In case you weren’t convinced of the links between groups like EPIC and the NEC, here’s a throwback to a LoCO post from way back which is delightfully titled “The Most Weed You’ve Ever Seen in One Place“.
That article details how a woman named Amber Zo Jamieson and her homeboy James Edward Shelton were busted with almost 300 growing plants and 495 pounds of marijuana processed for sale. Yikes, that’s a lot of hooch! Where is Amber Zo now? Well, she’s changed her name to Amber Shelton (we assume she married her partner in crime) and is working as EPIC’s “Conservation Advocate”. Ha!
We also will point to Dan Ehresman, the long-time NEC Executive Director who resigned last fall to puruse “other projects” supposedly this means expanding his culitvation operation. It’s been long-rumored/ very poorly kept secret that NEC Pres. Larry Glass was not just a first-class asshole, but also growing big-time out in Trinity County. Here’s another LoCO post about that. (Though we hesitate to say this, actually read the Thunderdome comments. We think they’re telling.)
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.