Humboldt Bay Green Port

Dear supporters, please attend tonights meeting to lend your support to retain the Marketing Director position at the Harbor District
April 23, 2009, 7:28 am
Filed under: events, humboldt, port

Please attend this meeting to lend your support to retain the Marketing Director position at the Harbor District.

You may e-mail of your comments to:


Thursday; April 23, 2009

7:00 p.m.

Woodley Island Marina Meeting Room

On the agenda for consideration will be position of Maritime Direct held by Wilson Lacy.

In the short time that Mr. Lacy has been at the Harbor district he has done a stellar job in his outreach to market commerce for our area. We need to retain his talents, his contacts with other ports including the Port of Oakland and his 40 years of expertise.

It is the Board’s job to set policy and the CEO’s job to set the budjet to fulfill the policy.

The staff has made recommendations to retain Mr. Lacy as Maritime Director but some Board members are not in agreement. We are one of only 11 deepwater ports on the West Coast and need to retain the Maritime Director’s services so that we are positioned to take advantage of the turnaround in the economy.

Mr. Lacy was hired to explore markets and to promote commerce and shipping for Humboldt Bay and the surrounding area. This is the mandate set by the State of CA when the legislature created the Harbor District as an independent State Agency.

Attached is the staff report about the Maritime Director issue.

Per Staff report:

The proposed action under this agenda item appears to be for this fiscal year only. Mr. Lacy’s employment agreement includes a 30-day notice provision thus approving this action saves the District approximately one-month of salary and benefits in the current fiscal year.

From Staff’s position, the cons to this proposed action considerably outweigh any potential salary savings. As noted above, in the short ~1.5 years that Mr. Lacy has been employed at the District, he has been extremely valuable and proactive to the District’s harbor mission. He has been successful in “getting the word out” that the Port of Humboldt Bay exists and the great potential it could have in a world-wide marine transportation system. In staff’s opinion, the Director of Maritime Commerce position is the only position within the District that is solely dedicated to developing long-term sustainable income for the District and the retention and creation of harbor-related jobs for the community. Without this position, the ability to pursue those opportunities in a consistent and efficient manner will be lost.

Recommendation: Staff recommends denial of the proposed action to end funding for the position of Director of Maritime Commerce effective May 25, 2009.

A revitalized harbor portion of Humboldt Bay is consistent with the District’s statutory purpose as enacted by the State of California, the policies of the Humboldt Bay Management Plan and the objectives of the District’s current five-year strategic plan. Revitalizing the harbor takes a consistent, well-known and knowledgeable voice to be taken seriously in these economic times. Mr. Lacy is that voice. From Staff’s perspective, terminating this position terminates the District’s port and port facility marketing efforts further exacerbating the economic impacts to the District and local economy from the current global economic crisis. As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day; Humboldt Bay’s harbor revitalization should not be expected to either.

Fiscal Impact: The proposed action saves the District approximately $10,000 in payroll and payroll benefits for FY 2008/09. The proposed action also creates the loss of unknown, but potentially significant and long-term, income to the District and local maritime industry through termination of District-led port marketing efforts.

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March 3, 2009, 6:53 am
Filed under: humboldt, port, railroad, ship

Wednesday  March 4,  2009
12 noon Samoa Cookhouse
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

This month I invited David Hull to join us again this month to discuss the
NOP (Notice of Preparation) of the Draft Environmental Impact Report –
Redwood Marine Terminal Multipurpose Terminal Modernization / Long-term
Expansion Project for Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation & Conservation
District which was released on Feb.10 and review period ends on March
So we will have to hurry if we want to send in any comments.  Dave sent me
the Preliminary Project Description, the web site is
Details a number of potential uses of the Phase I Project.

I’ll leave most of these explanations to David.
Phase I – Multipurpose Berth Component:  Of the elements listed, the one
that got my attention first is the negotiations with the Timber Heritage
Association on the use of the properties in the vicinity of the Samoa
Phase II – Long Term Development Component:  Includes a coordinated
development strategy with the State agency that manages the rail corridor.
And Develop and Implement a marketing plan for major terminal development
and for discussions with shipping lines, terminal operators, shippers of
cargo, and major nationl railroads.
Three Maps, Figures 1,2,3, very colorful but hard to read the fine print.
I’m hoping David will bring along larger ones.

