How Humboldt’s environmentalists created, and protect, the Green Rush

While poking around good ol’ Liberal Jon’s blog Democratic Liberal Humboldt site last month, THC came across what we feel is actually a very astute post (or certain parts of it, at least) and totally worth the read. It’s called Blind Spots, and you can read it over at Jonny’s blog.

In that post, Liberal Jon talks about some of the issues that get glazed over in Humboldt; he defines blind spots as “…simply those things that well meaning people miss either by denial or omission.

We were particularly interested with this particular “blind spot”: “A local environmental movement which largely forgives or forgets about the cumulative effects of our largest and growing agri-dustrial sector.” Namely, Liberal Jon posits that groups like EPIC and the NEC and the Friends of the Eel River turn a blind eye to the massive environmental degradation caused by cannabis cultivation in Humboldt.

And THC couldn’t agree more. We’ve said things much to the same effect before, but we disagree with Liberal Jon on the point that these”well-meaning” environmental groups are blind to the effects of cultivation “by denial or omission.” This is not the case at all; the issue of degradation is ignored because those groups are largely supported and funded by people who have vested interests in the green rush economy. What’s more, many of the people involved with running groups like the NEC and EPIC and Friends of the Eel River are directly tied to, and profit from, the marijuana industry that rapes the same Humboldt land and waterways that the groups proclaim need protecting.

Liberal Jon points to a fundraising letter sent out by Natalyn DeLapp of EPIC – which you can read in full on his blog or at the end of this post – that decries the current efforts of “big timber” to ruin our environment. (As an aside, umm, what “big timber” companies? California has some of the most strict forestry laws in the world, and any large or small timber operators that are still left are excellent stewards of the land.)

Of course, DeLapp makes sure to mention how they’ve protected species like the Northern Spotted Owl, Humboldt Marten, and Pacific Fisher. And bravo! Those big, bad (and heavily regulated and monitored) timber companies can’t get them. But what about the highly destructive impacts of our lawless, unregulated, and rapidly growing marijuana industry on those species? You sure won’t find any mention of that in DeLapp’s plea for money.

You won’t find much mention of what is being done to combat the out-of-control marijuana industry on NEC’s website, either. Sure, they mention it – as EPIC and DeLapp will, on occasion – but for all their bravado, there’s been no convincing effort on the part of these groups to combat it. They all talk about how bad it is – but not about taking steps to put a stop to it.

And why would they want to? They’re making money off of pot – both growing it themselves and from contributions for their “cause”. It’s just a shame that they rely on pulling at people’s heart strings and red-herring bogeymen (from DeLapp’s e-mail, “The Koch Brothers are giving to groups that advocate giving our national public lands away, which resulted in the armed standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”) to keep their organizations afloat, and their pockets full.


Natalyn DeLapp’s e-mail:

Contributions, from people like you, have helped to protect critical forest habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl and Coho Salmon from post-fire logging and advance Endangered Species Act protections for the Humboldt Marten, Pacific Fisher, and Northern Spotted Owl. With your financial support we will have the resources we need to achieve lasting protections for the wild forests of California’s North Coast and Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion.

We’re facing an unprecedented attack on public lands and wildlife as special interests try to cast aside our strongest environmental laws so they can log and exploit the wild. Big Timber is trying to destroy bedrock environmental laws like the federal Northwest Forest Plan and Endangered Species Act so they can get at the last remaining old-growth in our forests. The Koch Brothers are giving to groups that advocate giving our national public lands away, which resulted in the armed standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

With your help in 2016, we’ll watch over nearly one million acres of forest, methodically craft public comment letters, organize and petition—and if necessary—sue to save the forested ecosystems of Northwest California.

Situated in the heart of the North Coast—the region that we are working to protect—we offer unique advantages to conservation efforts. We know local decision makers, have a wide network, and are able to impact decisions on the ground by directly interacting with land managers in the field.

Please help us now by ensuring we have the resources to keep up the fight rather than diverting our energies with continued appeals. Take a minute now and help us advocate for the protection and restoration of the forests of Northwest California.

If you still need convincing, let me remind you why we do this work. We do this work because we love the land, wildlife and community; we do this so our forests can grow big and old—and store lots of carbon; we do this so our children’s children will know what it is like to have wild salmon running up our rivers to the furthest reaches of forest streams. We do this work for people like you. With your support, we will be successful.

 

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38 Responses to How Humboldt’s environmentalists created, and protect, the Green Rush

  1. John Chiv says:

    👍to this post.

    Like

  2. Arcatan says:

    There is a vast unspoken agreement among the new environmentalists not to upset the apple cart that makes their leadership rich. Look no further than NEC President Larry Glass who is a very well known and established Trinity County mega grower and former NEC Executive Director Dan Ehresman also a well known member of Weed Inc. I forget who the EPIC staff person busted with a mountain o weed in McKinleyville was. Hezakiah Allen, even Jen Kalt got her start in the hills of So Hum, the list goes on and on and on and on. It’s not reasonable to expect them to shut down their own source of blood money. It’s so much more rewarding to destroy any other chance at economic diversity. The hypocrisy is beyond astounding.

    Like

    • In the know says:

      Our very own supervisor Rex Bohn also grows some might good green with the help of his intermediate family

      Like

    • Larry Glass says:

      Bullshit

      Like

      • Just Watchin says:

        Is that a fertilizer endorsement ?

