‘Elders Defend Elders,’ Say Activists as Four Arrested This Morning Trying to Stop Logging on Rainbow Ridge

Four Mattole Elders Arrested

Four protesters have been arrested trying to stop logging of the Rainbow Ridge area. [All photos provided by the Lost Coast League]

Before the sun rose this morning, four Mattole residents–Michael Evenson, Ellen Taylor, David Simpson, and Jane Lapiner–were arrested trying to stop Humboldt Redwood Company from continuing logging operations on Rainbow Ridge, said the Lost Coast League. The Rainbow Ranch area southwest of Rio Dell beyond Monument Gate and located on the headwaters of the upper and lower forks of the Mattole River has been a hot spot since last year.

Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) which sells its products as sustainably harvested maintains that they are following high standards in their their timber harvest practices. Activists claim that the company shouldn’t be allowed to log what they claim is a sensitive area. The two sides differ about what constitutes old growth and virgin forests among other issues.

Nate Madsen, who is on the steering committee of the Lost Coast League and the Secretary of EPIC, told us that a number of protesters arrived in front of Monument Gate about 4:30 this morning. “It was very shortly thereafter that the felling crew showed,” he explained by phone as he was on his way to get those arrested out of the Humboldt County Jail. “[Four of the protesters–all septuagenarians] stood in front of the logging trucks, had a very pleasant exchange, and then were arrested… There were a handful of other folks there who choose not to be arrested.”

After the arrests, Madsen said, “At least one truck load of felling crew and least one load of road clearing crew went through the gate.”

Madsen said that both the protesters and the employees of HRC agreed on many issues in their exchange this morning. “Everyone involved is a proponent of sustainable forestry,” he said. The activists contend though that HRC “has room for improvement.”

Eventually, Madsen said, the four older protesters were placed under citizen’s arrest.

“The sheriff’s came and assumed custody…,” Madsen said.  He said in an earlier text message that this morning’s arrests showed “Elders defend elders!!!”

The arrests, he added, don’t mean that the protests are over. “There are still people out in the woods,” he said.

Handcuffed Protesters at Monument Gate

The four protesters show their handcuffs.

Press release sent out last night by the Lost Coast League:

Several Mattole elders in their mid to late 70s will stop fallers from going through Monument Gate Monday morning at 5am, facing arrest if need be, to protect Rainbow Ridge’s original forest land.

Given the increasingly tense situation following HRC’s commencement of North Fork Mattole logging, the Lost Coast League feels this summary an important part of community understanding for why we willing to commit civil disobedience to defend the forest.

On Wednesday, June 5, 2019 the Lost Coast League (LCL) was informed that Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) had felled trees in Unit 4 of THP 1-14-034HUM – an old, never-before logged forest stand on Rainbow Ridge. This forest and its surroundings in the Mattole constitute the last, most ecologically significant, intact forest in the north Mattole headwaters, as originally cited by Mattole Restoration Council’s 1986 map (MRC, Distribution of Old Growth Coniferous Forests in the Mattole Watershed, 1986).

Since 1986 Mattole residents have campaigned to preserve this heritage landscape from industrial logging by Pacific Lumber (MAXXAM Corporation) and now HRC. That’s 33 years of effort employing lawsuits (some won, some lost), and non-violent civil disobedience. HRC has achieved Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) certification for sustainability. Most recently, LCL filed a formal complaint to FSC, based on the improper classification of High Conservation Value Forests (an FSC rule), the excessive use of herbicides, and inadequate consultation with LCL and its partners, including MRC. In that complaint, the auditors determined:

“To resolve this [HCVF] issue, we conclude that HRC/MRC needs to update its prior HCVF assessment of the Mattole, utilizing appropriate and precautionary methods such as LiDAR analyses and ground reconnaissance, and to share the results of the updated HCVF assessment with the complainants. A Corrective Action Request is being raised to this effect.”

In subsequent communication with the auditors, Lead Investigator Dr. R. Hrubes wrote LCL in an email March 9, 2019:

“In developing the (HCVF) assessment, the forest owner or manager consults with qualified specialists, independent experts, and local community members who may have knowledge of areas that meet the definition of HCVs.

