We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as it’s other creatures do.” – Barbara Ward

It is easy to forget our influential role in our ecosystems. Ecosystems are composed of living and non-living entities, and can be massive (on the scale of a solar system) or tiny (one drop of water). Northern Nights exists in a diverse ecosystem that ranges from Redwoods to rocks to endangered salmon. Bald eagles often appear, as do river otters, and the occasional hippy. The Cooks Valley ecosystem is not only diverse, but also sensitive to disturbance.

South Fork Eel

Running through the campground is the South Fork Eel River, draining fresh water through steep and rugged forested canyons before finally meeting the Pacific Ocean 65 miles to the northwest. The Eel River Watershed is the third largest in California and is of utmost importance, not just to the wild animal and plant communities, but also to humans across the state.


  • TAC Strange but true! Improper wipeage of nether-regions leads to contamination of the river. Northern Nights has a solution; the TRACELESS A$$ CAMPAIGN (TAC). It’s laughable, but a good laugh makes it memorable and this message is important to remember.
  • Pee Free The fish do it, but we’re people, not fish. Respect the natural ecosystem balance and DO NOT pee in the river. Restrooms are located conveniently nearby.
  • Don’t Leak Leaking fluids could end up in the river. Before leaving home, look under your car for leaks. If you suspect a leak but can’t get it fixed, bring a piece of cardboard to put under the vehicle to catch drips. All vehicles will be checked for leaks when entering the festival. If you know you have a leak, tell us!
  • Pack Your Trash Packing out your trash when you depart and and disposing of it appropriately off site is on of the most responsible actions you can take!
  • Eco Friendly Products Use biodegradable and eco-friendly products in the sinks and showers. Many brands are commercially available and inexpensive.



Northern Nights is honored to receive a Commended Award from UK based A Greener Festival. A Greener Festival is a non-profit company committed to helping music and arts events and festivals around the world adopt environmentally efficient practices. With only four US festivals receiving 2014 awards , we are extremely proud to shine in the company of BonnarooLIB, and Beloved.

Community minded

Northern Nights invests in the community. Current and past community partners include Eel River Recovery Project, Friends of the Eel River, Healthy Planet US, KMUD Community Radio, Leggett Valley Unified School District, Piercy Volunteer Fire Department, Salmonid Restoration Federation, Sanctuary Forest Land Trust, Southern Humboldt Community Park, and Southern Humboldt Schools Foundation.

“Boundaries don’t protect rivers, people do.” – Brad Arrowsmith

South Fork Eel River has supported mixed-use human activities for many generations and holds special historical and cultural significance for native Indian groups. The myriad uses of South Fork, including recreation, gravel extraction, agriculture, and music festivals, is possible only because each participating group implements sustainable actions to ensure the health and cleanliness of the river for everyone else.It is an honor to share with you this sacred bend along South Fork Eel River. Northern Nights is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the environment encompassed by Cook’s Valley Campground and Northern Nights Music Festival.