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Related Categories: North Coast | Environment & Forest Defense
Rally in the Redwoods July 16
by Karen
Thursday Jul 14th, 2016 10:09 PM
Agency Green-Lights Logging Plan in the Redwoods: Protest Rally July 16 on Gualala River.
On July 1, state regulators approved the 402-acre “Dogwood” timber harvest plan (THP) to log in the sensitive redwood forest floodplain along the lower Wild and Scenic Gualala River, to the river’s mouth. The redwood trees there, many a century old, are in recovery, regenerating after historical heavy industrial logging.
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The logging plan was filed by Gualala Redwood Timber (GRT), responsible for clearcut logging in the watershed on its over 30,000 acres of timberland.
California’s Forest Practice Rules were changed to expand protection of stream areas (known as Watercourse and Lake Protection Zones or WLPZ) from the devastating effects of logging and road building, and those rules should have triggered a rejection of this plan as written. In fact, skid roads (to haul logs out) are prohibited altogether in floodplains according to the state’s Forest Practice rules. But the approving agency, the Calif. Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) granted a special exception to the timber company, in effect denying protection due by law for the mature riparian forest.
GRT said they plan to start logging this summer—and soon.

Friends of Gualala River, Forests Unlimited and others plan a protest rally at 11 am this Saturday, July 16 at Gualala Point Reg. Park on the Sonoma County coast (about 2 ½ hrs north of San Rafael). See rally poster at http://gualalariver.org/forestry/floodplain-logging/rally-river-saturday-july-16-11am/

You can support the effort to protect this ecosystem and these trees by telling decision makers that making exceptions to rules specifically put in place to spare what is left of scarce redwood forests and floodplains defeats the rules themselves and serves only corporate profit, not the public interest or ecology.

Friends of Gualala River and Forests Unlimited have filed a notice of intent to sue to block this logging plan. They maintain that the plan violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Forest Practice Act, Board of Forestry regulations, and that it failed to assess significant impacts to forest wetlands, rare plants, archeological resources and special status species without due consideration of reasonable alternatives. CALFIRE is not only ignoring its own rules, but also turning a deaf ear to over 100 public comments, expert testimony, and a petition opposing the plan signed by 1600 residents. It is interesting to note that GRT’s forest manager is Henry Alden, who was timberlands manager for Maxxam/Pacific Lumber back in the days of the huge Headwaters Forest campaign when he argued for liquidating the ancient redwoods of Humboldt County to pay off Charles Hurwitz’s junk bond debts (see Headwaters Campaign History at http://headwaterspreserve.org/headwaters-forest-campaign-history/).