And FSC Indicator 9.2.a requires that:

The forest owner of manager holds consultations with stakeholders and experts to confirm that proposed HCVF locations and their attributes have been accurately identified, and that appropriate options for the maintenance of their HCV attributes have been adopted”


“With respect to forest management in the Mattole, our site visit on September 11th revealed an instance that leads us to conclude that the companies are not utilizing every reasonably available opportunity to reduce herbicide use.”

Hrubes’ SCS Report, January 13, 2019, mandated:

Corrective Action Request:
The FME [HRC] must undertake an updated assessment for the presence of high conservation values (per the FSC definition) on its lands within the Mattole watershed. The results of the updated HCV assessment must be shared with the Lost Coast League, et al, complainants.

In response to LCL’s question whether HRC could log the stands in question, Hrubes responded in the above cited email, March 9, 2019:

“Principle 9 of the FSC Standard requires that “decisions regarding high conservation value forests shall always be considered in the context of a precautionary approach.” Consistent with taking a precautionary approach, it is expected that a forest owner or manager not undertake any site disturbing activities in an area prior to completing a HCV assessment of the area and establishing appropriate management prescriptions for maintaining or enhancing any identified high conservation”

HRC has not consulted further with LCL in regard to its herbicide plan or designation criteria for high conservation forests. LCL has received no communication from HRC despite repeated attempts to engage with HRC to cooperate and complete these two endeavors, and urging HRC to share LIDAR data, complete a Biomass profile of Rainbow Ridge with targeted ground-truthing– a scientifically credible practice to assess ecological old growth conditions. HRC has not shared its assessment with LCL and we, therefore, have not had an opportunity to evaluate their conclusions. It is within this context that the Lost Coast League cries “Foul” when HRC began logging in Unit 4.

To summarize:


  • LCL filed a complaint with FSC/SCS July 2018 and two issues in the complaint were deemed valid January 13, 2019.
  • The remedy for retaining FSC certification required HRC to develop a plan and evaluate their Mattole lands for HCVF and to update their plan to phase out herbicide use.
  • In a subsequent email SCS pointed to FSC principles which require HRC to consult with LCL and others to designate HCVF lands and not take any site disturbing activities during that process.
  • LCL offered to analyze LIDAR data in cooperation with HRC, but received no response.
  • Five months later HRC had still failed to consult or share their submissions on HCVF and herbicide plan.
  • June 5, 2019, HRC began site disturbing activities (falling old trees and building roads) on disputed lands.
  • LCL is committed to preserving the forest and the public against HRC’s breach of faith pending fulfillment of HRC’s duties to FSC to maintain their sustainability certification.

Earlier Chapters:



  • The harvesting of a human spirit well continue until the soul is crushed by corporate greed how much is life worth according to corporations not much they stack them up like cordwood and burn through them without a care all for the almighty dollar which will not be worth anything in the long run say no to the War Machine corporate Timber big oil the too-big-to-fail banks we need to stop feeding corporate greed follow the money stop the destruction of our children’s future organize Extinction is not an option this problem goes all the way up to the top of our leaders and what might be the most corrupt government ever !!! We need to start being the people again

    • Tresspassing= breaking the law= hand cuffs. Its Monday, and everyone else is trying to work, to make your community safer, and produce your high demand product. Who has the time to even go protest on a work day?
      If you lived in Paradise last year, or live in any fire prone community (like we all do), or have a sense of forest management and fuel reduction, the reaction is different. Understanding that the industry practices save the old unusable trees, while cutting and thinning the overgrowth helps. The accumulation of unhealthy, overgrown forests, from the years of radicalized, undereducated bans of thinning, and the saving of unnaturally thick timberlanand will lead to our communities eventually burning to the ground. From the roof over your head to the stuff you clean yourself with, the product is produced and used by the demand created. BTW They are cutting nothing but young overgrown white fir and young overgrown doug fir. No old growth, no Redwood.

      • There issue is mostly with herbicide which I wouldn’t want in the hills above where I live either. It’s a lazy way to thin tanoak and it makes more fire danger by increasing dry dead fuel loads.

