The following is a press release provided by Redwood Nation Earth First! Mama Tree Network:
Protestors held off logging in the Caspar 500 timber harvest plan in Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) again today, for the second time in three days. Using metal boxes to lock themselves down in the middle of the roadway, activists blocked both entrances to the hotly contested logging plan. Loggers arriving in several pickup trucks at 5:45 a.m. to cut down the large second growth redwoods on the 500 acre plan were turned away.
A single CalFire vehicle and one private security guard were the only officials present in the vicinity of Roads 500 and 600 until CHP arrived at 9:00 a.m. and gadvised the protestors they would be arrested and held in the Ukiah jail until next Monday if they stayed. As protestors began to disperse, chainsaws were reported to be heard inside the logging plan causing some activists to go back into the woods.
The previous day, loggers were able to gain access and cut down some seventy trees before being stopped by protestors who confronted them peacefully and engaged in dialogue. Cal Fire was immediately notified of public’s presence in forest, including an active tree sit in the well-known Old Growth redwood “Mama Tree”, but did not halt active tree falling, apparently instructing fallers to stop work only if protestors were visible.
CalFire has “unmarked” the Mama Tree and several other large old trees nearby, but activists are asking for a total revision of the JDSF Management Plan that allowed such old and irreplaceable trees to be marked for cut in the first place.
The Coalition to Save Jackson Demonstration Forest is calling for a moratorium on logging in the State-owned forest, citing JDSF’s outdated Management Plan. Although reviewed in 2016, the Plan relies on a 2007 EIR and does not adequately address climate change, drought conditions or science based fire management. The Coalition’s many members and supporters believe these trees are worth more standing, for cultural heritage, environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration and recreation.