Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Future of Pacific Lumber?

The ER reports that PL has filed a reorganization plan. The article focused on the details of how PL says they plan to pay $750 million they owe to creditors [mainly banks and insurance groups] by selling aprox. 28,600 acres of company land at steep prices.

The article makes no mention of the hundreds of former PL employees who were laid of and recieved no severance pay.

The article says the plan would leave "181,000 acres of timberlands for sustained timber harvesting". Lacking from the article is any detail on Pacific Lumber/Scopac plans on sustaining a timber harvest.

From the artcle: A key feature identified in the plan is the consolidation of PALCO, SCOPAC and its subsidiaries under a new business model that will continue sawmill and forest operations, but at harvest levels significantly lower than current or historical rates.

Publicizing the harvest strategy will be key for the public to make its own judgement on the viability of the plan and the intentions of those who drafted it.

What the article does cover is how PL would subdivide and sell most of the Marbled Murrelet Conservation Areas. These are some of the groves of Headwaters Forest that were set aside for 50 years at the signing of the "Headwaters Agreement", not to be confused with the Headwaters Grove that is now under the charge of the federal Bureau of Land Management. This grove is marked on the map as "Headwaters Forest Reserve".

The company would charge $60,000 an acre for these stands. These conservation areas are under heavy environmental restrictions making it likely that only an entity with conservation in mind would consider purchasing these groves.

From the Eureka Reporter:
The second phase aims to raise an additional $780 million through the sale of 22,000 acres of lands the plan identifies as “Redwoods Ranch Development,” or individual 160-acre parcels to be marketed as “trophy” properties valued at approximately $5 million on average."

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