Alerts/News
Home ] The Campaign ] Advisory Group ] Forest Info ] [ Alerts/News ] Recreation ] Photos/Maps ] Harvest Plans ] Publications ] Links ]

 

EIR Comment Info
CDF Loses Fee Appeal
State Pays $200,000
Legislation Moves
Scoping Alert
Legislation Introduced
PD Hatchet
CDF Lectured
EIR Ruled Invalid
Press Democrat Bias
Logging Stay Extended
Logging Stayed
Illegal Bids
Illegal Bids Charged
Brandon Gulch Protest
Injunction Denied
Brandon Gulch Sale
EIR Suit Filed
BOF MP Alert
EIR Lawsuit
First Lawsuit
EIR 1
Resolution

Campaign Alerts and News

Current Alerts

Support your forest with a donation.

News and Past Alerts

News Stories - Chronological

2008

News Stories by Category

Second Environmental Impact Report
Jackson Forest Legislation
Lawsuits and Legal Actions
EIR 1 and Management Plan
Past Alerts

News Stories


Jackson Advisory Group Meets September 18-19

September, 2009. The Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) Advisory Group (JAG) will meet Friday and Saturday, September 18 and 19, 2009.

The Friday meeting will be at the Fort Bragg Fire Station, 141 North Main Street (see below for parking instructions). The meeting will begin at 9:00 am and end at approximately 5:00 pm.

On Saturday, a field trip to see a previous harvest plan that used cluster removal be will leave from the Fire Station at 9:00 am (see more below).
 Agenda

The meeting will focus on several important topics.

The first is the proposal to apply Natural Forestry as the "default" management for all areas of Jackson Forest not specifically designated for other management, such as preserves and research projects. Natural Forestry has the goal of simultaneously producing timber and fostering development of the full range of naturally occurring ages and structural conditions typical of old forests prior to European management.

The Landscape Committee has been proposing this for several months. Several members of the advisory committee have in the past raised concerns and requested clarifications. The Landscape Committee will provide the requested clarifications and address the concerns.

The Landscape Committee will propose holding a roundtable of forest managers whose practices align closely with the concept of Natural Forestry. The roundtable is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2009, which will be the second day of the October JAG meeting. The purpose will be to develop practical guidelines for Natural Forestry, as well as to find out what kinds of research and demonstration the participants would like to see at Jackson Forest.

The Research Committee will present its proposals for integrating research and demonstration activities with the allocation proposals of the Landscape Committee.

The JAG will discuss how to reach out to interested parties and stakeholders to determine their desires for demonstrations and research on Jackson Forest.

Scheduled for 2:30 pm is an important discussion of proposed Timber Harvest Plans (THPs). These plans employ "cluster removal", clearcut opening up to 1/4 acre, as their primary harvest approach. JAG member Vince Taylor has challenged the appropriateness of cluster removal in these plans on grounds of future productivity loss, aesthetics, and consistency with the Management Plan interim constraints.

In connection with addressing the issue of cluster selection, the JAG will make a field trip on Saturday to visit one or more past harvest plans that employed cluster selection. The public is welcome but must provide their own transportation. The field tour will depart from the Fort Bragg Fire Station at 9 am

The Fort Bragg Fire Station is on the west side of Highway 1 (Main Street) between Oak St. and Redwood Ave. There is alley vehicle access available between these two streets.

NOTICE: Park behind the building. Do NOT park in front or on the side (south) of the building.
Agenda


 

Jackson Advisory Group Meets August 10

August, 2009. The Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) Advisory Group will meet Monday, August 10, 2009 in Room 111 of the College of the Redwoods, 1211 Del Mar Drive. The meeting will begin at 9:00 am and end at approximately 5:00 pm.  Agenda

The morning session will begin with reports from the Economics Committee and the Recreation Committee. The Economics Committee will make recommendations related to funding of long-term research and to improving the economics of the timber harvest programs. The Recreation Committee will make recommendations related to improving the availability of camp sites within Jackson Forest to recreation campers.

The JAG will also consider developing policies to deal with potential conflict of interests of members.

The main focus of the meeting will be on integrating recommendations of the Landscape Committee with those of the Research Committee. The Landscape is recommending that Natural Forestry be used in all areas of the forest not specifically designated for alternative management. Potentially, some areas of the forest may be managed differently to provide conditions needed by research and demonstration projects. A key issue to be considered will be how to determine acreages, locations, and types of management for research and demonstration.

Agenda


 

Proposed Jughandle Timberland Reserve

May, 2009. The Jackson Advisory Group will tour an area of Jackson Forest proposed for a "Jughandle Timberland Reserve." The tour will take place Saturday, May 16, 2009. The trip will be to an area of the forest east of Caspar, north of Road 500.

You can join the tour either by meeting at 8:30 am at Jackson Forest Headquarters, 802 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg, or by going directly to Road 500 in Caspar to the former weigh scale turnout at 8:45 (which should be amply early to meet those coming from Fort Bragg).

The purpose of the trip is to review two alternative proposals for a "Jughandle Timberland Reserve", where logging would not occur, to supplement and enhance the Jughandle Staircase trail. The trail now ends at Jackson Forest. The proposed reserve would extend the trail into the forest to allow users to see and walk through not only pygmy but also normal coastal conifer woods.

The smaller proposed reserve would be about 260 acres, directly adjacent and east of Jughandle State Reserve. The larger one of about 700 acres would extend southeastward and include what is now on the timber harvest schedule as "Mitchell Creek South THP", but it would be more appropriately named "East Caspar THP".  See map.

The advisory group may well decide on this trip whether to recommend establishing the timberland reserve and, if so, whether the larger or smaller one.

Public participation is welcomed. Own transportation must be provided.


 

Jackson Advisory Group Meets May 15-16

May, 2009. The Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) Advisory Group will meet Friday and Saturday May 15 and 16 at the College of the Redwoods, 1211 Del Mar Drive. The meeting will be in Room 300, northwest of the main campus building. Agenda

The Friday meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. on the 14th. Discussion and/or action on designation of reserves and principles underlying the interaction of land allocation/research issues will begin at about 1:00 pm and continue until adjournment.

The Landscape Committee will hold a meeting prior to the meeting of the full Advisory Group, starting at 8:30 at Jackson Forest Headquarters, 802 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg.

The Economics Committee will meet at Room 300 at College of the Redwoods from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

The Advisory Group will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 16th at JDSF headquarters, for a field tour of the Road 500 pygmy forest transition area. The tour will end by noon.  Members of the public are welcome to join the field tour, but must provide their own transportation.  The field trip will visit an area to the east of Jughandle State Reserve being considered by the JAG as a recreation and ecological preserve within Jackson State Forest. A larger and a smaller area are being considered. During the field tour, the group will hear the report of the Economics Committee and an update from JDSF staff. 

 Depending upon the need arising from Advisory Group actions on the 15th, the Landscape and/or Research and Monitoring Committees may meet starting at 1:30 p.m. on the 16th, following the field tour.  To confirm whether the committees will meet, call 916-214-4868 after 4:30 p.m. on the 15th. See Agenda.

Landscape Allocation

The main topic of the meeting on Friday will be on allocations for old growth reserves, for development of old forest and old growth, and for younger forest.

Implications of the research program for landscape allocation will be discussed. A major issue is the extent to which and in what areas Jackson Forest should conduct types of management (specifically, clearcuts and other even-age management) that would not otherwise be chosen in order to provide for future, possible research needs.

The group will discuss what types of management (e.g., clearcuts and other even-age management, single-tree selection, etc.)  to use within the different allocation areas.

The goal of the meeting is to move the landscape allocation effort forward and to give direction to the Landscape Committee for work to conduct before the next full JAG meeting.

The schedule for this meeting is complicated and multi-faceted. Viewing the full Agenda is recommended.

 

Jackson Advisory Group Meets April  3-4

The Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) Advisory Group will meet April 3 and 4 at the College of the Redwoods, 1211 Del Mar Drive. The meeting will be in Room 114 in Building 100, which is the main campus building. Note change of location.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. on the 3rd. On the 4th, the meeting is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the meeting.

The meeting includes sessions of the Advisory Group’s Landscape, Research and Monitoring, and Economics Committees. These committees are developing recommendations on a long-term landscape and research plan for JDSF. Key questions are how much of the forest should be put on a path toward older forest conditions, how the forest should be managed for a wide variety of conditions to provide opportunities for research and wildlife habitat, and what types of harvesting methods should be used.

 

Jackson Advisory Group Meets February 23-24

The Jackson Demonstration State Forest Advisory Group (JAG) will meet on Monday and Tuesday, February 23-24, 2009, at the Fort Bragg Fire Station, 141 N. Main Street (south of Redwood Avenue on the west side of the street). Meetings will begin at 9:00 am on Monday and 8:30 am on Tuesday

A major focus of the meetings will be on long-term landscape planning. There is strong sentiment within the JAG to devote a substantial portion of the forest to older growth forest, but what portion, where located, and how to manage it are all still under discussion.

A second focus will be on development of guidelines for research and demonstration to be conducted on Jackson Forest. Discussion will address to what extent research should focus primarily on selected "themes" or priorities, versus allowing university researchers to use the forest for ad hoc experiments.

Staff of Jackson Forest are in the final stages of developing plans to establish a task force of recreation users to assist in recreation planning. Staff will report on its plans at this meeting.

Agenda with location and revised approximate item times.  Please note that times for items have changed from those initially published.


Meeting on Recreation Task Force and Work Plan February 13

There will be a meeting on recreation planning on February 13, 2009 from 10 AM to noon at the Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) Headquarters at 802 North Main Street, Ft. Bragg.

The JAG Recreation Committee will meet with staff of Jackson State Forest to finalize plans for establishing a Task Force or steering group of recreation users. JDSF will interact with the Task Force in developing a recreation plan for the forest, as well as addressing recreation issues and problems on an ongoing basis.

The participants at the meeting will also work to finalize a recreation work plan for JDSF. The plan lays out responsibilities for JDSF staff, the JAG, and the Task Force. The meeting will work from a draft proposed work plan by the JAG Recreation Committee, as well as a draft prepared by JDSF staff.

If you have ideas or thoughts on how best to organize the Task Force or its relation to the JAG Recreation Committee, or ideas on the recreation work plan, please attend this meeting. If you are unable to attend, please email the Committee Chair, Vince Taylor.


Jackson Advisory Group Meets January 12-13

Departing from its usual schedule, the Jackson Demonstration State Forest Advisory Group (JAG) will meet on Monday and Tuesday, January 12 and 13, 2009.

The location of the meetings will differ from the norm. They will be at the Fort Bragg Fire Station, 141 North Main Street (see below for parking instructions).

The Monday meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. and the Tuesday meeting at 8:30 a.m. There will be a field trip on Tuesday starting at 11:30 a.m. The public is invited to the meetings and field trip.

The Advisory Group will have a full agenda. As it enters its second calendar year of existence, the JAG is deeply involved in its primary mission: development of a long-term landscape plan for Jackson Forest.

Key questions are how much of the forest should be put on a path toward a return to old growth, how much of the forest needs to be managed for a wide variety of conditions to provide opportunities for future research, what types of harvesting methods should be used in meeting revenue needs, and how will recreation be integrated with timber harvesting? All of these questions will be addressed on both days of the upcoming meetings. The public is welcome to attend and participate. Official Agenda. Note that item times are subject to change.

