EcoNews Report

Thursdays 1:30PM-2PM
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Thursdays 1:30PM-2PM

Timely interviews on environmental issues that matter most on the North Coast and our bioregion, along with news and information on upcoming meetings, hikes and events. The EcoNews Report features a rotating cast of representatives from local environmental groups. 

Subscribe to the EcoNews Report podcast

Regular hosts include: 

  • Jennifer Kalt - Humboldt Baykeeper
  • Scott Greacen - Friends of the Eel River
  • Larry Glass & Bella Waters - Northcoast Environmental Center
  • Tom Wheeler - Environmental Protection Information Center
  • George Ziminsky - Friends of the Arcata Marsh

The EcoNews Report has aired on KHSU for over 35 years - the longest running public affairs show on the station. Engineered by Fred McLaughlin. 

Aldaron Laird / Trinity Associates

My guests are Joe Tyburczy and Aldaron Laird, coordinators of the Humboldt Bay Symposium, which will be held on April 11 and 12 at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka. The symposium will feature sessions on sea level rise, ecological restoration, ocean science, and economic development in and around Humboldt Bay. The symposium will provide the public an opportunity to engage directly with scientists, managers, and local experts and learn about the latest developments on a variety of current issues related to Humboldt Bay.

Click HERE for the full program. 

Jasmin Segura / Humboldt Baykeeper

My guest is Jasmin Segura, Baykeeper’s Bay Tours Coordinator since 2014, discussing the upcoming tour season, which will begin with an Earth Day paddle and cleanup on Indian Island with the Wiyot Tribe and Coast Seafoods Company. Most of our Humboldt Bay tours are private charter tours aboard the Madaket, and are coordinated with various partner organizations to provide opportunities for underserved groups to get out on the water at no cost, with support from the California Coastal Conservancy.

New Wind Turbines Near Scotia?

Mar 20, 2019
Terra Gen

If everything goes according to plan, Scotia residents may see wind turbines on Monument and Bear River Ridges by 2020. Kevin Martin of Terra Gen, the project's proponents, joins Tom Wheeler in the studio to talk about how the company hopes to avoid environmental impacts.

Submitted by Alicia Littletree Bales

Today my guests are Naomi Wagner and Alicia Littletree Bales, who will be speaking on HSU campus on Thursday, February 28 in a panel discussion about Women and the Timber Wars: Feminism and the Front Line Struggle to Save the Redwoods.

Protecting the California Coast

Jan 17, 2019
Jennifer Kalt / Humboldt Baykeeper

My guest is Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager for Surfrider Foundation, an international organization that is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's ocean, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network. The Humboldt Surfrider Chapter is one of 20 chapters in California, where coastal access, coastal development, bluff erosion, sea level rise, and the threat of offshore oil drilling are some of the top issues.

Read more about Surfrider’s efforts to protect our beloved coast below.

Jennifer Kalt / Humboldt Baykeeper

Dr. Laurie Richmond of Humboldt State University led a team of researchers who interviewed commercial and charter fishermen, fishing families, deckhands, local business owners and operators, local civic leaders, and elected officials in Eureka and Shelter Cove to develop recommendations to improve the sustainability of these ports. Recommendations range from basic infrastructure like dredging and cold storage to better organization for political engagement, market development, and habitat protection. In Shelter Cove, a new fishermen’s association has already formed and will soon begin managing the marina facilities.  

Election Roundup

Nov 15, 2018

Tune in for a discussion/celebration of last week's results of local, state, and national elections - and the positive changes they will bring - with a focus on environmental issues. Progressives won big on the local level, particularly in Eureka, where voters had stark choices between candidates. My guest is Tom Wheeler, Eureka resident and Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC).  

Dana Stolzman / Salmonid Restoration Federation

The ways that we manage (or fail to manage) our impacts on the land have left many rivers and creeks without enough water year-round to sustain fish and other wildlife. Randy Klein is a hydrologist who has studied North Coast streams for over 40 years. His research on flooding, erosion, and sediment dynamics in Redwood National Park helped identify the best ways to manage heavily-logged watersheds for stream health. More recently, he has focused on the solutions to low summer flows on the Mattole River in Southern Humboldt. 

