For Immediate Release
Contact Vince Taylor, Ph.D. (707) 937-3001
June 10, Ukiah. Judge Richard Henderson of the Mendocino Superior
Court denied a request to prevent two large logging plans in Jackson
Demonstration State Forest (JDSF). The request for the preliminary
injunction was brought by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood
Forest and Forests Forever in connection with their suit challenging the
legality of a recently prepared Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the
Judge Henderson denied the injunction despite finding that the
Campaign and Forests Forever were very likely to prevail in their action
against the EIR and that he would invalidate
the approval of the recently developed new management plan.
In a settlement of a previous lawsuit, the California Department of
Forestry (CDF) agreed not to conduct any timber operations in Jackson
State Forest until a new management was developed and approved.
Therefore, as the judge found it very likely that the approval of the new
management plan would be set aside, the logical
conclusion is that the preliminary injunction would be granted.
However, in reaching his decision, the judge refused to take the
previous settlement agreement into account, stating "The terms and
provisions of settlement agreement and implementing order are the subject
of a separate legal action and are not directly involved in this petition
[for the injunction]." He then concluded, "Whatever relief is granted by
this court will not have a direct, immediate and independent effect on
the validity of the two THPs."
In commenting on the judge’s decision, Vince Taylor, spokesperson for
the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, said, "We are
pleased that the judge said he is very likely to set aside the EIR. This
is a big victory. It is a giant step toward our goal of changing the
purpose of Jackson State from logging to restoration to old growth. But,
we are completely flabbergasted by his refusal to enjoin logging. Judge
Henderson oversaw and endorsed the previous settlement agreement. The
agreement states as plainly as the nose on your face, ‘CDF further agrees
that any timber harvest plans in JDSF shall be consistent with the new
management plan.’ If the judge rules that the EIR is illegal, as he said
he is ‘very likely’ to do, there is no new
management plan, and CDF has agreed it will not go forward with these
THPs. An injunction is clearly justified."
Paul Carroll, the lawyer for the Campaign to Restore Jackson State
Redwood Forest and Forests Forever, stated, "I am perplexed by his
decision. All evidence and law leads to the granting of our requested
injunction. We are considering our next step."
The case challenging the EIR will be heard July 7, with a decision
several weeks later. Whether or not logging starts in Jackson State
before the EIR decision may come down to how the state responds to
another charge made by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood
Forest. The contracts for the timber harvests are currently under review
by the Department of General Services. In a June 3 letter to Jeff
Marshner, Superintendent of Legal Services in DGS, the Campaign raised
questions about the legality of the bidding process by which the
contracts were awarded. The Campaign asked Mr. Marshner to suspend
approval of the contracts until the questions raised were answered. If
DGS does not consider the Campaign’s charges sufficiently well founded to
delay approval, logging in Jackson State could start soon.
Mr. Taylor said, "If these logging plans go forward, it will be
tragic. They will destroy the most ecologically and recreationally
valuable undisturbed stands in 50,000-acre Jackson State Forest. They
will do so despite the near certainty the EIR for the forest will be
found fatally defective and that the planned logging will be in violation
of the law."
The full text of the letter to Mr. Marshner, Superintendent of Legal
Services, DGS, is available at: http://www.jacksonforest.com/letters/dgsletter.htm
The press release challenging the legality of the bidding process for
the Jackson State contracts is at http://www.jac
See the full text of the
letter to the Department of General