      • These folks have been working on restoration for forty years. They include two founding members of the Mattole Salmon Group, the previous director of the Institute for Sustainable Forestry, a doctor and a lawyer. Humboldt Redwood Company did not meet their obligation to redefine High Conservation Value Forest under the Forest Stewardship Council sustainability certification audit process. Instead, they ran in and felled trees. They can’t have it both ways! They can fragment the last intact forest stands but they can no longer make claims of sustainability.

  • Corporate Greed is the problem in all too many instances!!! It seems most corporations value the Almighty Dollar far more than human lives!!! The damned Polar Ice Caps are already melting, what more proof do these GREEDY BASTARDS NEED??????

    • ” . . . what more proof do these GREEDY BASTARDS NEED??????”

      ~more people at the gate. What? Are T.H.E.Y. (The Hierarchy Enslaving You), gonna write all of their Straw Man’ Names/NAMES up? Keep the birth certificate (a Trust Account w/out your newborn consent or knowledge), handy. That’s what’s being charged.

      Law or Fictional Presumption?

      We are being misidentified and mischaracterized, by presumption. as “citizens of the United States” with “United States” defined as “territories and District of Columbia” and you/we are being treated as “persons” because we aren’t standing up and declaring our allegiance to our lawful state of the Union and we aren’t filling our vacated public offices and running our own American Common Law Courts.

      Mulligan Ex Parte very clearly states that wherever our American Common Law Courts are up and operating, the admiralty courts must cease operating as military tribunals and revert to their proper place as courts merely concerned with actual maritime contracts and other admiralty issues.

      These foreign international courts, which are doing so much damage to our property and our people, are merely opportunists filling a gap that we left open through ignorance. When our courts stand on the land, their courts cannot usurp— but when we allow our Common Law Court System to stand vacant, the cat is away and the rats can play.

      It’s not our government sitting in Washington, DC. Our government at the Federal level has been moth-balled for 150 years.

      Could be the opportunity to verify/claim State citizen ‘clothed’ in state’ Rights. Stand up for California, from the roots. The Aenlightened only want the truth, deep from the tree’s roots.

    • Is there any point in mentioning that corporations are entities designed to make money? Or that many people from pot growers to college instructors to medical doctors do what they do for the Almighty Dollar? Or that virtually all the money given by the government for food, sing, medical care, schooling, etc come from taxing the Almighty Dollar that ever fewer people seem interested in earning themselves? I suspect every one of these elders are collecting money from that source and would not be quietly willing forego those Almighty Dollars either.

    • The greed is personal not corporate as all corporations must do as much as they can to create returns for their share holders meaning retirement accounts and other types of investors. Why do you think Pge keeps getting a pass for their lack of actions when they cause fires that take property and lives ? Could it be that the states retirement account is heavily invested with Pge stock? All those lawmakers retirement accounts all the cal trans calpers accounts would be empty should they be dissolved the problem isn’t what we think the problem is that they have forced all of us to be part of the problem without knowingly being made aware. At this point it has gone on so long it has reached past the point of no return and the only way to fix it would cripple not only the nation but each and everyone of us

      • A lot of the retirements across the country are getting mined by the rich Elites the global stock market exchange is getting ready to take a dump and when it does a lot of the retirement benefits will disappear in a blink of an eye leaving a lot of the middle class flailing like the billions of homeless already destined to be exterminated
        There is only a few Solutions that well work for a peaceful and healthy outcome greed fear and War will not work to keep Humanity moving in a good way some of the elders see what’s coming we are on the verge of a ecological collapse at the same time our economy and the downfall of the almighty dollar when some of the biggest criminals in the world are in charge of the Federal Reserve Steve mnuchin the plunge Protection Team well drop the hammer on the middle class sending Wall Street into a death spiral making it hard to stand up are protests against resource extraction like Keystone XL and the selling of Utah’s national parks and the destruction of our children’s future
        The sharing of food and information
        And good people doing the right thing is the only safe and good way into the future

    • They aren’t melting from logging

      • Actually, forests pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in part causes global warming. Thus less forests = more carbon dioxide= more warming= less ice caps.

        • the forest are replanted. carbon os stored in wood products. it is a little more complicated than you infer. in fact, a lot more

          • I was just answering this person not stating that this particular logging situation is causing the melting ice caps. Deforestation throughout the world though is a major cause.