        Like

      • WOW! We’re honored! Our first comment from an Elected Official and a celebrity to boot! Larry, your comment was all too brief but we know you’re a busy guy, what with new lawsuits to file and disingenuous fundraising letters to post. We’re not exactly sure what exactly your comment was referring to. Was it Arcatan’s reference to your supposed Trinity grow or to our post and commentary in general? We’re always full of it but have generally found Arcatan to be pretty insightful and accurate. Maybe we’ll spend some cold evening with a sixer of Mike’s Hard Lemonade searching Google Earth for greenhouses at your place. Better yet perhaps a disgruntled neighbor will pass on some verifiable intel. We’re not too motivated to spend much energy proving something that is so broadly believed in the community but that could change. Naw, probably not, we think your days of relevance are pretty much behind us anyway. Thanks for dropping by and come back soon!

        Like

      • TommyGunn says:

        Damn it Larry who said you could post something here? Go back to the Tuluwat where you belong you tool

        Like

  3. Uri Driscoll says:

    One of the reasons as I understand it is that without a target (company) to sue it makes it nearly impossible.
    While there may have been “good” growers (and still are) there is not a real way to separate out the “bad” ones so it makes it hard to be really and effectively critical particularly if as Arcatan says the leaders in the enviro community are also growers. I don’t personally know if that is true.
    For a while I was proud of EPIC for taking a stand during the early stages of the pot ordinance development. I thought they were coming to the party a little late but they had some good things to say. I grew pretty disappointed when they seemed to back off their stand regarding TPZ and are still going after the highly regulated timber industry instead of the totally unregulated pot industry. (Natalynn’s passing the collection plate letter.)
    Let’s face it once this industry gets regulated it wont be so lucrative. Once other regions get in the game we are going to be less relevant. However, if there is a way to maintain a market share, in my humble opinion, and it will be from maintaining the Happy Humboldt Hippy brand of small groovy grows. University research would also be valuable for a lot of reasons. We seem to have enough long time user subjects to work with, that’s for sure.

    Like

    • Natalynne DeLapp says:

      Hi Uri,

      EPIC’s number one goal is to protect environmental resources, with a strong second being to protect our community resources (the people). The best way we know how to protect environmental resources is through the application of environmental law. As some may know, EPIC works to ensure environmental laws are upheld. We have a nearly 40 year history of litigating state and federal agencies for failure to uphold the law–we do not sue people or companies–even in the PL days we were suing CalFire or DFW. These days, our biggest challenge is to help our regional farmers, friends, allies, colleagues, partners, and community members make the transition from quasi-legal/outlaw farmers into fully legal farmers.

      Now that California, the county and the NCRWQCB are regulating cannabis, farmers have the opportunity to become legal and legitimate businesses. The best way to seperate the “good growers” from the “bad growers” will be by determining who is legal and compliant, and who is not. Before now there were quasi-legal and illegal growers (trespass growers will always be illegal), which made it difficult for state agencies, sheriffs and D.A.s to prosecute cultivation (there was no way for EPIC to legally prove that the state agencies were turning a blind eye or not trying to do their job with regards to cannabis).

      Four programs (laws) have recently been developed to protect natural resources: MMRSA, NCRQWCB Water Board Order No. 2015-0023, DFW’s Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements (not a new program), and the Humboldt County Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance. These programs now give permission (rights) to farmers so that they may lawfully engage in the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of medical cannabis in California for profit. The Water Board’s order began enrolling people in August 2015, MMRSA took affect on January 1, 2016 and the MMLUO took affect on February 26, 2016. These are brand new programs. So far the Water Board has had approximately 500 people fill out their Notice of Intent (NOI), the County has a few hundred people who have submitted applications, and DFW is backlogged with people filling out their LSAA paperwork.

      These new programs must be given time to come into affect. Change is not going to happen overnight. It’s taken us 20+ years to get this far into this mess, and it is going to take a few, if not several, to get us out of this mess. Funding for enforcement is in the legislature. EPIC is supporting Assembly Member Woods’ bill AB 2243. This bill would tax legal commercial cannabis—providing funding for environmental clean-up, DFW enforcement and law enforcement.

      I know that significant regulatory enforcement is coming to our region in the near future. If farmers are not in compliance with the law, then they will be criminals and will be enforced against (primarily civil and environmental penalties). We are working to help people make the transition.

      That is why in late February EPIC and Mad River Alliance, working with CGA, DFW, Water Board, Pacific Watershed Associates and High Tide Permaculture, set out on an ambitious campaign: we hosted six workshops around the county, spoke to roughly 500 farmers, and distributed 2,000 Compliance Handbooks. EPIC and MRA tackled this project because we believe that if we work together to help local people make the transition from an unregulated, quasi-legal cannabis industry to a regulated and legal one—we will protect our fish and forests, families and small farms.

      As far as the Humboldt County ordinance goes: I am glad the county figured out how to pass it and there is now a way for local farmers to be regulated It is not perfect, it is a work in progress, and the community must continue to engage this process to ensure that it meets the needs of the people and environment. I am proud of the work EPIC did with the community and Humboldt Redwood Company to protect forest resource lands from further cultivation (no new grows will be allowed on TPZ, FR or U).

