The California Timber Battles Shift to New Grounds

By Glen Martin

California’s Lost Coast isn’t that hard to find—just drive south on a narrow, twisting road from the Humboldt County town of Ferndale. The landscape is extreme in its beauty, wending across ridge top meadows that plunge eastward to forested gorges and roll to the cobalt blue Pacific to the west. The route skirts miles of deserted beach where the only sound is the lapping of gentle surf and the cries of seabirds, and finally tracks through Petrolia, a tiny settlement on the Mattole River. It is a clean and lovely little town, sheltered by big trees and pervaded by a deep and abiding peace.

But Petrolia isn’t Brigadoon; it still exists in the real world, so even here there are tensions. Some have to do with the marijuana trade, a pillar of the local economy. And there’s another conflict besetting the Mattole Valley, one with roots in the late 1980s, when the North Coast seethed with the logging protests that culminated in Redwood Summer. By the time California’s timber wars reached an uneasy truce in the late 1990s, some laudable things had been accomplished, most notably the creation of the Headwaters Forest Reserve, a 7,472 acre parcel of conifers and hardwoods that includes a 3,088 acre core of gigantic, old-growth redwoods. Today, the news is pretty upbeat about the redwoods. Virtually all the remaining ancient trees are protected to a significant degree and ambitious restoration efforts are planned for the 95 percent of the redwood forest that was logged during the past 150 years.

But that’s not to say the state’s timber conflicts are over. They’re not full-blown campaigns with the civil equivalent of armor, infantry and air support—more like a simmering insurgency characterized by intractable hotspots. And perhaps the hottest spot these days is Rainbow Ridge, an 18,000 acre tract on the headwaters of the upper and lower forks of the Mattole River. The battle over Rainbow Ridge isn’t about old-growth redwoods, however. It’s centered on Douglas firs.

As a species, Douglas firs are by no means endangered; they’re distributed throughout much of the American West and Canada. But as with redwoods, most of the ancient Douglas fir forests have been logged. Ancient stands of Douglas fir, especially coastal Douglas firs, are exceedingly rare. Rainbow Ridge includes about 1,100 acres of old-growth Douglas fir and associated hardwoods, perhaps the largest extant tract of this forest type.  Some of the firs are 300 years old, but they may not be around forever. The land is owned by Humboldt Redwood Company a sister firm to the Mendocino Redwood Company, and the State of California has approved three timber harvest plans (THPs) for the property.

Humboldt Redwood Company is by no means comparable to Maxxam Corp, a firm that was widely regarded by environmentalists as a rapacious, cut-and-run timber outfit during the redwood skirmishes. Indeed, MRC/HRC—which took over the subsidiary Pacific Lumber Company from Maxxam—prides itself on sustainable forestry, and harvests and markets its timber under Forest Stewardship Council certification. The company has announced that it does not intend to cut 86 percent of the ancient trees covered by its Rainbow Ridge THPs.

Those protections are not necessarily permanent, however. Moreover, HRC maintains the option of logging Rainbow Ridge’s remaining 14 percent of old-growth stocks, and therein lies the roots of the conflict. A group of Mattole Valley residents maintain Rainbow Ridge is a nonpareil, a property so unique, supporting forest ecosystems so rare, that it should never be logged. Given the impacts of climate change, they claim, its higher value is as a research center to study the potential of old-growth forests for carbon sequestration and water retention. Accordingly, the group wants the property transferred to the UC Natural Reserve system, an ambition that is garnering support at the university.

“It would be an incredibly exciting addition to UC’s Natural Reserve System,” says Trevor Keenan, a scientist in the climate and ecosystem sciences division of Berkeley Lab. “Rainbow Ridge has the largest intact old-growth Douglas fir forest in California. What makes it particularly valuable is the various states of old-growth stands. Some are more than 300 years old, some 150 to 300 years old, and some 100 to 150 years old. That provides a fantastic chance to obtain not just old-growth data, but data from old-growth forests in different stages.”

