Second Environmental Impact Report News

News stories are in reverse chronological order, most recent first.

Jackson Forest Draft EIR Strongly Criticized
Expert Comments Detail Deficiencies Public Comments Top 6000

Sacramento, March 1, 2006. The public comment period on the long delayed revised Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Jackson State Forest ended on March 1, 2006

The EIR was subject to voluminous comment from experts coordinated by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forests, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. State agencies also submitted comments.  The comments document the numerous failures of the EIR to adequately describe and compare the environmental impacts of the proposed state logging plan and alternatives.

Read expert and agency evaluations of the EIR

In his comment, Vince Taylor' showed conclusively that the inventory estimates used in the management plan and EIR are so greatly in error that the  management plan and environmental report are invalid. Summary article. Taylor comment.

Five influential members of the state senate wrote to urge the Board of Forestry to reject the proposed management plan with its large-scale clearcutting.  Letter.

Emails supporting  management reform of Jackson State Forest topped 6,000.  The public  strongly expressed its desire to see Jackson Forest managed for ecological, recreational, and research values, not simply for timber production.

The outreach effort to obtain broad public comment was a joint effort of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest, California Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and Forests Forever, and numerous other smaller groups and individuals. 

The next step will be for the staff of the Board of Forestry to review and respond to all of the comments received. It may revise the document in light of the comments. This will likely take at least several months, given the large volume of detailed comments sent in by public experts and government agencies. The Board will then consider which of the alternatives in the plan to adopt.

If and when the environmental report is approved by the Board of Forestry, the Campaign will consider whether the legal deficiencies warrant filing a lawsuit.

Mendocino County Supports Progressive Management Plan

Ukiah, February 7, 2006. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, for the first time ever, opposed a plan of the state for Jackson State Redwood Forest. The Fort Bragg City Council followed suit a week later.

The two most important elected bodies in Mendocino County refused to support the state's proposed plan, which includes massive clearcutting, herbicide use, cutting of old growth trees, and neglect of recreation. Instead the supervisors voted 3 to 2 and the Fort Bragg City Council unanimously to support an alternative plan, originally proposed by a diverse citizens advisory committee in 1998. Supervisors resolution.

The plan supported by the these bodies, Alternative D in the Draft Environmental Impact Report for Jackson Forest, would ban clearcutting, place a moratorium on herbicide use, ban all cutting of old growth, expand salmon stream protection, and increase recreation opportunities.

Although Alternative D does not mandate the emphasis on restoration and habitat in Alternative E, the Campaign's preferred alternative, the frozen positions of the last ten years have finally broken loose.

Now that the ice has broken,  there are opportunities for influencing how it will come together again. Real progress now seems  possible.
For more details of the supervisors meeting, see Member Update.
Newspaper account.

State Releases New Environmental Document for Jackson Forest

Sacramento, December 16 , 2005. After a delay of two years, the state has  released a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Jackson State Forest.

Public comments on the EIR can be made to the Board of Forestry (BOF) until March 1, 2006 (a later date than originally set). Comments can be submitted via email as well as in writing.

Copies of the report can be reviewed at various localities, and a CD can be obtained free from the BOF. A meeting for receiving oral comments is scheduled for Ukiah, February 2, 2006. The Mendocino Board of Supervisors will consider their position on Tuesday, February 7, at 9:45 am.  The BOF will also hear comments at its meeting in Sacramento on February 9, 2006.  Details

The new report is in response to a 2003 court decision that found a previous version legally deficient. The court ordered a continuation of a halt to all logging in the forest. Logging has now been halted since 2001.

The new EIR is overwhelmingly massive -- over1500 pages. In response to the court's finding that it did not adequately cover important areas, the state appears to have thrown in every possibly relevant study.

The cited studies are not analyzed nor are their key finding summarized. Further, the report's conclusions about environmental impact seem to be unrelated to the findings of the studies. It finds that the proposed industrial logging of the forest, including use of clearcut variations on 30% of the forest, will have "no significant environmental impact".

The Campaign is working to prepare a legal challenge to the EIR. If you support the Campaign's goals, please help build our legal defense fund. We need all the help we can get!

New Round of Environmental Impact Review for Jackson Forest Initiated.

In early February, 2004, the Board of Forestry initiated a new round of environmental impact review for Jackson State Forest by publishing a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) on a draft management plan for Jackson State Forest.

The new EIR round is in response to the ruling by the Mendocino Superior Court in August 2003 that a previously prepared EIR was legally invalid and that the the accompanying management plan for the forest was to be rescinded. All logging in the forest was halted and is not expected to be resumed until a revised EIR is approved.

A facilitated EIR scoping meeting was held in Fort Bragg on February 27, 2004. Board of Forestry members were present. The meeting featured 3 panels of speakers. Presentations were made by five supporters of Jackson Forest reform and restoration. Presentations were also made by the California Department of Forestry (CDF), a County Supervisor, the director of the Mendocino Woodlands Outdoor Center, a country forestry advisor, and three representatives of the timber industry.

No Logging in 2005
Revised EIR Currently Scheduled for Public Release in October

Sacramento, September 26, 2005. All logging in Jackson State Forest remains halted due to the invalidation of the forest's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in July, 2003, and a negotiated settlement reached between the Campaign and the state in July 2004.

The state is still working to complete revisions in the EIR to correct the deficiencies found by the court. According to the California Department of Forestry (CDF), the revisions are nearly completed.

 CDF and Board of Forestry staff have indicated that an administrative draft of the report will be released unofficially to the public and Board members as soon as a full draft is available.

The most recent estimate of the release date for the administrative draft is around the middle of October, 2005. The release date has slipped repeatedly since the beginning of 2005.

Approximately three weeks after the unofficial release, the Board of Forestry will meet to approve the draft for official release. The public will have 45 days after the official release to submit comments.

No logging in Jackson Forest can occur until 2006, because the EIR cannot possibly complete the approval process prior to the end of the 2005 logging season.

Ironically, in summer 2004, the California Department of Forestry (CDF) strenuously opposed then-pending legislation (SB 1648), arguing that its passage would delay the resumption of logging in Jackson State Forest. The legislation passed the legislature but was vetoed on the recommendation of CDF.