Maxxam Resumes Logging In The Mattole
For immediate Release:
Yesterday Maxxam/Pacific Lumber resumed clearcutting of old growth Douglas Fir in Timber Harvest Plan(THP) 475 in the Mattole Watershed. Logging also began on adjacent logging plan THP 031, violating the public's trust by operating on a plan still under litigation. Pacific Lumber had previously agreed to halt logging until a ruling was issued on an injunction appeal submitted to the Humboldt Superior Court. Yesterday over 20 trees were cut in six hours of logging with more heavy equipment moved into the area by the end of the day. Humboldt County Sheriffs and Eureka Police Department officers numbered in the several dozens protecting logging crews as they worked. There were no arrests.
Before dawn this morning, a large contingent of forest defenders and Mattole community members gathered at several access gates in an attempt to slow Columbia Helicopter logging crews. Law enforcement and logging crews were briefly halted. Community members plan to continue to blockade these gates in the coming days.
Yesterday's logging comes on the heels of a six week siege that has seen nineteen Mattole Forest Defenders arrested. This non-violent direct action, nicknamed the Mattole Free State, has successfully halted logging in the Mattole watershed for more than 161 days. Activists' lives were endangered on November 27th and 28th when Maxxam logging crews, shadowed by Humboldt County Sheriff deputies, cut 50 trees dangerously close to non-violent activists in THP 475. Forest Defenders contiue to occupy the Mattole Watershed and are prepared to confront logging crews.
Together, both plans clearcut 68 acres of old growth Douglas Fir and fragment the contiguous ancient forest located on Long Ridge. During the past year, Maxxam/Pacific Lumber has initiated an onslaught of timber harvest plans in the most sensitive regions of its holdings: the Mattole River Watershed. These logging plans are clearcuts, exclusively in old growth Douglas Fir forests, and are planned in drainages which have extreme seismic activity (1992 saw 7.1, 6.9, and 7.2 earthquakes in a 24 hour period,) intense rainfall (up to 200 inches per year,) and easily erodible soils on steep mountainous terrain. Maxxam calls for the liquidation of a majority of their Mattole holdings within the next eight years.
This 3,000 acres of old growth Douglas Fir is the largest unprotected coastal old growth Doug-Fir forest left in the Pacific Northwest. It is a crucial habitat link between the old growth refuges of the Kings Range, Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Gilham Butte. The Mattole Watershed is located west of Scotia and Highway 101.
Earth First! will hold a mass public legal rally for the Mattole to bring as many people to the public side of Monument gate. The purpose of the rally will be to stand up against the SLAPP lawsuit filed against the Mattole defenders and to stand up for the forest.
Acting in Concert -- Rally for the Mattole
For more information:
Images at http://www.earthfilms.org/
Images and Feature Page at http:/www.indybay.org/