That’s especially important, says Keenan, because terms such as “old-growth” and “forest maturity” are poorly defined. Generally, a forest is assumed to be mature when it approaches equilibrium with its environment under normal conditions. The problem, says Keenan, is that we currently are not experiencing normal conditions. Ongoing climate change has skewed what were once considered reliable baselines. Increased human-induced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acts as a fertilizer in forest ecosystems, and trees become more efficient in processing water and nutrients. At the same time, climate change portends more heat and drought for forests, so configuring that factor with increased forest efficiency is extremely challenging.

“Also, as forests get more efficient, there could be a lot more water retention in forest systems [which could be good for municipal and agricultural water supplies],” says Keenan. “But at the same time, that could encourage the spread of trees into areas that are sparsely forested, and that could consume more water. So it gets complex. We need to develop new equilibrium curves because the old equilibrium curves just don’t apply anymore. That’s why Rainbow Ridge presents such a tremendous opportunity. It’s not just the old-growth trees, but the different stages of older trees, and the large intact suites of associated species. [A reserve designation] would allow scientists to combine critical natural resources with deep academic resources. For me, that seems like a much higher value than logging, no matter how progressive [the harvest plans are].”


Certainly, Mattole Valley residents feel the same way.  Many belong to the Lost Coast League, a local environmental organization that opposes logging on Rainbow Ridge and supports the transfer of the property to the UC Natural Reserve system. The group has attempted to negotiate with Humboldt Redwood Company, says Robert Yosha, a fisheries biologist and Lost Coast League member, without success. The company points to its agreement to forego logging on a significant portion of Rainbow Ridge and its commitment to sustainable forestry as ample proof of its good faith. But that’s not enough, says Yosha.

“We don’t object to their managing their [timber] plantations as plantations,” Yosha says. “But that’s just it—Rainbow Ridge is not a plantation. It is one of the last large stands of old-growth coastal Douglas fir left on the continent. Coastal Douglas firs are comparable to redwoods in size and carbon sequestration potential. There’s evidence, in fact, that they have the biological potential to exceed redwoods in height, and that they were the tallest trees on the planet prior to [Euro-American] settlement. We don’t see those trees now, of course, because they were all logged.”

Nate Madsen, a Lost Coast League member who spent two years perched in a redwood tree to protest old-growth logging when the timber wars were at their peak, said full protection for the ridge is necessary because any logging—no matter how “sustainable”—chips away at an irreplaceable resource.

“When the Headwaters deal was concluded [in 1999] there were probably 10,000 acres of old-growth forest, both conifers and hardwoods, on Rainbow Ridge,” says Madsen. “Now it’s down to 2,000 to 3,000 acres. In many ways, Rainbow Ridge was the trade-off for Headwaters. It’s the orphan of Headwaters.”

Michael Evenson, a Lost Coast rancher, and a 1967 Cal graduate, says Rainbow Ridge also is inappropriate for commercial logging, sustainable or otherwise, due to the highly unstable soils of the Mattole watershed. The U.S. Geological Survey studied the region in the late 1990s, says Evenson, and concluded it was not a good area for commercial timber production.

“We have major landslides here on a regular basis, even in areas that aren’t subject to active logging,” Evenson says. “We need this watershed studied objectively and thoroughly, which is why we want UC researchers involved. We know what [HRC] says, but we need real science, not timber company science.”

In a 2017 letter to Mattole Salmon Group co-founder and Lost Coast League ally David Simpson (a Cal grad), Humboldt Redwood Company CEO Sandy Dean cited the firm’s judicious approach to its Rainbow Ridge holdings.

