Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Quick Look What We're Facing

Some thoughts on those who wish to take over Pacific Lumber and the future of of the company post-bankruptcy.

The Contenders (skip if you've been paying attention)
In one corner we have Mendocino Redwoods, promising to keep the company intact and bring a higher standard of logging practices than we've seen with Maxxam/ Pacific Lumber. In the other corner we have the Noteholders, proposing to auction the company to the highest bidder. In the third corner we have Pacific Lumber, hoping to "unlock" the value of their land through subdivision and real estate development.

Old-Growth Logging?
Outside of a miracle, the latter two will almost certainly bring more political conflict in this area. MRC has the potential to bring resolution, but will they? One action that would go a long way towards this would be to categorically abandon or alter all of Pacific Lumbers current logging plans that include "even-aged management" i.e., clearcuts, seed tree removal etc. or Old-Growth logging. At a recent public presentation by MRC in Eureka, head forester Mike Jani said that they will change the "silviculture" of any logging plan that calls for even-aged logging to uneven-aged. He did not say what they would do about logging plans that were already approved that call for Old-Growth trees to be cut.

This is a major concern because Pacific Lumber has several Residual Old-Growth Redwood logging plans that are approved and continues to file more with the California Dept. of Forestry. Most of these plans are in three creek sheds Bear, Jordan and Stitz. The company cannot log here currently due to the severely damaging effects of erosion on water quality and Salmon habitat caused by irresponsible liquidation logging. The Water Quality Board has yet to issue "Waste Discharge Permits" for operations above these creeks. Logging plans in these areas have been backing up for several years and easily total over 1,000 acres. Not all of that is Old-Growth but most of it is even-aged management.

One contentious practice that MRC has said they will continue is the use of herbicides like "Imazapyr" to kill Tanoaks and other hardwoods in places where the oaks grew back rapidly after the land was clearcut.

More on these Old-Growth Redwood logging plans soon.

UPDATE: commenter "Bob" reports that, "(Head MRC Forester) Mike Jani said at the Red Lion town hall meeting that MRC would amend existing plans that called for old growth logging."


At 4/10/2008 01:58:00 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

Mike Jani said at the Red Lion town hall meeting that MRC would amend existing plans that called for old growth logging.

At 4/10/2008 05:16:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Thanks Bob, would be great if it happened.


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