Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Log Illegally In Old-Growth
Company Violates Own HCP and Safety Guidelines In Mattole
For the second day in a row(11/28/00), Maxxam/Pacific Lumber is illegally logging old-growth Douglas-Fir in Timber Harvest Plan (THP) 1-99-475 in the Mattole watershed, violating their own Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) by driving pick-up trucks and all-terrain vehicles on a seasonal road network that has restrictions 48 hours after significant precipitation has stopped. Maxxam/Pacific Lumber and their Humboldt County Sheriffs escorts also violated Cal-OSHA safety regulations by cutting trees with forest defenders directly hugging or placing themselves near the fall path of the tree. Timber Fallers also failed to give timely and audible warnings before falling trees.
Community activist have blockaded the Monument Ridge gate for two days but Logging crews and Humboldt County Sheriffs have used other entrances only to meet up with twenty backwoods forest defenders in the plan area on Long Ridge. Yesterday, activists proceeded to shadow the fallers as they cut only seven trees throughout the morning. So far there have been no arrest or injuries.
"It rained solidly for a good three hours only the night before they came into log," said Sawyer, one of the backwoods Mattole Forest Defenders. "There was standing water in the road and their trucks and ATV's sure created a mess of tire ruts and mud. We thought Pacific Lumber signed off on THP 475 that limited operations within 48hr. of rain."
"Pacific Lumber also felled trees with the Humboldt County Sheriffs deputies standing nearby, ignoring the fact our lives were in great danger," Sawyer continued.
Below are copies of the regulations violated. The California Department of Forestry has sent an inspector out to the Rainbow Ridge Area to assess potential violations. CDF inspector for the Mattole area is Cary Japp at (707)-946-1960. Water Quality has also been contacted to do an inspection.
Wet Weather Road Use Restrictions (HCP 18.104.22.168) (FROM THP 1-99-475)
6. On non-rocked roads, light vehicles (defined as trucks 3/4 ton or less, or smaller vehicles such as quadra-tracts or motorcycles) may be used during periods of wet weather 48 hours after the end of precipitation for the purposes of timber related operations including reforestation, felling and bucking and research and monitoring.
California Code Of Regulations, Section 6280, Subchapter 13, Logging and Sawmill Safety Orders, Article 5, Falling and Bucking
7. Fallers shall give timely audible warning to buckers and other persons in the vicinity of the tree to be felled, indicating the direction of fall and taking notice that such persons not only hear the cry and are out of reach of the tree, but also in the clear of logs, fallen trees, snags, or other trees which may be struck by the falling tree. Fallers shall stop saw motors when giving such warning.
If you can come up to help local citizens defend this forest, please contact:
Mattole Forest Defense at 707-441-3828.