Siskiyou Land Conservancy

Protecting California’s Wild North Coast and Rivers Since 2004

Public Pressure Prevents Humboldt County From Approving Disastrous Wind Factory

Update, Dec. 17, 2019: North Coast activists scored a major victory today as the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to deny Terra-Gen’s destructive on-shore wind project. A few things about this important development: The Wiyot Tribe was key. The Tribal Council voted unanimously to oppose the wind project and they sent many representatives to attend the long hearings. And they spoke beautifully about this sacred land that the Wiyot have called home for many thousands of years. Another key was the rapidly mobilized grassroots campaign against the project, led by some very skilled and experienced people, and driven by an eclectic cross-section of the community that included a large number of impressive and well spoken young people. Also, a large number of people who initially supported the project eventually reversed themselves after absorbing volumes of critical information gathered and disseminated by the Wiyot, by biologists and other scientists, and by NGOs like Siskiyou Land Conservancy. Destroying precious biodiversity will not solve the climate crisis, but will only exacerbate it. We at Siskiyou Land Conservancy take our hats off to the hundreds of people who turned out for endless meetings and effectively showed this major transnational energy company the door. Thank you.

Earlier post:

Planning Commission rejects Terra-Gen’s proposal for forty-seven 600-foot turbines on ecologically sensitive Monument and Bear River Ridges. Proposal now in the hands of the Board of Supervisors.

Bear River Ridge, in western Humboldt County, is sacred to the Wiyot Tribe.

After several hundred people turned out for three meetings of the Humboldt County Planning Commission, in November 2019, to oppose a proposed wind factory along Monument and Bear River Ridges, the Commission shocked onlookers and voted 4-2 against approving the project’s Environmental Impact Report.

Siskiyou Land Conservancy was among the leading voices urging denial of the wind factory EIR, along with the Wiyot Tribe, whose Council voted unanimously to oppose the project. Tribal Council members, elders, and staff representatives showed up in force to stop what they said would be the further desecration of their sacred lands by giant bird-shredding turbines.

Terra-Gen officials say they will appeal the denial to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Opponents promise to turn out in force for these meetings as well.

Siskiyou Land Conservancy supports wind energy. Wind is a crucial contributor to lowering carbon emissions during our current climate emergency. But just as we would oppose the idea of solar panels strewn across the tops of the last ancient redwood trees, we will seek to prevent the massive ecological damage that a wind factory would cause to this rare remaining linkage of biodiversity and critical habitat.

The amount of available information on Terra-Gen’s wind energy proposal is almost inexhaustible. Following are some links that will help to paint the picture of what this project is all about. Meanwhile, here is how you can support our efforts.

Solar Power, Not Wind Turbines, Better Suits Our Needs An op-ed by Siskiyou Land Conservancy Secretary Dr. Ken Miller.

‘Hook, Line and Turbine’  An op-ed by Siskiyou Land Conservancy Executive Director Greg King.

‘The Terra-Gen Wind Power Project Will Chain Us to the PG&E Grid and Ruin a Sacred Place’ Wiyot Tribal Biologist Adam Canter’s op-ed opposing the project.

Canter also appeared on Jefferson Public Radio.

‘Protect Tsakiyuwit, Deny Terra-Gen’s Wind Farm’ An op-ed by the North Coast Journal.

‘Rio Dell Mayor Asks Supes to Move Terra-Gen Appeal Meeting Down South’ The city of Rio Dell, along with the nearby town of Scotia, oppose the wind farm.

In a single issue, four out of five letters to the editor of the North Coast Journal oppose the wind farm.

If you really want to go deep, here is the County of Humboldt’s Terra-Gen page, containing all pertinent documents and comments.


