Camille Escovedo, SONOMA WEST TIMES & NEWS
Sonoma County Conservation Council’s “Environmentalist of the Year” award to Rick Coates and Chris Poehlmann
The Sonoma County Conservation Council bestowed this year’s Ernestine I. Smith “Environmentalist of the Year” award upon three local luminaries of the environmental justice movement at its holiday networking and environmental awards ceremony Friday, co-hosted with the Sonoma Group of the Sierra Club.
The council named Maya Khosla, Rick Coates and Chris Poehlmann as its three “forest champions.” Khosla is a wildlife biologist, filmmaker and poet laureate of Sonoma County whose recent Legacy Project sought to address the 2017 Tubbs Fire and regeneration with poetry in open spaces, as stated by her website. Meanwhile, the careers of Coates and Poehlmann draw them deep into the West County forests and often the courtroom, maneuvering the legal system to prevent logging projects that jeopardize regional watersheds and forests.
“Not all grassroots organizers are really good at the technical bureaucracy of multi-page permits, understanding the fine details, but these two men have been really, really good at both of those, and try to do as much as possible within the regulatory framework,” according to Wendy Krupnick, council secretary and a member of the annual event’s organizing committee. “But occasionally, when that does not work, the only avenue left is a lawsuit.”
She said the Sonoma County Conservation Council (SCCC) receives nominations from the broader environmental justice community for review by a subcommittee of primarily members of the SCCC’s board of directors. The awardees receive a certification from the California state legislature honoring their contributions to environmental advocacy, Krupnick said.
Continue reading “West County environmentalists recognized”
Forest Unlimited, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
Nature lovers looking to kick off 2017 with a good deed might consider volunteering to plant redwood seedlings for Forest Unlimited’s annual reforestation project. The Forestville-based nonprofit is dedicated to protecting and enhancing forests and watersheds in Sonoma County. In addition to acting as a watchdog for local logging operations, its members have been organizing tree plantings at select locations around Sonoma County for over 20 years.
This year, the group will plant seedlings Friday and Saturday, January 6th and 7th, at St. Dorothy’s Rest, 160 St Dorothy Ave, Camp Meeker, a protected 580-acre retreat center originally intended for terminally ill children to spend time in a healing environment of a “magical” forest community. Most of the land that was acquired recently had been badly logged. The redwood planting will help reforest these areas.
“It’s really a community effort,” said Carl Wahl, a volunteer for Forest Unlimited who managed the project for over fifteen years. Wahl said Forest Unlimited tries to choose areas that are protected from development and logging by conservation easements, so that volunteers aren’t planting trees that “could be cut down in 40 years”. They also look for places where the redwoods and oaks they plant will thrive.
Read more at: Annual Tree Planting by Forest Unlimited at St. Dorothy’s Rest in Camp Meeker
Bill Swindell, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A rapidly melting ice sheet in Greenland. Unprecedented flooding in northern England. A record wildfire season in the western United States.
The most recent headlines involving climate change can turn even the most optimistic environmentalist into a Debbie Downer. But on Friday, more than 50 volunteers set out to do their small part in trying to curb global warming by planting 1,300 redwood seedlings on property in the hills north of Cazadero.
The annual event, which has been conducted by Forest Unlimited since 1997, will continue Saturday on private property in the Gualala Ranch Association area near the south fork of the Gualala River. Over the past 19 years, the Forestville nonprofit group has planted about 28,000 trees around Sonoma County.
The native redwoods are an optimal tree to plant along the Sonoma Coast. They are hard to burn, an asset during wildfire season, and they can resist drought. Coastal fog can provide up to 40 percent of a redwood’s water needs as it condenses into precipitation on its needles, according to one study.
Old redwood forests also sequester three times more carbon above the ground than other trees, according to the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. The initiative found that two mature redwoods can remove about 1,600 tons of carbon from the earth’s atmosphere, equaling how much an average American produces in their lifetime through carbon dioxide emissions.
“Forests provide us with oxygen. They sequester carbon. They provide us clean water. They provide us materials for our living,” volunteer James Haug of Sebastopol said.
Read more at: Volunteers combat climate change by planting redwood trees | The Press Democrat
Jamie Hansen, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
More info at: http://forestunlimited.org/events/
Nature lovers looking to kick off 2015 with a good deed might consider volunteering next weekend to plant redwood seedlings for Forest Unlimited’s annual reforestation project.
The Forestville-based nonprofit organization is dedicated to protecting and enhancing forests and watersheds in Sonoma County. In addition to acting as a sort of watchdog for local logging operations, its members have been organizing tree plantings at select locations around Sonoma County for the past 17 years.
This year, the group will plant about 1,150 redwood seedlings Saturday and next Sunday — Jan. 9 and 10 — at Wildwood Retreat Center in the hills above Guerneville.
“It’s really a community effort,” said Carl Wahl, a volunteer with Forest Unlimited who has co-managed the project since 2001.
Wahl said Forest Unlimited tries to choose areas that are protected from development and logging by conservation easements, so that volunteers aren’t planting trees that “could be cut down in 40 years.” They also look for places where the redwoods and oaks they plant will thrive.
“We don’t just plant pell mell,” Wahl said. “We make sure the seedlings are planted in a location where they can basically survive unattended by humans.”
Read more via Forest Unlimited’s volunteer tree planting projects seek to | The Press Democrat.