      For more information:
      http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/06/19/biosci.biv083.full
      http://www.takepart.com/feature/2016/04/18/greenrush
      http://www.wildcalifornia.org/action-issues/cannabis-agriculture/

      With regards to the fundraising letter: EPIC works to protect and restore both public (national forests, BLM, State Parks, etc.) forestlands, and private industrial (GDRC, HRC, SPI) forestlands. That letter is talking specifically about our work to protect the Klamath National Forest from a massive timber give-away called the Westside Project: http://www.wildcalifornia.org/blog/the-great-forest-giveaway/ http://www.wildcalifornia.org/blog/klamath-river-timber-sales-offered-at-lowest-price-in-recent-history/ and http://www.wildcalifornia.org/blog/tribe-and-conservationists-file-suit-to-protect-wild-salmon-rural-river-communities/

      If you or anyone else would like to hear about the work EPIC does and why, I welcome your calls (822-7711), or stop by our office for a visit (145 G Street, in Arcata).

      For the love of our land, forests, families and fish!

      Natalynne DeLapp
      Executive Director, EPIC

      Like

      • Hi Natalynne!

        Thanks for dropping by. A very special thanks as well for being such a good sport and contestant in our recent Miss Enviro contest Humboldt’s Miss Enviro 2016: Don’t forget to vote! Congratulations on your third place finish Miss Enviro 2016 Not too shabby given some seriously tough competition!

        Anyhoo, we’re curious? Were you unaware that NEC Pres, Larry Glass was a long time “farmer”? How about your own Board Member Hezakiah Allen among others? Did you know your own staff was in the mega-farmer biz? Finally, if you’ll actually admit to knowing about the aforementioned how do you and your enviro counterparts explain such an obvious conflict of interest? Particularly since one of your biggest positions was that of “no new grows” thus ensuring a lock for your staff and benefactors. We’ve got lots of questions but these are on the top of the list for now.

        We’d also love to buy you a Mikes Hard Cider sometime…..

        Like

      • Uri Driscoll says:

        Natalynne,
        Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
        I think we all realize that there has been pathetically few growers that are in the process of obtaining legitimacy. The point I have been trying to make all along is the only way to make this work is to make a super simple permit process to grow say 2000 sq feet on appropriate parcels (100 to 500 on smaller ones). (medical/ personal grows even simpler) Any one over those limits would face some sort of significant enforcement. Additionally any commercial grow need to be directly related to a legitimate dispensary.
        From there we could grow if market conditions suggest we could. With an established baseline we can figure out if we should. If they don’t then we haven’t invested a ridiculous amount of time money and resources. If they do we will understand if revenue streams will support an expanded ordinance.
        I still think EPIC took a wrong turn when they changed from no TPZ grows to no NEW TPZ grows. That as some are suggesting indicates a sell out.

        Like

      • Jason says:

        I call bullshit on your claim of not suing companies.

        E.P.I.C. v. PACIFIC LUMBER CO.
        Email | Print | Comments (0)
        No. C98-3129 MHP.

        229 F.Supp.2d 993 (2002)

        ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INFORMATION CENTER, INC., a non-profit corporation; and, Sierra Club, Inc., a non-profit corporation, Plaintiffs, v. PACIFIC LUMBER COMPANY, a Delaware corporation; Scotia Pacific Holding Company, a Delaware corporation; and Salmon Creek Corporation, a Delaware corporation, Defendants.

        United States District Court, N.D. California.

        September 19, 2002.

        Like

      • Thanks Jason and welcome to THC! To be honest the whole county already knew that EPIC has a long history of suing anyone that they can squeeze a buck out of. But it was way fun to watch their silly denial. To be fair they do prey on the lowest hanging fruit like governmental agencies most often but that’s just cuz they’re easy pickins. We wonder if there is an EPIC mega grow someplace to subsidize operations in between lawsuits? Makes sense given all the “farmer” expertise they have on their board.

        Like

      • Henchman Of Justice says:

        Hi Natalie,

        Include Streamside Management Areas because “after the process, years in fact”, homeowners are developing, cutting into these SMA’s.

        A developer should not be forced to mitigate his/her land for SMA’s if local government is just going to turn a blind eye and not enforce environmental laws/development Mitigated standards, it reveals that “mitigations don’t work as intended post developer”.

        This means environmental law enforcement as a threat is ineffective, non existent, maybe a slight slap on the wrist, but mostly the position of local government grass roots officials and staff is cover-it-up because it is just more paperwork………

        So much hypocrisy to lure applicants to develop. Then, after development, homeowners violate mitigations, but the developmemt inspection process has obviously passed.

        As part of a development, any SMA’s part of the development, noticed and recorded on deed SHOULD also have on deed bi annual inspections W/ reports open to public review for as long as the SMA is dedicated as a public easement.

        Home buyers after the fact are often as bad or worse than Dope Growers when it comes to right and wrong, good and bad conduct relative to SMA impacts being a real concern to Gordon Leppig and others (yourself too?) in the biodiversity of resource habitat, especially mitigated as part of a development (hence, accommodations made in exchange for increased protections to make up for compromised new uses)

        Cordially,

        😉

        Like

      • Sammy says:

        Seriously, Natalynne? Ever heard of UN Agenda 21? Ever read “Set up and Sold Out: Find out what being Green Really Means”? Wherein our own infamous Connie Stewart says words to the effect of “The people are stupid, they will believe anything if it saves the environment; I don’t care what you tell them, just get the land!!!”

        SNAP OUT OF IT.

        Like

  4. Henchman Of Justice says:

    Planning departments, etc… have vested interest in the groups too……hence turning a blind eye to mj impacts for decades so that later, on the yellow brick road to the general city palace for petitions to legalise the green rush, the EIR err ND err something can be fixed as a blackmail of sorts to give future benefit for past impacts.

