Brandon Gulch Suit
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Press Release


December 20, 2000

For Immediate Release

Vince Taylor    707 937-3001
Steve Antler     707.964.5800

The Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest filed suit on December 20, 2000 to prevent logging on the Brandon Gulch THP (1-99-483 MEN) in Jackson State Demonstration Forest (JDSF). The California Department of Forestry (CDF) approved this plan the day before Thanksgiving.

Brandon Gulch is an extremely beautiful area of the forest. It has not been logged for 80 to 90 years. Stands of towering redwoods are traversed by tinkling streams, and there is a wonderful balance of light and shade, trees and ferns. The streams are spawning grounds for Coho salmon and the trees are habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl, both listed as threatened species.

One of the few remaining, well-maintained walking trails in Jackson Forest goes through beautiful Brandon Gulch. It provides an exceptional recreation experience. Also, one of only three equestrian/hike-in camps in the Forest (Camp 6) is located adjacent to the logging area. The special qualities of these recreation facilities will be destroyed by the loggingDuring timber operations, these recreation facilities will be closed to the public. If the logging is allowed, the public will lose one of the few places in Mendocino County to hike and camp in an undisturbed, maturing redwood forest.

The disregard for recreation exhibited by the Brandon Gulch THP is nothing new. JDSF recently carried out another logging plan in a similarly beautiful, near-by area of the Forest. This THP actually ran logging roads right along sections of the historic Bob Woods Trail. Logging plans have been carried out right over popular recreation trails in Hare Creek and east of Caspar, despite in the latter case, major public opposition. Additional plans are in preparation that would destroy another recreation area east of Caspar and in Mitchell Creek

There are 540 acres included in this harvest plan. It is intended to remove 10 - 12 million board feet of timber and raise $5 - $6 million. As well as the primary goal of financial gain, CDF claims to be demonstrating conversion of an even-aged stand of trees to uneven-aged. However, the trees in the forest already vary greatly in size. It is hard to see how logging will improve the diversity already exhibited in this beautiful forest.

The State Board of Forestry requires that all logging in State forests be done under a "current management plan." JDSF last updated the management plan in 1983.   By its own terms, the 1983 plan was to have "a major review at the midpoint of its effective period (1987), and be completely revised in 1992."   Thus, for the past eight years, JDSF has been without a current management plan and, thus, logging illegally. The lawsuit requests the court to halt the Brandon Gulch until a new management plan is prepared, subjected to public comment, and formally approved.

The suit against the Brandon Gulch THP is closely related to a suit filed in June 2000 by the Campaign and expected to be heard in court in May 2001. The suit on Brandon Gulch was filed separately in order not to delay the court date for earlier-filed suit, which the Campaign expects will halt further logging in the Forest until JDSF meets its legal requirement to have a current management plan.

See this beautiful area, slated to be logged, for yourself. From Fort Bragg, take Hwy 20 to the 5.82 mile marker. Watch carefully on your left for an unmarked road. Turn left onto it. After a short distance the road forks. Take the right fork and continue 3 miles to a day-use picnic area on the left. A concrete building (the salmon "Egg Collecting Station") is also located in this area. Just beyond these the road crosses the stream and heads north.

Just across the stream, during the winter months, you will encounter a locked gate. You will need to walk from there to the entrance to Brandon Gulch, a distance of about a mile. It is also a lovely walk.. Continue straight north (beyond a second gate, generally also locked) until you cross a bridge and come to a wide opening where several roads meet. The entrance to Brandon Gulch is to the left and is partially blocked by a very large boulder. Go beyond the boulder, find your way across a small stream, and enter enchanting Brandon Gulch. You can continue on the trail up to the top of a hill, where it intersects Road 1000. The proposed logging will also take place along about a mile of Road 1000 to left. When you return, contact us to see how you can help save this wonderful place.