CONTACTS: Jane Lapiner 629-3670
Feeling an even greater sense of urgency about the situation on Rainbow Ridge in the Mattole Valley, residents and friends are calling for a second rally at the California Department of Forestry (CDF) offices in Fortuna on Thursday, February 22nd at 10:00 AM. It is part of an ongoing effort to make their position known to State regulators and to urge a moratorium on old growth logging, especially in the area in question.
The first rally, on January 25th, was an unusual event. It was one of the wettest and coldest days of the winter, but over 70 people attended, some driving through snowy mountain passes from the Mattole, to get there. All were quickly "soaked to the bone", according to one participant. But spirits were definitely not dampened. There was as much singing as there were speeches, and as much humor as serious attention to the issues. A special guest appearance by the infamous country singer, Loretta Lint, topped the damp day. Ms. Lint is expected to return on Thursday.
Pacific Lumber Company (PL) owns thousands of acres of forest and range land in that remote area, including nearly 3,000 acres of old growth Douglas fir, one of the last stands of its stature in the Pacific Northwest that is still in private hands. Currently, there are five Timber Harvest Plans approved by CDF for PL's holdings in the area. Three more are still in the review process.
Supporters of the rally would like to see PL consider selling the land to a consortium of community-based groups that would protect the old growth and manage the cutover lands through careful, selective harvest to provide economic returns to the community that are compatible with healthy watersheds. "This isn't a shut-down-logging kind of deal we're looking for here" said one spokesperson. "We're looking for a way to keep a timber industry alive in Humboldt County for the long run. Clearcutting the last of old growth just isn't the way to do it."
CDF's offices are at 118 Fortuna Boulevard in Fortuna. The event will begin promptly at 10:00 am and will end by 11:00.
For Further Information, call 707 986 7787 or 707 629 3670