Hi Friends,

We've been incredibly busy the last month responding to a flurry of activity from the federal Surface Transportation Board, continuing our efforts to protect the Eel River from the threat of a coal train. But before I get into that I want to share some big news. David Keller, our politically-savvy Bay Area Director, is retiring next month! He's been with Friends of the
Eel River on our board and staff for over 20 years and we wish him a fond farewell as he embarks on a well-earned retirement. If you have any memories or well-wishes you'd like to share, please send them to us at so we can compile your congratulations for him.

We are also growing! For the last month, we've been fortunate to have a brilliant legal extern helping us fine-tune our legal strategies and navigate all the complexities of engaging with various state and federal entities. Scroll down to meet Eli Savage and learn about what drives him to study environmental law.

Many of you have probably read the latest news or received this update from our No Coal In Humboldt coalition. After a flurry of activity over the last month, the director of the Surface Transportation Board rejected NCRC LLC's (the entity representing coal interests) late-filed notice of intent to take over the right of way. This would normally mean the end of the coal train, however, the company has until June 21 (tomorrow) to file an appeal. We're holding out hope that they see the writing on the wall and don't appeal, or that their appeal is rejected. But of course, we're also preparing to respond to any further action. Click here for a detailed update and to see our recent filings with the Surface Transportation Board.

Finally, we've also been busy keeping up with developments at the Potter Valley Project. PG&E has requested yet another variance from their normal flow schedule and, in a surprise twist, they are attempting to hold onto cold water for the benefit of endangered salmonids. Click here to see our comments on PG&E's 8th variance in the past 10 years. 
For the fish, 

Alicia Hamann
Wishing David Keller a joyful
(and well-earned) retirement!

David has always brought his love for social and environmental justice, public engagement, and political activism to his work. He joined Friends of the Eel River in 2001 and has worked tirelessly for dam removal, and fisheries and watershed restoration. David played a key role in resolving inter-basin water transfer conflicts, and helping transform the defunct Northwestern Pacific Rail to the Great Redwood Trail. And of course his history as an elected official and political activist has been crucial to ensuring Friends of the Eel River is well-connected with decision makers.

David is a member of the Planning and Conservation League Board of Directors, was a long-time member of Sonoma County Conservation Action, and is the founder and director of the Petaluma River Council. David’s political career began in the early 1980s when he led a successful campaign to reconstruct the Bolinas beach and groin. He ultimately was elected to the Petaluma City Council (1996 – 2000) where he helped revolutionize form-based building codes, defeat a proposal to privatize municipal wastewater treatment and create a wetlands treatment facility, and strongly advocated for ratepayer protections.
And if you didn’t know, David is also a manufacturer of specialized woodworking tools, the Keller Dovetail System, and was a furniture maker and carpenter. He also helps keep a lovely organic garden and I imagine will be spending at least part of his retirement giving all those pesky gophers a run for their money.
Thank you David for your steadfast activism, leadership, and steady hand building and guiding Friends of the Eel River. 
Meet our Legal Extern
Hi my name is Eli and I’m working as a Legal Extern for Friends of the Eel River this summer. I recently completed my first year at Lewis & Clark Law School, where I’m studying environmental law. I was born and raised in Humboldt County and one of the primary reasons that I chose to study law was to be a steward of our local environment. I believe that the health of a community is closely tied to the health of its environment, and I am excited to work with Friends of the Eel River because I believe their efforts closely align with these values. When I’m not studying I enjoy baking sourdough bread, watching Warrior’s basketball, and being out in nature. Since I was a child, I’ve been swimming with my family at Swimmer’s Delight, and because of this I especially enjoy exploring the wonders of the Van Duzen. Because of these fond memories and my love for our local environment, it has been incredibly rewarding to work with FOER in their continuous efforts to restore and protect the Eel River.
Summer Events
Kate Wolf Music Festival
June 23 - 26
Stop by our booth to say hi and get some cool salmon swag at the last-ever Kate Wolf Music Festival in Laytonville this weekend.

Eureka Street Art Festival
August 6
Celebrate local public art and learn the latest news from the Eel River. Visit with us at the block party at Halvorsen Park on Saturday, August 6th from 12-6pm. 

Round Valley Blackberry Festival
August 20 - 21
Join us in Covelo for the Round Valley Blackberry Festival where you can get some of the best blackberry treats around.

North Country Fair
September 17 - 18
Visit us or volunteer in our booth at the North Country Fair on the Arcata Plaza. Stay tuned for volunteer signups later this summer.

EcoNews Report:
Toxic Tires?

On this week’s EcoNews Report, Warner Chabot of the San Francisco Estuary Institute joins Gang Green to talk about micro-plastic pollution, including that which comes from car tires. A chemical in tires has been found to kill coho salmon. Now the California Department of Toxic Substances Control is considering regulation to address this threat. Take action here.

Click here to listen. 
In this newsletter:

- David Keller is retiring!

- Meet Eli, our legal extern

- Visit FOER at events this summer

- ENR: toxic tires update
We have new hats! 

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