Mattole Forest Defenders Blockade Going Strong
No Approval Yet of THP 520, The Hole In Headwaters
It's been since November 28th that Maxxam/Pacific Lumber sent in Columbia Helicopter loggers accompied by Humboldt County Sherriffs to log old-growth doug-fir in the Mattole. Since then Mattole Forest Defenders have moved almost 2 miles up Long Ridge to create the Mattole Free State, a blockade complete with several lockdowns, a junked car and hanging pods across the road. The idea is to stop Maxxam's crews before the can get their chainsaws in the forest. Clearly Maxxam is choosing not to challenge the blockade and the near constant presence of 30 non-violent forest defenders in the wood has effectively shut down their operations for 8+ weeks, a growing Humboldt County blockading record. Mattole and Humboldt Residents are holding off on the outer gate blockades for now, but ready to moblize when Maxxam chooses to go back in. Forest Defenders have spent Hanakuah, Christmas and New Years at the blockades. We just got word that it is again snowing on Rainbow Ridge. We still have no word on CDF approval of THP 520, the Hole In Headwaters.
Public comment closed Thursday 1/11 on Amendment #5 submitted by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber last October. This present incarnation of THP 520 was in direct reponse to the EPIC/Sierra Club lawsuit which was granted on injunction on logging last July and is set to go to trial in March. Pacific Lumber has also filed five new logging plans (THPs 1-00-352,1-00-387, 1-00-388, 1-00-448 & 1-00-452.) that span both sides of the South Fork Elk River and total nearly 700 acres of mature second growth forest.
The land inside the "Hole" and across the river from it, some 7,000 acres of forest, were traded to Maxxam/Pacific Lumber as part of the Headwaters "Deal." This 7,000 acres of forest was identified in the state law that funded the "Deal" as a priority for acquisition with whatever funds remain after the purchase of Owl Creek, for which $80 million was allocated. The state just announced that it is buying Owl Creek for $67 million, potentially leaving $13 million for this acquisition. These new logging plans pose a serious threat not only to the proposed acquisition area, but also to the biological integrity of the Headwaters Reserve itself.
New logging on the South Fork Elk River (except on THP 97-520) is currently constrained by a so-called "moratorium" that was imposed by the California Department of Forestry in January 1998. This moratorium requires additional information on aggravated flooding and public safety concerns for downstream Elk River residents. However, in nearby Freshwater Creek, the same so-called "moratorium" has been lifted under a substantially weaker standard than that originally imposed by CDF.
Please Call or Write:
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Mattole Forest Defense at 707-441-3828.