Friday, March 12, 1999
Headwaters deal falls short, says tree-sitter
When the Headwaters forest deal was finalized March 1, a collective sigh of
relief could be heard coming from Pacific Lumber, government negotiators
and even a fair-size group of environmentalists.
An editorial in the Times-Standard of Eureka, Calif., hailed the deal as a
compromise every reasonable person should be able to accept.
Yet, infamous trespasser and tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill continues her
protest atop the 200-foot-tall Redwood named Luna on Pacific Lumber
property in Northern California. The Earth First! activist has lived in her
8-by-8-foot tree house for 15 months now to protect the 1,000-year-old
redwood and other old-growth trees from lumber company saws. She doesn't
plan on climbing down anytime soon.
"Compromise is a death sentence," she says in a recorded hotline update.
"This agreement and associated Habitat Conservation Plan is based on the
premise that only a bare minimum needs to be protected for endangered
species recovery, and from the beginning it has failed to require what is
biologically necessary to accomplish even that," Hill said in a statement
Luna, which she has occupied since Dec. 10, 1997, and the surrounding steep
and unstable hillside are, according to Hill, representative of the many
areas that the agreement fails to adequately protect. One of the reasons
she will maintain her vigil.
"There is certainly much more work ahead to achieve our goals for permanent
protection for all
remaining old growth, habitat recovery, restoration and truly sustainable,
responsible forestry," she said.
"The final agreement is truly a compromise," said Pacific Lumber President
and CEO John Campbell, in announcing the agreement March 2. "Years of work
went into this agreement but, in the end, it was worth it. We were able to
craft an arrangement that saves valuable forest land for future generations
while at the same time recognizes the economic rights of Pacific Lumber to
operate a business we have been in for 130 years."
Pacific Lumber is a subsidiary of Maxxam, a company owned by Charles
Hurwitz. It has more than 1,400 employees, making it Humboldt County's
largest employer, and contributes about $170 million a year into Northern
California's economy, according to the company.
Campbell is also aware, even though the agreement has been finalized, that
there are more challenges to come. "Various environmental groups have
mounted a coordinated campaign to discredit this agreement. All of us who
care about the future of the North Coast need to realize that this proces
is still ongoing," he said in the March 2 announcement.
Return to Home