Environment & Forest Defense News
Thu Oct 15 2020 (Updated 10/24/20)Library/Parking Garage Is Litmus Test for the Future of Santa Cruz
Erica Aitken of Reimagine Santa Cruz writes: The next City Council elections will decide the future of Santa Cruz. Do we open our doors to Silicon Valley with luxury rentals and our very own Santana Row? Or do we take control and build beautiful affordable housing for those who work and would like to live here? If we ask ourselves this question, it is because we have recently been the victims of a particularly galling breach of trust from our current City Councilmembers.
Thu Sep 24 2020 (Updated 09/25/20)Facebook Blocks Wet’suwet’en Defenders
Facebook blocked hundreds of accounts days before a September 21 online event targeting the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The pipeline is set to cut through sovereign Wet’suwet’en land, defiantly ignoring hereditary chiefs of their rights, title, and consent for the project. The project would lock in decades of increased fracked gas and the impacts to climate, air, water and the risks posed to Indigenous camps built along the route.
Mon Sep 14 2020 (Updated 09/22/20)"These Are Climate Fires"
President Trump has said little about the wildfires raging in California, Oregon and Washington for weeks, other than to suggest poor forest management was primarily to blame. “These are climate fires,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, an Oregon-based wildland fire ecologist and former wildland firefighter. “Though some scientists hesitate to attribute a single event to climate change, these are exactly the conditions predicted by climatologists.”
Tue Sep 1 2020Undam the Klamath River
Four dams on the Klamath River have had devastating consequences for the environment, imperiled salmon, river communities and tribal people who have subsisted from salmon since time immemorial. For over 20 years stakeholders have worked together in an agreement that would remove the dams and restore the Klamath River in what would be the largest river restoration project in history. Most experts view dam removal as the lynchpin for solving the water crisis that plagues the drought-prone Klamath Basin.
Mon Aug 31 2020Protest at Wood Pellet Plant near Ukiah
On August 28, tribal members and local residents protested outside the Mendocino Forest Products (MFP) wood pellet plant in Calpella, near Ukiah, calling for suspension of the plant’s operations during the Covid pandemic, now compounded by recent fires and extremely poor air quality. Organizers say the protest is needed to bring attention to demands for public transparency on air pollution and fire safety issues presented by the plant’s operations to date and especially under present conditions.
Wed Apr 22 2020 (Updated 04/24/20)Wood Pellet Plant in Mendocino County Threatens Public Health
On April 3, KPFA’s Terra Verde radio program interviewed community activists from Mendocino County. Host Gary Hughes spoke with Polly Girvin and Maria Gilardin about the threats posed by a wood pellet processing facility in Calpella, six miles north of Ukiah. Polly and Maria are members of Social, Environmental and Indigenous Justice (SEIJ), an affinity group waging a campaign to protect rural and indigenous communities from pollution emitted by Mendocino Forest Products and their wood pellet fuel plant.
Wed Apr 8 2020California Approves New Fracking During COVID-19 Pandemic
On April 3, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and after a nine-month moratorium on new fracking operations, California's Department of Conservation approved 24 new fracking permits in Kern County, the center of the oil industry in California. Fracking opponents strongly condemned the approval of new fracking permits at a time that the state is virtually shut down, and people are dying everyday from the COVID-19 virus.
On February 28, the Westlands Water District signed a permanent water repayment contract with the Bureau of Reclamation to provide Central Valley Water Project water in perpetuity to the growers in the powerful, politically-connected water district on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, stated, “At a time of unprecedented climate changes and droughts we should not be circumventing the law and promising by federal contract far more water than actually exists to one large irrigation group at the expense of others.”
Sat Feb 29 2020 (Updated 03/03/20)Extinction Rebellion Action Closes Chase Bank
Approximately 300 protesters descended on the Chase branch in Santa Cruz on February 28 to demand an end to the bank's financing of the fossil fuel industry. Five people stood in front of the teller windows to stop all banking transactions. Protesters successfully shut down the bank for the remainder of the day. Meanwhile, outside the bank, demonstrators sang and danced while offering water, cookies, chair massages, blankets and throw pillows. As rush hour traffic drove by, motorists honked their horns in support while creative participants chalked the walkways outside the bank with many messages.