Artist's Rendering / Cherae Heights Casino

The Trinidad Rancheria is planning a 100-room, 6-story hotel adjacent to the Cherae Heights Casino on Scenic Drive near Trinidad. My guests, Richard Johnson and Dave Hankin, are co-chairs for the Humboldt Alliance for Responsible Planning, a group recently formed to foster community involvement in proposed land developments that could have significant impact on quality of life and the environment. HARP’s concerns about the hotel include water supply, wastewater, impacts to birds, light pollution, traffic, and are calling for more transparency and public involvement. They will hold a public informational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Trinidad Town Hall.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Today my guests are Ted Hernandez Tribal Chairman of the Wiyot Tribe; Michelle Vassel, Tribal Administrator; and Tim Nelson, Director of the Natural Resources Department. They are here to talk about the return of Indian Island to the tribe, the cleanup of the contaminated former boatyard at Tuluwat Village, and the recent revival of the tribe’s World Renewal ceremonies that were interrupted in 1860 by brutal massacres. 

Are You a Beaver Believer?

Aug 16, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Are you a beaver believer? You May become one after listening to this EcoNews Report! Beavers are nature's engineers, helping to turn unproductive streams into great salmon habitat by reconnecting old floodplains, providing pools for salmon to rest, and by increasing the quantity and quality of summer waters. In short, they are amazing. But California faces a problem: we don't have enough beavers.

Jennifer Kalt / Humboldt Baykeeper

Aldaron Laird is a local environmental planner who has spent years thinking about how best to prepare the Humboldt Bay area for flooding, erosion, and higher groundwater levels that are projected in the next several decades as sea level rises. On August 7, he will lead a public workshop focusing on King Salmon and Fields Landing, which will be among the first local communities to face the effects of rising sea level.  

Brian Carter

Joe Tyburczy is a marine ecologist with the California Sea Grant Extension who is studying the effects of eelgrass on ocean acidification. Joe and his colleagues are examining eelgrass’s role in reversing the effects of ocean acidification, which disrupts the ability to form shells in juvenile oysters and other marine life. 

How Do We Design the Plaza for People?

Jun 15, 2018
Colin Fiske

What does it mean to design a public space for people over cars? Colin Fiske of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities discusses the key principles of transportation planning and how the Arcata Plaza could be redesigned to encourage safe and fun use.

For more on this subject and to read the Coalition's proposal for the plaza, visit

Alex Milan Tracy

Pete Nichols talks to Waterkeeper Alliance Senior Organizer Lesley Adams about a fracked gas pipeline that would trample farms, ranches, and tribal lands to reach a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon. The proposed 229-mile pipeline would impact more than 400 waterways, including the Rogue, Umpqua, and Klamath Rivers. The LNG terminal would be one of the largest climate polluters in the state. 

Godwit Days Festival is this weekend!

Apr 19, 2018
Courtesy of Godwit Days

Godwit Days is an annual festival celebrating spring bird migration in and around Humboldt Bay, an important stop on the Pacific Flyway for thousands of shorebirds, waterfowl, hawks, owls, songbirds. My guest is Godwit Days Media Liaison, Sue Leskiw.

North Coast Marbled Murrelet Status Update

Mar 29, 2018
Craig Strong

"The reason we count murrelets at sea is, of course, because in the forest they are flying around at really high speeds in the dawn or dusk and while you can see them and hear them there is no way you can get a handle on their populations", says Craig Strong of Crescent Coastal Research.

Ken Burton, wildlife biologist, vice president of the Redwood Region Audubon Society, Friends of the Arcata Marsh docent, and author, interviews Strong on the status of Marbled Murrelets on the north coast and his murrelet monitoring program.

Is It Safe To Eat Fish from Humboldt Bay?

Mar 15, 2018
Jennifer Kalt / Humboldt Baykeeper

Have you wondered whether it is safe to eat fish from Humboldt Bay? Humboldt Baykeeper has been testing mercury levels in local fish with today’s guest, fisheries consultant Ross Taylor.

How Can We Make the Redwoods More Inclusive?