          • You cannot “replant a forest”…. you can replant trees, but trees do not make a forest. This is a mature forest ecosystem. They are cutting in mature and old growth stands and intact habitat that should be left alone. These are healthy native ecosystems that have natural flow and continuity. Opening up the canopy with this horrific logging plan will cause increased drying of the soil, groundwater resources and forest understory. Leading to increased erosion, fire danger and invasive species. This area should be permanently protected.

            You cannot replant a 80-300 year old tree, and repair all the networks that tree is a part of. It is forever damaged. MATURE NATURAL FORESTS ARE NOT A “RENEWABLE RESOURCE”… F*@k HRC & their goons.

            Free the Mattole! Save The Wild Lost Coast! For the Wild!

  • O.M.G! And Again i say – it seems we can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Maverick Farmer Grows Hemp Today, Marijuana Tomorrow

    Adams punched 300 acres of hemp ground in 2017. . .


    ~oh Emerald Triangle.

    • The Black Spot. We are only parasites of the Mother.

      • Every animal is a parasite more or less. And Mother doesn’t have a favorite child but is probably sad that some of her offspring are capable of wanton destruction of her other children. Luckily for everyone, Mother is more fastidious than some of the posters here.

      • what the hell is that ?

  • 🕯🌳Good morning Kym, good article.

  • Good for them!! 😊 Please post a place to donate.

  • Total bull sh¡t! We have logged enough of this county, I think a little protesting would do it good! And ARRESTED!?!? I protested headwaters in the 90’s aggressively, and never got arrested. So wtf?! More people need to stand up for the forests before our kids only have the scraps!

    • Yes. I am very proud of my city of Eureka for taking steps to improve the Ryan Creek watershed by purchasing sections of the McKay tract. It will continue to be logged sustainably, not aggressively or rapaciously, and will yield great timber for our community while allowing for public use.

      I wish all timber were treated this way, as a common interest for the whole community. Big props to Arcata for doing the same!

    • what did ya do that for ?

  • These are some quality people acting with the best of motives. I hope their efforts do good. Stalling only works for so long, and it’s hard to keep up the fight constantly.
    Young people of the Mattole! Can you help?


    Power to the protesters! THANK YOU! You’re far from alone, and history will remember you as among the TRUE HEROES of our time!

  • Old Time Earth Firster

    Long Live the Spirit of Judi Bari!!
    Earth First!, Humboldt Redwood Conpany Profits last!!!
    Humboldt Redwood Company out of Humboldt County!
    Time to set up a basecamp and recruit the college kids to come spend the summer in the redwoods, Redwood Summer 2019, we will not back down to LEAR Paramilitary Keystone Vigilantes or Humboldt Redwood Company, in the woods today, and at their houses protesting tomorrow, take it to their doorstep and every Home Depot which sells Humboldt Redwood….. let the entire nation know that HRC destroys old growth redwoods for quick profits

    • You start harassing people at their homes, you’re asking for trouble. Don’t complain if it ends badly for you.

      • We already told Trevor Bohn to stop harassing, abusing, and kidnapping our children at our homes, but his daddy Rex gave Trevor a taxpayer-funded get-out-of-jail-free card. How does racist Rex Bohn, “father of the year”, still have a job?

        • What are the details of your allegations against Trevor Bohn? harassing, abusing, and kidnapping, that is some serious shit, where is your proof.

          I am very interested in seeing this taken care of but we need more details.

          Please share.

        • whats this about tax monies? i would just like to ask for a little explanation on how this cost tax monies so i can evaluate how much it costs

    • Our beautiful people who have been here decades. Yes another Redwood Summer.👍

    Great role modeling for us older activists and citizens/neighbors who still care!!

  • Citizens arrest… How do those people sleep at night and look how the world is.. We handcuff old people who are standing up for something.. Seriously all u cops and cop lovers and “gokd samartitan cops” how do u sleep at night ???

    • They don’t sleep at night. They Hoover up rails of Adderall all night long like their favorite “president”.

  • Thanks to these folks for defending the forest!

  • I just can’t take anyone seriously who tries to validate ground truthing by calling it scientifically credible. For starters if it’s scientifically credible you shouldn’t have to tell people that its scientifically credible. It sounds like someone defending Scientology.

    • ~now, that makes me laugh, Mike. Thanks.