NCRA: will be here in Eureka on 2nd wed. March 11.  I’m not sure of the
meeting location yet.  Nothing further to report this time, but it would
be good to have a good attendance at their meeting.  We need to let the
powers that be know that there is very good support for bringing back our
railroad, and a multitude of very good reasons why!  In the web site for
this support last August 20, put on by RAPIT is at I’m thinking of having our NewsLetters added to
that web site as well.

My longest term civic organization Humboldt County League of Women Voters
is currently reviewing some of our longest term Positions, including
Transportation.  At a recent meeting I took along some Talking Points I
got from Mitch Stogner, CEO,NCRA, early last year: Why we need Rail up
Good for the environment – greenhouse gas emissions from trains are 80%
less than hauling by truck:
Good energy policy – 1 gallon of diesel will move 1 ton of merchandize
over 400 miles, and 1 rail car takes 4 big rigs off the highway;
Good for the local economy – lumber products, building materials, feed
grains, wine etc. are all less expensive to ship by rail.
I also took some of the multitude of pro regarding on why we need to bring
back the Railroad,  and the Rails/Trails issue that I have shared with you
all in these NewsLetters and which I won’t go into in any detail here.

RAPIT – Bill Bertain, union reps.  I’m hoping to have some of these folks
with us this time, to update on our recent activities.  Held a very well
attended Forum last august 20, at the Wharfinger, with several vastly
knowledgeble speakers.

HEADWATERS Fall-Winter 2008 Journal of Friends of the EEL River – Some
good news for some of us long term environmentalists.  This is the 40th
Birthday of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  That was one of our
early victories, thanks to Sen. Peter Behr, and if I’m remembering
correctly, it was signed by Pres. Reagan.  I tried to find some extra
copies of it to bring on Wednesday.  I imagine it is on their web site.
There is more of interest in this one and I didn’t find any jabs at the

AIR QUALITY  I got a notice last week that the AQ Mgmt Bd. is holding a
hearing on the effects of deisel vehicles/specifically trucks at the end
of March. I’ll bring more on this at our meeting.  I need to contact them
hopefully before Wed and I’ll bring more info.

That’s all for this time.
Kaye Strickland


Moss Bittner North Coast Railroad Presentation video
August 26, 2008, 6:43 am
Filed under: railroad

Moss Bittner North Coast Railroad Presentation video, with photos of the right of way, of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad (NWP) ran by the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA). You will notice that not all the right of way needs to be fixed, there is bad spots, and bad tunnels. Certainly not a billion, or more to get it running.

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The World: Rail closure boosts diesel use
August 25, 2008, 7:09 am
Filed under: port, railroad

By Alexander Rich, Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 | 1 comment(s)

A load of finished lumber heads out of Southport Lumber crossing the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad tracks on TransPacific Lane on Friday. Without rail service, Southport and many other mills are shipping their products to markets via semi-trucks on highways, leading to increased use of diesel fuel and truck traffic on U.S. Highway 101. -World Photo by Lou Sennick

Commentors lining up for rail line hearing
Opponents of the Coos Bay rail line abandonment have said the loss of rail service hurts local business. Less concern has been expressed about the waterways and animal habitats that could be damaged if the rail line is salvaged for scrap.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board wants to change that. Over the next four weeks, it is accepting comments about the current and potential environmental damages caused by the rail line abandonment.

The STB released a preliminary environmental review Friday, which found some potential adverse impacts, though nothing serious enough to warrant greater inspection.

Increased truck traffic is the principal concern.

With the loss of rail, most South Coast companies are sending products inland on semi-trucks. STB staffers estimate that at least 150 more trucks travel the highway each day, about 4 percent of existing traffic on U.S. Highway 101.

The shift from rail to trucks also is increasing the use of diesel fuel, according to the report prepared by the STB’s Section of Environmental Analysis.

“Based on the preliminary analysis, SEA has determined that there would be some minor adverse impacts on air quality as a result of the increased truck traffic,” it said.

