Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on preserving and connecting California's Parks & Wildlife Corridors


Thursday, December 20, 2007



Center for Biological Diversity, conservation biology with litigation, policy advocacy, and an innovative strategic vision, the Center for Biological Diversity is working to secure a future for animals and plants hovering on the brink of extinction, for the wilderness they need to survive, and by extension for the spiritual welfare of generations to come.

California Oaks Foundation, to preserving the state's oak forest ecosystem and its rural landscapes

Friends of the River, in 1973, Friends of the River is dedicated to preserving and restoring California's rivers, streams, and their watersheds as well as advocating for sustainable water management.

Surfrider Foundation, The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization that works to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches.

South Coast Wildlands Project; mapping missing wildlife corridors and linkages throughout California


North Coast Environmental Center, concerned with Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties and South Oregon. Educates, activates, and when necessary litigates on behalf of the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion. Created in February 1971, the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) is one of the most influential coalitions educating, agitating and litigating on behalf of the environment in the Klamath-Siskiyou region of northwestern California. This nonprofit umbrella for a host of citizen activist groups has been at the forefront of every regional environmental struggle for decades--from ancient redwoods, wild rivers and recycling to toxics, energy and endangered species. Publishes the monthly newspaper EcoNews. Environmental Protection Information Center, concerned with Humboldt County and the 4 National Forests between the north coast and the Sacramento River Valley; formed by community activists more than 29 years ago, and works to protect and restore ancient forests, watersheds, coastal estuaries, and native species throughout Northwest California. EPIC uses an integrated, science-based approach, combining public education, citizen advocacy, and strategic litigation. Redwood Forest Foundation; recently purchased a 50,000 acre redwood forest on the north Mendocino County coast from a timber logging company. Save-the-Redwoods LeagueThe League has helped preserve 165,000 acres of ancient redwoods since 1918, on the far north coast, in the Big Sur and Santa Cruz areas, and within Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevadas. For history of the Redwood Parks, click here:

Sanctuary Forest Inc. Working to connect Humboldt Redwoods State Park to the King Range National Conservation Area. Since 1987, Sanctuary Forest has met the challenges involved in protecting and conserving over 10,000 acres of forests and streams, including 1200 acres of old growth forest (total of 4400 acres of land acquired for conservation and 6075 acres of conservation easements on private land). For a map of preserved lands, click here:

Jackson Forest Restoration Campaign, State Forest is a public treasure -- 50,000 acres of beautiful redwood forest located within a few hours drive of San Francisco. The state has been massively logging this public forest, owned by you and me. The profits subsidize the private timber industry. The public forest should not be used for the benefit of the timber industry.Our goal is to restore the forest to old growth for recreation, habitat, and education. 1976, has conserved, in perpetuity, over 9,300 acres of significant lands throughout Mendocino County. For map of preserves, click here:

Sonoma Land Trust, 1976, Sonoma Land Trust has protected more than 17,000 acres of beautiful, productive and environmentally significant land in and around Sonoma County.For map of preserved lands, click here:



BEST MAGAZINE: in Berkeley and founded in 1969, the Center promotes environmentally and socially responsible practices, publishes Terrain Magazine (a comprehensive look at environmental issues in Northern California, published 4 times a year), and sponsors groups working on the Headwaters Forest, recycling and plastics, community gardening, Indigenous permaculture, biodiesel and community water rights. To read Terrain back issues, click here:

Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, Bay Area Ridge Trail ultimately will be a 500-mile trail encircling the San Francisco Bay along the ridge tops, open to hikers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. So far, we have dedicated almost 300 miles of trail for use by Bay Area residents, now and forever. For map of the completed trails, and proposed trails, click here:

San Francisco Bay Trail,

Marin Agricultural Land Trust, has so far permanently protected over 38,000 acres of land on 58 family farms and ranches by acquiring conservation easements. Click here for map of preserved lands:

Blue Ridge-Berryessa Natural Area Conservation Partnership, 80 mile long by 20 miles wide, 800,000-acre Blue Ridge Berryessa Natural Area extends from the Mendocino National Forest on the north to the Sacramento River delta on the south. It includes both public and private lands. For map showing the BRBNA in relation to other preserved open spaces, click here:

Napa County Land Trust, protected over 46,000 acres of land, which are either agricultural conservation easements, or lands now owned by the Land Trust or other public agency. For map of preserved lands, click here:

Solano Land Trust, preserved 16,187 acres in the county; owns 10,806 acres and has purchased conservation easements on another 5331 acres. For map of land preserves, click here:
Approximately two-thirds of annual operations funding is provided by assessment districts in Fairfield and the County of Solano. was founded in 2002 as a volunteer advocacy-oriented nonprofit organization that is focused on protecting both the wild and agricultural heritages of the Putah-Cache bioregion, including all or parts of Yolo, Lake, Napa, Colusa, and Solano counties in northwestern California. In 2006, Tuleyome purchased the Ireland Ranch from the Ireland family, who are fifth generation Yolo County residents. The 640-acre ranch is located in the Blue Ridge abutting 9100 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management as the Berryessa Peak unit. The Blue Ridge, a section of the inner coast range in western Yolo County, runs northwest from Putah Creek to Cache Creek. Completely encircled by private land, no one has been able to visit Berryessa Peak for decades. With Tuleyome's purchase of the Ireland Ranch, this wonderful, 9,100-acre wilderness area will finally be open to the public for docent-led hikes, scientific research and other recreational opportunities. with the Rodman Slough Preserve nature center project, the trust is working on developing a strategic land conservation plan, and exploring ways to preserve Mt. Konocti and its Black Forest of old growth Douglas fir, (Lake County’s central landmark). The Trust owns 390 acres at Rodman, the Black Forest and Rabbit Hill in Middletown.

Save Mount Diablo, Mount Diablo is proud of its 35 - year history and its efforts in helping increase open space on and around the mountain from 6,788 acres to more than 89,000 acres.For map showing history of park purchases, click here:, Contra Costa Countythe Muir Heritage Land Trust has permanently preserved over 2000 acres of natural area in Contra Costa County, one of the fastest growing regions of California. For a map of preserves, click here: and for a map of trail connection corridors

Peninsula Open Space Trust, our founding in 1977, POST has helped to give permanent protection to nearly 55,000 acres of land in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties — an area one and a half times the size of San Francisco and 12 times the size of Yosemite Valley. For map of saved lands, click here:

Sempervirens Fund (Santa Cruz Mountains) acquiring suitable land in a working partnership with the State of California and other public and private agencies; completing Big Basin Redwoods and Castle Rock state parks; fostering public participation in activities such as reforestation and trail projects;linking parks and open spaces to provide an integrated parkland system. Since 1900, has saved over 21,000 acres of redwood forests. For a map of saved lands, click here:
Committee for Green Foothills, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, 1962, Committee for Green Foothills has been dedicated to protecting and preserving open space and habitat on the San Francisco Peninsula and Coastside, throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. For detailed history of their projects, click here:


NORTH OF SACRAMENTO: in 1998, is dedicated to conserving open space, wildlife habitat, and agricultural land, preserving over 2700 acres with conservation easements. The Trust's current areas of focus are the Cow Creek and surrounding Watersheds in the foothills east of Redding to the pine belt of the Cascades.

Feather River Land Trust, Feather River Watershed, the largest Watershed in the Sierra Nevada, consists of 2.4 million acres and provides water to over 20 million Californians (60% of the state's population). It includes all of Plumas County and portions of Sierra, Lassen and Butte counties. By July, 2004, using both conservation easements and outright purchase, the Feather River Land Trust has protected over 27,000 acres in the Feather River region. About 90% of these 27,000 acres consist of working cattle ranches.

Butte Environmental Council, in 1975, BEC is devoted to environmental education and information referral services, and advocacy; works to halt leapfrog development and groundwater overuse and to protect vernal pools its tenth anniversary in 2001, it had over 2,600 acres of conservation and agricultural easements, wildlife and wild plant preserves, and bird sanctuaries under its care.

Clover Valley Foundation, Loomis, CA, Placer CountyIn the near future, a developer plans to reshape the land and hillsides of this small, 622 acre valley, remove more than 7,000 oak trees, and Clover Valley will be lost to as many as 558 more Rocklin houses. Clover Valley is a 622-acre slice of land with historical roots dating back to 5,000 B.C. according to an archaeological study done in 1998. The study also found 34 Native American cultural sites in the area. Also see and Sacramento CountyThe Conservancy’s mission is to preserve the beauty, character and diversity of the Sacramento Valley landscape. Total Acres Preserved: 7,219For Sacramento County open space vision map:

Martis Valley, north of Lake Tahoe, Watch is actively following through with conservation goals for Martis Valley, and we are exporting our success to similar efforts up and down the Sierra Nevada. In Lassen County, we are providing strategic resources to defend Dyer Mountain. In the southern Sierra, we are working with land trusts and public agencies to permanently protect the slopes of Mount Whitney.

