Local environmental nonprofit Humboldt Baykeeper, which has fallen on tough times financially this year, has found a new home inside "The Link" office building in Arcata (formerly home to Yakima). As the logo collage above attests, The Link has become a hip HQ for local leftie causes and small businesses.

Here's the press release:


Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Humboldt Baykeeper will be joining our colleagues at the Link in Arcata:
1385 Eighth Street, Suite 228, Arcata, CA 95521 (in the old Yakima Building)

Stay tuned for 2014 to ring in change and opportunity as we restructure and refocus on the essential work of protecting Humboldt Bay!

Thanks to the Northcoast Environmental Center, Friends of the Eel River, Arcata Technology Center Partners, and individual donors who made this move possible.

If you've already donated to our annual fund appeal, thank you for your support to work on upcoming issues, including:

Dec. 31 - Jan. 2: King Tide Photo Initiative, a volunteer effort to document the highest tide of the year in areas at risk from sea level rise;

Jan. 6 - Appeal of the Halvorsen quarry permit on Rocky Gulch, a coho-bearing stream in the Indianola area;

Billboard removal on the 101 Corridor between Arcata and Eureka; and many other issues affecting Humboldt Bay and its tributaries.

Thanks to our many supporters and volunteers — we couldn't do it without you!

Jennifer Kalt, Policy Director
Humboldt Baykeeper

Read Original Article


The Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to delay a vote on an appeal of the proposed Halvorsen Quarry Reclamation Plan until Jan. 6 and directed staff to gather more information on several issues.


The appeal made by California Trout North Coast manager Darren Mierau and Humboldt Baykeeper in May requested that the plan require a complete erosion and sediment strategy, publicly available independent water testing in Rocky Creek, documentation of appropriated water permits, specified protections for bald eagles and revisions to the plan's Mitigated Negative Declaration.


A staff report from the Planning and Building Department's Planning Division recommended that the board approve the request to include an erosion [sic] independent water testing, but reject the other three.


First District Supervisor Rex Bohn made a motion to deny the appeal in its entirety, but withdrew it after other supervisors expressed the need for more information.


Though some of the appeal's recommendations were left out, Mierau said the plan has “dramatically improved.”


Humboldt Baykeeper policy director Jennifer Kalt said the requests are not an effort to shut down the quarry.


”We're trying to ensure that the proper permits are in place and the proper steps are taken,” she said.


The reclamation plan for the quarry states that it has been mined intermittently since the 1940s, with future phases including the stripping of topsoil, drilling exposed rock and blasting. All surface water in the quarry is diverted to a series of settlement ponds that capture sediment and debris run-off.


Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace said that the meeting was “clouded” with information that was irrelevant to the issue.


”I didn't hear any different evidence as to why we should deny those recommendations made by the staff,” Lovelace said.


Read Original Article


The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will hold a public hearing on appeals made by local environmental groups to county staff's approval of the proposed Halvorsen Quarry Reclamation Plan.


According to a county report, Planning and Building Department staff recommend that the board reject three of five appeals that were made by Humboldt Baykeeper and California Trout following the plan's approval by the county Planning Commission in a 6-1 vote in May.


”We believe the plan is not adequate to protect the coho salmon habitat in the stream,” Humboldt Baykeeper Policy Director Jennifer Kalt said.


The Halvorsen Quarry, currently owned by Eureka business Ryan Schneider Construction, is located along Rocky Creek Road near Bayside. According to the proposed plan, the site has been mined intermittently since at least the 1940s, and future phases include stripping topsoil, drilling exposed rock and blasting. All surface water is diverted to a series of settlement ponds that capture sediment and debris run-off.


The appeals request that the plan include a complete erosion and sediment strategy, publicly available independent water testing in Rocky Creek, documentation of appropriated water permits, specified protections for bald eagles and revisions to the Mitigated Negative Declaration.


”We're not trying to shut down the quarry,” Kalt said. “The rock from the quarry can be used to reinforce dirt roads which prevents other sediment from getting into streams.”


While staff recommend that the board approve the request to include an erosion strategy and independent water testing, a county report states that documentation of water quality permits and protections for threatened or endangered birds have been included in the county's revised Conditions of Approval. It also states that staff recommend denying the appeal to revise the Mitigated Negative Declaration because ,”no new significant impacts have been identified.”


The groups argue the Mitigated Negative Declaration -- a legal statement that no significant effects on the environment will occur -- cannot be certified because it does not account for mitigating impacts to water quality.


County staff argue that impacts would normally be mitigated by a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, but one is not required in this case because the mine is operated for personal use, not commercial.


At the Oct. 1 public hearing, county counsel and planning staff asked for more time to review information sent by the North Coast Regional Water Control Board less than a day before, saying they would need a minimum of two weeks to look it over.


The board voted to continue the hearing, but set a deadline of Oct. 31 for parties to submit any more information.


In a letter dated Nov. 20, the Humboldt Baykeeper Executive Director Jessica Hall and California Trout North Coast Manager Darren Mierau state that Schneider is making commercial sales.


Kalt said Bayside residents photographed trucks from Arcata's Alves Inc. entering and leaving the quarry on Nov. 1 and Nov. 4. The photographs were forwarded to the county with the letter.


According to a supplemental information packet attached to the board's online agenda, Ryan Schneider responded to the letter via email on Nov. 21. On Nov. 25, the county Planning Division sent a letter requesting a formal response, which was received a day later.


The email, the county letter and response were not made available online by the Times-Standard deadline.


Read Original Article



The Coastal Commis­sion’s Sept. 12 deci­sion to give the go ahead for Caltrans’ 101 Safe­ty Corridor Project requires removal of all billboards along the bay shore between Eureka and Arcata. Shortly after, CBS Outdoor — the company that owns these billboards — had its attor­neys threaten legal action if billboard removal doesn’t come with a big payoff. Now Caltrans is trying to claim it will be too costly to remove the billboards (“Sticker shock,” Times-Standard, Nov. 23, Page A1). There’s more to the story than what Caltrans tells us.


Looks like the company that owns all those billboards between Arcata and Eureka just recently found out that the Coastal Commission wants them all torn down. It's response? "You can't make us!"

That's a rough translation of the comically wordy lawyer-speak contained in a letter from attorney Anthony M. Leones of Miller Starr Regalia on behalf of CBS Outdoor Inc., owners of the billboards. What Leones actually wrote was, "The illegalities that inhere to these proposed actions are of a constitutional size." (Jeepers!)