Saturday, November 24, 2007

John Campbell Scapegoating

Here we go again, John Campbell, former PL president, current Fortuna Mayor, and henchman to the Maxxam corporation is trying to blame environmentalists for Pacific Lumbers mismanagement. He's saying that somehow enviro's are to blame for the 120 layoffs at PL and that it's not due to a lack of trees. Well, since PL has not disclosed their current inventory of standing timber there's nothing to substanitiate that claim. But take a look at PL's own reorganization plan map.

They have logged the majority of the green on that map aside from the "Headwaters Forest Reserve" and the relatively narrow buffer strips next to the watercourses. They even partially logged the so-called "Ancient Redwood Groves" before setting them aside. The logging plans that they filed since 1984 cover just about all of PL property. The least-logged areas are Tanoak forests, Second growth and Oldgrowth Douglas Fir in the Mattole River and Bear River. Since I don't have a fancy GIS program like PL I can't produce a map to depict that but I'm hoping the numbers will come out in the bankruptcy proceedings soon.

The amount of timber left standing due to forest conservation sales pales in comparison to what has been logged already. If you consider that Hurwitz directed his lackeys like John Campbell to log most of PL land in the last 23 years and then look at what was left, it looks like they could have breezed through the remainder of valuable trees in another year or two tops. Then they still would have busted and had to layoff most workers for who knows how long until the next generation of trees were big enough to log.

I think that if there were no environmental regulations at all on their lands they still would have stripped the forest and now be unable to sustain the flow of logs neccessary to employ all those people.


At 12/05/2007 09:55:00 PM, Blogger Rose said...

When I was young clear cuts were the norm. Now they are small semblances of what they were.

Whatever the initial cause, timber companies are now more in the "management" business than they were back then, and many improvements have been made while restrictions have crossed the line into onerous.

I do think it will ultimately force the complete demise of the timber industry, since there is no recognition for what has been accomplished and no letting up in the ever advancing vise-grip that is regulation.

When is enough enough? I'm not intending to be contentious here - you have shown that you are a reasonable person and I am asking because I am truly curious what you think. When is it enough? Is there a line that can be crossed?

Watching the whole TPZ thing and being reminded that the taxation system used to force people to cut (and clear cut) every 40 years or so - it seems to me that never enters in to consideration when discussing Palco's past - from a saving the forest standpoint it seems to me we are way better off than we once were.

At 12/05/2007 11:32:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

By the time I was out of highschool there was only a tiny percentage of Oldgrowth Redwood Forest left and the salmon were nearly gone in every river I'd seen but the Klamath. I've worked in many places on the west coast to try and defend Old-Growth forests, especially Redwoods. I've taken part in tree-sits, road blockades etc. to try and stop a certain infamous logging company from cutting these trees.

On a few occasions activist lawsuits or environmental regulators have stopped the logging. Most of the time nothing could stop the logging of massive trees and amazingly complex and magnificent forests that will never be recovered in my lifetime or my childrens lifetime.

I'm not religious in my belief in regulations.

Take the situation in Elk River. If the California forest practice rules are so great then why all the flooding? Why does a court have to order Pacific Lumber to deliver drinking water to people who live next to a creek draining from their land? Where do you lay the blame? The company, the regulations or the regulators?

I'm not trying to be contentious either but how much environmental damage can we take? When is enough enough on that front?

I recognize the fact that the forests and streams would be way worse off without any protective regulations. But I see that adding regulations does not always equal more protection and can raise costs, which results in more logging.

I think we need to find more ways to reduce the cost of logging plan preparation while ensuring environmental protections that exceed Forest Practice Rules in protecting the environment. I think there should be a type of logging plan bracket where you can agree to a light method of logging and not have to pay as much for it.


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