Pacific Lumber Redwoods ALERT

It is a done deal. By the end of the day today, new owners will have taken over the Pacific Lumber Co. and the town of Scotia, through proceedings ending in bankruptcy court in Texas. The new company will be called Humboldt Redwood Company.

The resolution ends two decades of aggressive industrial logging in this precious ecosystem by Maxxam Corporation and Charles Hurwitz, and two decades marked by an incredible outpouring of support for the forest and its species: a campaign characterized by the best of grassroots organizing and legislation, tree-sits, massive rallies, boycotts, shareholder organizing, brilliant courtroom strategies, cross-movement fertilization that spawned a worker-environmental alliance, all manner of direct action, a tripod sit in San Francisco when president Clinton came to town…the lists goes on, and the story is one of tremendous commitment and perseverance, through many significant losses.

We are not predicting an end to the protest, either in the woods or in the courts, to bad logging plans, but we hope the particularly rapacious business practices of Hurwitz and Maxxam are part of Humboldt county’s past. The new owners are the Fisher family of Gap fame, who have owned (and logged) redwood forest in neighboring Mendocino County for a decade, with their Mendocino Redwood Company. You can refer to our spring 2008 newsletter for more information about that company, and there will certainly be more to tell as the company sets up shop in Humboldt county.

The bankruptcy proceedings have lasted 18 contentious months, and disputes between various creditors and competitors for control of the timberland held to the end. It was only a decision by an appeals court yesterday to deny a stay requested by Pacific Lumber’s noteholders, the largest creditor, that cleared the way for the transition to take place today. Fisher family execs said there will be a short period of down time while inventory is conducted, and employment offers are made to workers from the old PL. As many as 100 workers may not be re-hired, however. You can view the news article from the Eureka Times-Standard that includes highlights from a “Maxxam Out of Humboldt” timeline at this link.

We will post a more comprehensive picture of the future soon as news unfolds. But you can refer to our alerts (on our newly designed website!) from the past several months for more info as well. We will also, as promised, schedule a get-together to show the video about Mendocino Redwood Co. and to host a discussion soon, when our BACHsters are in town to do that.

It’s a new day. Stay tuned.

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