A press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff''s Office describes three investigations conducted this week which netted a total of 16,370 growing marijuana plants, large quantities of fertilizer and 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait, as well as other toxic substances. The sites were located in Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge-Willow Creek, the Supply Creek Watershed on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, and in Le-Terron Flat, Orleans.
Agents also found a recently deceased Fisher at one of the sites. Fishers are presently under review by the State and Federal agencies as candidates for listing as endangered species. Investigators will conduct a necropsy on the fisher to determine the cause of death. The complete press release appears below.
Use the player below to hear more on this story in a piece aired by KMUD News Correspondent, Christina Aanestad, on the KMUD Local News Thurs., Aug. 1, 2013.
HCSO press release, dated 08-01-2013:
On 07-29-2013, at approximately 7:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, United States Forest Service (U.S.F.S.) Agents , Hoopa Valley Tribal Police ( H.V.T.P.) Officers and the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (C.E.R.T.) conducted an open field investigation and eradication of a large marijuana cultivation site below the Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge, Willow Creek. Three civilian scientific researchers with a background in wildlife, toxicology and ecology were with the officers when they entered the marijuana site. The officers eradicated 7521 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 4’ tall to 6’ tall. All the marijuana was being cultivated on United States Forest Service Land. While conducting the investigation the researchers and deputies located the following:
• 1230 lbs. dry fertilizer
• 28 lbs. liquid concentrated fertilizer
• 14 lbs. 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait
o enough to kill 2,246 woodrats or gray squirrels
o OR 12 fishers
o OR at least 4 spotted owls
• 32 oz. Carbaryl insecticide
• 32 oz. Carbofuran (banned chemical in United States due to its toxicity to people and wildlife)
o a 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon is enough to kill a 300-400 black bear.
Deputies also located fresh hot dogs strung from a tree on treble fish hooks, along with two dead deer carcasses and a bird, a Hermit thrush. Officers also witnessed environmental damage to the watershed.
On 07-31-2013, at approximately 7:00 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies, USFS Agents, H.V.T.P. Officers and C.E.R.T. Officers conducted a marijuana investigation and eradication at another cultivation site located in the Supply Creek Watershed on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The three researchers again accompanied the officers. The officers located and eradicated 8,473 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 6’ tall. Agents also found a recently deceased Fisher in the garden site. Fishers are currently under review by the State and Federal Government to be listed as an endangered species. The officers and researchers again found environmental damage to the area. The researchers took custody of the deceased Fisher and intend to conduct a necropsy on it to determine the exact cause of death. There was no obvious signs as to what killed it.
On 8-1-2013, at approximately 9:00 a.m. the same team listed above with the researchers went to a third marijuana cultivation site located at Le-Terron Flat, Orleans , which is USFS property. The officers located and eradicated 376 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 4’ tall.
A total of 1942 lbs of dry fertilizer, 58 lbs of liquid concentrate fertilizer, 17 pounds of second generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait were removed in total from the three sites. The rodenticide by itself had the potential to kill 2,753 wood rats, 14 fishers and 5 spotted owls per the researchers. Many of these toxicants were near creeks.
The investigation into those responsible for these marijuana grows is continuing.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Canine parvovirus is a contagious virus which does not infect humans but if left untreated, in unvaccinated dogs, can have a mortality rate of over 90%. Puppies that have not been vaccinated or protected by maternal antibodies are especially vulnerable to infection by the virus. There is both an intestinal form of infection and a cardiac form. Common symptoms of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and dysentery, while the cardiac form causes respiratory or cardiovascular failure in young puppies.
Use the player below to hear more about parvovirus in a piece submitted by KMUD Community Journalist Monique Kemper. This story aired on the KMUD Local News on Thurs., July 25, 2013 and includes an interview with Kim McPherson, manager of the Garberville Redway Veterinary Group and others having experience with canine parvovirus.
This photo was taken from Sprowel Creek Road looking down near the junction of Sprowel Creek with the South Fork Eel River.
Severe smoky conditions on the North Coast are continuing as smoke drifts southward from several fires in Oregon. The fires coincided with numerous lightning strikes in various parts of Oregon. The biggest fire in this cluster (the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire ), located just north of Warm Springs Oregon, has currently burned 51,340 acres and is reported to be 90% contained, according to the Incident Information system (InciWeb), as of Sun., July 28, 2013 at 8 am. The Sunnyside Turnoff Fire began Saturday July 20th, 2013 and was reported to involve 798 firefighting personnel.
- Click here for information on how to protect yourself from smoke.
- Click here for how to protect your family from wildfire smoke.
At least 11 dog deaths from suspected blue-green algae poisoning have occurred in the last dozen years, according to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). A recent press release from DHHS warns that low flows in local rivers, along with sustained high temperatures, have led to ideal conditions for accelerated blooms of potentially toxic blue-green algae. The algae can occur in any freshwater body and appears as a scum, foam or mats having colors ranging from green, blue-green, white to brown.
