Professional Background

My 44 years working in this community has given me experience and qualifications to effectively represent you as 5th district supervisor. I have worked in the fields of watershed management, land use planning, salmon restoration and trail building. My work in this community and the time I spent on the Blue Lake Planning Commission and the City Council have taught me the importance of listening to all sides and working together to find a balanced solution.


Masters Degree in Watershed Management, Humboldt State University  

B.S. Degree, Natural Resources, Humboldt State University                           


Executive Director, Mattole Salmon Group

Instructor of Forestry and Watershed Management, Humboldt State University

Lecturers Representative for the Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources

HSU Forestry Honor Society Member

Technical Adviser to the Trinidad Bay Watershed Council

California Licensed Landscape Contractor # 899205  

Regional Watershed Coordinator

Natural Resources Director, Redwood Community Action Agency

Member of the Board of Directors of the California Urban Creeks Council. 

Member of the Steering Committee of the Collaborative Learning Circle

President of the Board of the National Network of Forest Practitioners

Restorationist of the Year from the Salmonid Restoration Federation

Restoration Worker of the Year from the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment

Restoration Award from the Humboldt Chapter of the American Fisheries Society

Blue Lake City Council and Mayor Pro-Tem 

Blue Lake Planning Commission 

Police Liaison 

Eagle Scout, BSA                



While employed by Redwood Community Action Agency, Steve was involved in writing over 400 grants to restore watersheds, fisheries, forests, grasslands, and build trails.  These grants brought twenty million dollars for projects, mostly in Humboldt County but also in Del Norte, Mendocino, Trinity, and Siskiyou Counties.  The most well-known projects include the Hammond Trail, and fish habitat restoration efforts on the Mattole River, tributaries of Humboldt Bay, and the Lower Mad River.

Many watersheds which benefited from Steve’s grant-funded projects are showing improvement,  including the Mattole River, which had a return of over 4,000 adult Chinook Salmon in 2017/2018, the largest run in over 30 years. However, due to past and present land use practices, watershed impacts continue, and much work still needs to be done.

Natural Resources and Watersheds

As lead facilitator in the formation of the Trinidad Bay Watershed Council, Steve helped craft a watershed and bay protection action plan and write grants to remedy local water pollution problems. The plan successfully helped fix septic systems for low income households, reduced storm water runoff into the bay, and collaborated with Green Diamond Resource Company to fix legacy roads that were dumping sediment into the city water supply.

As a lecturer for Humboldt State University’s Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Steve has become popular and highly respected as a teacher with a “sense of fairness and ability to explain both sides of a debate”, and as a colleague for his “major role in…making valuable contributions to the evolution of the department”.

18 year Luffenholtz Watershed Defense

For 18 years, Steve led a neighborhood campaign for watershed-based land use planning in the Luffenholtz Creek watershed, Trinidad’s water supply. Threatened by large-scale piecemeal development with impacts to water quality and quantity in local tributaries, Steve organized the advocacy group, Friends of Westhaven and Trinidad. Steve offered his professional services, free of cost, to help develop a plan to minimize impacts to the environment and protect the community water supply. This plan also would have increased the developer’s return on investment. The developer refused, resulting in many years in court, including 3 trips to the State Appellate Court.  The issue was finally settled in a precedent-setting ruling which has become part of CEQA case law. In the end the project was improved, and the watershed and community are better protected.

Job Creation

A 2004 report by Mark Baker, PHD at HSU, found that the Humboldt County Watershed Restoration Industry was bringing in over $14 million dollars a year in grants, resulting in hundreds of jobs in Humboldt County paying living wages. New studies are being done showing even more funds in this industry and jobs being created. As a coordinator of the Emerald Creek Committee working on the expansion of Redwood National Park in the 1970’s, Steve helped write watershed restoration funding into the language of the park expansion legislation, helping to give birth to the watershed restoration industry in America. Steve has had a private For Profit Company in this industry from its inception, and continues to this day as the Executive Director of the non-profit Mattole Salmon Group.

