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Loggers Cut Down Trees Near People in Jackson State Forest

The following is a press release issued by Redwood Nation Earth First! and Mama Tree Network by Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters:

A protestor stands next to a recently felled tree in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest [Picture provided by KZYX Program Direction Alicia Bales]

Logging began at daylight this morning in the intensely contested “Caspar 500” timber harvest plan (THP) in Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF), with large second-growth redwoods being felled within 6’ of protestors and a passing trail cyclist. Making their presence known with air horns and loud whistles, several protestors walked up to the fallers and asked them to stop but their pleas were refused by a Supervisor who insisted that tree falling must continue, despite the public’s presence.

After a tense stand-off and the Supervisor’s withdrawal, the protestors and cyclist were able to engage three fallers in nonviolent dialogue and eventually convinced them to voluntarily rest their saws. Other forest protestors grouped near a 96” diameter redwood known as the “Cable Scar Tree”. The massive Old Growth tree is not officially “marked for cut” as part of the THP, but IS being cut to build a new road on the plan.

Concerned community members called on Cal Fire State Forests Program Director Kevin Conway, to immediately halt logging operations while people are in the woods. Coastal Mendocino County resident and teacher Andy Wellspring said that Conway had claimed in a phone conversation this morning that “people could be present in an active logging zone at a ‘safe distance.” Wellspring asked if those regulations were concerning civilians close to tree felling or co-workers close to tree felling, but did not receive an answer.

After Wellspring told Conway his grave concern that “CalFire is endangering people’s lives by allowing logging to continue in Caspar 500”, Conway hung up on him. Protestors have been receiving mixed messages from CalFire. Previously, Conway had said logging should halt if workers could see an individual in the forest and had offered to “unmark” the well-known “Mama” and “Papa” trees where tree sits have been ongoing since April, and place a 400 ‘ buffer zone around them. However, the Registered Professional Forester Jason Curna, who is responsible for the THP, recently ordered the sitters to come down.

A support team for the forest protectors immediately notified Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall the CHP Officer Finnegan of the danger posed by unfettered tree falling near members of the public as well as reports of vehicular harassment and dangerous driving by drivers for Anderson Logging, the contractor for the cut. At a meeting the day before with Sheriff Kendall, it was agreed that their priority should be safety first.

“The protestors are exercising their First Amendment rights on public property”, said Linda Perkins, a liaison to law enforcement. Conway has said the protectors are there illegally but has cited no legal basis or California State Code to support his statement. Dozens of protestors have been risking arrest in every day since logging began on June 10 last week in an effort to intercept loggers arriving to cut down big redwoods.

“JDSF is the People’s forest”, said Sloth, the current resident of the Papa Tree. “This would be the perfect place to start implementing the Governor’s 30×30 plan to set aside thirty percent of the world’s lands for environmental values by the year 2030”. The Coalition to Save Jackson State Forest is calling for a moratorium on timber harvesting in JDSF until its Management Plan is updated with a current Environmental Impact Review, which has not been done since 2007. The next update is set for 2026 but many believe the climate crisis requires action urgent now. Activists vow to return on Wednesday en masse.

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5 replies »

  1. I think a better title would be “Stupid Protesters Recklessly Endanger Themselves by Harrasing Timber Fallers at Work”.

    But thanks for sharing the activists propaganda.

  2. The sad thing is that all these protesters will cause CalFire to have enough and they will sell JSDF to a private logging company and the likelihood of the forest being clear cut will go up substantially. This is a demonstration forest that is used to implement new procedures to ensure our forests stay healthy and we have the most efficient management techniques. The JSDF provides essential resources for wildlife studies that will be lost if the forest is sold.

  3. Here is the legal basis for restricting public access to an area.

    14 CCR 1439. Temporary Prohibited Area

    To insure the safety and health of Persons, to avoid interference in development, construction, research and timber management, or to provide for the security, safeguarding and preservation of property within a State Forest and Portions thereof, a State Forest Manager or the superiors thereof may order any portions of a State Forest closed to public use or entry for a period of time not to exceed 1 year.
    (a) A copy of the order shall be posted at the state forest headquarters and may specify such reasonable classes of Person who may enter the closed area in the conduct of such proper activities or official duties as the State Forest Manager or the superiors thereof may prescribe.
    (b) Notices designating the area closed to entry shall be posted in such locations as will reasonably bring them to the attention of the public. Such notice may specify the period or periods of closure.
    (c) During the period when an area is closed to public entry, only Persons specifically authorized by the order of closure may enter or remain within the area so closed.
    This section shall not be construed in derogation of any other state forest regulation.

  4. What a bunch of bullshit!! All those “environmentalists” and “friends of” groups are nothing but a bunch of lazy hypocrites with too much time on their hands!! Here’s an idea how about get a damn job and let these people do theres!! How about instead of being so worried about a damn bug losing it’s habitat or WTF ever excuse you’re trying to use to shut them down this week you worry about how these men are going to feed their families or keep a roof over their heads or clothes on their backs? But that’s right I almost forgot you people don’t give a shit about your fellow humans as long as those bugs and birds have a place to live everything is golden right?! Liberal hypocrisy at its finest!!!

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