Home > environment, Fundraiser > Eel River symposium on science, law, and the future

Eel River symposium on science, law, and the future

[Press Release]

Fortuna, CA – Friends of the Eel River is celebrating the work of the organization’s founding director, Nadananda, with an educational gathering at the Fortuna Riverlodge this coming Saturday, April 14. Seven distinguished experts will address a wide range of subjects in brief presentations meant to build public understanding of the Eel River’s outstanding values and potential for recovery.

A century ago, the Eel River was one of California’s greatest salmon and steelhead rivers. Today, the Eel presents one of the state’s best opportunities to restore and maintain healthy, harvestable runs of wild salmon and steelhead.

“Everyone on the North Coast has a stake in the future of the Eel River and its fisheries,” said Scott Greacen, Executive Director of the Friends of the Eel River. “This symposium offers an extraordinary chance to hear from some of the world-class experts who have focused on the Eel River and its fisheries.”

Leading scientists will present on geology, hydrology, frogs, salmon, lamprey, and beavers, and the relationships between different life forms in the watershed. Other experts will present on successful dam decommissioning and removal, and the laws governing the Eel River.

Informational tables and posters will provide additional information about groups and projects working for river and fisheries restoration in the region.

The Eel River symposium will run from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Lunch will be served for those who preregister. You can register online at www.eelriver.org, by calling (707) 822-3342, or email foer@eelriver.org. This event is free with a suggested sliding scale donation of $20-$60 to help cover costs of the event.

Presenters include:

Mary Power PhD, Professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, faculty manager and lead researcher at the Angelo Coast Range Reserve on the South Fork Eel River, and Director of the California Biodiversity Center. Professor Power’s key research interests include freshwater ecology and food webs, but she has published widely for more than 30 years. For more information see http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/power/

Bill Dietrich PhD, is a professor of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley (and married to Professor Power). Professor Dietrich’s research focuses on the processes that underlie the evolution of landscapes, including sediment dynamics in rivers, and landslides. He is collaborating in an intensive field investigation to identify, quantify, and model the processes that will control the co-evolution of climate, vegetation and water availability in Northern California forested landscapes.

Dietrich co-founded the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping. As part of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics he is co-developing a digital terrain model for predicting salmon populations from digital terrain data. For more information see http://eps.berkeley.edu/development/view_person.php?uid=1164

Sarah J. Kupferberg PhD, a post-doctoral research fellow in the Power lab, studies the effects of hydropower facilities on aquatic resources in California rivers. The river breeding Foothill yellow legged frog, Rana boylii is a sentinel species in this effort. She focuses on flow velocity and water temperature as the key abiotic conditions influencing frog populations. Her approach combines field experiments, long term monitoring, and population modeling. Dr. Kupferberg is also working with Questa Engineering in analyzing the proposed removal of the Benbow dam.

Bill Trush PhD, is one of the North Coast’s leaders in the applied science of river preservation, management, and restoration. Dr. Trush has worked for more than two decades at improving river ecosystem health in regulated rivers; assessing impacts of land use and water development activities on stream ecosystems; and developing mutually beneficial management strategies that improve those ecosystems. Dr. Trush specializes in integrating river ecosystem processes, salmon life history, and cumulative land use management practices.

Brian Cluer PhD, has worked in the Habitat Conservation Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Region since 2000. Dr. Cluer has worked on sediment-related issues over the entire Southwest Region and in the Northwest Region. His work for NMFS has included authoring Sediment Removal Guidelines for salmonids in California streams; expert witness testimony on Klamath River hydropower relicensing; co-development of new sediment transport software (DREAM) to assist in dam removal decision making; and field investigation of the effects of forestry and vineyard development on a small salmon stream. His current focus is designing, in coordination of other sediment scientists, studies to support dam removal decisions. Major projects include the four Klamath River dams, and the San Clemente Dam on Carmel River. These efforts build on his participation in past dam removal projects such as the Matilija Dam in the Ventura River watershed, and the Elwha River dams on Washington’s Olympic Penninsula.

Kevin P. Bundy, Senior Attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, works with the Center’s pathbreaking Climate Law Institute. Before joining the Center, Mr. Bundy represented public-interest and citizen groups, including Friends of the Eel River, in environmental and land-use cases as an associate with the well-respected law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. He also served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Procter R. Hug, Jr., of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the Honorable David W. Hagen of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Between graduating from Oberlin College and attending the University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law, Mr. Bundy spent several years advocating for ancient forests and endangered species on California’s North Coast as a staffer with the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC).

