Mattole Residents File Grievance Over Certification of Humboldt Redwood Co. Forest Logging

This is a press release from the Lost Coast League:

PETROLIA, Calif., –  The Petrolia-based Lost Coast League (LCL) [yesterday] filed a formal grievance with SCS Global Services for certifying as sustainable a logging plan by Humboldt Redwood Co. (HRC) on untouched, primary forests in the Mattole River watershed on Rainbow Ridge.

SCS has contracted to review timber companies’ practices for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification program.  Firms awarded certification are allowed to brand their lumber as coming from sustainably managed lands.  This can bring companies higher prices per unit at lumber yards and preferred market positions.

In the grievance letter the LCL contends that cutting those old forests is a violation of FSC standards, which restrict “sustainable” production to previously managed forests and prohibit the conversion of old, mature forests to plantations.

Secondly, the LCL letter cites FSC standards that require HRC to “use integrated pest management and silviculture systems which avoid, or aim at eliminating, the use of chemical pesticides,” clearly limiting herbicide use to what LCL terms “extreme and exceptional circumstances.”  To date, however, nearly 25 percent of HRC (and sister company Mendocino Redwood Co, or MRC) holdings have been chemically treated.  LCL contends that the timber company is using herbicides well beyond the “extreme and exceptional threshold.”  (The HRC/MRC website notes 78,000 acres have been treated with herbicides.  But more acres have been treated since the time of that assertion — including some 163 acres of previously un-entered Douglas-fir/mixed hardwood stands at Rainbow Ridge in the Mattole watershed.)

According to LCL President Ellen E. Taylor, “Our efforts to resolve this issue directly with the company have been extensive and fully exhausted.  For this reason we seek resolution through the dispute resolution process afforded under SCS and FSC policy.”

The League’s David Simpson added, “There is a wide community interest in seeing the health of the Mattole watershed restored.  Since 1980 many resident landowners, together with state and federal agencies, have committed enormous private and public resources to moving the restoration process forward.

“Logging Rainbow Ridge’s native forests cannot qualify as sustainable under any reasonable criteria, especially under FSC’s published standards, and would only serve to set back the gains our community’s restoration efforts have made.”

Filing this letter sets into motion a formal grievance process.  SCS has five business days to acknowledge the letter and 14 days to respond as to whether an investigation is warranted and what recourses are available for resolution.

In submitting the letter, LCL is joined by over 40 Mattole residents, as well as the Mattole Salmon Group, members of the Mattole Restoration Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Ecological Rights Foundation, Institute for Sustainable Forestry, Forests Forever, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, Julia Butterfly Hill, actor Peter Coyote and more than 50 additional concerned citizens.

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9 comments

  • Aaaah they play by your f’ing rules and win now it’s not fair, poor widdle babies

  • You guys can always pull the question out of your pocket, wanting to know how (w/what of value?)., the owners of Redwood Company Ltd., bought the land? Last time i looked at California state’s constitution (YES, we must get ourselves back to the garden, and the order of the law is the vehicle that gets us there). Start at the beginning, 1849, handwritten. Needs no interpretation. Hang onto California, don’t let go. She’ll see the believers and the meek are clothed in sovereignty.

    Lawful exchange, on the Public side, is a matter of weights and measures. Not paper illusion stocks, bonds, futures, derivitives, -debt notes. I.O.U -someday- in the future, money.. And you can’t pay a debt with a debt. Same as property taxes. California’s founding doc., says taxes are to be paid in ‘lawful’ money.You know the guy ain’t bearing any silver or gold. Just green pieces of paper w/ broken promises, in exchange for the oldest, living, standing jewels of Humboldt.

    Just a thought.
    There’s more than one way to skin a hide.

  • Eldon G. Whitehead

    [edit], Remnants of the vermin Earth Firsters are raising their ugly heads once more. I thought that most of them had crawled under a rock somewhere and died. Not so. Rainbow Ridge, Long Ridge, Green Ridge area was logged many years ago by Palco as I was the one that handled all of the scale tickets for that timber. Nothing really out there anymore but a lot of scrub and other types of trees. There was a lot of 2nd Growth Doug Fir along with White Fir left, but, most of it wasn’t worth cutting at the time. I hunted that whole area for years and never really seen any real good stands of timber. If you believe all of the bulls*** that they are trying to sell you, I’ll be willing to sell you the Golden Gate Bridge real cheap.

    • You comments are ignorant. You obviously do not know the issue, the area, or the stakes.

      • Ignorant? Just saying? Mister Whitehead gave all the facts you can get without photos. I can verify Mister Whiteheads statement because I cut a lot of it years ago! Where were you just saying when the growers showed up and cut big flats and roads without culverts and filled the Mattole with mud! And they still don’t maintain their roads but enough to get in and out during the summer only. So it is obvious that you have another agenda other than the logging. So what is it, other than calling knowledgeable people ignorant. You are another Socialist Democrat when proven wrong, all you can be is indignant and call names!

  • Ha, ha, ha and He he Timber is worth more than devils lettuce and more Environmentally friendly. Must suck to be a Commie lib stoner right now!!!!!

    • It’s Not about you and me. We’re going up in flames. It is, Earth first. And what we do to bring about peace of mind from this place of despair we find ourselves in. Realize abundance. Heal the myths. Stop repeating a negative belief w/out proof. “Peak water” is a belief system w/out proof. Implying there’s not enough to go ’round. We must fight and war and hate and kill indiscrminatly, no questions asked. Man-made scarcity. We’re running out of this, then that, the bugs, critters, animals -everything that isn’t us, is, coming after us, to attack, to spread bacteria and obedience thru fearmongering tax.

      The US Inc. Forest Service is all over the Emerald Triangle right now. Co-mingling, hob-knobbling w/Cal Fire, rubbing shoulders with Briceland Fire Dept. Hydesville Fire Dept., Rio Dell Fire Department.

      WHERE’S THE GLOBAL SUPERTANKER BOEING 747?

  • I have never been to that part of the county and don’t claim to know all of the details involved, but I both love the environment, and support private property rights. If this is a unique area that needs protection couldn’t the government, usfs blm state owned lands, etc. trade timber harvest on public property that would help reduce wildfire risk and still allow the company to work and make a profit and keep its employees working?

  • I’ve been there and Eldon is correct. Mostly 2nd growth fir and white fir, with oak. A lot of bug-killed timber too, as I recall. And in the mid-90’s there were growers out there as well, you could see the trash dumps.
    It’s not about the trees, it’s about control.

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