>Pacific Lumber suspends logging at accident site - company agrees to
>by Mike Geniella
>In a bid to ease tensions, Pacific Lumber Co. said Monday it will
>voluntarily not resume logging operations at the Humboldt County scene
>where an Earth First! follower dies Sept. 17 until a sheriff's
>investigation is complete.
>Company President John Campbell, acting upon a request by an attorney
>for David Chain's family, gave the assurance on the day Chain's mother,
>two sisters and other family arrived from Texas to attend memorial
>services Monday night in Arcata and this afternoon in Garberville for
>their son and brother. About 300 people attended Monday's service.
>Chain, 24, of Austin, Texas was killed when a falling tree at a disputed
>Pacific Lumber logging site in a remote area adjacent to Grizzly Creek
>Redwoods State Park.
>The family today plans to meet with activists at a blockade and shrine
>they've erected in honor of Chain at the main entrance to the disputed
>Campbell said Monday the company will extend "every courtesy to the
>"I hope to meet with them personally and privately," he said. "We will,
>of course, respect the desire they have expressed for privacy."
>Campbell agreed to not resume logging at the request of attorney Steve
>Schectman, who has been hired by the family. As the result of his own
>preliminary inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Chain's death,
>Schectman said Monday he will formally ask state and federal authorities
>to intervene in the local investigation. Activists have expressed fears
>the Humboldt County Sheriff Department is biased in favor of the timber
>company, the county's biggest private employer.
>Because of the high degree of emotions surrounding Chain's death,
>sheriff spokesmen have said the investigation could take two or three
>more weeks before any findings are turned over to Humboldt County
>District Attorney Terry Farmer for review.
>On Monday, Campbell said the company does not intend to resume logging
>until the sheriff investigators are satisfied their work is finished,
>"and they have told us that it is OK to go ahead."
>But Campbell declined to address the possibility of a longer logging
>suspension pending Schectman's petition to state and federal agencies.
>"We have received no indication that state or federal authorities see
>any reason to intervene," Campbell said.
>Last week, state Attorney General Dan Lungren rejected activists'
>request that his office intervene, saying he believes local law
>enforcement can and will conduct a fair and impartial investigation into
>Pacific Lumber contends Chain died accidentally, crushed by a falling
>tree felled by a logger who was unaware the activist was in the
>immediate vicinity. Logger A. E. Ammonds (sic) had earlier confronted
>Chain and a group of intruders at the site, in a pattern that has become
>typical of disrupted logging operations targeted by Earth First! and
>other environmental activists.
>Company critics claim the logger deliberately fell the tree in the
>direction of Chain and the other activists, although they have contended
>it does not appear he did it with the intention of killing anyone.
>Nevertheless, they argue he should be criminally charged because of the
>reckless behavior encouraged by company managers.
>The resulting uproar over Chain's death has deeply divided a timber
>region that's struggled with more than a decade of anti-logging
>On Monday, a local timber industry support group called on environmental
>activists to assume responsibility for the risks that they exposed
>followers to by sending people into the woods in hopes of disrupting
>active logging operations.
>Citing the logging industry's reputation for being the nation's most
>hazardous occupation, Claudia Lima of Women in Timber said,
>"Environmental groups need to take their causes to a safer environment
>that will not jeopardize the lives of their followers, or of our family
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644
Return to Home