Hi Friends,

Coal interests are moving to seize the North Coast Railroad Authority’s rail line in a scheme to ship coal to Asia out of Humboldt Bay. Such an operation would present profound threats to public health and to North Coast ecosystems, especially Humboldt Bay and the Eel River. Nor can the Earth’s atmosphere absorb the carbon from burning that coal without further catastrophic impacts, from the drought and wildfires we see around us to the sea level rise that will soon drown what remains of the rail line.

Friends of the Eel River, Humboldt Baykeeper, EPIC, the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities, Northcoast Environmental Center, and the Humboldt Trails Council will do everything in our power to prevent the nightmare of a coal train from coming true. 

Please join us in demanding our local, state, and national representatives use every possible means to stop the coal train. We need your support on two actions.

First, tell the Surface Transportation Board to proceed with railbanking.

Second, tell the Humboldt Bay Harbor District to protect Humboldt Bay by passing an ordinance to prohibit or impede coal export facilities within their jurisdiction. 

For the trails,

Karen Underwood

Click here to take action!  

Individual Comments to the Surface Transportation Board

We need your help to convince the Surface Transportation Board to complete the North Coast Railroad Authority’s railbanking process. With this process complete we can help protect our region from the threat of coal trains running along the Eel River canyon, and move forward with developing the Great Redwood Trail. 

If you would like to make individualized comments to the Surface Transportation Board by September 14, please follow the below instructions and suggested talking points.


  • Click here to file your comment with the STB
  • Click on environmental comments
  • Click on yes for whether you know your docket, then put in AB 1305 0  X
  • Fill out the fields and attach (pdf or word) the letter. The name of the file cannot have any spaces in it, just underscores or hyphens, i.e. NCRA_Railbanking_Support_Letter or something like that.
Talking points

The STB is only able to focus on whether or not a rail proposal is financially viable. 

  • There is enormous public support for railbanking and the proposed Great Redwood Trail. But neither the North Coast public nor the Eel River Canyon’s geology will support the unprecedented levels of freight rail traffic that would be required to finance reconstruction and maintenance of a railroad from Willits to Humboldt Bay.
  • Emphasize the predictable geological instability of the Eel River Canyon, and the flooding of the tracks that has occurred around Humboldt Bay.
  • The Eel River Canyon is in a highly combustible area.
  • Coal Train accidents can and do happen.
    • There was a coal train accident in 2018 that spilled 4600 tons of coal some of which went into the Yellowstone River.
    • Coal has the propensity for spontaneous combustion. In a 2017 coal train accident in Montana there was coal smoldering a month after the crash along the Clark Fork River.

Home of the Volunteer Trail Stewards

Miles of new trails are being added in Humboldt County–join the volunteer teams helping make our local trails safer and better maintained. Read about volunteer opportunities here

Check out the Calendar below for upcoming volunteer opportunities!

Please watch our 10 minute video about the VTS here.