FORT BRAGG, 12/13/21 — Environmentalists have planned a week of action after discovering logging took place in Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) last week. They’re calling for a moratorium on commercial logging while the state reviews whether the forest’s management plan aligns with California’s climate and tribal co-management goals, but CalFire has no plans of stopping.
Logging operations began last week in the Red Tail Timber Harvest Plan (THP), which activists managed to disrupt on Friday and Saturday. They’re asking community members to show their support throughout the week, beginning with a day documenting the operations on Monday followed by rallies and protests through Friday. For more information visit savejackson.org or follow mama.tree.mendo on Facebook or Instagram.
The Red Tail THP is 349 acres within an older forest development area, as designated by the forest’s management plan. The management for the area is supposed to lead to an older forest structure with “large trees, snags, down logs, multiple canopy layers and a high level of structural diversity while growing and producing timber through thinning and periodic replacement of large trees.” The Red Tail THP states the intention of the project is to remove hardwoods in order to reduce competition with conifers.
These types of projects demonstrate sustainable forestry and create a diverse stand structure for research purposes as far as the age and size of trees goes, said Kevin Conway, CalFire’s state forests program manager. In the older forest development zone, CalFire is “looking to maintain older slightly larger trees with slightly longer periods between harvests,” he said.
Conway asked the public to stay out of the temporary closure areas given that logging is already dangerous and the wet weather brings an added layer of complexity that makes the situation unsafe. He added the contractors at the site can’t alter what CalFire has asked them to do and if the public has concerns, they should reach out to Conway at [email protected]. However, he said logging is unlikely to halt anytime soon.
“We do not support a moratorium on our activities,” Conway said. “We don’t feel that anybody’s brought any information to light that would cause us to think that what we’re doing is not in the long-term interest of the health of Jackson Demonstration State Forest.”