On Monday, the JAG will discuss the Hare Creek Timber Harvest Plan that was visited by the JAG in December. Questions to be considered include whether it is wise to go forward with this plan given expected low timber prices, and whether planning for enhanced recreation should be incorporated in the plan.

A broad discussion of the economic viability of proposed THPs in the current environment, and possible responses, is scheduled for Monday.

Also on Monday, the JAG will review a proposed plan of Cal Fire for establishing a Task Force drawn from the Jackson Forest recreation user community. The Task Force will have a central role in advising and assisting Jackson Forest staff in developing and implementing a plan for enhanced recreation.

The morning meeting on Tuesday, starting at 8:30 a.m., will continue work on landscape and research planning.

 At approximately 11:30 a.m., the JAG will depart for a tour of a proposed harvest plan at North Fork Spur, located in the Chamberlain Creek watershed north of Camp 20 on Highway 20.

North Fork Spur has not been logged since the initial entries in the early 1900’s. There is controversy over the character and timing of this plan. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. They must provide their own transportation and food.

The Fort Bragg Fire Station at 141 North Main Street is located on the west side of Highway 1 (Main Street) between Oak St. and Redwood Ave. NOTICE: Park behind the building. Do NOT park in front or on the side (south) of the building. There is alley vehicle access available between these two streets. The Official Agenda. has details on location and timing of planned agenda items. Note that item times are subject to change.


Jackson Advisory Group Meeting December 12-13
Hare Creek Harvest Review

December 10, 2008. The Jackson Forest Advisory Group (JAG) will hold its monthly meeting on Friday and Saturday, 12-13, 2008. The meetings will be at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 409 North Harold Street. Agenda

Of most immediate importance to the Mendocino Coast community will be the review of a planned timber harvest plan in the Hare Creek watershed, east of the end of Simpson Lane. The JAG will discuss the plan at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and will depart of a tour the plan area at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.

The Hare Creek THP (map, summary) is the first of a number of timber harvests near Fort Bragg and Mendocino now in the planning process (map -- shows the Hare Creek plan, "J,H,I,J,K", in context and other pending harvest plans ).

The Jackson Advisory Group is assisting the staff of Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) to respond to public concerns and desires with respect to the Hare Creek plan. As the first of the west side harvest plans, Hare Creek will serve as a model for following plans.

The meeting on Saturday will be the second public meeting on the Hare Creek plan. Last Saturday, December 6, the Recreation Committee of the JAG held a public meeting, followed by a tour of the harvest area led by Jackson Forest staff. The public learned about plan, including its location, roads affected, amount and methods of removing timber, and the route for transporting the timber out of the forest. Attendees expressed their concerns and desires with respect to recreation in the area and other aspects of forest use and misuse. See a report of the meeting and add your own comments at Jackson Forum.

On Friday, the JAG will also continue to work toward developing goals and principles for managing Jackson State Forest. Its work entered a new phase with the establishment in November of two major committees,  on landscape and research. The bulk of Friday will be spent on group discussions led by the Landscape and Research Committees.

The JAG is charged with developing a long-term landscape plan for the forest, deciding what management goals will apply in what areas, for example to what extent and where will the forest be undisturbed by management, where and to what extent will clearcutting and other even-age management occur. Thus, the Landscape Committee will play a central role in the JAG deliberations.

Research and demonstration are mandated to be high priorities in Jackson Forest, and the state has expressed a desire to make Jackson Forest a "world class research forest." Another major task of the JAG is determining how to further this goal while meeting other goals for restoration, habitat, and recreation. The Research Committee will tackle the difficult questions of how to organize management of research and to what extent needs of a (yet unspecified) research program will require managing the forest in ways that are in conflict with other goals for the forest.

At approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday, the Recreation Committee will provide an update on its activities. The proposed trail in Camp 3 will be discussed. Cal Fire will report on its contingency planning and analysis dealing with the possibility the timber prices will be too low to justify going forward with proposed sales in 2009.

Friday and Saturday meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 490 North Harold Street. Saturday afternoon there will be a field trip to a proposed Timber Harvest Plan in Hare Creek watershed, east of Simpson Lane in Fort Bragg.

The public is welcome to participate in all discussion and to join the field tour..

Agenda with locations and details.


Local Residents Review Hare Creek Timber Harvest Plan

December 6, 2008. Over 30 people attended a meeting on and a tour of a proposed timber harvest plan east of Simpson Lane, Fort Bragg, in the Hare Creek Watershed.

The meeting was held by the Recreation Committee of the Jackson Advisory Group to inform people and to learn their concerns and desires with respect to recreation on the roads and in the area that will be affected by the proposed harvest plan.

Major recreation concerns were that  existing roads and trails be maintained or enhanced,  aesthetics not be degraded,  new trails and additional public access be developed, and closure of the area for harvesting be kept to a minimum.

Additional concerns were illegal and common dumping of trash, appliances, and junk vehicles in the forest; and off-road-vehicle (ORV) impacts and the need for a legal ORV area on the coast.

See a full report of the meeting and enter your own concerns and comments at Jackson Forum.


Public Meeting and Tour on Upcoming Hare Creek Timber Harvest Plan

A timber harvest (THP) is being planned in Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) in the Hare Creek watershed to the east of Simpson Lane, Fort Bragg. The harvest area is located primarily between the western boundary of JDSF and Roads 450 and 454. Recreation use in the THP area and on Roads 450, 454, and 400 will be affected. The area and roads are currently used for hiking, biking, and horse riding. They are also used illegally by off road vehicles (ORVs). 

The Hare Creek THP (map) is the first of a number of timber harvests near Fort Bragg and Mendocino now in the planning process (map -- shows the Hare Creek plan, "J,H,I,J,K", in context and other pending harvest plans ).

The Jackson Advisory Group is assisting the staff of Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) to respond to public concerns and desires with respect to the Hare Creek plan. As the first of the west side harvest plans, Hare Creek will serve as a model for following plans.

On Saturday, December 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, the Recreation Committee of the Jackson Advisory Group (JAG) will hold a public meeting to consider how recreation and neighbor concerns and desires of the community should be incorporated in planning for the Hare Creek timber harvest. The meeting will be held at JDSF headquarters at 408 North Main St., Fort Bragg. JDSF staff will show detailed maps and explain the expected operations of the plan. Recreation Committee members will lead an open discussion about protecting and expanding current legal recreation opportunities. There will also be updates on previous Committee meeting items, including establishment of a steering committee of user groups to work with JDSF staff on recreation planning and implementation. For more information, call Vince Taylor at 937-3001.

Off road vehicle use will also be a topic for discussion. The Recreation Committee has been working with community members interested in establishing an area for legal off road vehicle (ORV) use. Currently all ORV use in Jackson Forest is illegal. Erosional effects of ORV use, especially in the rainy season, seriously impact state and national efforts to prevent extinction of Coho and other salmon species. ORVs on roads and trails endanger others. On the other hand, some community members strongly want to use their ORVs, there is now no legal place on the coast to use them, and substantial illegal use occurs. What can be done?

Following the public meeting, at 12:30 pm, JDSF staff will lead a tour of the Hare Creek Harvest Area. The tour will start from the paved wide spot at the junction of Highway 20 and Forest Road 440, near Highway 20 mile post marker 5.8. Participants must provide their own transportation, and the tour will be held rain or shine. Most of the tour will occur on foot and, so please dress appropriately and be prepared for a moderate hike of several miles. For more information, call JDSF Headquarters at 964-5674.

Public Meeting Announcement
Public Tour Announcement


Jackson Advisory Group Meeting November 14-15

November 6, 2008. The Jackson Forest Advisory Group (JAG) will hold its monthly meeting on Friday and Saturday, November 15-16, 2008. Agenda

Friday and Saturday meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 490 North Harold Street. Saturday afternoon there will be a field trip to in Jackson Forest to a location yet to be determined.

Friday morning, starting at 9:30, the JAG will continue to work toward agreement on a set of goals and principles for managing Jackson State Forest. From approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:30, the group will work on a framework for developing a work plan. At 1:15, the staff of Cal Fire will present a review of the existing Management Plan and information on upcoming THPs (Timber Harvest Plans). The JAG will discuss its 2009 meeting schedule and member attendance at its meetings. At about 4:00 until adjournment, the Landscape Planning and Research Planning committees will break out and work. The public is welcome to participate in all discussion.

Saturday morning, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the committees will continue working on their respective areas.

The Saturday meeting at the Senior Center will adjourn at 11:00 a.m., to be followed by a field trip to a location to be determined. The public is welcome on the field trip but must provide own transportation, sedans not advised.

See the Agenda for details, locations, and times.


Jackson Advisory Group Meeting October 3-4

September 23, 2008. The Jackson Forest Advisory Group (JAG) will hold its monthly meeting on Friday and Saturday October 3-4, 2008. Agenda

Friday and Saturday meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 490 North Harold Street. Saturday afternoon there will be a field trip to the proposed North Fork Spur Timber Harvest Plan and the recent fire that covered 2000 acres around Indian Springs.

Friday morning, starting at 9:30, the JAG will continue to work toward agreement on a set of goals and principles for managing Jackson State Forest, as a step in developing the group's work plan. The discussion will continue until 4:30 p.m., with a short break for lunch at 12:30 p.m. The public is welcome to participate in the discussion.

Saturday morning, starting at 9:00 a.m., the JAG will continue to develop it work plan, identifying key questions and priorities. The recreation committee will give a report on its September meeting, which discussed the trail inventory project, Off Highway Vehicles, organization of a Users Group steering committee, and problems at Horse Camp and Big River Campground (Detailed Minutes). Cal Fire staff will give an overview of the management plan for Jackson Demonstration State Forest.

The Saturday meeting at the Senior Center will adjourn at 12:30, to be followed by a field trip to visit a proposed Timber Harvest Plan and the site of the summer fire that covered about 2,000 acres, primarily in stands that were last logged about 100 years ago. The public is welcome on the field trip but must provide own transportation, sedans not advised.

See the Agenda for details, locations, and times.


Recreation Committee Meets on September 19

September 10, 2008. The Recreation Committee of the Jackson Advisory Group will meet on Friday, September 19 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Jackson Demonstration State Forest Learning Center located east of Camp 20 on Highway 20. Map and directions.

The purpose of the Recreation Committee is to encourage public involvement in expanding recreation opportunities in Jackson State Forest. The Recreation Committee is working closely with the staff of JDSF.

At previous meetings, cyclists, equestrians, hikers, off-highway vehicle users, and shooters presented their ideas and priorities. A joint effort is underway to create an inventory of popular trails in the forest. Preliminary map.

This meeting will address the following topics:

Continuing to develop an inventory of trails, discussing how to add supporting information to the trail map that has been created.

Reviewing other recreation priorities put forward by users.

Developing a Jackson Forest Users Group. Steps to be taken include: Identifying a core group of recreationists who will commit to representing their community of users on a regular basis; developing a governing structure and charter for the Users Group; deciding on the relation between the Users Group and other recreation groups.

 Discussing problems that have been raised about maintenance and horse impacts on Big River Campground and the adjacent stream.


