A fuel tanker that was traveling north on U.S. Highway 101 and overturned near the Salmon Creek exit last Wednesday has leaked 4,000 gallons of gasoline in an area above the South Fork of the Eel River, the California Department of Health & Human Services said in a press release issued this past weekend.
It’s hot, so in an ideal world taking a swim in the South Fork of the Eel would be the thing to do.
But this is not an ideal world.
Proof of that are the “mats of floating algae,” as a recent press release by the Eel River Recovery Project put it, that can be seen in the river as it flows through Tooby Memorial Park near Garberville.
The eruption of two wildfires in Southern Humboldt last week — one west of Weott and the other in the Benbow area — made it clear that the 2016 fire season has arrived.
Granted, the kick-off is nowhere near as dramatic as a year ago, when a lightning storm at the end of July triggered more than 70 separate blazes in the Blocksburg area. The multiple ignitions, dubbed the Humboldt Complex, soon merged into three main fires that ended up torching close to 5,000 acres.
A small-scale marijuana farming group’s lawsuit challenging the county’s commercial marijuana production ordinance has been settled and includes a $35,000 payment for the group’s legal fees. But the chair of the county’s Board of Supervisors believes the settlement doesn’t change anything because its main aspect — a commitment to re-do the ordinance under a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) — was promised before the legal action was taken.
At its regular monthly meeting last week, the governing board of the Garberville Sanitary District unanimously approved the district’s official comments on proposed land-use designation changes at the Southern Humboldt Community Park.
The comments include an “opinion,” as the one-page letter signed by board chairperson Linda Brodersen put it, that the park should pay to be annexed into the district so that the district can provide drinking water to members of the public using the park.
It was also the first weather year in five years — like fiscal years, weather years traditionally run from July 1 through June 30 — that saw a higher than average annual rainfall total, said both Joanne Pardini and Jean Heritage.
Everyone agrees that rezoning the Southern Humboldt Community Park to allow for athletic fields is going to significantly increase the amount of water the park draws from the South Fork of the Eel River for irrigation.
An 852-page Draft Environmental Impact Report that came out in April evaluates a number of proposed land-use designation changes at the 405-acre park — including one that would allow for the staging of public festivals. But the massive document has not settled the irrigation issue.
The Garberville Sanitary District (GSD) board of directors considered whether to write any comments about the Southern Humboldt Community Park (SHCP) board’s proposed land-use designation change and looked at the district’s draft budget for the next fiscal year at their regular meeting on May 24.
“It’s a relatively common occurrence for [gray whale] calves to die on this part of their northern migration,” Dr. Dawn Goley, Humboldt State University’s coordinator for the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, said on Friday. “Killer whales and sharks can target them easily.”