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October 25, 2021 — Now that the census is over, a citizens’ commission is working with county staff to advise the Board of Supervisors on redistricting, or plans to readjust the boundaries of the county’s five districts. The fifth district will remain geographically complex, including the south coast, Mendocino and Albion, and points inland. But the fourth district has lost population, while the third is too big, so some adjustments will have to be made. 

October 21, 2021 — The burn scar from the Hopkins fire could cause a lot of environmental damage if it’s not mitigated before a serious storm, though straw wattles are scheduled to be installed along the waterway today and tomorrow. 

And the county’s juvenile hall is preparing to house serious youth offenders who have previously been incarcerated at state facilities.

    Audio version of "Hopkins burn scar vulnerable, big changes coming up for Juvenile Hall"

Courtesy of Laura Leidner / U.S. Forest Service

Fire and forest ecologists virtually all agree that prescribed and cultural fires will be an important tool to stop catastrophic wildfires from ripping through the state’s forests. But what should we do about forestland that’s already been burned by a fire? The U.S. Forest Service’s answer in the Mendocino National Forest is salvage logging. That’s a somewhat controversial practice when they cut down and remove dead trees to keep the amount of flammable material in the forest to a minimum.

"We're at the beginning of the end of Prohibition"

Oct 21, 2021

October 20, 2021 — With the repeal of the latest cannabis ordinance and deadlines looming, legacy growers are facing more uncertainty than ever. Growers have until the end of the month to submit their applications — again — through an online portal, and the end of the year to get licenses from the state. The moratorium on Phase III growers under the original cannabis ordinance, which has been reinstated, expires in March.

Don’t call them private security

Oct 19, 2021

October 19, 2021 — As the difference between safety and security in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest is parsed with utmost refinement, one thing remains clear: the logging sites are dangerous. Two activists have complained of significant threats, one of them caught on video. EPIC, the Environmental Protection and Information Center, has sent a letter to Wade Crowfoot, the California Secretary of Natural Resources, asking him to restore peace.

October 18, 2021 — Efforts to take over the license for the Potter Valley Project have had some significant setbacks lately. One is an expensive equipment failure that could take up to a year and a half to repair. The other is that the Two Basin Partnership, a coalition of entities seeking to take over the license from PG&E, has not been able to secure the funding it needs for studies that are necessary for a final license application. The Partnership asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for some extra time to come up with the money, but FERC refused.

Sonia Waraich

10/13/21 — Recent rainfall and the arrival of a desalination system are allowing Fort Bragg to reduce the city’s drought emergency from a Stage 4 water crisis to a Stage 2 water alert. That means businesses and residents can ease up slightly on their water conservation efforts.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom also passed the last of three bills that will make it easier for tribes and private landowners to conduct cultural and prescribed fires. Fire experts like Lenya Quinn-Davidson say increasing the use of prescribed burns is key to protecting against catastrophic wildfires.

"Is anything ever really saved?"

Oct 13, 2021

October 13, 2021 — PG&E crews have moved decisively into the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. On Friday afternoon, chainsaws roared along Mattole Road, as forest defenders prepared a tree sit to protect old growth habitat trees. “These are our last big Douglas fir trees on the coast of Northern California,” said Gabrielle, a landowner who lives near the park and has worked in conservation for years. “Some of these have been saved, which raises the question: is anything ever really saved?”

"It's really expensive. And it doesn't work."

Oct 12, 2021

October 12, 2021 — By now, everyone in the region has noticed clear-cuts around PG&E wires, from Deerwood to Hopland to Humboldt and Sonoma Counties. 

PG&E’s ill-maintained equipment causes fires that kill people and animals, and burn down towns and rapidly dwindling habitat. In response, the utility is removing the vegetation that could catch fire if it comes in contact with the lines. 

October 11, 2021 — Four years after the Redwood Complex fire displaced much of the community, and two years into the pandemic, the Redwood Valley Grange is still serving as a hub for people to come together over books, food, herbal tea, and art by people they know.

We’ll hear from grange members about how the grange served the community in the aftermath of the fire, and what’s next.

              Audio version of "Redwood Valley Grangers honor the past, look to the future"

*UPDATe* October 13 -- John Andersen, Director of Forest Policy at Mendocino Redwood Company, confirmed that MRC did hire Lear Asset Management as a safety contractor in Soda Gulch, but that Paul Trouette and his staff are unarmed in the state forest. A photo circulating of Trouette carrying a pistol was taken on private timberland. MRC's sister company, Mendocino Forest Products, purchased the contract to log the Soda Gulch Timber Harvest Plan. The logging contractor they have hired is Two Brothers Logging, which has been working in Soda Gulch since logging began there.

October 7, 2021 — The Board of Supervisors discussed applications for over $20 million in state-funded cannabis grants this week. 

The $2.2  million dollar equity grant was awarded to the county last year by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. 

Ukiah High Offers Pomo Language and Culture Course

Oct 7, 2021

  October 6, 2021--Mendocino County’s Ukiah Unified School District is proud to offer, for the first time ever, a Northern Pomo Language and Cultures class at Ukiah High School. Buffie Schmidt, of the Sherwood Valley Rancheria, serves as instructor to the 40 students she teaches. Both the school district and Schmidt hope this groundbreaking course will revitalize Pomo languages and traditions, and help reconnect native students to a legacy from which they have been disconnected for centuries.

Tribal Chair threatened in JDSF

Oct 5, 2021

October 5, 2021 — Protesters in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF), which is managed by CalFire, are facing increased hostility as the end of logging season approaches. Threats of legal action and at least one instance of what sounds very much like a casual death threat have emerged in the past few days. And a fight about activists’ First Amendment rights to document political activity is already underway. 

Construction cost increases hit new jail project

Oct 4, 2021

October 4, 2021 — Projected construction costs for a new jail building have gone up more than 14% in the last three years, an unprecedented increase driven by steel tariffs, supply chain delays and shortages of skilled labor. In spite of several efforts to reduce costs, the architect on the project told the Board of Supervisors last week that there is a budget shortfall of $3.6 million.