town Creek Restoration Project in Covelo Gives Round Valley Students Hands-On Experience By Eel River Recovery Project In 2021, the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) was awarded a grant from the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Urban Streams Restoration Program (USRP) for work in Covelo in northeast Mendocino County. The Town Creek Restoration and Education…

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Marshall Ranch Flow-Enhancement Implementation Project Underway

David Sanchez (General Manager of The Marshall Ranch), Dana Stolzman (SRF ED), Dorothy Hoaglin (Wailaki Tribe), Tim Metz (Restoration Forestry and Property Manager of Lost Coast Forestlands), and Joel Monschke (Stillwater Sciences engineer) during the tribal consultation on Lost Coast Forestland property near the headwaters of Redwood Creek. Photo courtesy SRF

Innovative Flow-Augmentation Project to Restore Flows in Redwood Creek By Salmonid Restoration Federation This summer Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF), Stillwater Sciences, and Edwards Excavation will build an innovative flow-augmentation restoration project on the historic Marshall Ranch to improve instream flows in Redwood Creek (a tributary of the South Fork Eel River) for threatened salmon and…

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Add Butterflies to Your Garden!

Field Crescent (Phyciodes pulchella) Photo by Scott Loarie, by way of Wikimedia Commons

Restoring Habitat for Pollinators Benefits Salmon and Other Wildlife By Audrey Fusco, Restoration Ecologist for the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network Along with plants, insects form the base of the food web and the bulk of the diet for fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Plants and insects have co-evolved. Native insects require a diverse set of…

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Redwoods and Climate Change

In the wettest, foggiest part of the range, canopy communities include ferns, shrubs, and even trees growing high above the ground. Photo by S. Sillett

Vulnerability, Resilience, and Hope in the World’s Tallest Trees By Marie E. Antoine and Stephen C. Sillett, Cal Poly Humboldt Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) has a narrow and highly fragmented distribution along 460 miles of western North America. Although they occupy only a small land area, primary (unlogged, old-growth) redwood forests are globally renowned. Extreme…

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Northern California Tribes and Agencies Plan for Tribal Land Return 

Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk (left) addresses panelists at the Northern California LandBack Symposium. All photos this article courtesy of Save California Salmon.

Tribes Ask State to Update Policies and Join Fight for Unrecognized Tribes and Water Protection at LandBack Symposium  Arcata, CA, from March 28, 2023 Press Release—Save California Salmon and Cal Poly Humboldt’s Native American Studies Department hosted the Northern California LandBack Symposium. This first-of-its-kind free event featured Tribal and State leaders, university representatives, foundations, NGOs,…

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Growing Trees Foundation

Jeri Fergus, Barbara Ristow, Mona Provisor, and Kerry Reynolds (l-r) at a recent thank-you and farewell lunch for long-time Trees Foundation Collective member Barbara. Photo by Trees Foundation

In an effort to better serve our community and our partner groups, Trees Foundation has grown. We have new Staff, new Board Members, and a bustling new Forest Health and Fire Resources Program. After serving nearly four years as our Organizational Development and Partner Outreach Director, Kerry Reynolds is moving into a new position as…

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2022 Cereus Reports

In 1998, a generous individual contacted Trees Foundation with the desire to support local grassroots environmental activism. Shortly thereafter, the Cereus Fund of Trees Foundation was created. Her desire was to give annually, not only to Trees Foundation, but also to our many Partner groups. For 23 years, with direct input of the Cereus Funder,…

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Annual Pikeminnow Dive Provides Insight
into Health of South Fork Eel River

ERRP in the river
Phil Georgakakos gets ready for plunge into deep high gradient riffle with Stella Stein trailing him. Photo by Pat Higgins

By Eel River Recovery Project The seventh annual Eel River Recovery Project pikeminnow survey of a key reach of the South Fork Eel River took place on June 28th and 29th. It was determined that despite the population of this non-native predator remaining high, there were a surprising number of salmon and steelhead juveniles and…

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Grassroots Spotlight: Native Health in Native Hands

Ernest Lincoln, on the far left, holds a canoe paddle and sits in the canoe that he and other Wailaki are building as a renewal of an ancient cultural tradition. To his right is Erin Gates, the Deputy District Superintendent for California State Park’s North Coast Redwood District, along with other participants and supporters of the redwood canoe project.

Revitalizing Wailaki Cultural Practices By Kerry Reynolds, Organizational Development & Partner Support, Trees Foundation In late 2021, an email came into Trees Foundation that asked about our mapmaking services. That was nothing unusual—GIS mapmaking is one of our most popular services. Little did I know then, that we had just made contact with Perry Lincoln,…

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Public Records Requests and the Maintenance of Democracy

One of the documents released by CAL FIRE in response to the author’s August, 2021 request: an invoice for six days of private security in the Caspar 500 THP.

