Press release, Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters for Redwood Nation Earth First!
Caspar CA–Two hours before sunrise on Monday morning, a group of concerned citizens gathered at the entrance to Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) just outside of the town of Caspar, off Highway 1. Meeting at a place that serves as both a trailhead and logging road, they formed a blockade to protest the commencement of timber harvesting, linking arms to form a human chain across the road, sitting peacefully on the gravel. Others gathered around them in support, carrying signs stating “Protect Old Growth” and “Our Forests Are Our Future”.
This protest is part of the larger effort to protect the state forest from unsustainable logging practices, such as harvesting trees over 48” in diameter-in violation of JDSF’s own management plan. With sitters in the trees and actions on the ground, the community hopes to bring the public’s attention to the potential loss of these heritage trees and stop these harmful Timber Harvest Plans.
Last week, just as Calfire announced they had given the green light to logging on multiple harvest plans in JDSF, a tree sitter named “Greasy Pete” took up residence in a 200-year-old tree known as the Mama Tree. While this tree is one of the biggest, oldest trees in Jackson, she is not alone. A second tree sitter, known as “Bugs”, has occupied a second tree marked for cut. From her platform, suspended eighty feet above the ground, Bugs, who has called the Mendocino Coast her home from home for more than a decade, said she was moved by her deep love of the forests and that “All these trees are worth fighting for”.
Activists hope to forestall operations until dialog can be established and solutions found to save the trees and protect the entire forest, which has been in state ownership since 1949. Timber harvest plans have accelerated greatly over the past four years, increasing impacts to environmental, recreational and cultural values. At a recent public meeting, JDSF’s own officials pointed to low flows in Caspar Creek and the complete absence of carbon sequestration studies in this State Demonstration Forest.