Press Democrat Bias
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Press Democrat Bias in Reporting

The Campaign needs letters to the Press Democrat asking for accurate and objective reporting on Jackson State Forest and the Campaign's positions. Please help. If you don't have time to write a personal letter, please take a moment to send a prepared (editable) letter.


On July 17, the Press Democrat (PD) published a story on Jackson State Forest by Mike Geniella, staff reporter. This story contained a number of inaccuracies and omissions and was slanted in favor of CDF. This is only the latest in a long-standing pattern of biased reporting on Jackson State Forest.

I wrote the senior editors of the PD to ask for accurate and objective reporting on Jackson State Forest in the future.

I enclosed a very slightly edited version of Mr. Geniella's story. I merely corrected some inaccuracies,  added a bit of our side of the story, and changed the subhead and lead paragraph. Comparing the two stories, you can see that these few changes cast the story and the Campaign in a very different light.

How to Help

The most effective help is a personal letter handwritten or typed and mailed to the Executive Editor. The same personal letter e-mailed will be second in effectiveness. If you don't have time to write a personal letter, you can quickly and easily send a prepared (editable) letter.

You can take points from my letter to the editors,  you can add  your own concerns, and you can take one or two points from those given below.  Emphasize the importance of Jackson State Forest to you personally, the people of Sonoma County, and all of California. Don't spend time criticizing the past article. Stress the positives of the Campaign's goals, and ask for fair and accurate reporting in the future.

Mail your letters to:

Catherine Barnett, Executive Editor
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
P.O. Box 910
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

You may also fax your letter to 707 521-5330.

Alternatively, fax a prepared letter to the Press Democrat.

Points about Jackson State, the Campaign, and Reporting

  • Despite being the largest State Forest, 50,000-acre Jackson State Forest is known by very few people.
  • The California Department of Forestry (CDF), which manages Jackson State, historically generated profits for its programs of $10-$15 million per year from logging Jackson.
  • As noted in another recent article in the Press Democrat, the redwood timber industry on the North Coast is almost gone down 80 percent in Mendocino County in thirteen years. Tourism, vineyards, and small businesses have replaced timber production. The people now living in this region want and deserve to have the goals for our largest public forest re-evaluated.
  • Until the Campaign started in 2000, CDF was the sole source on information on Jackson Forest. To keep its industrial logging of the public forest out of the public eye, CDF provided little public information, and what was provided was self-serving and inaccurate. There is a great need for accurate reporting about this very large, publicly owned redwood forest.
  • Jackson State Forest is owned by all of the people of California
  • Jackson State is the largest public redwood forest between Humboldt County and San Francisco.
  • There are no large protected redwood forests in Mendocino or Sonoma County.
  • Nearly 5,000 people wrote the state supporting the Campaign's goal: restoring Jackson State to old growth for habitat, recreation, education and research. Only 49 people wrote in support of the proposed management plan.
  • The new CDF management plan for Jackson State will use variations of clearcutting on half of the forest. It has no recreation plan. It will log the area of the forest with the highest recreation use and greatest ecological values.
  • Jackson State Forest is public land and should be managed to the highest practical environmental standards.
  • The environmental impact report (EIR), which the Campaign is challenging, contains no cumulative impacts analysis, does not consider the regional setting, and is based on flawed inventory estimates. Any one of these make the EIR legally defective.
  • The Campaign does not oppose all logging in Jackson State. It opposes logging to generate revenue for the state forestry programs. It favors logging that will enhance the recovery of mature redwood ecology and that does not deteriorate streams or recreation opportunities.

If you don't have time to create your own letter, you can fax a prepared (editable) letter in less than a minute of your time. Please do at least this if you are in the Press Democrat distribution area.

Thank you for your help.


Vince Taylor
Executive Director