Brock Dolman, co-founder of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and nationally recognized for his dynamic presentations on building sustainable culture, will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Dolman is Director of OAEC’s WATER Institute (www.oaecwater.org) and Permaculture Design Program, and co-directs their Wildlands Biodiversity Program. Mr. Dolman’s experience ranges from the study of wildlife biology, native California botany and watershed ecology, to the practice of habitat restoration, education about regenerative human settlement design, ethno-ecology, and ecological literacy activism towards societal transformation.

For more information, see http://www.regenerativedesign.org/brockbio.

  1. High Finance
    April 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

    This is really boring and the recent decline in the number of posts the Herald is getting reflects that.

    How about tossing some red meat out there to the rabid anti Arkley nuts Heraldo ?

  2. April 7, 2012 at 8:15 am

    HiFi has a habit of using the terms “Arkley” and “red meat” in the same sentence. When the occasional post about his hero appears he bemoans the criticism leveled at Eureka’s meanest millionaire.

    But since you are one of the Herald’s most insatiable readers with an apparent inability to navigate the Internet for other content perhaps your secretary can offer you a lesson in how to use the Google.

    Back to the subject at hand, don’t be so down on the Eel. It still has water and fish which is apparently upsetting to someone of your status.

  3. Anonymous
    April 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Truly HI Fi. The HH is very selective of the battles it presents. So many other local news issues and stories are missing form here. Lets see: Biologistic Embezzlement
    DOJ jolts drug dealers den
    Rex in the lead
    Income Tax-how big is your refund?
    Property tax-what you get for your contribution?

  4. retired guy
    April 7, 2012 at 11:36 am

    If it ain’t about money and right wing zealots, HiFi loses interest fast. Who cares about the environment, clean flowing rivers, clean air and that kind of unimportant stuff. Being that Humboldt County still has that kind of “stuff”, maybe HiFi is in the wrong place. Why not move? Orange County sounds like your kind of place, right? Bye,bye.

  5. High Finance
    April 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Whoa !

    Retired Guy sure woke up from his nap cranky !

  6. What Now
    April 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    And HIghly Fried is pathetically hungover from his friday night revelry.
    We owe you a debt of gratitude, ‘Fried, for coming up out of your gutter and taking time away from your commitment to keep Rex Bohn’s testicles waxed and polished.
    You never fail to entertain us with your ignorant and feeble opinions.

  7. Todo
    April 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Friends of the Eel River is celebrating the work of the organization’s founding director, Nadananda…which has alienated 98% of the peeps in Humboldt and left behind an organization so crippled it will never be worthwhile. Ding dong the witch is dead, and so is FOER.

  8. jr
    April 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Todo, please clarify. I have been impressed with their monthly magazine in educating people about the Eel river and its tributaries.

  9. High Finance
    April 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    What Now, you win the prize for being the most nasty & disagreeable person on this blog.

    Congratulations ! (your life must suck bad)

  10. Smart 5th Grader
    April 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    This just in, the former champion fighting to re-take the crown.

  11. inanonymous
    April 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    the statement “the Eel still has water” is ludicrous…and is my main beef with friends of eel river. how much water have they had put back in the eel through their efforts?

  12. 69er
    April 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    The Eel river will never return to what it should be as long as our so called representatives to state government are bought and paid for by the hoards to the south. It is much needed to keep the rich appeased at their Russian River retreats and the wealthy wine makers well supplied with our Eel river water. Not to mention the water going to Santa Rosa and other thieving communities.

  13. Anonymous
    April 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Water water going fast, and less and less every year. All major cities increasing the degree to which waste water is recycled back into tap, with pollution content regulations constantly on the lax to accomodate the growing demand. And the plan for humboldt is rezoning for dense development. Whose idea is that again?

  14. suzy blah blah
    April 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    -dense development is Humboldt Growers Association’s idea. We need to develop plants that have more dense bud and less larf, leaves, and stems to waste our water on. Developing a strain that grows small plants that don’t have a lot of leaves and have short stems that support fat dense buds will save all the water currently being used on useless fluffy flowers and cumbersome vegetation.

  15. anonymous
    April 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Time to move to Crescent City which gets its water from the Smith River, known as the cleanest river in the state and perhaps the country. Who needs a filter when you drink the Smith’s water.

  16. Anonymous
    April 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I really wish Friends of the Eel River would do something to help the South Fork. They just fundraise here is all.
    The gravel mining company advertizements in their newsletters are certainly bizarre..

  17. April 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    And too add fuel to the fire, FOER approves of the Southern Humboldt Community Parks County rezone to allow parking on the Riverbed for proposed large scale commercial concerts and festival at the Park, e.g. Summer Arts $ Music Festival. And there plans are not one weekend a year, its from May to October ever year.

