In This Update 04/05/01
-Mattole Blockade Raided - Press Release
-Forest Defender Found Guilty on Trespass Charges
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 (THP) 99-475 HUM until the pending lawsuit is heard in court. Carl Anderson, PL head of security accompanied by the sheriff's department and a fire truck are currently attempting to dismantle the three blockade structures designed to block Pacific Lumber from logging the pristine Douglas-Fir forest behind them. This is their second attempt in the past week. OnTuesday April 3, 2001, thirteen police officers confronted 30 forest defenders to disband the Freestate established to blockade Pacific Lumber. The Sherrifs department was unsuccessful at their attempts due to the high number of forest defenders in the woods. We believe that the approval of Pacific Lumber's THP 99-475 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, and
Whereas, THP 99-475 proposes cutting on steep slopes and slide areas adding to the potential of increased landslides, and
Whereas, it is a violation of PL's HCP to harvest on slide areas, and
Whereas, the Mattole watershed is one of the most geologically unstable and seismically active areas in the state of California, and
Whereas, the entire plan is scheduled for clearcut as opposed to utilizing less damaging harvest methods, and
Whereas, this plan proposes the harvest of one of the last intact old-growth Douglas-fir forests, and
Whereas, approximately 5% of the original old-growth forests in the Mattole River watershed remain, and
Whereas, the Mattole River contains endangered Coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, and
Whereas, cutting in a sustainable manner with healthy forests yields timber for the future and a healthy ecosystem with clear streams, and
Whereas, Pacific Lumber has a long history of breaking the law, having racked up over 300 violations, and
Whereas, 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, and
Whereas, PL continues to work in collusion with the California Department of Forestry in order to approve illogical and illegal Timber Harvest Plans (THP), and
Whereas, the Environmental Protection Information Center, the Humboldt Watershed Council, and the Lost Coast League have recently filed a lawsuit against CDF for the illegal approval of THP 99-475, and
Whereas, the Humboldt County courts have a history of delaying court dates for Temporary Restraining Orders, by which time THP's have been cut, giving an unequal advantage to the company that has in the past lost its license for its numerous violations.
Whereas, we, as citizens and friends of Humboldt County, feel we have no recourse but to remain in the THP area, use non-violent direct action to stall the cutting until the case is heard and a decision is reached
Three were arrested today during the malee in the Mattole. A report was given on KMUD radio from a unidentified forest defender hanging from a tree observing the Maxxam sheriff's ransack the blockade area below him. The Maxxam-Scotia fire department was on the scene, where they jackhammered the blue dragon lock-down and arrested one of the three forest defender arrestees. A forest defender heard on the sheriff's radio that they were intending to set up flood lights to clear the road during the night and gain entry into the timber harvest plans.
Joseph Powell, better known as Soma, was found guilty of two counts of resisting arrest, one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass and an infraction charge of trespass at the conclusion of his trial Monday, March 26th, 2001. These charges stem from incidents on November 10 and 28th, 2000, when Maxxam Sherriff's disguised themselves as loggers in order to get the cut out on the Headwaters Sacrifice Zone in the Mattole. The jury deliberated on his convictions for two days before returning their verdict. His sentencing date is scheduled for April 23rd, 2001. Stay tuned for a more detailed story concerning his trial.
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