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The Ray Collett Rare & Extraordinary Plants Lecture Series

The UCSC Arboretum invites the community to be inspired by our wonderfully diverse lecture series. From island conservation to plant evolution, from reptiles to pollinators, from Mexico to Australia and back to California – please join us.

All lectures are open to the public. Unless otherwise indicated, lectures are in the Arboretum's Horticulture II Building and start at 7:00pm, with a potluck beginning at 6pm. Arboretum members $5, non-members $10, UCSC students free.




November 2014
Greg King: Protecting the Wild and Scenic Smith River
Easter Lilies vs. Salmon: How Ornamental Plant Production Threatens California's Healthiest Fish Populations
Sunday, November 9, 2014—4:00pm
Award winning journalist Greg King presents his breathtaking photos of the Smith River, in the far northwestern corner of California, while discussing the threat of pesticides and other impacts to this last of the state's wild rivers.
The Smith River is the only major undammed river in California, and it is one of the cleanest and most beautiful rivers in the world. Scientists are relying on the Smith River to maintain healthy populations of salmon and steelhead in order to have viable wild stocks that can recolonize other California and Oregon streams into the future. Yet even on the Smith River salmonids face an uphill battle against a damaged lower reach, and against ongoing pesticide use on Easter lily farms that surround the Smith River estuary.

Greg King Biography:

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz (Politics, 1985) Greg King returned to his native Sonoma County and became a reporter for The Paper, a weekly newspaper in King's hometown of Guerneville. Among many other subjects, King covered timber politics, which earned him a 1986 Lincoln Steffens Investigative Journalism Award for exposing illegal logging practices by timber giant Louisiana Pacific Corp., and approval thereof by the California Department of Forestry. King's articles led to a lawsuit against LP, which eventually resulted in permanent protection of 10,000 acres of redwood forestland in western Sonoma County. King's timber investigations led him to Humboldt County, where, in 1986, he co-founded the movement to stop Maxxam’s Corp.'s planned liquidation of the last significant ancient redwood groves outside of parks. In early 1987 King discovered and named Headwaters Forest, then the largest remaining ancient redwood grove outside of parks. Headwaters was permanently protected in 1999. King’s family goes back five generations on the North Coast. During the 19th century the Kings owned one of Sonoma County’s largest redwood mills, the King-Starrett Mill in Monte Rio. The King Ranch in Sonoma County and the King Range Mountains in Humboldt County are named for his ancestors. In 1999 King founded the non-profit Smith River Project, dedicated to protecting California’s wildest river, and in 2004 he founded Siskiyou Land Conservancy, a land trust and advocacy organization that serves five counties in northwestern California. King is currently writing a book, The Ghost Forest, a history of the redwood ecosystem and redwood logging and protection efforts. His latest book, Rumors of Glory, the co-written memoir of Canadian rock star Bruce Cockburn, will be published by HarperOne on November 4, 2014.