Appeals Court Keeps Stay, Allows Removal of Cut Trees

Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest

July 18, 2003               Press Release            For Immediate Release

Contact: Vince Taylor, Ph.D. (707) 937-3001
Paul Carroll (legal)                 (650) 322-5652

Appeals Court Keeps Stay, Allows Removal of Cut Trees In Jackson Forest

July 17, 2003, San Francisco. The Court of Appeals today denied a request of the California Department of Forestry (CDF) to dissolve its stay that halted logging in Jackson State Forest. It also denied CDF’s request to expedite its hearing scheduled for August 20, 2003.

The court granted CDF's request, which the Campaign did not oppose, to allow the removal of logs already felled in Jackson State Forest. The trees were cut during the week June 11-17, 2003, prior to the granting of a stay by the Court of Appeals.

Approximately 1500 trees containing one million board feet of timber were felled, primarily in Brandon Gulch. The court required that CDF show the Superior Court of Mendocino County that any additional trees cut were "both (a) relatively minimal and (b) necessary to reach already-felled timber."

Commenting on the order, Dr. Vince Taylor, Executive Director of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, said, "The Appeals Court has reaffirmed its control over our challenge to the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Jackson State Forest. The Court will hold its hearing after the Mendocino Court makes its decision. The stay will be in effect, so logging cannot begin until and unless the Appeals Court decides to allow it."

He added, "Although we deplore CDF's rush to log under an environmentally defective management plan, we support the careful removal of the downed timber. It will eliminate a public safety hazard and allow the re-opening of Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 for recreation, and it will help the timber companies and their employees. We are pleased that the court will be overseeing the removal of the trees to ensure that the minimum further damage will be done to the forest."

At stake in the court fight are 35,000 trees in two timber harvest plans (THPs) being pursued by CDF in Jackson State Forest. The plans are named Brandon Gulch and Camp 3. Together they cover 900 acres of 100-year old undisturbed second growth in the heart of the recreation area of Jackson State.

CDF is pressing to begin logging these timber plans because they will add $7 million dollars to their hard-pressed state forestry budget. The Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest argues that these plans are in areas with special ecological importance because of their old, undisturbed second-growth trees and the adjoining salmon streams; and therefore, they should not be logged until a legally adequate environmental review has been performed.

The timber mills who have contracted for the timber are Mendocino Forest Products and Willits Redwood Company.

The text of the court order, the CDF petition to the Court of Appeals, and the reply brief filed by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest are at: