Mattole Defense
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Where have all the logs gone?


Maxxam/PL's Partial Closure of Carlotta Mill

Earth First!
For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 9, 2001
Contact: Naomi Wagner, (707)-629-3546

"Maxxam/Pacific Lumber's recent layoffs and subsequent blaming of Earth First! are both regrettable and unnecessary," said Naomi Wagner, long-time Earth First! activist and Petrolia resident, "When will this company learn to live sustainably?"

The company is complaining that the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is not providing them with a steady supply of logs and that pressure from activists is slowing them down. But, according to Citizen Monitors, Maxxam/PL has continued logging at an unsustainable rate this year and has thousands of acres in active and pending Timber Harvest Plans (THP).

In Freshwater they have filed some fifteen plans, at least half of which are approved. The company owns about 15,000 acres in Freshwater, two-thirds of which were clearcut between 1990 and 1997. Clearcutting has dumped massive loads of sediment into water courses, harmful to fish and water quality. They continue to ignore the cumulative effects of years of overcutting watersheds. In Bear Creek, considered the most heavily impacted watershed, CDF has approved plans totaling an additional 700 acres.

"The underlying problem is their refusal to perform real water quality monitoring as required by the local and Regional Water Quality Agency", said Rob DiPerna of THP Watch. "Out of 22 watersheds in their more than 200,000 acre holdings they have not even started a monitoring program on a single one. They are now defying a special Order to Comply and are challenging Water Quality's authority to issue such an order."

Water quality monitoring is a pre-requisite for completion of the watershed analysis requirements of the HCP. When the Habitat Conservation Plan was written it totally disregarded the already existing jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and North Coast Regional Water Quality has always maintained that the HCP does not meet its CWA standards.

Maxxam / PL blames protests in the Mattole for the layoffs at the Carlotta Mill, but that mill processes mainly redwood, while the Mattole is solely a Douglas Fir forest. They also sight lack of access to the Hole in Headwaters, but this is another matter of their needing to comply with a court order to complete water quality monitoring.

The company has filed a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) against 70 community residents and activists claiming harm to their business operations. "We are simply protecting public values and upholding the Endangered Species Act . They're attempting to drive a wedge between activists and timber workers, but we have never thought of loggers as 'Us and Them' but rather just all of us!" said Jack Nounnan an elder activist from Arcata named and served in the lawsuit. Meanwhile Maxxam/PL continues to hire Columbia Helicopter crews from Oregon.


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