Published Thursday, December 30, 1999, in the San Jose Mercury News
Logger granted license
Pacific Lumber Co. must allow state inspections
SACRAMENTO (AP) -- The state approved a new two-year logging license
Wednesday for Pacific Lumber Co. that lets authorities inspect cutting
areas without warning and attend private company planning sessions.
The license, which takes effect Jan. 1, came with an unusual agreement
between the Humboldt County-based timber company and the state Department
of Forestry that lists a series of conditions concerning the company's
operations on more than 200,000 acres of forests.
The accord was signed by Pacific Lumber President John Campbell and CDF
Director Andrea Tuttle, who was picked by Gov. Gray Davis to head the
The agreement does not affect the terms of the Headwaters Forest pact, in
which the state and federal governments purchased some 10,000 acres of land
last spring and turned it into a public preserve about 250 miles north of
San Francisco. The property includes several thousand acres of ancient
But the agreement stems in part from environmentalists' complaints and
regulators' concerns about the company's logging practices, despite state
and federal courts and boards that have upheld company actions over the
The CDF said Wednesday that Pacific Lumber's track record has improved
dramatically since 1997, justifying the issuance of a two-year license.
Tuttle said ``the company's performance has improved significantly this
year with violations dropping tenfold since 1997.''
According to both the company and the state, Pacific Lumber received 12
violations from CDF thus far this year, 49 violations last year and 126
violations in 1997.
A violation may mean the company didn't comply with harvesting rules, such
as cutting too close to streams or disturbing wildlife habitats. However,
of those issued this year, ``none of the violations resulted in significant
impacts to environmental resources,'' according to the company.
The license conditions include:
-- Giving the state the keys to Pacific Lumber's gates, thus allowing state
CDF inspectors to enter the property at any time.
-- Allowing CDF representatives to attend the meetings, hitherto private,
at which the loggers decide their final harvesting strategy for specific
-- Making the company liable for triple penalties for cutting timber in the
-- Requiring the company to provide data it acquires on threatened wildlife.
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