Camp 3 Timber Harvest Plan Approved

September 5, 2008. The Jackson Forest Advisory Group approved the recommendations for the Camp 3 Timber Harvest Plan. The final report, incorporating minor changes will be sent to the director of Cal Fire prior to September 15, 2008.

Camp 3 Timber Harvest Plan

The proposed harvest is designed to provide research on accelerating late-seral development. Approximately 160 acres of original Camp 3 harvest plan was removed from harvesting in a settlement agreement between the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest and the state. The remaining 215 acres are to receive two different levels of thinning: 30% removal and 45% removal.

Inventory plots will be established and measured prior to the harvest and at 5-year intervals afterward to measure the difference in tree growth rates in the two areas receiving different treatments.

A new hiking trail is proposed. The trail will go through both the unharvested and the harvested areas, providing people with direct experience with the effects of the timber harvest operation.


Settlement Agreement Approved by the Court

September 3, 2008. Cal Fire today announced that the court has approved the previously announced settlement agreement that resolves a number of potential legal issues at Jackson State Forest.

Parties to the agreement were Cal Fire, the California Board of Forestry, the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, and the holders of contracts for timber on Brandon Gulch and Camp 3.

The agreement provides that timber harvesting in Camp 3 and Brandon Gulch will be changed from the original plans to a goal of further development of old-growth (technically, "late seral") conditions. It further provides that the contract holders will obtain substitute timber from other plans for the reductions in harvests in Camp 3 and Brandon Gulch. Cal Fire press release. Settlement agreement.

Court approval puts the final seal on the legal saga that began in 2000. See "The Final Chapter."


Jackson Advisory Group Meeting September 5-6

August 22, 2008. The Jackson Forest Advisory Group (JAG) will hold its monthly meeting on Friday and Saturday September 5-6, 2008. Agenda

Friday and Saturday meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 490 North Harold Street.

Friday morning, starting at 9:30, the JAG will work toward agreement on a set of principles for managing Jackson State Forest. The public is welcome to participate in the discussion.

Friday afternoon, starting at about 1:00 p.m, the JAG and the public will have their final opportunity to comment on the recommended harvest plan for Camp 3 proposed by the Late Seral Development Committee. This plan is intended to provide experimental data on moving the Camp 3 stand toward old growth.

Saturday morning, the JAG will review changes made to the Camp 3 harvest plan and express its degree of consensus on the plan.

The recreation committee will give an update on progress made toward forming a recreation user group.

The Saturday meeting will adjourn at about 12:30.

See the Agenda for details, locations, and times.


Late Seral Development Committee Presents Recommendations for Camp 3

September 2, 2008. The Committee on Late Seral Development will present its recommendations for the Camp 3 Timber Harvest Plan to the JAG on September 5, 2008.

Camp 3 Timber Harvest Plan

The proposed harvest is designed to provide research on accelerating late-seral development. Approximately 160 acres of original Camp 3 harvest plan was removed from harvesting in a settlement agreement between the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest and the state. The remaining 215 acres are to receive two different levels of thinning: 30% removal and 45% removal.

Inventory plots will be established and measured prior to the harvest and at 5-year intervals afterward to measure the difference in tree growth rates in the two areas receiving different treatments.

A new hiking trail is proposed. The trail will go through both the unharvested and the harvested areas, providing people with direct experience with the effects of the timber harvest operation.


 Brandon Gulch Harvest Plan Endorsed and Approved

At its meeting of August 2, 2008, the Jackson Advisory Group gave its strong endorsement (10 "Strong Support", 1 "General Support", 2 absent) to the Brandon Gulch harvest recommendations of the  Committee on Late Seral Development.

The report was sent to the Ruben Grijalva, Director of Cal Fire, for his consideration. He accepted the recommendations in a letter dated August 13, 2008.

The intent is to accelerate the development of old growth conditions in Brandon Gulch. The report recommends two entries twenty years apart, with the goal of creating conditions within 40 years that will set the stage for return to old growth conditions over the next 100 to 150 years. The proposed harvests will create space around the largest trees to increase their rate of growth, while attempting to keep diversity in the forest structure and the canopy sufficiently intact to discourage sprout growth.

The report and minutes of its meetings are available here.

The Late Seral Development Committee will present its recommendations on Camp 3 at the August JAG meeting.



Public Access to Forest Discouraged

July 31, 2008. Road 500 in Caspar is a highly used public road. A private landowner at the west end of Road 500 has attempted to discourage public access to Jackson Forest by having posted this sign.-

This sign is in conflict with the stated position of Cal Fire on preventing any effort to discourage public access to this road.
More.

 

 


Recreation Committee Meets Saturday, July 26

The next meeting of the Jackson Forest Recreation Committee will be on Saturday, July 26 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 490 N. Harold Street..

This meeting follows up on the very successful first meeting, where five recreation groups prepared lists of their major interest, concerns, and goals. This meeting will focus on choosing near-term priorities for action (such as inventorying and mapping trails), assigning responsibilities, and setting milestones.

The meeting will also discuss how best to organize a Jackson Forest users group. Formation of a user group supported by the staff of Jackson State Forest is part of the new management plan. 

If you live near Jackson Forest or want to enhance recreation in the forest, please attend.

More information and recreation reports.


Recreation Committee Meeting

Hikers in Brandon Gulch
Jackson Forest

On July 28, 2008, the Recreation Committee of the Jackson Advisory Group (JAG) had its first meeting. In addition to Committee members Peter Braudrick and Vince Taylor, about 30 avid recreationists attended.

A brief introduction stressed that both the new management plan and the charter of the JAG mandate the development of expanded recreation opportunities in Jackson Forest. Now is the time for the community to make known its desires and to help design the recreation plan for the forest. The JAG has through 2010 to develop its recommendations for changes to the management plan. A recreation plan can be a part of the JAG’s recommendations. Unlike the past, Cal Fire is receptive to public input, and there will be funding to support recreation.

Five different recreation interests were represented, with many people supporting multiple interests: Hiking, Off Road Vehicles (OHV), Bicycling, Equestrian, and Shooting. It was wonderful to see the respect, empathy, and mutual support expressed by almost everyone in the room. Everyone was excited by the obvious opportunity to see more and better recreation in Jackson Forest.

The meeting broke into sub-groups to come up with points, goals, and priorities. Then each group presented its findings to the meeting as a whole, receiving comments and questions. There were common points among the groups. Almost everyone wanted an inventory and good maps of the present trails. There was a strong desire to expand the trail system. Also, the different groups wanted to be able to find ways to let each group have its favorite recreation without harming others’ pleasure in the forest.

Each group wrote up a report of the points coming out of its discussion. These are published here. Also, and importantly, they are published as separate posts on the new Jackson Forum Blog. At the Forum, you can easily add your ideas, suggestions, and questions to the area of recreation that interests you the most:.

Please take the time to visit Jackson Forum and add your ideas and thoughts to the appropriate place. If you have an interest not represented in the reports, please add your thoughts in a comment to the posts. Contact me if you want to make your own post.

Upcoming Meetings June 23 and June 28

June 20, 2008. Several upcoming Jackson Forest meetings are important for those who want to influence the the future of Jackson State Forest

  • A newly formed Recreation Subcommittee will hold its initial meeting on Saturday, June 28, 2008 from 10:00-12:00 noon at Jackson Forest headquarters, 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg.
     

  • The subcommittee charged with developing criteria for timber harvesting in Camp 3 and Brandon Gulch will meet on Monday, June 23 starting at 9:00 a.m. at Jackson Forest headquarters, 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg.
     

  • The next meeting of the full advisory committee will be Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, 2008 in Fort Bragg. The location and agenda are yet to be announced.

Recreation Subcommittee Meeting

Peter Braudrick, formerly of State Parks, and Vince Taylor have been charged with organizing a recreation subcommittee of the Jackson Advisory Group. The intent is to reach out to the public and involve those interested as part of the subcommittee. This recreation group can have a very big influence on the extent to which recreation is made a priority within Jackson Forest -- if there is substantial public involvement.

 Jackson Forest is potentially an incredible recreation paradise -- 50,000 acres of public redwood forest land, adjacent to many local neighborhoods. Until now, there has been little energy or resources put into recreation within the forest. This is going to change.

The new management plan mandates more attention to recreation, including formation of a users group, and the Jackson Advisory Group takes seriously its charge to expand recreation opportunities.

The meeting will be from 10 to 12 on Saturday, June 28 at the Jackson Forest headquarters at 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg. This will be an introductory meeting of all existing and potential recreation users and groups, to provide a chance to express desires and concerns and to identify people who might want to be ongoing members of the subcommittee on recreation.

Late Seral Development Subcommittee

The Late Seral Development subcommittee of the JAG will hold its second meeting this coming Monday, June 23, 2008, starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Jackson Forest Headquarters, 802 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg.

"Late Seral" is the technical term for "Old Growth characteristics." There is only scattered stands of old growth remaining in Jackson Forest, but there are several thousand acres that haven't been reentered since the initial logging about 100 years ago. These unentered stands have a good start towards returning to old growth stands (needing only a few hundred more years!).

Two of the best of the oldest unentered stands are in Brandon Gulch and Camp 3. Both of had timber harvest plans proposed in 1999. These were delayed by legal actions, finally let out to contract in 2003, and then were halted by further legal actions until now.  The state, the contract holders, and the Campaign recently agreed to terms under which these logging plans could go forward. A key element of the agreement is that the purpose of any tree cutting in these areas will be to accelerate the development of old-growth characteristics, both in the trees and in the flora and fauna.

The Late Seral Subcommittee of the JAG will develop the criteria to be used to decide what trees to cut (and how many) in Brandon Gulch and Camp 3. The subcommittee has held one meeting previously. The meeting scheduled for next Monday will examine GIS (computer-based Geographic Information System) information on the two sites, have forest staff run computer simulations of stand growth projection under alternative harvesting prescriptions, and finalize approaches to making prescriptions on the two sites.

This will be a relatively technical meeting, but those with concerns about protecting recreation and other human values at these sites should come and be heard.


Jackson Advisory Group Meeting June 13-14

June 3, 2008. The Jackson Forest Advisory Group (JAG) will hold its second meeting on Friday and Saturday June 13 and 14, in Fort Bragg at the Town Hall, starting at 9:00 a.m. both days. The public is welcome to all meetings and field trips. Location, times and agenda

The meeting will be facilitated by Lisa Beutler, Center for Collaborative Policy, UC Davis.

The JAG will first discuss how best to organize itself and operate effectively within the legal requirements of the Bagley-Keene open meeting act.

There will then be reports by and discussion of the progress made by three subgroups set up at the first meeting:  1) Forest Structure, 2) Science, Demonstration, and Outreach, and 3) Forest Management.

The next item will be a report by the subcommittee on Late Seral Stage Development [old-growth development] for Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 THPs: what has been achieved, input from JAG, next steps. This key subcommittee will recommend on how timber harvesting in these THPs can enhance progression toward old-growth conditions. It will also make recommendations on how to preserve and enhance the recreation and public values in these areas. (Draft Minutes of June 3, 2008 subcommittee meeting).

The advisory group will begin work on development of a work plan, as required by its charter.

