Monday, August 4, 2008

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Wrapping Up the Pacific Lumber Saga

Appeals Court Shoots Down the Last Delaying Tactic

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/30/BAKU121MCB.DTL

Billionaire founders of San Francisco's Gap Inc. are expected to take control of some of the most valuable timberland in the country within days, after a federal appeals court Tuesday (7/28) shot down some of the last legal arguments from opponents to a plan to reorganize the storied Pacific Lumber Co.


7/29/2008: the new owners take over Pacific Lumber, rename company Humboldt Redwoods LLC.

http://www.hrcllc.com/

To see what their new parent company, Mendocino Redwood Company, owns: www.mrc.com/ and

http://www.mrc.com/pdf/mrc_own_map.pdf

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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/30/BAKU121MCB.DTL

The Fisher plan offers $530 million for the land, promises to keep the Scotia sawmill running with a workforce cut from 350 to 250, and to harvest about 50 million board feet from the forest each year. The company will also seek certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, which advocates sustainable forestry.

Pacific Lumber is currently harvesting about 100 million board feet each year; in the 1990s, annual harvesting maxed out at 300 million board feet.

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More on the Supreme Court decision overturning Pacific Lumber’s logging plans:

http://www.realestateandconstructionlawblog.com/natural-resources-and-endangered-species-california-supreme-court-holds-headwaters-agreement-incidental-take-permit-and-sustained-yield-plan-invalid.html

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More local commentary:

http://www.northcoastjournal.com/issues/2008/07/31/unknown-coast/

http://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/a-headline-for-the-scrapbook/

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A Little History:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20080730/news/953391239

7/30/2008

Hurwitz's Maxxam Inc. seized Pacific Lumber in a surprise 1980s takeover, and then quickly accelerated the pace of logging in an attempt to meet annual interest-only payments on $850 million in junk bond debt.

The Hurwitz era was marked by widespread environmental protests over accelerated timber cutting, an economic roller coaster ride for Scotia and surrounding communities. The discord tainted the reputation of a once aristocratic company touted for its conservative timber-cutting practices.

Before Hurwitz, Pacific Lumber for decades had worked with Save the Redwoods League and other conservation groups to preserve thousands of acres of ancient groves of redwoods in a string of state and federal parks along the North Coast.

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http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_10039458

A Timeline for the Pacific Lumber Company:

1863 -- Pacific Lumber Co. formed

1906 -- Redwood rebuilds San Francisco after quake

1964 -- Massive flood wipes out PL log decks, nearby timber towns

1975 -- Pacific Lumber listed on New York Stock Exchange

1986 -- Houston-based Maxxam Inc. takes over PL

May 1990 -- Activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney hurt in bomb blast

Summer 1990 -- Redwood Summer protests

March 1992 -- California lists Marbled murret as endangered

Jan. 1997 -- Mudslide from PL land swamps town of Stafford

Fall 1997 -- Activists pepper sprayed during protests

Dec. 1997 -- Julia Butterfly Hill begins tree-sit above Stafford

Sept. 1998 -- David “Gypsy” Chain killed by tree felled by logger

March 1999 -- PL sells Headwaters Forest, groves to government for $480 million

Feb. 2003 -- Humboldt DA files fraud suit against PL

March 2004 -- PL-funded recall of DA fails

Jan. 2007 -- PL files for bankruptcy in Texas

June 2008 -- Bankruptcy Judge Richard Schmidt approves Mendocino Redwood plan for PL

July 30, 2008 -- Mendocino begins rebuilding PL as Humboldt Redwood Co.

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