May 20, 2001
For Immediate Release
Campaign: Vince Taylor (707) 937-3001; Sephe Fox
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
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.