Time to Restore
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Time To Restore Jackson State Forest
Vince Taylor – April 3, 2000

"Logging Jackson Forest? That can’t be true. It’s a State Forest."

This is fragment from a recent conversation with a long-time Mendocino coast resident. Many local people don’t know that the "Demonstration" in Jackson Demonstration State Forest means large-scale "demonstration of logging." Every year, the Department of Forestry (CDF), which manages this redwood forest, sells to the highest bidder tens of thousands of publicly owned redwood trees.

Redwoods are a precious and threatened resource. Corporate liquidation-logging has devastated all large industrial redwood forests. In these circumstances, it makes no sense at all to be cutting redwoods out of Jackson State Forest.

It is time to start treating Jackson State Forest as the public treasure that it is, rather than as an extension of the timber industry.

One has only to walk into Jackson Forest to see the destruction wrought by CDF on this public forest. Everywhere one finds debris of recent logging, clearcuts, and invasion by gorse, broom, pampas grass, eucalyptus, and other invasive pests. Efforts to find beauty and solitude in this public land almost always end in frustration.

The need for a healthy public redwood forest has increased enormously since Jackson State Forest was acquired in 1947. California’s population has tripled, and demand for recreation has increased even more. Open spaces have been consumed by suburban sprawl and forests destroyed by logging. The vast majority of California’s population supports expanding our public lands to preserve nature, to protect endangered species, and to provide recreation. Sixty-three percent of the voters recently approved a $2.1 billion parks bond bill.

By far California’s largest state forest, Jackson Forest embraces over 50,000 acres of Mendocino County, reaching from the Pacific Coast to Willits. It is criss–crossed by almost 100 miles of streams, including Casper Creek, Hare Creek and tributaries of the Noyo River and Big River. It is a trove of diversity, home to thousands of species, from the yellow-cheeked chipmunk to the spotted owl, some abundant, some declining, and some all but gone.

Because Jackson Forest is already publicly owned, it has the potential to provide enormous ecological, recreational, and educational benefits without any expenditure of taxpayer money. A recovering 50,000 acre redwood forest would provide a huge sanctuary for endangered species, including salmon species, a living laboratory and school for scientists, professionals and students, as well as recreation, solitude, and inspiration for local people and the world.

But, quick action is required to realize this potential. CDF’s first choice is to log the largest second-growth trees. Three Timber Harvest Plans (THPs) near final approval will wreak havoc with thousands of acres of Jackson Forest have been recovering for over fifty years. Despite overwhelming public and scientific opposition to clearcuts, CDF continues to include them in its logging plans. As a result of CDF’s shortsighted practices, the condition of the forest grows worse every year.

Concerned local citizens have organized "The Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest." The mission of the Campaign is to restore the 50,000 acres of publicly owned Jackson State redwood timberland to a healthy and renewing forest for the benefit of future generations.

Imagine living near a redwood forest that gets more beautiful every year, a forest that welcomes hiking, riding, and exploration of its offers ever improving wonders. If this vision excites you, join the effort to restore Mendocino’s magnificent public redwood forest.

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Beautiful hundred-year forest in Jackson State Forest: CDF's next target for logging.

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Canopy gone, debris piles remain, pampas grass invades, forest destroyed --
Jackson State Forest

[Join the Campaign]