Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Activists Return to the Jackson Demonstration State Forest- Morning of Music, Dancing, and ‘Eyewitnessing of Mismanagement’ 


The following is a press release from Mama Tree Network:

Demonstrators pose in front of felled redwood trees in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest [Picture provided by Mama Tree Network]

This morning, Monday January 24th, Forest Defenders gathered at the Red Tail THP to protest continued mis-management of the forest, and the use of citizens arrests to bar access to the public’s forest. The protest was originally dubbed “Safety First ” and was organized to highlight the illegal actions of private security officer Paul Trouette- owner of Lear Asset Management, in JDSF. 

Although logging is ongoing in the Red Tail THP, Trouette, Calfire, and the Licensed Timber Operators didn’t show up for work today. As a result, the protest turned into a three hour celebration, interspersed with information sharing and an “eye witness walk in the forest.” The demonstrators also happily acknowledged the “Strategic Pause” announced recently by the Board of Forestry– meaning no new harvests have been approved in JDSF in 2022.

Dozens of people gathered in the pullout at the top of the Camp One Access Road, including several youth climate activists who have been organizing in local schools. Midway through the three hour rally, activists and reporters risked arrest by entering the THP to “witness the carnage” left behind by recent logging. They found several cut areas, including a number of large redwoods and douglas fir trees over 100 years of age that had been felled and stacked into log decks close to twice the height of the youth protesters. 

The Red Tail Timber Harvest Plan is located in what Calfire calls an “Old Forest Development Area”, which sets a strict limit on what percentage of the overall forest can legally be removed during harvest- a limit that the THP is exceeding. One activist joked: “they should call it an Old Forest Devastation Area.” 

Activists are concerned that Calfire is preparing to resume cutting large redwoods in another hotly contested THP: the Caspar 500. Caspar 500 was the site of ongoing nonviolent direct action last summer, including tree sits in massive redwoods known as Mama Tree and the Gemini Tree. Logging began in Caspar on June 10th, and was halted less than two weeks later. It has not yet resumed.

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Today’s protest called attention to CalFire’s continued logging despite the “moratorium” on new plans. Forest Defenders pledge to “renew their efforts to raise awareness of the destructive commercial timber harvest practices in the publicly-owned forest. We are determined to achieve a REAL moratorium on all logging in JDSF until the management plan can be updated to reflect Tribal co management and modern climate science.”

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  1. What a joke. It sucks to see our local working forest held hostage by a small group of closed-minded and misinformed zealots. Truth is the carefully planned and sustainable timber harvests in JDSF allow for the gainful employment of many locals. And there used to be great public access for recreational use in JDSF, but not since these ecofanatics showed up with their vandalism and disruptive behavior. Little junior militant camo-boy certainly looks like he’s ready to try and stir some shit. Hopefully Trouette and Co can wrangle a few of these miscreants for criminal prosecution. Then maybe the gates will be unlocked and we the people can have our access to the forest restored.

  2. Seriously I hike theses forest constantly, it’s beautiful and none of it is virgin forest. They have managed a resource and they are better at it now than 100 years ago, that’s why we have a beautiful working forest that helps the overall environment by carbon sequestration and carbon removal instead of a forest constantly burning and wasting its useful purpose of being wood wot a purpose and instead becoming carbon in the air!!! I support this timber harvest

  3. These people are misinformed & misguided. Most people of Mendocino county approve of logging the JSDF. Earth First! We’ll log the other planets later!

  4. A friend of mine was paid to go into the Jackson State Forest and record owls. This was about 2015. When he recorded the calls of endangered owls, that area was marked for protection. BUT! He discovered later that screech owls were released into those areas and would run off the endangered owls. This is how rich corporations get around pesky environmental restrictions.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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