The figures rely on several assumptions and statistics provided by Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad. During its last full year of operation, CORP moved 4,773 railcars over the Coos Bay line, using about 305,000 gallons of diesel, the report said.

Assuming one railcar carries the same load as four trucks and all rail traffic switched to trucks, the proposed abandonment would force business to make about 38,000 trips, 19,000 to Eugene and 19,000 back, the report said. CORP estimated these trucks would burn through 832,868 gallons of diesel. The 527,868-gallon difference constitutes about a 9.7 percent increase in the amount of diesel fuel consumed annually by motor carriers in Oregon, the report said.

The STB is less concerned about environmental damage caused by the salvaging of railroad ties and rails.

“SEA does not believe that salvage activities would cause significant environmental impacts,” it said.

SEA chief Victoria Rutson said the negative impacts from the abandonment were not considered significant enough to warrant a more thorough review involving scoping meetings. She said that process would have been warranted if there were environmental impacts that couldn’t be mitigated.

The public has 30 days to comment on the environmental review. SEA staff will review those comments and produce a second document with recommendations for the STB to consider when it makes its final ruling. A decision is expected Oct. 31.

If the STB approves the abandonment, CORP will be able to remove rails and ties along the 94 miles it currently owns. There is no deadline by which time the railroad must complete its salvage work, said Christa Dean, the staffer who prepared the environmental assessment.

The proposed abandonment includes 94 miles of rail, including 17 public road crossings and 77 private road crossings. Service along the track was halted in September 2007 after CORP declared three tunnels unsafe. Since then, no trains have gone along the CORP’s line, nor have any traveled on the line it leases connecting Coos Bay and Coquille.

According to the report, CORP does not plan to remove the bridges on the line and does not expect to dredge or use fill in removing the track.

Martin Callery, director of communications and freight mobility for the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, said CORP may not plan to remove the bridges, but it may be required to do so by the U.S. Coast Guard. He said several rail bridges may be considered a public nuisance if the line it serves is abandoned. If CORP is required to pull out bridges, Callery said the port has concerns that environmental damage could occur to the Umpqua River basin.

Should the Coos Bay rail bridge be declared a public nuisance, Callery said the port would not have to pay for its removal, even though it owns it. When the port purchased the span from the Union Pacific, the contract required the railroad company to pay for a mandated bridge removal, Callery said.

Capt. Bill Devereaux, chief of the prevention division of Coast Guard District 13, could not speak specifically about bridges along the Coos Bay line, though he said Callery was right.

Bridges spanning navigable waterways must be permitted for the traffic that crosses it. Should the traffic stop, then the permit is nullified. The Coast Guard will give bridge owners leeway if they are trying to sell the bridge to another owner, but otherwise they are asked to take it out.

“If the traffic stops for any reason, then the bridge is supposed to be removed,” Devereaux said.

The SEA makes no mention of the Coast Guard’s requirements in its report. Instead, it recommends that the railroad consult with other government agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, before proceeding with salvage work if the STB approves abandonment.

(Staff Writer Alexander Rich covers the Port of Coos Bay for The World. He can be reached by calling 269-1222, ext. 234; or by e-mailing to

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Video and Audio posted of Wednesday’s Forum
August 24, 2008, 9:02 am
Filed under: forum, humboldt, port, railroad, ship | Tags: ,


Audio: MP3 format

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Eureka Reporter Article: Community forum focuses on harbor development
August 21, 2008, 6:02 am
Filed under: forum, humboldt, port, railroad, ship | Tags:

By CERENA JOHNSON, The Eureka Reporter
Published: Aug 20 2008, 11:27 PM · Updated: Aug 20 2008, 11:31 PM
Category: Local News
Topic: Humboldt Bay

With the end of the comment period on the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation, and Conservation District’s Redwood Marine Terminal draft business plan just one week away, local groups are continuing to weigh the pros and cons of the project.

The Humboldt County Rail and Port Infrastructure Taskforce held a forum in the Wharfinger Building Wednesday night to highlight issues related to developing the port.

Panel speakers included representatives from the harbor district, Goldman Sachs, Ports America, Pasha Group, and the local oyster industry, as well as a former North Coast Railroad Authority executive director.

