Redwood timber battles rage on
October 9, 1996
Web posted at: 3:45 p.m. EDT
SCOTIA, California (CNN) -- A hard-won agreement to head off
logging in an old-growth forest in northern California was
jeopardized Tuesday when salvage logging began in an adjacent
stand of ancient redwoods.
The sounds of chainsaws and other heavy equipment rang
through the trees as loggers cut and removed huge fallen
trees from private land owned by Maxxam Corp.'s Pacific
The operation is legal, but it threatens to inflame the
timber battles that have been raging in this part of the
state for more than a month.
The logging operation caught anti-logging activists by
surprise, coming after Maxxam agreed with state and federal
negotiators to spare nearby Headwaters Forest, the nation's
largest privately owned ancient forest.
The company is removing only downed trees from the forest
floor, said Pacific Lumber spokeswoman Mary Bullwinkel, and
has no plans to broach the Headwaters land.
"There's absolutely no activity, no harvest, no salvage in
that area at all," she said.
But one of the chief negotiators who helped forge the
Headwaters agreement said the proximity of the salvage
logging threatens the deal.
"It is correct that this is not part of the agreement so in
that sense Maxxam is correct," said U.S. Sen. Dianne
Feinstein, D-California. "(But) it clearly will have an
effect and I thought they understood that. I mean it doesn't
take a rocket scientist to understand it."
Activists kicked off what has since become an ongoing protest
September 15, when more than 1,000 were arrested.
The Headwaters agreement would cost federal and state
governments $250 million, and would protect only the two most
prominent of six ancient redwood groves owned by Maxxam.
Activists continue to push for protection of all the old
trees in the Headwaters area.
Prompted by ongoing demonstrations, the state board of
forestry met in Shasta to consider environmentalists' demands
for new rules for salvage operations, including restrictions
that might block logging entirely in certain old growth
Pacific Lumber is clear about its position. It wants to be
able to log all of its trees, even old growth redwood. The
company says it has already sold or otherwise set aside some
25,000 acres of the best stands of redwoods, and that, the
company says, should be enough.
From Correspondent Don Knapp
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