“…The Mattole represents about 9% of our Humboldt forest in acres,” Dean wrote. “The aggregate standing timber volume on these 18,000 acres is estimated at approximately 250 million board feet, and our cumulative harvest in this area since HRC’s formation in 2008 has been less than 2 million board feet of timber (less than 1 % of today’s aggregate inventory in the Mattole)…”

Dean further noted harvest acres had been reduced from 715 acres to 285 acres following concerns expressed by logging opponents, and that 202 acres had been designated a “…High Value Conservation Area in accordance with [Forest Stewardship Council guidelines], and this designation will remain with these acres.” Further, wrote Dean, an additional 24 acres was subsequently set aside because it had been determined they met FSC criteria for old-growth tree protection.

But, Dean noted, he differed with Simpson’s contention that the 1,100 acres of disputed forest on Rainbow Ridge “…are too special for any management regardless of the standard employed…forest management policy has to acknowledge the use of wood in our society. In recent years California has imported close to half the lumber consumed in the state. Further setting aside acreage in the Mattole in the name of the environment might feel good, especially for our closest neighbors, but it will result in other trees being harvested somewhere—most likely in Oregon, Washington, or Canada – where harvest standards are much different than the regulatory minimums of California and much less than the standards employed by HRC. Where is the environmental win in that?”

Reached by email, Dean stated that MRC and HRC “…have worked to demonstrate that it is possible to be both good stewards of the land and also be a successful business.” When asked about transferring Rainbow Ridge to the UC Natural Reserve system—either through outright purchase or a long-term preservation agreement known as a conservation easement —Dean demurred.

“The company wishes to continue to manage all our lands for the long term in accordance with the exemplary standard of the Forest Stewardship Council certification…” Dean stated. “…Said another way, MRC and HRC have worked since their founding to show that commercial operation of a forest can produce positive environmental outcomes. For MRC and HRC, these goals outweigh possible PR gains or money from piecemeal sales of portions of the forest.”

But Dean’s rationale misses the point, say opponents. Rainbow Ridge is special, and logging it would be no more appropriate than quarrying Half Dome for its granite. Frustrated by their interactions with Dean, Lost Coast League members have endeavored to contact the Fisher family, the owners of MRC/HRC and The Gap Inc., and an Old Money San Francisco clan long known for their commitment to environmental causes.

“We’ve sent them two letters inviting them to visit and discuss our concerns, but we haven’t received any response,” says Ellen Taylor of the Lost Coast League.

Dean stated that the Fishers received the letters and passed them on to him; he acknowledged that he failed to respond in a timely fashion to the first letter, but that he and Taylor subsequently had numerous phone conversations and met for lunch in Ukiah to discuss Rainbow Ridge. As for logging opponents meeting with Fisher family members to present their case, Dean emailed, “…The Fishers have left day-to-day implementation of the mission and goals of HRC and MRC (seeking to be good stewards of the land and a successful business, and managing our lands to the exemplary Forest Stewardship Council standard for the long term) to me and the local MRC/HRC operating management.”

In any case, says Lost Coast Leaguer Gabrielle Ward, HRC’s plans are predicated on outmoded information that doesn’t reflect the true capacity of North Coast forests to produce timber sustainably, especially in an era of accelerating climate change.

“Over-cutting clearly remains a problem, even as these companies receive money from the state for their carbon offset credits. We need vigorous and careful review of these programs.”

“They’re basing their plans on 1990 data, and they don’t come close to adequately addressing climate change impacts,” Ward says. “The documents are simply out of date. What it gets down to is Dean’s belief that in the end, the landscape—all of it—must pay, no matter what. That isn’t sustainable forestry.”

That perspective more or less jibes with that of former California Department of Forestry Director Richard Wilson, a long-time critic of logging practices in the state. Wilson says both private and federal forests in California were logged rapaciously through the end of the 20th Century, and that the “sustainable” logging that is now occurring generally isn’t meeting professed goals.

“When you drive Highway 101 around Ukiah, you see the logging trucks and they’re all carrying 16-inch diameter logs,” Wilson says. “That’s all small diameter chip-and-glue stuff. Any good builder will tell you it makes lousy lumber. “The big trees are all gone, and the mills have all been converted to accommodate the smaller logs. The emphasis is on the small stuff [not on growing larger, older trees].”

