Saturday, April 12, 2008

PL Bankruptcy News 4/12

The Bankruptcy hearings have been postponed and will be continued in two weeks, right around the same time when the Forest Defense Skillshare camp out will be taking place.Various news sources are reporting that Maxxam is likely going to lose the company. MRC/Marathon and the Noteholders are in major disagreement over the value of the company. MRC/Marathon say it's $500 million, the Noteholders contend it's $600 mil.

Here's what some people are saying.

"If one were looking to symbolize a paradigm shift, you’d only have to compare the hulking avuncular (PL Pres.) O’Brien with (MRC Chairman) Sandy Dean, the perennial kid brother, mercurial, always with the tricky moves.

But the paradigm is not shifting all that easily. There are major resentments against McMarathon on the parts of the ‘Notes’. (PL bankruptcy slang for the Scopac note holders) that carries over to their lawyers. It occasionally breaks into flat out conflict when one or another attorney tries to push the envelope trying get useful testimony from the other side’s witness. The objecting and yelling and carrying on is first-rate entertainment."
-David Simpson:

As for Palco's own plan to reorganize Scotia Pacific by selling 22,000 acres off for an exclusive high-end subdivision for the
wealthy, (Judge) Schmidt plainly said he did not believe it was feasible.
”It sounds to me that that plan is dead in the water,” he said.
-Times Standard

PALCO officials aren’t ruling out the residential development proposal that (PL V.P.) Bacik said provides for a range of development options, including an affordable housing component.

And Bacik said he is confident there will be an 11th-hour surprise.

“I don’t believe this case is going to be resolved on any of the plans presently on the table,” Bacik said.
-Eureka Reporter

Friday, April 11, 2008

Humboldt Forest Defenders Announce Upcoming Skillshare Camp

check out the post.Not a whole lot of details yet but should be forthcoming.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Links Recent Bankruptcy News

Thanks Humboldt Herald for the heads up on Mattole Valley resident David Simpson's new blog. He's reporting on PL's bankruptcy hearings in Corpus Christi as lawyers on all sides profess the virtues of their clients and dis their opponents.

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."

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