It's unusual for blue whales to wash ashore, Joe Cordaro, a wildlife biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine fisheries service said.
Where others might see a multi-ton smelly mess, a Mendocino man sees black gold.
Once turned into rich humus, he'll donate an equivalent amount of compost to gardening programs for the children and elderly, neatly skirting the prohibition on profiting from trade in marine mammals.
So folks are madly butchering the beast until it is cut into small enough pieces to be lifted up the cliff from the edge of the sea.
The whale's 70-foot skeleton will still be buried, but only long enough for microorganisms to polish it to a high shine, and then will be put on display in Fort Bragg.
Jackson West figures that's going to be one hell of a lot of compost.