Op-Ed

Friends of the Enchanted Meadow Concerned Mendocino Redwood Company Logging Near Slaughter House Road

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[Picture provided by Ginny Stearns]

The Mendocino Redwood Company is presently logging uphill and adjacent to the beautiful 52 acre wetlands sanctuary called Enchanted Meadow in the heart of the exquisite Albion River. As described by local witnesses, bulldozers have been grinding their way down Slaughterhouse Road pulling out the oldest, mature second growth redwoods and leaving toppled trees, strewn slash debris and gouged out bulldozer tracks.

Locals trained in salmon restoration and sediments are seriously concerned about mudslides and landslides that have damaged the river from previous logging on this road in the 1990’s and in 2018, endangering coho and steelhead habitat. MRC is notorious for poorly maintained roads that result in this kind of destruction of local habitats. Certainly this kind of damage will be repeated this next rainy season as winter rains wash the churned up soil and debris from badly designed roads into the river. No additional buffer area to protect the sanctuary lands from adjacent logging is being provided by MRC, the largest private timberland owner in Mendocino County.

MRC uses gallons of Dust Off, a magnesium chloride product. While it reduces dust and firms up the road it also results in slippery surfaces when wet, plant damage and pollution of the river.

It is known to cause eye irritation up to a 25′ range, and MRC has applied it adjacent to the Albert Cattalini Conservancy, known habitat of the endangered CA Red Legged Frog.

While the Departments of Water Quality and Fish and Game have been contacted about the timber harvest plan and past destructive activities, officials have not responded. “They are not doing their job of protecting our waters and wildlife” states a citizen whose filed report to Regional Water Quality Board has been ignored now for three weeks.

Alarmingly, concerned citizens on sanctuary property have been intimidated with guns and video cameras by LEAR agents of MRC.

The logging is far from done. Steeper areas are slated with cable logging to span a portion of the Albion River that is designated Wild and Scenic and historically prone to mud slides.

MRC is degrading the scenic values of the Albion, destroying wildlife habitat, and disrupting the ecological balance between forest and wetlands.

-Ginny Stearns of the Friends of the Enchanted Meadow

Categories: Op-Ed

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