Cobb on Maxxam
David Cobb wrote an interesting editorial about the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs & the Environment. Much of it is common knowledge to those who have followed these events over the years. Some of the information however is new to me. I wonder where he got the "only about 5,000 salmon left" figure.
Maxxam plundered the workers' pension funds and mismanaged timber stocks so badly that today there's almost no ancient growth left. Hillsides fall into rivers. Homes are flooded. And thanks largely to Maxxam's policy of clear-cuts, there are only about 5,000 salmon left, even fewer timber jobs, and virtually no commercial fishing opportunities.
I wouldn't necessarily say that Maxxam "mismanaged" the forest because it makes it seem like they were just being incompetent. In reality the goal was to log as much of the ancient forests as they could get away with. They've almost completed that goal.
Weve cut virtually all the oldgrowth we're allowed to cut. For many reasons, we dont want to be the only company left that cuts oldgrowth redwoods. It's one of the reasons we have people in our trees. The Company wants to be out of the oldgrowth cutting business ASAP, and weve been pretty effective.
- Jeff Barrett, Vice President of Scopac (Pacific Lumber's land owning branch) at the March 2003 Marbled Murrelet Science Review Panel meeting
Although they have cut most of their ancient forest holdings there are still some areas worth fighting for in Elk River, The Mattole River, Bear River, Bear Creek etc. Much of the remaining ancient groves are small and scattered across the landscape. In the Mattole however can be found over 2,000 acres of ancient Douglas Fir, Oak and Madrone forest. The company is currently working on a proposal to reduce stream protection in order to access large areas of the forest.
In Bear Creek and other nearby areas the problems with logging associated landslides and erosion on Pacific Lumber land are so intense that the Water Quality agency has stopped PL's logging there until there is a plan agreed upon by both sides to cleanup, minimize, and prevent (CMP) sediment discharge into the creeks.