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SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

This Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") is entered into between Petitioners Campaign To Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest and Dharma Cloud Charitable Foundation Trust ("Petitioners"), and Respondents California Department Of Forestry And Fire Protection ("CDF") and State Board Of Forestry and Fire Protection ("Board").

WHEREAS, Petitioners have filed two consolidated superior court actions against Respondents that, among other things, seek writs of mandate setting aside Timber Harvest Plans 1-99-483 MEN and 1-99-484 MEN ("THPs 483 and 484") in Jackson Demonstration State Forest ("JDSF"), on the ground they were approved in the absence of a legally valid management plan (Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, et al. v. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Super. Ct. Mendocino County, 2000, Nos. 0083611, 0084953 ("Lawsuits"));

WHEREAS, on May 18, 2001, the Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting CDF from awarding contracts for the sale of timber from, or harvesting of THPs 483 and 484;

WHEREAS, on July 12, 2001, the Board amended its policy regarding the management of state forests in partial response to the Superior Court’s injunction;

WHEREAS Petitioners believed that the Board’s July 12, 2001, action was unlawful, and intended to bring legal action against it;

WHEREAS Petitioners and Respondents now wish to avoid the need for hearing and freely and voluntarily enter into this Agreement for that purpose, and for purposes of judicial economy;

NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual terms, covenants and conditions set forth below, Petitioners and Respondents agree as follows:

1. CDF agrees not to approve any timber harvest plans pursuant to Public Resources Code section 4581 in JDSF until the Director of CDF ("Director") has developed a new management plan, an environmental impact report (EIR) for the new management plan has been certified, and the Board has approved a new management plan. CDF further agrees that any timber harvest plans in JDSF shall be consistent with a new management plan.

2. CDF agrees that there will not be any timber operations, as defined by Public Resources Code section 4527, pursuant to THPs 483 and 484 unless and until all the following occurs:

  • a. The Director develops a new management plan, an EIR for a new management plan is certified, and the Board approves a new management plan for JDSF.
  • b. CDF makes any changes necessary to ensure that THPs 483 and 484 comply with the new management plan and determines that the THPs comply with the plan, following approval of the plan by the Board.
  • c. CDF allows 15 days for public comment, commencing from the date of Board approval of the new management plan, relating to the compliance of THPs 483 and 484 with the new management plan.
  • d. CDF responds to the comments on compliance of those THPs with the new management plan.
  • 3. Petitioners retain the right to challenge THPs 483 and 484 if they do not comply with the new management plan. Petitioners may not challenge THPs 483 and 484 on any other ground.

    4. Petitioners are not in any way restrained by this Agreement from challenging the Board’s and/or CDF’s approval of a new management plan for JDSF, and/or the certification of an EIR for the new management plan. Such a challenge would include the right to request a court to enjoin timber harvest operations in JDSF, including timber operations under THPs 483 and 484 for not being consistent with the new management plan.

    5. Other than THPs 483 and 484, Petitioners are not in any way restrained by this Agreement from challenging any timber harvest plan or timber harvest operation approved under the new management plan.

    6. Petitioners waive their right altogether to challenge the Board’s actions of July 12, 2001, amending its policy relating to the management of state forests, other than as such challenge applies to the management of JDSF.

    7. The Board agrees to toll the appropriate CEQA statute of limitations for a legal action by Petitioners challenging the Board’s action of July 12, 2001, amending its policy relating to the management of state forests as to its application to the management of JDSF, until 30 days after the Board’s approval of a new JDSF management plan.

    8. The Board agrees that it will "agendize" a portion of the public comment period at a regularly scheduled meeting mutually agreed on by the Board and Petitioners, so that the public can provide additional comment on the Board’s action of July 12, 2001, amending the Board’s policy regarding the management of state forests. Nothing herein however requires the Board to take any specific action as to the policy or in response to public comments.

    9. Upon the Director’s development of a new management plan, the certification of an EIR for the new management plan, the Board’s approval of the new management plan, and a determination by CDF that THPs 483 and 484 are in compliance with the new management plan, the preliminary injunction will be dissolved.

    10. Petitioners will dismiss the lawsuits once the statute of limitations has run on any legal challenge to the new management plan and/or the EIR for the new management plan; or once any legal challenge to the new management plan and/or the EIR for the new management plan has been completed and the new management plan and/or its EIR have not been set aside. Petitioners will not dismiss the Lawsuits in the event either side appeals from the trial court’s decision on Petitioners’ motion for attorney fees, until termination of such appeal.

    11. The matter of Petitioners’ attorney fees shall be decided by a noticed motion.

    12. Petitioners may bring their motion for attorney fees upon execution of this Agreement.

    13. Petitioners shall bring their motion for attorney fees no later than 30 days following the Board’s approval of a new management plan.

    14. Petitioners and Respondents agree that Petitioners claims in this litigation are disputed by Respondents and that this Agreement shall not be construed as an admission of liability by the Respondents.

    15. This Agreement may be signed in counterpart and shall be binding and effective immediately upon the execution by all parties of one or more counterpart.

    Dharma Cloud Charitable Foundation Trust

    Dated: February ____, 2002 By_______________________

    Vince Taylor

    Campaign To Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest

    Dated: February ____, 2002 By_______________________

    William Heil

     

    PAUL V. CARROLL

    Dated: February ____, 2002 _______________________

    Attorney for Petitioners

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Dated: February ____, 2002 By_______________________

    California Board of Forestry

    Dated: February ____, 2002 By_______________________

     

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    Dated: February ____, 2002 _______________________

    Charles Getz, IV

    Deputy Attorney General

    Attorney for Respondents

    Good cause appearing, IT IS SO ORDERED:

    Dated: February ____, 2002 ________________________

    RICHARD J. HENDERSON

    Judge of the Superior Court