Friday, August 25, 2006

Michael Shellenberger and Ken Miller

Press Releases /

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 21, 2003

For more information, please contact:
Michael Shellenberger, Salmon Forever, 510-525-9900
Ken Miller, Humboldt Watershed Council, 707-839-7444
Jesse Noell, Salmon Forever, 707-443-7433
Cynthia Elkins, EPIC, 707-923-2931

SEE FIRST COMMENT ON THIS POST FOR FULL TEXT

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  1. Press Releases /

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
    January 21, 2003

    For more information, please contact:
    Michael Shellenberger, Salmon Forever, 510-525-9900
    Ken Miller, Humboldt Watershed Council, 707-839-7444
    Jesse Noell, Salmon Forever, 707-443-7433
    Cynthia Elkins, EPIC, 707-923-2931

    Groups Demand Water Board Curtail Excessive Logging
    Independent Scientific Panel Says Pacific Lumber Logging Will Prevent Recovery of Five North Coast Watersheds
    Eureka, CA -- The North Coast Regional Water Quality Board will decide whether or not to take actions to reduce Pacific Lumber Company's rate of logging in five watersheds at a meeting on January 23. The public hearing comes on the heels of a strong report by an independent science panel, which unanimously recommended an immediate reduction in the rate of logging to ensure recovery of the sediment-impaired watersheds.

    The Panel scientists wrote that "it is essential that corrective actions be started soon and not be postponed awaiting research and monitoring that will take place over a period of years."

    "If the Water Board hopes to salvage any of the credibility it has lost with the public, scientists and local residents, it must slow down the logging that's causing flooding and landslides," said Dr. Ken Miller, an emergency room physician and a Director of the Humboldt Watershed Council, an association of local residents, some of whom have been flooded out of their homes because of sediment build-up in stream channels from Pacific Lumber's logging.

    "PL's logging threatens to permanently destroy some of California's most ecologically and economically important watersheds," Dr. Miller added. "Humboldt County is seeking over $5million in emergency disaster relief due to recent storm damages to property, roads, bridges, and sedimentation of Humboldt Bay. Much of that damage is attributable to PL's excessive rate of logging."

    California water law says that when water quality conditions are threatened or degraded, the Water Board must step in to require a "Report of Waste Discharge" by the discharger-in this case PL. If the Board follows the law, it will require PL to temporarily halt activities that threaten sediment discharge, which, according to the report, includes the cutting of trees, while the Board considers options.

    Jesse Noell of Salmon Forever said: " The Report provides a detailed list of the needed information to decide what actions to take to protect these watersheds."

    Cynthia Elkins of the Garberville-based Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) stated: "The Regional Board has ignored its duty to protect these watersheds for far too long. With this report in hand, it has no excuse to allow PL's rapacious rate and style of logging to continue."

    Where, how, and how fast PL logs are the central issues. The best available science, according to the Panel, can determine with sufficient accuracy, how much can be logged in these watersheds before landslides and erosion destroy the streams.

    Residents say the Water Board has broken the law to accommodate Pacific Lumber, whose logging operations have clogged streams, killed threatened species and knocked over ancient redwoods in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Water Board members are appointed by Governor Davis, who has received $450,000 in contributions from the timber industry.

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