A field trip has been scheduled for Saturday afternoon for those wishing to participate. Its primary purpose is to provide an opportunity for those JAG members who haven't seen Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 to see those areas before having to make decisions on prescriptions, and for Late Seral Forest Development Subcommittee members, if they wish, to see adjacent older stands to evaluate potential criteria for monitoring.

See the Agenda for details.


Recreation Committee Meeting

Hikers in Brandon Gulch
Jackson Forest

On June 28, 2008, the Recreation Committee of the Jackson Advisory Group (JAG) had its first meeting. In addition to Committee members Peter Braudrick and Vince Taylor, about 30 avid recreationists attended.

A brief introduction stressed that both the new management plan and the charter of the JAG mandate the development of expanded recreation opportunities in Jackson Forest. Now is the time for the community to make known its desires and to help design the recreation plan for the forest. The JAG has through 2010 to develop its recommendations for changes to the management plan. A recreation plan can be a part of the JAG's recommendations. Unlike the past, Cal Fire is receptive to public input, and there will be funding to support recreation.

Five different recreation interests were represented, with many people supporting multiple interests: Hiking, Off Road Vehicles (OHV), Bicycling, Equestrian, and Shooting.

The meeting broke into sub-groups to come up with points, goals, and priorities. Then each group presented its findings to the meeting as a whole, receiving comments and questions. There were common points among the groups. Almost everyone wanted an inventory and good maps of the present trails. There was a strong desire to expand the trail system. Also, the different groups wanted to be able to find ways to let each group have its favorite recreation without harming others' pleasure in the forest.
More


First Meeting on Forest Management Plans for Brandon Gulch and Camp 3

May 29, 2008. The first meeting of the group charged with designing the logging plans for Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 will meet Tuesday June 3, 2008, at 9:00 a.m.  at Jackson Forest headquarters in Fort Bragg. .Details. There will be a field trip to the two plans, followed by discussion back at forest headquarters in Fort Bragg. (Draft Minutes of June 3 meeting)

Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 are the two timber harvest plans that the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest stopped for eight years through its court actions. These two plans are in stands of redwoods that haven't been touched since the initial logging nearly 100 years ago. They are beautiful, mature forest, and they are in the heart of the recreation area near Camp One. What happens to these stands will set an important precedent for the future of other similar stands.

The Campaign has reached an agreement with Cal Fire to allow harvesting in the two plans to hasten the development of old-growth conditions. The technical term for old growth is "late seral," and the meeting on Tuesday will be the first in a series to design timber harvests to "accelerate late seral forest conditions" in Camp3 and Brandon Gulch.

Next JAG Meeting
June 13-14, Fort Bragg
Mark Your Calendar
Details Soon

The group assigned the task of recommending the marking of trees to be cut is  a subcommittee of the Jackson Advisory Group (JAG), the independent advisory group established to provide oversight and recommendations on management of Jackson Forest.  All of its meetings will be open to the public, and it will interact with the full advisory group as it develops its recommendations.

 Recreation values will be explicitly considered by the subcommittee, but they need to hear from you about your concerns and desires.

Members of the Late Seral Forest Development Subcommittee are:

John Helms, chair -- forest ecosystem dynamics, silviculture
Brad Valentine -- wildlife and fisheries in the context of forestry
Linwood Gill -- practical silviculture, sustainable forest management
Dan Porter -- redwood ecology and botany, late successional redwood structures
 
Assisting them as consultants will be:

Kevin O'Hara - UC Berkeley -- late successional silvicultural prescriptions, redwood ecosystem literature

Greg Giusti - UC Berkeley, Mendocino County Extension Agent -- forest management, vertebrate pest management, wetlands, watersheds, fisheries, redwood landowner practices survey

Location and Times

Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 9:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m.
JDSF Headquarters, 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg. Field trip in Jackson Forest to visit Camp 3 and Brandon Gulch, followed by return to headquarters.

Public is responsible for its own transportation, food, and water.

Official notice and agenda

More information on the Jackson Advisory Group, including charter, members, and calendar.

 

 

First Advisory Group Meeting
Subcommittee formed for Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 Timber Plans

May 13, 2008. The Jackson Forest Advisory Group (JAG) held its first meetings on May 9 and 10, 2008. For the most part, the meeting consisted of reviews of forest history, of the legalities of being a public body (the Bagley-Keene open meeting act applies), and of the new management plan. Meeting Minutes

Noteworthy was the first public information about plans for the two timber contracts that were the focus of the lawsuits of the Campaign from 2000 forward. These two plans, one in Brandon Gulch and the other in Camp 3, cover almost 1000 acres of forest that has not been entered since the initial logging in the early 1900s. Such unentered old second growth stands are rare in Jackson Forest, and these particular stands are in the heart of the major recreation area of Jackson Forest. These stands are highly valuable for habitat, recreation, and human enjoyment.

As the plans are still under negotiation among the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, Cal Fire, and the contract holders, not all details were released, but the broad outlines were given.

Both plans will be designed to accelerate "late seral conditions" (the technical term for the forest conditions found in old growth stands). Camp 3 will have an experimental design and have baseline measurements of biological and timber inventories. Brandon Gulch will demonstrate late seral development, but will not have an experimental design.

A key question is, "What will be done in the name of old growth development?" In order to assure that the best scientific information is consulted and that the public interest is fully represented, a subcommittee of the JAG was established to make recommendations to the Director of Cal Fire on the specifics of marking trees for cutting. All of its meetings will be open to the public, and it will interact with the full advisory group as it develops its recommendations. Recreation values will be explicitly considered by the subcommittee.

At the JAG meeting on May 10, four members volunteered to serve on the subcommittee:
John Helms, chair -- forest ecosystem dynamics, silviculture
Brad Valentine -- wildlife and fisheries in the context of forestry
Linwood Gill -- practical silviculture, sustainable forest management
Dan Porter -- redwood ecology and botany, late successional redwood structures
 
Assisting them as consultants will be:

Kevin O'Hara - UC Berkeley -- late successional silvicultural prescriptions, redwood ecosystem literature

Greg Giusti - UC Berkeley, Mendocino County Extension Agent -- forest management, vertebrate pest management, wetlands, watersheds, fisheries, redwood landowner practices survey

The subcommittee will also be able to draw upon other colleagues and experts.
The subcommittee and the consultants together will bring to bear a broad range of knowledge and concerns.

The subcommittee will operate in open meetings, allowing the public to fully express its concerns, and the full JAG will review its operations. This seems likely to ensure, as much as is possible, that the operations in these two very special areas of Jackson Forest will be done with full sensitivity to their inherent values and to the interests of the public.


Cal Fire Announces Plans for Resuming Timber Harvesting in Jackson Forest

April 29, 2008. In a letter to newly appointed Jackson Advisory Group members, Cal Fire Director Ruben Grijalva outlined the department's plans for resuming timber operations in Jackson State Forest under the management plan approved earlier this year. Logging has been halted by court order since 2001.

The first timber harvest plan (THP) to be submitted will be for Northfork Spur and will have an "Option (a)" document attached. Director Grijalva explained, "This is a document we are required to prepare under the Forest Practice Rules to demonstrate how management of JDSF [Jackson Demonstration State Forest] will achieve 'maximum sustained production of high quality timber products.' ... [A] typically lengthy review of the Option (a) is conducted, resulting in a slow review process for the THP."

It is unlikely that Northfork Spur will get into operation in 2008. It should be noted, also, that the Option (a) requirements are very loose and don't really require "maximum timber production". Rather, the central requirement is that the level of logging be sustainable.

Northfork Spur is an area of old second growth redwoods, unentered since the original logging about 100 years ago. This stand has potential high values for restoration, habitat, and recreation. Director Grijalva recognizes its importance, "This harvesting plan is in an area identified as "sensitive" according to the Management Plan and other public comment. As such, we will bring the Northfork Spur THP forward for JAG review and comment. If I determine that changes to the Northfork Spur THP are necessary, based on the JAG's recommendations, CAL FIRE will file an amendment to the THP."

Review by the JAG, with ample opportunity for public input, is one of the benefits to the public built into the new management plan. It will be important for members of the public to express their views on Northfork Spur.

Cal Fire plans to submit a second THP for approval this year, 14 Gulch, without JAG review. Director Grijalva explains, "While this THP also is in an area designated as sensitive in the Management Plan, CAL FIRE will not be bringing this THP to the Advisory Group for review. The Management Plan permits THPs in sensitive areas to skip Advisory Group review if necessary to allow resumption of the Forest's harvesting program in the 2008 operating season. I have determined that this faster track approach for the 14 Gulch THP is necessary to ensure that it can be operated on in this year's operating season.

Although lack of JAG review is a loss to the public, it needs to be viewed in perspective. This is the only THP that is likely to go without JAG review during the three year initial period. It will still be subject to the strict initial-period harvest restrictions, which prevent clearcuts or mini-clearcuts ("group selection"), limit the volume removed to 30% of the stand outside of stream zones, and require that the average size of trees be maintained.

On the plus side, Cal Fire needs to demonstrate to the timber community that the compromises embedded in the new management plan will not continue to prevent timber harvesting, and Cal Fire needs the revenue from the 14 Gulch timber sale to finance staffing and operations of Jackson Forest. Overall, the decision to go forward with 14 Gulch without JAG review seems understandable and reasonable.


Jackson Advisory Group Appointed
First Meeting May 9, 2008
Cal Fire Director and Chair of the Board of Forestry To Attend

Sacramento, April 2, 2008. The Board of Forestry confirmed all 13 members of the Jackson Advisory Group recommended by Cal Fire Director Ruben Grijalva.

The initial meeting of the Advisory Group will be in Fort Bragg on May 9 and 10, 2008. Signaling the importance of and support for the advisory process, Ruben Grijalva, Director of Cal Fire, and Stan Dixon, Chair of the Board of Forestry will open the meeting on May 9. A full day of presentations on Jackson Forest, the new management plan, and advisory group duties and process are planned. Agenda.

The May 9 meeting is a great chance for anyone interested in the future of Jackson Forest to understand the present situation and the opportunities for public involvement.

 Meetings are open to the public and participation in the planning process is welcomed and encouraged. The advisory group will play a key role in defining the future of Jackson Forest. It has up to three years to consider how best to manage the forest in the public interest and to recommend changes to the management plan to the Director of Cal Fire and the Board of Forestry.

This is the public's chance to influence the direction of the forest. Don't miss it.

Jackson Advisory Group (JAG) charter, members, and agenda.


Cal Fire Announces Plans for Resuming Timber Harvesting in Jackson Forest

April 29, 2008. In a letter to newly appointed Jackson Advisory Group members, Cal Fire Director Ruben Grijalva outlined the department's plans for resuming timber operations in Jackson State Forest under the management plan approved earlier this year. Logging has been halted by court order since 2001.

The first timber harvest plan (THP) to be submitted will be for Northfork Spur and will have an "Option (a)" document attached. Director Grijalva explained, "This is a document we are required to prepare under the Forest Practice Rules to demonstrate how management of JDSF [Jackson Demonstration State Forest] will achieve 'maximum sustained production of high quality timber products.' ... [A] typically lengthy review of the Option (a) is conducted, resulting in a slow review process for the THP."

It is unlikely that Northfork Spur will get into operation in 2008. It should be noted, also, that the Option (a) requirements are very loose and don't really require "maximum timber production". Rather, the central requirement is that the level of logging be sustainable.