Wilson observes the California Air Resources Board is issuing carbon offset credits to timberland owners, basically paying corporations and other groups for the standing timber growing on their lands. Because trees sequester planet-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in their trunks and roots, they can help mitigate climate change. Such programs aid timber companies in securing FSC certification and publicizing their earth-friendly practices.

“What worries me is that these [carbon offset credit] contracts are not being properly written, implemented, and monitored,” says Wilson. “Over-cutting clearly remains a problem, even as these companies receive money from the state for their carbon offset credits. We need vigorous and careful review of these programs.”

Further, says Ward, FSC certification isn’t an adequate safeguard for rare old-growth forests such as those on Rainbow Ridge.

“The company can harvest under FSC criteria until it has taken all the timber the guidelines allow,” says Ward. “At that point, there’s still going to be plenty of standing timber —in fact, what’s left will invariably be the oldest, most valuable timber. So then they can simply forego FSC certification and cut the remaining trees. They won’t be able to sell it as FSC-certified, but they’ll get premium prices and they’ll have a ready market for it. That isn’t long-term forest protection.”

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As a proud Berkeley alumni, I look forward to reading CalToday in order to obtain non-biased and informed news about my local and broader communities. I consider myself an activist of causes which are important to me and therefore felt compelled to respond to this article. While I find this article to be informative in many ways, I also think it misrepresents the current best practices and discretion exercised by Mendocino and Humboldt Redwood Companies, and other private timber companies for that matter. The comments about “timber company science” being mutually exclusive from “real science” are particularly concerning and ill-informed. Timber harvest plans -which are regulated and approved by our very own State- impose strict and meticulous preparation, research and operating requirements by the private company before any timber harvesting is approved to move forward. Preparation of timber harvest plans by Professional Registered Foresters are completed in the aims of exploring both direct and cumulative impacts to the corresponding ecosystem. Part of responsible forest stewardship requires us to support private businesses and their sustainability efforts and dedication to best forestry practices rather than continuously encouraging their control and over-regulation by public institutions. We should trust the processes we have in place as these are mechanisms designed to ensure healthy and responsible private forestry. As an avid forest-lover who grew up in our very own native California forests, I hope we can find a way to protect, preserve and harvest our forests together. My hope is this will involve a shift away from the typical “anti-timber company” rhetoric which relentlessly supports a miseducated narrative that seems to do the general public more of a disservice than any good.
The current condition of our Northern California landscapes speaks to the quality of the science implemented both by industry and the California Dept. of Forestry. We can all be critics on one point or another. Anyone seeking the truth has only to open their eyes to see the harsh reality of how little is left of the original forest. Setting a few remaining stands aside for future cutting is not preservation in perpetuity. When a company lays claims to having “saved” old growth it should, in fact, be true. Especially when charging more for their products.
Heather Thibeault, it matters not what your credentials are when you are simplistic enough to write the words “typical “anti-timber” rhetoric” when describing the contents of this article. Not cool. The regulations surrounding logging in Humboldt county are antiquated and do not involve the rigorous studies that you are implying. One of the many points you are missing from the article, is the unique qualities of the region. It is irreplaceable. It is rare. Sustainable is a big word, and people shouldn’t throw it around whilst the earth is changing and dying before our eyes. Perhaps the only people who should use the word “sustainable“ while logging ancient forests, are the ones who will be around in 300 years to see how it all worked out. And yes, I think it would be better to harvest young trees from another state, if it meant saving older ecosystems. Furthermore, perhaps those city folks should stop building their McMansions, and then all the trees would stand a chance. Excellent work Lost Coast League!!!!!!