    IOW, a baseline value or assessment is adjusted away from showing the “actual decades long cumulative impacts.”

    When Mark Lovelace totally does a 180° on pot environmental law enforcement’s after preaching enforcement to get elected, it goes to the heart that liberals are no different than a clear cutting logger or a fluorescent light bulb polluting business, popping the hypocrisy mercury thermometer for money.

    When a county undersheriff estimates over 8000 grows, but less than 50 applicants for commercial grows, obviously voters, growers, anyone who knows Jack a little bit, don’t trust gubbamint to the point that permit processes are mocked, ridiculed, turned a blind eye toward.

    Thing is, gubbamint blows issues out of proportion when it ain’t bad, and when it is bad, gubbamint is “gratefully dead” on the issue.

    Humboldt Hicks

    Like

  5. Just Watchin says:

    I’m surprised jonboy hasn’t commented. I don’t look at the local obituaries, but I’m beginning to think he might have died.

    Like

  6. natalynned says:

    Hi Uri,

    EPIC’s number one goal is to protect environmental resources, with a strong second being to protect our community resources (the people). The best way we know how to protect environmental resources is through the application of environmental law. As some may know, EPIC works to ensure environmental laws are upheld. We have a nearly 40 year history of litigating state and federal agencies for failure to uphold the law–we do not sue people or companies–even in the PL days we were suing CalFire or DFW. These days, our biggest challenge is to help our regional farmers, friends, allies, colleagues, partners, and community members make the transition from quasi-legal/outlaw farmers into fully legal farmers.

    Now that California, the county and the NCRWQCB are regulating cannabis, farmers have the opportunity to become legal and legitimate businesses. The best way to seperate the “good growers” from the “bad growers” will be by determining who is legal and compliant, and who is not. Before now there were quasi-legal and illegal growers (trespass growers will always be illegal), which made it difficult for state agencies, sheriffs and D.A.s to prosecute cultivation (there was no way for EPIC to legally prove that the state agencies were turning a blind eye or not trying to do their job with regards to cannabis).

    Four programs (laws) have recently been developed to protect natural resources: MMRSA, NCRQWCB Water Board Order No. 2015-0023, DFW’s Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements (not a new program), and the Humboldt County Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance. These programs now give permission (rights) to farmers so that they may lawfully engage in the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of medical cannabis in California for profit. The Water Board’s order began enrolling people in August 2015, MMRSA took affect on January 1, 2016 and the MMLUO took affect on February 26, 2016. These are brand new programs. So far the Water Board has had approximately 500 people fill out their Notice of Intent (NOI), the County has a few hundred people who have submitted applications, and DFW is backlogged with people filling out their LSAA paperwork.

    These new programs must be given time to come into affect. Change is not going to happen overnight. It’s taken us 20+ years to get this far into this mess, and it is going to take a few, if not several, to get us out of this mess. Funding for enforcement is in the legislature. EPIC is supporting Assembly Member Woods’ bill AB 2243. This bill would tax legal commercial cannabis—providing funding for environmental clean-up, DFW enforcement and law enforcement.

    I know that significant regulatory enforcement is coming to our region in the near future. If farmers are not in compliance with the law, then they will be criminals and will be enforced against (primarily civil and environmental penalties). We are working to help people make the transition.

    That is why in late February EPIC and Mad River Alliance, working with CGA, DFW, Water Board, Pacific Watershed Associates and High Tide Permaculture, set out on an ambitious campaign: we hosted six workshops around the county, spoke to roughly 500 farmers, and distributed 2,000 Compliance Handbooks. EPIC and MRA tackled this project because we believe that if we work together to help local people make the transition from an unregulated, quasi-legal cannabis industry to a regulated and legal one—we will protect our fish and forests, families and small farms.

    As far as the Humboldt County ordinance goes: I am glad the county figured out how to pass it and there is now a way for local farmers to be regulated It is not perfect, it is a work in progress, and the community must continue to engage this process to ensure that it meets the needs of the people and environment. I am proud of the work EPIC did with the community and Humboldt Redwood Company to protect forest resource lands from further cultivation (no new grows will be allowed on TPZ, FR or U).

    For more information:
    http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/06/19/biosci.biv083.full
    http://www.takepart.com/feature/2016/04/18/greenrush
    http://www.wildcalifornia.org/action-issues/cannabis-agriculture/

    With regards to the fundraising letter: EPIC works to protect and restore both public (national forests, BLM, State Parks, etc.) forestlands, and private industrial (GDRC, HRC, SPI) forestlands. That letter is talking specifically about our work to protect the Klamath National Forest from a massive timber give-away called the Westside Project: http://www.wildcalifornia.org/blog/the-great-forest-giveaway/ http://www.wildcalifornia.org/blog/klamath-river-timber-sales-offered-at-lowest-price-in-recent-history/ and http://www.wildcalifornia.org/blog/tribe-and-conservationists-file-suit-to-protect-wild-salmon-rural-river-communities/

    If you or anyone else would like to hear about the work EPIC does and why, I welcome your calls (822-7711), or stop by our office for a visit (145 G Street, in Arcata).

    For the love of our land, forests, families and fish!

    Natalynne DeLapp
    Executive Director, EPIC

    Like

  7. natalynned says:

    Hi Guys,

    This is the last time I’ll reply, but here are more points of clarification.