Northfork Spur is an area of old second growth redwoods, unentered since the original logging about 100 years ago. This stand has potential high values for restoration, habitat, and recreation. Director Grijalva recognizes its importance, "This harvesting plan is in an area identified as "sensitive" according to the Management Plan and other public comment. As such, we will bring the Northfork Spur THP forward for JAG review and comment. If I determine that changes to the Northfork Spur THP are necessary, based on the JAG's recommendations, CAL FIRE will file an amendment to the THP."

Review by the JAG, with ample opportunity for public input, is one of the benefits to the public built into the new management plan. It will be important for members of the public to express their views on Northfork Spur.

Cal Fire plans to submit a second THP for approval this year, 14 Gulch, without JAG review. Director Grijalva explains, "While this THP also is in an area designated as sensitive in the Management Plan, CAL FIRE will not be bringing this THP to the Advisory Group for review. The Management Plan permits THPs in sensitive areas to skip Advisory Group review if necessary to allow resumption of the Forest's harvesting program in the 2008 operating season. I have determined that this faster track approach for the 14 Gulch THP is necessary to ensure that it can be operated on in this year's operating season.

Although lack of JAG review is a loss to the public, it needs to be viewed in perspective. This is the only THP that is likely to go without JAG review during the three year initial period. It will still be subject to the strict initial-period harvest restrictions, which prevent clearcuts or mini-clearcuts ("group selection"), limit the volume removed to 30% of the stand outside of stream zones, and require that the average size of trees be maintained.

On the plus side, Cal Fire needs to demonstrate to the timber community that the compromises embedded in the new management plan will not continue to prevent timber harvesting, and Cal Fire needs the revenue from the 14 Gulch timber sale to finance staffing and operations of Jackson Forest. Overall, the decision to go forward with 14 Gulch without JAG review seems understandable and reasonable.


It's Time To Celebrate!
Saturday, April 19, 2008 -- Jackson Forest Celebration Day!

After eight years of struggle, the state has agreed to stop logging our public forest just for profit. The primary management objectives now will be research, restoration, ecological and watershed health. Recreation will assume new importance. Timber harvesting will fund management of the public forest, not programs that benefit the private timber industry.

It's time to celebrate!

The upcoming celebration, sponsored by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, will begin in the morning with family oriented recreation activities in Jackson Forest. It will continue in the evening with entertainment, dancing, and salutes to those that worked to reform forest management.

Plan to come and join your friends and forest supporters - Saturday, April 19. Full details

Jackson Advisory Group Charter Approved
Nominations solicited

Sacramento, January 9, 2008. The Board of Forestry approved a charter for a new Jackson Advisory Group. The charter provides the advisory group with broad authority and support to develop a long-term landscape plan and associated timber harvesting, forest and stream restoration, and recreation activities.

The California Department of Forestry released a request to the public to submit nominations for the Advisory Group. The deadline for submitting a letter request and resume is February 8, 2008. The Director of CDF will select the members and present them to the Board of Forestry for confirmation.

The advisory group will have up to 14 members. It's membership will be a mix of people with science skills, timber management knowledge and interests, conservation and environmental concerns, and recreation knowledge. It will have a preponderance of people from the local Mendocino area. All members will represent the public interest, regardless of their affiliations.

The advisory group will work with the public and Jackson staff to develop a consensus on a long-term landscape and plan and operations in support of the plan.

By the end of a 3-year Interim Period, the advisory group will recommend changes to the new management plan to reflect the group's vision for the future of the forest.

Establishment of the advisory group was one of the key recommendations of the Mendocino Working Group.

 


New Management Plan

Sacramento, January 9, 2008. In an action that culminated 8 years of controversy and litigation, the Board of Forestry voted 8 in favor and 1 abstention to approve a new management plan for Jackson Forest that is a milestone in moving Jackson State Forest towards management in the broad public interest.

At the meeting, the Board accepted several amendments that brought the management plan into full conformance with the consensus plan for the forest developed by the Mendocino Working Group,

The Board agreed to limit timber harvesting during a 3-year interim period to that needed to fund the operations of Jackson Forest, and not to generate surpluses. It also agreed to give a newly-formed Jackson Advisory Group the authority to review essentially all timber harvest plans during the interim period. These were the final keys to getting the agreement of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest to support the new management plan.

At the same meeting, the Board also approved the supporting Environmental Impact Report for the management plan. The vote was 8 in favor, 1 opposed. This EIR had been in process since July 2003, when the previous EIR was declared invalid by the courts.

Attention will now turn to the next phase of reforming the management of Jackson Forest. During this phase, which will last up to three years, the new Jackson Advisory Group will work with the public and Jackson staff to develop a consensus long-term landscape plan for the forest.

With the approval of the Management Plan, logging can now resume in Jackson Forest, but under restrictions designed to limit the amount, kinds, and location of logging to ensure that the logging does not preclude future planning options during the initial planning period.

 


Board of Forestry Supports Management Reform

Sacramento, October 10, 2007.  By six to two, with one abstention, the Board of Forestry voted to support in principle a new “Alternative G” for Jackson State Forest. The alternative  includes major reforms proposed by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, the Sierra Club, and the Mendocino Working Group. It also includes safeguards against unjustified clearcutting.

No longer will timber production be the primary purpose for our publicly owned 50,000-acre redwood forest, as it has been ever since the state began managing the forest in the 1950’s. In the future, the forest will be managed for research, habitat, restoration, and recreation. Timber production will take place to provide the funds necessary to operate Jackson and, possibly, other state forests, but where and how it will occur will be decided in the context of the higher public values of the forest.

Very importantly, the Board of Forestry agreed to the establishment of an outside advisory committee. This committee is a key element in the consensus plan for Jackson Forest developed by the Mendocino working group. It will review harvest plans during a three-year interim period of restricted harvesting, and it will work with the forest managers during this interim period to develop a long-term landscape plan and a revised management plan.

Still remaining before operations in the forest can resume is formal approval of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Management Plan for Jackson Forest. The date for this continues to slip. As of early December, 2007, the Board is scheduled to consider these documents at its meeting on January 9, 2008.


Public Tells Board of Forestry "No" on Clearcuts

July 16, 2007. The public comment period for the new management alternative for Jackson State Forest ended today. Supporters of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest sent in over 1200 letters and those of the Sierra Club over 700.

The major message of the letters was support for the new alternative, but only if clearcutting variations are kept to the minimum amount that can be justified for needed scientific research. The expectation is that this restriction will prevent the widespread clearcutting proposed in the management plan.

The Board of Forestry will consider the comments and, hopefully, revise the proposed alternative during the coming months. The revised alternative will come before the Board for approval in the Fall.

If the alternative approved by the Board fails to protect adequately the public resources in Jackson State Forest, the Campaign will have a period of time to file suit to challenge the environmental documents. Past legal challenges by the Campaign have kept logging halted since 2001.


Mendocino Supervisors Support Mendocino Working Group

June 26, 2007. The Mendocino County Supervisors voted unanimously to write a letter of support for Alternative G with the changes recommended by the Mendocino Working Group.

The unanimous support for the far-reaching reforms embodied in Alternative G is a monumental event. In the past, concerns about timber production to support the timber industry have split the Supervisors.

The Supervisors support for the changes recommended by the Working Group, which will further strengthen environmental protections, will be important in gaining acceptance for them in Sacramento.


New Management Alternative for Jackson Forest Released
-Public Comments Needed
-

June, 2007. The Board of Forestry has released a new environmental-plan alternative for Jackson State Forest.

 The new "Alternative G" contains many positive steps toward managing Jackson Forest for the broad public interest, but it is fatally deficient in one important respect -- it would allow clearcut variations on thousands of acres without research or forest health justification.

Vince Taylor, Executive Director explained to the Board of Forestry the reasons for tying any clearcutting directly to justified research and forest health (see his remarks to the Board in the adjacent column).

The public submitted over 2000 comments on the revised environmental plan during the comment period, which ended July 16, 2007.

Official Supplemental EIR release documents.


Mendocino Group Urges Minimum Clearcuts

June 20, 2007.  In a letter released today, a group of Mendocino timber-industry leaders and environmentalists today urged the Board of Forestry to strictly limit clearcutting and its variations in Jackson Forest.

The Mendocino County Working Group consists of four senior people from the timber industry, one from the Sierra Club, and one from the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest.

The group was commenting on a new proposal for managing Jackson State Forest, Alternative G, recently released for public comment by the California Board of Forestry.

The group recognized that some research projects might require clearcutting, but said that such projects should  be of the minimum size required for scientific validity." With respect to doing clearcutting now to provide for possible, unspecified future research, the group recommended a prior planning process, involvement of an independent advisory committee, and that such projects "should be the minimum that reasonably can be justified for future research projects that can't presently be anticipated."

Commenting on the letter, Vince Taylor, Executive Director of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest and a member of the working group, said, "Our group has said all along that clearcutting and its variations should be minimized and tied to specific research projects. The proposed plan for Jackson Forest proposed thousands of acres per decade of clearcut variations with no explicit research justification. Our group, which includes four senior people from the county timber industry, has emphasized that this is not an acceptable way to operate in a publicly owned redwood forest."

In the letter, the group also made recommendations about the formation and authority of a local advisory group for Jackson Forest, preserving old growth, and requiring independent review of proposed timber harvests in areas with high habitat and recreation potential.

The present letter follows an earlier report and letter.

 


Mendocino Working Group Issues Report
Proposes Plan for Resuming Operation of Jackson Forest in 2007

Mendocino County, November 30, 2006. A consensus proposal for getting Jackson State Forest back into operation was released by a Mendocino County working group. The group consists of four senior people from the timber industry, one from the Sierra Club, and one from the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest.

The working group had the encouragement of the California Department of Forestry and the Board of Forestry, both of which have been grappling with how to satisfy court-ordered revisions to Jackson environmental documents, public demands for Jackson management reform, and pressure from the timber industry to resume logging. These conflicting forces created a stalemate that has halted all logging for five years.

The report presents a set of management principles for the forest and recommends a two-phase process for returning the forest to operation in 2007.

Key management recommendations are: 1) develop a  landscape plan that recognizes  the unique positive regional status of the wildlife and riparian habitats in Jackson Forest and employs old-growth and mature second growth stands to create habitat for wildlife and opportunities for human enjoyment; 2)  make true research and demonstration the driving force behind all timber operations;3) all timber operations should maintain or enhance forest health; 4) all harvests other than minimum-sized research projects should use selection methods (no clearcuts).

The group also proposes a two-phase approach to returning the forest to operation.

During Phase 1, timber harvesting is to be limited to that needed to finance 1) development of a landscape plan and long-term management plan, including expanding forest staff and making timber, wildlife, and botanical  inventories,  and 2) routine forest operations, research and planning for road rehabilitation.  The two timber plans enjoined by court order will not be harvested, if at all, only in Phase 2.

During Phase 1, every effort is to be made to avoid harvesting in areas of mature, undisturbed second growth and areas adjacent to state parks.  All harvesting will be single-tree selection, with less than 30% of the trees removed and with no decrease in the average size of trees in the stand. The expectation is that some initial harvests will occur in 2007.

