Hi Friends,

Before we get into all the exciting updates, please click here to vote for Friends of the Eel River to be a recipient of the North Coast Co-Op's Seeds for Change fundraiser next year.

Last week we filed a lawsuit in Humboldt County to protect the Lower Eel River from excessive groundwater extraction during critically dry times. Our lawsuit is based on the public trust doctrine, ancient law establishing that natural resources like water belong to the people of the state of California, and that elected leaders like our Humboldt County Supervisors have a duty to protect those resources for all. See below, or click here to read our press release.

And speaking of the Lower Eel, tune in next week for a presentation about methane biodigesters by Dr. Kevin Fingerman, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies & Management at Cal Poly Humboldt. See below for details and a zoom link.

In case you missed it - the Great Redwood Trail is officially a go! The master planning process has begun and the Great Redwood Trail Agency is eager to hear from stakeholders. On the Agency's new master plan website you can sign up for email alerts and fill out a survey telling them about the opportunities they should prioritize and how you'd like to use a future trail.

If you prefer to listen to your environmental news, be sure to check out the latest episode of the EcoNews Report all about the Grrrrroovy Eel River!

For the fish, 

Alicia Hamann
Friends of the Eel River Sues to Protect
Public Trust Flows in the Lower Eel River

Friends of the Eel River (FOER) has filed suit in Humboldt County Superior Court to secure protection for the public trust values at risk when groundwater pumping depletes surface flows in the Lower Eel River. First, FOER is asking the court to declare that the County has a duty to protect public trust values in the lower Eel River from the impacts of groundwater pumping. Then, FOER seeks an order requiring the County to create a program to regulate groundwater pumping in the lower Eel River as necessary to protect public trust values. Finally, FOER asks the court to require the County to stop issuing permits for new and expanded well-drilling in the lower Eel until such a program is in place.

Aerial image showing a dry riverbed adjacent to Fortuna.Under California law, the Public Trust doctrine establishes that the waters and wildlife of the state belong to the people, and that the state and its subdivisions, including counties, serve as trustees of those resources for the people. Where public trust values may be affected, especially in the planning and allocation of water resources, the State and the County have an affirmative duty to consider those effects, and to avoid or minimize harm to public trust uses wherever feasible. 

The Eel River provides habitat for fish and wildlife protected under the public trust, including salmon and steelhead as well as many other important species. Other values included in the public trust include recreation and cultural uses. When Humboldt County allows unlimited groundwater pumping even during extended dry times, exacerbating already low flows and leading to surface flows disconnecting, it fails in its duty to protect the Public Trust.

Click here to read more.

Manure Biodigester Presentation
A presentation by Dr. Kevin Fingerman of Cal Poly Humboldt
Animal agriculture is an increasingly important driver of climate change. One approach to abating methane pollution is the installation of biodigesters to manage the manure from feedlot operations, capturing methane for use as an energy source. However, policies in California that have promoted these systems seem to be backfiring. This presentation will investigate the contours of this emerging problem at the nexus of California climate policy, agriculture, and environmental justice and will discuss some potential approaches to addressing the issue.
How to Join
Monday, November 7 at 7pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 818 1810 6986
Passcode: 654464
350 Humboldt, 11th Hour, HUUF Climate Action Campaign, Temple Beth El, Humboldt Friends, North Group Sierra Club, Friends of the Eel River, Renewable Energy Student Union of Cal Poly Humboldt, North Coast Environmental Center
EcoNews Report
Grrroovy Eel River Issues

In this episode of the EcoNews Report: The Grrrreat Redwood Trail is finally full steam ahead for trail master planning - click here to learn about how you can be involved! 

We also discuss the litigation we just filed to protect public trust flows in the Lower Eel River.

Click here to tune in. 
40th Annual Salmonid Restoration Federation Conference: Call for Abstracts
Salmonid Restoration Federation's annual conference is set for April 25 - 28 in Fortuna, and they are now accepting abstracts through November 8. If you have research or a presentation you would like to share, please submit an abstract online here. This is a competitive process, and priority will be given to oral presentations which have not been previously made at SRF conferences.
In this newsletter:

- Vote for us in Seeds for Change!

- FOER Public Trust Litigation

- Manure Biodigester Presentation

- EcoNews Report

- Call for SRF conference abstracts
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