>note: The Northcoast Journal - recently became a weekly tabloid instead
>of a monthly magazine - contains an article on page 8 of its 9/24/98
>edition entitled
>"Not just protecting coho" by David Simpson of Petrolia
>Jim Hight's article in the Sept 10 Journal was several steps above the
>level of reporting on the Headwater's issue that has become common. It
>at least refused to accept Pacific Lumber Co's spin as the last word.
>Taking the time to check - and discredit - PL spokeswoman Mary
>Bullwinkle's facts with real California Department of Fish and Game
>biologist shouldn't seem a stroke of journalistic brilliance, but it is
>far from the norm.
>Misrepresentation of facts and circumstances has become a too regular
>occurrence in Bullwinkle's public presentations, and they largely go
>unchallenged. Hight, though, did not challenge or test PL President John
>Campbell's interpretations of the motives of people who filed the
>lawsuit to stop two timber harvest plans on the Mattole and another on
>Bear Creek. Campbell suggested that the plaintiffs are "bitterly opposed
>to Pacific Lumber's efforts to preserve the Headwaters Forest" and
>worse, they want to "perpetuate the conflict that has burdened our
>communities" for 10 years.
>First of all, it requires an extreme stretch of imagination to suggest
>that these efforts to save the Headwaters have been Pacific Lumber Co's.
>PL from the start has been dragged kicking and screaming into any kind
>of deal and only became supporters, it seems, when they saw the
>potential for considerable profit. The infamous illegal Sunday massacre
>of big redwoods hardly seemed like an act of a company wanting to save
>the Headwaters Forest.
>It has been the combined efforts of a vast number of people and groups -
>including the 1,000 plus who were arrested two years ago - that forced
>this issue to the forefront of the public's attention.
>Second, one must ask, what moves people to stand up in front of loggers
>or to go through the mind numbing mazes of litigation or to risk the
>condemnation and censure of neighbors? Is it, as Campbell suggests,
>simply to "burden communities" or to "perpetuate conflict" or just to
>kill the deal out of sheer orneriness?
>If Campbell were actually trying to understand the motives of people who
>have been fighting PL's logging plans, he ought to factor in the
>enormous damage that has ensued from some of his company's recent timber
>harvests - on Bear Creek, at Stafford, on Freshwater creek, Elk River
>and others. The contested Sulfur Creek plans in the Mattole, according
>to one of the most trustworthy geologists in the region, is likely to
>produce mass "wasting" - that is, it is likely to produce landslides,
>mudslides and/or debris torrents. And this in a drainage that is already
>the cause of serious problems downriver below its confluence with the
>main stem of the Mattole.
>We're not just protecting coho here. We're protecting riparian forests
>and alluvial terraces where the best agricultural soils are found. We're
>protecting homes and businesses downstream of PL that are threatened by
>silt-induced flooding. We're protecting our future. If the Headwaters
>Deal throws these things to the dogs, then we need a better deal. If the
>Habitat Conservation Plan is the enabling document for the deal, then it
>is encumbant upon us to try to make it one that we can live with.
>PL has just gotten promise of a huge amount of money. In return, the
>company owes careful forestry on the rest of its holdings. The current
>HCP doesn't add up to real care for our watersheds. It doesn't add up to
>security for PL's employees and it doesn't add up to a good deal for the
>taxpayers. It can be modified to do all those things. Let's give Maxxam
>and PL their money, but let's demand of them a fair deal.
>They ought to be able to afford it now.
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644

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