  18. Eric Kirk
    April 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    For the record there are no “large scale commercial concerts” in the proposal. If anybody wants to know what we’re proposing, contact us, or review the documents we’ve actually submitted.

  19. April 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    If you are going to lie, lie on your own blog like normal. Here is a link to the documents “you’ve” actually submitted to the County and it comes from the Parks web site:


    Check out the first map on page 18. Did the Park Board know the South Fork Eel River flows thru your event Parking Lot. Thats why they call it a “River Bar”!

    Did you forget this shit is on your web site Eric, And what do you mean “For the record”. Your still on the Park Board Eric?

  20. Eric Kirk
    April 8, 2012 at 12:46 am

    And of course there are no references to “large scale commercial concerts” unless you believe that 500 to 1200 people constitutes a “large scale commercial concert.”

  21. Anonymous
    April 8, 2012 at 2:36 am

    The document talks about 5000 person festivals.

  22. Eric Kirk
    April 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    That’s the Summer Arts Festival (one per year), not a “large scale commercial concert.” Nice try though.

  23. April 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Read it again Eric. It states:

    “Amplified music will end at 9:00pm when scheduled on weekdays (Sunday-Thursday) and at 12:00pm when scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights”

    and it also states:

    “The Mateel Community Center’s Summer Arts and Music Festival is a good example of the kind of fairs and festivals we hope to have at the park”

    If you notice the language, “fairs and festivals”, its pleural.

    And yeah, commercial concerts for up to 1200 people at the Park are large events anywhere, let alone amplified outdoor concerts. Hell you guys in Redway hate indoor concerts at the Mateel because they are too loud. And the Park Board tells neighbors of the Park to buy ear plugs or headphones and the one I like the best, the neighbors should just schedule dinner and a movie or a weekend getaway when the Park Board has their events? yeah, sure, that’s going to happen. Even Doug Green at the Mateel suggested giving neighbors free admission or comp tickets for events at the Park. Yeah, that sounds familiar!

    And there is the fact you denied any or all of this from your previous post. What BS Eric. You are so full of shit. This what you stated above, why did you lie, did you think no would beef your BS?

    Eric Kirk says:
    April 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm
    For the record there are no “large scale commercial concerts” in the proposal. If anybody wants to know what we’re proposing, contact us, or review the documents we’ve actually submitted.

  24. Anonymous
    April 9, 2012 at 1:56 am

    1200 people is HARDLY a large scale concert to anyone who has attended a large scale concert.

  25. RefFan
    April 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

    But wouldnt that be large scale for the park here? Haven’t been there in years so I’m just asking?

  26. Local Fish Bio
    April 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Funny how the bickering amongst the usual suspects detracts from the information provided in the original post. IMO that’s a good line-up of knowledgable presenters, and, yes instream flow issues are being discussed, and yes given the newly appointed director of Fish and Game we may actually make some progress towards restoring better flows for fish in the Eel River. Stay tuned and get involved if you care about Humboldt County’s rivers and salmon fisheries!

  27. Anonymous
    April 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

    “given the newly appointed director of Fish and Game we may actually make some progress towards restoring better flows for fish in the Eel River.”

    Sure, Pollyanna. Seen any progress in that direction yet? Anywhere in CA? The new director of DFG is in the pockets of politicians who do the bidding of the wealthy, industrial-scale water users. Users with no legal rights to the water, but they take it anyway, and when does DFG ever complain or try to enforce the law? Got examples? Of course not.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for him to go against the political grain and actually fight for more water for fish.

  28. Local Fish Bio
    April 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

    At Anon 10:25…..Maybe the reason people read and respond less to information posted on this blog is because when they attempt to engage in an intelligent, rational, non-attacking manner…..look what they get……an instant spew of verbal venom from one of the regulars.

    Do you even know who the new director of DFG is? Probably not, maybe you know his name, but you probably don’t know him and his credentials, given your strong negative opinions.

    Have a nice day!

  29. Anonymous
    April 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Local, the current director is DFG is Chuck Bonham, who was previously the head of CA’s Trout Unlimited. I have met him. I have watched his performance at DFG and I am not impressed.

    His credentials, as in what he has actually done not the organization he worked for (TU has sold out trout and salmon for the $$ many times) are dubious and irrelevant to his current position.

    His record at DFG so far is not looking good. Care to give examples of how he has gone against the entrenched system to ensure water for our rivers? Anything? Right, keep your head in the clouds and you will never have to face reality.

    Bonham is bought and sold by the water users. Do you think he’d have been appointed to head DFG if he was the type to really fight for water in our rivers, our fish and wildlife? How easy it must be for the simple minded.Can’t see reality, don’t even show me.

