Investigation Sides with Lost Coast League in Dispute on Logging - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Investigation Sides with Lost Coast League in Dispute on Logging Rainbow Ridge

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SOURCE Lost Coast League

PETROLIA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Petrolia-based Lost Coast League (LCL) today received the answer to its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Complaint of Humboldt Redwood (HRC) logging plans on Rainbow Ridge in the Mattole River watershed. LCL faulted logging of previously un-entered forests and extensive use of herbicides. (See the Complaint here: or for maps and other information visit LCL's website:

Lead Investigator Dr. Robert Hrubes, a founder of FSC, concluded "that two of the complainants' allegations … are factually with merit with regard to non-conformance to the FSC U.S. National Forest Management Standard. Accordingly, two Corrective Action Requests are being raised … one pertaining to updating the HCVF [High Conservation Value Forest] assessment in the Mattole and one pertaining to chemical use ..."

HRC lacked a process for reviewing lands for High Conservation Value, while LCL contends there are numerous rare, unentered stands in the Mattole holdings.  Hrubes instructs HRC to partner with LCL to make those determinations.

The Rainbow Ridge area is remote and of critical biological importance, harboring sensitive or endangered species such as the Humboldt Marten, Spotted Owl, Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Pacific Fisher, Salmon and Steelhead, and increasingly rare reptiles and amphibians. HRC owns 18,000 acres in the Mattole watershed, in addition to its approximately 191,000 acres elsewhere in Humboldt County. Both HRC and Mendocino Redwood Co. (MRC) are owned by the San Francisco-based Fisher family, owners of the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic.

Logging plans in this area have been the subject of numerous protests, blockades, and Mattole community concern for several decades.  This summer, HRC hired ex-Navy Seals who employed dogs, Tasers, and torture techniques to remove those defending the forest from logging.

HRC's lumber is marketed as "Certified Sustainable" in the Bay Area through Home Depot and other retail outlets.

Hrubes also wrote that HRC (and MRC) has a systemic problem with herbicide use, noting that "Over the years that the companies have been FSC certified, several 'Findings'… have been raised by audit teams that… pertain to herbicide use.  These Findings have resulted in corrective action responses and closures, and ongoing actions such as a Vegetation Management Plan, still in development. But the issue has persisted and, particularly in Mendocino County and the Mattole Watershed of Humboldt County, intensified."

Under FSC rules, timber companies are to develop alternatives to the use of poisons and adopt a plan to phase them out entirely.  Hrubes also faulted HRC for poisoning a naturally occurring tanoak stand in order to convert it to conifers.

"These harvest plans failed the FSC test of sustainable forestry," said LCL's Michael Evenson.  "The public does not buy the idea you can continually poison a mature forest and claim to be growing it sustainably. 

"Had we not brought this action, the practices would continue unabated.  We pledge to work with HRC to protect public trust resources in the Mattole."

Media contact:
Michael Evenson 
(707) 629-3506

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