We don’t usually forward material from other groups, but one of our colleague organizations in the Jackson State Forest campaign, the Mendocino Trail Stewards, recently put out a comprehensive newsletter bringing readers up to date on Jackson Demonstration State Forest, one of the hottest forest issues right now on California’s’ North Coast, so we share some exerpts with you. Read on!
Let the Forest Heal

The National Geographic’s latest special edition on Saving Forests has a “Solutions” article entitled, “A New Plan in Germany: Leave Forests Alone and Allow Nature to Heal Itself,” by Andrew Curry. This is the model that the Mendocino Trail Stewards advocates for a new management plan for Jackson Demonstration State Forest. With the State recently granting many millions of new dollars for a revised plan for forest management in the Jackson, it is time to use some of those funds to activate this vision. Specifically, neighborhoods within close proximity to THPs should have fire fuel loads greatly reduced—small diameter trees and choked understory; Tribal Co-management should be instituted forthright; recreational use, not timber extraction, should become the primary activity in the forest; and current timber sales (such as the Caspar 500, Soda Gulch and Chamberlain Confluence) should be purchased back from the mills that bought them with these State funds. These are the priorities of the citizens who use and live near the Jackson. Management goals can include what German forest owners are calling this hands-off approach: “close-to-nature” forestry. It is time the Jackson Advisory Group applies this concept to our JDSF public lands. Climate instability, carbon sequestration, and the long-term health of the trees and watersheds of this wonderful tract of land will then be a model in perpetuity of how JDSF is truly a Demonstration Forest.


William Lemos, Ph.D.

Hare Creek, JDSF                                     Jackson State Forest, horizontal version
Photo by Genevieve Mullins
CALFIRE’s Proposed Changes: Too Little, Too Late
Too little, too late.  This was the consensus recently regarding Cal Fire’s proposed changes in an alternative plan unveiled at the Jackson Advisory Group (JAG) meeting on May 2nd. The scaled back version would change 75 acres of the plan from commercial timber harvest  to “non-commercial fuel reduction treatment – cutting of less than 11-inch diameter trees and vegetation.” The popular “Parallel” and “Jackaroo” trails are located within this 75-acre area, as are the two giant second-growth redwoods that activists have defended since last spring, known as the Mama and Papa Trees.  Another old favorite of activists, a tree they call Gemini,  would be spared by shortening the logging road that would have taken it out. An additional facet of the revised plan would involve identifying and retaining a number of “Potential Elder Trees” (P.E.T.’s) on the landscape “for ecological and carbon sequestration/storage purpose.” Click here to read Cal Fire’s description of the proposed changes.
Click here to read more
The Save Our Pomo Homeland campaign is redefining forest and climate activism in California – listen on KPFA – Terra Verde Radio
On Friday, March 25th at the Capitol Building steps in Sacramento, Tribal members from across Northern California gathered with environmental activists and community members to support efforts by the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians to halt logging in Jackson Demonstration State Forest. Guest speakers shared powerful speeches, Indigenous performers danced while others chanted to protest the logging of redwoods in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest.

It was the most significant event yet held by the Coalition to Save Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF), and was organized in a joint effort by Chairman Hunter, local youth activist Sara Rose- cofounder of the Mendocino County Youth For Climate, and the Coalition to Save Jackson. The group sees their goals as inextricably connected and are encouraging the state-wide community to look at Jackson as an example of how supporting indigenous sovereignty and achieving climate progress can be complementary strategies.

Click here to read more
See full Trail Stewards newsletter here.
Since the above was published by the Trail Stewards, there has been a lot of activity. CalFire, the Fire and Forestry Agency of the State of California withdrew three controversial Timber Harvest Plans(THP) off the chopping block. While the Save Jackson Coalition has been demanding a moratorium on all logging in Jackson until a new Management Plan is in place, and until the issues under discussion in the Government to Government consultations between the state and the Pomo Tribe are resolved, this withdrawl is still significant. In effect, there has been a hold on logging this spring, though CalFire refuses to use the term moratorium. But the Director of the Board of Forestry has said the hold would remain pending the consultations between the state and the Tribe.
   The state actions are a result of strong assertion of Tribal Sovereignty by the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians in addition to the ongoing direct action campaign by community members, and other types of engagement from the public. The Tribal consultations include forging a co-management agreement for the Tribe and the State of California to co-manage the Jackson Forest. This effort is pursuant to a policy declaration from the Governor enabling tribes to co-manage and in some cases obtain state lands in their ancestral territories. The Governor’s office created a Truth and Healing Council of Tribal representations from throughout the state to address and heal the wounds of state-sanctioned genocide, slavery and other injustices.
“After many years of contentious relations with the Tribes throughout the state, as Nations within a Nation, we are asserting our tribal sovereignty to protect our cultural ways. We are now at the table in government-to-government consultation as co-equal partners in the management of our ancestral territories. This is a historic moment for social and environmental justice.”
-Priscilla Hunter, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Golden hour in the pygmy forest, Jackson State Forest, May 7, 2022
Photo by Genevieve Mullins



Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.