Legislation Introduced
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Senator, 2nd District
Representing the North Coast and North Bay Counties of
Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Napa, Sonoma


FEBRUARY 20, 2004                                (916) 445-3375


Sacramento – Working to end the conflict between environmental and community advocates and the State, Senator Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata) today introduced legislation that will address sustainable timber production in Jackson State Forest.

"My goal is to end the stalemate over management and protection of Jackson State Forest," said Chesbro. "I want to strike a balance between research and demonstrations on improving forest management practices; the public's desire to see this great redwood forest restored for its habitat, watershed and recreation values; and the continuation of timber harvesting."

SB 1648 will eliminate the present mandate for maximum timber production, and replace it with multiple values of conservation, restoration, education, recreation, and forest management demonstration and research.

Located within a three-hour drive from San Francisco, the scenic 50,000-acre Jackson Demonstration State Forest (Jackson Forest) is the only publicly-owned redwood forest of significant size between Humboldt and San Francisco. Jackson was purchased in 1947 to show that a second-growth redwood forest could eventually become profitable. In more recent years, Jackson Forest's stated mission has been research and demonstration to improve timber management practices.

However, environmental and community groups argue that the State has moved away from its original goal for Jackson Forest and instead use the proceeds to fund State forestry programs.

"The State's operation of Jackson Forest doesn't make sense," said Paul Mason, Forestry Representative for the Sierra Club. "They are cutting down rare mature stands of publicly-owned redwood trees to fund government programs. They ignore habitat and recreation values important to the public."

In 2000, a community group, frustrated by the State’s refusal to revise its management of the forest, turned to the courts. The Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, filed and won lawsuits that stopped all logging and required the State to develop a new management plan and environmental documentation. In 2003, the court found the new environmental documentation legally inadequate and continued the logging halt.

"We applaud Senator Chesbro for moving to revise the management goals for Jackson Forest," said Vince Taylor, spokesperson from the Campaign. "We will keep a close watch as this bill moves through the Legislature."

"It is my hope that through this legislation we can demonstrate that we can manage forests in a balanced and sustainable manner," Chesbro added.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Mason, Sierra Club at 707-223-1141
Vince Taylor, Campaign to Save Jackson State Redwood Forest at 707-937-3001.

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