Timber Regulating Timber

The Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI) seemed to have a sure-fire plan when it proposed to receive $19.5 million for its conservation of the 50,000-acre Usal Redwood Forest – northwestern Mendocino County land battered by more than a century of logging – from the State Wildlife Conservation Board.  The state agency had received funding via […]

The Fisher Octopus

The Fisher family’s roughly $10 billion in assets are spread across an opaque web of globe-spanning investments. One of their main money vehicles is Sansome Partners, the San Francisco- and Seattle-based investment firm that owns Mendocino Redwood Company and its northerly affiliate, Humboldt Redwood Company.  The purpose of Sansome Partners, the company’s web site proclaims, […]

Cap & Trade: Selling Pollution

Across the last 160 years, the timber industry has leveled the largest trees in California’s north coast counties in a burst of wealth that would be impossible to replicate for hundreds of years, even if industrial civilization persists for that long despite global climate change and a broad, interlocking global environmental crisis. But the climate […]

The Russian River: Everybody Wants Some, But…

The Russian River, as we know it today, arises in the pine-studded hills surrounding Potter Valley, with an overwhelming infusion of Eel River water helping it on its way as it tumbles down into the Lake Mendocino reservoir. The river’s western fork trickles out of the fir-laden hills north of Redwood Valley, in the vicinity […]

Who Funds Mendo Politics?

The people who fund American politics are already breaking spending records in the 2016 election season, collectively pouring billions of dollars into national, state, and even some local contests as they attempt to tighten their existing firm grip on the country’s political windpipe. At the same time, top candidates in each major party – namely, […]

Chevron’s New Willits Investments

Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery is a colossal system of pipes, towers, smokestacks, and storage tanks perched on a peninsula of low hills rising from the San Francisco Bay. According to data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), it was California’s third largest emitter of climate change-inducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) out of all the state’s […]

Redwood Valley Water

In 1979, the federal Bureau of Reclamation made the first of two loans to the Redwood Valley County Water District for a network of pipes, valves, and pumps to draw from Lake Mendocino reservoir’s historically fickle supply pool. Redwood Valley’s irrigated wine industry, which today consists of 2,200 acres of corduroy-like rows of vines, sprouted […]

The Imazapyr Alliance

On June 10th, 2015, the Albion-Little River Fire Protection District’s board of directors considered a resolution at a public meeting to prohibit intentionally killing trees and leaving them standing dead. The measure would have effectively barred Mendocino Redwood Company’s (MRC) controversial Hack-and-Squirt technique within the Fire District’s roughly 40-square-mile service area. The practice, which we […]

Sonoma Supes Drunk On Wine Money

Last spring, Sonoma County supervisors Efren Carrillo, James Gore, and Susan Gorin traveled to Sacramento to meet with some of California’s highest-ranking regulatory officials: California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross, Secretary of Fish and Wildlife Charles Bonham, and senior staff members of the State Water Resources Control Board. The subject of the closed-door […]

Reclaiming Tolay Lake

On the second day of 2016, I have gathered with Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Tribal Councilmembers Lorelle Ross and Gene Buvelot to observe the southern view from the eastern ridge of Sonoma Mountain, about seven miles east of Petaluma.  From this world-at-your-feet platform, the smooth blue expanse of San Pablo Bay rises against the […]

Feds May Use Eminent Domain to Build California Dam

Early last year, four US Bureau of Reclamation officials came to Anita Lodge’s seven-acre property deep in the San Joaquin River gorge, 33 miles northeast of Fresno. They explained in careful detail the legal process by which the federal government forces people to abandon their homes to make way for new infrastructure. A childhood picture […]