Truckee Donner Land Trust, The 1,400-member Truckee Donner Land Trust has protected more than 11,000 acres in the Truckee-Tahoe region. Their goal is to protect 35,000 acres in the Truckee-Tahoe region

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY: once widespread, giant sequoias now occur only in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California. Past land management policies have proven ineffective in protecting Sequoia National Forest ecosystems, watersheds, and the environmental and social value of these areas. Sequoia ForestKeeper fills this void by acting as the guardian of the forest. SFK works to create solutions to these inadequate land management practices; to promote land stewardship; to enforce existing laws and regulations, including sustainable management mandates; to implement public awareness programs; and to offer assistance to local land management agencies.

WildPlaces, Tulare CountyWorks on ecosystem restoration in Tulare County. Also monitoring the Yokohl Ranch Project which is planned to be a new city of 10,000 homes and a resort area built on the 36,000 acre ranch property owned by J.G. Boswell. The Yokohl Valley, currently zoned agricultural, is a vast area of rangeland surrounded by blue oak woodland habitat and considered by many to be a scenic and open space resource not suitable for accomodating a city larger than Visalia.For a map of Yokohl Ranch, see

Tehachapi Mountains-- Tejon region is an irreplaceable piece of California whose future deserves careful consideration. Linking the Sequoia National Forest with the Los Padres National Forest, the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch is critical to national, state and regional interests for its unique biological values as well as its strategic values for national security. Development projects proposed on the Ranch pose a threat to both of these irreplaceable values. Tejon Ranch spans two counties, Los Angeles and Kern, and lies at the bio-geographic crossroads of five geomorphic provinces and four eco-regions, all within the global hotspot recognized by scientists as the California Floristic Province. The proposed Centennial project along Highway 138 in North Los Angeles County will replace over 12,000 acres of grasslands, juniper woodlands, oak woodlands, chaparral and scrublands with approximately 23,000 homes and 14-million square feet of associated retail and commercial uses. Tejon Mountain Village, located in the secluded hills and canyon areas surrounding Castac (Tejon) Lake, will impact approximately 37,000 acres of oak woodlands, grasslands, chaparral and scrublands, montane hardwoods and conifers, pinyon-juniper woodlands, wet meadows and riparian woodlands.For more info, see the Center for Biological Diversity's page:


EASTERN SIERRA: in 2001, the ESLT is the first and only land trust based in Inyo, Mono, and Alpine counties; has preserved 955 acres with conservation easements that remove development rights from land but keep it in private ownership

Mono Lake Committee, in California's spectacular Eastern Sierra, Mono Lake is an oasis in the dry Great Basin and a vital habitat for millions of migratory and nesting birds. For 25 years the Mono Lake Committee has been working to protect Mono Lake from destruction, to heal the damage done in the Mono Basin, and to educate the public about the natural environment and wise water use.

Owens Valley Committee, to the protection, restoration and sustainable management of water and land resources affecting the Owens Valley

Save Round Valley Alliance Advocates for Smart Growth,, grassroots organization, working to protect and enhance the quality of life in Inyo and Mono counties. Successfully overturned approval of development called “Whitney Portal Preserve” that would have built homes at the base of Mt. Whitney

MOJAVE DESERT: The Wildlands Conservancy (TWC) has preserved more land in California with private funds than any other conservation organization. TWC owns California's largest nonprofit sanctuary - the 97,000-acre Wind Wolves Preserve in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. Between 1999 and 2002, the Conservancy funded and brokered the sale of around 600,000 acres of former railroad company lands to the federal government for preservation and inclusion within desert National Parks and wilderness areas.

California Desert Protection League

Sierra Club California/Nevada Desert Committee Desert Report is a 24-page newsletter of vital news about the California and Nevada deserts published 3 times a year.

Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, runs 2 preserves in the Western Mojave Desert, For maps click here



Sempervirens Fund (Santa Cruz Mountains) acquiring suitable land in a working partnership with the State of California and other public and private agencies; completing Big Basin Redwoods and Castle Rock state parks; fostering public participation in activities such as reforestation and trail projects;linking parks and open spaces to provide an integrated parkland system. Since 1900, has saved over 21,000 acres of redwood forests. For a map of saved lands, click here:

San Benito Agricultural Land Trust, to providing financial options to landowners in order to protect the agricultural heritage of San Benito County. The San Benito Agricultural Land Trust currently protects 5,454 acres of working ranches and farms and is actively pursuing additional lands.


Big Sur Land Trust, Big Sur Land Trust has protected more than 30,000 acres of shoreline, wildlife habitat, streams, forests, grasslands and awe inspiring views.

Landwatch Monterey County, the next 20 years, Monterey County is projected to grow by almost 40% to a population of over 500,000 people (an increase of 150,000 new residents). LandWatch will keep the public informed about the status of land use planning in the county.

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation are more than 7000 acres of protected lands in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. 3600 acres are protected or managed by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, click for map of protected lands

The Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo, a downtown SLO walk-in Environmental Center office, ECOSLO offers information on current issues, county wide environmental services, plus a lending library of books, tapes, and videos. ECOSLO was instrumental in creating the SLO Coast Alliance, a grassroots coalition of 45 organizations dedicated to protecting the county's spectacular coast against excessive development proposals.

Land Conservancy of SLO County, Land Conservancy was created in 1984. Since our formation, we have permanently protected over 9200 acres of land in San Luis Obispo County. The largest property is 5000 acres west of Paso Robles and is protected with a conservation easement and is owned by the Bonnheim Family which donated the easement


Environmental Defense Center, nonprofit, public interest organization that provides legal, educational and advocacy support to advance environmental quality. EDC primarily serves community groups on California's South Central Coast.

Community Environmental Council, evolving family of programs that changes and adapts with the environmental challenges faced on the South Coast. While our scope of work deals mainly with San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, our influence and the bi-products of our innovation has and will be felt on state-wide, national and global levels.

Santa Barbara County Land Trust,, 1985, the Land Trust has worked with willing landowners, the community and public agencies to protect over 13,000 acres in Santa Barbara County.

Save Open Spaces and Agricultural Resources, to making Ventura County a better place to live by limiting urban sprawl, protecting open space and agricultural lands, and promoting livable and sustainable communities in Ventura County. Since 1995, SOAR urban growth boundary initiatives which mandate voter approval of sprawl have passed in all major cities in Ventura County, and also on a countywide basis throughout Ventura County. No other county in the United States has more effective protections against urban sprawl. None!

The Nature Conservancy's L.A.-Ventura Project:The Nature Conservancy launched its L.A.-Ventura Project in 1999. As of spring 2002, the project had acquired and protected lands totaling more than 1,100 acres, all along the Santa Clara River. We will acquire some 6,000 acres of land along the river to protect, restore, and enhance native riparian and alluvial habitats. In addition, working with partner organizations and agencies, The Nature Conservancy plans to establish a Big Sky Ecological Reserve in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The reserve would encompass up to 10 contiguous properties totaling approximately 30,000 acres. Santa Clara River Parkway is a project of the California State Coastal Conservancy, in collaboration with the Nature Conservancy's LA-Ventura Project, Friends of the Santa Clara River, private landowners and local governments, to acquire and restore floodplain land along the lower Santa Clara River for habitat, flood protection, and recreation.



Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment, County has approved projects which would effectively double the population of the valley in the next decade, and looming on the horizon is the largest single development proposal in Los Angeles County history: The Newhall Ranch Project.

Ballona Ecosystem Education Project, and Education to Protect the remaining Open Spaces of the Ballona, Baldwin Hills and El Segundo Dunes ecosystem since 1993. In 2007, successfully sued to halt the massive 110 acre Playa Vista phase 2 project, returning the land to agricultural zoning.

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, with the City which recently purchased most of the remaining open space on the south side of the Peninsula. This led to the creation of the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve, 1200 acres in Rancho Palos Verdes now managed by the Conservancy. In addition to the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve, the Land Conservancy owns or manages the Linden H. Chandler and George F Canyon Preserves in Rolling Hills Estates and the White Point Nature Preserve and habitat restoration on the Defense Fuel Supply Point in San Pedro.

Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, the San Gabriel River meets the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach, with 776 acres remaining available for restoration, the Los Cerritos Wetlands' one-of-a-kind coastal ecosystem struggles to remain the vital link in protecting some of Southern California's most precious and diverse resources.

