FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Mason @ (707) 923-2931
November 10, 1998
Pacific Lumber Loses License to Cut Trees
CDF Revokes License Because of Incessant Lawbreaking by PL
In a move bound to affect the deal to acquire Headwaters Forest, the
California Department of Forestry (CDF) today informed Pacific Lumber
Company that their license to log was being revoked because of repeated
serious violations of the California Forest Practice Rules. "I'm glad to
see that CDF acknowledges that PL is such a disreputable and dishonest
timber company that they shouldn't be allowed to run a chainsaw in their
own forest." said Paul Mason of EPIC.
CDF sent a letter to Pacific Lumber this morning informing them that all
logging being done by the company pursuant to their Timber Operator's
License must cease within 24 hours. The company contracts about half of
it's logging out to "Gypo" loggers; those operations will not be affected
by this action.
The suspension of Pacific Lumber's license comes on the heals of a long
list of violations of the rules, including:
* Violating the Forest Practice Rules approximately 300 times since 1995.
* Being cited with nine criminal misdemeanors since 1996 (including three
* Being placed on probation by Humboldt County Superior Court in July of
1997 for FPR violations. In May of 1998 they were convicted again while on
probation, and sentenced to an additional three years of probation.
Pacific Lumber refused the conditions of probation (which involved more
stringent review of their logging operations), and opted to pay a $13,000
* Being issued Cleanup and Abatement orders by the Regional Water Quality
Control Board for destroying the domestic water sources of Elk River
* Ten violations regarding the logging plan for the steep hillside above
the town of Stafford. A massive landslide originating in a recent PL
clearcut destroyed seven homes there in January of 1996.
* Ongoing problems with their winter operations. CDF Forester Ernie Rohl
may have said it best in a report on THP 96-574 "After a series of high
level meetings, open forums, discussions, etc, we still are having problems
with compliance with winter rules on this ownershipÉ [I]t is common to find
that violations occur and the cessation of trucking only occurs when CDF
arrives on site and points out sedimentation of Class III and Class II
watercourses. The LTO's are quick to terminate operations when notified of
the violations, but it is my growing experience that the cessation of
hauling depends on CDF's presence on site, not through monitoring by
LTO's...Using my personal experience as my guide, I would resist all
proposed winter operations on this ownership due to the high incidence of
road related violations noted on active inspections."
* Violating the Endangered Species Act. In 1992 PL twice illegally logged
old growth redwoods in the Owl Creek Grove. EPIC successfully sued the
company in Federal court, and received an injunction against any further
logging in the Owl Creek Grove until PL has an approved HCP.
"I believe that the revocation of Pacific Lumber's logging license is the
final nail in the coffin for the Habitat Conservation Plan. If the
agencies try to say that they can trust PL with a 50 year permit to kill
endangered species, they can expect to see us in court" said Mason.
Contact EPIC for a copy of the CDF letter suspending PL's License.
The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)
P.O. Box 397
Garberville, CA 95542
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