    EPIC v Pacific Lumber also included: NMFS, CalFire and USFWS, which was one of the most significant cases that we won and led to the Headwaters Deal. If anyone wants to say that what Charles Hurwitz’s MAXXAM did to this county was a good thing–go for it. History is on our side on this one. https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/2397092/epic-v-pacific-lumber-co/

    If you’re interested in our finances you can look up our annual reports are available on our website or Google our 990 Forms.

    It is no secret that EPIC was founded by the original Back-to-the-Landers. It is likely that many who have worked or volunteered for EPIC over the past 40 years have been involved with cannabis. The majority of people in this county are or have been involved; very few have hands that are not sticky (including our Supervisors). As far as my staff goes: no one on my staff has been charged with a crime related to cannabis; yes, her [ex] husband is in prison and is serving time for his crimes. It is because of EPIC’s connection to southern Humboldt; it is because of the people who we know that are in prison for cultivating a plant (that is very soon going to be recreationally legal); and it is because it is the right thing to do that we are working to give people the tools they need to get legal and get compliant. This is not a conflict of interest, this is us being leaders and showing that there is a better, legal way, to live on the land that will benefit of our rivers, restore our forests, protect our wildlife, and support our economy.

    As far as new grows vs. existing: the county is allowing new grows on flat land with AG soils. The county could not allow large scale new grows and meet the requirements of the Mitigated Negative Declaration (CEQA document). Perhaps in the future after the county completes a full EIR new grows will be allowed. Of course, at no point in time, in any a single conversation that I’ve had, has anyone said “You know what we need? More grows.” I think we need fewer grows. I think there is going to be a reckoning and a consolidation. I expect fewer then 35% will successfully make this transition to legal. We’re at 2% in the first 3 months. I think more people will get compliant once they see that people aren’t getting arrested or raided by the Feds for putting their names on paper.

    TPZ Land: The fact is there are thousands of grows on TPZ land already. The best way to remediate the potential damage caused by those grows is to get them into compliance with the law. There is no way to enforce them out of existence. It didn’t happen when CAMP was well funded and it is not going to happen now. The genie is out of the bottle, the best we can do is mitigate, remediate, regulate–and try to prevent more of what we don’t want.

    It would be great to meet you in person for a Humboldt Cider Works Cider –it is time to get away from the anonymity.

    Good night,

    Natalynne

    Like

    • Henchman Of Justice says:

      True,

      Maxam/Hurwitz was evil, greed, all that which is a realistic example of resource extraction gone amuck

      But,

      Continuing to hang hats on that lawsuit as a response to “what have ya done lately” in a more complex world compared to back then is not unreasonable to ponder when all these other “smaller money impacts” are occurring.

      It appears environmental enforcement only occurs when melodrama, big news, big money are involved.

      Like

    • Henchman Of Justice says:

      “This is not a conflict of interest, this is us being leaders and showing that there is a better, legal way, to live on the land that will benefit of our rivers, restore our forests, protect our wildlife, and support our economy.” ~ND’L

      Response- This statement is EXACTLY THE PROBLEM.

      A development shows on a recorded map, deex “what ND’L’s seeks to accomplish”,

      BUT,

      After the Development,

      Natalynne’s mission statement is violated by the property/home owner

      And,

      Where is environmental law enforcement? Code Enforcement? Planning Department Inspection/Complaint secret process?

      Causes for concerned criticisms.

      Like

    • Hi Natalynne,

      We really appreciate your clarification. While we agree that Hurwitz was a worthless piece of crap who decerved to be sued that’s only part of the issue. You clearly stated, ” We have a nearly 40 year history of litigating state and federal agencies for failure to uphold the law–

        we do not sue people or companies–even in the PL days”.

      That seems to conflict with your later statement that EPIC does in fact sue others. Which is it?

      As far as EPIC’s supporters and staff being weed king pins your suggestion that because your staff person is only the wife of a trafficker doing hard time and wasn’t actually charged herself lends pretty good credence to the many charges of disingenuousness directed at you and EPIC.

      We could go on for hours but the point seems pretty well made. The noon hour is fast approaching and it’s time for some Lemonade. Toodles!

      we were suing CalFire or DFW.”.

      Like

      • natalynned says:

        EPIC does not sue people, and if you’re in the mood to split hairs about companies to try to discredit me, go for it. Like I said, and you agree, Hurwitz’s Maxxam was a worthless piece of crap that pillaged our landscape, economy and community. EPIC fought Pacific Lumber for nearly 25 years to try to prevent the destruction of the ancient redwood forests. The names of court cases, like EPIC v. Pacific Lumber, or Marbled Murrelet v. Pacific Lumber are more like catchy headlines for a newspaper, then reality. All of those cases the primary defendant were state and federal agencies, that were found to be complicit in violating environmental laws at the behest of a timber company. The timber wars were just that, a war, it was violent on all sides. We all lost. No one won, except maybe Hurwitz. The question is where do we go from here? We have a divided community, ruined watersheds, devastated fishing and salmon industry, and our creeks and rivers are running dry. These days EPIC is working to help pick up the pieces. We are working with Humboldt Redwood Company, and even Green Diamond, to figure out ways to restore the forest. We are working with state wildlife and natural resource agencies, who are significantly less beholden to the industry, to make meaningful reforms and supporting their policy efforts. We are working with the emerging legal cannabis industry to shape that industry in a way that will be salmon safe, restorative and regenerative for the land and rivers. We are working with Non-Industrial Timber Land owners to help them navigate bureaucratic systems so that they can economically restore their lands. Again, why do we do this? Because it is what needs to happen, and EPIC has unique skills in the environmental law, regulatory and policy arenas to be able to navigate these complex processes.

