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In The News:

Learning to Burn Again

Scott Harding ignites ground fuels with a drip torch at Pearch Creek in Orleans. Agencies, tribes and non-profits sponsored the exercise to build fuels reduction skills in the region. Earlier, Harding was part of a crew that burned the part of his own property that had not burned in last summer’s Butler Fire. Photo by Stormy Staats, Klamath-Salmon Media Collaborative. The burn plans were signed and all the permits finally granted. The crews, packing tools and wearing fire gear, gathered along Gold Dredge Road in Orleans. Firelines were in place. Then they waited, ironically, for the morning dew to dry.

Trespass Marijuana Plantations Wreak Havoc in Trinity Alps Wilderness

Army, National Guard and other law enforcement officers prepare to load the helicopter with irrigation line, garbage and a few remnant marijuana plants./Photos by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers TribuneThe sites encompass habitat of the federally endangered coho salmon, federally threatened northern spotted owl and the Pacific fisher, which was recently proposed for listing as federally threatened. Scientific data conclusively proves how pollution from illegal marijuana cultivation has further degraded habitat quality for each species and how bioaccumulating rodenticides, common to illegal cultivation sites, continue to negatively affect the northern spotted owl and Pacific fisher.

Merkie Oliver Shares the Old Days, Old Ways, With Visiting Friends

Merkie Oliver jumps center in an old photo from the mid-1950s. The picture was from an old film clip and repurposed for a tee shirt by his friends Thomas Dunklin, the Arcata photographer, and Brian Tripp, the Orleans-based artist and Karuk ceremony singer. When his two friends entered the room, Merkie Oliver, the storied Yurok fisherman, straightened his back and broke into a huge smile. It was not the easiest thing to straighten in the hospital style bed where he, by his own estimate, had been confined too long.

Somes Bar Builder Tries Old Methods To Build Houses of the Future

Dillon Creasy built frame of massive timbers, all cut from local trees, after the foundation and floor slab were poured. The next step would be the construction of thick walls packed with straw infused with a wet clay slurry./Photo courtesy of Dillon Creasy.  Creasy says that homes built with the same methods in Europe 800 years ago are still in use. The straw content of the walls would make them seem vulnerable to rot and fire but the infusion of the clay slurry just before the packing stage adds durability.

Bear Activity on the Rise

The Black Bear population is Humboldt County has been determined to be stable, not increasing nor decreasing. Wildlife Biologist Dave Lancaster said, currently there are approximately four migrating bears per square mile./Photo courtesy of Pamela Mattz “He comes everyday at this point.” Mattz said. “And he plows through everything. He cleans everything, and he will stand there and stare at me. I watch for as long as I can before he freaks me out. I don’t know if he was going to attack or what he might do. Although he seems really mellow, he still is a wild animal.”

Stories, Legends and Other Things: Mount Mazama

Crater Lake National Park in Oregon./Photo courtesy of wikimedia commonsThe destruction of Mount Mazama, which created Crater Lake about 7,500 years ago was witnessed by the Klamath Indians of Oregon. One of their legends recounts when two chiefs, Llao of the below world and Skell of the above world were pitted in a battle which ended up in the destruction of Llao’s home; Mount Mazama.

Home Town Heroes: Wildland Firefighters Part XII

Women firefighters are very common to see in the firefighting world, not just as office personal but out on the firelines, in engines and on hand crews. Felicia Luna is optimistic about growing her career. She’s working toward promotions and soaking up all the fire knowledge available to her./Photo courtesy of Felicia Luna “I have worked hard to become a lead firefighter, but I am not in a rush. I’m trying to learn as much as I can to become a better firefighter,” Luna said. “I didn’t ever think about what I was doing or what my job entailed until I was on my first fire.”

Medi-Cal Debt Weight Shaming Salty Kids

• Governor Brown has until September 30th to sign or veto several critical health and consumer protection bills, including SB1124 (Hernandez), a crucial bill that protects California families from having to choose between their health and their home. Current California law directs the state to recover from the estate of a deceased Medi-Cal recipient to recoup its long-term costs of the Medi-Cal beneficiaries. In 1993, the federal government began requiring all states to recoup the costs and apply liens on assets from the deceased Medi-Cal beneficiaries older than 55 years of age.