    Verbal venom – yeah. You are talking to someone who actually gives a damn about the our resources and sees the corruption that is destroying it, and the naive Pollyannas who give brainless approval of the destruction.

    Now please, offer evidence to support your confidence in Bonham.

    Have a nice reality-check, Local.

  30. Anonymous
    April 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, and Local Bio
    Maybe the reason people read and respond less to information posted on this blog is because …

    they are called out on their bullshit and ignorance. Now it is your turn. Put up or shut up.

  31. Percy
    April 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Ok, Anonynous 7:02, besides KILL THE MESSENGER wtf is your solution? We all know that who controls the water is the issue, and that those people have the political power and deep pockets to keep it that way. Getting out the information and making people aware of the sequence of events that have gotten things to where they are is a start. Locals, except for FOER, don’t give a shit about the Eel River. Even the local fishermen who have an extensive ocean fishing organization, HASA, have so far only shrugged their shoulders on Eel River issues, while organizing large protests against the MLPA’s. I really don’t think that the head of DFG has the power to do much unless he gets a ground swell of support which isn’t there. Maybe you have some answers besides calling people pollyanas.

  32. Local Fish Bio
    April 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    OK, Anon…………..I’ll put up. Yes water issues are huge and with a growing population demands are increasing, as a society we have to decide what we value, in many cases it’s subisized water for ag versus fish. Maybe if farmers had to pay for the true cost of the water, we’d see a reduction of use. Anyway, here’s a list of a few things that has been done for fish and flows in CA and the Pacific Northwest.

    1) A flow regime was recently decided for the San Jouquin River specifically for the migration, spawning, rearing and out-migration of chinook salmon. After decades of poor or no flows, salmon will once again use this larger river system.

    2) LA Water and Power water exports from the Mono Basin have been reduced to allow recovery of Mono Lake and trout fisheries in Rush and Lee Vining creeks. LA’s flows are currently under review by the State Water Board and future flows may be even more favorable for fish, channel health, and filling Mono Lake.

    3) Senate Bill SB2112 recently revised how vineyards divert flows from small CA coastal creeks. The esence of the bill is capturing and storing water during high winter flows for later use to protect instream flows during low-flow summer period.

    4) Progress continues to move forward, albiet slowly, on Klamath River dam removals. If the current process stalls or fails, PacifiCorp would be back in a FERC process and will get hammered for providing fish passage over all their dams. On places like the White Salmon, dam removal was cheaper than providing fish passage.

    5) In 2011, three major dams were removed in Pacific northwest, one on the White Salmon River in OR and two on the Elhwa River in WA. Between 2008 and 2011, four dams were removed on the Rogue River in OR. Collectively, these projects have restored salmon and steelhead access to 100’s of miles of habitat. The Elhwa flows out of a National Park and more than 90% of the watershed is pristine. Clines Canyon dam on the Elhwa was >200 feet high, the largest dam removal ever.

    6) On a smaller scale, counties from Del Norte to Ventura continue to treat road-related migration barriers. Since 1998, the Five County Salmon Conservation Group has treated about 70 migration barriers on county roads and opened-up about 150 miles of stream habitat.

    Percy, you make a good point about the need for a ground swell of public support. People need to let their elected officicals know what’s important to them, including healthy watersheds and increased salmon runs, that in turn, benefit our local economy. I’m going to post the Eel River symposium annoucement on the Humboldt Tuna page.

  33. Anonymous
    April 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Local Bio, first let us review. The point we are discussing is Chuck Bonham and whether or not he will improve the DFG’s protection of fish and wildlife, and specifically, if he will go against the political grain to get more water in our rivers, in this case, the Eel River.

    You expressed what I consider naive enthusiasm for Bonham and I disagreed. Still with me?

    To support your notion that Bonham will or has done anything to get more water in our rivers, you have cited six cases that have absolutely nothing to do with Bonham. Remember, he was appointed head of DFG in the summer of 2011.

    1. The San Joaquin flow regime was put in place in 2007. Bonham was not at DFG in 2007.

    2. The State Water Resource Control Board Water Right Decision 1631 that restricts LA Water’s withdrawal from Mono Lake was made in 1994. I don’t consider that recent. Bonham was not involved.

    3.I found nothing about SB2112 that deals with withdrawals by vineyards. If it exists, it is due to legislation, not to DFG or to Bonham.

    4.The scenario you describe for the Klamath Dam removal by going back through the FERC process is the best course of action. It is NOT the course of action supported by Bonham/DFG. Bonham prefers to give top priority to industrial ag interests in the upper basin, at the expense of fish and wildlife.