Mar 8, 2018
Ruby Rodriguez / Latino Outdoors

Close your eyes and think of an "environmentalist." What do you see? If its an old white guy (probably with a beard and a walking stick), you are not alone! Environmentalism has a diversity problem. It's not that people of color don't care about the environment—polls show that they do, and at levels that surpass white people—but the environmental movement has not made space for their inclusion.

Untrakdrover via Wikimedia Commons

Will Humboldt be the site of the West Coast’s first offshore wind energy project? 

Humboldt's Most Elusive Critter

Feb 8, 2018

With less than 100 individuals left in California, the Humboldt marten is one of the state's most endangered species. While it once haunted the coastal forests from Oregon to Santa Cruz, the Humboldt marten is now restricted to a small patch of Six Rivers National Forest.

Jennifer Kalt / Humboldt Baykeeper

On January 4, the Trump Administration announced its plan to open nearly all federal waters to offshore oil exploration and drilling. It would be the largest ever proposed, with 47 leases, including 6 off the California coast. In the current draft, Northern and Central CA lease sales are scheduled for 2021 and 2023.

Jennifer Savage of Surfrider Foundation joins us to discuss resistance to this outrageous plan at the local, state, and national  levels.

Tune in to learn how you can take action to protect our coast! See below for links and info. 

Photo by English Express

Baykeeper’s Tours Coordinator Jasmin Segura partners with English Express founder Mary Ann Hytken to provide guest lectures and tours of Humboldt Bay aboard the H/V Madaket for ESL students and their families. English Express is so much more than an English Language school!

Jasmin and I spoke with Mary Ann Hytken, Ray Valdivia, and Spencer Graey of English Express, about how they offer community services, field trips, and English lessons for ESL students from Cambodia, China, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Japan, Laos, Mexico, Pakistan, Senegal, Thailand, and the Ukraine. 

After many years of hard work the Humboldt Bay Trail North is now open! Bense-Kang talks with City of Arcata Mayor, Susan Ornelas, and Netra Khatri Assistant City Engineer, about the history of the trail, construction, and how it will benefit the community. 

Humboldt County Planning & Building

Nearly 18 years in the making, the County’s 20-year land use plan was finally adopted in October. 

It will create ten percent fewer new homes with more environmental impacts than the version recommended by the 2012 Planning Commission. County Supervisor Mike Wilson explains why his first and only vote on the plan was cast in opposition.

Major Changes in Store for Eureka?

Nov 9, 2017
Rob Holmlund

The City of Eureka is embarking on a vast new rethinking of its General Plan and Zoning Code, a major overhaul shepherded by Rob Holmlund, Director of Development Services, and Brian Heaton, Associate Planner. Want neighborhood commercial centers? Or more opportunities for mother-in-law units?  Rob and Brian share their vision of Eureka's future with Tom Wheeler, Executive Director of EPIC.

Designing the Plaza for People?

Oct 26, 2017
City of Arcata

What would the plaza look like if we designed it for pedestrians and not cars? EPIC's Tom Wheeler talks with Ryan Campbell and Colin Fiske of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities about how redesigning Arcata's Plaza to increase its use and decrease crime.

Living With Wildfire: Are You Prepared?

Oct 19, 2017

Recent catastrophic fires driven by hot, dry winds destroyed nearly 6,000 homes and businesses in Northern California. More than 40 people died and many are still missing, and thousands are homeless and/or jobless.

Across California and the West, many communities are more vulnerable than we realize, given the buildup of fuels over the past hundred years. Even damp coastal redwood forests have seen major wildfires, as evidenced by the massive fire scars on ancient trees.

Today my guests are two local experts in community fire preparedness. Cybelle Immitt is a planner with the Humboldt County Public Works Department. Tracy Katelman is a forester and founder of ForEverGreen Forestry based in Eureka, California and Pucón, Chile. They are launching a series of community workshops on fire preparedness that will be held in 14 communities around the county from Oct. 26 to Dec. 6.

Does This Leaked Memo Threaten The Siskiyous?

Oct 4, 2017
Bureau of Land Management

In a leaked memo, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed removing protections for National Monuments across the country, including Northern California’s Cascade Siskiyou National Monument. Tom Wheeler of EPIC and Joseph Vaile of KS Wild make sense of the memo and talk about what is still at risk.