Prelim Injunction
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Press Release

Court Stops State from Logging Jackson State Forest

May 20, 2001        Press Release            For Immediate Release

Campaign: Vince Taylor (707) 937-3001; Sephe Fox (707) 964-5800
Legal: Paul Carroll (650) 322-5652


May 18, Ukiah. In a strongly worded decision, the Superior Court of Mendocino County today issued a Preliminary Injunction that stops the California Department of Forestry (CDF) from proceeding with two pending timber sales in Jackson State Forest. The sales would have logged 900 acres of old second-growth redwood in a 50,000-acre state-owned redwood forest in Mendocino County, California.

In his decision, Judge Richard Henderson concurred with the allegations of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest. In its suit, the Campaign argued that California Board of Forestry regulations require that logging in state forests be done under a current management plan. Jackson Forest’s management plan was last revised in 1983 and had only a ten-year planning horizon.

In his decision, Judge Henderson wrote, "The … issues are twofold: must CDF comply with an approved management plan and, if so, must that plan be current? The answers to both questions is "yes." Henderson further found that, "… it appears that the June 7, 1984 plan is not current… Even a casual review of the Plan reveals that the conditions on which it was developed eighteen years ago have changed dramatically."

Palo Alto lawyer, Paul Carroll, who represents the Campaign, said, "The state has been logging California’s largest state forest illegally since 1993, when its management plan expired. The court has now said the state can no longer it ignore its own laws." Carroll said that an important part of the decision was Judge Henderson’s finding that state forests "must comply with site-specific forest management plans in addition to whatsoever other requirements are set forth in the Forest Practices Act and Forest Practice Rules." CDF has consistently argued that its Timber Harvest Plans for Jackson State need only conform to the Forest Practice Rules and that its management plan was irrelevant.

In a related development, CDF released a long-promised draft of a new management plan for Jackson State Forest just a few days before the court decision, apparently in response to the pressure of the suit. Still not released is an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) that is part of developing a new management plan. If the Preliminary Injunction is upheld, as seems likely, no new logging will be allowed until the management plan and EIR have been fully approved.

According to Campaign spokesperson Vince Taylor, the suit is part of a larger effort to get the state to restore Jackson Forest to an old growth redwood forest. "The 50,000 acres of Jackson Forest is an island of public land in the midst of half a million acres of industrially owned, devastated timberland. Jackson State Forest provides the only possible large sanctuary in Mendocino County for salmon and other endangered redwood-related species. It could also be a recreation haven for the millions of people who live only a few hours drive away in the Bay Area. The state ought to be restoring Jackson State Forest for its precious ecological and recreational values, not logging it like another big industrial company."

Texts of the legal briefs, press releases, and background can be found at www.jacksonforest.com.