Friday, April 20, 2007

News on Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Fraud. Update On Chap. 11 Proceedings.

The former head of the California Dept. of Forestry is accusing Pacific Lumber and Maxxam CEO Charles Hurwitz of fraud.

"Pacific Lumber also offered a plan that would allow it to cut a certain amount of lumber each year without degrading the quality of its forests. But, the suit alleges, that plan relied on an intentionally flawed computer model that exaggerated the rate at which the company's forests would be regenerated after cutting." SF Chronicle

Read more at Humboldt Herald.

Judge says Pacific Lumber bankruptcy to stay in Texas despite wide opposition.

Google Earth On Mattole Wildlands Blog- See Mattole Oldgrowth and the proposed Bear River Windmills.

Now on the Mattole Wildlands Defense blog you can download KML/KMZ files for viewing on Google Earth and Google Maps. Look in the left column for files.

Of particular interest to many in Humboldt is a KMZ showing the locations of the windmills proposed by local ranchers and Shell WindEnergy on Bear River Ridge. Above is a screenshot from google earth showing the windmill sites.

Another new feature on the blog is an interactive map from google maps that is centered on Long Ridge in the North Fork Mattole. Though centered in the Mattole you can use this map to view any location on earth at varying scales from a single tree to an entire continent.

Also provided are points of interest on the North Fork Mattole River where Pacific Lumber is planning to log more of the remaining 2,000 acres of Oldgrowth forest. In order to accomplish this they first need to weaken the legal protections for streams. They are working on this through what they call a "watershed analysis" where there are collecting data in the hopes that they can show that its safe to log closer to creeks than has been allowed. This document may be published this summer but its already been way over a year since thier first projected completion of the document.

If they do this it will further damage the already impaired Mattole River and threaten the drastically reduced salmon populations. Additionally it could mean carcinogenic herbicide wil be sprayed closer to creeks than previously. What they will actually try and get away with we have to wait and see when they publish their "watershed analysis".

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Update: Forest Activist Sues Sac County for Abuse While In Jail

reposted from indybay

The civil trial of JulieAnne Shull vs. the County of Sacramento goes into its final stages tomorrow (Wednesday, April 18) as both sides present their closing arguments and the jury begins its deliberations.

The suit revolves around an incident that occured Feburary 4, 2004, when JulieAnne was illegally arrested for videotaping a demonstration that was occuring on the Capitol lawn. She was taken to the Sacramento County Jail, where whe was stripped to nearly naked, thrown against a wall by two Sheriff's deputies, and had her arm wrenched behind her back causing permanent injury. Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies then held her in jail for four days, approximately 102 hours. All charges were eventually dropped. JulieAnne is suing the Sacramento County Jail and Sheriff's deputies Rebecca Purdy and Jennifer Page for Excessive Use of Force, interfering with her First Ammendment right to Freedom of Expression, and for Unnecessary Delay in releasing her from custody.

The jail staff and deputies continue to suffer from collective amnesia, and their case relies on a falsified incident report created by one of the deputies that assaulted JulieAnne. Their best excuse is that JulieAnne "had a bad attitude." Though JulieAnne denies having a "bad attitude," she contends that her first ammendment rights didn't end when she was arrested. The most telling testimony of the trial came when Deputy Rebecca Purdy (who was wearing spike heals and blue eyeshadow) said as an explanation of her actions "People think they're better than me."

Please come to the Sacramento County Courthouse, department 45 on the sixth floor, to hear closing arguments and to show your opposition for the use of force on nonviolent demonstrators and to show your support for our Constitutional Rights.

Closing Arguments to Begin Wednesday in JulieAnne Shull v. Sacramento Civil Rights Case
by Willie
Wednesday Apr 18th, 2007 1:58 AM

The closing arguments in the Shull v. Sacramento County et. al. case have been tentatively postponed until 1:30 Wednesday, April 18. In an unexpected act of good faith and cooperativeness, the judge has reversed herself and allowed testmony as to whether JulieAnne was held for an unnecessarily long time before being taken before a judge. This could be a ground-breaking decision by the court.
The 1:30 start time of closing arguments is contingent on the culmination of the testimony of a witness being recalled by the defense in light of the judge's new rulings. Please attend the closing arguments and help to send a message to the defense as well as to the jury that these civil rights violations will not be tolerated by the community.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Forests Edge

"I’ve walked the clear-cuts. I helped make some of them. I know what’s left when the machines and men leave. Everything is destroyed, young trees are broken, and shrubs and smaller plants are crushed by the falling timber and grinding tractor pads. The earth is overturned and the acidic soil beloved of conifers is left bare to be washed away by the rains into the streams where it gluts the water, killing the fish and the smaller aquatic life the fish feed upon."

excerpted from a writing by Patrick Lane

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Surveys Required In 94 Acres Of Oldgrowth Already Approved For Logging

Wildlife surveyors working for the proposed Shell wind energy project have recently been looking for Marbeld Murrelets in the Bear River ridge area of Cape Mendocino, north of Petrolia, Ca. To do this they use portable radars. They found many more Murrelets at the mouth of Bear River than had been reported in 1994 after widespread audio/visual (AV) surveys at that time. Apparently Sierrra Pacific Industries was relying on these same surveys from 1994 to claim that there where no Murrelets using the forests in Davis Creek where much of thier "Windmill" logging plan is located.

The Department of Fish and Game now says that 87 acres of forest needs to be surveyed for Marbled Murrelets who are rapidly approaching extinction due to loss of habitat and food. These stands are in logging units numbered 08-88 and 08-90.

7 acres needs surveying of a Golden Eagle nest that has already been located. Unit number 08-91.

This plan has already been approved for logging and operations are currently underway. Will SPI go ahead and log, or will they wait the usual 2 years that are required for the Murrelet surveys to be completed?

We shall see...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Forest Activist Sues Sac County for Abuse While In Jail

reposted from Indybay

Trial in Sacramento for Abuse and Unlawful Arrest During Tree Demo in Feb. '04

by vervain

Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 9:30 PM

On Tuesday, April 10, the trial of JulieAnne Shull v. County of Sacramento picked a jury.

On Tuesday, April 10, the trial of JulieAnne Shull v. County of Sacramento picked a jury. The trial will continue with opening arguments beginning at 9am on April 11, 2007.

On February 5, 2004, JulieAnne was unlawfully arrested while videotaping a demonstration on the lawn outside outside the capitol building in Sacramento. The demonstrator had climbed a tree and attempted to hang a banner in support of SB 754, the "Heritage Tree Preservation Act".

JulieAnne was arrested and charged with felony conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor. Though all charges were eventually dropped "in the interest of justice" (according to the DA), JulieAnne spent almost 5 days in the Sacramento County Jail.

While incarcerated, she was strip-searched, assaulted by Sacramento County Sherriff's Deputies Jennifer Page and Rebecca Purdy causing a permanent shoulder injury, and denied a vegan diet.

The trial will continue at the Sacramento Superior courthouse in Sacramento on Wednesday, April 11 in Dept 45. Come to show solidarity and to ensure that the Sacramento County Jail does not continue to get away with such abuses.

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