    5. None of those dams are in CA and Bonham had nothing to do with their removal.

    6. The Five County Salmon Conservation Group does good work. Bonham had nothing to do with its creation, so what is your point?

    If you are biologist employed by a public agency, I hope your critical thinking skills are better than what you have displayed. And btw, 15-20 ago is not exactly recent, unless you are talking geology.

  34. Anonymous
    April 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Percy, I am not sure what you mean by shoot the messenger. The debate I’m having with Local Bio is about Bonham and if he will change DFG. You seem to agree with me that he will not, since your said “I really don’t think that the head of DFG has the power to
    do much unless he gets a ground swell of support which isn’t there.”

    I disagree that, “Locals, except for FOER, don’t give a shit about the Eel River.” I know many locals in the Eel River basin who don’t like FOER, but they definitely give a shit about the river. Maybe you’re just hanging out with the wrong locals.

  35. Percy
    April 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    What exactly is it about FOER that you or your local friends don’t like? They are putting on a symposium to get information out to people who are interested in the problems and possible solutions facing the Eel. What’s wrong with that? What do you or your local friends suggest as a strategy to get something going?

  36. Anonymous
    April 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    The director or FOER, Nadananda, turned many people against the organization. She was FOER, there wasn’t room for anything except her ego. Her attempts to negotiate with PG&E to get more flows and remove the dam went nowhere because they had no respect for her. There is plenty more, but nuf said.

    Can FOER get turned around and gain general support? Remains to be seen. I have no problem with the planned symposium, except I don’t think it will address problems and solutions. The speakers are all academics. I have nothing against general education, but learning about the geology, etc. is not what I consider addressing the problems or finding solutions to them.

  37. Percy
    April 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I have never met Nadanada and cannot attest either way to her ego. What I do see is a lot of work from her and her organization trying to get something going with the Eel River when everybody else had given up the Eel for dead. Unlike the Klamath, there was no Indian tribe demanding their treaty rights and spurning the government to do something about the flows. Again, who or what other group locally has done anything to further the cause of restoring the Eel? I get the feeling that the real reason behind the negativity towards Nadananda and FOER is because it was founded by an environmental organization, EPIC, in an area where you can still see the “wipe your ass with a spotted owl” bumper stickers. If that’s the case then people with this mindset need to remember that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Alliances can be made to further common goals, whether or not you disdain an other person’s political/religious beliefs.

  38. beel
    April 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Anon 5:36, i’m surprised to hear you “don’t think (the symposium) will address problems and solutions.” maybe you could bring your concerns to the symposium and challenge the esteemed presenters with your perspective. personally, i find it laughable that you dismiss the expertise of the seven distinguished panelists because they are (in your eyes) “academics”.

  39. Anonymous
    April 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    beel, please note that the above post about the symposium does not specify the topics to be dissucsed by the esteemed academics. I have been to many conferences with similar lineups for speakers (in fact, with some of the same speakers). As I said, they rarely address
    problems and solutions, they describe studies, conditions, processes, history, etc, but do not discuss what is wrong and how to fix it. Scientists tend to shy away from activism (ie. getting things fixed).

    I find it laughable that you think I have dismissed the expertise of the panelists. Acutually, I find it sad that your reading comprehension is so bad you can not understand what I wrote. Why not read it again, several time if necessary, without your preconception of what I said.

  40. Anonymous
    April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Percy, FOER was NOT founded by EPIC. I was there when FOER was started and remember how it came together. FOER put out a good newsletter, I’ll give Nada credit for that. There are not many accomplishments besides the newsletter. Many people who liked the mission of FOER found her impossible to work with.

    The Wiyot Tribe is very interested in the Eel River, and according to Cheryl Seidner’s campaign, she is making the health of the Eel River one of her main issues. If you want to help the Eel, help Cheryl get elected.

  41. Percy
    April 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I find it laughable that you haven’t noticed that you are the one with the ego problem 12:52. You bring nothing to the table and deride everyone that does. GFYS.

  42. Anonymous
    April 12, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Percy, I realize there is no sense asking you to justify your opinion. If you are interested in the Eel River, why not learn something about it, get out and do something yourself. Join FOER if you think that is the way. Use the organization to do some good. Staying uninformed and inactive is a waste and not very admirable. Instead of saying GFYS to someone for disagreeing with you doesn’t solve the problems with the Eel, does it? But I guess it makes your ego feel good.

    Carry on in your bubble Percy.

  43. Percy
    April 12, 2012 at 9:17 am

    That’s good advice 8:16. Perhaps you and your local friends should follow it too.

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