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Protest Jan. 25th for the Mattole forests
by earth films
Tuesday Jan 23rd, 2001 8:28 PM
An event to call attention to the situation on Rainbow Ridge in
the Mattole Valley will take place at the California Department of
Forestry (CDF) Offices in Fortuna on Thursday, January 25th.
megamarkedtrees.jpg
An event to call attention to the situation on Rainbow Ridge in
the Mattole Valley will take place at the California Department of
Forestry (CDF) Offices in Fortuna on Thursday, January 25th. Pacific
Lumber Company (PL) owns thousands of acres of forest and range land
in that remote area, including nearly 3,000 acres of old growth
Douglas fir, one of the last significant stands of its kind in the
Pacific Northwest that is still in private hands. Currently, there
are five Timber Harvest Plans approved by CDF for PL holdings in the
area. Three more are still in the review process.

Trouble erupted last fall when PL's effort to commence logging on
one of these Timber Harvest Plans was met with resistance from Mattole
residents and others. A number of young people calling themselves the
Mattole Forest Defenders mounted a campaign in the woods to slow down
or stop the logging. At the same time, groups of older Mattole
residents, averaging 50 years in age, established early morning
blockades on the roads leading into the logging area. It was only
through the extensive interventions of the Humboldt County
Sherriffs' Department that any logging was accomplished. The logging
still caused such danger to the activists in the woods that the
Humboldt County Human Rights Commission became involved.

CDF is the lead agency in reviewing and approving Timber Harvest
Plans. The l999 Headwaters Agreement paid PL for the sale of several
thousand acres of old growth redwood forest to the public. In return,
the company received a large sum of money and promise of approval for
their Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) which permitted logging
throughout the rest of their holdings.

According to Jane Lapiner of Petrolia, a spokesperson for the
Fortuna event, the Agreement and the HCP left almost all the old
growth forests on the rest of PL's lands available for clearcut
harvest. "Out in the Mattole", Ms. Lapiner said, "we feel like
orphans of the Headwaters Agreement which no one here ever took part
in." "There is no way". Ms. Lapiner went on, "that clearcutting in
these last remaining stands of old growth is sustainable in anyone's
interpretation".

Another spokesperson, Robie Tenorio of Ettersburg said that the
event organizers are calling for CDF "to issue a moratorium on
approving old growth logging plans in the Mattole." Ms. Tenorio
suggested that a broad-based effort has been launched which has
produced an offer to buy PL's lands in the Mattole for both protection
of old growth and sustainable harvesting on previously logged lands.
"We'd like for PL to be willing to hold back from further logging on
and around Rainbow while the attempt is made to negotiate a sale", she
concluded.

The event will take place in front of CDF's offices at 118 Fortuna
Boulevard in Fortuna at 9:00 am on the 25th. CDF may be conducting a
final review at that time of additional timber harvest plans for the
Rainbow area that Pacific Lumber company has submitted.

For Further Information, call 707 986 7787 or 707 629 3670

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