Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Large Coalition Makes Bid For Community Control of PL

From the press release-

(January 16, 2008, Humboldt County, California) — Today an innovative alliance of private capital investors and conservation interests have joined forces to try to ensure that 197,000 acres of redwood forests be permanently kept in sustainable timber management, while 12,000 acres of old-growth and environmentally significant habitat are preserved.

The alliance brings a unique and powerful mix of conservation interests and private capital to its effort to resolve one of the nation’s most notorious and hard-fought environmental conflicts. The Nature Conservancy, Save-the-Redwoods League and the Community Forestry Team — a coalition of Humboldt County-based forestry, conservation and environmental advocates — are working with investment and forestry partners Atlas Holdings, Bank of America, Conservation Forestry LLC and the Redwood Forest Foundation Inc.

Murmurings of this plan have surfaced, disappeared and surfaced yet again. Now we have some details to look at, not all, but some. I for one would really like to see a map of the areas that would be preserved. That in itself would contribute to a better understanding of this plan. Overall though, the concept of community forestry as pioneered by the Redwood Forest Foundation Inc. in the Usal purchase is intriguing and offers hope for the future.

I think when they say “The Great Redwood Forest" they are talking about all of PL holdings but I'm not sure.

More from the press release-

“The Great Redwood Forest,” which includes the long-disputed Headwaters Forest,represents fully 10 percent of the redwoods left on Earth and connects four existingprotected areas, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Grizzly Creek State Park, theHeadwaters Reserve and King Range Conservation Area. These majestic stands ofredwood and Douglas fir are also home to a number of threatened or endangered speciesincluding Coho and Chinook salmon, spotted owls, marbled murrelets and tailed frogs.

The coalition is working with a group of creditors to develop a proposal for the court, the goals of which are to:

• Place approximately 197,000 acres under a permanent conservation easement thatensures the forests are managed in an environmentally sustainable way whileproviding a continuous supply of timber to mills in Northern California

• Set aside nearly 12,000 acres of the most ecologically important habitat, including old-growth forests, in publicly protected wildlife areas

• Deploy the private capital and operating expertise of Atlas Holdings to maintain the operations of the Scotia sawmill

• Invest private capital from Bank of America, Conservation Forestry and Redwood Forest Foundation Inc. to create a sustainable timber operation

• Support the current local economy by keeping the forests in sustainable timbermanagement in perpetuity regardless of future ownership

• Position Humboldt County to potentially take advantage of future economicopportunities, such as the emerging carbon market

• Offer the Humboldt community, through the Community Forestry Team, theopportunity for optimum participation and the option of a level of community ownership

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