Human beings can also be in danger from this type of toxin, especially small children, but dogs are especially vulnerable because they are more apt to swallow the toxin when licking their fur. According to the press release, "Potential symptoms in dogs following exposure to blue-green algae toxins can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea or convulsions." The full press release appears below.
Full press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, dated July 25, 2013:
Officials with the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are warning recreational users of the South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Klamath and Mattole rivers, Big Lagoon, Freshwater Lagoon and all other freshwater bodies to avoid contact with algae this summer.
Low flows along the South Fork of the Eel River as well as the Van Duzen, coupled with sustained high temperatures in the inland areas, have created the ideal conditions for rapid blooming of blue-green algae.
DHHS is aware of 11 dog deaths that may have been caused by blue-green algae poisoning since 2001. The dogs died shortly after swimming in Big Lagoon, the South Fork Eel River and the Van Duzen River.
A nerve toxin associated with blue-green algae was found in the stomachs of the dogs that died on the South Fork Eel River in 2002. The same toxin was found in water samples from the South Fork Eel and Van Duzen rivers in 2009 just after two dogs died. This poison is the most likely cause of the dog deaths on these rivers. Dogs are more vulnerable than people because they may swallow the toxin when they lick their fur. The onset of symptoms can be rapid; dogs have died within 30 minutes to one hour after leaving the water.
Blue-green algae blooms that produce a liver toxin have been documented in Klamath River reservoirs and the Klamath River this year. The current status of this river may be found at the Klamath Basin Monitoring Program website: http://www.kbmp.net/blue-green-algae-tracker.
Blue-green algae can be present in any freshwater body. It looks like green, blue-green, white or brown scum, foam or mats floating on the water. Usually, it does not affect animals or people. However, warm water and abundant nutrients can cause blue-green algae to grow more rapidly than usual. These floating algal masses, or “blooms,” can produce natural toxins that are very potent. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their smaller body size and tendency to stay in the water for longer periods.
Potential symptoms in dogs following exposure to blue-green algae toxins can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea or convulsions. People can experience eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold- or flu-like symptoms.
DHHS officials recommend the following guidelines for recreational users of all freshwater areas in Humboldt County:
• Keep children, pets and livestock from swimming in or drinking water containing algal scums or mats.
• Adults should also avoid wading and swimming in water containing algal blooms. Try not to swallow or inhale water spray in an algal bloom area.
• If no algal scums or mats are visible, you should still carefully watch young children and warn them not to swallow any water.
• Fish should be consumed only after removing the guts and liver and rinsing fillets in tap water.
• Never drink, cook with or wash dishes with water from rivers, streams or lakes.
• Get medical attention immediately if you think that you, your pet or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to tell the doctor about possible contact with blue-green algae.
Human activities can have a big effect on nutrient and water flows in rivers, streams or lakes. Phosphorous and nitrogen found in fertilizers, animal waste and human waste can stimulate blooms. Excessive water diversions can increase water temperatures and reduce flows. People can take the following measures to prevent algal blooms in local waters:
• Be very conservative with the use of water, fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn, garden or agricultural operation.
• Recycle any “spent” soil that has been used for intensive growing by tilling it back into gardens, or protect it from rainfall to avoid nutrient runoff.
• Plant or maintain native plants around banks. These plants help filter water and don’t require fertilizers.
• Pump and maintain your septic system every three to four years.
• Prevent surface water runoff from agricultural and livestock areas.
• Prevent erosion around construction and logging operations.
On May 14, 2013, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution of opposition to the use of anticoagulant rodenticides (click here to see that story) and now the state of California has proposed regulations focusing on that class of rodenticides. The proposal would require that the Agricultural Commissions Office regulate and provide oversight for the use of these rodenticides and would also eliminate their availability in the retail marketplace.
Hear more on this important issue, using the player below, including comments made by Jeff Dolf, Humboldt County Agriculture Commissioner, during a presentation to the County Board of Supervisors, clarifing that these rodenticides would not be legal in marijuana grows. This piece was submitted by KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz and aired on the KMUD Local News Tues., July 23, 2013.
Previous related KMUD News Posts:
"Southern Humboldt businesses take rat poison off shelves"
"New lawsuit targets rat poison regulation"
"See Biologist Mourad Gabriel- Pot and Endangered Wildlife-Sept. 27 Arcata"
"Groups call for ban on rat poisons"
The biotechnology, broadly called genetic engineering or "GE", has been enthusiastically embraced by some while being vehemently opposed by others. Proponents see GE, also referred to GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), as a critical technology to meet future food supply needs on a planet faced with global weather changes and over-population, while opponents question the safety of the technology and point out associated side effects such as unwanted contamination of non-GMO seed stock by cross-pollination with GMO crops.
Opposition to GMO crops was the focus of a meeting Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at the Bayside Grange in Bayside, where the topic was how to create an initiative to ban GMO's in Humboldt County. Click here for a Redwood Times article describing the meeting.
