Published Tuesday, July 14, 1998, in the San Jose Mercury News
Pacific releases logging outline
Some activists say Headwaters plan inadequate
SACRAMENTO -- Pacific Lumber Co. on Monday spelled out its plan to log
200,000 acres of forest, clearing the way for the $380 million purchase of
the world's largest privately held stand of ancient redwoods.
Environmentalists immediately denounced the plan, saying it does not go far
enough to protect wildlife in the Headwaters Forest. Pacific Lumber and
federal and state officials, including U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, praised
it as a major step forward.
The long-awaited Habitat Conservation Plan, written by Pacific Lumber in
consultation with government scientists, is a key step in the Headwaters
The agreement, brokered by Feinstein in February, calls for the purchase of
7,500 acres of Pacific Lumber timber, including 3,000 acres of old-growth
redwoods. In exchange, the company, which is owned by Texas financier
Charles Hurwitz's Maxxam Corp., agreed to draft a plan that would manage
logging and help restore the endangered coho salmon.
``Pacific Lumber, which has been in business for 129 years, is a very
significant contributor to the economic well-being of the North Coast and
needs to be able to maintain viable, profitable operations,'' company
President John Campbell said in a news release.
Congress has approved its $250 million share of the deal, but state
lawmakers have held up California's $130 million share, saying the deal
leaves the coho salmon at risk.
The draft of the agreement would permit limited logging within 30 feet of
streams where the endangered coho salmon live. Critics, including state
Sen. Byron Sher, D-Palo Alto, want a buffer zone five times as wide.
The logging plan is based on ``sound science'' and would protect the coho
salmon, Assistant Commerce Secretary Terry Garcia said.
The plan, which is more than 1,000 pages long, will be released today for
90 days of public comment. A permit probably will be issued to Pacific
Lumber in 1999, Garcia said. The entire Headwaters agreement faces a March
Environmentalists have mounted a vigorous campaign against the deal, led by
Julia ``Butterfly'' Hill, who has lived for six months in a Humboldt County
``This plan is designed to allow immediate destruction of some incredibly
important habitat,'' said Kevin Bundy, a spokesman for the Environmental
Protection Information Center.
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