South Fork Smith-vert

Siskiyou Land Conservancy Hires Local Crew for Smith River Restoration Effort

Working alongside our landowner partners, from 2017-19 Siskiyou Land Conservancy will manage a three-year, $207,000 restoration grant from the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service to restore forest health, and replace failing culverts with a bridge, on the 148-acre South Fork Smith River Property that SLC protects with a conservation easement. Although SLC does not receive Read more

Public Pressure Prevents Humboldt County From Approving Disastrous Wind Factory

Update, Dec. 17, 2019: North Coast activists scored a major victory today as the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to deny Terra-Gen’s destructive on-shore wind project. A few things about this important development: The Wiyot Tribe was key. The Tribal Council voted unanimously to oppose the wind project and they sent many representatives Read more

State Finds New Evidence of Pesticide Contamination in Smith River Estuary

Despite finding 17 pesticides in estuary waters and 10 instances of contamination, Water Board has no plans to rein in chemical use In late January, 2018, the state agency charged with enforcing the federal Clean Water Act released a long-awaited report on the results of two years of water quality testing in the Smith River Estuary. The testing detected 17 pesticides in the streams, creeks and ditches that feed the estuary, and 10 instances of contamination of the aquatic food chain. The findings appear to show that Easter lily farmers are in violation of the Clean Water Act, which was passed in 1972 in large part to protect precious aquatic resources such as the West Coast’s dwindling salmon populations.

NEWS

No Response from County or State Governments to Health Assessment that shows Pesticide Poisoning in Smith River

In late 2016 Siskiyou Land Conservancy released our Smith River Community Health Assessment, which clearly demonstrates that pesticides used in the cultivation of Easter lily bulbs in, Del Norte County, are impacting the health of people who live in the small town of Smith River.

Siskiyou Land Conservancy Hires Local Crew for Smith River Restoration Effort

Working alongside our landowner partners, from 2017-19 Siskiyou Land Conservancy will manage a three-year, $207,000 restoration grant from the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service to restore forest health, and replace failing culverts with a bridge, on the 148-acre South Fork Smith River Property that SLC protects with a conservation easement. Although SLC does not receive Read more

State Finds New Evidence of Pesticide Contamination in Smith River Estuary

Despite finding 17 pesticides in estuary waters and 10 instances of contamination, Water Board has no plans to rein in chemical use In late January, 2018, the state agency charged with enforcing the federal Clean Water Act released a long-awaited report on the results of two years of water quality testing in the Smith River Estuary. The testing detected 17 pesticides in the streams, creeks and ditches that feed the estuary, and 10 instances of contamination of the aquatic food chain. The findings appear to show that Easter lily farmers are in violation of the Clean Water Act, which was passed in 1972 in large part to protect precious aquatic resources such as the West Coast’s dwindling salmon populations.

SLC Protects the Mad River

Siskiyou Land Conservancy has completed one of our most exciting projects yet. In October 2016 we recorded a conservation easement to protect the natural values of a 183-acre parcel on the Mad River, above Maple Creek in Humboldt County.

Easter Lily Pesticides in the News

Just before Easter, the national on-line news magazine TakePart has run a major story about pesticides used on the Smith River Plain to grow Easter lilies. TakePart describes itself as “the digital division of Participant Media,” the company that brought us such films as Academy Award winning Spotlight, as well as An Inconvenient Truth and CITIZENFOUR.

SLC, Easter lilies and pesticides on Jefferson Exchange radio Friday, March 25

Siskiyou Land Conservancy Executive Director Greg King will be a guest on the popular radio show the Jefferson Exchange on Friday, March 25th at 8:30 a.m. to discuss pesticide use on the Smith River Plain. Jefferson Public Radio airs on 11 stations, from Central Oregon to the Mendocino Coast, so to find the station nearest Read more

The four circles represent locations where the California North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, in 2010 and 2013, found “acute (and) chronic reproductive toxicity

The four circles represent where the state Water Board found toxicity in streams feeding the Smith River estuary. The glowing circle is at the mouth of Rowdy Creek, where state scientists discovered “acute reproductive toxicity.”

The four circles represent locations where the California North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, in 2010 and 2013, found “acute (and) chronic reproductive toxicity” in streams feeding the Smith River estuary. The glowing circle is at the mouth of Rowdy Creek, one of the Smith River’s two most important salmon streams, where the state discovered the “acute” toxicity, meaning that invertebrates that make up the basis of the salmonid food chain not only cannot reproduce, but cannot survive in this water.