“We are in need of good jobs with benefits,” said Bill Bertain of RAPIT. “We’re talking about doing a green port and a green railroad, and it can be done,” he said.

The proposed marine terminal plan proposes construction of a multipurpose berth designed to accommodate cruise ships, cargo shipping, historical attractions and aquaculture, with long-term expansion requiring private investment and operation of the railroad.

Goldman Sachs has proposed to act as the district’s financial advisor to attract private funds for the project, though negotiations are ongoing.

“Our goal is to serve the district in whatever function the district desires,” said Eric Zampol, Goldman Sachs associate with the firm’s public sector and infrastructure banking group.

In developing a terminal, Zampol drew a parallel to the port of Prince Rupert in Canada, with a population of less than 5,000 residents, to serve as a gateway for goods shipment.

Dan Hauser, who formerly served on the Arcata City Council, and as executive director of the NCRA and general manager of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, addressed what he said were a number of “myths” regarding the closure of the railroad through the Eel River Canyon, including closure due to geologic conditions.

“That is absolute bunk,” he said. “There was nowhere to go when the south end was closed down,” he said, due to flooding and washouts, and said restoring the railroad would be more cost-effective than constructing an alternative line, and would not require the NCRA to make a profit.

“We’re very interested in seeing what can be done here,” said Glenn Yamaguchi, executive vice president of the Pasha Group.

Once the harbor district closes public comment, TranSystems will review the comments on the business plan and revise the plan, after which the district will consider it for adoption, and will then initiate the California Environmental Quality Act process, Hull said.

(Cerena Johnson can be reached at, or at 707-269-7440).

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Additional info on meeting tonight 5:30PM
August 20, 2008, 7:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Port Revitalization Forum
Wednesday, August 20 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Wharfinger Building, 1 Marina Way, Eureka

Join us at a forum at the Wharfinger Building tomorrow, Wednesday August 20,
starting at 5:30 to discuss the revitalization of the Humboldt Bay Harbor.
The goal is to develop good paying jobs with benefits and commerce for our
area while modernizing our transportation infrastructure. It is crucial that
the revitalization of the Harbor be done in a way that does not harm the
recreation and conservation responsibilities that are also part of the
Harbor District’s mandate.

RAPIT is sponsoring the forum. RAPIT is an ad hoc and non-partisan volunteer
group of Humboldt County citizens that came together to explore options for
the return of rail service and the revitalization of the Port of Humboldt

We want your community advice and input. There will opportunities for you to
contribute to the dialogue.

It is very important that a much wider spectrum of our citizens be heard
than the very limited and vocal groups that have contributed to these issues
up to now. There will be a green mail-in card available that you can sign
and submit by mail or hand in at the forum. You can also submit your
comments via e-mail to the Harbor District at

Your ideas and concerns are important. RAPIT wants to hear from everyone who
has an interest in our harbor, in its future, and in the protection of
Humboldt Bay as an invaluable resource for us and for generations to come.
Many community members believe that a revitalized port and a stabilized
economy that is not solely resource based is possible without sacrificing
the quality of life that north coast residents cherish. Come and make sure
your voice is among those that get a proper hearing.

Please attend, today Wednesday Aug. 20, at 5:30 at the Wharfinger Building
in Eureka

·    Dave Hull, CEO of the Harbor Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation
·    Tom Creamer from APL Ports of America (operator of port facilities
world-wide and part of AIG)
·    Glen Yamagucci, who is a legal counsel for an international shipping
·    Greg Dale, Coast Oyster Co.
·    Ted Kuiper, Kuiper Mariculture
·    Lee Sandahl, Legislative Representative for the ILWU (Longshoremen’s
Union), will answer questions regarding the political environment
surrounding port investment and job opportunities associated with an active
·    Eric S. Zampol, Investment Banking Division – Public Sector and
Infrastructure Banking, Goldman Sachs.
·    Dan Hauser
, former CEO of the North Coast Rail Authority, member of the
Arcata City Council, Arcata City manager and Northcoast Assemblyman will
review the rail history and potential for our area.
·    John Frederick, Former District 3 Harbor Commissioner

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