Remarks to the
California Board of Forestry
by Vince Taylor
Ukiah, CA, July13, 2000
Dear Board of Forestry:
Thank you for the opportunity to address you. Im addressing you as a member of
the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest.
For your information, Ive attached a biography.
In brief, I have a Bachelors degree in physics from Caltech and a Ph.D. in economics
from M.I.T. I worked on economic aspects of government policy for twenty years, ten of
which were at the Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California. I was founder and chief
executive of a software company for approximately 10 years. Since 1995, Ive devoted
myself to working on issues in the public interest.
The Tour and the Value of Beautiful Forest
I want to begin my remarks by recalling the tour of Jackson State Forest by Board
on Tuesday. As I said at the time, CDF took you to the beautiful parts of JSF, rather than
to past and proposed logging areas. I thought about this quite a bit afterward. I asked
myself, "Why did CDF do this?" I decided that it was because CDF recognizes that
beautiful forest is greatly valued by people, completely separate from timber value. They
wanted to give you the most positive possible experience; so they showed you the beauty of
the unlogged forest. And the appreciation expressed by Board members shows that beautiful
forest is very appealing and attractive even to people whose job it is to oversee
regulation of logging.
The Board needs to remember Tuesdays tour when it comes time to evaluate
CDFs new management plan for Jackson Forest. Ask yourselves whether in developing
the plan, CDF appropriately weighed the value of undisturbed forest for recreation,
solitude, and inspiration.
A Forest for the Future
The purpose of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest is to bring to the
awareness of CDF, the Board of Forestry, the legislature, and the people of California and
the nation the great benefits that would flow from restoring Jackson State Forest. Just
imagine for a moment what would happen if the state adopted the goal of restoring Jackson
State toward an old-growth redwood forest.
The beautiful parts of the forest that you saw on the tour would continue to become
more and more magnificent. The wounded parts would heal remarkably quickly, attracting
people to return periodically to see for themselves the improvements. New trails and camps
would attract hundreds of thousands visitors annually. Salmon streams within its
boundaries would recover fully and other endangered redwood species would have a large,
permanent sanctuary. It would become a national center for research on restoration
forestry and ecology. The research and education opportunities would be far greater and
more appealing than those provided by a logging forest.
If turned toward restoration, Jackson State would become a proud symbol for the new
millenium a project whose time span reaches to the next millenium and one that
embodies the moral determination to leave the world for our children better than we found
Jackson State Restoration Forest is a forest for the future. Jackson State Demonstration
Forest is a forest of the past. Continuing to log it will bring growing public opposition,
negative media coverage, and political losses to CDF, the Board, and the administration.
By contrast, a restoration forest will bring ever-growing public praise, positive media
coverage, and political gains to CDF, the Board, and the administration.
Measurement of the success of past JDSF innovations
CDF, as well as Board policy, emphasizes that logging in JDSF is primarily for the
purpose of "demonstrating innovative timber management" for private landholders.
The 1983 Management Plan for JDSF states that meaningful success of JDSF demonstrations
"ultimately depends on other forest landowners learning about and implementing
practices developed and demonstrated on the State Forests."
We agree with this statement, and we think measurement of the extent of implementation of
JDSF innovations is absolutely essential to deciding on the extent to which in the future
JSF should be managed for logging as compared to the alternative of restoration for
recreation, habitat, research, and education.
To our knowledge CDF has never published any measurements of the extent to which forest
practices innovated at JDSF have been adopted elsewhere. Because these measurements are
essential for constructing a management plan that optimizes public benefit, the
Campaign requests that the Board of Forestry direct CDF to publish quantitative
measurements of the extent to which JDSF innovations have been adopted by private
landowners. The publication of the report on innovations should be coincident with the
release of the Draft Management Plan, because these measurements are essential for
evaluating the plan.
The report on demonstration success should identify each innovation incorporated in a JDSF
timber harvest plan, at least from 1983 to date, but earlier innovations should be
included if possible. The report should say when and in what plans each innovation was
demonstrated, indicate whether each innovation was uniquely demonstrated by JDSF and, if
not unique, list the others demonstrating the "innovation" in the same time
frame. The publication should also identify the mechanisms that were involved in
translating the JDSF innovations into adoption by private timber holders. Most
importantly, the report should provide quantitative measures of the adoption of the
innovations by private landowners (such as, number of adopting landowners, acreage of
timberland affected, increase in timber inventory due to adoption).
I emphasize that without data on the effectiveness of the past demonstration program,
there will be no legitimate basis for evaluating any management plan proposed by CDF for
Jackson State Forest.
Request for 1999 JDSF Inventory Data
In 1989, CDF introduced a new inventory system for JDSF. The new (FFI) system estimated
forest inventories to be about two-thirds greater than the previous (CFI) system. For the
old system, which was in place for thirty years, to be so badly in error is astounding. It
implies a high degree of ignorance and incompetence within CDF staff that persisted for
I raised questions about the FFI system in letters addressed to Marc Jameson and
Richard Wilson dated April 22, 1998. I received a response from Richard Wilson on February
11, 1999, almost a year later. The response argued that the new system was accurate and
that the old system underestimated inventories by an increasing amount over time, due to
the increasing age of the trees over time.
In 1999, CDF carried out a new inventory on the plots that were used for the CFI
inventory from 1959 to 1989. The 1999 inventory figures can throw important light on the
accuracy of the new inventory system. I ask the Board to request CDF to cooperate in
supplying me with data on the age-height distributions and inventory calculations for
1999, together with the comparable data for 1959 and available data for 1989. I would
like to resolve the disagreement with CDF one way or the other and put it to rest. With
the new data and CDFs cooperation this should now be possible.