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>Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 00:15:07 -0800
>To: Headwaters Forest Coordinating Council <HFCC@lists.sanmateo.org>
>From: Mark Bult <mark@enews.org>
>Subject: SF Chron: Back-room lobbying for logging deal
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>June 18, 1998
>Maxxam boss pushes state lawmakers to support controversial pact
>for Headwaters forest
>Robert Salladay
>SACRAMENTO - Timber baron Charles Hurwitz met privately with state
>lawmakers to make sure a behind-the-scenes deal to sell the
>ancient Headwaters forest doesn't unravel in the unpredictable
>Although Hurwitz has powerful federal officials on his side, the
>Texas millionaire now must convince skeptical state lawmakers to
>approve $130 million in the state budget to purchase the
>7,500-acre redwood forest.
>It won't be easy.
>Some lawmakers are balking at an environmental plan Hurwitz and
>federal officials devised allowing him to log an additional
>200,000 acres around the Headwaters grove. An influential faction
>within the Legislature wants less logging in order to protect the
>endangered Coho salmon.
>Another state lawmaker wants to explore giving more economic aid
>to displaced timber workers in Humboldt County, something a timber
>company spokesman has said was unacceptable. A public hearing on
>the economic impact of the Headwaters deal was scheduled for
>Thursday afternoon at the Capitol.
>"It's a tough deal, and I would say right now it's
>teeter-tottering and it could blow up," said Assemblywoman Carole
>Migden, D-San Francisco, co-chair of a special committee on the
>Headwaters. "It looks like there is a great gap here that we must
>brook, but we will try to do it."
>Audiences with Migden, Burton
>Migden met privately Wednesday with Hurwitz. The "cordial and
>informative" discussion, Migden emphasized, was not a negotiation
>over disputed aspects of the Headwaters agreement.
>Senate leader John Burton, D-San Francisco, said the same thing
>after ending his two-hour meeting with Hurwitz late Wednesday
>"They just explained what the deal was to me," Burton said. "I
>can't say there is a problem, I can't say there isn't a problem.
>I'm trying to understand the deal."
>After he left Burton's suite, Hurwitz rushed by a group of
>reporters, saying nothing. He was followed out of the building,
>through a grove of sequoia trees in Capitol park, and across the
>street. He remained silent.
>Before he could disappear into the Senator Hotel office building,
>a passerby recognized the millionaire, stopped her car in the
>middle of the street, and yelled out the window: "Charles Hurwitz,
>you're an evil man!"
>Hurwitz ignored the woman, and entered the Senator Hotel.
>Maxxam due $280 million
>As the deal now stands, the holding company Hurwitz controls,
>Texas-based Maxxam Inc., would be paid $250 million by the federal
>government and $130million by the state to give up control of the
>Headwaters forest, one of the last old-growth redwood groves in
>the world.
>Hurwitz wants state lawmakers to put the $130 million into the
>state budget now being negotiated, as Gov. Wilson has requested.
>Hurwitz has said he will not accept any changes to the deal he
>signed with federal officials. If he doesn't get his way, Hurwitz
>told a company board meeting, he would begin logging.
>At the heart of the dispute with state lawmakers is an 800-page
>environmental plan the Pacific Lumber Co., which is controlled by
>Maxxam, must produce so it can log 200,000 acres surrounding
>Headwaters. The plan is scheduled to be released next week, after
>disputes are resolved with Hurwitz.
>An outline of the agreement - the habitat conservation plan -
>calls for a 30-foot no-cutting "buffer zone" near streams and
>rivers. Many environmentalists want the 30-foot zone expanded by
>as much as six times.
>Buffer zone at issue
>The chief critic of the deal is state Sen. Byron Sher, D-Palo
>Alto, co-chair of a special committee on the Headwaters. Sher, a
>Stanford University professor, wonders why the 30-foot buffer zone
>was locked into the Headwaters deal before the habitat
>conservation plan was released to the public.
>Sher agrees the buffer zone should be expanded, and he also wants
>protections for 12 other redwood groves owned by Pacific Lumber.
>Loopholes in the 50-year state-federal Headwaters deal, Sher
>believes, would allow those trees to be logged.
>"I would be prepared to approve the money now if we can address
>the serious deficiencies the company has locked into the deal,"
>Sher said.
>Economic impact questioned
>Sher isn't the only lawmaker with concerns that could torpedo the
>Headwaters deal.
>Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martin, D-Duncan Mills, wants to look
>at the economic impact of the deal, and possibly increase the
>compensation for local residents. Strom-Martin is hosting a
>hearing scheduled for Thursday to air local residents' complaints.
>The Headwaters deal calls for $10 million in economic compensation
>to make up for the huge amounts of forest land made off limits to
>loggers. Strom-Martin wants to explore how many jobs would be lost
>by closing off the land.
>A spokesman for Maxxam did not return phone calls to The Examiner.
>But in an interview in Sunday's Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Maxxam
>spokesman Bob Irelan said, "We have gone as far as we can go, and
>we would oppose any further concessions because they would
>adversely impact our company and the local economies."
>Meanwhile, the Wilson administration and others, including U.S.
>Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are standing by the deal worked
>out over two years between the federal government and Hurwitz.
>1998 San Francisco Examiner Page A 11
>Mark Bult
>Bay Area Action's Headwaters Forest Project
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644

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