Dear Editor, In response to the article “The California Timber Battles Shift to New Grounds,” by Glen Martin, please accept the following. While forestry issue can be complex and even technical, a few things can be stated clearly: A) Across the entire ownership, HRC/MRC has robust policies developed in conjunction with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which include annual third-party audits. We have a specific old growth protection policy in place that protects old growth to the level of individual trees: ” HRC/MRC produces wood in a sustainable fashion, harvesting less than half the estimated annual growth of the forest and encouraging the growth of larger trees over a longer rotation. We publish our inventory and harvest information publically. B) HRC/MRC sequesters more than 1 million net tons of carbon each year, without ever having sought any compensation in the form of “carbon credits.” C) HRC/MRC operations include substantial restoration work across our forests including keeping over 1,500,000 cubic yards (150,000 dump trucks) of dirt out of the coastal streams running through our forests and planting more than 12 million seedlings to date. D) We have a longstanding policy of taking anyone anywhere on the property to the place of their choosing to see firsthand our forest management practices. Pick any spot and the forester in charge of the area will go there with you. To arrange a visit and/or learn more about HRC/MRC please visit Sincerely, Bob Mertz CEO P.S. Far from being a “battle” the HRC/MRC plans in Mattole have been thoroughly studied, reviewed and updated over five years in conjunction with a wide array for stakeholders. You may find a comprehensive white paper including FSC review of the Mattole harvest discussion here:
HRC’s old growth policy….down to the last tree….. This is the policy HRC easily changed after the logging road blockades on Rainbow Ridge of 2014. They altered it so that it would specifically exclude the majority of the Rainbow Ridge forest. A tree has to have been alive on the year 1800 to qualify, and a forest must have 6 or more of these trees per acre. This was a transparent way to open up massive tracts of untouched temperate rainforest in the headwaters of the Mattole River. They previously stated that any oldgrowth forest that had never been logged would never be logged. Of all the places that HRC is operating, the Mattole is the place where folks continue to literally put their lives on the line to stop the timber extraction. This has been a battleground in the timber wars for the past 20 years. At this rate it’s going to be that way for 20 more. It’s unfortunate, because it didn’t have to be like this. HRC’s apparent good will was desperately welcomed with a relief never felt in the cruel and bloody Maxxam days. HRC’s disenguity and betrayals have reignited the conflict. Hundreds of acres of forest that have never been logged were poisoned with herbicides last spring. HRC now plans to punch a new road through the instable slopes at the top of the North Fork Mattole River headwaters. They are trying to ease access, since community supported blockades of the one access road have largely thwarted their efforts for the past 4 years. This protest season on Rainbow Ridge is shaping up to be big, and it’s HRC’s doing.
Dear Editor, The Lost Coast is located on the Pacific Slopes of Northern California. It is situated at the triple junction fault line located at Cape Mendocino being the most southern edge of the Cascadian temperate rainforest. The Pacific temperate rain forests ecoregion of North America is the largest temperate rain forest ecoregion on the planet as defined by the World Wildlife Fund.This ecoregion is a subregion of the Cascadia bioregion. In pre-Columbian times, a forest canopy extended from Northern California to Southeast Alaska. This facilitated the movement of countless species to migrate across landscapes and proliferate. Today there is no place within this rainforest that meets the Forest Stewardship Council ( FSC ) definition of an Intact Forest Landscape. (This is limited to the Amazon, Siberia Indonesia and pats Africa.) For all our attempts at conservation all we have left are isolated islands of habitat otherwise known as fragments.’At best we can continue to try to save the last of the old trees and begin again where opportunities still exist. The Lost Coast League is a community-based organization concerned with the health and recovery of our watershed, salmon populations.preservation of old growth forests and primary stands. Collectively and individually we have worked toward this goal for forty years. Several arrived in the area in the 1970s and began to assess the awesome tasks that lye ahead. Our members were founders of the American fisheries restoration movement and continue to this day to work with the Mattole Salmon Group. They have made significant contributions to the Institute for Sustainable Forestry as