Job Training

In the 1980’s. Steve was a Project Coordinator for RCAA’s Native American Training Program in natural resources management.  In partnership with local tribes, over 20 individuals completed the program, learning a wide of field assessment and work skills for employment in local industries.

Steve worked with all of the local tribes during the 1990's and 2000's to develop training programs and to help the tribes develop their own watershed and fisheries restoration programs. Steve continues to this day to offer technical assistance to the tribes.

In the 1990’s, under Steve’s management, RCAA organized a Displaced Woods and Mill Workers Training Program (Jobs in the Woods) leading to Ecosystem Management Technician (EMT) in coordination with College of the Redwoods.  Trainees gained a broad array of analysis, planning, implementation, and monitoring program skills in natural resources fields.

Steve worked with all of the local tribes during the 1990's and 2000's to develop training programs and to help the tribes develop their own watershed and fisheries restoration programs. Steve continues to this day to offer technical assistance to the tribes.

Steve went back to school to get his Masters at HSU in Watershed Management and graduated Cum Laude in 2011. He went on to teach in the Forestry and Wildland Resources Department as a Lecturer. He is well like by his students and fellow professors.

In 1976 Steve was hired to organize and run a summer recreation program at Trinidad School. Steve worked with members of the community to offer classes based on their personal expertise, hired several youth to help through the summer jobs CETA and NOVA programs. There were an average of 75 kids there very day and we did everything from arts and crafts to wilderness studies sea local nature hikes. The program was great success.


Steve's first trail project in 1983-84 was the Blue Lake Creek bridges and trails project, for which two bridges and a Safe Route to School for students were built. This was followed by Steve's efforts to oppose abandonment of the Annie and Marie RR and use the railbed for a regional trail, heralding the beginning of the Annie and Mary Trail. He was the only official to go on record opposing the abandonment and subsequent sale, which resulted in mismanagement, bankruptcy, and eventual re-ownership by the public.  Decades later we are once again looking at Rails to Trails.

Hammond Trail efforts officially started in 1986 with a State Coastal Conservancy grant to RCAA for an analysis of a new trail route after the old RR grade originally slated for the trail was eroded by the migrating Mad River.  Steve spent the following 20 years working with adjacent landowners, agencies, funding sources, and the community, planning and implementing the building of the Hammond Coastal Trail.

The Little River Trail is now gaining momentum as a connection between the Hammond Trail and prime destinations to the north. Steve has been a major coordinator in maintaining the drive to build a bridge and spur trails connecting the Hammond with Trinidad. Steve has volunteered extensive time and expertise to this for over 25 years, and helped initiate negotiations that led to the purchase of land by the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust with grants from the Coastal Conservancy and US Fish & Wildlife Service. The 15 acre property was appraised at $120,000 and Green Diamond accepted $90,000. This set the stage for additional spur trails off the Little River Trail into the forest and estuary.

In the early 1990’s RCAA staff began working on options for a Humboldt Bay Trail.  (Steve was asked by NCRA to assess the likelihood of renewing train traffic in the Eel River Canyon, and other preliminary work was completed including a report that became the foundation for the movement to create a Humboldt Bay Trail. Now in 2018 the first leg of the trail is complete and Eureka is rapidly finishing the entire waterfront trail. With the successful passage of State Legislation, the Great Redwood Trail Bill,  the vision of a regional trail network is becoming a reality.


I moved to Humboldt County in 1973, graduated from HSU with a BS Degree in Natural Resources in 1975, and received a MS Degree in Watershed Management in 2011. 

My amazing wife Oceana and I have been married for 33 years, and together we raised 4 children.  Through foster care, adoption, and birth we have been blessed with 16 beautiful grandchildren.

Community service has always been a focus of my life. Now that my children are grown, and I've gained enough experience to know what is realistic, and how to approach people and projects, I’d like to serve as your county supervisor.

Steve oceana and gd.jpg


PO Box 1185 Trinidad CA, 95570
(707) 499-2732