        Disingenuous means not being sincere or trying to hide something. We are not hiding anything about EPIC’s past, present or future. Yes, members of our organization have been associated with the cannabis industry. We are not ashamed of that fact. Cannabis is a deeply engrained part of Humboldt County’s culture, the money from the industry has supported our work for decades, just as it has supported nearly every single other business in our region. Cannabis will continue to fund our work and that of our regional economy even more in the future. Every day marijuana is getting more legal in California and across the country. The war on marijuana is over. Regulation (and taxation) of cannabis is the future. It is going to be absolutely integral to the future of California’s commercial cannabis industry (both medical and recreational) that the people, small businesses and farms voluntarily participate in this new paradigm and lead the way based on ecologically regenerative farming practices (organic, native soil, sun grown, etc.) Those that chose to stay black market, in time, will get enforced against.

        There will likely be an initiative on the ballot that will allow people convicted of cannabis related crimes to be allowed to participate in the emerging legal industry. Oregon is paying reparations to people previously convicted of cannabis crimes because weed is no longer illegal. People and the government are waking up to the error of their ways from prohibition all across the country, with more then 23 states and D.C. having medical cannabis, a four with recreational.

        Like

      • Natalynne oh Natalynne, Seriously? We mean SERIOUSLY?? You actually want to lecture us on the meaning of disingenuous when you have portrayed this:

        “According to a press release by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, authorities arrested two suspects — James Edward Shelton, 38, and Amber Zo Jamieson, 28 — on suspicion of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale.

        Five other individuals on the property were detained and questioned but no additional arrests were made, said Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Wayne Hanson. According to Hanson, as the Santa Rosa DEA office builds its case, individuals will likely be brought in and indicted on federal charges.

        “I imagine there are a lot of scared people out there right now,” Hanson said.

        Authorities reported seizing 298 marijuana plants ranging in height from 1 to 5 feet inside the home and a nearby outbuilding. In addition, 10 extra-large duffel bags were found filled with 495 pounds of processed marijuana stored in vacuum-sealed, one-pound bags.

        “I cannot remember ever finding that many one-pound bags of marijuana in one place,” said Hanson, who was on scene when the warrant was served.”*

        and this:

        “Shelton and Jamieson were booked at the Humboldt County jail, where they later posted bail. Jamieson is listed as an office manager for the Environmental Protection Information Center on its website. EPIC has also hosted art exhibitions featuring work by a James Shelton, who is a local glass artist.”*

        As this:

        “As far as my staff goes: no one on my staff has been charged with a crime related to cannabis; yes, her [ex] husband is in prison and is serving time for his crimes.” – Natalynne DeLapp, EPIC Executive Director

        They were fucking married and were both arrested at the property! EPIC employs one of them and puts on art shows for the other. Seriously?

        I guess we should remind you of your own words:

        “Disingenuous means not being sincere or trying to hide something. We are not hiding anything about EPIC’s past, present or future.”

        Coupled with your other misrepresentations about who you sue and who you don’t it’s no wonder that EPIC is just the shell of what it once was and why you need to send out disingenuous fundraising letters.

        While we were originally inclined to let this matter drop after our initial post, all this misinformation from EPIC seems to call for a sequel. Stay tuned for more…..

        Natalynne, sorry but we’ll pass on getting together for that glass of cider. We want to conserve our precious water resource by only taking a shower once a day. But we really appreciate the offer!

        *- From the Times Standard report

        Like

      • Strike Two says:

        If only it were just big bad Pacific Lumber.

        United States Court of Appeals,Ninth Circuit.

        ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INFORMATION CENTER, a non-profit corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. THE SIMPSON TIMBER COMPANY;  Simpson Redwood Company;  Arcata Redwood Company;  United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Defendants-Appellees.
        No. 99-15896.
        Decided: July 9, 2001

        Like

      • “…we do not sue people or companies…”

        These words ring pretty hollow about now. We wonder how many other examples there are of Natalynne’s hypocrisy and lies about EPIC and their shady tactics. We wonder if EPIC misrepresents the truth about the clear facts surrounding their past how many other lies have they told about their supporters and their tacit support for their massive grows. That’s the funny thing about making shit up, when it catches up to you you are sitting in a pile of your own making.

        The good news is that we would still vote for Natalynne in the next Miss. Enviro contest. Even if she fibs a lot she deserves way better than third place.

        Like

      • Fieldbrook Follies says:

        Epic grow busted by federal task force:

        https://humboldtmirror.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/fieldbrook-pot-bust-is-epic/
        https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2011/jun/13/most-weed-youve-ever-seen-one-place/
        http://www.times-standard.com/article/ZZ/20110614/NEWS/110619121
        Honey, I’m glad you’ve found a hobby in gardening, but why are there 500 vacuum sealed bags in the living room? Claiming not to be involved and ignorant stretches the imagination.

        Like

  8. natalynned says:

    California Prepares to Green the Pot Industry
    With the passage of new regulations, California will crack down on illicit growers
    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/California-Prepares-to-Green-the-Pot-Industry-379378881.html

    Like

    • K says:

      “We have a divided community, ruined watersheds, devastated fishing and salmon industry, and our creeks and rivers are running dry.”

