One 10×15 print of Monument Fire Milky Way by David Feral will be available during the fire recovery auction. Credit: Humboldt Grace Fire Recovery Project.
One community in Northern California is on a mission to help those impacted by the California wildfires.
Last year, wildfires scorched more than 4.2 million acres across California, reports NBC News.
In regions of the Emerald Triangle, nearly 50% of cannabis farm were affected by fires, according to a press release from Humboldt Grace’s Fire Recovery Project.
The 2021 California wildfire season is an ongoing series of wildfires that have been burning across the state. The Dixie (Butte, Plumas, Tehama, Lassen, and Shasta), Caldor (El Dorado County), and Monument fires (Trinity County) — which all rank in the top 20 largest fires in state history — have burned more than 1.3 million acres. Altogether, wildfires have burned 2.5 million acres this year in California, according to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
As a result, the fires destroyed many homes and local businesses in the Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties).
The Emerald Triangle is the largest cannabis producing region in the U.S. At the end of August 2021, there were more than 7,000 state cultivation licenses and even more pending in California; however, nearly 3,000 of those came from the Emerald Triangle alone according to NBC News.
Humboldt Grace Fire Recovery Project
To help these communities rebuild, Humboldt Grace created the Fire Recovery Project in partnership with Synapsis, and the Ink People Center for The Arts. The goal of the project, according to its website, is “to distribute purchased vouchers from local building, agriculture supply, water supply, and emergency supply companies to 2021 fire victims that are landowners, homesteaders, small business owners, small farmers, and/or a local organizations in the Emerald Triangle.”
Humboldt Grace is a nonprofit community foundation in Humboldt County. The organization strives to empower communities — especially those impacted by the War on Drugs — to heal and thrive. For example, they do this by creating educational opportunities, social impact events, resources, and promotional opportunities.
The project aims to raise $50,000 to help cannabis businesses affected by the wildfires. To raise money for these efforts, the project’s partners will host an online community auction. The auction will include different items ranging from CBD products; a getaway at a farm in the heart of cannabis country or in Jamaica; to artwork made by local artists in Humboldt County.
Behind Humboldt Grace
Lelehnia DuBois, the founder of Humboldt Grace, told Emerald that she started Humboldt Grace in 2015 as a way to create a safe space for cannabis farmers in Humboldt County during the process of legalization. Additionally, DuBois wanted to cultivate a community of love and togetherness similar to the one she grew up in after noticing that legalization of cannabis didn’t necessarily result in a safe space for cannabis farmers and users.
“I wanted to share with the outside world the community values that I was raised with, and I wanted to remind my community of those values,” she said.
After the California wildfires devastated Northern California this last summer, DuBois helped create the Fire Recovery Project. She was inspired to raise money using an auction because when her mother died, her community held an art auction to raise money for her funeral, she explained.
The Online Auction
The auction opens on November 4th, and will end on December 15th.
Businesses or individuals that want to donate items for the auction can contact Humboldt Grace or visit their website. For those interested in bidding, they can register on the Fire Recovery Project site, and then download the Auctria app. After that, they can then turn on notifications to track the status of the items up for bid, as well as new items that will be added to the auction each week.
After the auction, the project’s partners will use the funds to purchase vouchers “from local building, agriculture supply, water supply, and emergency supply companies,” according to a press release about the project.
Those who the wildfires impacted can apply for the vouchers. The vouchers which will be available to those who qualify by January 2022.
To qualify, one must be a small business owner, an organization, a homesteader, a local farmer, or a land owner. Also, those who qualify will need to show how they will use the money to empower and positively benefit their community according to DuBois.
The Fire Recovery Auction is about making the whole community feel empowered and heard, not just cannabis farmers, says DuBois. DuBois emphasizes the need for community involvement which is why she encourages local artists and businesses to participate.