During Phase I, a Phase II management plan will be developed by the California Department of Forestry with interaction and review by a new Jackson Forest Advisory Committee. The management plan will incorporate the principles developed by the working group and balance research, wildlife, recreation, and timber concerns. The working group proposes that the Phase II management plan should be operational within 3 years.

The Advisory Committee will be appointed by and report to the Board of Forestry. Members would represent the public interest and be drawn from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and resource expertise with an emphasis on appointments of local representatives.

The significance of the working group's report is encapsulated in the closing lines of its cover letter to the Board of Forestry:

"This group realizes it has no authority to develop a management plan for JDSF and the Board has no mandate to follow the template provided. Logic however would suggest when a group as diverse as ours can come to consensus on this topic, it deserves some serious consideration."

Working Group Report

 


Board of Forestry Meets in Fort Bragg - Release of Supplemental EIR
Solicits Public Comment on New Management Alternative

Mendocino County, May 25, 2007. The Board of Forestry will meet in Fort Bragg, CA, to focus attention on the release of a new environmental-plan alternative for Jackson State Forest. The meeting will be on Thursday, June 7, 2007, at the Fort Bragg Town Hall, Main Street, beginning at 8:00 a.m. (See Meeting Agenda.)

The Board will accept public comments on the new alternative at the Fort Bragg meeting. The public will also be able to submit written comments during a 45-day period following official release of the alternative on June 1, 2007. Official Supplemental EIR release documents.

The new alternative is being released as a supplement to a Draft Environmental Impact Report released by the Board of Forestry in December 2005 but never approved by the Board.


Jackson Forest Draft EIR Strongly Criticized
Expert Comments Detail Deficiencies
Public Comments Top 6000

Sacramento, March 1, 2006. The public comment period on the long delayed revised Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Jackson State Forest ended on March 1, 2006

The EIR was subject to voluminous comment from experts coordinated by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forests, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. State agencies also submitted comments.  The comments document the numerous failures of the EIR to adequately describe and compare the environmental impacts of the proposed state logging plan and alternatives.

Read expert and agency evaluations of the EIR

In his comment, Vince Taylor' showed conclusively that the inventory estimates used in the management plan and EIR are so greatly in error that the  management plan and environmental report are invalid. Summary article. Taylor comment.

Five influential members of the state senate wrote to urge the Board of Forestry to reject the proposed management plan with its large-scale clearcutting.  Letter.

Emails supporting  management reform of Jackson State Forest topped 6,000.  The public  strongly expressed its desire to see Jackson Forest managed for ecological, recreational, and research values, not simply for timber production.

The outreach effort to obtain broad public comment was a joint effort of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest, California Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and Forests Forever, and numerous other smaller groups and individuals. 

The next step will be for the staff of the Board of Forestry to review and respond to all of the comments received. It may revise the document in light of the comments. This will likely take at least several months, given the large volume of detailed comments sent in by public experts and government agencies. The Board will then consider which of the alternatives in the plan to adopt.

If and when the environmental report is approved by the Board of Forestry, the Campaign will consider whether the legal deficiencies warrant filing a lawsuit.


Mendocino County Supports Progressive Management Plan

Ukiah, February 7, 2006. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, for the first time ever, opposed a plan of the state for Jackson State Redwood Forest. The Fort Bragg City Council followed suit a week later.

The two most important elected bodies in Mendocino County refused to support the state's proposed plan, which includes massive clearcutting, herbicide use, cutting of old growth trees, and neglect of recreation. Instead the supervisors voted 3 to 2 and the Fort Bragg City Council unanimously to support an alternative plan, originally proposed by a diverse citizens advisory committee in 1998. Supervisors resolution.

The plan supported by the these bodies, Alternative D in the Draft Environmental Impact Report for Jackson Forest, would ban clearcutting, place a moratorium on herbicide use, ban all cutting of old growth, expand salmon stream protection, and increase recreation opportunities.

Although Alternative D does not mandate the emphasis on restoration and habitat in Alternative E, the Campaign's preferred alternative, the frozen positions of the last ten years have finally broken loose.

Now that the ice has broken,  there are opportunities for influencing how it will come together again. Real progress now seems  possible.
For more details of the supervisors meeting, see Member Update.
Newspaper account.


No Logging in 2005

Sacramento, September 26, 2005. All logging in Jackson State Forest remains halted due to the invalidation of the forest's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in July, 2003, and a negotiated settlement reached between the Campaign and the state in July 2004.

No logging in Jackson Forest can occur until 2006, because a revised EIR cannot possibly be approved prior to the end of the 2005 logging season.

Ironically, in summer 2004, the California Department of Forestry (CDF) strenuously opposed then-pending legislation (SB 1648), arguing that its passage would delay the resumption of logging in Jackson State Forest. The legislation passed the legislature but was vetoed on the recommendation of CDF.


Governor Ignores Public, Vetoes State Forest Reform Bill

Sacramento, September 16, 2004. Despite receiving over 3,000 letters urging him to sign Senator Chesbro's state forest reform bill, SB 1648, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it.

The governor apparently sided with his department of forestry, which opposed the bill, and ignored the combined weight of the legislature, the environmental community and the public.

Vince Taylor, Campaign director, released a statement in response to the veto. He said, in part, "Governor Schwarzenegger's veto of SB 1648 is a slap in the face of the public. He vetoed the bill despite its merits and the outpouring of over 3,000 letters asking his signature.

"This is a sad day for the forest, the people of California, and the Mendocino community. SB 1648 would have made the state pay attention to the multiple values of the forest, given the public a say in its management, guaranteed that the forest would get back into operation next year, and ended a controversy that has pitted neighbor against neighbor.

"It is ironic that Schwarzenegger took CDF's advice when it is CDF's mismanagement of Jackson Forest that has angered the public, turned the forest into a major source of public controversy, caused the courts to shut down its operations for four years, and necessitated SB 1648."

Taylor also made clear the intent of the Campaign to continue to oppose the state: "Until and unless the state recognizes the legitimate rights of the public to influence management of its redwood forest, the public will use every legal tool at its disposal to ensure that its rights are not trampled by an unresponsive state government."
Campaign Prepared Statement on the Veto of SB 1648.

Veto Message


Record of CDF's Attempts To Ignore and Evade the Law

September 16, 2004. As the governor was vetoing SB 1648 at the urging of the California Department of Forestry, the Campaign was completing its documentation of the department's dismal record of efforts to ignore and evade the law.

For the Record: CDF's Attempts to Ignore and Evade Its Legal Responsibilities in the Management of Jackson State Forest reviews the legal actions and CDF's responses in five related legal cases/actions since the Campaign filed its first suit against CDF in 2000. In every one of these, the courts decided strongly in favor of the citizens and law and against CDF, or the actions were withdrawn as part of a settlement incorporating the initial demands of the citizens.

For the Record provides excerpts from Campaign press releases and court decisions related to the legal cases and actions. Taken as a whole, these compelling document CDF's sorry record of ignoring its responsibilities to the law and the public.
Text of  For the Record.

 

Appeal Court Affirms Award of Legal Fees to Campaign
State pays over $300,000 for citizen legal costs

San Francisco, September 4, 2004. The California First District Court of Appeals affirmed the award of legal fees to the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest for a suit brought against the California Department of Forestry in June 2000.

As a result of losing the appeal, CDF will owe the Campaign about $119,000 including $15,000 in interest. This latest fee award is in addition to the $201,000 that the state has already paid for costs related to the Campaign's later challenge to the environmental document for Jackson Forest.

The Appeals Court rejected every contention made by CDF in its appeal, often quite pointedly, and it strongly affirmed the public benefits of the Campaign's legal actions.

Vince Taylor, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Campaign, commented, "This latest court decision adds to the extensive documentation of the malfeasance of CDF and its efforts to evade the law in managing Jackson State Forest. It strongly affirms the need for the management reforms contained in SB 1648, Senator Chesbro's state forest reform bill."
Press Release

Additional payments by CDF are still pending for other Campaign legal actions.

Altogether, the state's payments related to its unsuccessful defense of its management of Jackson State Forest may eventually total around $350,000.


Jackson Forest Bill Passes Legislature

August 27, 2004, Sacramento. The bill reforming management of state forests, SB 1648, today passed the Assembly. It had previously passed the Senate. It now goes to the Governor for his signature.

The bill is supported by a broad coalition of environmental groups and members of the public. Within Mendocino County, where Jackson State Forest is located, the bill  steadily accumulated more support as it moved through the legislature.

The final version of the bill made significant concessions to the Mendocino County timber interests in order to gain their support. It now ensures that limited timber harvesting will resume, under stringent restrictions, in 2005. The concessions have brought tacit support for the bill from the county's largest timber company and largest mill.

State timber associations and the California Department of Forestry, which have profited from the industrial logging of Jackson Forest, remain opposed to the reform legislation.

Will the governor respond to the overwhelming public sentiment in support of reform or the narrow bureaucratic and industry desire to continue the flow of profits from Jackson Forest?


State Settles Campaign Logging Appeal
Agrees to Halt All Logging Until New EIR and Management Plan Approved

July 6, 2004, San Francisco. The state agreed to refrain from all logging and road preparation for logging in Jackson State Forest until a new management plan and EIR are approved for the forest. The settlement grew out of an appeal by the Campaign of the refusal of the Superior Court of Mendocino County to enjoin logging under previous management plans in its judgment (filed September 23, 2003) that invalidated the EIR for Jackson State Forest.

Settlement


State Pays $200,000 for Jackson Forest Lawsuit Costs

May 27, 2004. The California Department of Forestry (CDF) today delivered a check for $203,971 to Paul Carroll, lawyer for the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest. The payment was for attorney fees and costs of the suit brought in 2003 challenging the legal adequacy of the environmental impact report (EIR) for a new management plan for Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF).
In the suit brought by the Campaign and Forests Forever Foundation, the court ruled that CDF had failed on a number of substantive and procedural grounds to meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and halted logging in California's largest state forest.

In his decision of July 30, 2003, Judge Richard Henderson of the Mendocino Superior Court placed the blame for the halt in logging squarely upon CDF, "[T]he failure of CDF to prepare an EIR that complies with the minimal statutory standards leaves me with no alternative but to direct CDF and the Board [of Forestry] to rescind the approval of the EIR ... CDF and the Board should have scrupulously followed the procedures adopted-by the legislature to minimize the risk of an inevitable court challenge and the potential economic hardship on the management of the JDSF and on the local timber industry. Instead, CDF virtually ignored the relatively clear guidelines and conducted a deficient environmental review that will inevitably further delay logging activities in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest."

In his ruling, Judge Henderson justified the "substantial" award for a "fairly brief period of litigation." He said, "… the underlying issues involve the management of a significant resource within Mendocino County and have generated significant public debate… CDF and the Board of Forestry chose to ignore that information [provided by the Campaign during the administrative hearings], leaving petitioners with no alternative but to file this action to protect legitimate public concerns. The court has carefully considered the objections of respondents to this motion but finds those objections to be ironic at best."

