PACIFIC LUMBER REQUEST FOR INJUNCTION DELAYED
OLD GROWTH ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK AS COMPANY TRIES TO CLEAR OUT PROTESTERS
For Immediate Release
Contact: Karen Pickett 510-548-3113
In Eureka today, Judge Dale Reinholtsen in Humboldt Superior court granted a continuance in a "SLAPP suit" case filed against those defending the ancient forests of the Mattole River watershed. Pacific Lumber Company (PL) filed a civil lawsuit April 6, 2001 against "Northcoast Earth First!", "Mattole Forest Defenders", 18 individuals, and "Does 1 - 200" for what they characterized as interference in their logging operations in the Mattole River basin in southwest Humboldt county.
At the court hearing today, Pacific Lumber was seeking a preliminary injunction in the case to bar those named, and those PL intends to add, from being in the area under contention, or face a contempt of court charge. The defendants argue that constitutes a type of double jeopardy bind, in that those protesting to stop the logging -- even those engaging in non-violent civil disobedience -- are already facing criminal penalties in the court system when their activities are deemed to be illegal, such as when they trespass on Pacific Lumber's property for the purpose of blockading logging. Judge Reinholtsen had granted PL a Temporary Restraining Order when the case was filed on April 6, enjoining defendants from "harassing, threatening, stalking or interfering with the activities and / or blocking the movements" of PL and other plaintiffs Columbia Helicopter, Scotia Pacific, Russ Ranch and Timber co. and two ranchers adjoining PL property, or "entering onto or occupying any portion of the property described in the lawsuit, or conspiring with or soliciting others to enter onto the property."
There have been on-going protest activities regarding several Timber Harvest Plans (THP's) filed in the last year by PL in the Mattole, one of the largest unprotected coastal old growth Douglas fir forest left in the Pacific Northwest. Residents have also engaged in petitioning of agencies involved in the approval process, filing of legal challenges, coordination of acquisition efforts, as well as the direct action protests. Several plans remain under pending legal challenges, and residents have been meeting with officials from the Calif. Dept. of Forestry to work on solutions.
The next hearing in the case was set for Monday, May 7, 2001 in Eureka. For more information or to receive the initial press release on the filing of the lawsuit, call the contact number.
For more information:
Images at http://www.earthfilms.org/
Article at http:/www.indybay.org/