From Roy’s Dam to Roy’s Riffles: Removing the Top-Priority Barrier for Central California Coho Salmon

SPAWN crew and volunteers celebrate the installation of a new pedestrian bridge over the more stable, complex creek. all photos this article by SPAWN, unless noted

A free-flowing creek replaced a nearly 100-year-old dam in Central California this past year, thanks to a decades-long restoration effort that is intimately tied to the genesis of the Marin County-based Salmon Protection And Watershed Network, or SPAWN. In December 1996, Todd Steiner stopped to look at an old fish ladder on the San Geronimo…

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Remembering Jene McCovey

Jene McCovey speaking at a rally for the Mattole forests at HRC headquarters in Scotia in 2018. photo by Karen Pickett

August 11, 1951—February 8, 2021 Yurok elder Jene McCovey (August 11, 1951—February 8, 2021) will be greatly missed on the North Coast as a dedicated and inspiring environmental leader. In 2014, Jene was presented with the Circle of Courage award by the Women’s Intercultural Network, and in 2018 she was chosen for the Sempervirens Lifetime…

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Tipping the Scale: With Large Dams Coming Down, Small Ones are Going Up to Restore Balance in Impacted Watersheds

Sugar Creek (Callahan, CA), Youth Environmental Summer Studies (YESS) crew and Scott River Watershed Council staff work on annual maintenance of BDAs. photo courtesy Charnna Gilmore, July 17, 2018

When I moved to the Mattole watershed nearly a decade ago, my new neighbor gave me my first lesson in wood loading. Which is to say, he gently schooled me for foraging firewood from the river bar. He explained how woody debris remaining in the river is critical for creating fish habitat, and offered a…

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Fight of the River People

A floating blockade stretches across the Klamath River waiting to stop boats carrying Yurok and Karuk tribal officials and Berkshire Hathaway executives upriver on Aug. 28, 2020. photo by Mahlija Florendo

The Generational Push that Brought Berkshire Hathaway to the Table and Put Dam Removal Back on Track This story was originally published in the North Coast Journal on March 4, 2021 with support from the Community Voices Coalition, a project funded by Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation to support local journalism in…

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A Day of Action to Undam the Klamath

“Undam the Klamath Now!” banner held across the Orleans Bridge in Humboldt County during the Day of Action. Photo by Klamath Justice Coalition

Fishermen and Environmental Activists Join Tribes in Asking Warren Buffett to Take Down Klamath River Dams This article was originally published as the cover story for News from Native California, Volume 34, Issue 2 (Winter 2020-2021). On October 23, tens of thousands of people joined members of the Karuk, Yurok, Klamath, and Hoopa Valley Tribes…

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Federal Agencies Need More Funding to Help Respond to Mega-Fires’ Aftermath

While less than 15% of the Eel River watershed is in federal ownership, public lands are of extraordinary importance with regard to production of clean water and native fishes and maintenance of biodiversity. In the wake of the record-setting one-million-acre August Fire and other recent mega-fires, there is an urgent need for federal agencies such…

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The Mendocino Trail Stewards’ Plan to Transform Jackson

Sixty to one hundred-year-old Douglas-fir, culled and left to rot as part of the 2018 Porter THP. Drone photo by Chet Jamgochian

Jackson Demonstration State Forest—the name is a mouthful. JDSF is quicker, but rather clunky and inelegant. Those of us who love this place mostly say “Jackson,” unaware of the history of Jacob Green Jackson, the Vermont transplant who bought a mill at the mouth of Caspar Creek in 1864 with some adjacent timberland thrown into…

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Trees Foundation Welcomes: Willits Environmental Center!

In 2020, Trees Foundation was thrilled to welcome Willits Environmental Center (WEC) as a Trees Foundation partner group. Kerry Reynolds, the Director of Organizational Development and Outreach for Trees Foundation, recently spoke with WEC founders David and Ellen Drell about their organization’s history. Kerry Reynolds When did Willits Environmental Center get its start? David Drell…

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The Best Use of Biomass Isn’t Burning

While the COVID pandemic and the accompanying drop in greenhouse gas emissions had us temporarily focused on other problems, recent bouts of extreme weather are reminders that climate change has not gone away. Global carbon emissions are rebounding, with December 2020 levels exceeding those from December 2019, while decreased tax revenues from the economic crisis…

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