well as, contributing to the development of the original ten concepts/rules of sustainability In addition, we have a history of successful conservation projects which preserved the Mill Creek Forest and the Redwoods to Sea Wildlife Corridor. These successful collaborative endeavors set an example for landscape connectivity projects throughout the Pacific North West. Douglas fir trees have been documented as the tallest trees on Earth. In the past, they have excelled 420 ft. In height. They can live 1,400 years and stand dying for another 1,000. During this time they deliver their nutrients and stored carbons to the surrounding trees.They have the potential to be the tallest again. Although it could take hundreds of years as there is very little old growth left of this forest type in California. Today Redwood trees take the thrown as the tallest trees because all of the ancient firs have been cut down. We now have conversations regarding sparing two- three hundred- year- old trees. Douglas fir trees have the ability to sequester more carbon than any other tree with the exception of their neighbor the redwood. Side by side these ecosystems merge to create an ecotone that supports a wide variety of species. Given the plethora of food sources for wildlife. Given the current decline of the redwood canopy due to drought/climate change many species are on the move and may require cooler coastal habitat such as can currently be found in the HRC High Conservation Value Forest. By 2018 Only a few thousand acres of intact forest remained on the slopes of Rainbow Ridge. Thousands of acres had been removed in the 90s- 2005 by the Pacific Lumber Co. Maxxam.)The old Growth canopy stood tall against the winds of time until it was reduced to stumps, piles of broken limbs and openings spread across much of the landscape. These wounds created a mosaic of varying ecological disturbances. Oak and madrone trees were hacked and squirted with herbicides creating large areas covered by dead and dying trees. This condition has created super-hot wildfires that destroy any regeneration in the path as younger forests do not withstand fire as older trees are known to. Landslides and continuous fire regimes is now a part of an ongoing chain of events set into motion through egregious forest practices over decades. Citizens voices were marginalized and written off as being ridiculous or uneducated. It’s complicated, they say. Dr. Jerry Franklin has recommended allowing the Pacific Slopes of Northern California time to recover from all its forests have already provided.There are other areas of second growth Douglas fir that would benefit from thinning. Otherwise, they will burn up in the next wildfire event.He has stated. The ecosystem of Pacific temperate rain forests is so productive that the biomass on the best sites is at least four times greater than that of any comparable area in the tropics. In the sheer mass of living and decaying material - trees, mosses, shrubs, and soil - these forests are more massive than any other ecosystem on the planet. At this moment in time extraordinary opportunities still, exist. Much like ancient trees once they’re gone they’re gone forever.At this crucial turning point with climate changes underway, we need living reserves to study and preserve for future generations. Within these remaining fragments lyes the possibilities which establish a case for consideration and hope. For instance, the possibility of a deep carbon sink being maintained and expanded upon to sequester more carbon over time. The possibility of preserving a headwaters reserve system and study area. Numerous class 1 streams begin on HRC lands. They form both the lower and upper North Forks of the Mattole River system. They are critically important to the health of the estuary and success of all ongoing upstream restoration of anadromous fisheries The possibility of gathering knowledge, discovery of new and rare species are strong in this area. The possibility of a future where one day ancient Douglas fir trees rise above the redwoods once again providing refuge and continued landscape connectivity with the Rockefeller Grove and Humboldt Redwoods State Park which these lands are contiguous with. The possibility for rare threatened and endangered species to have enough habitat, food, and water to survive into a more secure tomorrow. The possibility of preserving living examples of this forest type so we may study and begin to comprehend what the rest of the landscape once was and could be again given restoration and meaningful preservation of old growth in perpetuity if this is truly a goal. If not now then when?
