The Elk River Watershed (shown in the image below) was heavily logged by Maxxam-owned Pacific Lumber Company and continues to suffer from those past logging practices. The condition of the river which is still plagued by flooding and heavy sedimentation prompted a meeting involving residents of the Elk River Watershed and other stakeholders. Held in Eureka on Sat., Nov, 16, 2013 and hosted by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, the meeting, dubbed the Elk River Forum, was an attempt to look for solutions to this on-going problem. The audio from the forum can be heard using the players below.
Use the player directly below to hear coverage of the Elk River Forum in a piece submitted by Kelly Lincoln and aired by KMUD News anchor Eileen Russell on the Local News, Mon., Nov. 18, 2013.
The map of the Elk River Watershed shown below, was designed by the
Redwood Community Action Agency Natural Resources Services, and appears on their website.
Audio from the forum and the audio descriptions were provided by Kelly Lincoln and can be heard using the players below.
HC Supervisor Rex Bohn defines the goal of the meeting as “working collaboratively to address some of the impacts to the Elk River Watershed.”
Jerry Martien of Friends of the Elk River, describes the issue and the motivations of Friends of the Elk River.
Craig Benson of Redwood Community Action Agency's Natural Resources Division is the day’s moderator. He introduces the topic, the panelists, the speakers and the goals for the meeting. The major point of interest is the sediment and the TMDL (total maximum daily load) released by the NCRWQCB (North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board) in the summer of 2013.
The first speaker of the day was Adonna White who coordinated writing the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the NCRWQCB. In the vernacular of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, when a stream has been determined to be “impacted” by a pollutant, then a measurement of the pollutant is taken and studies are done to determine how much of the pollutant can be allowed and still allow the stream to be moderately healthy. That measurement is called the TMDL. This audio is broken up into Parts 1 and 2 below.
Jack Lewis provided consultant services to the NCRWQCB in its statistical analysis phase. He explains what method he used and the results he obtained which backed the agency’s analysis.
Humboldt Baykeepers gives an overview of the role of the Elk River in providing sediment to the bay. There is a lot that is unknown about the health of the Humboldt Bay.
The forum moderator shows a slide of sediment build up over time.
Jim Robbins, CalFire Forestry Supervisor, explains the rules of forestry, how they are implemented, and that the level of sediment reduction being proposed by the TMDL far surpasses ordinary timber harvest plan control mechanisms for sediment control.
Darren Mierau of CalTrout explains Caltrout’s role in the feasibility study. They have been named the lead agency and are seeking the best possible site to locate the practice trial of physically removing sediment from the channel.
A Registered Professional Forester explains his perspective on the totality of the situation. He puts land-use conflicts into perspective with the statistic of how many board feet annually are not cut due to conflict with urban encroachment on the timberlands.