      It’s a mirror image! Instead of logging trucks, it’s ‘soil’ being trucked up into these hills (where does all that ‘soil’ go? where did it COME FROM?)…the perpetual traffic of wannabes and gangbangers with out of state license plates…So Hum is fucking INDUSTRIALIZED!

      Every year I think it can’t get any worse down here, but it does!

      The greed is going to kill us all. There’s NO evidence of moderation, NO evidence that anyone is thinking into the future AT ALL! They flap their lips about ‘sustainability’ and ‘community’ but continue to aspire to a lifestyle that is, frankly, PIGGISH.

      The planet and all the life on it is up for grabs to the ‘highest’ bidder. Hah.

      “Only after the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. correction says:

    ghis editorial has a big error. the largest “agri-dustrial sector” as you refer it is
    logging, by an exponential longshot. more acres are clearcut in northwestern humboldt alone than all the combined acreage of marijana farming. money doesnt denote scale, let alone impact. the logging industry owns and operates de facto plantations that will never equal come of age, most of which isnt even native to the specific locations of the plantations.

    Like

  10. LMOB says:

    Natalynne, you know I am a fan, but really? 16 mentions of “farmer”.

    That alone shows that this is as much about advocacy for an economic reality as it is about any advocacy for the environment.

    And that was the point of my post. You were the one who talked me down during the Kerrigan campaign from my complaints to you about EPIC schooling me on the history of EPIC and how it was one of the local organizations that taught our region about the importance of “cumulative” effects.

    My thoughts were on that conversation when I wrote that sentence that somehow made it to THC’s virtual pages. “A local environmental movement which largely forgives or forgets about the cumulative effects of our largest and growing agri-dustrial sector.”

    Have you played LoCO’s “Weed” or “No Weed”?* I don’t know if LoCO ever published the results of this game/crowdsourcing of obvious grows on certain types of parcels in Humboldt County, but when I play I find grows anywhere between 10 and 25% of the time.

    Given this enormous and continuing environmental catastrophe that comes from not one nemesis such as Maxxim or the Koch brothers (that, btw, can be lucrative when mentioned in fundraising letters) but from our own cumulative effects? Why is an environmental organization playing Frank Luntz for a watershed’s most powerful economic player – then failing to even mention weed in a fundraising article?

    Natalynne, lookit. THC will not mention the complicity or investigate the interests of conservatives like Supervisor Bohn, Bass or Supervisor Sundberg in doing what they can to streamline marijuana regulations before California had a chance to regulate. These Supervisors have a base of religious and socially conservative voters who should be very sceptical about liberalizing our use of weed.

    Having said that, the Northern Spotted Owl, Coho Salmon, Humboldt Marten, and Pacific Fisher, need people and organizations whose first concern is them. We need liberal environmental organizations that understand that environmentalism is going to mean more than working to protect these special species.

    Right now, I don’t think Humboldt has that organization. Maybe did when Pacific Lumber or Maxxim was the antagonist, but who is going to help us protect Humboldt’s landscapes, it’s flora and fauna from ourselves?

    It seems to me, we need an organization which will be uncompromising in it’s defense of nature, and that is what that fundraising letter was selling to prospective donors. But that is not what EPIC has been, not from what I’ve seen.

    Look, if EPIC is going to go out of it’s way to re-define “grower” to “farmer” for the sake of a business, what other blind spots might the organization have along the way?

    * https://lostcoastoutpost.com/weed-or-no-weed/

    Like

    • Cousin Eddie says:

      i wonder, what would the county look like if epic, etc. had used the same logic with the timber companys: work with them to be compliant, grandfather them in, and protect them from any new competition,

      Like

    • natalynned says:

      Dear Jon,

      I do not see a distinction between the economy, the environment and the community of people that live in our region. We must all work together in unison to protect and restore the environment, which is the life support for humans and nature alike. As a good friend of mine says, “Ecological is Economical.” Doing the “right” thing for the environment makes good financial sense. Showing for-profit industries that it is in their best interest to make positive change works.

      As Cousin Eddie says below, “what would the county look like had EPIC used the same logic we’re using with the timber companies back in the 90’s?”

      Well, back in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s the timber companies were using violent, illegal, aggressive tactics, and rapaciously decimating old-growth forest, destroying rivers, creeks, streams. The reaction by environmentalists at the time had to be equal to the level of threat facing the region. EPIC used the court system, and we won a lot of cases. People tried to work with the timber companies, the government and the loggers and what we got was the Headwaters Deal. None of us succeeded in protecting much…As many know only 3-5% of the old-growth remains. Hurwitz left the federal government, the junk bond holders, the workers, the county, and the watersheds holding the bag, and we all get to simmer in the mess that he left behind.

      If anyone is interested, call Neal Ewald or Gary Rynerson of Green Diamond, or Mike Miles or John Anderson from Humboldt Redwood Company and ask them how EPIC and their timber companies work these days. You would likely be surprised.

      Timber companies do have a thousand regulations to follow –and they are onerous, expensive, there are more exemptions to rules then you can imagine and the agencies that are in charge of ensuring that the timber companies are doing what they’re supposed to are under-funded and under-staffed, and it takes about 10-20 years to follow a legislative idea, through regulatory promulgation, to on the ground implementation. Both EPIC and HRC/GDRC would agree–the system is broken. It is not working for the timber companies, it is not working for the public, and it is not working for the environment.

