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Pacific Lumber Poised to Log Ancient Redwoods Adjacent to State Park

Logging plan boarders Humboldt Redwoods, Highway 101
Threatened giant redwood
Threatened giant redwood
Humboldt County, CA - Signs dotting Northern California's stretch of Highway 101 declare the scenic passage the "Redwood Highway," named for ancient redwoods that tower over its flanks. Passing through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which contains one of the largest remaining contiguous stands of ancient coast redwoods in the world, lengths of the famous thoroughfare are just a stone's throw to ancient forest owned by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber - redwoods they hope to cut down in the coming weeks.

The 65-acre Timber Harvest Plan (1-04-220 HUM) is habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet and contains many giant redwoods, including some over 10 feet in diameter. The plan, and its close proximity to the park, has drawn criticism from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), who sent a dissenting letter of Non-Concurrence to the California Department of Forestry (CDF). The denuded hillside would create a visual blight to passengers on Hwy 101, as well as those on Avenue of the Giants within the State Park. In this location, the "removal of residual old growth redwoods cannot be visually mitigated."

DPR also cited a "procedural oversight" in which they were excluded from an inspection that evaluated visual impacts of the harvest area. It was only through a personal communication with a CDF staff forester and related documents that DPR learned of the inspection.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park has suffered environmental damage in recent years, including giant redwoods that toppled when erosion from upstream logging undercut the banks of Bear Creek. Bear Creek lies just a quarter mile from the proposed harvest area.

The local branch of CDF has recommended the plan for approval, stating, "No significant unmitigated cumulative effects are likely to occur."

Further criticism of the logging plan came from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. After reviewing the proposed logging plan, and the "impaired condition of the water courses" in the plan area, the Water Board "determined that additional protection is warranted" to comply with water protection laws. CDF's "recommendation for plan approval does not provide adequate protection for the beneficial uses of water, the resource for which the Regional Water Board staff has the responsibility and expertise to protect."

Approval of the plan would expose visitors to Humboldt Redwoods State Park to the noise pollution of a full-scale industrial logging operation of ancient redwood forest. The explosive sound of a 1,500 year-old tree hitting the ground would damper a peaceful autumn hike through the woods. The resulting aftermath will severely affect both beauty and health of protected forest in the park.


Public comment period ends soon!

The deadline for public comment is midnight on November 5. Feel free to use and/or edit this sample letter below. Send public comments by snail mail or email.

California Department of Forestry
Attn: Forest Practice
135 Ridgeway Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA95401

THP 1-04-220 HUM

To who it may concern,

THP 04-220 must not be approved, as it will contribute significant adverse cumulative effects. The proposed mitigation in the THP is not sufficient to evaluate or meaningfully address these cumulative impacts.

The Eel River is severely impacted by previous harvest operations and is subsequently listed by the EPA as an impaired Watershed. The Eel River provides many beneficial uses that are protected with conservation laws. This protection must be upheld by the reviewing agencies, including CDF, that have a responsibility to asses potential damages to these beneficial uses.

Previously harvested plans adjacent to the proposed THP area will escalate the cumulative adverse impacts and would hinder the recovery of the already impaired watershed.

The THP proposes 3,400 feet of new road construction on a steep ridgeline that drains toward watercourses. This would only add to the already significant cumulative effects of sediment discharge into the Eel River.

According to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, this plan is not in compliance with the Basin Plan. It must be brought into compliance with these standards before approval can be considered.

This Plan is located in an already significantly impaired watershed where harvesting steep areas within close proximity of the riparian area is inappropriate. The sediment generated from such a plan will have a negative effect on water quality in general and will commit trespass of sediment damaging and degrading downstream property including Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

I do not agree with Fortuna CDF's recommendation for approval and the accompanying statement that "no significant unmitigated cumulative effects are likely to occur" as a result of this THP.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park protects one of the largest remaining contiguous stand of Old Growth Coast Redwoods and its preservation is valued by citizens the world wide. Execution of this THP will visually and environmentally degrade Humboldt Redwoods State Park, damages for which the park and is visitors will not be compensated. The benefits gained by the county from tourism will be diminished, and simultaneously the county would be stuck with the bill for any potential catastrophes (i.e. the Stafford landslide, only four miles Northwest of the proposed THP).

The proposed plan is of great concern due to its location on a steep (up to 100% slope) hillside that exhibits unstable geologic features above US Highway 101. The close proximity of the plan creates health and safety concerns for motorists traveling the highway below.

Please include this comment in the official file for THP 1-04-220 HUM.

Respectfully submitted,

homepage: homepage: http://www.contrast.org/treesit

Thank You 02.Nov.2004 13:11

forest lover

I just sent off a letter and an email. Thank you so much for letting me know about this. I urge anyone else who believes that forests are worth fighting for to do something. Even if you've never written a letter before, at least do that. I know, sometimes things feel so damn hopeless, we become paralyzed. I almost gave in to the paralysis just now when I read this article. It makes me so angry that they keep on chopping down the forests for private industry, and nothing we do seems to stop them. And then I remembered the sacrifices made by people like Mike D who went to jail for laying in front of the SUV driven by a timber baron who had just bid on Solo. And I remembered that Solo did not get cut (at least not yet) because of actions like that one. And I remembered the sacrifices made by people like Tre Arrow, who sat on a ledge for 11 days to stop the saws, and who is now in jail because the timber barons want to use him to set an example. And I remembered the sacrifices made by people like Horehound, who died to save Eagle. That forest is safe now. The very, very least I could do was to write a couple of letters. And so I have.

And honestly, I feel better now. Even in the midst of all our other struggles, the very least we can do is write this one letter. Please, if you are reading this now, please join me.

SUV's.... 02.Nov.2004 16:57

King Amdo

...haha...the thing about them (I had a landrover a british all terrain vehicle, not really a american style SUV motherfuck mastabation trip).... is that they are the ideal way of getting close to machines for many many happy hours of 'pixying'. (That's what we call sabatarge here in the UK). You can 'park up' hidden away places...whereever...in the middle of fields...etc etc...fire the fucker up at 3am and go to work.

The problem I discovered was that (as a reflection of my head trip)...the thing kept breaking down...With a brand new vehicle there would be no possibility of vehicle breakdown..thus no fear. Obviously one desn't want the vehicle to be located somewhere incriminating next morning!!!

Seriously it would be like that...because one enters magical shapeshift world by the blessing of the goddess with this work. You might ask me why be so lazy...why not walk to the machines?

Beacsue I am King Amdo, the universes number one pixy, reincarated Tibetan shamman King, and I'll do what the fuck I want.

Rememebr a pixy a day keeps the devil away.

Blessed be,

King Amdo.

By the way, you might be wondering FBI, why your british equivalents haven't busted me...and that's a good question. The goddess protects.

You and your country are fucked. I'm tired of saying it.


King Amdo.