December 4, 2006. On the last day of
November, a Mendocino County working group released
that lays out a roadmap for getting Jackson State Forest back into
operation in a way that meets the concerns of the Campaign to Restore
Jackson State Forest, the Sierra Club, and the local timber industry.
The proposals of the
working group offer an opportunity, perhaps the only foreseeable
opportunity, to resolve the controversy and conflicts that have halted
logging in Jackson State Forest since 2001.
Still needed is for the
California Department of Forestry to endorse the proposals and for the
Board of Forestry to take the steps necessary to make them official state
policy. One hopes that these agencies will have the wisdom to embrace
Some excerpts from the
cover letter and preface to the group's report provide context for
understanding the significance of the the
From the Cover
Over the years our members have been
involved in numerous forestry issues from the Grand Accord to County
Rules to SB 1648. Historically we have been on opposing sides. This
process has been unique in that we have reached consensus on an approach
we believe has the potential to get JDSF back under management...
approach to moving the management plan process forward is comprised of
two phases. Phase one incorporates the guiding principles we have been
developing... With the adoption of this first phase and the finalization
and certification of the EIR [Environmental Impact Report], timber
harvesting can resume on an interim basis...
will be a concurrent and parallel process. This phase will be highlighted
by the re-staffing of JDSF including personnel with a broad range of
expertise in addition to silviculture, the appointment of a Jackson
Advisory Group, the commencement of landscape-level planning on a broad
array of issues and the establishment of a credible and verifiable
inventory. Our group anticipates this process will result in a detailed
and sustainable long term plan for JDSF. This second phase will develop a
plan based on detailed specific information that provides for a
consensus-based balancing of ecological values, education, research,
recreation, timber production and regional economic stability.
From the Preface
Jackson Forest Working Group... came together
voluntarily, on the membersí own initiative, to see if they could resolve
the long-standing differences that have made Jackson Forest a local and
state-wide focal point of controversy...
developments appeared to create an opportunity for the working group to
make a useful contribution. The newly appointed Director of the
California Department of Forestry, Ruben Grijalva, had publicly given his
support to making Jackson State into a "world-class research forest" and
to seeking a consensus among all parties...
Legislation was passed that stopped the former practice of funding a
variety of state forestry programs from Jackson Forest logging revenues.
The Board of Forestry, which has the responsibility for setting policies
for Jackson State, had recently begun developing a new policy alternative
focused on research and demonstration, with fish and wildlife habitat,
forest ecology, recreation, and education as important values...
group operated from the beginning on the principle of consensus. We felt
that only by coming to a shared viewpoint could the group become an
effective force for change... What we sought
was to develop a set of unanimously agreed-upon principles
to apply to developing a plan and managing the forest.
felt that we were going to succeed in agreeing on management principles,
we turned to the more difficult task: setting out a path and process for
developing a management plan incorporating our principles, while
simultaneously meeting legal and bureaucratic constraints, environmental
concerns and providing for near-term timber harvesting (in order to
finance building forest staffing, needed forest maintenance, and
development of a detailed management plan, and to provide logs to help
maintain the viability of the local timber industry).
us involved feel that we've come to a workable solution, one that fairly
balances timber, conservation, and recreation interests. We plan to work
with the involved state agencies to translate the recommendations into
Working Group Members
Anderson Logging Inc.
Willits Redwood Company
Mendocino Redwood Company
Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood