For Immediate Release
Mattole River Watershed, Humboldt County - We as friends and residents of the Mattole River Watershed, calling ourselves the Mattole Forest Defenders, set out today to try to non-violently stop the logging of the controversial Timber Harvest Plan 99-475 (THP 475).
We believe that the approval of Maxxam/Pacific Lumber's THP 475 is not only illegal but a continuation of a highly destructive practice for the environment, community and economy.
Whereas, THP 99-475 is another example of harmful and destructive logging, proposing to clearcut nearly 50 acres of Old Growth Douglas-fir forests;
o the majority of the plan is scheduled for clearcut as opposed to utilizing less damaging harvest methods such as selective cut;
o the Mattole watershed is one of the most geological unstable and seismically active areas in the state of California;
o THP 475 proposes cutting on steep slopes and above several slide areas adding to the potential of increased landslides;
o THP 475 threatens water quality in the Mattole River, which contains endangered Coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead trout;
o this plan proposes to clearcut some of the last unprotected Old-Growth Douglas-fir forest in California;
o less than 5% of the original Old Growth forest remains in the Mattole River watershed, of which the majority of the unprotected stands are owned by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber;
o Maxxam/Pacific Lumber continues to log in a boom and bust manner that puts our timber workers at risk in an economy where jobs are scarce;
o harvest in a sustainable manner would allow for healthy forests and yield timber for the future;
o Maxxam/Pacific Lumber has a long history of breaking the law, having racked up over 300 violations;
o Maxxam/Pacific Lumber continues to work in collusion with the California Department of Forestry in order to approve illogical and illegal Timber Harvest Plans;
o offers have been made to Maxxam/Pacific Lumber for the purchase of portions of their holdings in the Mattole River watershed;
o Maxxam/Pacific Lumber has refused all offers and has stated that they are completely unwilling to consider selling this small piece of their property at this time;
o We feel that all legal and administrative remedies have been exhausted;
Therefore, we, as citizens and friends of Humboldt County, feel we have no other recourse but to use non-violent direct action to prevent the cutting of THP 475.