Hear more about the issues surrounding the GMO controversy using the player below. This piece was aired by KMUD News Anchor Eileen Russell on the KMUD Local News on July 10, 2013. The piece includes interviews with UC Riverside Professor Alan McHughen, a Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist; Jeff Dolf, Humboldt County Agriculture Commissioner as well as comments from organic farmers, environmentalists, and anti-GMO activists.
Water use conditions are part of a General Plan Update Amendment approved on June 9, 2013 by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. The amendment involved zoning changes on portions of the Etter Ranch near the intersection of Wilder Ridge and Mattole Road. The re-zoning will allow portions of the ranch to accommodate residential and commercial uses which were previously restricted by the Agricultural-exclusive designation. The re-zone will facilitate a proposed project to restore the Honeydew Town Center atmosphere that existed before fires, floods and earthquakes led to its collapse.
In order to insure that the revitalization project will not create additional strain on water resources, several conditions accompanied approval including possible additional on-site water storage, bans on diversions during low-flow periods, and monitoring of the project development by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
More information can be found by using the audio player below to hear a piece submitted by KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz. This story was aired by KMUD News Anchor, Eileen Russell, on Wed., July 10, 2013.
Update: KMUD makes audio recording of this nearly three-hour forum available on this website. Audio has been edited into five parts, and can be listened to or downloaded from the links below.
The water rights brochure mentioned during this presentation can be found at http://calsalmon.org/files/documents/tools/RedwoodCreek_WaterRights.pdf
We will include other links mentioned as they become available.
There will be time set aside after the presentations for a question and answer period. The presentation part of the Water Rights Forum will be broadcast live on KMUD from 4 to 6 pm.
Use the player below to hear more about this Water Rights Forum, including an interview with Dana Soltzman, Executive Director of Salmonid Restoration Federation. This story was aired by KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson on the KMUD Local News Mon., July 8. 2013.
- Click here for more information about the Redwood Creek Water Conservation Project.
- Click here for the Redwood Creek Water Conservation Project,South Fork Eel River: Report & Updates.
Multiple fires occurred in our area compounded by lightning strikes, heat, wind and, Fourth of July fireworks. A fire in the Fruitland Ridge area burned one home and threatened another, prompting an attack on the fire using ground crews as well as multiple aircraft.
Also, Fourth of July fireworks are suspected causes of fires in Shelter Cove, including several small fires and a larger fire near Little Black Sands Beach that threatened several homes and presented challenges to fire fighters.
Additionally, several lightening-related fires, including one in the Harris area, were reported and extinguished on July 3. Another fire, that occurred near the intersection of Redwood Drive and Alderpoint Rd., Garberville, on Thurs. July 4, was also extinguished-see photos, above and below, taken by Felix Omai.
Use the player below to hear two fire-related stories, aired on the KMUD Local News Fri., July 5, 2013, by KMUD News correspondent Eileen Russell. The first piece gives details on the recent fires and includes interviews with Cheryl Anthony, Public Information Officer for the Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Dept., and David Janssen Spokesman for Calfire. The second story is a report from Eric Black focusing on fire and other health-related issues associated with climate change and includes excerpts from a talk given by Dr. Wendy Ring, a 56-year old family physician who is riding a bicycle across the country to draw attention to the negative health impacts of climate change.
Brian Elie and Eric Kirk were recipients of the first-ever recognition for exceptional volunteerism and professional pro-bono work to KMUD for their assistance in handling the legal and real estate issues involved in two estates bequeathed to KMUD.
Brian Elie, the broker and owner of the Madrone Reality in Garberville and longtime KMUD programmer (Brian's World- Fridays 10 am - noon), was warmly applauded as he received a lifetime membership award and KMUD sweatshirt at the KMUD 2013 Annual KMUD Membership Meeting held last Tues., June 25 at the Healy Senior Center in Redway.
Eric Kirk, Attorney at Law with offices at 864 Locust St # A, Garberville, does a talk show on KMUD called "All Things Reconsidered" airing on the third Thurs. of each month from 7-8 pm. Kirk was not able to attend the membership meeting for the presentation.
According to Board Treasurer, Julia Minton, "In addition to their years of volunteer service to KMUD, both Brian Elie and Eric Kirk worked very diligently and selflessly on KMUD's two bequests. We are eternally grateful for their dedication and volunteer service."
Other highlights of the annual meeting included a final call for Member Representative Nominations for the Board and a "Strategic Planning Input Process" that gave those attending the meeting an opportunity to write answers to several questions, including questions about what KMUD does well and what would be the perfect KMUD programming? These responses will be taken into consideration as the Board continues developing its strategic plan.
The Photo below shows KMUD Board President Suzanne Beers presenting the Life Time Membership Award and KMUD Sweatshirt to Brian Elie. Photos on this page by Terri Klemetson.