      The government has never figured out how to implement Cumulative Impacts analysis. Currently, Cumulative Impacts is a check list that goes along with a massive NEPA or CEQA document that costs land owners or managers $70K to millions of dollars to write. Despite all the paperwork and public process, species are still going extinct at alarming rates, the government moves slower then a snail, and industries are allowed to pollute the water, poison the air, and kill endangered species so long at their given permission and a permit from the government.

      What we are realizing is that stopping “bad things” from happening isn’t working–bad things keep happening, we can slow them down, but stopping it next to impossible over time. Being aggressive and litigating projects, doesn’t create good things. Fighting against the timber companies and land owners doesn’t protect the forest or provide ways the effectively restore the land. We are looking at how to proactively shift the environmental paradigm from one of antagonist to protagonist. We work within the bureaucratic, legal and policy arenas to make changes. We are working with land managers, land owners and tribes to make voluntary changes–while still ensuring that our bedrock environmental laws are followed.

      In order to address the problem of cumulative effects, we need to work together with state, regional and federal agencies, land owners, tribes, and land managers to develop a holistic solution. This is an absolutely massive undertaking and something that needs to be done by the government–this is not something that can be done by a tiny non-profit advocacy organization, but we can do what we do best…keep talking to the above land users and pushing them forward to more meaningful solutions.

      If people think that we have to be “uncompromising” in defense of the environment, then I am sorry, we are not your environmental organization. It is not 1990 anymore and our tactics and strategies must evolve. We are making compromises and we are making things happen that could not happen without working together with the land owners and land users. It is called collaboration. Define the problem, agree that that is the problem we are trying to solve, and then come up with solutions for the problem. For EPIC our solutions are going to be different then a timber company or a farmer, but we are both working on parallel tracks to solve the same problem.

      Final thoughts:
      Fundraising letter: read EPIC’s website and you can see how we talk about all the work we do. No, I am not going to write a fundraising letter that covers every single project or campaign we are working on–that is bad technique. If you would like to read a pot-centric fundraising letter, I am happy to forward you one. Also, EPIC’s membership extends well outside the Emerald Triangle and so not all topics are relevant to our membership (public land issues are).

      Use of the word Farmer: Yes, I distinguish between Grower and Farmer. I have a great powerpoint on our website that defines Grower and Farmer. I am working to help transition people from Grower to Farmer. I want Farmers on our Land. I want to see that the Growers either make the transition or they leave (enforced against).

      Weed or No Weed: Not relevant. There is a SHIT TON of weed being grown here. There are likely more than 10,000 grow sites. What are you suggesting needs to be done? I am working with the government to bring people into compliance with the law in order to clean up and remediate their impacts. What do you think needs to be done? Are you talking to the government officials that are working on this?

      The Humboldt Consequence: Yes, you are right–Amber was arrested, no one has ever denied that. She was never charged with a crime, she was innocent until proven guilty and no charges were ever filed against her. James was convicted on transportation charges. Funny, in a year transportation is going to be a highly legal, regulated and lucrative business; the Teamsters are getting on board! It is now legal to grow medical cannabis for profit in California. Next year, it is likely going to be legal to grow weed and smoke weed for fun! Yes, I know people who were “ahead of their time” and legally committed cannabis crimes, but as our entire population evolves and our cultural values change, many are not seeing pot as a crime. And like I said before, Oregon is actually paying reparations to people formerly convicted of cannabis crimes because it is morally and ethically WRONG to sentence people to prison for growing a plant.

      That cider: I think you should show your face and stand behind your words while looking me in the eye. I am quite a friendly person and like to listen to people talk and tell their thoughts. This despite the way that you talk about women in your Donald Trump, misogynistic fashion, I am still willing to hear you out because we both live in the same town. If you chose not to, and instead focus on trying to attack me or mince my words to confirm your bias, then we will forever be at odds and our community will suffer. It is your choice.

      With respect,

      Natalynne
      707-822-7711

      Like

      • Just Watchin says:

        A “dear jon” letter. Now that’s funny. What’s not funny is jonboy feeling obligated to type twice as many words in his response. Zzzzzzzzz…….

        Like

      • Hi Sweetie, We don’t want to mince your words we’d just like them to be a little more accurate and truthful. As to another of your points- “… it is morally and ethically WRONG to sentence people to prison for growing a plant.” Coca? Opium Poppies when grown to get high or sell to kids?

        Like

  11. correction says:

    epic troll, lmob. youre wrong, though. outright clearcutting tens of thousands of acres annually, coupled with massive industrial machinery crushing through everything, chemical pesticides etc and literally fleets of cargo trucks carrying load after load all day, every day…thats any given ten thousand acres of this county year round. thats the logging corporations business. where have YOU been? i have no affiliation with epic, but epic is very really making a full time job of the hard stuff. this editorial is just more shit talk.

    Like

    • Cousin Eddie says:

      dude/dudette: the timber industry has about 10,000 regulations to follow, and when they fuck up, they have to fix it,

      pot = 0. they’ve sucked the water dry in most of the watersheds, polluted the shit out of the place, killed the deer and any other animal that gets into the crops. left mountains of garbage. maxxam was rotten, but come on man, so are lots of ‘farmers’. pretty wacky to give them a free pass.

      Like

      • correction says:

        look into the size.and scope of big timber in humboldt county alone. that industy, and it is big indysty, spends big money to paint pretty pictures of themselves. they are multimillion dollar corporations in contract with international buyers (the loggers basically ran humboldts mills out of business by outsourcing to make themselves more money). if you really care about he health of our immediate environment, look into it.

        Like

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