The Campaign also prevailed against CDF in an earlier suit challenging the legality of operating in Jackson Forest under a management plan last updated in 2003. In this case, Judge Henderson awarded the Campaign attorney fees of $102,000. CDF appealed this award, and the case in now before the California Court of Appeal. If the court upholds the award, CDF will pay the award plus ten percent annual interest from the time of its award.
Press Release
Judge Henderson Disposition of the Motion for Attorney Fees


Senate  Approves Jackson Forest Reform Legislation

May 25, 2004, Sacramento. The Senate today passed  Senator Wesley Chesbro's bill to reform management of Jackson State Forest and other state forests. The vote was 23 to 13 in favor.

Chesbro's bill, SB 1648, will eliminate the present mandate for maximum timber production, and replace it with multiple values of conservation, restoration, education, recreation, and forest management demonstration and research.

The bill is now moves to the Assembly.

Vince Taylor, spokesperson for the Jackson Forest Action Coalition, said, "We are encouraged by the progress of the bill to reform management of Jackson State Forest. In the Senate, the bill was amended to protect all old growth. Provision was also made for immediate resumption of timber harvesting under supervision of a broad-based advisory committee. The revenues would be used to fund operations of the forest until a new management plan is approved. They would also pay for preparation of the legally required management plan and associated environmental documents. The time and money would be available to carefully prepare a long-term plan for the management and restoration of this great public redwood forest."

"Logging is now prohibited by court order. Passage of the bill would allow its near-term resumption for purposes that have broad public benefits," Dr. Taylor added.

Located within a three-hour drive from San Francisco, the scenic 50,000-acre Jackson Demonstration State Forest (Jackson Forest) is the only publicly-owned redwood forest of significant size between Humboldt and San Francisco.

In 2000, a community group, frustrated by the State’s refusal to stop large-scale industrial logging of Jackson Forest, turned to the courts. The Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, filed and won lawsuits that stopped all logging and required the State to develop a new management plan and environmental documentation. In 2003, the court found the new environmental documentation legally inadequate and continued the logging halt. No logging will be able to occur before 2005.

SB 1648 Amended


Board of Forestry Initiates New Environmental Impact Review

In early February, 2004, the Board of Forestry initiated a new round of environmental impact review for Jackson State Forest by publishing a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) on a draft management plan for  Jackson State Forest.

The new EIR round is in response to the ruling by the Mendocino Superior Court in August 2003 that a previously prepared EIR was legally invalid and that the the accompanying management plan for the forest was to be rescinded. All logging in the forest was halted and is not expected to be resumed until a revised EIR is approved.

The Notice of Preparation solicited comments from state agencies and the public on the scope of the analysis and issues to be considered, the potential environmental impacts of the draft Management Plan and alternatives to the draft Plan. The comment period closed March 18, 2004.

Facilitated EIR Scoping Session

Demonstrating its desire to "do the job right,"  the Board of Forestry held a special "facilitated" EIR scoping meeting in Fort Bragg, Mendocino County. This small city is adjacent to Jackson Forest and houses the forest's management headquarters. This was the first Board meeting in living memory held in Fort Bragg.

The meeting, which was held on March 27, featured 3 panels of speakers. Presentations were made by five supporters of  Jackson Forest reform and restoration. Presentations were also made by the California Department of Forestry (CDF), a County Supervisor, the director of the Mendocino Woodlands Outdoor Center, a country forestry advisor, and three representatives of the timber industry.

Although as expected, many different desires for the future were expressed, all parties agreed on the value of conducting research in Jackson Forest.


Jackson Forest Legislation Introduced

February 20, 2004, Sacramento. Senator Wesley Chesbro today introduced legislation on Jackson State Forest.

In introducing his bill, SB 1648, Chesbro said, "My goal is to end the stalemate over management and protection of Jackson State Forest. I want to strike a balance between research and demonstrations on improving forest management practices; the public's desire to see this great redwood forest restored for its habitat, watershed and recreation values; and the continuation of timber harvesting."

Vince Taylor, Executive Director of the Campaign, commented, "Our supporters have been working for four years to change the mandate for Jackson Forest from industrial logging to restoration. Senator Chesbro's bill moves strongly in this direction, while allowing continued research and demonstration on forest management. Under his bill, the forest would be used for legitimate public purposes. We are hopeful that a good bill will pass the legislature this year, but we are prepared to continue our fight in the courts and public opinion if the legislature fails to safeguard our public redwood forest."

Senator Chesbro's press release.
Legislative Counsel's analysis and text of the bill.


Forest Supporters Rock Sacramento
Over 1000 People Send Letters
to 97 Legislators in 10 Days

January 16, 2004. A 10-day drive to Rock Sacramento with 1000 letters to legislators met its goal, with the 1000th letter delivered just before the midnight deadline.

The drive was launched by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Forest to provide people with a chance to demonstrate to legislators how much they care about their redwood forest.

Until halted by grass-roots lawsuits several years ago, the state was conducting large-scale logging operations in Jackson Forest.

The drive aimed to convince legislators to introduce reform legislation on Jackson State Forest in this session. Present law mandates that this 50,000-acre redwood forest in Mendocino be managed for maximum timber production.

Supporters of the Campaign want the forest managed for habitat, recreation, research, and education.

The letter drive was more dramatic than anticipated by the organizers. By the evening of January 15, only 630 people had sent letters. The goal of 1000 letters seemed out of reach.

An e-mail plea asking for help in spreading the word led to a remarkable outpouring of support. In the next 24 hours over 300 new people added their letters. It was nip and tuck right down to the wire, with the 1000th letter sent only shortly before midnight!

Commenting on the results, Vince Taylor, Executive Director of the Campaign, said, " Once again,  people have shown the depth of their commitment to protecting their redwood forest. Commitment has the power to move the world. People's deep commitment will move a reluctant legislature and administration to preserve and restore our precious forest."

Ninety-seven legislators received over 1500 letters from their constituents. Governor Schwarzenegger also received over 1000 letters. Detailed results.

No legislator has yet agreed to introduce legislation on Jackson Forest.


Campaign Appeals Refusal of Court to Enjoin All Logging

November 12, 2003, San Francisco. The Campaign filed an appeal of, among other matters, that portion of the September 23, 2003 judgment in which the Superior Court of Mendocino County had refused to enjoin logging in JDSF under either the 1983 Management Plan or the 2002 Management Plan.

Negotiations between the parties commenced soon thereafter.

Notice of Appeal.


Campaign to Appeal Mendocino Court's Failure to Enjoin Logging
CDF Claims Right to Log Brandon Gulch Under 1983 Management Plan

November 1, 2003. The Campaign announced that it would appeal the failure of the Mendocino Superior Court to enjoin all logging in Jackson State Forest.

In response to a question from the  Court of Appeals, the California Department of Forestry (CDF) told the court on October 30 that it had the right to log in Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 under a 1983 Management Plan. Simultaneously, CDF refused the Campaign's offer not to appeal if it would agree in writing not to log the pending plans until a valid EIR was in place.

The appeal of the Campaign will contend that the Mendocino Superior Court erred in not taking into account a prior lawsuit settlement between the Campaign and CDF. In this settlement, CDF agreed not log without a new management plan.

There is not now a new plan or any legal plan.. The Superior Court directed the Board of Forestry to rescind its previous approval of a 2002 plan. At its October meeting, the Board of Forestry rescinded the 2002 plan, but  took no action to re-certify the 1983 Management Plan that was superceded by the 2003 Management Plan.


Appeals Court Supports Campaign, Extends Logging Halt,
Lectures CDF

August 20, 2003, San Francisco. The California Court of Appeals today inserted itself forcefully into contentious and complex litigation on logging of California’s largest state-owned forest, 50,000-acre Jackson State Redwood Forest.
 
In an unusual action, the Court dispensed with lawyer’s arguments. Instead for nearly half an hour the three judges interrogated and lectured Charles Getz, chief counsel for the California Department of Forestry (CDF).

The justices were openly hostile to CDF’s contention that a lower court’s invalidation of a new management plan did not prevent them from carrying out two disputed logging plans. They told CDF to stop litigating and to get moving on developing a legally valid environmental study.

At the end, the court practically directed the lawyer for the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, the citizen’s group challenging CDF, to appeal the lower court's failure to enjoin the disputed plans. They extended a previously ordered logging-halt of these two plans until such an appeal could be filed.

Dr. Vince Taylor, Campaign spokesperson, said, “Coming to the Court of Appeals was like coming into a sane world after being in Mendocino in an Alice-in-Wonderland world. CDF’s lawyer, Charles Getz, reinterpreted old agreements, repudiated his clear previous statements, and invented legal arguments out of thin air, to all of which Mendocino Judge Henderson appeared to lend a sympathetic ear. Down was up and up was down.

“Today the Appeals Court told Mr. Getz in no uncertain terms that up was up and down was down. It was a great relief to have sanity affirmed. The Appeals Court clearly intends to provide the public forest the legal protection it deserves.”

For more details see press release.
 


Court Rules Environmental Report Invalid
New Management Plan Revoked and Logging Halted

July 30, 2003, Ukiah. The Mendocino Superior Court today upheld a challenge to the environmental report for Jackson State Redwood Forest.

Judge Richard Henderson, ruling on a suit brought by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest and Forests Forever, ruled in the favor on three fundamental issues, including failure to adequately consider the regional setting and to analyze cumulative impacts of proposed timber operations.

Judge Henderson invalidated the EIR and directed the Board of Forestry to rescind its approval of the management plan. He also enjoined further timber operations, but with some ambiguity about the pending plans in Brandon Gulch and Camp 3.

At a minimum, the deficiencies in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be corrected, the revised EIR submitted for public comment, the comments responded to, and the revised Final EIR approved by the Board of Forestry (rather than by CDF as was the EIR invalidated by the court). Henderson found very significant deficiencies in the treatment of both the regional setting of Jackson State and analysis of cumulative impacts. Correcting these deficiencies will be a major task and will not quickly done.

The implications of the decision are far broader and more profound than the requirements to correct the deficiencies in the EIR. Judge Henderson strongly condemned CDF for its complete disregard of "the clear legislative directives" requiring consideration of the regional setting and cumulative impacts. He said that CDF failed to "prepare an EIR that complies with the minimal statutory requirements," and "CDF ignored the relatively clear guidelines and conducted a deficient environmental review."

Dr. Vince Taylor, Executive Director of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, said, "Taken as a whole, Judge Henderson’s decision amounts to a strong indictment of CDF’s disregard for the public, the environment, and the law. The state administration and legislation cannot ignore this criticism, which comes not from an environmental organization, but from a judge who has demonstrated a strong concern for the well-being of the timber industry.

CDF is charged with enforcing the environmental laws designed to protect the state’s forest resources. Its failure to perform an even minimally adequate environmental review of its own timber operations is scandalous. It raises fundamental questions about CDF’s ability and desire to enforce forestry environmental laws as well as its fitness to manage the state forests."

Judge Henderson's decision summary should be required reading for everyone concerned about Jackson State Forest.. He accurately explains the controversy over Jackson State Forest, states the obvious truth that the EIR would be subject to judicial scrutiny, and castigates CDF for its failure in this circumstance to follow the "clear legislative directives" for preparing an EIR. He properly blames CDF for the losses suffered by the local timber industry and the management of Jackson State Forest.

Press Release
Summary and Disposition of Court Ruling


Appeals Court Keeps Stay, Allows Removal of Cut Trees

July 17, 2003, San Francisco. Responding to a petition filed by the California Department of Forestry (CDF) on July 14, the appeals court denied CDF's requests to dissolve the stay and/or to expedite the scheduled August 20 hearing.

