News Roundup – Burl Heists, The Future of Fog and More

The theft of redwood burls from our state and national parks has been increasing in the past year, with illicit harvests now frequently targeting the growths on live trees. In response, Prairie Creek State Park will be closing Newton B. Drury Parkway from sunset to sunrise to combat burl piracy. National Geographic offers a look into the environmental impact of burl theft in an article published this week.

Coastal redwood forests rely heavily on fog for moisture, but conflicting predictive models paint an uncertain picture of how climate change will effect the presence of fog. Bay Nature covers the work of researchers trying to determine what the future holds for our coastal redwoods.

With storm clouds gathering again on the North coast after a couple days of sun, February’s rainfall in Humboldt County has been tallied. For the first time during this water year (beginning July 1st), monthly rainfall has exceeded the 30-year average. The rivers are swolen, and reservoirs are full, allowing for regular municipal water use and the releasing of water during dry months to protect fish populations. Snowpack, which is crucial to the health of river ecosystems and agriculture during Summer, has crept up slightly but remains well below average, standing at 19-36% of normal across California’s mountain ranges.

A Northern red-legged frog enjoying the rising water level in Arcata Marsh’s “Toad Pond”

For those in the Mendocino area or willing to make the trip, the 12th annual Pisces Party will be held on March 14th in Briceland. This evening of organic food and entertainment raises money for the forest and watershed restoration work of Richard Giegner.