      When we believe, think, speak, and write the Leviathan’s demonic language, esp. on auto-replay, then it’s, unknowingly, giving room to coincide. Look how far Climate Change, Climate Change, Climate Change has gotten us.

      If we want control of our lives, we have to take control of our language.

    • Ground truth? You mean the collection of empirical evidence? That IS 99% of the scientific method.

      I do not understand what you are arguing here, but the fact that Central HumCo seems to agree with you is not a good sign…

  • Just fyi those folks arrested have been trying since the early 2000’s to protect this area. So much time spent in meetings trying to get the land sold to conservation group or something similar.
    There have been blockades&protests on rainbow ridge since 2002. This is not a new issue.

    Take a minute to read about the radioactivity and carbon trees are removing from the air for us. Its pretty amazing.
    Cutting old growth is stealing oxygen from your grandkids.
    HRC is not following guidelines, its what a lot of big corp timber companies do, they agree to certain regs to get their plan approved then go do the exact opposite&just pay the fines.

    Look folks you can donate&hope for best or you can get out there & protest & call/write cdf and hrc, etc etc.
    I can tell you the big biz guys are really counting on everyone doing nothing. Do you wanna play their game? Nows the time to stand up&protest!!!

    • >”Cutting old growth is stealing oxygen from your grandkids.”

      Nope. Old growth is pretty unproductive for oxygen creation… especially Doug-fir.
      Cutting the old trees down will grow young trees that produce lots of oxygen.

      Protesters are picking the wrong place.
      Global population growth will take the old trees out… and the young trees… and most everything.

      Protest churches.
      Picket Republican Headquarters.

      >” I suspect every one of these elders are collecting money from that source and would not be quietly willing forego those Almighty Dollars either.”


      They drove cars to get to the protest.
      Live in houses made of wood.
      Probably eat agribusiness food.
      Burning electricity to post this sh…er… stuff.

      • Protest churches.
        Picket Republican Headquarters.

        or try to protect the last 5% of virgin Forest. simple no-brainer there. I have 4th gen redwoods across from me and Green diamond has no future plans to harvest them, land trust is next I hear. a land trust means zero economy on that tract.

        • local,

          ~i hope you’re right. A Land Trust is the way to go.

          Treaties don’t matter much -not since day one. California’s Premier Land Preservation of the 60’s, the Williamson Act, gets stomped whenever the wind blows in the direction of the so-called $upeS. Pristine land, forests, rivers, streams, that was to be left “as is”, preserving the natural beauty for future generations. I’ve seen the Williamson Act averted, and the property whisked into a THP with little to no ado.

      • Just because uses a corporate product, doesn’t mean they can’t demand that it is ethically produced. A customer has more right than anyone to demand that their client industry behaves ethically.

        If you yourself admit that deforestation is a dire global problem, why do you seem to think there is such a thing as a “wrong place” to attempt to stop immoral (and arguably illegal) logging?

        It seems like you are parroting corporate talking points, ones that do NOTHING to benefit you.

  • Are there any mills left that can mill old growth trees? If there aren’t, would the company be falling them? So the issue seems to be only herbicide use and that the protesters want further consultation with the company? Not cutting of old growth trees which is what so many assume.

  • Maybe they should have purchased the land if they wanted to protect it.
    Pretty soon these same morons are going be protesting the harvesting of asteroids.
    There is no common wealth any longer.

    • Peace and rock on

      Awww. But it is to wish and dream that people still care right sheesh? More power to them to peacefully stand up and protest for their beliefs and for the earth. Someone has to do it! I’m behind them 100%

    • Actually there is. Every Californian has a right to access the coast, no matter who owns the land. But will the Trinidad Rancheria petition to the Federal government change that?

      • Is Ryan Sundberg still putting up unwanted billboard signs in the community promoting “Cherry Popping Daddies”? No wonder an outspent, underfunded Supervisor Madrone still beat Sundberg silly!

      • A California state national has rights, if he can assert them.

        U.S. citizens – zilch.

        ~just sayin.

  • Now let’s see these same folks blockade some big destructive grows up the Mattole.

  • I think they can slow the f down getting to the gate. People live on that road, and they don’t need to be in such a hurry to save a tree. There’s not any kids out at 4-4:30 am but there might be animals. Domestic and wild

  • Why can’t you guys go back to doing mushrooms and staring into outer space.