I’m the director of a small non-profit org which works on watershed, forest, and wildlife issues in northeastern California, the Battle Creek Alliance. I’m shocked to see remarks regarding the “meticulous” preparation of THPs. I have lived in the foothills of Mt. Lassen for 30 years and am a 5th generation Californian. For the past 20 years i’ve been an unfortunate helpless bystander to the “meticulous” THP process. Our documentary “Clearcut Nation” is here: Our recent comment on yet another THP is here: The lead agency in charge of THPs, CalFire, always approves THPs as having “no significant impacts”. If there are any of the multi-thousands submitted to them which have not been approved, we have not heard of them.
Humboldt Redwood Company found a number of points in the article and comments that would benefit from additional correction, clarification or commentary in the article “California Timber Battles Shift to New Grounds.” A side by side of the articel may be found here:
Heather Thibeault is related to climate change denier Dennis Thibeult, one of the disposable vice presidents of the Humboldt Redwood Company. Recruited from Sierra Pacific (the worst of the worst). Bob Mertz is another disposable, purportedly has an office in Mendocino County. MRC/HRC have hack & squirted the industrial poison Imazapyr in nearly contiguous ribbons throughout 85 % of the 1/2 million acres of previously mixed species forestland owned by the 3 billionaire Fisher brother of San Francisco, sons of the founder of GAP Inc, who purchased the forestland to provide a multi-generational stewardship of it. Moral of the story: don’t die.
Do you have the references on the old growth carbon sequestration of Doug Fir? Thanks for your post by the way. What do you propose and how much carbon would be taken in within 15-20 years if an intensive Doug Fir and Coastal Redwood planting program would be done and what do you know about the costs of doing so? B.S. UConn M.S. SUNY Syracuse.
Nice try by Berkeley Alumni Thiebeault, but Thiebeault’s thinking (“I think it misrepresents”) appears legally inane. Since 2009, the current best management practices and discretion exercised by HRC have resulted in continued decline of threatened and endangered salmon, increased frequency and magnitude of flooding of residents’ homes, farms, and orchards, increasing chronic and peak turbidity and suspended sediment concentrations, and increased channel filling in the low gradient stream reaches. Why is this? First there is no enforceable margin of safety for the fishery, the lives or property of residents, or for the filling of the river bed and banks, nor for the damage caused by the increased sediment deposits that obstruct of the river flood flow thereby causing damage and life threatening flooding which traps residents in their homes. Second, exercise of discretion that creates and increases the duration of foreseeable flooding of residents’ homes is the type of deliberate, intentional, purposeful, and profitable trespass that was outlawed or rendered improper by Civil Code 3334. HRC continues offensive activity in a manner causing further obstruction and duration of obstruction of the channel thereby increasing flooding of residents, costs, and damages—-and the likelihood of death by drowning or injury. See Starrh and Starrh Farms v. Aera Energy. This calls into question whether any foresters licensed by BOF are practicing “responsible forest stewardship”.
Stop cutting any trees older than 100 years. Stop it. It’s not sustainable and causes droughts. Wake up you idiots. Trees bring water. We need water.
How can we “trust the processes” and trust HRC, when they’ve clearly logged old-growth forest and then claimed they didn’t? They’ve also promoted dangerous forest-fire conditions by using herbicides to kill hardwood trees in groves of Doug Firs and then accelerating their harvests by turning the trash trees into combustable tinderboxes. If these are their “best practices” while activists are constantly watching them, can you imagine if they were free to pursue their monetary goals unimpeded? The public is NOT best served by applauding these guys for doing the bare minimum to not destroy our national legacies. Old growth forests, and forests in general, are part of the public good. We should be regulating the hell out of them to make sure that WE the people, not some rich family’s pet CEO, decides what is okay to cut versus what must be preserved. Because clearly they are not capable of policing themselves.
Bob Mertz begs us to accept the following: HRC/MRC’s 440,000 acres sequester more than 1 million tons of carbon each year or 2.27 tons per acre per year. Meanwhile, the 2200 acre Van Eck redwood forest has sequestered 405,503 tons of carbon over the past 15 years or 12.2 tons per acre per year (405503/[15 x 2200]=12.28). If my math is correct, HRC/MRC’s 2.3 ton per acre per year is a travesty since they could be sequestering 12 tons; the Fisher Family should be embarrassed. The people of California deserve 500 % better from HRC/MRC. I ask the Forest Stewardship Council to tell the truth about forestry’s contributions to climate change.