9 Days Or Less Until Logging Starts In Freshwater and Elk River
This past Friday Maxxam/Pacific Lumber notified the California Department of Forestry (CDF) that they will begin cutting two logging plans, one in Freshwater ("Upper McCready" 1-04-001) and one in Elk River ("Turkeyfoot 1-00-259").
The "Turkeyfoot" logging plan may still contain scattered patches of "Residual Old Growth", these are stands of ancient forest that were partially harvested in the past but still contain varying amounts of old growth trees. Since the plan was partially logged before operations were halted the big trees might have already been cut.
There are other logging plans in Elk River that target Residual Old Growth Redwoods. There are larger Residual Old Growth stands in "Below15 Thin" 1-02-005 and "Second Serving" 1-05-079.
PL will undoubtedly try and cherry-pick the old growth from these logging plans as fast as possible and not neccesarily cut everything given the current restrictions on acres per year (a maximum of 380 acres per year in Elk River down from the previous limit of 600).
This will be the first time that PL has been allowed to cut trees in these neighboring watersheds since June 16 2005.
Logging was stopped because PL stalled the process for creating special waste discharge permits which would address the high levels of dirt and mud deposited in these watercourses from excessive recent and historical logging.
Clearcutting and roadbuilding increased the runoff during rainstorms and the stream channels were choked with mud causing abnormal flooding during normal storms. In the first few months of 2005 the company's logging was slightly restricted and by June of that year all logging in Freshwater and Elk River was completely halted by lawsuits brought by conservation groups.