A Jackson Demonstration State Forest Case Study Implicit in a democratic process is the notion that government should be accountable for its actions. In order to verify accountability, individuals must have access to government files. Such access permits checks against the arbitrary exercise of official power and secrecy in the political process. (California Supreme Court:…

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24th Annual Coho Confab on the South Fork Eel River

Cedar Creek and the South Fork Eel.
The Coho Confab will be held at the confluence of Cedar Creek and the South Fork Eel. Cal Trout is leading a fish passage barrier removal project on Cedar Creek that will open up nine miles of habitat. Photo courtesy SRF

Evolving Strategies to Enhance Coho Salmon Habitat Salmonid Restoration Federation Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) is coordinating the 24th Annual Coho Confab that will take place September 9–11, 2022 on the South Fork Eel River in Mendocino County. This year’s Coho Confab will be held at the Rangjung Gomde Buddhist Retreat Center, which is nestled in…

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Prescribed Fire:
An Indigenous Perspective

Margo Robbins and others re-introducing fire to the land, starting the test fire with wormwood torches.

By Margo Robbins, Cultural Fire Management Council The following is a transcript of the talk given by Margo Robbins during a webinar hosted by Trees Foundation on Oct. 3rd, 2021 titled “Pathways to Fire Resilience.” She refers to some photos from her slideshow that don’t appear here, but you may watch her full presentation with…

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The Oak Knoll Prescribed Fire:
A Landowner’s Perspective

The Oak Knoll prescribed fire during the burn is set from the top of the hill, working downward to ensure manageable fire behavior.

By Mitchell Danforth Wildfires represent the single greatest threat to most of our inland communities, especially in recent times, as fires have grown in size, intensity, and damage to people and property. It is critical to acknowledge that fires are not good or evil, they simply are—and like floods, landslides, snowstorms, and earthquakes, how we…

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The Old Briceland Ridge Prescribed Fire:
An Ecological Field Observer’s Perspective

Female Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata) forced to wake from winter hibernation in mid February on Old Briceland Ridge, 1960’ elevation in conifer/mixed forest. (She was safely relocated a few hours later.)

By Kyle Keegan Ecological Restoration Is Not a Race: Lessons from Western Pond Turtle It was a 70-degree afternoon in February 2022 on Old Briceland Ridge: 1,960 feet of elevation amidst stands of Douglas-fir, scattered Tanoak, and Chinquapin. Winds were light out of the southwest, and relative humidities were in the high 40s. Fire had…

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Tell PG&E to STOP Ravaging our Trees and FIX their Infrastructure Instead!

The Redwood Chapter of Sierra Club is leading a campaign to demand that PG&E stops ravaging our trees and instead invests in modern infrastructure that will greatly reduce wildfire risk. State leaders must hold PG&E accountable for its negligence. Why This Matters PG&E’s antiquated infrastructure is vulnerable to high winds and its outdated lines create…

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The Cereus Fund of Trees Foundation Continues to Help Grassroots Environmental Advocacy in the Redwoods Region

The following pages highlight grassroots environmental projects supported by the Cereus Fund of Trees Foundation in 2021. Established in 1998, the Cereus Fund is a part of Trees Foundation’s Donor Advised Program which allows individuals to donate and direct funding to projects of their choice, which Trees Foundation administers on their behalf. To learn more…

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Pomo Perspective with Michael Hunter

California Tribal Chairpersons Association

The following is a partial transcript of the Oct. 18, 2021, KZYX Public Affairs show hosted by Alicia Littletree Bales, edited for length. Alicia Littletree Bales: Good morning, this is Alicia Bales. I’m live in the Ukiah studio with Michael Hunter [Chair of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians] …and we’re going to hear…

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The Map: A Mythic Recollection

By Jeff Hedin Editor’s Note: We are excited to announce that the Mateel Region Conservation Context map—23 years in the making—is now available on our website at treesfoundation.org/map. We would like to acknowledge the dedicated work of activists Jeff Hedin and Rob DiPerna in the creation of this map, and to Trees Foundation’s past GIS…

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The Early Days of Trees Foundation

By Leib Ostrow, co-founder and current Board Treasurer of Trees Foundation Ah, tracing the roots of Trees Foundation. For me its starts with fleeing my birthplace, as industrial a place as you can find, Detroit, Michigan. I had witnessed some of the worst of what humans could do to our Mother Earth and was searching…

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Growing Trees Foundation

A Pair of Purple Martins (Progne subis arboricola) utilizing a snag on the Northern Red Mountain Forest Health Improvement Project. Purple Martins are a listed species of concern that over winter in Southeastern Brazil. They were one of several species protected with exclusion buffers during the Red Mountain project. Photo by Kyle Keegan

Building Capacity for Collaboration and Environmental Resilience This year has been one of tremendous change and growth for the Trees Foundation. We bid farewell to our long-serving and well-loved Board President Susy Barsotti, and we welcomed a new Board member, John Wilhelm. We also said goodbye to our newest staff member Mary Gaterud, who left the…

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