The court granted CDF's request, which the Campaign did not oppose, to allow the removal of logs already felled in Jackson State Forest. The trees were cut during the week June 11-16, 2003, prior to the granting of a stay by the Court of Appeals.. Approximately 1500 trees containing one million board feet of timber were felled in this time, primarily in Brandon Gulch. The court required that CDF show the Superior Court of Mendocino County that any additional trees cut were "both (a) relatively minimal and (b) necessary to reach already-felled timber."

Vince Taylor, Executive Director of the Campaign, said, "Although we deplore CDF's rush to log under an environmentally defective management plan, we support the careful removal of the downed timber. It will eliminate a public safety hazard and allow the re-opening of Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 for recreation, and it will help the timber companies and their employees.

Court Order
CDF Petition
Campaign Reply Brief

Press Release


Court of Appeals Extends Stay

July 10, 2003, San Francisco. The state’s efforts to fund its forestry programs by industrial logging of Jackson State Forest suffered a serious setback today. The First District Court of Appeals extended at least until August 20 a previously issued the stay in logging in Jackson State Forest. Further, it’s brief but strong order suggested that it was preparing to act in favor of a request made by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest to overturn a decision by a Mendocino Superior Court to allow logging to begin in Jackson Forest.

The appeals court removed the case from the jurisdiction of the Mendocino Court. It set a hearing on August 20 for the California Department of Forestry (CDF) and involved timber companies to “to show cause before this court … why a peremptory writ [injunction] should not issue.” It has already reviewed briefs by all of the involved parties. The action today suggests that CDF’s chances of prevailing are slim.

This is a very strong order. The appeals court has removed the case from Mendocino’s Judge Henderson and taken it into its own hands. This is a definite sign of the court’s disagreement with Henderson’s handling of our Preliminary Injunction request.

Press Release (includes text of court order)


Court of Appeals Stays Logging

June 17, 2003, San Francisco. The First District Court of Appeals today issued a stay against further logging in Jackson State Forest. Located in Mendocino County, 50,000-acre Jackson Forest is by far the largest publicly owned redwood forest south of Humboldt County.

The stay of logging was issued in response to an emergency request by the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest and Forests Forever.

Logging began in Jackson State Forest on June 11, the day after a Mendocino County judge denied the environmentalist’s request to enjoin logging until their legal challenge to the forest’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is heard on July 7.

The Campaign’s lawyer, Paul Carroll, said, “We asked the court of appeals, first, to stay the logging and, second, pointedly to direct the Mendocino Court to reconsider its decision.”

In its order issuing the stay, the appeals court requested that parties file briefs to the court, indicating that it will consider the Campaign’s request for reconsideration. The stay will remain in effect at least until after the requested briefs are filed on July 2.

Press Release
Emergency Petition
Reply to CDF Brief


Logging Starts in Jackson State

June 11, 2003, Ft. Bragg. The California  Department of Forestry announced that logging had begun in Camp 3 and Brandon Gulch.

Campaign Executive Director, Vince Taylor, commented, "CDF's behavior is scandalous. The judge as good as said that he would shortly find the EIR invalid, making logging in Jackson Forest illegal.

"Given its position as guardian of California's forests, CDF ought to take every precaution to avoid violating the spirit of the environmental laws. Instead, CDF is rushing to log as much timber as possible before being enjoined by the court."


Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction, Favors EIR Challenge

June 10, 2003. Judge Richard Henderson of the Mendocino Superior Court denied the Campaign's request for a preliminary injunction, but he found it "very likely" that the Campaign would win its challenge to the Jackson State EIR.

Judge Henderson had to stretch logic to deny the preliminary injunction. In a settlement of a previous lawsuit, the California Department of Forestry (CDF) agreed not to conduct any timber operations in Jackson State Forest until a new management was developed and approved. As the judge found it very likely that the approval of the new management plan would be set aside, granting of a preliminary injunction was the logical decision.

However, in reaching his decision, the judge refused to take the previous settlement agreement into account, stating "The terms and provisions of settlement agreement and implementing order are the subject of a separate legal action and are not directly involved in this petition [for the injunction]." He then concluded, "Whatever relief is granted by this court will not have a direct, immediate and independent effect on the validity of the two THPs [timber harvest plans]." On this basis he denied the injunction.

The judge went to great lengths to avoid the obvious. The validity of the THPs is not the issue. Whether or not the THPs are legal is irrelevant. His "very likely" decision that the EIR is illegal will bring into force the settlement agreement that prohibits all timber harvesting in Jackson State.

Whether logging will start before the decision on the EIR case, to be heard July 7, is still in doubt. The logging contracts are still not approved, and the Campaign has raised questions about the legality of the bidding process. It has asked the agency reviewing the contracts to answer these questions before approving the contracts. See the next story and the press release below.

Press Release
Opening Brief for EIR Lawsuit
Reply Brief for EIR Lawsuit


Campaign Charges Jackson State Bids Were Illegal

June 4, 2003. In a letter to the Legal Office of the Department of General Services (DGS), the Campaign charged that the bids on the Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 sales were below full market value and therefore illegal under state law.

The Campaign requested the Superintendent of the Legal Office to suspend approval of the timber contracts until the allegations were investigated.

(Update: June 14, 2003): The Superintendent informed the Campaign that through a bureaucratic error, our charges were never considered when reviewing the Brandon Gulch Contract. He also said that the contract for Camp 3 had already been approved when the Campaign's letter was received (approved on May 28, 2003). This latter information was not provided to the Campaign until June 14, despite a specific request to the Superintendent for this information on June 4.

Press Release
Letter to Department of General Services


Court Denies Temporary Restraining Order

May, 22, 2003, Ukiah. Judge Henderson of the Mendocino Superior Court denied the Campaign's request for a Preliminary Injunction.

The judge did not rule on the merits of the Campaign's lawsuit challenging the EIR and thus made is decision on the balance of harm if the injunction were issued and likelihood of irreparable injury if it were not. He found the balance of harm fell more heavily on the logging companies and CDF, and he found no irreparable harm from cutting the trees.

The Campaign's lawyer, Paul Carroll, commented, "The judge made fundamental errors in law in reaching his decision. We are hopeful that he will support our request for a preliminary injunction after we respond to the arguments made by CDF for the TRO hearing." The request for a preliminary injunction will be heard on May 30, 2003.


Campaign Files to Halt Logging in Brandon Gulch

May 12, 2003. The Campaign has filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the California Department of Forestry (CDF) from logging in Brandon Gulch and Camp 3. The motion will be heard on May 15.

The Campaign also moved for a preliminary injunction. The hearing on the preliminary injunction will be held on May 30 in the Mendocino Superior Court, Ukiah. If granted the preliminary injunction will prevent logging in Jackson Forest until the lawsuit challenging the EIR is decided.


Brandon Gulch and Camp 3 Logging Plan

February, 2003. CDF solicited bids for logging of Brandon Gulch. In January, CDF completed all of the requirements for resuming logging imposed by settlement of the Campaign's lawsuit in 2002. CDF lost little time in moving to start logging of one of the ecologically and recreationally most valuable forest watersheds in Jackson State.

In March, CDF solicited bids for a still larger logging plan in Camp 3 in the central recreation area of the forest and adjacent to Brandon Gulch.

A protest rally and news conference will be held at the opening of bids and award of contract for logging Brandon Gulch, April 8 at noon at Howard Forest in Willits.

State Moves to Log Brandon Gulch
Brandon Gulch Protest Rally
Brandon Gulch Sale Summary


Jackson Community Advisory Committee (JCAC)

January, 2003. A new community-wide group on Jackson Forest was formed on January 16, 2003 to provide community input on Jackson Forest to CDF and the Board of Forestry. This was in response to a directive of the Board to CDF to establish a dialog with the local community about management of Jackson State Forest

At its March meeting, the Board of Forestry accepted a public outreach plan from CDF that did include a role for the Jackson Community Advisory Committee. Once again, the Board proved unwilling to stand up to CDF to enforce its own directives.

Letter to the Board of Forestry offering JCAC as a representative of the the community
Draft Outreach/Communication Plan of CDF, prepared in response to the directive of the Board of Forestry that it establish a meaningful dialog with the local community.


Mendocino County Resolution

Opposition to County endorsement of continued logging in Jackson State - Spring 2002


Jackson Forest Legislation

Senate  Approves Jackson Forest Reform Legislation

May 25, 2004, Sacramento. The Senate today passed  Senator Wesley Chesbro's bill to reform management of Jackson State Forest and other state forests. The vote was 23 to 13 in favor.

Chesbro's bill, SB 1648, will eliminate the present mandate for maximum timber production, and replace it with multiple values of conservation, restoration, education, recreation, and forest management demonstration and research.

The bill is now moves to the Assembly.

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Legislation

May 24, 2004, Sacramento. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB 1648 on a vote of 7 to 4. The bill was amended while in Appropriation

Senate Natural Resources Committee Approves Legislation

March 23, 2004, Sacramento. The Senate Natural Resources Committee approved legislation to reform management of Jackson State Forest, SB 1648,  on a (6-3) vote.

According to Chesbro, “Our next step is to work with community groups, forestry professionals, and researchers to make sure that the Jackson Forest will continue to provide resources, research, and habitat benefits for all the people in Mendocino County.”

SB 1648 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee where it will be heard next.

Senator Chesbro's Press Release.

Legislation Introduced

February 20, 2004. Senator Wesley Chesbro announced that he had introduced legislation on Jackson State Forest. Senator Chesbro said, "My goal is to end the stalemate over management and protection of Jackson State Forest," said Chesbro. "I want to strike a balance between research and demonstrations on improving forest management practices; the public's desire to see this great redwood forest restored for its habitat, watershed and recreation values; and the continuation of timber harvesting."

Senator Chesbro's Press Release

First Legislation Effort Fails

January, 2003. The Sierra Club has proposed legislation that would reform the management mandate for California state forests. It would elevate ecological and recreational management priorities and provide permanent protection to all groves more than 80 years old in Jackson State Forest.

State Senator Wes Chesbro, who represents Mendocino County, declined to introduce this legislation, citing his position as head of the Senate Budget Committee as the reason. He evidently felt that he could not introduce a bill that would reduce state revenues in this deficit year.

By the deadline for bill introduction, February 21, no legislator could be found that was willing to sponsor the bill.

The Campaign and its partners continue to seek ways to get legislative changes.

Brief description of the proposed legislation
Draft of Proposed Legislation


Lawsuits and legal actions

Challenge to the first EIR - October 2002 to November 2003
Challenge to Amendment of Board of Forestry Policy on State Forests - July 2001
 First Suit to halt logging under the 1983 management plan - June 2000 to  March 2002
 


The Second Environmental Impact Report  - EIR 2

News stories on the second Environmental Impact Report for Jackson State Forest, December 2004 to date


The First EIR and Management Plan - EIR 1

Board of Forestry action on Management Plan - Oct.-Nov. 2002
The Final EIR and Management Plan - September 2002
Draft EIR and Draft Management Plan - May to July 2002


Past Alerts (Selected)

Oppose Board of Forestry Approval of Management Plan - November 2002