>Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 18:53:24 -0800
>To: Headwaters Forest Coordinating Council <HFCC@lists.sanmateo.org>
>From: Mark Bult <email@example.com>
>Subject: 6/8/98 Chronicle editorial
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>Monday, June 8, 1998
>©1998 San Francisco Chronicle
>Saving the Headwaters
>The deal to save the Headwaters Forest has reached a critical
>point. Within 10 days, a habitat conservation plan will be made
>public -- the document that will spell out the ground rules for
>protecting the marbled murrelet, the coho salmon and other species
>that might be affected by Pacific Lumber Company logging on the
>200,000 acres it will continue to own in Humboldt County redwood
>Meanwhile, in the next few weeks the state Legislature must decide
>whether to contribute $130 million toward the public purchase of
>the 7,500-acre Headwaters grove and surrounding forest, which
>contains 2,000-year-old redwoods and vital habitat for the
>murrelet, an endangered seabird. Congress has already approved the
>$250 million federal share.
>Conflict has dogged the Headwaters deal every step of the way. And
>it still threatens to unravel the agreement, though the battle has
>mostly narrowed to whether the plan adequately protects the coho
>Both sides are digging in. The parties that went through the
>torturous negotiations -- Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Wilson
>administration, Pacific Lumber, various federal agencies -- want
>to see the state money approved now, with any loose ends resolved
>later. Environmental groups are supporting the efforts of Senator
>Byron Sher, D-Redwood City, to require much wider buffer zones
>around spawning streams for the coho salmon. Sher's view is that
>the state will "lose all leverage" to bring greater protections
>once the money is approved.
>"We were not elected to rubber stamp something that was
>negotiated behind closed doors in Washington," said Sher, who has
>pulled the Headwaters proposal (SB 533) out of the budget for
>separate consideration, much to the alarm of Wilson and Feinstein.
>They worry that Pacific Lumber owner Charles Hurwitz may walk away
>from the deal if it turns more restrictive.
>Sher has proposed expanding the no-logging zones around the coho
>streams -- now at a minimum 30 feet, pending a watershed-
>by-watershed review -- to 170 feet.
>Another point of contention is whether Pacific Lumber would have
>the ability to veto additional buffer-zone restrictions that may
>result from the watershed studies. State Resources Secretary Doug
>Wheeler acknowledged that there "may be some ambiguity" in that
>part of the agreement.
>"It is not our intention to give the landowner a veto," said
>Wheeler. He also maintained that the deal will reserve the right
>of state and federal agencies to prohibit logging that would clear
>away foliage that keeps the streams from silting or heating up --
>and thus imperiling the coho. These differences can be worked out.
>No one would gain if this deal were to implode, and the fate of
>the redwoods, the coho and the marbled murrelet were to become an
>eternal legal quagmire. Hurwitz should agree to clearer, stronger
>and binding stream-protection guidelines -- ideally in the
>upcoming conservation plan -- and the Legislature should deliver
>the $130 million as its part of the bargain.
>©1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A20
David M. Walsh
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