  • that stand is part of the 1% OLD GROWTH left in our whole forested watershed. Don’t take any more even surrounding old growth stands. It tells such an ancient tale. I find it hard to digest that mankind could cut so much. and mostly just since the forties. Come on HRC, let it be. Find a different plan.

  • I don’t think anyone has the “right” to log old growth ancient redwoods. Leave me the hell alone.

  • They look pretty dangerous.

  • While I do comend these folks for standing for what they believe in.. I am going to go out on a limb here..(no pun intended)…. While I think it is true that HRC needs to improve, especially in regards to pesticides… Hasn’t HRC also said that they are committed to not logging the old growth? And being a better company? Isn’t that what enviro’s have always called for? . Just a little perspective.. Down the way, Green diamond is set to clear cut.. with out any old growth commitments, probably use more pesticides and then sell thier timber for less to people who don’t care.. Are sustainable jobs not important? Personally I want to see HRC successful.. I mean if they are not living up to thier commitments, that is one aspect, I would like to know.. but, it sounds to me like they are dedicated.. No doubt Rainbow Ridge sounds like an important ecosystem..but if enviro’s make it impossible for sustainable jobs, there are worse companies right around the corner who don’t give a f#$&… I hope the two can find a solution, sustainable jobs and sustainable lumber..

    • when they done cutting this tract, they will spray about 2,000 gallons of herbicide on it to kill the hardwoods, and most likely sell it to a land trust before ever harvesting it again. its a horrible thought and reality. our future like the rest of the entire northcoast is tourism.

    • “it sounds to me like they are dedicated.”

      OH, they’re dedicated.

  • Nice story Kym. But why is it in the crime section. Just because there arrested doesn’t make them criminals

  • Heather Gossard

    I am proud to live in the community with Ellen, Michael, Jane and David. Gorgeous people, inside and out. I wish I had an ounce of the drive that each one of them possesses in just their pinky fingers. Their passion is undaunting and imperishable. Bravo.

  • HRC is committed to not cutting old growth Redwood. Their definition does not included isolated or tiny stand old growth redwood. Rainbow Ridge is a habitat corridor for old growth. One of those arrested is a RPF. All have worked tirelessly to preserve old growth habitat. If they are willing to be arrested, there is something very, very wrong with the THP

    • I’d say there’s something very very wrong with any THP – of the last -whenever hemp was made “illegal”. What a bunch of bull honky.

      The war on Nature that Western civilization has been waging is a war on our humanity.

  • Bravo! Ellen, Michael, Jane and David are the most amazing people I have ever met. The very BEST humanity has produced in like… EVER! I applaud them for their sacrifice. Thank you all!

    Wood is the stupid way to build. Stupid, but convenient.

    Fire & bugs, molds & fungi THRIVE in them, making wooden houses, disposable waste in 100 years OR LESS. Disposable culture, living in throw away houses. Treated w TOXIC chemmies & it might *choke*, give you an extra 50 years. I’ve seen 700 year old sheds in Europe ready for another 700. With stone, concrete, adobe, brick & composites, we could live safe from fire and black mold, in a house that will survive generations.

    Wood has better uses as art, furniture, instruments & weapons.

    Living paper free is EASY. A little bit of re-purposed paper for the FEW things you can’t live without. EASY!

  • The flowers are listing the birds and the bees the flowers and the trees everything is filling how we been doing to our environment even the ocean and its inhabitants are crying the damage is horrific some people say that you could hear a tree die many species are getting obliterated while we set in line at the gas station and make our journey to the supermarket and get our baskets full of plastic and other unnecessary Packaging and we wonder why we have cancer and other abnormal growths
    It is hard to see bringing this Melting Pot of people through the fire if the forge is hot enough it will bind us all in order to get through these troubling times Unity is the answer working together heal one another and the planet we live on is quite a chore and it takes everyone and everything synchronicity

  • ~i used to wonder what it would take, what would it be, that gets us off our seats, gathering together for the purpose of turning this ship of state around. United we stand!

    Factually innacurate – the doctrine of continuing wrong theory.

    “Leave no authority in place not responsible to the people.” Jefferson

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