RIVER GROUPS: Emerald Necklace is a vision for a 17 mile loop of parks and greenways connecting 10 cities and nearly 500,000 residents along the Río Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers nestled in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, unifying more than 1,500 acres of parks and open spaces along an interconnected greenway around two major urban rivers.

Friends of the L.A. River, founded in 1986 to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship. River Project organized the Coalition for a State Park at Taylor Yard and led the successful fight to establish the first state park on the Los Angeles River. We have undertaken a comprehensive study of the Tujunga Wash subwatershed, and are actively engaged in the design and development of several river greenway parks in the San Fernando Valley.

Baldwin Hills Conservancy, agency that acquires open space and manages public lands within the Baldwin Hills area to provide recreation, restoration and protection of wildlife habitat

San Gabriel and Lower L.A. Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, agency that preserves open space and habitat in eastern Los Angeles County and western Orange County.

Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, by the California State Legislature in 1980; Since that time, it has helped to preserve over 55,000 acres of parkland in both wilderness and urban settings. Through direct action, alliances, partnerships, and joint powers authorities, the Conservancy's mission is to strategically buy back, preserve, protect, restore, and enhance treasured pieces of Southern California to form an interlinking system of urban, rural and river parks, open space, trails, and wildlife habitats that are easily accessible to the general public.


Spirit of the Sage Council, non-profit biocentric grassroots coalition of environmental organizations & American Indians dedicated to defending & conserving Native Plants, Native Animals & Native Sacred Lands.

ORANGE COUNTY: saving the 8,700 acre “Missing Middle” we will link 4,000 acres of preserved open space in Whittier with 13,000 acres in Chino Hills State Park east of Brea.

Friends of Coyote Hills, West Coyote Hills is currently owned by Chevron, which is proposing adding a 760-unit housing project for an area that has already seen the rapid growth of several thousand new homes in the last few years. acquire, restore and preserve the entire 1700 acres of the mesa, lowlands and wetlands of the Bolsa Chica. Since its founding in 1992, the State has acquired over 3/4ths of the land???? are a coalition organized to Save San Onofre State Beach from the proposed Foothill Toll Road. Its founding members include the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Endangered Habitats League, Laguna Greenbelt, Surfrider Foundation, Audubon California, and the California State Parks Foundation.

For list of preservation groups in San Diego County:

Anza-Borrego Foundation, and augments the education, interpretation, and research within the 650,000 acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the other five parks that together comprise the Colorado Desert District. These parks include Salton Sea Recreation Area, Picacho State Recreation Area, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Indio Hills Palms and Palomar Mountain State Park.

San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, organization helping to implement the vision of the San Dieguito River Park and its Coast-to-Crest trail. The San Dieguito River Park stretches over 55 miles from Volcan Mountain near Julian to the ocean between Del Mar and Solana Beach.

Volcan Mountain Preserve Foundation, 1988, the Volcan Mountain Preserve Foundation, in cooperation with private organizations, public governmental agencies and principal landowners on the mountain, has been able to preserve over 4,000 acres in public ownership stretching from Lake Henshaw to the Anza Borrego Desert.

San Diego River Conservancy, of the proposed park

Riverside County, Eagle Mountain Landfill, Campaign to Return 29,775 Acres of Land in the Eagle Mountain Range to Joshua Tree National Park and Designate the Defunct Kaiser Mine and Townsite a National Historic Landmark, instead of becoming a trash dump for Los Angeles County.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Humboldt County's Biggest Developer Uses His Daily Newspaper to Push Highway 101 Widening Through Ancient Redwoods

"Big Trees or Big Trucks"

From EcoNews, the monthly newspaper published by the NorthCoast Environmental Center.

December 2007

By Greg King, Executive Director

The November 23 issue of the Eureka Reporter con­tains an editorial that condemns the NEC’s comments to CalTrans on the agency’s plan to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove. That’s on page four. On page five, taking up the entire right column, is an incoherent and fallacious hit-piece against me by former Pacific Lumber president and current mayor of Fortuna, John Campbell.

The one-two punch was unexpected, but its origins are clear.

