Thursday, May 15, 2008

Direct Action is a Factor in the Value of PL- Closing Arguments Tomorrow in Bankrutpcy

Tomorrow: Closing arguments in Pacific Lumbers bankruptcy case in Corpus Christi, Texas. The ruling that will set the future of the company in motion will follow next but know one knows exactly when.



On another note, the recent mention by a bankruptcy lawyer of the costs the company incurs due to lawsuits and protests had me thinking back. I recently visited a friend of mine from back in the Mattole Free State days of the early 2000's when numerous actions were taken to oppose the logging of 3,000 acres of Old growth Douglas Fir in the Mattole River Watershed. Much was logged but the resistance was stubborn and hard core and 2,000 acres of Old growth forest are still there. Many huge trees still bear the blue or day-glo orange stripes used to mark them for cutting.

I asked my friend to remind me of how much money Pacific Lumber claimed they had lost due to forest defense actions in the Mattole in their "SLAPP" lawsuit. He told me that it was over $100,000. He said that PL's chief financial officer testified that the true total loss due to the countless road blockades, forest occupation, tree-sits and lock downs was impossible to fully quantify because of the ripple effect down the production line.

The activists that took the lawsuit to trial ended up with no monetary punishment but an injunction against them making it more illegal to go onto PL land. I don't think PL won significant monetary claims against the others.

John Driscoll of the Times-Standard reported the following on May 1st-

Experts who determined growth rate, harvest schedules and values for Palco subsidiary Scotia Pacific laid out their reports, and defended them against a barrage of questions from attorneys. Lawyers for other parties suggested that their methods were uncertain and failed to take into account economic and cultural issues.

Ira Shields, an attorney for the noteholders, who are owed some $714 million, said that Scopac forest expert Don Reimer failed to assume that future regulations might affect harvest rates. Reimer also didn't account for environmental lawsuits and activism, Shields suggested.

”You got the tree huggers,” Shields said in a heavy southern drawl. “You got Julia Butterfly Hill.”


Hill spent two years in a redwood on Palco lands protesting its logging practices.

4 Comments:

At 5/19/2008 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

It is probably impossible to quantify - also - the amount of money that is lost by individuals who are prevented from working has the harshest toll. Truckers, loggers and other private contractors who are not on the company clock loose out big time when they are shut down, and the cost of wasted fuel (driving a log truck up into the Matole and then back with no logs) adds up quick. A large company can soak up some of that loss - but smaller entities have a much harder time bouncing back.

 
At 5/21/2008 08:46:00 AM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

Just becuase I thought it was interesting:

In all, St. Helens released an amount of energy equivalent to 27,000 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons and ejected more than 1 cubic mile (4 km³) of material.A quarter of that volume was fresh lava in the form of ash, pumice, and volcanic bombs while the rest was fragmented, older rock. The removal of the north side of the mountain (13% of the cone's volume) reduced St. Helens' height by about 1,313 feet (400 m) and left a crater 1 to 2 miles (2 to 3 km) wide and 2,100 feet (640 m) deep with its north end open in a huge breach.

More than 4 billion board feet (14.6 km³) of timber was damaged or destroyed, mainly by the lateral blast.[2] At least 25% of the destroyed timber was salvaged after September 1980. Downwind of the volcano, in areas of thick ash accumulation, many agricultural crops, such as wheat, apples, potatoes, and alfalfa, were destroyed. As many as 1,500 elk and 5,000 deer were killed, and an estimated 12 million Chinook and Coho salmon fingerlings died when their hatcheries were destroyed. Another estimated 40,000 young salmon were lost when they swam through turbine blades of hydroelectric generators when reservoir levels were lowered along the Lewis River to accommodate possible mudflows and flood waters.

This is all from the wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_eruption_of_Mount_St._Helens
Interestingly - there is almost no data on carbon release.

 
At 5/21/2008 10:33:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Your right, that is interesting. I wonder what the contribution of beneficial nutrients and minerals to the environment was.

 
At 5/22/2008 10:24:00 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

"Hill spent two years in a redwood on Palco lands protesting its logging practices."

Julia nearly killed Luna in her bid for fame and fortune. She set an example alright but the lesson was lost on her fellow enviros--you buy the trees you want to save if you're serious about saving old growth trees on PL lands. You don't spend thousands of "man"hours and who knows how many thousands of dollars in lawyer expenses lawsuiting Palco only to get zip in return as Palco ownership moves to another corporate super rich family. This is why we at Heartlands went for the Palco buy-out from the beginning as the only sure method of stopping old growth from being cut and the rest of the commercial forests from being continuously overcut from too -fast rotations.

 

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