THRON and EPIC v. Pacific Lumber, et al. (Yager Creek)

THRON and EPIC v. Pacific Lumber, et al. (Yager Creek)

1995

Challenging logging of residual old-growth forests, EPIC filed suit to protect the forests and salmon fisheries located within the Yager Creek drainage of the Headwaters Forest complex. Yager Creek drainage, supporting Chinook salmon, steelhead trout and Coho salmon, is one of the last salmon producing basins in the region. Logging has resulted in erosion, sedimentation, and a 96 percent loss of forest canopy. Habitat for bald eagles, northern spotted owls, and marbled murrelets has also been adversely impacted. This suit was brought by Doug Thron, The Bald Eagle and Salmon Restoration Project, and EPIC against Pacific Lumber Company, Scotia Pacific Holding Company, CDF, Tom Osipowich as Deputy Chief of CDF Region 1, Lloyd Keefer as Chief of Region of CDF, and Richard Wilson as Director of CDF.

Procedure: In early 1995 PL submitted plans to log five THPs (1-94-558 HUM, 1-95-002 HUM, 1-95-042 HUM, 1-95-072 HUM, 1-95-075 HUM) involving thousands of acres of residual forest within the Yager Creek drainage and its tributaries. THP 95-042 on Blanton Creek was approved on 4/10/95 and logging commenced. EPIC filed suit (Humboldt Ct. #95DRO100) on 4/10/95 and a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was issued on 4/12/95 by Judge Buffington. PL temporarily closed Mill A at Scotia in response to the TRO. Preliminary Injunction hearing set for 4/28/95 before Judge Buffington rescheduled to 5/5/95 before visiting Judge Kleaver after Buffington recused himself in response to PL media campaign and political pressures. Preliminary Injunction (for THP -042) denied 5/18/95, with TRO to remain in place until 5/31/95. EPIC appealed, filing Petition for Writ of Supersedeas; Emergency Stay granted 5/31. Writ of Supersedeas denied 6/13/95. Complaint alleging unfair business practices and Petition for Writ of Mandate (on THP -558) filed 6/23/95 (Humboldt Ct. #95DR0182). TRO issued 6/26/95 contingent on EPIC posting $10,000 bond. Bond was raised from the community in 24 hours. Preliminary Injunction denied 7/29/95.

Status: final – As logging commenced on the plans and seeing no relief from the court, EPIC dismissed suit in exchange for return of the bond to plaintiffs.

Attorneys: Sharon Duggan, Dave Williams, Kirk Boyd.

EPIC Contact: Jesse Noell.