My comments to CalTrans challenged the agency’s unfortunate plan to widen Highway 101 through what is the first ancient redwood grove seen by anyone heading to Humboldt from the south. I had asked the agency to produce an Environmental Impact Report, rather than the planned “negative dec­laration,” in order to more fully explore the unknown environmental impacts to the grove, as well as to Hum­boldt County as a whole, by widening the road. CalTrans’ sole justification for the widening project was to allow longer trucks into Humboldt County (You can find the NEC’s comments at

Click here to read Greg's letter to CalTrans,

And for the Eureka Reporter's articles:

Why the need for longer trucks? Why threaten the very existence of these rare Southern Humboldt ancient redwood trees just for an extra seven feet of trailer space?

The answer, it turns out, is development.

About four months ago I spoke with someone close to operations at the county level who told me that big box stores and chain franchises were hesitant to com­mit to developing both the Balloon Track, owned by Robin Arkley,Jr., and his Security National Company, and the former Pacific Lumber mill in Fortuna and other large, flat spaces unless they could get their big trucks through Richardson Grove. Their profit margins were that slim. Then, a couple of months later, a state official told me, “Wid­ening 101 through Richardson Grove is about a lot more than cattle trucks. It’s about development. It’s about strip malls and box Stores. It’s about port development. They don’t need the rail to develop the port. They need the big trucks. The governor’s behind it.”

On November 26, I called the Reporter’s new editorial page edi­tor Peter Hannaford. Hannaford is a curious addition to the Hum­boldt County community. He’s been here a month, fresh from a failed attempt to resurrect the ultra-right-wing Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) which is pushing for a US invasion of Iran. Apparently, in 2004, Hannaford was forced to resign just one clay after taking up the CPD’s chairman po­sition, because, according to the Center for Media and Democracy) he had “lobbied for the Austrian Freedom Party which is headed by nationalist Joerg Haider. Haider once commended the ‘orderly employment policy’ of the Third Reich and paid a ‘solidarity visit’ to Saddam Hussein in 2002.” He worked for Ronald Reagan when Reagan was governor and later when Reagan was president. What’s he doing at a Eureka newspaper?

I asked Hannaford why the Reporter never ran an article on the NEC’s Richardson Grove comments. “Because they had ‘obstruc­tionism’ written all over them,” he said. “Why don’t you come up with a solution to get Our trucking problem solved?”

I told him I didn’t think there was a problem. And if there was, it wasn’t up to me to solve it, it was up to people like State Senator Pat Wiggins, who two months ago apparently already solved the prob­lem by passing a bill that allows oversized cattle trucks through Richardson Grove.

The real problem, it seems, is the Richardson Grove roadblock that disallows sending more profits out of Humboldt County. We need, and in large part already have, a sustainable economy that keeps profits in the community. Why jeopardize our economy and the health of Richardson Grove by bringing in big trucks?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mendocino's Jackson State Forest is Saved from Clearcutting


I have good news!
When I last wrote in July 2007, I was urging you to write the Board of Forestry opposing open-ended clearcutting on our publicly owned Jackson State Redwood Forest.
You and others resoundingly told the Board of Forestry that you opposed clearcutting and supported the consensus plan for Jackson State Forest developed by a group of environmental and timber interests (the Mendocino Working Group). The Board received over 2000 letters with this message.

During this same period, the Board of Supervisors of Mendocino County, where Jackson State Forest is located, unanimously voted to write to the Board of Forestry in support of the Mendocino Working Group's consensus plan and opposition to unrestricted clearcutting. This was a landmark action by the Supervisors. Please give them your thanks.

In the latest development, the consensus plan, including strong safeguards on clearcutting, has now won the support of the California Board of Forestry, the body with the final say over management of Jackson State Forest. By six to two, with one abstention, the board voted in October 2007 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.

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.

These actions by the Board bring us close to the goal that the Campaign set out to accomplish in 2000 – but a number of outstanding issues remain to be resolved before we can stop campaigning and begin to work cooperatively on managing the forest for the public interest.
A potential major sticking point is the resolution of two timber contracts awarded by the state in 2001 for the cutting of 35,000 of the oldest trees in the forest from the center of the prime recreation area. The Campaign went to court to halt these devastating logging plans, and we won. The plans have been enjoined by court order and stipulated agreement ever since.
The Campaign is adamant that these contracts be renegotiated in a way that will satisfy the contract holders while preserving these valuable older forest groves at least until a coherent, consensus long-term plan is developed for the forest. So far, the state has been unwilling to commit to this.

As I write, the Board of Forestry is scheduled to consider in January, 2008, the revised environmental and management documents for Jackson State Forest. The Campaign and members of the Mendocino Working Group are working hard to ensure that these documents fully reflect the consensus plan before being brought to a vote. Everyone is anxious at this point to honor the hard work that has brought us close to a solution that can be embraced by all parties, and I am hopeful that the remaining few, but important, issues will be resolved prior to the final vote.

If the board approves the documents, as expected, the Campaign will have 30 days to challenge them in court. We are strongly committed to reaching a solution without litigation, but we stand ready to take such action if it appears the only way to protect irreplaceable values in our forest.
We are nearing success in our eight-year fight to save our redwood forest for our children’s children. My deep and sincere thanks to every one who helped bring us to this point. Please keep the forest in your thoughts and hearts this holiday season.

Donations to support our continuing efforts are welcomed. You can donate either by credit card online or by mail. We do our best to make sure that every dollar is spent effectively on your behalf.

Vince Taylor, Executive Director

12/5/2007 From California Wilderness Coalition,

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office has begun preparing a management plan for the 130,000 acres (203 square miles) it manages in a region that stretches from Santa Clarita in the north to the border with Mexico in the south and includes Los Angeles, western Riverside, western San Bernardino and western San Diego counties. The management plan will guide the agency's approach to a variety of important issues including mining, cattle grazing, off-road vehicle use, land sales and land acquisitions for the next decade or more. Wild places affected by the plan include Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia in Riverside County and Otay Mountain and Hauser Mountain in San Diego County among others. Many small parcels that serve as critical open space for recreation and plant and wildlife habitat will also be affected by the plan. The South Coast BLM lands provide habitat for a variety of rare plants and animals like Munz's onion, Tecate cypress, slender-horned spineflower, least Bell's vireo, Stephen's kangaroo rat, coastal California gnatcatcher, arroyo toad, and Quino checkerspot butterfly, and include such important features as Native American cultural sites and 15 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. It is essential that people who care about wild places get involved in the development of this plan and make their voices heard! This is especially true given that in the aftermath of the recent fires some pro-development interests are trying to foment a backlash against habitat protection.


Please attend one of the following public hearings hosted by the BLM:

12/5/07 in CAMPO from 4 to 8 P.M.Mountain Empire Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road

12/6/07 in SAN DIEGO from 4 to 8 P.M.Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 1895 Camino del Rio South

12/10/07 in TEMECULA from 4 to 8 P.M.Mary Phillips Senior Center, 41845 Sixth Street

12/12/07 in SANTA CLARITA from 4 to 8 P.M.George A. Caravalho Activities Center, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway

In addition, please send a letter to the BLM by 1/9/08 (letters must be postmarked by this date and e-mails or faxes must be received by this date).Your letter should be addressed to:John Kalish, Field ManagerBLM, South Coast-Palm Springs FOAttn: South Coast RMPP.O. Box 581260North Palm Springs, CA 92258.Fax: (760) 251-4899.E-mail:

At the public hearings and in your letter, please express in your own words why BLM lands are important to you. If you are familiar with specific places like Otay Mountain, Beauty Mountain, Hauser Mountain or others, tell them why you like those areas.

Also, please request that:--All currently roadless South Coast BLM lands regardless of size be managed for habitat restoration and non-motorized recreation;

--The Beauty Mountain Wilderness Study Area, all nearby BLM lands and all future acquisitions in the Beauty Mountain region be managed for habitat restoration and non-motorized recreation. Please explain that Beauty Mountain is one of the most important wild places in southwestern California, that it serves as a critical habitat bridge for plants and wildlife by linking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to the Coast Range and therefore it deserves as much protection as possible;

--The Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area, all nearby BLM lands and all future acquisitions in the Hauser Mountain region be managed for habitat restoration and non-motorized recreation. Please explain that Hauser Mountain and the newly-acquired BLM lands nearby serve as important habitat corridors between Mexico and the Cleveland National Forest, and includes such key features as the Pacific Crest Trail;

--The BLM lands adjacent to or near the Otay Mountain Wilderness, as well as all future acquisitions in the area, be managed for non-motorized recreation and habitat restoration; and,-

-That the BLM identify the Beauty Mountain, Hauser Mountain and Otay Mountain regions as high-priority areas for future land acquisitions. Thank you.

For more information, please contact:Ryan Henson/California Wilderness Coalition, 530-246-3087


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